Are these complains valid/common?

I’m still loving the idea of the GFC, but found a pretty critical review on yootoob that raised some questions. The video is excessively long, starts with complaints that defy logic as the GFC is a minimalist setup, but does eventually get to some things that made me scratch my head. I’ve not made it to the end, but at about the midway point he addresses stitching, ventilation, and fabric tension. The video shouldemphasized text** be timestamped for the relevant bits.

Is his experience typical for most of you, or did he get a tent built on a Friday/Monday on the wrong side of a long weekend?

Might want to take a look at this Thread

1 Like

Haven’t watched this video yet, but my experience so far is that the “soft” parts of the GFC, i.e. the tent is much lower quality than the “hard” parts, i.e. the engineered/mechanical portions of the camper.

Mine doesn’t leak like others have experienced, but the zippers are kinda cheap and flimsy, the zipper tracks are glued or lasered or whatever on instead of sewn in some places, and those are starting to fail, and the tolerances in the sewing of side windows is pretty mediocre, causing kind of a wavy effect along portions of the window and side fabric.

That said, I spent something like 25 nights in it this year, and I’m still super happy with it overall. Just wish the tent was higher quality.

I’d gladly pay more in $ and weight for an upgraded, higher quality, actually 4 season tent portion. Hope someone at GFC reads this.

6 Likes

I’m going to be putting out a 1 year review here shortly stay tuned. I’ll be touching base on WHAT this camper is designed to do vs. what I want it to be. I think the key is knowing that if you want luxury, the GFC is the wrong product for you. This unit is one step above a rooftop tent and two steps above a ground tent.

This reviewer clearly needs a 55’ travel trailer with two slide outs, marble counter tops, slate heated floors and a kick in the nuts for making that video so long.

23 Likes

Just look through the forum here. it show a good slice of the nitty gritty whether it is bad or good. That reviewer obviously is trying to generate revenue from click bait to stay at the Ritz

1 Like

I agree that he is asking for a bunch of gucci stuff that doesn’t flow with the GFC minimalist ethos. Thats not the question. I am just trying to find out if poor/crooked sewing is the exception or the rule on the GFC tents. If it’s a crap tent i can just get the topper and put a higher quality tent on it.

3 Likes

There have been some tent issues, but I feel GFC has been good with support and replacing tents fully in many cases. One of the things that separates GFC is the customer support. You can probably find a higher quality tent out there, but access to stand and enter through the floor is really nice, and in my opinion what makes the setup appealing vs a tent topper combo.

Condensation/ventilation are totally adequate, and fabric tension is plenty good in my opinion. At the end of the day you are still in a tent. The fit and finish for me has been great overall, especially when you consider how much better priced they are than the competition.

If you like the overall concept you’ll be stoked on it.

12 Likes

Okay, someone asked me to respond to this post since I started a negative post earlier about it.

The quality of my own tent is pretty good. I’m coming from using a tepui Ayer tent that had several stitching and miscellaneous issues that I had to adjust too seeing it was my first roof top tent. Going from under $2,000 to an 8k to 9 k camper tent like the GFC you’d expect durable quality. And mine has performed really well albeit with my tepui, I was using it everyday for months at a time. And if you are using anything for that amount of time and a stitch comes undone, well you need to contact a master sewing professional or come up with a field repair.

I kinda don’t want to respond to his criticism because with so many positive videos out there about GFC, I really don’t feel I need to take on the responsibility to defend them from a negative review. It’s good to have constructive critique of a product that is honest. However, not to start a pissing match. This guys credentials speak for itself. He is used to expensive gear and doesn’t know how to use them. A viewer may believe he is an experienced outdoors enthusiast but he seems to me an individual that surrounds himself with props and therefore says he has conviction. His stubbornness in this video to seal up a tent in the cold is evidence that he doesn’t understand cold weather camping. I could go on… but, I stand with GFC as a company.

