GFC Superlite V1 in Box

Time to do something I said I wouldn’t… put a tent on the roof of my old Montero

I said I wasn’t going to put a roof on top of my 1991 Mitsubishi Montero. Plans change. Especially when those plans change to work around an incredibly light bit of kit that I can easily take on and off my truck. The fine folks at Go Fast Campers reached out to see if I wanted to test their SuperLite V1 setup. It’s a roof-top tent designed with a focus on quality and minimalism. And also affordability. But this unit here marks the end of the line for the SuperLite, in this form.

Go Fast Campers, or GFC for short, makes incredibly well-built platform and roof-top tent solutions. With the SuperLite, GFC had a hit on its hands, but the company was never quite happy with one aspect of it. They outsourced part of the fabric construction overseas. GFC wants to be 100% American-made, and to do this means ending the run of SuperLite tents even though they couldn’t make them fast enough to keep in stock because everyone loved them. But GFC wants it done right, so the V1 SuperLite is basically gone. I have one of the last ones.

And it’s a precursor to a future V2, but that’s not here yet. So, for now, I’m going to put this sweet setup on top of my Montero right where I said I would never put a tent.

Gamiviti Roof Rack Montero

It won’t be easy either. Not because of the tent itself, as the installation of that is simple. But rather, it won’t be easy because of how I planned my communications placement and roof rack design. There’s an “up bar” section at the front of my rack; this bit is essentially the exact width of the tent. I’ll need to shave the inner portions of those bars down to clear the tent, but only just. Then I’ll spray it with rust protection and respray it black, so it all still looks nice. As for the comms, my GMRS stubby antenna will need to find a new home. That bit should be easy enough, I’ll just need to figure it all out before the tent goes on the roof.

I used a larger GFC tent during the Express Rally Overland Adventure earlier in the year.

I still plan on adding a 270-degree awning and making my truck a single-story delight for ground dwelling and camping. But now my single-story road home is getting a second floor, and I’m actually pretty damn excited about it. I plan on getting this mounted up asap so I can test it with an overnight trip to a local mountain bike park and then during a weekend at the track for an upcoming 24 Hours of Lemons race.

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20 responses to “Time to do something I said I wouldn’t… put a tent on the roof of my old Montero”

  1. Batshitbox Avatar

    But why? Let me be the first of what I can only guess will be 90% of the people who see this boondoggle and ask, “Why would you want to put your tent on top of your car?”
    “Do you keep a pee bottle up there?”
    “Are you sure your parking brake is set?”
    “Did the older kids tell you about the boogeymen at the campfire tonight? Is that it?”

    Remember “Sometimes free stuff isn’t free” on quandam sister site Atomic Toasters? You’re proposing to chop up a perfectly good roof rack because free stuff.

    Ah, well, that’s why they call it your Montero and not Batshitbox’s Montero. Have fun with it!

    1. Jeff Glucker Avatar

      So, when I mentioned it to my wife she said she would totally sleep up there. But is not down with the sleeping under the awning thing, like I plan to do.
      So now I’ll have a space for my wife and daughter, and I can sleep “downstairs” with the dog.

      Also, I like this is easily taken off if I don’t want to constantly drive around with it. You can put quick releases on the mounting points, and it only weighs about 80 pounds, so I could slide this on and off myself if I needed to.

      As for the rack, I’m only shaving a bit off the inner portion of that raised section. Were I cutting any deeper than that, I’d be against the whole idea.

      1. OA5599 Avatar

        How much additional clearance are you trying to gain on the rack? If it’s just a smidge, maybe you could use a pipe clamp to spread the tube a little instead of permanently removing material from it.

        If your wife thinks she needs a rooftop tent, and you’re getting this one gratis, then I don’t really see a problem with you accepting it. But the awning sounds a lot more useful.

