Our GFC V2…Or the Mouser gets a Backpack.

Haggis

Adventurist
Senior Staff
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Well here’s a thread to chronicle the evolution of our new Go Fast Camper Platform Camper. All the cool stuff and problems that we discover along the way as it gets tailored to our flavor of travels. If nothing else it looks good up there..

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But to start a preamble and our thought process about changing things up.

We had a good camping set-up…

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Leer heavy duty contractors cap, Autohome Maggiolina Extreme RTT, homebuilt drawers and 20 gallon powered water tank. It worked really well together and the Maggie is top notch in build quality, comfort and warmth. But it was heavy. It didn’t fit in the garage or leanto so we had to move the tent before and after every trip. The cap and tent alone pushed 500#. With drawers and full water tank easily over 700#. You could feel the weight and in inclement weather there wasn’t many options for staying dry and warm other than laying down in the tent. We decided we needed something more flexible and a lot lighter. Than we bought another Tacoma to use as an everyday truck freeing the Mouser up to be a full time mini-RV. But we wanted something different. And so, like how an old school backpacker turns towards the new, shiny ultralight gear to decrease the burdensome stuff we thought we’d take a similar approach to equipping the truck. So the Mouser got an ultralight backpack…

Ordered on February 8, 2021 it would be an 8 month wait until we had the camper installed. Our dealings with GFC were right to the letter of their procurement procedures, communication was punctual and with the creation of their Leaderboards we could monitor the progress of our build throughout all its phases. When the time came we left on a road trip towards Belgrade, Montana from our corner of the Pennsylvania woods a few days prior to October 16, 2021 when we got the V2 installed at the GFC shop.

We arrived early for our install appointment by a couple of hours and the boys got us right in…the crew was great, friendly bunch and we ended up chewing the fat for a couple of hours after the install.

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Our Camper…Unit 2054. Black anodized exterior, stone grey tent with optional side doors, front and rear cap windows. Ours was one of the first with tinted glass as GFC obtained a new glass provider. All aluminum extrusion framing, aluminum panels and honeycomb composite roof and tent floor panels.

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The GFC V2 weighs in at 240# in Tacoma short bed flavor so a weight savings of over half that of the cap and RTT combo. As both sides panels open fully it’s ridiculously easy to access the bed.

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In the next post I’ll post some detailed pictures of the construction of this thing. Right now I’m taxing our rural internet’s capabilities…
 
Here’s some detail images of the seals, structure and mounting systems.

First is the back hatch area. A bulb seal on the inner side of the extrusion acts as the gasket.

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The side doors wrap around the upright extrusions with the same bulb seal along the inside perimeter of the sides and bottom.

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GFC makes witness marks on critical components so you can keep a eye out for things going out of torque specs, that’s the red paint dot above. You can also see the double bulb seal used to seal the camper to the bed rails. Prior to installation I sealed under and installed new factory bed rail covers.

Detail of the upper purlin bars and the machined billet end caps.

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The camper mounts to the Tacoma bed rail system using these proprietary clamps.

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GFC recommends checking them after 500 miles or so after install, but mine stayed tight.

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The locks are like some marine application product and look nice. They operate fine but the key inserts are not the best, though mine are getting easier to use each time.

The camper in what GFC calls cabana mode. Lots of light to see stuff and easy accessibility, even as just a topper it’s has the best access if any other type of cap I’ve ever had. We definitely have way more interior room to work with over the contractor cap with the tool doors.

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The camper sits at 81” on a Tacoma with 3” of lift and 33” tires. One of the reasons we chose this was that it would fit in the leanto, other brands sit much higher above the cab.

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More to come.
 
Only 2 issues so far with the camper.

First is that the locks are a bit stiff to use and it’s easy to pop the latch while wrestling the key in. This has improved as I use them more.

