Is A GFC Just A Step To A Larger Camper?

Is A GFC Just A Step To A Larger Camper?

Do people purchase GFC’s simply because they’re cheaper than traditional truck campers? What we sell isn’t just a more affordable camper, it’s an entirely different way to camp. But price is a big part of that difference. Let me explain.

Aussie YouTuber Ronny Dahl put together a great video recently arguing that people building a truck to go camping should consider its value proposition in terms of dollars-per-night. If you spend $30,000 on top of the price of your daily driver to set it up for camping, then use it 10 nights per year, for three years, that works out at $1,000-per-night. Ouch.

How well does a GFC Platform Camper stand up to that math? Let’s look at the value proposition one offers to find out.

  • Ultra light weight: You can run a GFC on a smaller truck than you’d need to haul a heavy slide-in camper, and you won’t need to spend money modifying that truck just to support the additional weight. Traditional slide-in campers weigh anywhere from four to, well, many times as much as a GFC. And while the latest generation of lightweight campers from other brands may technically be light enough to safely carry in the bed of something like a Toyota Tacoma, they still weigh enough to necessitate the fitment of heavier rear springs and stiffer dampers, airbags, or other expensive modifications, while limiting the outright practicality of your vehicle in daily driving.

  • Incredible strength: A GFC is so strong that it will actually stiffen your truck bed, making your vehicle more durable off-road. You will never have to worry about your camper falling off the truck over extreme obstacles. And, even if you’re sticking to milder terrain, the GFC remains absolutely impervious to stuff like washboard, which is notorious for shredding anything else to pieces.

  • Nothing to stink, rot, or stain: Dog eat some cow poop and start vomiting in the back of your truck one night? Everything in or on a GFC (except the mattress foam) can just be pressure washed. Truck sit in pouring rain or hot sun for two weeks in an airport parking lot? Doesn’t matter. Last winter was long, and wet, huh? But no mold grew in your GFC. And all that will be as true 10 years from now as it will be this weekend.

  • Slim dimensions: Closed, the tent portion of the camper is just six inches thick. That then sits an inch or two over the height of your cab, both to provide clearance as your cab and bed (where the GFC is mounted) twist separately off-road, and to clear your radio or GPS antennas. Combined with the light weight, that means customers report losing only about 1 mile per-gallon in fuel economy with their GFC fitted.

  • Durable, serviceable, repairable: Anything on a GFC that can be machined form billet aluminum is machined from billet aluminum. That includes all joints in the frame, which capture forces and distribute loads into extruded aluminum tubes. All connections between the two are bolted, rather than welded, which eliminates the potential for stress fractures, and makes repairing or replacing any damaged components dead simple. All other parts can be repaired or replaced just as easily. If something goes wrong, we’ll help you fix it.

  • Simple, fast operation: Time for bed? Undo two latches, push the tent upwards, and you’re done. Climb in and out through the modular floor panels. Time to go? Pull the tent down, close the latches, and you’re on the road.

  • Modular, versatile, useful: Can you use a GFC to carry bikes, boards, or boats? What about an awning or a shower? Can you add solar power? What about a light bar? Can you still haul big loads in your bed or long loads on top? Does it work with dogs? Can you add drawers? Can you attach a MOLLE panel designed just to show off a tactical tomahawk? Can you build out the interior? Can you leave it empty? The answer to those, or pretty much any other question is yes. Do you need to take your GFC off to do any of that? No.

What all that adds up to is a camper that will last longer, require less effort, allow you to go more places while enjoying any hobby, and one that will work fine on a more affordable truck with fewer modifications getting better fuel economy. And, because it works as well in everyday driving, helping you haul loads and keeping whatever’s in your bed secure, it means you’ll be ready to go camping at the drop of a hat. So, in addition to being cheaper than traditional campers, you’ll also be able to use it more often. That doesn’t just reduce that cost-per-night for any and every user, it adds more nights.

Will you miss the marble counter tops, jacuzzi bath tubs, and other luxury features offered by big, heavy, weak fiberglass sheds? Maybe. But maybe that’s the point.

When we designed this thing, we deliberately created a minimalist blend of indoor and outdoor living spaces. The idea is to remove as many barriers between you and nature as possible, while retaining just enough comfort and weather protection to really maximize your ability to enjoy your time in it.

There’s also the question of where you’re spending your money. Large, heavy campers might dictate your nights be spent in noisy, crowded campgrounds, a GFC will allow you to go find a spot that’s all your own. Once you do that, those traditional campers are going to feel like anything but an upgrade. — Wes Siler

Let us know what you think below!


LOL @Buhlockaye and I were calculating how many nights in a hotel are needed until the GFC is “paid off”. In just about a year, we calculated it will be close to 1/2 “paid off” in stays. That wouldn’t be true for those that are 15k+!


For us, it was still a luxury purchase (read: discretionary expense) that enabled us to setup camp faster, get further out while still being comfortable, and making memories as a family. Not sure it has saved us much in lodging as we still enjoy some hotel nights (business travel and saved up Marriott points definitely help on that front), but it has made our camping more enjoyable!

