The American RV market has plenty of prohibitively expensive Ford-based RVs, from EarthRoamers’ $2 million EarthRoamers to $135,000 Loki Basecamp, so it’s always nice to find one that’s truly affordable. The Ford Maverick is a natural place to start, as the least expensive pickup truck in the US, but its small 5-foot (1.4m) bed doesn’t play well with an aftermarket based on 5- 8ft (1.5 to 2.4m beds). It took a purpose-built Maverick design by the good Montanans of Go Fast Campers to make the Maverick camper a reality. Since GFC offers one of the most affordable RV solutions around, the resulting pop-top truck becomes the most affordable brand-new RV pickup in the US…for those who can define an elusive Maverick.
Go Fast Campers already offers its Platform Camper for the American full-size and mid-size truck range, and the lightweight aluminum space frame design is a natural for the Maverick’s limited 1,500 lb (680 kg) payload. As built for the Maverick’s smaller bed, the Platform Camper also weighs less than usual, coming in at 255 lbs (116 kg) stock. That leaves plenty of payload for truck upgrades and accessories, camping and sporting gear, and most of all… family and friends who go camping.
The Maverick Platform Camper features GFC’s proven formula of space aluminum frame, billet components, embassy hinges, modular bed platform, translucent roof and T-track. The floorless topper attaches to the bed side walls of the pickups and uses a manually raised pop-top to transform the truck bed into a simple RV interior with enough headroom for everyone shorter than a very tall NBA center.
The bed platform folds down to free up headroom during the day, lowering at night to support a 50 x 90 inch (127 x 229 cm) multi-pillow mattress. It’s a very comfortable night’s sleep for a couple and likely enough to fit a small child or two, making for a viable lightweight motorhome for a young family when paired with the five-seater Maverick.
And what about that low price? The Ford Maverick is easily the least expensive pickup truck in the US, and the base 2023 Maverick XL with 2.5-liter hybrid powertrain starts at $23,690 after destination. The Maverick-spec GFC Platform Camper costs $7,770, so the price before options of a brand new 2023 Maverick and Platform Camper right out of the factory is $31,460, cheaper than many regular passenger vehicles.
The Maverick GFC will also save the pumps money. RVs are notorious for poor fuel economy, cutting into the already low mpg numbers of their basic rigs/truck trailers or large vans with loads of added weight and aerodynamic-decreasing footprint.
The base Maverick hybrid boasts an impressive 37 EPA-estimated mpg (6.4 L/100 km) combined, and GFC says its RV will have little effect on that fuel economy. The weight of the RV is no more than a couple of passengers, and GFC does its best to keep the cab roof only 6.5 inches (16.5 cm) above the height of the Maverick’s rooftop antenna.
Those looking for more of an off-road camper can upgrade to Ford’s 2.0-liter turbocharged all-wheel drive for $2,220. That comes with fuel economy dropping to a combined EPA-listed 25 mpg (9.4 L/100 km), still good for a pickup truck.
Buyers can further ruggedize the truck for off-roading by upgrading to the $25,950 XLT or $31,675 Lariat trim, which opens up the option of an Advanced 4WD package and an $800 FX4 package with off-road tires, skid plates, hitches, front towing, hill descent control, enhanced engine cooling and more. This is the package used by GFC for its original development truck.
An additional $2,995 will upgrade the buyer to a Tremor, which includes the Advanced 4WD system with diff-lock, Trail Control system, off-road suspension with lift, trailer hitch receiver, and more. The Tremor also provides the choice of an XLT or Lariat.
The bad news… Ford closed the order books on the 2022 Maverick earlier this year due to high demand, and just one week after the MY2023 Maverick opened in mid-September, headlines on closed order books they have started to appear again.
So the hardest part of owning this particular budget RV might not be the RV itself, but the truck it rides in. But for those who own a Maverick, have one on order, or are able to find one to buy, it promises to be a remarkably compact, economical and efficient camping vehicle. And maybe Ford will be able to start building enough trucks to meet demand sometime before year-over-year Maverick prices climb to less affordable levels.
For those looking for something even more efficient (but certainly not that affordable), GFC recently also showed a Platform Camper installed on a Ford F-150 Lightning. Unlike the Maverick, the Lightning features a standard 5.5 ft (1.7 m) pickup box and shared dimensions with the F-150 ICE, so it did not require a downsized Platform Camper.
Source: Go Fast Campers
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