Second after driving in a heavy rain I had water in the truck bed. After inspecting the course of the water I found that the seal on the cab side of the truck bed was a bit short on each side. The boys installing it weren’t as diligent as I would have been..

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I grabbed the black rvt sealant and sealed those up and that problem went away. Later I took the truck to the car wash to get rid of the 1/4 acre of Wyoming mud under the truck and sprayed the camper with the wand. No leaks in the truck bed or the tent portion.
 
After I got off work today Michelle and I started to get the garage ready for winter. We decided to put the water system and bed drawers in the Mouser for storage to get them out of the way even though I wasn’t planning on utilizing either in the GFC to save weight.

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But they look and work real good in there. The drawers give Michelle enough of a height boost that she can hop up into the sleeping platform without a step stool. And with the small mattress panels set down on the lower section it makes a fine couch. The tent ladder fits perfectly off to the side and is easily accessible.

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We won’t have to use any storage boxes so the whole deck is open and with all the panels slid back into the upper camper we can set up our camp chairs inside with lots of room In crappy weather.

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The Missus says the drawers stay. So the lesson today is stay loose on your plans because sometimes serendipity works out better than you thought.
 
The V2 tent platform is wider at its base than the rain gutters on the top of the Tacoma’s cab. So when it rains water drips off the front of the camper and plops right down on you and the rear seat and floor of the truck. Yuck.

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But on the GFC Forum a feller (Josh Edgar Designs) )there came up with the bright idea of rain gutters to channel the water back into the cab’s water collection area.

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Gonna order us some to keep from getting wet when getting into the fridge.
 
Just a heads up…

GFC is raising the price on these campers $750 at the first of the year to cover growing supply costs. If your serious about one, now is the time to order one. I think wait time is under 4 months currently .
 
Mark, how is the bed? Thickness etc. Bedding can be left in place up there correct?

How do those panels work and do they stay in place or will they possibly bounce out on the trail?
 
Mark, how is the bed? Thickness etc. Bedding can be left in place up there correct?

Like most RTTS the mattresses are on the firm side. The pads are 2” thick. We were comfortable using them “stock”. While fine for a few nights, they probably get to you on longer runs. We both are side sleepers and will more than likely get some 3/4 backpacking pads to support hips and shoulder while not taking up all the panels. This is so nighttime exits to the downstairs doesn’t involve moving all the sleeping arrangements around like if you used a full size pad like an Exped.

Bedding stays up stairs, but ultralight backpacking styles that compact nice are probably the best bet to keep closing up the tent as easy as possible. We used down ultralight bags and a couple of those compactable pillows and it worked well. We also had a down quilt to throw on top of the bags and that stayed up there as well when all buttoned up.

How do those panels work and do they stay in place or will they possibly bounce out on the trail?

The front one is fixed while the rectangular and two square ones are multi positional. They rest on an inner lip but are tight fitting so there is a good friction fit. You have to tug down on the squares to set them and there are two handle loops on each to aid in doing that. All buttoned up it’s pretty darn snug. We bounced down all sorts of rough roads and the panels never moved.

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Got the Josh Edgar Design (http://jedf.us/) rain gutters awhile back and finally took the time to get them mounted as I had the rare combination of a day off and decent weather. Install is easy peasey with just two bolts and t-nuts affixing the gutters into the middle channel of the lower tent frame. Now getting into the back doors in inclement weather wont be shower time as well.

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Yeah, that's an EXCELLENT design. It's cool when small companies are able to get in on the fun with solutions like this!

Is that steel or aluminum?
 
Also I tried out a set of suction cup mounts Michelle got me over the holidays. They stick very strongly, so strongly it took me using a plastic bondo wedge to remove them. The thought is to utilize these (4) to mount up one of our backpack camping tarps paired with some adjustable tarp poles for a quick, lightweight shade without dealing with the Eezi-Awn unit that we have.

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Looks great!!

Wondering if those drip rails would fit a CVT Mt Hood? I have the same issue with rain into the rear door/floorboard.
 
