If you’re a pickup owner who plans off-roading exhibitions, a truck camper is a great investment. Cheaper and more compact than an RV or trailer camper, they use your pickup’s bed as both storage and sleeping space. There are plenty of excellent options on the market today, some tailored for specific vehicles. However, as with anything you load into or on your pickup, weight is always a concern. If adding a truck camper means exceeding your payload, you might damage your truck. Luckily, there may be a solution. Minnesota-based Go Fast Campers have announced the Go Fast Campers Platform, what’s claimed to be one of the lightest campers on the market.
Go Fast Campers Platform Construction
GFC makes the Platform almost completely in-house. The powder-coated frame is welded out of steel tubing, while the tent frame, hinges, and panels on the side of the frame are all aluminum. The tent frame is essentially one big T-shape track and lets you attach up to 500 lbs of gear to the outside of the camper. The aluminum side panels can be locked, and they’re also hinged to swing out of the way if need be. The Platform doesn’t come with all the gadgets that something like the AT Summit Hardtop has. However, this simplicity does mean you can still load stuff into your pickup bed. Only now, the Platform adds a bit of height and security with the tube frame.
The pared-down design also contributes to the GFC Platform’s low weight. At 250 lbs, it’s the lightest truck camper Outside magazine has tested to date. The tent is also fairly thin when folded down. At 6” thick, GFC claim it’s the thinnest such tent on the market.
GFC Platform Tent
The tent itself is sized for two people. The walls are made of a waterproof canvas, lined with mesh at the windows and door to keep out insects.
The door itself is a standard zippered affair. But what’s really cool is the tent floor. It’s made of four composite panels covered with memory foam; three of them, one large and two small, can be moved and repositioned at will. Sleeping by yourself? You can leave one side of the floor open, and stand up in the bed to work on your laptop. Two people sleeping, but one has to go to the bathroom? Just remove your own small panel, and leave the other person undisturbed.
GFC Platform Pros and Cons
Outside noted that the Platform truck camper was particularly robust, even in strong winds. Reviewer Wes Siler also enjoyed the track frame, as well as the modular panels.
However, the tent design also has some drawbacks. The tent is uninsulated, and there are small gaps between the panels where drafts can come through, so you’ll need a sleeping bag. Also, the memory foam padding is apparently quite firm.
One more thing of note comes about because of the Platform’s construction. Although the aluminum side panels due have bulb seals to keep water out, they’re not perfectly water-tight. Some dust and drips of water inevitably get in. However, Siler also notes that because the truck bed isn’t occupied, you can just house it out.
Go Fast Camper Platform Truck Camper Compatibility and Cost
Installation of the Platform truck camper can be done at GFC’s Bozeman headquarters, or GFC can send someone out to your house to do it for you. The Platform rests on top of a rubber seal that goes around the entire truck bed rim. The camper is then secured with four proprietary clamps.
There are two sizes: standard and XL. The standard is sized for mid-size trucks, such as the Jeep Gladiator, Ford Ranger, Toyota Tacoma, Nissan Frontier, and Chevy Colorado/GMC Canyon. The XL is for full-size trucks: Ford F-150 and Super Duty, Ram, Chevy/GMC 1500-3500, Toyota Tundra, and Nissan Titan.
While you can order a Platform truck camper today, order volume has been so high, GFC won’t be able to start on it until September 2020. The standard Platform starts at $6450, with the