I’m still in the money allotment phase of getting a topper for my Gladiator and already have a few concerns; I don’t camp enough to justify the cost, it seems like getting inside through the bed isn’t as cool as it seems and I may end up using a ladder instead, no sliding pass through window will make it hard to manage my dogs.
So I’m curious if you had anything that you didn’t expect and now you’re just having to live with it. This isn’t an invitation to talk sh*t about GFC or toppers, nor is it an invitation to justify the shortcomings. I’m hoping there are some honest “Man, I really didn’t expect this and it kind of sucks” type realizations. (These might be feature requests for future version or it might just be compromises that you’re having to adapt to and overcome.)
For me opposite, using a ladder is a hassle and another thing to carry
If you don’t camp much, I wouldn’t get this. Its a camper first. I’d wait until they make the topper only. But if you do camp it’s about the same price as a topper and roof top tent with way more functionality.
Personally I think you should stop right there. A lot of people get these things because they are super trendy and cool. They use them a couple times and then sell them on the marketplace. Ask yourself am I going to be one of those people? Spend thousands of dollars wait several months drive all the way to Montana Only to sell it a few months later. Maybe maybe not. It still functions really good as a shell even if you don’t use the tent. Good luck.
It has exceeded all of my expectations, and I’m yet to miss anything about my old leer. Even from a day to day use aspect it has more coverage and cargo room than my old leer 160 on my Tacoma. Additionally the access is better through the side doors.
It has even made dog management easier since there is more space for them when carrying camping gear. It even has better thermal regulation than my old topper. Feel free to shoot me a message with any questions or need further discussion. You are asking great questions.
I was a bit worried it wouldn’t live up to the expectations; it has not only lived up, but it also exceeded.
I have lived out of a sprinter, small tow behind trailer, truck canopy, and most recently a rooftop tent on a bed rack. I have spent many nights under the stars searching for the easiest, most convenient way to do it. This is where the GFC shines (for me). Everyone has a different camping style. The GFC is a simple concept but accomplishes so many things without the unnecessary extras. It keeps your truck and truck, weighs nothing and gives you a bed wherever you want it. For me it can’t be beat. So far the build quality is top notch and looks like it will be my end solution in the hunt for the perfect truck camper. Research what YOU WANT in a camper. It will be different for everyone. Some prefer more features or something like a 4 wheel camper. The GFC doesn’t have shortcomings but instead might not be the solution for everyone’s camping needs.
having 6 locks around the truck to lock/unlock. that’s just on the sides. 2 more on the top but that isn’t an everyday thing so that’s not too annoying. But on the plus side, they are keyed alike.
The rain drips off the front onto the pillar so you have to take a shower to get into the driver’s seat unless you park on a slight incline so water rolls off the back.
cross wind gusts are brutal sometimes- aerodynamics of a box
doesn’t fit in my garage- i knew would be close, but no go
I basically live out of the bottom “topper” part so I get my use out of it with occasional camping. I was just sick of sleeping on the ground in a tent. 40 some years of that and I’m done. the whole camper really does have more uses than for just camping.
The GFC is great. It’s fuckin’ perfect. I don’t camp a ton, but enough to make it worth it. The GFC functions perfectly as a topper. I never have to think about the tent unless I’m camping. Now back to the question. The unexpected thing that I hate is the flexibility of the composition tacoma bed makes it difficult or impossible to close the tent if the truck was leveled and the bed is flexed. Easy fix is put the truck on level ground to close it. PITA.
I have a GFC on a Gladiator after many years of research and fantasizing. I really don’t personally have any unexpected dislikes. I knew the sleeping pad was going to be an issue and immediately replaced it with an Exped I owned. I guess I knew what I was getting and had concluded it was the best compromise for having an out of the way camper while still having the truck bed I need. Crawling up from the bed is not ideal, especially with the Exped. I do use a ladder. Other campers, i.e. SuperPacific and Alucab allow a space to crawl up, but the sleeping area extends further over the cab and would limit/prohibit the removal of the jeep top, which is a major thing for jeepers. I guess the “unexpected” issue is not specifically a GFC one in that my wife is not as excited about the limited comfort in the truck bed as I only have a fridge and drawer in it. I think this comes from the year’s long expectation that we were getting a “camper,” even though I repeatedly tried to explain what the compromises were. At this point she would be just as happy ground tenting. I guess I may eventually install Goosegear in the bed (they are supposed to be verifying fitment for the Alucab Canopy Camper), or I can build something that is easily removable. If the market continues to expand with viable slide in camper options, we might consider something more built out but not permanent.
