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April 28, 2022 2 min read 3 Comments

You might have heard GFC kick around the term “vertical integration” a lot, but what does it mean? Well, it's a fancy way of describing the fact that GFC owns the majority of the manufacturing processes that go into producing a camper. From machining to sewing, we try to do everything we can internally. So what does this have to do with us removing the locking functionality from the upper tent assembly? More than you might think.

Shown is our previous GFC Plunger Lock.

(Above: Previous plunger locks.)

"This new latch is designed to hold the rear latch assembly down in extreme off-roading situations and keep the opening process simple and reliable."

We don’t just do our own manufacturing processes internally because we are trying to keep our costs down, it also allows for rapid micro innovations. While most other companies are shipping through parts stacked on pallets from third party domestic or international vendors, we are making just enough parts for a week or two worth of campers. This results in us being able to make small changes, usually sparked from an internal idea, but occasionally from customer feedback.

Spring Pins recently assembled by our Small Parts Team at GFC.

The locks are one of these micro innovations that we have recently made. The previous locking pins seen in the v2 walk-around video posed two issues to us that prompted their elimination. Firstly, we had a handful of customers experience the locks failing on them after getting clogged with dirt and debris from off-road use. Because we designed the camper for off-roading, this is of course not ideal. Secondly, they are no longer available as they were one of the components not made by us.

That opened the door for us to design a part we are referring to as the “Spring Pin”. This new latch is designed to hold the rear latch assembly down in extreme off-roading situations and keep the opening process simple and reliable. These new lathe turned parts are produced here in the Gallatin Valley too.

TL;DR: Our products change over time, we designed our company to allow for continued innovation and improvement. But that doesn’t mean that we won't have your back in that process. If you love your locking latches, keep running them and watch this video in the event you have them ever seize up on you. If you feel the need to make a change, you can always reach out to us via the service request form, and that goes for anyone who has a question about the use or maintenance of their camper.


3 Responses

GFC
GFC

May 10, 2022

Nolan, the spring pins function very similar to the plunger locks. You just pull out on the knob, so that the latch becomes free. Unfortunately, we do not have content on this product right now, but we are working on such.

Paul, we understand your sentiments about wanting the locking feature on the tent. However, we are not going to offer a product that we cannot stand behind. The spring pin is a superior product that costs 3 times more than the plunger lock. If you want to swap the spring pin for a lock, you can certainly buy a basic trailer hitch and make some minor tweaks to get such to work—if you have not already, I would recommend checking out the GFC forum for more information about this.

Nolan K
Nolan K

May 09, 2022

Would love to see them in action

Paul Krenz
Paul Krenz

May 09, 2022

The ability to lock the tent was very important to me. I live near Portland Oregon and my truck is parked outdoors. Have lost my cat converter not long ago. Crime is everywhere here. Without the tent lock the panel locks are not effective. My gear will be stolen with access through the removable bed panels. My camper is to be installed in June. All the locks were a big reason for my purchase. I want the tent locks that I ordered with the camper. Thanks, Paul

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