Outdoors

Go Fast puts a little Baja engineering into its pop-top pickup campers

Go Fast puts a little Baja eng...
Go Fast Campers will start at $5,000
Go Fast Campers will start at $5,000
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With its low weight and tough, race-inspired build, the Go Fast Camper is designed for fast, bumpy rides to and out of camp
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With its low weight and tough, race-inspired build, the Go Fast Camper is designed for fast, bumpy rides to and out of camp
Go Fast is still working on its prototyping and testing and intends to begin deliveries next May
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Go Fast is still working on its prototyping and testing and intends to begin deliveries next May
Having some fun in the mountains with a Go Fast Camper-topped truck
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Having some fun in the mountains with a Go Fast Camper-topped truck
The Go Fast brings a unique design to the pickup camper market
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The Go Fast brings a unique design to the pickup camper market
The Go Fast is designed to sleep two adults at the campsite of their choice
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The Go Fast is designed to sleep two adults at the campsite of their choice
With a pickup truck as its base, the Go Fast is free to wander rough roads
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With a pickup truck as its base, the Go Fast is free to wander rough roads
Go Fast Campers will start at $5,000
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Go Fast Campers will start at $5,000
Speeding along with the Go Fast Camper
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Speeding along with the Go Fast Camper
The Go Fast Camper
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The Go Fast Camper
The Go Fast Camper
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The Go Fast Camper
Go Fast works on the available aluminum sides
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Go Fast works on the available aluminum sides
With the two square end cushions, the Go Fast bed provides a personal exit for each sleeper
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With the two square end cushions, the Go Fast bed provides a personal exit for each sleeper
The removable bed panels can create a couch in the pickup bed
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The removable bed panels can create a couch in the pickup bed
Full bed laid out
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Full bed laid out
A look inside the Go Fast Camper
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A look inside the Go Fast Camper
AeroContinental, one of the companies behind Go Fast Campers, shows one of its custom expedition vehicle builds at Overland Expo West 2017
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AeroContinental, one of the companies behind Go Fast Campers, shows one of its custom expedition vehicle builds at Overland Expo West 2017
We especially like the skateboard on back AeroContinental's off-road motorhome
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We especially like the skateboard on back AeroContinental's off-road motorhome
AeroContinental brings experience building off-road shelters like this, and Hondo Garage brings experience engineering and manufacturing smaller parts
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AeroContinental brings experience building off-road shelters like this, and Hondo Garage brings experience engineering and manufacturing smaller parts
A closer look at the Go Fast space frame and pop-top
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A closer look at the Go Fast space frame and pop-top
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A different kind of pickup camper for a different breed of adventurer, the all-new Go Fast pop-up is built for drivers who see dirt roads as more than just the way to the campground. Using race-inspired space frame technology and lightweight materials, this camper is built to feel barely there during the ride while providing a comfortable night's sleep at camp. Drop one in your pickup bed and enjoy everything from fast, furious 4x4ing to slower, quieter truck camping.

The minds behind the Go Fast Camper found the market lacking an off-road camping solution built light and tough enough for fast, dust-spitting off-roading. So they looked to the world of desert racing and designed something for "going fast" without wearing down into a pile of tent canvas and structural components.

"If you're the kind of person who enjoys driving dirt roads, not just for the destination but for the bumps, the slides, the selection of a perfect line, then you know that the last thing you want to be thinking about is what those dirt roads are doing to a big heavy camper," the company declares on its website. "The campers we're building are designed to maximize the driving experience first and foremost. That said, we like to get a good night's sleep too. Hence our motto: drive fast, camp well."

With its low weight and tough, race-inspired build, the Go Fast Camper is designed for fast, bumpy rides to and out of camp
With its low weight and tough, race-inspired build, the Go Fast Camper is designed for fast, bumpy rides to and out of camp

To support the "drive fast, camp well" experience, Go Fast has borrowed from the world of desert buggies and trophy trucks in creating a fully welded steel space frame as a strong, durable set of bones that rides light and spry in back of the truck. The low-profile pop-up camper box that sits atop that frame features honeycomb composite roof and floor panels and aluminum hardware. The space frame can be clad with either aluminum or Sunbrella canvas.

The Go Fast camper weighs as little as 199 lb (90 kg), and while the company's claim of being the lightest pop-up tent camper on the market is subject to disputes from the likes of Leentu (100 lb/45 kg), the Go Fast is lighter than competitors like the AT Overland Tacoma Habitat (340 lb/154 kg) and of course much lighter than slide-in hard-shells like the EarthCruiser GZL. Go Fast has strived to keep weight down to ensure the best possible handling from the truck and its suspension system while also keeping gross vehicle weight open for other gear and cargo.

At camp, the Go Fast pops up in seconds with strut-assist hardware. Three floor panels fill in the empty space at the foot of the raised bed, creating a two-person bed designed for adults up to 6.6 ft (2 m) tall. Those three removable panels include a single full-width panel and two half-width end pieces that allow one sleeper to get up and climb down into the truck without disrupting his sleeping mate – theoretically, at least.

The bed cushions can also be used to create a bench down in the pickup bed or reconfigured to create a single-person sleeping layout. When not in use, they can be stowed away, keeping the interior open with up to 7.8 ft (2.4 m) of standing room.

A closer look at the Go Fast space frame and pop-top
A closer look at the Go Fast space frame and pop-top

Go Fast is a collaborative effort between two neighbors in a Bozeman, Montana industrial complex – AeroContinental, a company dedicated to a heavier duty form of off-road camper, and Hondo Garage, a similarly minded company specializing in smaller parts and accessories for trucks and motorcycles. The neighbors found some common ground on the idea, got the build rolling and founded Go Fast Campers.

Go Fast is currently preparing a production prototype for testing in the most logical (and fun) place to test a desert racing-inspired space frame – Baja. The production camper will be built in Bozeman to fit a variety of popular pickup trucks, including the Toyota Tacoma (1995 to 2018), the Chevy Colorado/GMC Canyon (2015 to 2018), and the Ford F-150 (2009 to 2018, 5.5- and 6-ft beds), and Go Fast is also considering adapting the platform to other trucks.

The Go Fast camper is available for pre-order now for a refundable US$500 down payment on the $5,000+ shipped price. Options will include roof rack bars, interior LED lighting, heating and more.

AeroContinental showed off its larger expedition vehicles at this year's Overland Expo West, and given that Go Fast plans to begin deliveries in May 2018, we're quite hopeful it'll be at next May's show with the production pop-up.

AeroContinental, one of the companies behind Go Fast Campers, shows one of its custom expedition vehicle builds at Overland Expo West 2017
AeroContinental, one of the companies behind Go Fast Campers, shows one of its custom expedition vehicle builds at Overland Expo West 2017

Go Fast's blog is an interesting read for further information about the company's Baja-inspired roots and more nuts and bolts on on the design and engineering.

Source: Go Fast Campers

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