Pro tip: Always bring earplugs camping. I’ve had a couple of nights of crazy wind and earplugs make a huge difference in the quality of your sleep.
Like most people who camp in mountains and deserts I have had crazy winds and can’t always find a sheltered camp spot. I always try and park nose into the wind. Sometimes the wind shifts at night. I’ve never had to sleep in the truck bed or reposition. I’ve worried about the snaps tearing out on extremely bad nights but no issues to date.
Never had an issue with the top trying to close on me. It has flexed and creaked under wind pressure but always sprung back. There is no extra weight on the roof of my gfc. After a cross wind all night the tent closes more off center but settles back to normal.
The tent makes noise in the wind like any tent and bows in with big gusts.
Overall better than a standard 3 season ground tent. Ear plugs are key.
Has anyone made a wind prop rod?
After about 6 recent tripsof my tent trying to close in windy and cold conditions I now consider the gas struts as a consumable item that needs replacement every couple of years. After adding solar the roof would droop about an inch a year ago. Now after having the camper for two years and solar for at least a year or is drooping significantly more, about 5 inches in freezing temps.
Sounds like you did what you could but like many have said, earplugs are a necessity when camping imo. I like silicone as the foam tend to get weird/stiff when it gets cold and will never be as comfy.
I’ve had several nights in Moab, Jackson Hole, and Colorado with good wind and snow. Never had a strut problem but I don’t have anything on the roof except a 10lb solar panel.
Just wanted to add that I was in that same storm in an open area 50 or so miles from you that night - near the Needles District. I was lucky and my wedge was facing into the wind, but I ended up doing the same thing you did. I pulled it down and slept in the truck bed. I was impressed by the performance of the tent. It was stout and would have been fine. I just wanted to get some sleep, since the wind never let up (constant 30mph with 40 - 50 mph gusts), the tent was flapping, and the truck was rocking. Kind of a gnarly night all around. I agree with others that in the end, the GFC is still a tent. As I drove past some other campers who spent the night in regular tents the next morning, they looked pretty beat up. Enjoying the rig for sure!
Bumping this thread because 1/3rd of my nights so far in the GFC have been negatively disrupted by wind, while wearing ear plugs. It absolutely performs worse than a ground tent in terms of noise. I measured the volume of the door flaps whacking against the bottom of the tent at 45-50db compared to a background noise level of 30db. A staked ground tent barely measures above the background noise level. This is because the fly is tight over the outside of the tent and usually has about a 2-3" gap, meaning it can flex under gusts without coming in contact with the tent body.
I have thought about just sleeping in the bed or breaking out my ground tent when I know it’s going to be windy, but often the wind will come in the middle of night and the last thing you want to do is get out of bed and set this stuff up.
Bottom line, I’m not sure what it is to “perform” in the wind. Yeah, the thing doesn’t break - but it makes way more noise than a ground tent because there’s no way to stake down the edges of the “fly” (the door flaps). If a tent is supposed to provide a comfortable place to sleep, this doesn’t do that in the wind. The slack in the tent just flaps against the body of the tent creating sleep-disrupting noise.
What I’d love to do is just add 2-3 grommets / eyelets at the bottom of each door flap and then get some mounting hardware to pin them outwards so the tent doesn’t flap against the sides of itself.
I’m sick of losing sleep over this. Anyone got suggestions on hardware to pin through grommets and stick the flaps out? I don’t want to buy those rain poles someone here makes that are backordered and too big for this use case anyway.
Interesting. I can’t compete with decibel readings, but my qualitative assessment is that since I’m so much more comfortable, I sleep better than a ground tent.
I have a V1 early tent, so maybe that is the difference with flapping. I don’t have any slack and there isn’t anything to pin down if the tent is zipped up.
But it is never windy in Nevada, that could be the issue too.
I’ve only ever had two nights of poor sleep out of almost a hundred in my camper. Both were due to wind. Both were winds over 50 mph. Both were nights with multi-directional gusts. To be fair, I can’t even sleep well in the house with 50 mph winds. I don’t have an issue with it, but I also have a v1.
Only one windy night so far in the GFC but it was really windy and sustained - probably 30-60 MPH range. We were more careful to park away from trees than the direction of the rig - and we kept all the windows shut. It was realllllly loud and the whole truck was rockin’ but the tent stayed open with no issue what so ever. We were on a ridge in the mountains in the late Fall - it was also 15-20 degrees before windchill. Brutal low pressure night…
As for noise - the only camping I have done in comparable wind is on the sides of mountains in the 4 season tents while climbing. I have done nights in:
OR bivy sack (owned but hated - sold)
MHW EV3 (currently own)
BD First Lite tent (currently own)
Each and every one of them was so loud I really couldn’t sleep - but it kept me alive and out of the wind as designed. The tents - especially the EV3 was like flexed almost flat in extreme wind. I have a friend who brought his 3 season tent up on Rainier with us once (I was in the bivy on that trip) and the wind was not only loud, it broke his tent poles and ripped his rain fly straps off of the tent. That was only 45-60MPH gusts too - but it demonstrated to me that noise is not the issue… it’s the ability to withstand the wind and keep the wind from blowing away your body heat.
I’m less focused on high winds, I’m thinking of winds 15-30MPH. Here’s what happens and how I’ve temporarily solved it.
From the factory, there’s no way to tension and secure the flaps of the GFC door tent so that they don’t flap around and whack against the side of the tent in the wind. Ground tents all have this.
Just using tarp clips to tension the sides to the external tracks solves this problem. Its not solved by zipping the doors all the way down because there’s still no downward tension on the tent fabric. Without that tension, every gust pushes the slack fabric up against the inside of the tent and creates 30-50db impacts.
very clever! thanks for the idea!!!
Agreed, I’m still curious as to the method behind the madness of these not being fully zipped? Over the weekend I had snow billow up inside the back door. I woke up to an internal blizzard.
my favorite ski trips are to revelstoke and roger’s pass because i can stay in a hotel at night and have timmy’s in the am
what about velcro along the bottom - seems like would do the trick without going crazy with modifying… i bet there’s something that could be done fairly easily to help keep the flap closed all the way… i really like this solution of just putting a tarp clip in the middle but that wouldn’t stop the wind from blowing snow in…
another option - and one that i don’t totally love but hey - i am already planning on it, is just not using the tent in certain conditions and sleeping “downstairs” on the bench which conveniently doubles as a sleep platform. this also has the added benefit of making the mattress your upper insulation and a much smaller area to heat with a heater.
LOL, I’m more of a McDonalds coffee guy and was shocked in Missoula when I tried to get an extra large at the drive thru and they were like ‘Uh we don’t have those’ LOL. If you’re ever back up in that area let me know and we can go for a tour. Then geek out on our setups LOL
This looks like an easy and simple solution. What sort of hooks did you use with the tarp clips in the first pic? And do you have any issues with them sliding around at all?
They are just small S hooks from the hardware store. There’s enough tension that they don’t slide around. They do scratch the paint a bit though.
Nice, Thanks! I was thinking maybe a rubber coating on the end of the s hook might help with scratching and sliding if that was an issue.
plasti-dip them!! that would do it
I was told that the tent doors do not have full zippers because:
“The reason we do not zip the bottom doors is because it is a single wall tent and you need air moving through the tent to minimize condensation build up.”
Yet they offer the tent without side doors so they could actually offer them with full zippers and leave it up to the user to choose to fully zip or not