The Excuse: A 4400 Mile, 12 State Adventure

Looking forward to your post trip thoughts and the "why" behind the GFC change
Good idea! I'll write up some thoughts in the morning on the reason for the change. As tired as I am I'm afraid my writing would just be rambling gibberish tonight.

Thanks for the trip report. Looked like a fun trip! So, did your plan work? Wife on board for the GFC?
Thanks! It was a blast. And yep! It totally worked. I'm order number 395! They say it should be ready next October, so I've got a while to wait. We'll have to plan next years trip around when it'll be ready, maybe pick it in Montana to start the trip.
Any chance you could upload the photos to a site that keeps exif data/picture properties? There's some stunning photos and as a hobby photographer myself I'd love to see what zoom, aperture, shutter speed etc were used.
The Excuse: A 4400 Mile, 12 State Adventure
Post Trip Thoughts...

I love adventure and the chance to explore new places. This trip definitely fulfilled that. This trip wasn't just about my need to explore though, it was about exploring with my wife. I did everything I couldn't when planning this trip to make it go as smooth as possible. From truck prep to the over-planning the route and stops I wanted to make this trip as smooth as possible. 2 weeks may have been a little long for a first major trip but go big or go home?

Did the wife enjoy the trip?
Absolutely! She had a blast and is excited for the next trip. In fact, she wants to help plan it. That doesn't mean everything was perfect. We found out that she get's pretty carsick when bouncing off-road day in and day out. To help this, she drove most of the off-road sections of trail. I would get out and spot but she drove. This gave me time to take photo's and videos of the trip. This worked out really well!​
Are we getting a GFC Camper?
We are! We are order number 395. It looks like it will be next October before the camper is ready. That will make planning this next trip a little more complicated. First off, October is our anniversary and usually when we plan big vacations. Second we are both in a wedding in the middle of October. And third, we may have to drive out to Montana to get the camper. We will just have to wait and see how it all plays out. I'm thinking about driving out to get the camper solo. Leave the RTT and rack at home and just sleep in my hammock on the way out. Once I get the camper installed Sarah can fly out and we can start our trip. The problem is October tends to be the start of winter in the midwest, so it maybe a little too cold and snowy for the wife to enjoy. We'll just have to wait and see what happens.​
Why are we getting a GFC?
Great question! Glad you asked. I've been using a RTT for about three years. I've had it on my custom build trailer for a majority of that time. (Build thread in my signature.) I've done the Kentucky Adventure Trail and a lot of smaller trips with the tent and trailer. After deciding to sell the Jeep and get a Tacoma I was excited to move the tent to truck and stop pulling the trailer. Why? Well most of the trips I enjoy don't have us using the same campsite multiple nights in a row. A trailer makes a great basecamp but if you aren't staying at the same sight, then there aren't many advantages IMO. After moving the the Tepui to the truck I thought I was set. But, I was wrong. I realized it takes quite a while to unzip the tent cover, flip the tent open, and if it's cold zip the annex on. Plus there is a lot of wasted space between the top of my tonneau cover and the bottom of my tent. I didn't want a full truck topper with a tent on top because that a little too high and top heavy. That's when I found the GFC campers on TacomaWorld. They were still prototyping them but the idea intrigued me.​
The advantages as I see them for me are quicker setup with minimal loss of sleeping space. The width of the bed in my Tepui and the GFC are the same, but I will loose some foot space. The Tepui is nearly 8 feet long so loosing a little foot space isn't a huge deal to me. The GFC can be setup in under 30 seconds, and taken down nearly as quick. When it's raining, windy or just plain cold the faster I can setup and take down the happier I am. The GFC also takes care of the wasted space. By combining a camper shell with an integrated RTT I have a lot more space to store and organize our gear. And with the tent deployed we can walk around in the back of the bed. I'd like to put a couple small benches with our water, battery and gear storage down in them to make the space as usable as possible. And as for weight, this setup will be nearly the same weight as my steel rack and tent.​
Trip Gear Thoughts
