GFC vs. Vagabond

We recently had a great time at the NorthWest Overland Rally here in WA and got to look over all the camper brands in once spot. My father and I were planning on ordering a GoFast camper for his truck...now that we had the opportunity to see all the options in person we are looking at the Vagabond.

We liked the GoFast unit, light and simple. Construction looked really good and finish work was top notch. Canvas material is similar to what we have on the FWC and it’s been super waterproof. We live in the desert and the camper will be outside 365..the sun here tears things up fast. We both wondered how the composite roof will hold up over time to intense sun. Also not sure I like the light coming in through the composite translucent top, I could see times where I want it dark in the tent. Guess one could always make a internal light cover for the top.

We both really liked the Vagabond unit a lot as well, the construction is top notch and we both prefer the solid aluminum structure, insulated aluminum roof and less seals on the sides (I see this as being a lot more water/dust proof over time). They also have similar canvas material to the FWC which again we have found bullet proof in rain. We liked the longer extension over the cab and the ability to have a standing space with the bed deployed. The Drifter is also built out of thicker aluminum than the AT and was really rock solid! We also liked the side windows in the Drifter and they will be offering the Dometic windows. Without the tube frame of the GoFast the interior seems more roomy and offers more options for build outs. We really liked the one piece aluminum roof and it would be great for mounting solar or carrying my Kayaks.

The AT was great as well but higher $$ and the canvas material looked more like treated tent material than a true waterproof material like the others. I hung around twice to talk to the AT rep but never got the chance. The fit and finish of the AT was really good. They had the habitat on display as well but we both prefer the wedge design over the Habitat.

They all have their advantages and disadvantages, but I think we are liking the Drifter the best of the three.

Here’s an arial shot of the NWOR




And a couple of the campers.

AT



Vagabond



Gofast



And our camp in the FWC.



Hodakaguy
 
Last edited:
The fabric is “cold crack” rated for -40° F. So -25°C (-13°C) shouldn’t be a problem. The fabric will get stiffer with cold weather, which is why we went with field- adjustable latches. They are easily operable with snow gloves on.

The snow could sit on the ledge at the bottom of the tent, but that area turns up 90°, on the inside of the tent, so water/ snow shouldn’t get in. The ledge is smooth, without crevasses, and snow can be easily brushed off. There is also a support rod for peace of mind.
This is great news for those of us that winter camp in the cooler weather. Thanks to eatSleepWoof for asking the question. My worst was -45c in a tent, I do not want a repeat of that long weekend! On the Drifter is the side metal panel strong enough to direct mount 4 MaxTrax using their standard bolts x4 or should we plan on reinforcing it with a backing plate? Have seen rails used as the base previous but no direct attachments where they just drill a hole and secure the MaxTrax bolt.
 
Presume it should be as they mount them to l tracks which are direct mounted to the side.

They just use the l track for options to mount other items/etc.

Steve


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
Well, I put a request in for shipping cost for a new Vegabond Drifter. Time to get in line for an awesome new camper. :) Does anyone have a tape measure that could tell me how high the top edge is over the center of the cab? (highest point of the curved area between driver and passenger) This is without the Maxfan as I don't think I will have room for that.

 
When i talked to phil/iggy the drifter would sit 31” above the factory bedrails. 33,5” with the fan.

Steve


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
When i talked to phil/iggy the drifter would sit 31” above the factory bedrails. 33,5” with the fan.

Steve

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Thanks for the measurements as I will be getting my new ZR2 on Thursday!!! Cheers.

Phil is already looking into the shipping options for me too! Going to be a good week. :)
 

SDDiver5

Expedition Leader
I wasn't all that impressed with the GFC......Until I saw one in person. Buddy got his installed this last weekend and I must say I am totally on board now. The attention to detail is awesome and it seems to be great quality.
 
Vagabond


Does this Drifter have a Front Runner Defender Gullwing Door & Cabinet? or is that just a window?
It's all an option you can request, I requested it on both sides, was not cheap but figured I used my windoors on my alucab all the time, i figured that it was a necessity.
 
I may be different for the ZR2 from the tacoma.
No worries, I will measure off a buddies new Toyota 4dr pickup to figure out the rise over the cab. I am hoping to get under the 7' mark in total overall height with the Drifter mounted. Will try sort out some type of QD mount to run Thule square bars on the L- track so I can disconnect them when I am not hauling a canoe on top.

Edit: July 19th - Got the new truck (ZR2) and the buyout for the old one! Just need shipping cost and I am in with a Drifter! :)
 
Last edited:
Just reading back through the posts and realized I didn’t respond to this. It was great meeting you Phil! And also realized that your picks are between a full sized Vagabond camper and a Maltec??!! Honored to be in the running. Those are some very nice campers. Seriously stoked that you came by the booth and we really appreciate your insight.




The Frontier is 1.94” wider at the inside of the bed. The base of the Drifter can easily accommodate for that. We are making the Frontier- specific version shorter though.

That changes some of our major components since, when retracted, you have full use of the truck bed up to the cab wall. This requires different sized mattresses and bed extensions. So for the long bed, you still have full vertical clearance to the cab wall. The cabover mattress is shorter and the extension mattress is longer, in comparison to the DCSB version. same overall mattress dimensions though.

This is great to hear. That slight bed length sounds like it effects many of the Drifter's current designs.
 
I really like the GFC concept over all others. If I were looking for something like this, that's what I'd get for the Tacoma. Very well executed, IMO.
 
I’m pretty much sold on the Vagabond. It will come down to measurement. From the top of the cab to the top of the shell what is the height. Needs to be able to fit in the garage since my Taco is a play truck. Is a barn style door an option and what it the height when open all the way and the bed is in the up position. Living in the northeast we get a lot more rain than when I was in CO

Also delivery to VT would make life easier for me also. Thanks
 
Last edited:
Top