Also I tried out a set of suction cup mounts Michelle got me over the holidays. They stick very strongly, so strongly it took me using a plastic bondo wedge to remove them. The thought is to utilize these (4) to mount up one of our backpack camping tarps paired with some adjustable tarp poles for a quick, lightweight shade without dealing with the Eezi-Awn unit that we have.

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Very cool. Great way to have the chance to move mounts as needed and not have to drill into your camper.
 
As the snow melts off from this past winter and the temps get up above freezing again, thoughts start turning towards getting out and camping again. Time to get fiddling with the GFC and getting gear put back into the Mouser.

After work today (I actually got out of work on time for a change) I put some plugs into the camper mounting access holes in the bottom purlins.

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Not that they’re a problem but it’s more of an aesthetic improvement. I bought some tubing plugs….

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…and trimmed down the first two flanges so they would snap in the holes. The flange closest to the end cap I left alone as it left the cap a bit proud so gripping it to pull it loose is easier without the need to be prying on them.

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Much better visually and dirt and crud won’t be getting inside the purlin now. Plugs snap in tight with a satisfying pop but not so tightly that you have to swear at them to get them back out. Quick 5 minute job done.

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Things on the to do list…

*Get some lighting upstairs and downstairs.
*Upstairs netting or holder for above the bedding to hold that odd and end stuff that you want on hand but not laying about your mattress.
*Downstairs netting on the roof panel to hold sleeping gear and soft goods off the deck of the drawer system.
*Reposition the backup camera up on the rear of the camper so it sees something other than the spare tire.
*Install power distribution bank for powering the camper accessories.

Its all time and money now. Mostly time, it’s our most precious commodity these days.
 
A little more fiddling this afternoon.

Added the Gzilla Rainfly Pole Holder Blocks https://www.gzila.com/products/rain-fly-pole-holder to convert the rear windoor into a shade awning. They’re simple machined aluminum blocks with provisions for mounting bolts and spring poles paired with some tarp clamps that allow you to have the door partially open to block the sun or light rain. Also gives a nice view without having the door opened all the way and rolled up. Slip the tension rods into the blocks give them a bend and connect to the tarp clamps and you’re done.

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Came home to another beautiful March evening, near 70* and all the snow and ice is gone other than what remains on the mill race behind the house. Putzed around the camper again, this time figuring out a gear attic. Swapped out two of the factory mounting bolts in the cab panel for some eyebolts. I received a cargo net last Christmas, and utilizing some carabiners and bungee loops along with it managed to come up with a good space to stuff soft goods. Pillows, jackets and such.

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I stuffed our big winter bags up there (though they hardly ever get used)) mainly because the were the easiest to grab. Plenty of room for stuff though these bags hang down too far.

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Carabiners were slipped into the loops for the buckles and will allow us to detach the rearward side so the netting isn’t in the way when we pull all the panels. The cargo net can than fall down against the head panel. I thought about nipping the cinch straps for neatness but Imma going to hold off on that, I might be want to utilize them to strap something along the edge of the net. Probably not, but it’s easier to leave ‘‘em be than sew them back on.
 
A little more fiddling this afternoon.

Added the Gzilla Rainfly Pole Holder Blocks https://www.gzila.com/products/rain-fly-pole-holder to convert the rear windoor into a shade awning. They’re simple machined aluminum blocks with provisions for mounting bolts and spring poles paired with some tarp clamps that allow you to have the door partially open to block the sun or light rain. Also gives a nice view without having the door opened all the way and rolled up. Slip the tension rods into the blocks give them a bend and connect to the tarp clamps and you’re done.

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Nice. I need these.

The passenger side spring rod hole is blocked by part of the canopy roof rack. I would have to slide the TerraPod back to clear access but that would mean detaching the roof rack to lift it high enough to get at the bolts holding the RTT....

Yeah. No. This is much easier.
 
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