Build Progress on Our Bundutec Roadrunner (Updated)

Progress is being made on our new Bundutec Roadrunner. Offering the latest technology, this custom, all-new camper will feature the same general layout as our old Northstar Laredo SC truck camper, yet will offer several improvements and enhancements. The Roadrunner’s 8-foot 7-inch long floorplan will have a wider wet-bath with a Thetford cassette toilet, the Truma Combi water heater-furnace, a Tern Overland 500x700mm roof hatch (same size as a Heki), a taller cabover ceiling, and a True Induction dual cooktop. The black-on-gray exterior of the Roadrunner will look vastly better than the vanilla-white exterior used by most truck camper companies.

The Roadrunner will incorporate several modifications and features found in our old Laredo, including a Dometic CR1110 3.7 cubic foot DC compressor refrigerator—an absolute must for boondocking—a 240 amp hour lithium battery bank, a 3,000 watt inverter with a built-in transfer relay, and a Zamp 440 watt solar power system. Construction will feature an insulated, all-wood frame with glued and screwed joints overlayed with an attractive gray fiberglass tastefully accented with black hatches and windows. Unlike the Laredo, however, the Roadrunner will feature a flat roof, which will create more overhead space in the cabover, something the wife never liked about the Laredo.

The Roadrunner exemplifies the custom work for which Rory Willett at BundutecUSA is known. We are excited about finally getting the Truma Combi and look forward to having a larger bathroom as well. The Laredo bathroom is only 30 inches wide, the Roadrunner bathroom will be 36 inches wide. Six inches probably doesn’t sound like much of a difference, but believe us, it is. The camper will also feature a Tern Overland roof hatch in the cabover for egress and viewing the stars (if you’ve read our review of the Heki Vent you’ll know why we are making the change). More importantly, the interior of the Roadrunner will look so much better. We were never a fan of the dated, 1990’s oak used in our 2016 Northstar Laredo SC.

The Northstar Laredo SC will always be near and dear to our hearts, it served us well as evidenced by all of our trips, but it’s time to move on to something even better using the same floorplan. We are excited to see what improvements Rory will build into this old classic and we’ve already noted a couple in the photographs. Some of his most visible improvements relate to storage. There’s so much more of it, high and low, including a dirty clothes hamper in the bathroom. Another important improvement relates to insulation, there’s more of that too—everywhere. Even the refrigerator compartment has been insulated with block foam insulation! Of course, having a wider bathroom means having a smaller dinette, but that’s a trade-off we’re willing to make as empty-nesters.

Completed front view showing the new Arctic Tern Roof Hatch open on top.
The camper is just about complete. Just a few minor things left to do before we pick it up.
The rubber EPDM roof is now in place along with the low profile air conditioner.
View of the Truma Combi Eco Plus
Side view of the Truma Combi Eco Plus with the ducting now in place.
Outside view with the block foam insulation and roof installed.
View of the enlarged wetbath.
View of the kitchen counter with the Seitz window installed.

Of all of the features included in the Roadrunner, we are most excited about getting the Truma Combi Eco Plus. Being a dual water heater-furnace, this German-engineered appliance takes up half the space since only one appliance is needed rather than two. This also means you’ll save on weight—the Truma Combi weighs only 31 pounds, a savings of 24 pounds. The amp draw of the whisper-quiet unit is quite low, too, with an average power consumption of only 1.1 amps for air heating and 0.4 amps during the water up heat cycle. The Truma Combi Eco Plus can operate on either propane or 110 volts AC, giving us greater flexibility on how we use it. Due to its space saving and weight saving features, more and more RV manufacturers are using the Truma Combi in their RVs.

Aside from the Truma Combi, the True Induction cooktop is the one appliance we really wanted in the Bundutec Roadrunner. Called the True Induction 1+1B, the cooktop features an electric induction cooktop on one side and a propane burner on the other. Why include an induction cooktop? Because induction cooking doesn’t emit harmful fumes like a propane cooktop and doesn’t require running an exhaust fan—a liability in winter. This makes it safer to use and doesn’t require running fans to keep the camper aired out. Another benefit is speed. Food cooks faster on an induction cooktop, thus requiring less power to operate. The induction cooktop is also easier to control temperature-wise and is safer to use because only the pan gets hot—the cooktop itself cools off almost immediately after use making it safer to use around children. With a maximum power consumption of 1,600 watts, we will need to activate the inverter to use it off-grid.

Pricing for the Roadrunner is still in a state of flux, but Jenn at Bundutec has told me pricing will be around $26,000, a bargain no matter how you slice it and dice it. Stay tuned for updates here and on the Truck Camper Adventure Instagram account as the Roadrunner is being built. We expect to pick the camper up in early July, but there may be a slight delay due to parts shortages that have resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic. Fortunately, Rory is doing his best to manage this issue using all of the sources he has at his disposal to keep the BundtuecUSA truck camper pipeline flowing.