        1. Jeff Glucker Avatar

          Yes, I’m WAY more excited about the awning for my vision for the truck. But I won’t lie, this tent is pretty sweet too.
          Good question on the spreading, I’ll do some research on that and consult with the rack builder too.

        2. Jeff Glucker Avatar

          Just test fit the tent on the roof to get a better view of clearance needed and it’s WAY less than I thought.. I think spreading the upper bars is the way to go here.

          1. OA5599 Avatar

            Great.

            In the 70’s, we had a van that had some sort of awning the previous owner constructed out of an orange tarp, some aluminum poles, and some yellow nylon rope. It slotted into brackets that were probably drilled into the roof of the van, and was intended to be removed when not unfurled. We only had that van for a couple months before getting a better van with lots more #vanlife gear in it (bed, dinette, propane stove, sink, house battery, etc.), and I don’t think my dad ever figured out how to set up the awning in the first van, but the detachable part is still in the rafters of my parents’ garage. I REALLY want to see the result of your awning fabrication.

  2. mdharrell Avatar

    “…an upcoming 24 Hours of Lemons race.”

    Buttonwillow in October or something else?

    1. nanoop Avatar

      I kind of started to wonder “what do you need to do to pass a rooftop tent by tech inspection?…

      1. Sjalabais Avatar

        Wake up the people sleeping in it and chase them away?

      2. OA5599 Avatar

        I’m sure they can figure something out.

      3. mdharrell Avatar

        If it’s anything like the Aztek from a few years ago, the judges will want to see it on track with the tent deployed.

        1. Jeff Glucker Avatar

          That is AMAZING that they raced with the tent

          1. mdharrell Avatar

            Had I been working pit-out at that race, I’d have been tempted to turn them back if they’d tried to enter the track without the tent.

      4. nanoop Avatar

        I don’t have that question anymore. Reality overtook my joking again!

    2. Jeff Glucker Avatar

      Correct!

  3. Sjalabais Avatar

    I make no secret of my aversion towards RVs, campers and such clogging our roads at 2/3’s of the speed limit, and I’m an avid hiker who sleeps under open skies and in tents and figures acquiring more and more stuff is the wrong way to go.

    With that said, I see a lot of especially German and NL-cars coming here with roof tents this year. It’s certainly a trend, and affordability and availability may work hand in hand to disperse this strange idea among the population.

    1. OA5599 Avatar

      Are the slow RVs you’ve experienced due to regulations that limit speeds when camping, or is it just that Europeans tend not to buy DuraPowerCum trucks with aftermarket compound turbos?

      1. Sjalabais Avatar

        Oh, I don’t think it’s the lack of Testosterony2000Ultimate engines, it’s more an issue of oh, look a waterfall – there are probably hundreds on my commute – and continental Europeans being used to straight-ish, wide roads, not the twisting, narrow Norwegian version. They’re also not used to the Norwegian custom to stop and let traffic pass really rather quick, so you get these looong lines that are impossible to pass on winding roads.

      2. Idaneck Avatar

        My GX460 pulls our trailer nicely and I end up passing those bigger trucks that are from out of state. I always try to maintain the speed limit on 2-lane highways, and pull over if more than 2 cars are behind me. Maybe I’m the exception, but you can tell who is used to towing in the mountains and who isn’t.

  4. salguod Avatar

    My idea of camping comes from what I did as a kid and we did with our kids – drive / tow a camper to a campground and use that as a base for going to sightseeing points around that area. In that mode, any camper that is also your transportation is a pain. Every sightseeing jaunt means packing up your house so you can go. As a kid, we borrowed grandpa’s class C and we had to pack everything up, disconnect and drive this bus to the destination. Then, after a long tiring day, we had to re-level and reconnect.

    With our kids, we did it with a pop-up trailer so it was much easier – close up the trailer, get in the SUV and go.

    With that perspective, a roof tent seems like a terrible idea. But, as I suspect yours do, if your plans include heading to a camp site and staying put, it’s a pretty nice light weight, compact solution.

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