TLDR: Has anyone replaced the 100 lb gas springs that lift the tent with a higher rated 150 lb version?
Full background info:
When I purchased the GFC two years ago it was stated to support a load of 100 lbs (now it looks like updated numbers say 75 - 100 lbs). I built my solar setup based on the idea that I had 100 lbs to work with so I bought four 100 watt panels, mounted them to three sets of beef racks, and have recently added two Baja Design Squadron S2 Pro lights and a Weebost OTR antenna. I went with four panels for maximum power availability since I often spend multiple weeks off the grid on climbing trips and still need to power laptops, fridge, lights, wifi, cameras, etc.
My calculations for weight are below.
4 panels @ 15 lbs each = 60 lbs
2 BD Squadron S2 Pro lights @ 8 oz each = 1 lb
1 Weebost OTR antenna @ 3 lbs = 3lbs
1 Misc connection/hardware no more than 2 lbs = 2 lbs
3 Beef racks @ weight unknown
Estimated total weight = 66 lbs plus 3x beef rack weight
Based on those measurements I thought I was in the clear with at least 15 lbs (15%) of wiggle room to be safe. My weight is pretty much split 50/50 front/back on top of the GFC.
When I setup camp the GFC tent opens fully before sagging and settling a couple of inches just below fully open. It didn’t cause any inconvenience so I accepted the change. However I’ve recently had multiple occasions where higher winds (25 mph+) cause enough additional force to close the tent.
I spoke with GFC support while getting my embassy hinge upgrade and via email hoping to find the best solution. They have been great at identifying possible solutions:
- Removing or reorienting weight to redistribute the loading predominately to the cab side of the GFC
- Replacing the current 100 lb gas springs with 150 lb variant (not warrantied because of untested configuration)
- Adding a second set of gas springs (not warrantied because of untested configuration)
I don’t have the ability to redistribute or reorient the weight without permanently removing two solar panels and I would like to keep my current setup as is, so I am planning to upgrade to the 150 lb springs. If winds pick up during the night my temporary solution has been to wake up, slightly pack up camp, and reorient my truck to lower the pressure from the winds.
With that being said, I figured I’d see if any other owners have upgraded the gas springs yet or have come up with any other solutions?
Picture of the top of my GFC in the next post below: