Family of 5 Ideas

Anyone out there running a GFC camper with 3 kids (family of 5)? We’ve got a newborn, 2yr old and 4yr old, and I’m looking at ditching our pop-up trailer and investing in a GFC for my '17 Silverado (I’m tired of the towing and amount of time wasted on setup and breakdown with the trailer). I’ve got Decked drawers in the trucked right now for a “downstairs” sleeping platform that can fit my wife and I (and newborn in between), and then I’m thinking other 2 kids can sleep up top in the “upstairs” GFC setup (and newborn once he gets bigger can join them up there).

I know we’ll likely be outgrowing the small space/setup in the years to come as the kids get bigger… so figured I’d check in with all you GFC folks and experts to see what ideas and other options others have come up with for family solutions…

I’ve been brainstorming on it and thinking once the kids get big and/or if we want to occasionally open up the space a bit more, we can get an ARB awning with side tent walls and turn that into an overflow room type area with some camping bunks. Or of course a good 'ol fashioned tent next to the truck is a obvious solution… But figured it was worth asking to see what others have come up with for their family setups.

Any advice or lessons learned you could share would be much appreciated


I’ve got a family of four (which another child I know is a big difference). I think you’re on to a lot of good options. One that is nice ironically is that our kids get pumped to sleep in a tent (away from mom and dad) when we are in a place that you can do that. Our kids are four and six and its a fun way for them to “get away”. When its rainy or freezing, the situations you are describing would work well into the double digit timeframe.

Maybe there’s some folks with a better tricked out kit/setup that would work with this but in our experience, the beauty of the GFC is that it isnt loaded with stuff and you can make sleeping situations work depending on where you are going, what the weather will be like, and how many you’ll have. There are quite a few family folks on here so looking forward to seeing some of the ideas. Best of luck! If you go the GFC route, you definitely will be pumped.

@DannyEnder Thanks for the info and thoughts on it. Good stuff
And yeah - excited to hear/see any other ideas and setups from the other family squads on here…

It used to be me, wife and three kids in a cabin tent. I can’t imagine them packed in the back of a pickup. I’m interested in what people have come up with too

I like the ARB awning with room for the kids. We have these stackable bunk bed cots that we used in our tipi for family camping before the GFC. They are high quality, save space in tight quarters, and the kids think they are really fun to sleep on.

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We’re a family of 3 (4 if you count the dog). We added a sleeping platform in the truck bed for me, the dog sleeps next to me, and my wife and 10 month old sleep upstairs. This worked pretty well for us and we got about 22 nights in the GFC this year with our son. With your Decked system it would be pretty easy for two to sleep downstairs. (sorry, not the best picture.)

As we got into the fall here and it got colder, we decided it would be great with the toddler to have more “indoor” space. So our winter COVID project is building out a (high mileage) Sprinter van to try next season. Don’t worry, we’re hanging on to the GFC. :wink: