Step by Step Installation of the GFC (Go Fast Campers) RTT on a 5th Gen 4Runner
If you have some assistance, installing the GFC (Go Fast Campers) RTT (Roof Top Tent) is simple.
The biggest question for this installation is how you get that RTT on top of the 4Runner.
All you need is a few hours or even less depending on the 5th Gen year you have.
Either you have a 2014 – 2015 4Runner or a 2016 – 2020 4Runner. The 2016 – 2020 is an easier install because of the Shark Fin antenna. I am not 100% sure about the 2010 – 2013 4Runner shark fin install. That is a good question for GFC.
There are two types of installs here:
- 2014 – 2015: Manually remove shark fin
- 2016 – 2020: Cut shark fin off
When you are installing the GFC RTT, you will need to remove the shark fin antenna so that it doesn’t interfere with the base.
Once you have removed the shark fin antenna on either year ranges, you will replace the antenna with a provided GFC RTT plastic cap.
For our installation, we are showing a 2014 – 2015 4Runner in which we manually removed the shark fin antenna but I will leave some notes on how the 2016 – 2020 installation works as well.
GFC RTT Installation
There are two parts to this install. The first half of the install is removing the shark fin and the second half is installing the tent. If you have a 2014 – 2015, you need to pull down the headliner to loosen the shark fin nut in order to reinstall the GFC laser-cut cover on the roof. If you have a 2016 – 2020+ 4Runner, you simply cut the fin off and then install the cover.
For removing the shark fin on the 2016 – 2020, reference this install guide.
Once you replace the shark fin with the provided cover, you can install the GFC (5th Gen 4Runner specific) rooftop mounting brackets. Finally, you can then lift the tent onto the 4Runner finally securing it in place.
The process is very simple, the 2014 – 2015 install just takes a little longer.
Tools for Installation
- Socket Set (standard and metric) + Small Phillips screwdriver
- 3/16 and 1/4 Allen Keys
- Oscillating saw or Dremel
- Razor Blade
- Plastic Pry Tools
- Butyl Seal Tape or preferred sealant
- Inch pound torque wrench and an ft-lb torque wrench
- 2016 – 2020 Shark Fin Removal
Remove Shark Fin Antenna (2014 – 2015 4Runner)
Start by removing any MOLLE panels or rear cargo covers that may prevent access to the D pillars of the 4Runner. It helps to remove everything from your cargo area so you free up some space to move around.
Remove D-pillar Plastics & Coat Hook Bolts
Start by pulling back both D pillar plastics and set to the side. You will need to slightly pop-out or loosen the lower side-wall plastics to allow more of the headliner to come down. Finally, remove the coat hook bolts and plastic hook on the headliner.
Remove Headliner Push Clips
Using a plastic pry tool with teeth, you can pop the three headliner tabs in the rear of the 4Runner. This will allow you to pull straight down on the headliner and gain access to the shark fin lock nut. Also, remove the two main headliner push clips that sit above the cargo area. You should be removing 5 headliner push tabs. This will help to pull the headliner down without compromising the rigid structure.
Locate Headliner Shark Fin Nut
Locate the Sharkfin lock nut. You can find it by pulling down on the headliner from the back. Just make sure you have removed plenty of push clips as to not crease or break the rigid headliner.
Loosen shark fin lock nut
Loosen shark fin lock nut, then unclip the radio electrical clip. Once the lock nut has been removed, the assembly will be loose and you can take off the shark fin from the top of the roof. Proceed to pull the fin up and away from the roof.
Assemble the 3D printed shark-fin
Once removed, take the shark fin assembly and place the supplied 3D printed shark-fin replacement on top fastening the two together.
Go Fast Campers 3D printed shark-fin
Replace the new assembly back in place on top of the 4Runner’s roof, and then secure the assembly in place using the shark fin lock nut on the inside of the headliner.
Replace the headliner push clips and then the plastics on the D pillars. You should be all wrapped up with replacing the shark fin antenna.
GFC RTT Mounting Options?
GFC ships a universal hardware kit for their rooftop tent so you have a couple of options.
The most common for the 5th Gen is going to be their 5th Gen specific mounting bracket. You can mount the GFC RTT straight to the factory mounting points using this 5th Gen 4Runner mounting bracket. Using the factory roof rack hardware, you can secure the bracket into place. It’s simple, easy, solid, and does not require drilling.
Another option is to use their universal mounting hardware. These would be used for something like Yakima crossbars or something similar.
The factory crossbars on the 4Runner probably aren’t strong enough if you were considering them. I would look into something a little more robust that is rated for at least 300 dynamic (moving) pounds and 600 static (stationary) pounds.
You will need to remove the factory crossbars from the 4Runner before starting this install. You can reference this article for removing the factory 4Runner rack. Clean the surface area underneath the mounting points while you are there.
