Composite Roof Longevity/Durability?

Hey, folks,

As I research more on GFC-style setups, I have to wonder about the roof of the GFC. The aluminum body is obviously going to last a long time in the elements. However, the plastic roof panel is the piece that really concerns me. It’s soft, vulnerable, and will become brittle over time from UV degradation. How is it holding up to regular use and abuse, to hail, to blazing sun, and all the other things? For such a large investment (cheap to some people is expensive for others, including me) that needs to last a decade+, I’m worried about that roof not being aluminum.

Thanks.

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Fair question. It’s pretty hardy stuff but that being said, my top panel developed a blister about 10" long on the exterior. GFC caught it when they were doing a free tent replacement for me and they replaced the top panel at no charge. It doesn’t look like a major job to replace the panel so even if it was needed years down the line the cost shouldn’t be bad. Part plus 2-3 hours labor at GFC or do it yourself.

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I wonder if those wraps on cars have UV protection…I have to assume so. If they do, it may be worthwhile having the roof panel (white area) wrapped. I have to also assume it would be fairly easy to do (no curves, just square).

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Great question, and we’re stoked to hear you’re doing the research. Our polypropylene roof (aka Honeycomb Plascore) has a PET film that will endure 20 years of outdoor exposure in Page, AZ (Lake Powell) which is the highest uv exposure area in the lower 48. And as @ktmtacoguy mentioned, any defects or damage are a simple repair for us here in-house or for you out in the field. You’ll also find that it’s used elsewhere in our campers like our configurable ‘transform-a-floor’, as well as the RTT roof/ floor.

Hit us up if you have more questions, or just keep leaning on other awesome forum users.

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Thanks for the replies, all.

GFC, what happens to that PET film when it’s damaged by things like leaves, acorns, branches, and hail? Those small scratches would be enough to get through that PET film and start attacking the underlying material. My truck is parked under trees at home, while camping, and the like. Is there an option to add an aluminum skin or something to it?

Thanks

Yet another solid question. After catching up with our Service & Warranty team, we haven’t had any concerns when it comes to minor abrasions/ etc., but we have replaced roofs with significant damage. With the protective layer + UV, you should be all set and we wouldn’t recommend needing an aluminum skin.

The roof is also covered under our 2-year Warranty and anything outside of that window is a simple fix. We sent the new roof ($250 + shipping) and you’ll receive support videos and a live rep if you need it.

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I had to chime in here cause I’ve had issues with hinges and been critical (though they’ve all been resolved) but I have to give credit where its due. I have a first gen topper, for close to 4 years now, live in Montana so lots of ice/snow/below zero temps. We also recently had a hail storm with lime size hail that totalled our subaru and has cause massive roof and siding damage around town. The GFC is flawless in this case and it was sitting in our driveway totally unprotected. I was shocked and impressed after the storm when I climbed up and looked at the roof and have camped in it multiple nights since and there’s not a mark on it.

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Are many folks doing vinyl wraps on the roof? I’m thinking of having it done to tone down the attention-getting bright white panel.

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Just cover it with solar panels :slightly_smiling_face:

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Is this PET film something that is applied by GFC or is it part of the manufacturing process of the panels themselves.
Phil

The PET is already applied from our US supplier.

No need to worry about sun damage or abrasions. I have had no issues with the roof on my V1 RTT. I live in Phoenix and vehicle is mostly outside. I probably do not need to tell you how harsh the sun is here. I have had branches and all sorts of stuff drag across the roof without issue. I recently added a residential solar panel on Beef Racks that covers most of the roof so I suppose now I’ll have even more protection.

If I didn’t have a huge fixed solar panel, I would have it vinyl wrapped. Maybe I will still do it, not sure. Bottom line: get the GFC so you can worry about other things.

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I’m in Phoenix, well Mesa, but I feel the same, the panel has stood up to abuse and the sun certainly does abuse it without even being directly in the sun. I have a cover over the entire vehicle when it’s home but the vinyl is next to have done as I have a solar panel up on top as well but feel the brightness of the honeycomb during the day and the potential UV protection would be double worth it.
No complaints yet but refreshing to hear that replacing the panel isn’t all that challenging.
Great setup with the Blazer, beef.

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I have a V1 and live in the High Desert. My roof developed a big bubble about a year after taking ownership of the camper. I went to GFC and they replaced it, and some other things, under warranty.

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I can now say 2 things after peeling off one of our solar panels that was held down with VHB Tape.

  1. VHB Tape is incredibly strong!!! It was painful to remove the panel. I bled.

  2. the GFC roof is even STRONGER! Not a single bit of the roof came up with tape witch was something I was slightly worried about.

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please share more pictures of that old beauty

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Just wanted to add to the @GFC praise regarding durability - and everything else really.

The whole damn thing is a tank. I have a V1 and live in Oklahoma, I’m also from Phoenix (@gorman11b20 @Travesty) originally, and some years here in OK - the weather is just as hot as Phx, and can be for almost as long. I park outside in the sun, have made friends with many a branch both on the roof and sides when I adventure and until recently, went camping every two weeks in this thing. (I work on a rig so I don’t have free time any longer, for now)

In April of 2021 we had a hail storm -or sky riot- with softball sized hail. My truck, my wife’s Forester (@seamus) and my house were completely mangled. I ended up with some barely noticeable divots in the driver’s side panel, and the roof which took the brunt of the damage. My truck looked like someone took a Louisville Slugger to it. As far as any other issues, you won’t find a better company for these products. My panels came off, they came to me to fix them, on their dime. I don’t think many other outfits would do such a thing, if any.

Point: If you’re concerned about durability, look no further. This is the lightest, strongest, fastest, and most huckable exploration device ever made. Plus it looks as badass.


*The hail even knocked my fog lights inside the truck….

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Woh @blue5001 – we’re pretty damn flattered over here right now. :face_holding_back_tears: There are so many incredible folks behind the work we do, and lucky for us we get to share feedback like this pretty often. Plus, this is coming from a V1 owner, so an extra thanks for the kindness and appreciation for the journey.

That said, kudos to you for keeping a good attitude when Mother Nature brings you one hail of a surprise. Stay good out there, Marty.

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@GFC Well deserved Marty. Y’all are awesome and I couldn’t be happier with my camper and the company.

Here’s a few images from my CDT trip this summer. Grant’s, NM to Lake City, CO.





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I looked and couldn’t find a better thread for this. I’m curious about cleaning the roof. I also have a several year old V1 and the rooftop is getting pretty dirty, likely including some tree sap and other stuff. Looking for tips/BKMs about cleaning the roof. Also, and at least as important, are there cleaners or other stuff that should NOT be used. Thanks