Go Fast Campers: Owner Q&A Plus Product Overview

go fast campers review

Montana-based Go Fast Campers make some of the world’s premier roof top tents and truck bed campers for avid overlanders and off-road enthusiasts. These campers and tents are extremely durable and lightweight, so you can take on any type of terrain without worrying about damaging anything.

Let’s take a look at the specs of the various models of Go Fast Campers…

Go Fast Campers Platform Camper (Standard and XL Sizing)

This pop-top camper is so sleek that you might not even know it’s a camper at first! A DOM steel tube spaceframe mounts onto your truck bed, with aluminum panels on the sides and rear that flip up on gas springs to allow easy access to your truck bed. When these lockable panels are closed, they are completely waterproof thanks to a continuous hinge along the top. 

The camper itself is only six inches thick in the closed position, which is the thinnest in the industry. However, when the top is popped, it gives you a luxurious four feet of height at the back end, meaning you can sit up in bed and even stand comfortably in your truck bed. The flooring and mattress pieces are movable, so you can configure the camper for one or two sleepers.

The Standard Platform Camper has a full-size bed while the XL has a queen-size bed. The welded vinyl fabric of the camper walls is extremely durable, waterproof, and even dampens sound. Windows on the side of the camper have a clear vinyl layer and a mesh screen layer, so you can be comfortable no matter the weather.

The rear door also has two layers: an opaque vinyl layer and a screen layer. The rigid composite roof panel is translucent to let in some light, and there are also dimmable LED lights that run along the inside of the roof and provide light to the truck bed as well.

This camper weighs in at just 275 pounds (or slightly more depending on your exact vehicle), which is a comparable weight to a high-quality fiberglass topper. It has either 6 or 8 fastening points, again depending on your vehicle, so it is easy to remove, but the smart creators of these campers realized that serious overlanders aren’t going to want to take the camper on and off every weekend.

They created cross bar and rack accessories that can be added to the camper that allow you to use your truck for work. If you won’t be opening the roof, you can load up to 500 pounds on top, or 100 pounds if you do want to pop the top.

go fast campers setup in the woods
Camp Squad. via @project_recon

What kind of vehicles will these campers work with?

A full list of supported vehicles and model years can be found on the Go Fast Camper pages for the Standard and XL options, but in general, Ford, Toyota, Jeep, Nissan, Dodge, and Chevy trucks can be fitted with a GFC Platform Camper. Be sure to check for your specific configuration though.

Pricing and wait time

These campers are top of the line, and as such, they don’t come cheap or fast. At the time of this writing (August 2019) there are disclaimers on the Go Fast Campers website that orders placed now won’t begin production until at least January of 2021, due to the large order volume they are experiencing. Yes, you read that correctly, it will be about 17 months after you place your order until they begin to work on your camper.

In order to secure your place in this extremely long line, you must put down a non-refundable deposit ($500 for the Standard and $575 for the XL) that will be applied to the final purchase price of your camper.

The Standard Platform Camper starts at $6,450, which includes the pop-top camper assembly, the aluminum side panels, a mattress, an installation kit specific to your truck, and you can choose the base color.

You can also choose to add up to two windows in the front and/or rear aluminum panels ($200 per window), a side door on the tent ($350), or you can customize the color of other elements of the camper ($500 per component) or match your truck’s paint for $1,200. The XL starts at $6,950 and has the same add-on options.

You can also choose to add accessories to your camper, ranging from fitted sheets for the mattress to wind skids to cross bars. Finally, GFC offers a few different shipping and installation options, ranging from $175 to $1,400.

go fast campers getting installed
GFC installed @project_recon‘s camper for her. Easy peasy!

What makes Go Fast Campers so special?

The main thing that sets the Platform Camper apart from other similar products is that it is very modular in nature.

For example, the bed actually consists of four platform panels and four corresponding mattress pieces. You can rearrange them in bunk mode, where one person sleeps along one side of the camper and the two smaller floor/mattress panels are left out of place, so there is a large access hole to the truck bed.

You can also place both the small square pieces at the foot of the bed, so two people can sleep and easily remove the square at their feet to get out of bed without having to wake up the other person. Or, you can leave the entire platform in place and enter and exit with an exterior ladder.

I have even seen some people set up the platform in bunk mode and remove the mattress pieces so they can stand and work at their computer or even prepare and cook food inside if the weather is sub optimal. Finally, you can arrange the panels and mattress pieces into a couch in your truck bed as well if you’d like, and have a nice lounge space with a lofty ceiling.

Plus, you can open up all three of the side and rear aluminum panels, which create mini-awnings and provide excellent airflow. If it’s raining, these give you space to stand and access the stuff in your truck bed while not getting soaked. They also provide shady spots, and since they don’t open more than 90 degrees, you can still open them even if you have a separate awning deployed along the side of your truck.

With the modular design, all of the accessories that GFC offer can be added at any time as well, such as awning brackets or cross bar rack mounts. GFCs are made completely in the United States, and do most of their work in-house, which means replacement parts are going to be more readily available for a GFC than a camper that’s manufactured overseas.

