Detailed Trip & Experience Report: Getting My Go Fast Campers Platform Topper & SuperLite Installed On My Tacoma By TRU Automotive
I’ve taken plenty of trips in my 3rd Gen Tacoma and driven across the country even. Never have I driven 900 miles (one way) just to pick up a part for the truck though! My destination was Denver, Colorado and I was traveling from San Antonio, Texas – the southern part of Texas.
This trip was heavily predicated on getting the GFC Platform Topper installed onto my truck, but that was just the beginning of the trip. You can check out my detailed post covering the whole trip and how I spent 3 weeks on the road living out of my new setup (coming soon). For this article though, I wanted to cover the installation process from one of GFC’s many satellite shops.
In the past, you either had to drive to GFC headquarters in Montana or wait for a used model to pop up locally. In the past year (or so), GFC has been working on improving access and reducing the cost/time needed to get their products. I hope this post gives you a window into the overall process and experience.
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Table of Contents
The Drive To Denver
This drive is nothing out of the ordinary or new for me. I have made this drive from San Antonio to Denver multiple times. First, let me start by saying the worst part of this drive is the drive out of Texas! It is massive and it is flat! Nothing but farmlands as far as your eyes can see in all directions, so you can imagine how boring the drive can be. With that being said, it takes me about nine to ten hours just to get out of Texas. I typically cross over from Texas into New Mexico at Texline, which is a small town with a population of about 500. Trust me… if you are not paying attention, you won’t even know you passed through it!
After crossing into New Mexico, it’s pretty smooth sailing from there! I’ll head directly west until I hit Raton, New Mexico. From there it’s directly north through Colorado Springs and straight into Denver. This drive in all is about 13 hours and 40 minutes on GPS, but typically takes around 15 including stops for gas and taking breaks to eat.
TRU Automotive – TRU Service for the TRU Adventure
TRU Automotive is by far one of the most trusted automotive shops in Denver. Their reputation proceeds them, and I have gone to them for other services besides this topper install. So, hearing that they were one of GFC’s satellite/remote shops that they partnered up with, I was more than comfortable making that drive to see them!
TRU is owned by Austin Trudeau who opened the shop in 2013 and the Service & Sales Manager is Colter Morgan. Those dudes run that shop like a well-oiled machine! There is tons of automotive experience at the shop and to say that you are in good hands while there is an understatement. Anthony Panza was the technician who directly worked on installing the GFC Topper onto my truck. He was extremely knowledgeable, professional, and very personable. Real down-to-earth dude!
Looking for other certified installers? Check out other locations here.
Topper Installation Overview
I pulled into the shop bright and early as the team was walking in to open for the day. After a brief meeting and introductions with the guys, they walked me over to show me which topper was mine.
The toppers had their own section in the back of the shop neatly organized and placed. Each is strapped to its own pallets and labeled per customer. Tony wheeled my truck into one of the bays and quickly got to work!
The first step was laying down the weather stripping along the top of the bed. With any type of tonneau or camper topper, it’s customary to lay down some form of weather stripping along the top of the bedsides to help seal off the bed from outside elements. This won’t make it completely weatherproof, but helps tremendously with limiting the amount of dust, water and debris entering the bed.
Once the weather strip was laid the guys picked up each corner of the topper, aligned it, and placed it onto the bed.
Once on, Tony began to secure it to the bedside with the provided hardware.
The billet brackets that GFC uses to secure the topper to the bedside are beefy and unique in design. They mount to the bed rail like any other topper, but they are aluminum and robust. I can tell you from experience that they are super sturdy, since the installation I have used bungee cords to secure oil & coolant bottles as well as my RotopaX 3-gallon gas can to them and they do not budge!
Seeing this thing for the first time resting on the truck was pretty dope! Even though they were still working on it I was stoked to see how different the truck looked with it mounted.
When he finished securing the topper to the bedsides, Tony began to wire up the third brake light. He did such a clean job running the wire to the pillar and tucking it up behind the driver’s side brake light where he tapped into that wire to operate the light.
With everything buttoned back up he cleaned it, polished it, and got ready for the SuperLite.
Mounting The SuperLite
With the topper mounted and secured to the truck it was time for TRU to throw on the SuperLite. I had my eyes on this tent ever since GFC first released it. The design and the weight were huge factors for me. I mean… it’s called the SuperLite for a reason!
Using a forklift Tony lifted and lowered my SuperLite onto the topper. With it now resting on GFC’s beef bars he secured it with their quick release mounts.
Side note, the quick-release mounts are a must-have for mounting and removing rooftop tents.
I was beyond stoked to see the topper and the SuperLite mounted up on the truck! If you’re interested in learning more about the SuperLite you can check out my article where I dive into all of its key features. The V1 SuperLite is no longer for sale, BUT they are working to release a heavily anticipated V2.
I genuinely felt like a little kid leaving a toy store watching them reverse my truck out into the parking lot! It is a surreal feeling rolling out with a GFC mounted on the back of your truck. I mean all the hype and noise that GFC has generated on social media is validated! These dudes are putting out some seriously high-quality products and they are worth every single penny.
The process took about an hour to complete and that’s only because I had to rearrange some previously mounted items on my roof rack to allow room for the tent up top. Maybe tack on a few more minutes because I kept asking them to stop so I could catch some dope photos during the installation process too. Can you blame me though!?
I’ve already got huge trips planned with the new setup and tons of memories to be made. Take it from me… someone who has rocked an open bed, tonneau cover, and even ground camped. GFC is the way to go to take your adventures to the next level!