Go camping fast claims to have built the world’s most powerful tractor-trailer and a vehicle based on Bozeman Company supporting it request with an overtest involving a Toyota Tacoma and precariously balanced Ford F-250.
Technically, the latest GFC Platform Topper can support dynamic loads of up to 800 pounds, but it’s said to be stronger than the rails of any pickup. To demonstrate the power of Base Coat under static loads, GFC careful lowered a 4,500-pound Ford cab onto the roof.
I can’t stress how dangerous and silly this is. Like Jalopnik alum Wes Siler warning, the complex stress test is a terrible idea, but, uh, it really hits the spot: the GFC Platform Topper is oddly powerful.
Stronger, even more powerful than the bed of the second generation Toyota Tacoma used during the test. GFC had to weld 500 pounds of steel to the inside of the Tacoma’s bed for reinforcement – to make sure it didn’t warp under the weight of the Ford F-250. That way, if Platform Topper comes up, it’s because of its own weakness, not Tacoma’s.
But both the reinforced Tacoma and the GFC truck failed. If you’ve ever wondered why these camping pods cost so much, this – along with the cost of their materials and US domestic manufacturing – is why.
The Platform Topper has a tubular space frame with diagonal bracing to support any weight applied to its roof. The camper’s aluminum outer panels aren’t really load-bearing components; they’re more like metal skins that protect cargo, and can also open to provide shade with a “cabana” mode.
GFC says the topper is reinforced with billet aluminum parts down to the clamps that attach it to the truck. And the frame is bolted at every seam, rather than welded to stop stress fractures. The whole thing weighs 135 pounds when sized for a Tacoma with a short bed, meaning it’s lighter than other hard shells.
As you can imagine, the average camper didn’t fare well under the same test. GFC put a fiberglass topper on the Tacoma and left the F-250 hanging for a minute. The Tacoma’s suspension looked like it was hanging on for dear life right before the fiberglass shell curled like a soda can.
GFC says that same model of fiberglass topper is not much cheaper than the Platform Topper, which will cost $3,995. Obviously, the GFC won’t look as nice as a color-matched camper that follows the lines of a new truck, but at least it’s objectively and outrageously stronger.