Guess I’ll need to sit down at some point and run the numbers, more so out of interest, on when our break even point is reached.


I’ve had to justify my GFC a number of times, being younger and not hanging with a crowd that likes to camp/explore much… When the question comes up “why didn’t you get a real camper”, my go-to is that I still want to camp. Like I don’t want to get into some massive truck camper with AC and a microwave and tv and then do the same thing I do at home, sit on the couch and veg out. My GFC gives me the actual camping experience in a condensed package. And no shade towards those who want the comforts of home on the road, thats just not what I was looking for


@pat_man I’m in the exact same position, I get flak for spending the money I did on the GFC at my age and also for not getting a full camper. The GFC is in the goldilocks zone for me of being just perfect for my needs, while still being totally barebones.


We were historically ground tent campers but following cancer treatment in 2014 I was at a point where I needed (wanted) a proper bathroom to puke in and a softer sleeping situation to support my bony frame after losing 50lbs.

Unfortunately the trailer limited us to developed campgrounds and by 2016 I was well enough to venture out into the backcountry a bit so in 2018 I bought a RTT after missing the nice flat sleeping surface that the trailer offered.

Our family grew a bit and the weight of the RTT on my leer shell was always a concern so we bought a more off-road capable trailer in 2021 and sold the big travel trailer. The new trailer offered more space than the RTT and we could set it up as a base camp which was something I missed when camping with the RTT.

After about a year with the trailer I started shopping for a clamshell RTT that would be quick to setup and breakdown when an opportunity to purchase GFC secondhand popped up and I jumped on it. Now the kids have their own space in the GFC so we aren’t all packed into the trailer. Added bonus is the GFC should last way longer than a fiberglass shell with a RTT and the bed access from the tent is great.


Starting camping with the GFC in Nov 2019…and still camping with the (minimally modified) GFC in Jun 2023.

1 Like

This is how I feel about it as well. I think the gfc is camping. It is a tent. Trailers and slide ins are glamping lol.

1 Like

Got it to have the best of both worlds. Longer trips with wife and dog, Basecamp. One-two overnighters digging or riding trail, Squatch Box. I need my truck for truck stuff AND being able to open the sides is hand and foot above any leer or ARE topper so totally worth it!


Less is more, more or less.


We are actually heading towards less from more, certainly not stepping towards a larger camper.

Our GFC was a “downsize” from our campervan. We just didn’t need all of the stuff and “luxuries” but with a GFC we get just what we need and only need two vehicles instead of three.

1 Like

HAHAHA I feel the GFC is glamping. I was the tarp in the woods with a hatchet kind of person. my old bones and joints can’t take it any more so now I have a GFC.

What I needed was a camper top for the truck. I was planning on RTT but found wedge campers and how much more useful they are then just a camper top and RTT. I use the downstairs EVERYDAY so it has been worth the money to me. the tent is just extra gravy


That’s honestly the boat that I was in. I had a half rack with rtt but I needed a dry canopy solution which led me to the gfc.


As an avid hiker and lover of outdoors to me the GFC is a backpack for my truck.
It contains everything I would need while carrying a backpack on the AT/ LT, but in a trusty Silverado, now I can go anywhere I please.

I enjoy campfires and getting away from home comforts. Finding comfort in the outdoor with a minimalist approach.

I’ve never owned a larger camper either, so maybe that makes my point null and void. I definitely see myself getting into that in time.
However, the GFC is quick and easy. Never need to plan, truck is always preped a sleeping bag, stove and a few mountains house meals.

Camping at the drop of a feather, Achieved!



It’s the opposite for me. In fact I don’t understand why people buy them and then do extravagant build outs instead of just buying one of the already available campers with all the bells and whistles built in very nicely.


I’m pretty much in it only to sleep. Anything more is really just a waste. Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.


From my experience there is a correlation to camper type and size, and how your family grows over time.

As example, I started married with 0 kiddos looking for a simple setup in a gfc RTT > fwc finch > fwc fleet > now heading for van life. 10 years later from gfc RTT I now have 2 boys with plans for a future dog. Over that time period and transferring campers you learn a lot. I still dream of a bachelor setup like a RTT, but that ship has long sailed.


I would agree with that. It’s just me and my dog, so anything more than the gfc just seems so overkill! But camping with buddies who have kids and families, they couldn’t do it with less than a camp trailer.

1 Like

Amen. The GFC is a whole different philosophy than the fully-equipped large home-on-wheels truck campers. That’s for the Mel and Mable, matching windbreakers, two-poodle crowd who live in their campers. GFC is just and expeditionary base camp – a place to cook and sleep when you get in at sundown from a day out on the land. Also, a GFC is better for long distance travel; better handling, better mpg, better off-road, and the bare-bones GFC is still a useful truck when you get back home. With a headlamp, a jug of snake-bite, a cube of water, and a few cans of ravioli the GFC is stocked and ready!