Spare No Expense: Go Luxe Overlanding In The $530K Redtail Skyloft Van

Photo By: Redtail Overland

There’s a good chance you first heard about Redtail Overland when the Colorado-based company’s high-end, $20,000-plus hard-sided carbon fiber Skyloft rooftop tents first hit the market several years ago. Now Redtail Overland has integrated the Skyloft into a bespoke Sprinter-based overlanding rig they call the Skyloft Van. It rings in at over $530,000 – or quite a bit more, depending on how buyers option it up.

Photo by Redtail Overland

Redtail takes the reliable Sprinter 170 chassis and adds a custom front Redtail-designed bumper with a wirelessly controlled Warn 12K winch built in. An aluminum Backwoods winch-ready rear bumper has the van’s six well covered. A large Owl Vans gearbox, tire carrier, and ladder adorn the back end, along with a One-Up bike rack. A $5,500 Van Compass Stage 6.3 suspension system by Owl Vans is just the start of the running gear mods, which include Bilstein struts, upgraded rear shock brackets, 285/75R17 Toyo Open Country Rugged Terrain Trail tires mated to Reika 17-inch Super Single wheels, a full skid plate package, monster 45-gallon fuel cell, onboard air compressor with nubs front and rear, and even a Line-X coating sprayed on the rocker panels.

Photo by Redtail Overland

Photo by Redtail Overland

Baja Designs LED lighting illuminates the road far, far ahead, and more LEDs brighten up the space around – and under – the entire van. Bluetooth controls the wind-sensing awning, the stock stereo is long gone in favor of a subwoofer-equipped custom setup with navigation, and even the window and door shades are insulated. Most everything in the van, from lighting to thermostats to the awning, can be operated and adjusted via smartphone.

On-board electricity for all your gear is held in a 14kWh battery feeding a 3,200-watt inverter. Numerous touch screens control every aspect of the van’s myriad systems. Capacities include a 45-gallon fuel tank, 40 gallon water tank, and a 30-gallon grey tank. For the sake of purity, there’s a UV and carbon block water purification system and PEX plumbing throughout. All of the wiring is marine grade. Need to winterize the van? Just push one button.

READ MORE: Gear Showcase: Spring

Come night time or nap time, the 78 by 55-inch Skyloft sleeping loft is essentially a self-contained, self-sustaining unit with its own power, heat, light, and cooling systems, including its own Nest thermostat. A sliding privacy panel seals it from the van’s interior. The Skyloft’s fold-in walls are tri-layer insulated carbon fiber, the mattress is from Germany, the clear, double-paned windows open for maximum airflow and star gazing, and a 330-watt solar panel array lines the top for feeding power back into the van. Configurable LED lighting, top-notch build quality, quick setup, and take down make the Skyloft simple to operate – and all that is just what’s above the van’s roofline.

Photo by Redtail Overland

Photo by Redtail Overland

Photo by Redtail Overland

Photo by Redtail Overland

Photo by Redtail Overland

Photo by Redtail Overland

Photo by Redtail Overland

Photo by Redtail Overland

The Skyloft Van’s interior is nicer than most high-end apartments. Since the Skyloft Van’s sleeping quarters are up top, the back of the Sprinter 170 is ready to party with a U-shaped social space with a removable table that flips to convert to another lay-down zone with extra room from dual color-matched flarespace extensions. The seats are covered in UltraLeather, and the van’s interior is paneled in wood and stone surfaces. Thermal and sound-deadening insulation is used throughout. The rear lounge zone is raised to make the garage area below as roomy as possible.

The kitchen area includes a Vitrifrigo double-drawer fridge/freezer unit, a pair of Scheel-Mann automotive seats, and a glossy ceramic kitchen countertop with dual hidden induction burners. Rinse off in the teak-floored shower/toilet facility, clean up with the Dyson vacuum, make tea with the instant hot water, catch the game on the large flat-screen TV that rotates into a storage spot, pour a cuppa from the Nespresso coffee maker, fold out a table the obscures your liquor stash, and everywhere there’s space, there’s some sort of storage shelf, drawer, cubby or hidey hole. Oh, and there’s a small safe that opens using your fingerprint, and Thunderbolt deadbolt locks on all the doors.

A second Nest thermostat regulates the van’s interior comfort separate from the Skyloft. Need some tunes while outside by the lake/river/campfire/ski resort? Just grab the large, sonorous Bang & Olufsen Bluetooth speaker and entertain a small crowd of friends. Here’s a quick tour of the interior:

Redtail says they “outfitted the entire van, inside and out, with the most advanced systems and premium components money can buy or skilled hands can craft” and that the van is “built more like a boat than a van” for longevity and to ward off the elements. They likely won’t be cranking out Skyloft Vans in big numbers, so if you’re interested, contact them to get the specifics of your build – and the exact price – figured out.

Photo by Brett Willhelm

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