I felt like we brought too much stuff. It wasn't that we had a lot of stuff we didn't use, it was just a lot of bulky stuff. We have one box that contains 90% of our camping gear. We can toss it in and roll out for a weekend of camping. But this trip we added a few things. We had a propane fire pit because we aren't supposed to bring our own firewood. We opted to bring the 30lb propane tank so we could use it for cooking, fire and heater. We brought the RTT Annex and floor which we usually don't bring. We had two 5 gallon gas cans. We brought the Costco Waterport for washing dishes and such. And that was all in the back, inside I removed the rear seats and we kept out suitcase, bedding and fridge in the back.​
The largest box in the back contained the annex and floor (which we never used). Without that box and with the eventual addition or a rear bumper with jerry can holder on the back I think we'll have more room. I'd like to have enough room to walk around in the GFC, so there will be some serious planning into what we bring on the next trip.​
Waterport: It was great for our needs. We weren't using it to shower, just to wash up dishes and rinse of our hands. We never had to refill it and it held it's pressure the entire trip.​
Kelty Low Loveseat: We got a new chair from a REI garage sale before the trip. The Kelty Loveseat is very comfortable but definitely very low. We didn't mind that because it kept us closer to the fire. It's must easier to put away than a standard camp chair. It's our new favorite.​
CampChef Propane Firepit: I'm sad to say, this wasn't my favorite piece of gear. The fire it produces is very low and just isn't enough heat for a cold night. We'll be looking into other alternatives. On most local trips I toss my BioLite Firepit in the truck. I LOVE it.​
Indel-B 52 quart Fridge: Just before leaving on this trip I sold our Dometic 32 quart fridge and bought this Indel-B from a local friend. We added the insulated cover just before leaving. The fridge worked perfect. I have no complaints. It was quite and with the cover it didn't have to run very often at all. We brought way too much food tho!​
Little Buddy Heater: I've had my little buddy heater for a couple years now and it's been amazing. Of course, it would be on this trip, in the mountains that it would start to fail. It turns out that if you are using a hose to connect to a larger propane source you need to invest in a filter. Most hoses use some chemicals in the hose to keep it flexible and those chemicals will clog up the heater. After it started whistling all night, and eventually died I took a few minutes one morning to disassemble and clean it. That helped for another day or so, but it started acting up the next day. Since then I'm bought another heater and the correct filter from Little Buddy. I don't expect to have any more problems. As for function while it was working. We love it! We run it in the annex all night on low. It keeps the tent in the upper 50 / low 60s even when it's below freezing outside.​
We brought too much food! We tried to get foods that could be used in multiple ways. For example we got everything needed for tacos then we got chips. So now we have a taco salad one night and tacos another. The thing is, we didn't end up eating all that much. We usually had pancakes in the morning with some type of bacon or sausage patty, the snaked all day on fruit, Jordan almonds, and granola bars. Sometimes we'd stop and make a quick sandwich but usually the snacks were enough. By the time we got into camp we would want something quick like hot dogs and baked beans. It was rare we cooked a full meal. Do yourself a favor and meal plan. Not just what you want, but split it up into baggies. This will make packing the dry foods and fridge much easier and make your meals easier to make.​

What other questions do you have? Feel free to post them up!
Also we've started releasing the YouTube videos from this trip. The first one is out and I hope to release the second one tonight. Be sure to checkout ScenicCityOverland on YouTube!
Any chance you could upload the photos to a site that keeps exif data/picture properties? There's some stunning photos and as a hobby photographer myself I'd love to see what zoom, aperture, shutter speed etc were used.
Well thank you! That's definitely a possibility. The last sight I used for doing that was Photobucket but they broke all the links a few years ago and I haven't been back. Any recommendations?
Well thank you! That's definitely a possibility. The last sight I used for doing that was Photobucket but they broke all the links a few years ago and I haven't been back. Any recommendations?
just tried and flickr works:
you can see at the bottom it shows basic settings and an option to view all exif data. Just a note, flickr free accounts are going to be limited to 1000 photos soon, which is a bummer. But at least they didn't ruin 90% of the how-tos on the internet like photobucket did!
Totally with you on the move from RTT to GFC. GFC is on my list. My tent was great, way better than being on the ground. My tent issue was getting it to dry out when not using it, .... that process got old.