#TruckLife: Denverite makes truck bed mattress toppers that fit a queen bed

Luke Bushek, founder of Radica, sits in the back of his truck, to which his first MoonLander prototype is still attached. (Pictures of Lily O’Neill)

Luke Bushek intended to live off his truck after buying a slide-out motorhome during the pandemic.

But after a camping trial, he decided the product was too heavy and bulky. So he sold it and went back to the drawing board.

“The RV had a lot of bells and whistles, but it weighed at least 1,000 pounds,” Bushek said. “It took a ton of time to get it in the truck, and it just wasn’t possible to drive it all the time.”

He added: “I drive my truck daily, and with the camper in the back I had terrible gas mileage and it was super heavy and wobbly. On top of that, once you open it up and camp there, you don’t feel super protected. It always feels like a tent because it’s canvas.

The Denver resident then bought a hard-shell truck bed mattress topper and built a bed frame with pull-out drawers underneath.

Scaled Denver Radica Owner's Workshop

Bushek rented a workshop in the Overland neighborhood to build truck bed mattress toppers.

“But it’s a little small and claustrophobic, and you have to open your tailgate to let the heat out at night and if you want to access your gear underneath in the sliding drawers,” he said.

He searched for something between the hard shell mattress topper and the slide-out camper, but was unsuccessful. It was then that he decided to build his own.

At the time, Bushek was working as a production supervisor and process engineer for Anthem Displays, a local manufacturer of digital display panels, and was well versed in welding and fabrication products.

Last year, he built his first MoonLander prototype, a hard-shell mattress topper that weighs 250 pounds with extended sides that fit a queen-size bed on the side.

“My girlfriend and I took him to Yellowstone for a camping trip, and I got so much interest there that I decided to post a Craigslist ad and see what happens,” he said. Bushek said. “The first two days, I received three orders. I had to close the ad because I wasn’t prepared for this.

Denver Radica Moonlander Open Ladder

MoonLander can fit medium size truck bed, full size truck bed and long bed. (Photos courtesy of Radica)

This was the start of Radica, Bushek’s new adventure company for the modern nomad. The prototype is still in the back of his truck today.

The 29-year-old has decided to quit his job after his former company moved its factory operations to North Carolina and is fully focused on his startup. So far, he has self-funded the company and built every product on his own.

The MoonLander starts at $5,300. There are options for a mid-size shell for 5- and 6-foot truck beds, a full-size shell for 5.5- and 6.5-foot truck beds, and a long shell for 8-foot truck beds. feet. Customization options, which range from $250 to $450, include a front/rear window, side sliding window, fan, raised bed frame, and propane tank mount.

Bushek sold his first MoonLander, which the client now lives in, in September 2021 after building it in his 300 square foot garage.

Last month, he signed a one-year lease for a 1,700 square foot studio at 1224 S. Bannock St. in the Overland neighborhood. Just as his first customers found him, he found the location on Craigslist.

Denver Radica Moonlander closed to scale

The MoonLander truck bed mattress topper starts at $5,300.

Bushek said he currently has 11 out-of-stock MoonLanders and is booked through July. He hired a welder and another employee to help him assemble the toppers.

“I don’t plan to build them myself forever. I want to create an assembly line and hire people to help create an American manufacturing plant,” Bushek said. “This space will allow me not to play Tetris every morning with everything I had to move. It will give us more space for workstations, which will allow us to build several MoonLanders at the same time and to have a mini production line.

The entrepreneur wants to build up to 30 MoonLanders in his new space this year. If he does, he hopes to move into a bigger workshop and build up to 200 next year.

Next year, it plans to introduce a second product called RadRak, a dirt bike hitch rack designed for off-roading and quick loading, which will retail for $750.

“The pressure is there now,” he said.

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