Wintertime and GFC Best Practices

I am getting close to pick up my GFC, just in time for some awesome fall camps/hunting trips here in Utah (build 368)

I live in Utah and wanted to open up the discussion to best practices for wintertime and keeping the GFC on, but not really using to camp during the winter months or suggestions to remove it during the snowy months as my taco would most likely be parked outside of my garage due to the height of a lift and the GFC…

Any insight from other GFC’s of GFC themselves would be greatly appreciated!


It’s pretty simple. Just leave the GFC on and go about business like normal. Nothing special or extra is required.


As mentioned below your post, there isn’t a whole lot that needs to be done to winterize. Of course winters are different everywhere. Keeping a good lubricant in the rear tube (we use T9 Boeshield) will ensure any melted ice should stay out of the tube and keep the rear pins functioning properly. The camper is built to be in the elements, we are based in Montana so snow is no stranger. Keeping the GFC installed will help in snowy months as the extra weight and way the frame boxes in the rear will help in icy situations.

How have the campers faired over the winter in heavy winter road-salt states like Minnesota? I was planning to store my GFC over the winter to avoid the exposure.

Well, we are based out of Bozeman and pretty much everyone with a truck at the shop has a camper and deal with the same issues. Really the same advice is pertinent here, keep the rear tube lubricated with a good lubricant to keep the elements out of it for operation. The other components shouldn’t be affected by the change in condition but if you aren’t camping in the winter or using the camper portion, the camper can be removed and stored.

I’ve managed to deal with icy door latches by doing a few things.

Keep them lubed - I like Ballistol. Apply it to the keyway and the rest of the latch.

Apply a very light coat of water displacing lube (Ballistol, Boeshild T-9, etc.) to the door seals to keep them from freezing to the spaceframe. Works well on a truck’s door seals, too.

Leave the latches unlocked when you know they’ll get coated in ice. They can be locked, but then using a key may be difficult if the ice is thick, so I usually don’t bother.

Even if the entire latch is iced up, as long as release button can still be depressed enough to disengage the rest of the latch, I can gently lift on the panel edge next to the latch and the latch mechanism will fully release.

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Are there any issues/concerns with the tent material developing mildew if it’s not dried out throughly after a winter trip? I live in the PNW and it’s unlikely to get fully dry until the spring time if the tent gets snow on it from a trip this time of year.

I wouldn’t worry about the 1st gen material, but I can’t say how the newer fabric would perform. As easy as it is to open & close, are you sure you couldn’t find an hour or two without rain or snow to dry it?

Well, a bit of an update; I just opened my RTT for the first time in a couple of months, and there’s definite mold on the black trimming that’s on the edges of the tent material. I also found a decent amount of water in the bedding. I’m going to try and add weather sealing to the clamshell interface of the tent in the hope of improving the water proofing of the tent when closed.

I found some water inside my camper as well. Just a small bit around one of the corners of the part that hangs over the cab. I think I caught it before it got moldy, but I may pop it open real quick to check.

Do you live in a cold climate? I noticed a strip of ice had formed in mine and covered the drain holes where the water had gotten in. Obviously the snow on the outside started melting before the ice inside thawed and I think the channel overflowed into the tent.

I’ve got the RTT version. I did have full bedding in there, and I noticed because it was pretty wet underneath.

I did drive through a pretty decent storm the other day which easily could have driven water in there.

I’m hoping that the addition of 1/16th foam around the perimeter where the two halves of the tent close will beef up the sealing.

Photos of heater setup.?

B3E76BB8-DCEE-45AA-A23F-AFE01B636F79 I have camped in winter 18 degrees, and nothing a good winter sleeping bag and Mr. Buddy Heater could not warm up before bed. I also use it to warm up the camper in the morning so my lady can climb out of bed without freeizng… Condensation was an issue but I have a tech towel that I hang and it absorbs a lot of the moisture.


Are y’all using the buddy heaters above 7k feet? Sounds like that doesn’t work too well at all and thus may not be an option for me.

I use the buddy heater at 7800. Works fine.

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I used my Mr. Buddy heater at about 10,000 feet and 5°F a couple months ago. It gets more temperamental and won’t always stay lit more than a couple minutes but I only heat the tent and that takes less than a minute to heat up on low. (I do have a home made insulation layer in my tent though.)

I camped in the Tetons late last fall and it got down to below zero degrees during the nights and the highs hovering in the 20s. I went into Jackson and bought a Mr. Buddy Heater, but it didn’t seem to make a difference and I could smell the fumes, so I said screw that.

I slept in a very expensive mummy bag and put a thick quilt underneath me and then wrapped myself in another quilt once I got into my bag. It kept me warm, but at times I was still cold. The tent was covered in condensation every morning. Lol after a couples days of doing that, I was ready to get home. If you can find a woman to camp with you in those conditions, then she is a keeper.

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SVT- Would agree on fumes which is why I only heat up the rig pre/post bed time but I do not let it run for long periods of time.
Lucky for me my lady deals with my need to GFC camp NO matter the conditions but that doesn’t mean I don’t do the hotel thing when back to civilization. Cheers!


I was up at Crater Lake which is right around 6K…haven’t tried yet at higher elevations.