GFC Platform Camper gets the Ford Maverick off the grid

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Montana's Go Fast Campers has developed what might be the easiest and lightest turnkey bugout solution we've seen. Created for the Ford Maverick, the GFC Platform Camper lets an owner can carry cargo, protect that cargo and disappear by doing little more than pulling a few latches. Towers in the bed rails support a wedge tent that extends from about halfway over the Maverick's cabin back to the tailgate. What we love about this is the aluminum flaps on all three sides of the support structure. When lowered and locked, they enclose the bed, protecting anything back there from strange eyes and bad elements. When raised during a campout, they provide awning shade, directional weather protection, and easy access to the tent. GFC founder and CEO Wiley Davis calls it "An American-made product that turns your truck bed into a blended indoor-outdoor living space that works like a portable cabana."

Above that sits the slim hardshell around the wedge tent. Closed, the structure is said to add 6.5 inches to the Maverick's height above the sharkfin antenna. That's about two inches taller than a four-door Ford Bronco with the soft top, about the same height as a base Ford F-150 XL, and about three inches lower than a Bronco with the hardtop and a roof rack. When opened, the wedge tent makes a 7.5-foot-tall roof at its highest point above the truck bed. For those who don't mind standing or carrying a collapsible stool, the adjustable tent floor can make a desk. Inside the tent, a the two-layer foam mattress makes a 90-inch by 50-inch sleeping surface. Above, the translucent honeycomb roof lets in diffuse light and provides a measure of insulation.

That's just the beginning of the utility. We'd never recommend putting 500 pounds of gear on top of the closed hardshell, but the hardshell can support that much weight if there's just nowhere else to fit bikes and fuel and adventure goods. When open, the hardshell can still hold 75 pounds, plenty for a few surfboards or a couple of bikes. The T-track on the shell perimeter is for fitting the rack to put more stuff on top, or accessories like lights, tools or an awning.

Thanks to tubular aluminum construction for the rails and billet aluminum for the hinges and buckles, the whole kaboodle eats up only 255 pounds of the Maverick's 1,500-pound payload capacity. The cost: $7,700 before options. Ford charges $3,449 for its black bed cap alone. Depending on where MSRP lands for the 2023 Maverick, buyers who don't splurge on options could get the truck and camper for anywhere from about $32,000 on a Maverick XL Hybrid to about $38,000 for a nicely equipped Maverick XLT with AWD after shipping and installation. That installation might be the most finicky part of the GFC Platform Camper; the company says buyers can either swing by headquarters in Bozeman, Montana, or get white-glove delivery and installation at home in their driveways, a service that runs from $750 to $1,000 depending on location. GFC says the camper can be ordered now and takes eight weeks to be ready.

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