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Jeep Grand Wagoneer With a RedTail Skyloft on Its Roof Is How They Overland in Utah

Tomorrow, April 1, this year’s Easter Jeep Safari kicks off in Moab, Utah. The event spans for nine days, and as usual, it will be a celebration of everything Jeep, from privately-owned off-roaders to concepts brought on-site by the carmaker itself.
Jeep Grand Wagoneer Overland concept 13 photos
Photo: Jeep
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For this year’s edition of the safari, the 57th, Jeep cooked in its ovens no less than seven different concepts. From the electrified Magneto, nothing more than a re-tweaked version of a machine that’s already three years old, to the incredible Wrangler 4xe powertrain-swapped 1978 Jeep Cherokee, you could safely say there’s a little bit of something for everyone.

None of the seven concepts and customs shown appeal to the overlanding-loving community more than the Grand Wagoneer we have here. Specifically built to allow traveling off the beaten path in style, it also brings with it, the only one of the seven to do so, the possibility of spending the night outdoors, sleeping on the SUV’s roof.

This being an overlanding concept, it offers all the amenities one needs to survive in the wild. And since we mentioned sleeping, we’ll start with that. They call this roof tent the SkyLoft, and it’s the result of work conducted by a crew called RedTail Overland.

The SkyLoft is described as the "world's first hard-sided rooftop camper." It’s not yet available on the open market, its makers saying pricing and availability are to be announced soon, so this might very well be the first time we see it used in a real-life application.

Jeep Grand Wagoneer Overland concept
Photo: Jeep
The roof of the Wagoneer is where the carbon-fiber-made SkyLoft goes. When not used, it packs itself neatly in an impressively thin format so as not to add too much height to the SUV – it only measures 110 inches in length, 60 inches in width, and 11 inches in height (2.8 meters x 1.5 meters x 30 cm). The magic, of course, starts when it’s fully deployed, and it can do that in just ten seconds, raising to 65 inches (1.6 meters) at its highest point.

The upper side of the SkyLoft raises pretty much like all other rooftop tents do, to make room for two people to sleep comfortably on a plush mattress. That’s not something we haven’t seen before, but some of the other fittings of this mobile bedroom might surprise you.

Heated by means of a diesel heater, it can be used all year round, no matter where off-roading journeys take you. It’s also highly protected, as it comes with locking doors and dual-pane windows.

The SkyLoft has its own power source, and because it relies on solar and battery power, there is no need to hook it up to the car. As per the official details, the thing can generate up to 380 watts of solar power and packs a 60 Ah lithium battery. Together, the two sources should be enough to power the dimmable interior and exterior LED lighting, but also the several USB and 110 outlets deployed throughout.

Jeep Grand Wagoneer Overland concept
Photo: Jeep
Fitting the SkyLoft onto the roof of the Grand Wagoneer required some modifications to be made throughout the SUV. The second and third rows of seats were removed, to allow for access to the overhead tent from the lower third-row seating area. To make climbing up there easier, a sliding door with a small step had to be integrated.

Because the removal of the rear seats created quite a lot of empty space in the back, Jeep filled that with other comfort features, effectively transforming the rear of the SUV into a sort of living room or at least a place where one can sit back and relax. If you have a peek at the attached gallery, you’ll see a beanbag, a plush throw rug, and lots of pillows. There is even storage space for flowers to either side, and a table of sorts.

The interior modifications are hidden from view by the SUV’s stock body in Industrial Green with Gunmetal accents. Unlike what you get off Jeep’s shelves, this one has also been equipped with a Warn winch with laser lights for better visibility.

The Wagoneer is connected to the ground by means of 18-inch wheels, shod in 35-inch tires to allow for both grip and a higher road clearance, increased by 1.5 inches (3.8 cm).

Jeep Grand Wagoneer Overland concept
Photo: Jeep
The wheels spin under the power supplied by the machine’s usual engine, as Jeep made no changes in this department. Normally, the new Grand Wagoneer is powered by a choice of three engines, two of them HEMI V8s and the other the Hurricane. It's the latter that’s under the hood of the Grand Wagoneer Overland concept, delivering 510 horsepower and 500 lb.-ft. of torque.

Jeep does not say how much such a conversion costs, but it’s easy to imagine how people with SUVs in their garage will now try to get more info on the Skyloft and how it could be used for their rides. All we know about it is that aside from the obvious fit on the Grand Wagoneer, it’s a bit larger than your average roof tent. So it’ll work on most vans and full-size trucks and SUVs, but not on midsize ones.
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Editor's note: Gallery also shows other Skyloft applications.

About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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