GFC vs. Vagabond

spressomon

Expedition Leader
Looks like Drifter tent raises higher and is longer over cab dimensions (longer sleeping bed area with hop down opening at foot of bed for those middle night pee breaks, more soft for racks, solar, etc). All better in my book.
 

crazysccrmd

Observer
Looks like Drifter tent raises higher and is longer over cab dimensions (longer sleeping bed area with hop down opening at foot of bed for those middle night pee breaks, more soft for racks, solar, etc). All better in my book.
The GFC bed is 50”x90”, the Drifter bed is 48”x80” but has the empty space at the back to get up and down.
 

spressomon

Expedition Leader
^ Sorry, I was replying to robbiefox's post above. The AT Summit appears to be shorter front to back (haven't seen a measurement though). And the tent portion appears to not hinge open or as high as the Drifter.
 

crazysccrmd

Observer
^ Sorry, I was replying to robbiefox's post above. The AT Summit appears to be shorter front to back (haven't seen a measurement though). And the tent portion appears to not hinge open or as high as the Drifter.
My bad, didn’t catch that. I agree though, the Summit looks like it would feel more cramped as well with the lower opening roof coupled with the bed raised.
 

chet6.7

Explorer
I got an email from Vagabond,I asked about the height of the Drifter.
"The shell is 31" above the bed rails. 33" with the fan.
We're working on a full hatch and rear door option!"

I don't have any info on price, when it goes on sale or how long it will take to get one when available.
I think GFC is up to May 2020.o_O
 

chmura

Adventurer
I was up in the air between purchasing an GFC or a Drifter but I had to see both in person to decide which one suited me best.

First I saw the GFC in person while it was getting installed.

Things that I liked about the GFC:
  • cool design, can open all windows and be in 'cabana' mode.
  • Tube design was neat
  • relatively lightweight
  • Cost is cheaper
Things I didn't like:
  • Smaller Sleeping space , I'm 6'1". No way to make the overhand longer for more mattress length.
  • Cannot store sleeping gear up top and no adjustable latches
  • Bulb seals that seal the windows against the tubes were not a good design IMO. Like I said I witnessed a new owner get his GFC installed. Gram was making the finishing touches on the install. I noticed he unrolled some bulb seals and took out the back tape to expose the adhesive and he just placed the bulb seals around the windows. This IMO is not a robust design. Adhesive overtime tends to not stick anymore or the bulb seal will move out of place. Seems like not much thought was put into this. A bulb seal with a track would be better than just held on by only adhesive .
  • Composite roof was an issue for me. One of my buddies went to Overland Expo and at night he can see through the composite roof and see shadows of people inside (privacy concern for me) Plus in the morning I like it dark and it will let unnecessary light inside making me wake up prematurely.
  • When you are sleeping with someone and in the middle of the night you can just simply get down. You have to disturb your partner and moves cubes around, etc. Overtime this would be annoying.
  • Struts are exposed
  • No additional support bar (someone can close the tent on you while sleeping).
  • Smaller side windows so will not provide crosswind side ventilation.
Things I liked about the Drifter:
  • Made out of aluminum, solid construction.
  • Lots of options to choose from
  • More sleeping space, can add an additional 10 or 12" mattress extension (which I will get).
  • Can store comforter and pillows up top in a clean area. I do not like the hassle of moving sleeping gear up and down. Bed sometimes gets dirty. Sleeping gear should be uptop.
  • Do not have to disturb your partner in the middle of the night if need to go to the bathroom since 20-30" are always open.
  • Can walk ontop of the Drifter if needed.
  • Struts are hidden when closed. Additional feature there is a support bar inside that you can position in case it snows and it wont close on you automatically.
  • Adjustable latches, When you store items uptop you can adjust the latches to accommodate for it. My Autohome Maggie had similar adjustable latches and they make alot of sense in this application.
  • Bigger side windows for more ventilation.
Things I did not like about the Drifter:
  • More expensive
  • Optional fan is kind of loud
  • A tad bit heavier
  • No color matching. Why should I pay for non color matched powdercoat and pay $1100 for it? Doesn't make sense.
Also GFC heavily markets their campers and I know of two people that got the GFC's for free. Vagabond on the other hand has not given a Drifter away for free yet which says alot IMO.

This was just my unbiased review after checking both out in person.

So in the end I choose the Vagabond Drifter as I find it better suits my needs. Placed my order March 17, 2019. Once I get it I will take it to a body shop and professionally painted to color match my truck.
 
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rajacat

Member
One thing I don't like about the Drifter is that it's not powder coated stock.That's a $1100+ extra.
Another thing is that the aluminum frame is not as strong as a steel frame. Welding weakens aluminum whereas steel doesn't lose strength when welded. It's also narrower than the GFC.

A 6'-1" person can easily sleep in the GFC + its wider. According to their respective online sites, Drifter 80"L sleeping platform vs. 90" for GFC.
IMO the Drifter just doesn't look as cool as the GFC.

Not as streamlined too therefor the MPG is more affected.
Once you start to add the options to the Drifter the price goes up fast. I bet the full size version will be easily north of 10k with a 5k deposit.
I like the GFC translucent roof. It has a very nice diffused light quality which is great, especially on cloudy PNW days. And you can walk on it but it would be best not to jump around. For me there's no reason to walk on it. The side extrusions with a rack can carry 500 lbs.
The GFC has a lower COG.
 
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One thing I don't like about the Drifter is that it's not powder coated stock.That's a $1100+ extra.
Another thing is that the aluminum frame is not as strong as a steel frame. Welding weakens aluminum whereas steel doesn't lose strength when welded. It's also narrower than the GFC.

A 6'-1" person can easily sleep in the GFC + its wider. According to their respective online sites, Drifter 80"L sleeping platform vs. 90" for GFC.
IMO the Drifter just doesn't look as cool as the GFC.

Not as streamlined too therefor the MPG is more affected.
Once you start to add the options to the Drifter the price goes up fast. I bet the full size version will be easily north of 10k with a 5k deposit.
I like the GFC translucent roof. It has a very nice diffused light quality which is great, especially on cloudy PNW days. And you can walk on it but it would be best not to jump around. For me there's no reason to walk on it. The side extrusions with a rack can carry 500 lbs.
The GFC has a lower COG.

Agreed! It is amazing.

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