Review: Tune M1 Truck Camper

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the M1, from Denver, Colorado-based Tune Outdoors, is one of the latest entries in the lightweight camper and pop-up truck game, and I’ve been testing one on the back of my Tundra for the past couple of months. I’ve tested a lot of different truck campers the outside Over the years, it has owned both A He quickly ran to the cart (GFC) and A Total vehicles Slide in. I was intrigued by the M1 when it first came on the scene in 2022, but it wasn’t until I saw one in person at their store in Denver that I realized just how special this stroller was.

About melody

The Tune M1 is a lightweight and stylish package. (Photo: Brian Rogala)

Like many good ideas, this one started when Tune co-founder Christian Arnold couldn’t find exactly what he wanted in a campervan. He wanted something simple, comfortable and lightweight, but still provided plenty of space and quick access to outdoor gear in the back of his Toyota Tacoma.

Yes, options like GFC, Super Pacific, tramp, and others already exist, but none of them fulfill all its requirements. His background in industrial design and engineering led him and fellow designer Broc Patterson to design the M1.

Besides the design chops, the Tune has serious business credentials behind it, too: Sean Kepler, former CEO of The North Face and VF Outdoor, and Bruce McGowan, co-founder of Backcountry Access, joined once they saw the hole in the market the M1 would fill.

What does this mean for you, the potential customer? Tune doesn’t build one-off camps in their garage. This is a company that’s in it for the long haul, making a wagon with serious design credibility and engineering behind it. They have invested in CNC routers and all the good things in manufacturing, but the main idea is that road These camps were created which means a higher quality product, shorter wait times for consumers and support for more truck makes and models.

What makes the Tune M1 different?

The Tune M1 camper van collapsed near the coast
The M1 tune on the back of the author’s Tundra during a 4,000-mile road trip. (Photo: Brian Rogala)

The best way to describe the M1 is a clamshell-style pop-up camper that sits on the rails of your truck bed. Its closest competitor is probably M four-wheeler projectbut you can think of it as a sort of cross between Project M, GFC, and a Super Pacific wagon, taking some of the best features from each and adding their own to create something entirely new.

The M1’s most unique features are the flared sides and optional glass doors. These sidewalls protrude farther from your truck bed and provide more space inside the camper. Aluminum side panels come standard and open to provide full, unrestricted access to the interior. You also have the option of choosing quarter-inch smoked glass side panels. Obviously the choice of glass allows more light into the camper’s living area, but it also allows the driver to see out the back of the van, providing much greater visibility than any other camper I’ve seen. While the aluminum panels look great and are probably the best option if you’re worried about safety, the glass sides give it a sleek, modern look that really sets the M1 apart – of all the campervans I’ve owned and tested, this one gets the most praise.

For me, the M1’s best feature is its spaciousness. The flared sides combined with the full pop-up roof mean that on a five-foot Tacoma bed, you’ll get 60.75 x 72 inches of space in the lower living area, 78 inches of headroom, and a 60.75 x 72 inch sleeping area (you can also choose a 80 x 72 inches with bed extension). Despite the cavernous interior, the same-sized M1 Tacoma weighs just 360 pounds.

In my Tundra with a 6.5-foot bed, the M1 is downright plush. The extension turns the sleeping area into an 80-by-78-inch bed, which is larger than a king-size mattress. Even with the extension, there is still enough room for camp duties in the living area. Unlike a wedge camper, where you have to remove panels to get out of the bed, or push a platform out of the way to access the camper’s full living area, the M1 gives you full access to your truck bed. This means you don’t have to wake your partner to get out of bed in the middle of the night or make coffee in the morning.

Aside from the cavernous space, the M1 has some other really nice standard features. It comes with 360-degree dimmable “halo lighting” around the entire interior roof, six windows in the tent, and an average of 440 feet of T-Track built into the camper. The T-Track means you can easily mount anything you want to the outside of it (such as awnings, propane tank holders, fly rod holders, etc.), or create a custom interior without drilling into anything or permanently installing heavy tanks.

Test Tune M1

Tune M1 camper van at night
We liked the Tune M1’s halo lights. (Photo: Brian Rogala)

Over the two months I tested the M1, I took it on a 4,000-mile road trip, two hunting trips, lived with it every day, and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of using it. This is by far the most spacious truck camper I’ve spent time in.

Not only did I love the camping comfort it provided, but I also loved how functional it was as an everyday shell. The M1’s massive tailgate, tall height, and flared sides provide much more space than a standard camper chassis – I can load mountain bikes into the truck bed without removing the front wheel, move furniture, and make running to the dump much easier than with the fiberglass cover I had In my truck before. At six feet, three inches tall, I can easily get into the truck bed with the top of the M1 down to load or unload gear, or take snacks out of the cooler.

I didn’t find many negatives to the M1. Fit and finish are excellent, and the attention to detail in the construction really shows. I’ve led her down some very Rough roads and no worse for wear. It is very quick to set up and take down. It is a nice. It has reduced fuel economy by about two or three miles per gallon, and although it certainly has a bigger feel than a smaller wedge wagon like Topo topper mesa or GFC, I didn’t find this to be an issue on the trails or on the highway.

It’s heavier than the two strollers previously mentioned, but that’s comparing apples to oranges. I’d argue that the extra hundred pounds or so of weight over the wedge cart is worth it for the extra space this thing provides.

My only issue with the M1 is that because of how far the cab portion extends, rain tends to drain from the camper roof directly onto the front doors of my truck. This is only an issue if I have to get in or out of the truck while it’s raining, or I’m driving with the window open in the rain – but I also live in New Mexico, so it’s not a big deal. If you live in the Pacific Northwest, there may be a bigger problem.

Price comparisons

The base price for the mid-size M1 is $12,999, and $13,999 for the full-size models. That’s a lot of money no matter how you slice it, but when you start running the numbers, it’s actually a very competitive market.

Let’s compare it to the Four Wheel Campers Project M, which has a base price of $10,995 for the Tacoma’s five-foot bed. This is a bit misleading, because the base price is actually $11,790, since “Bolt Down Installed” The option is actually required. By the time you add the other options needed to bring it closer to the base M1 model, you’re looking at a $15,700 wagon that weighs 462 pounds and still doesn’t have side door or T-track access, not to mention interior lighting. In the Overland Atlas It starts at $14,300, and has similar specifications OVRND campervans It comes in at $10,675 (but without any lighting or T-track interior, a smaller bed, and less access to the side panel).

The point here is not to belittle either of these camps, I’ve been in every one of them and they are great choices. It’s simply to point out that every The cart is worth considering, and the Tune’s base price actually includes a lot of the extra features with other brands. Simply put: you’ll get a lot more bang for your buck with the M1.

Final thoughts

Overall, the first Tune cart is a big winner in my book. If you’re looking for a top-style camper that won’t get in the way of your truck, appreciate high-quality construction and great aesthetics, and want more space than a wedge camper offers, take a close look at the M1.

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