The ridiculously durable construction of this camper allows you to actually off-road with it, as opposed to just overlanding. There aren’t any fiberglass pieces to crack or shatter, and these things are built to withstand some serious force.

go fast campers pop tent version
Just park and pop. via @project_recon

Go Fast Camper Roof Top Tent

This roof top tent is quite similar to the pop-top portion of the Platform Camper, but it can be mounted to any vehicle with cross bars, provided they are at least 56 inches long.

The tent can comfortably sleep two adults, with an interior space that measures 50 by 90 inches. It serves as its own rack, which helps keep a low profile with the sleek 6-inch-thick tent. The roof can still be opened with 75 pounds loaded on top of it, in case you want to have storage boxes or a car topper as well. 

This is a great option if you don’t have a truck but still want to be able to reap the benefits of a pop-top camper.

Pricing and wait time

This tent has a much more reasonable wait time, with an expected completion date of November 2019. Of course, these tents don’t have to be custom-made for each type of truck, so this makes sense. The tent will run you $3,499 and if your vehicle doesn’t already have a ladder, you can choose to purchase a collapsible ladder for $149. 

If you have a 5th generation Toyota 4runner, you will also need to purchase the special mounting kit that allows you to remove the factory antennae. With the antennae gone, the tent can be mounted just half an inch above the roof of your vehicle, which gives you a super sleek low-profile look and helps with preserving your gas mileage.

What If I Don’t Want to Wait 17+ Months for a Camper?

Nearly a year and a half is a long time to wait for production to begin on your camper. If you are looking for something that you can use for the next camping season, you might want to consider purchasing a used a Go Fast Camper.

However, since these are relatively new products, there aren’t too many used ones on the market, and it can be even more challenging to find one that will fit on your specific truck. In fact, when I searched for used GFCs online, I only found one, and it was an XL for $7,600, which must be pretty darn close to what they paid for it new.

But, you would have it immediately as opposed to having to wait for close to two years.

With these difficulties in mind, you might want to choose a camper from a different manufacturer. Some comparable options are The Nomad and The Drifter from Vagabond Outdoors. These start at $8,250 and $7,250 respectively and have a whole host of add-on options ranging from $50 to $1,100.

They do not have wait times listed on their website that I could find, but when I called their office, the representative said that there is currently about a 10-month wait. So, you could potentially use one of these for next camping season, but they are significantly more expensive and less modular.

Owner Q&A: Here’s What Two Go Fast Camper Owners Had to Say…

I talked with two GFC owners, Brittony (@project_recon) and Scott (@limbwalker_), to get some honest reviews of the campers.

First, I asked them why they chose GFCs over any other brand. Brittony cited the price as one of her main factors, pointing out that the GFC is significantly cheaper than other similar camper options. She also was drawn to the low profile of the camper, and the “cabana mode” option of being able to open the side and back panels.

Scott also mentioned the cabana mode as one of the reasons he chose a GFC, and the fact that he can set it up in seconds, but it’s rugged enough to handle off-roading. He loves the lightweight aspect of the camper saying that he never feels the weight of it on the truck, but that it feels solid and sturdy both when he’s sleeping in it or bombing down the road.

Next, I asked them about camping with the GFC in varied weather conditions and how it stands up to wind. Brittony has camped with hers in all conditions but snow, and she was stoked with how well it held up to wind, especially compared to her last roof top tent. She says the tent stays remarkably quiet in the wind, which is important to her as a light sleeper.

She did mention that while the tent performs well with rain falling straight down, it did let some water in when the rain was blowing sideways. Scott has not tested his camper in all weather conditions, but he was pleased with the way that the tent snaps into place and how the channels on the frame carry water away from the sleeping surface.

go fast campers owner review
Not going to lie, I’m a little jealous of her rig. Okay, a lot jealous! via @project_recon

Then we talked about whether there was anything that they would change about the Go Fast Camper. Brittony said that while initially she didn’t think a side door on the tent would be necessary, after camping in it frequently she realized it would be a nice option to have. Another useful feature would have been interior pockets in the sleeping space to keep phones and other small miscellaneous items at night.

Scott has raised some concerns with GFC, particularly about the inability to latch and lock the camper from inside the truck bed, and some tolerance issues of the bar mounts on the optional roof rack. He did report that both of these concerns have resulted in changes being implemented by the company.

Finally, I asked Scott and Brittony if they had any last thoughts, pro tips, or useful tidbits of information after having camped in their GFCs.

Brittony advised that the GFC is a great base to make your own because there are so many ways to configure the modular camper. She recommends that new owners take their GFC out camping with no expectations and no personal modifications right off the bat, and then make changes and adjustments from there.

She suggested it might take a few trips to get everything dialed in. Scott highlighted the customer service aspect of the company, saying that when he had an issue with the tent fabric and a jammed zipper, the company had the shop manufacture him a new canvas tent with no questions asked. He pointed out that while they are a new company, they are always learning, improving, and trying out new methods.

go fast campers setup at a campground
Scott has a killer setup! via @limbwalker_

The Bottom Line

Ultimately, Go Fast Campers are the top of the pile when it comes to lightweight, durable, and modular truck campers. They are versatile, reasonably priced for what the product is, and from what I’ve heard, the company provides excellent customer service. Here’s to hoping they scale up their production and can reduce that 17-month wait time!

 

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