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About Mello Mike 511 Articles
Mello Mike is an Arizona native, author, and the founder of Truck Camper Adventure. He's been RV'ing since 2002, is a certified RVIA Level 1 RV Technician, and has restored several Airstream travel trailers. He currently rolls in a 2013 Ram 3500 and a 2021 solar powered Bundutec Roadrunner truck camper. He retired from the U.S. Navy in 2004 as a CWO3 after 24 years, worked in project management, and now runs Truck Camper Adventure full-time. He also does some RV consulting, repairs, and inspections on the side.

22 Comments

  1. Hi Mike, anonymous here, aka freespool. Lately, I have been so busy with my upcoming retirement and the addition of a home for my daughter that I had to actually re-register in order to post. Rory appears to have his trade dialed in. The use of smooth aluminum and the abundance of framing material is just what I would like to have. Naturally as a woodworker I would love to see dado’s and dowels but I know that is unrealistic in a production unit. Keep the updates coming, I am still very interested and soon, I will the time to enjoy your terrific web site more.

  2. Very nice! My wife would love the window over the stove and sink big time. She would also like the windows on both sides of the over cab. Our current TC has a wardrobe cabinet on “her” side of the OC. No bueno in her opinion.
    We have a 36″ bathroom. I can’t imagine a 30″.
    Question about the Truma. Since it has ducts, I assume it’s got a fan in there somewhere? Is it quieter than a typical furnace?
    Looking forward to a real like road test.

  3. In Mike’s recent update on the construction of his new Roadrunner truck camper he made a comment about the potential awkwardness in changing out the anode rod in Suburban water heaters. The anode rod is what is called sacrificial because it is sacrificed instead of the water heater tank rusting and it actually does a very good job. However, it periodically does need to be replaced if it is eaten down to the pencil lead thin center core. A good time to replace it is when the tank is empty when winterizing.

    Here is how to make the process painless and fast. For the replacement you will need a new anode rod, a 1 1/16″ socket, a six inch extension, your ratchet, and a piece of paper towel. Now you probably have already discovered it is difficult starting the tread on the anode rod as it is hard to hold and turn it with your fingers, so forget that! You may have also discovered if you try holding it with the socket, the socket is too deep so the treads on the anode rod do not extend out far enough to get the rod started. That’s easy to fix.

    Take a piece of paper towel and pack the socket until it is about half way full. That stops the anode rod from going so far into the socket. Then simply put the socket on your extension and use it to start the anode rod by hand, normally not too difficult to do. Once the treads have started, tighten it the rest of the way with your ratchet. Five minutes and you’re done.

    How about teflon tape on the treads? I don’t use it, I carry teflon paste in a tube which I always found effective and simpler to use. Final thought. Anode rods last for years but, most owners change them far more often than necessary. As long as the entire length is not eaten down to the thin center rod, the old rod is still doing its job. 🙂

  4. Hi Mike, nice to know a new camper is on the way. I thought you would be a good candidate for the new SS, but choosing something new and different is even better. Keep us up to date on the progress. I am looking forward to your reports on the battery system as well as the new water heater.

    • The Laredo SS is too big, too wide and too long to do the kind of off-roading we like. Besides, Northstar was unwilling to tweak the SC the way we wanted, Bundutec was. It was an easy choice when you consider everything including the overall improvement in looks.

  5. Hi,
    Do you have time for a couple of questions since this camper is not up on the Bundutec website as of yet?
    1) What is the height of the cab over? This would be from the base to the ceiling without the mattress.
    2) What will the over all height of the camper be? From pickup bed to roof, not including the air conditioner.
    3) Could they fit a bigger fridge?
    Cheers,
    DaveW

  6. Mike, you mention: ” the Roadrunner will also have a DC compressor refrigerator, an absolute must for boondocking”. Why is a must for boondocking? Performance or energy consumption? Thanks!

  7. I’m already dreaming of a true long bed version of this called the “Coyote”
    Like the Laredo SS it would have the larger Refrigerator and Real side boxes, which would fit a generator to run the A/C.

  8. Mike,

    A new camper is always exciting so I bet the wait is difficult. The construction certainly looks stout! I am curious as to outside dimensions and weight when compared to the Laredo. I have a hunch the new one costs a bit more coin than the Northstar. 🙂

    If you do an interview with Rex, I would be interesting in knowing about the choice to aluminum for the sidewalls.

    First thing I did with our Laredo was rewire the camper so the disconnect was right inside the back door along with several thises and thats. The great thing about truck campers is there is a style and options for everyone.

    Ardvark

  9. Nice combination of Laredo SC and Laredo SS with improvements at a very good price. Will this be one of Bundutec’s TC models in the future or is this a complete custom?

  10. I’ve got a Northstar Arrow and have been super happy with it but am I excited to see your new Roadrunner. If I made any changes in a new camper after lots of use and knowing more about it… I would do exactly what you are doing for customization. I would probably beef up the cushions in the dinette area to make them more comfortable for lounging too. What are you doing for A/C if any?

    • Hi Colleen,
      Yes, we are getting a roof-top AC and are having nicer cushions put in the Roadrunner’s dinette. The cushions in the Laredo are like sitting on bricks and have to be supplemented with office chair cushions

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