I went out to Montana to get mine from Maine (38 hour drive) and was treated well. Months later, I am upgrading my rig with electrical and solar and am planning to use it quite a bit in 2023. My roof top tent lasted a year and I sold it. And it was a wonderful fun tent to explore with. So, its what you make of it.

3 Likes

I did not watch the video. Overall happy with the camper and tent portion, I am getting some separation around the front windows and spoke to GFC at their camping event a few weeks ago. Was told they had some issues; it was resolved, and they would replace the tent. Can’t ask for any more than that.
I have not had any leakage issues and have been in a couple pretty heavy rainstorms.

1 Like

Picking mine up in 3 weeks, thought about watching this but decided against it after seeing all the “plugs” in the first 30 seconds or whatever. Reviews are what they are, a single person’s viewpoint.

I get the standpoint of value v. price, however I went from a $17k dog sled of a travel trailer to a $40k 16’ Airstream Basecamp. What I do primarily necessitates a truck only option, SO my $8k build feels like a steal and it’ll get used more than the AS. Now, will I complain about needing to reach out of the “flappy” bug screen to unzip the tent door? Hell nah, that’s tent life in a nutshell. So, in my situation the value way exceeds the price.

Again, haven’t watched, but I get the gist. The dude thinks what the GFC unit is valued at is too high for shortcomings. The next video superstar states the value is the best in the market. Do the correct consumer thing and buy for yourself, not what the talking head getting kickbacks for hour long videos says. 2c

2 Likes

that right there

@godzilla just be honest with you really want. camping out of a GFC is like that motel that “keeps the light on fer ya”. they are not fancy at all. My “stiching” looks awesome. Everything is straight and still solid after more than a year of abuse. Sometimes by all the posts of leaking tents, at times I feel I have THE ONLY dry tent GFC ever produced. but, big but, 10-15 complaints on a forum out of 4000+ campers is good in my opinion. just don’t ask me about the customer service and how I was treated as customer.

2 Likes

I have way too much time on my hands right now, being isolated at home because of COVID.

Here is my take away after watching the whole video. He is correct, he should have ponied up the extra $4k and waited a year so he could trash Super Pacific instead. Seems GFC isn’t the right camper for him (truth is Super Pacific probably isn’t either). He doesn’t seem to fully understand the GFC Camper is a reasonably priced, minimalistic, light weight camper, I feel he only has one valid grip (see below).

I took some notes.

  1. “Key and locks are garbage!” I can’t be the only person who knows how to use a key and lock. He deliberately mashed the key into the lock in the wrong way to prove it’s garbage? I have not found GFC’s choice in locks all that much of a problem. I don’t know, maybe I’m just being more purposeful in alighting the key and lock, I rarely even have the lock pop open when locking. Frozen locks are a different story, been there with a previous topper also.

  2. “Bed size, why isn’t it like SuperPacific’s?” Because it’s a different product, because it’s a minimalist design, because it doesn’t have to be the same. I also have an Ursa Minor J30 mounted on my Wrangler, similar bed size, similar hatch style opening. Never have I or my wife worried about waking the other to go pee, if that was an issue, guess we better start pulling the trailer more often.

  3. “Condensation/heater.” Yep air movement is good, maybe that’s why so many ground tents are so airy. Maybe he shouldn’t have gotten rid of his $40k slide in camper. Unzip the windows! Diesel heaters are great but not the only way to keep warm. I do want to see how Sean‘s diesel heater setup works out from a recent Story Til Now video.

  4. “Bedding and cushions aren’t comfortable, I want exped mattress.” Ok so buy the other mattress, I have owned several camper, RTT, and trailers, non of them have been super comfortable. I just add a little more cushion and remember it’s all part of getting outdoors. Still more comfortable than sleeping on the ground.

  5. “Prior camper had electrical, Super Pacific has electrical, GFC should too.” This will be a theme going forward, but the GFC is a reasonable priced, minimalistic, lightweight, camper, if you want it to be more, either you fix it to fit you or you bought the wrong camping system. I personally don’t want to pay for things I didn’t need. I looked at Super Pacific, but it wasn’t what I wanted and I like how GFC has marketed itself.