I have not camped anymore in the last year and half since having the camper installed, but this is COVID impact as I work in the healthcare industry and vacations have been limited and brief in duration. We canceled a 2 week Utah/Colorado trip this month.
We camp a lot but my truck is also my daily driver and I don’t even know it is on there. I bought a ladder and unless solo use it as it is so much more convenient for two people. It fold down to nothing so takes up no space for me. We camp enough, that as much as like the gfc I want to get a fwc. Mine does not leak or get blown around in heavy wind but I am on a power wagon so that helps. Mine even fits in my garage. I do wish GFC offered a roof fan ala james baroud.
Agree the 6 locks are a little tedious but would rather have that then all the extra hardware to decrease that number to 3.
As someone who doesn’t like heights and had only tent camped, sleeping 7 ft off the ground takes some getting used to. With that, comes reduced privacy camping anywhere near other people as you are pretty exposed with windows open- I wish there was a way to cover only the bottom 1.5 foot of the windows for privacy, I’ll probably make something.
I love the orange less than I expected, combined with the black seams it has sort of a construction vibe imo.
I don’t like the lack of opening windows on the topper. I would have paid a pretty penny for sliders on each side. We care more because kids sleep ‘downstairs’.
But- I freaking love the gfc and we are able to be spontaneous again as a family with two preschool aged kids, which as anyone with kids knows, is pretty much priceless.
I can squeeze mine into a 7 foot garage on a Colorado ZR2 when it is fully loaded with gear, so that is a major plus to keep it secure, ready to go, and out of the elements. Getting into the tent via the truck bed is perfectly fine if you are a solo camper and are in good physical shape. If gets complicated to exit/enter the tent when there are 2 people in it, if you have a double sleeping pad you have to do some serious yoga moves to get in and out. Also, it is a bit of a hop to get into it. I got a Decked so that made a nice smooth surface to get into the tent and also it makes it a shorter leap. I ended up getting the ladder because I camp with my wife and it was a smart move, I just need to figure out how to hang our shoes/boots off the side before entering the tent. We will be getting a dog and I figure I will just have to carry the dog up/down the ladder for getting into the tent, so once again you better be in good physical shape and have balance.
If you want to add accessories to the tent extrusion you may have to use some problem solving skills and after market specialized T-nuts specific for the GFC.
I got mine in May and have been on several camping trips and love it, no real complaints. I also love that I can hauls stuff on top of it, like a Kayak or SUP.
we have our dog up there too and I found it is easier putting him in at the back standing on the tailgate vs using the ladder. For some reason he gets a little freaked out going up the ladder. I have an awning and the shoes will set on that pretty easy. we have a carpet/welcome mat at the bottom of the ladder and swap shoes out for flip flops before going up.
I think it all comes down to your specific use-case and ideal comfort.
We live in Colorado and have been avid backpackers, Jeepers, etc. For us, this was a huge step forward in camping comfort and convenience as we camp 20+ nights a year. The GFC makes camping so easy, we could see ourselves doubling that.
The quality seems very high (we are only two weeks in). I think most concerns expressed on the forums are people bitching for the sake of bitching, instead of admitting that this was not the product for them. It is not an RV. It is a tough, lightweight camper/RTT/Topper hybrid that can actually handle the stress of off-roading. It gives you the flexibility to have something you can escape the weather in, stand up in, relax in, with a mattress (that I find to be perfect BTW). All without compromising your truck.
The only thing that has somewhat surprised me… Is that my wife tends to get up 1-2 times a night to use the restroom and removing the tile, climbing down, and unlatching the tailgate is a little bit of a process. However, there are two solutions: 1. Mantis Claw/ladder 2. Cassette toilet in the bed for nighttime emergencies on cold nights would be very nice for my wife. I was originally anti-ladder, but clearly it would make these nighttime trips easier/faster.
If you’re not already camping remotely regularly… Than maybe this product is not for you as there are other options. However, if you off-road/overland/camp a lot… This is a fantastic product.
I thoroughly enjoy my GFC. I do wish they would have access points in the space frame to run wiring and a fan option to reduce condensation. That said, bang for your buck, you can not beat a GFC. IMO best on the market.
When you “replaced” the existing sleeping pad, were you able to completely remove all padding and just have a platform to put your exped on? Is it a Megamat Duo? (I have one of those and was already leaning towards using that… but might consider getting a single so I can leave one panel open all the time (when sleeping alone.)