  6. “The tent material and design are a problem” ok, I’ll give him this one, his tent stitching and material looked awful. I didn’t like the design of the side doors, I didn’t like how loose the fabric looked on all the rigs in the gallery that had side doors. Fingers crosses some day GFC will update the design to incorporate a full arc shaped zipper side doors and mesquite net similar to several RTT on the market. Being able to vent the door higher would greatly help the condensation issue some have.

  7. “The roof lets in light” yep it does and someday I’ll install a headline, problem solved. Again, I’m good with the simple design and customizing it to my needs.

  8. “GFC should add stuff/design for what I want in my camper, other do.” Not everyone will install lights or solar, so why create holes for the percentage that do, they could drill a hole themselves. I like to see how other owner have worked through adding things like fans, vents, lights, and solar to their campers, I won’t need them all but it’s cool.

  9. “Would I buy it again? Or spend $4000 more?” Dude sure as snot should have stuck with his slide in or his RV or went with the Super Pacific.

  10. “closing it is to hard” seriously unzip the back flap and netting, let the air spill out the back as you close it, tuck the sides in with a simple arm sweep to both sides, it’s not all that difficult. “Should have a strap to pull on” yeah just like the one I cut off my Mt Hood RTT, because I hated it blowing around slapping the tent while sleeping? The strap is not needed, but guess what, you can add one!

Ok, I’m probably a little too snarky, did I mention I’m isolating because of COVID? Day three or four, I don’t know anymore and bummed it will derail Christmas with the family and camping over New Years.

I’ve been happy with my GFC Camper, super stoked to keep dialing it in to better fit my travel style. The one thing that he didn’t mention and was a big part of why I went with GFC over all the others in the category is their customer service. Time and again you see on these boards they literally go the extra mile to make things right (did I say literally, yep the drove across the country to replace hinges). Saying that, I hope they take care of his tent, that stitching and fabric bunching looked a mess.

Happy Holidays everyone.

12 Likes

100 percent agree and appreciate your breakdown. Buying a stripped down Toyota and complaining its not Cadillac is pretty boneheaded. The only thing he raised that concerned me at all was the sewing and zipper designs. I dont care about his whinging that they dont charge for crap everyone doesnt need. All i was wondering was if the poor stitching was common and is sounds like it happens, but they arent all that way.

I guess I’m kinda glad I went with an iKamper last year, and that GFC has released their topper. I may just go that route.

3 Likes

This is good.

20 characters

2 Likes

Really good breakdown. I didn’t have my grammar hat on nor the energy to make an effort to visit this video again. Thank you!

2 Likes

Finally got around to watching this (listening to) on a long drive last night. I agreed with him more times than not but some of the stuff he’s complaining about is really specific to his use cases.

I do think the locks suck. It’s the thing I hate most about the GFC. Probably the only thing I hate.

I’ve never understood why the tent door flaps don’t shut all the way. They flap in the wind and I’ve had snow blow up and in through them on a windy night.

I don’t like having to pull on the tent material to close it. I do think this has got to eventually cause an issue somewhere.

It would be really cool if the bed was just a bit longer and had enough open space at the rear to get up and down and let heat through, not a deal breaker for me but it would be nice.

I think GFC would probably have a lot of customers interested in pre wired for solar and other electronics but I definitely wouldn’t expect it to be included at the base price.

All that said, I’m still super happy with mine. Nothing is ever perfect.

1 Like

First, I wish to thank the original poster (OP) for posting this video that many of us are commenting on. I am looking at these posts to learn more about the GFC by many of you are expressing your needs for a product like this.

The best response has been the comment about expecting this camper to be a Cadillac when it is clearly not. Lets just realize that some of us want something that functions just above what an expedition backpack trip would be, say 10 to 20 days. Our expectations of not sleeping on the ground, removed from the elements and staying dry while doing this.

There should be no expectations for cooking, taking showers or writing the next American novel. Just something to stop, pop up, crawl in and sleep.

If it is wet, close the curtains and expect the area to remain dry. If it is hot, open the curtains and park in the shade. All while remembering the desert gets hot in late spring to early fall. If it is cold, bring down comforters to lay over a cold weather sleeping bag. Too cold, pack it in and jump in the truck and drive to the next destination, with the truck’s heater on.

Years ago, I sold my home after getting my last kid through college without debt. Moved into something so small my kids could not move in with me. I had more than 4,000 consecutive nights in my camper, with staying in campgrounds only 64 times. I believed in a world without telephone poles and sidewalks and not seeing anything man made/light 360* around my camp. Now I just want something to hop into, cruise the White Rim Trail, camp, and watch the night stars.

As for the commentary, I liked it better when the presenter spent less time straight in front of the camera and showed the product he was reviewing. In my opinion he was expecting the RTT to be more than a place just to sleep, put up and take down quickly. The quality of the tent is concerning to me, I love my Big Agnes tent and it costs a fraction but requires me to sleep on the ground.

bryan

6 Likes

I’m with Bryan on this one. I wanted the GFC because it is so simple and utilitarian.

I have two main uses for my shell. First is getting the boys to the dog park every day. Any shell works for that. Second is (stray) rez dog pickup and transport. That is where it gets particular. I need room to get in the back and stack crates, I need tie down points so I can strap the stacks in place, and I need access from the sides of the truck to adjust straps/look at individual crates when I stop to check on them during transport, and I need to be able to spray the whole thing out at a car wash. I used to have a tall ARE DCU (contractor type topper) on my old truck, and it worked wonderfully for this use. Where the old DCU failed me was that I needed somewhere to sleep when it’s 1AM and I’m only halfway back home from a run to the Denver shelters and the bed is full of crates.

That’s where the GFC comes in. I’ve only slept in mine two nights since picking it up on Dec 8, but so far I think it is awesome. I know this is personal preference/opinion, but I think it is SUPER COMFORTABLE up there and I go to sleep quickly and rest easily. I am happy with everything so far, with the exception of lack of ventilation options while driving. But, eventually I will add a couple of small sliding windows to the side doors, and that problem will be taken care of.

The stitching around the door of my tent looks just like what this guy gripes about in the video. But stitching on heavy canvas or nylon, with heavy thread, is rarely fine and pretty. Anyone ever check out the stitching on the inside of a backpack? I look at my tent and see stitching that will endure quite a bit of stress and be just fine, without causing any sort of problem. I do wonder about the shape of the tent, seeing a few saggy areas where everything else is tight, and think maybe someone could design the panels better to make the whole thing nice and tight. But this is complicated work, and the threshold for GFC to warranty a tent seems pretty low from what I read around here, so I am not worried - it certainly looks like GFC will take care of me if I end up having a problem.

4 Likes

Didn’t watch the video, and won’t give it a view because I am happy as possible with my GFC. Got the GFC for the solidity and utility of the topper, and the joyful ease of popping the tent up and folding it away in a snap (and not sleeping on the ground anymore.)
Is the tent perfect? Maybe not, but I’d bet user error causes most problems. Got condensation? Yeah, didn’t open the vent. Zipped the flap into the zipper. Etc.
It takes 15 minutes to pack it for a trip, but my truck stays a truck for regular truck stuff. And living in the desert I haven’t had freezing lock issues, although sand gets a little crunchy and has to be blown out. Overall, it ain’t the Ritz but it works for me. And it’s fun:-)

6 Likes

Digging my GFC! Didn’t watch the review and probably won’t. The GFC fills my need for Type II fun. It it minimalist and gets me outside where I want to be. Camped on the ground 1000’s of times with and without a tent. Slept in the back of the truck in a typical topper. Had a couple Casita campers, too much of an ordeal to use for many reasons. The GFC is working great for me. The more removed you are from facilities and others the better. In my opinion that is where it shines. Happy trails!

4 Likes