GFC RTT Installation Instructions
From left to right:
- Universal Mounting Kit
- Outrigger T-Nuts and Bolts
- Outrigger Blocks & Bolts
- Standoff Blocks – Use factory OE hardware
If you are installing the GFC on the 5th Gen, you are more than likely using their hardware kit and bracket. For this, you will need the Outrigger T-Nuts, Outrigger Blocks, and Standoff Blocks. If you are installing the GFC on Yakima, Thule, or other crossbars, you will need the Universal Mounting Brackets.
Place Standoff Blocks into Place
Place Standoff Blocks into Place. The original instructions called for Butyl Seal Tape. We didn’t have any on hand, so we moved on with our install. If you are reading this beforehand, you might want to buy some.
Use Factory Roof Rack Hardware for GFC RTT Brackets
Using the factory roof rack hardware, install the provided 5th Gen 4Runner brackets from GFC onto the roof. There is no drilling. Apply the provided Loctite thread locker on the factory bolts and simply mount the brackets into place.
GFC RTT Brackets Installed
Here is a look at the brackets after they are installed. For reference, you can see the orientation of the standoff blocks and the bracket. Make sure you hand tighten the 12mm roof rack bolts into the brackets.
Lift the GFC RTT Onto Brackets
Lifting the tent on the 4Runner is simple. Grab a couple of friends and lift it into place and on top of the brackets.
Install Outrigger Blocks
The outrigger blocks connect the roof bracket to the RTT. The outrigger blocks act as a middle man for these two.
Thread T-Nuts to Outrigger Blocks
Start by loosely threading the T-nuts to the outrigger blocks. You can do this on all four mounting points. As you tighten the nuts into place, they will spin and lock into place.
Thread Nuts from Roof Rack Bracket into Outrigger Blocks
Continue to loosely thread the outrigger blocks to the brackets using the 5/16-18 cad plated washers and bolts.
You still want everything loosely connected for the last portion of the install.
Test Rear Liftgate Clearance
Slide the GFC RTT platform forward or backward until you are even on both sides. You want to clear is your rear liftgate and ladder if you have one. Then make sure both sides are exactly the same distance from the marked point. We used the outside edge of the RTT and edge of the body at the liftgate (while up).
Once the measurements are consistent on both sides, start to secure the tent in place.
It might help to tighten everything down to about 90% and then move the RTT if needed before you finally secure the RTT to the brackets.
Does it fit in the Garage?
YES! So stoked.
I was not sure if it was going to fit in the garage but it does. This was one of the main reasons I was so excited to run this tent.
The fact that it can fit in my garage is a huge plus because I have everything going against me.
I have a small garage, a 4.5″ lift, and the 4Runner sits on 34″ (285/75R17 – 33.8) tires. After all of that, it still fits with almost 2″ of clearance to go. Next up is 35″ tires so we will see how that pans out. But, for the most part, anyone running a 3″ lift with 33″ tires and a normal garage should have plenty of clearance.
GFC RTT Garage Height Specs
- GFC RTT Height: 6″
- GFC RTT Height W/ Bracket: 7.75″
- GFC RTT Height to Ground: 81.25″
- Garage Height: 82.75″
GFC RTT General Specs:
- 100% Made in the USA
- 6″ thick when closed
- Weighs 135 lbs
- 50″ x 90″ sleeping footprint
- 2″ Multi-density mattress
An Ultra-Thin, Slim and Low Profile Roof Top Tent
The GFC RTT is currently one of the lowest profile RTTs on the market, which is again, why I was most excited about running it. I am able to successfully garage my white 4Runner, keeping it safe from the elements, while I can daily the MGM 4Runner.
This low profile rooftop tent allows me to keep everything together, meaning I don’t need to separate the RTT from my 4Runner and then store the tent somewhere.
That is what I was dreading most about rooftop tents on the market. First of all, I don’t have room to store anything. As you can see, my garage is tight how it is. Having a low profile rooftop tent like this is so important for people with a low hanging garage and limited storage space.
For a compact and slim rooftop tent, you arent going to find many other options out there. Especially rooftop tents made exactly for the 5th Gen 4Runner. This RTT was literally designed for the 5th Gen 4Runner. Sure it can fit other platforms but it suits our 4Runner quite well.
There have been some clamshell copies on the market but none have really shown industry progress. After GFC launched their camper and then this RTT, they have really held their own at the forefront of the low profile sleeping platforms, and this design in particular.
What I also love about GFC as a company is that their team is super innovative like RIGd Supply. They just keep creating new additions, brackets and modular systems to their already stunning lineup of products.
These newer more innovative companies like GFC and RIGd are faster to move and release products while some of the bigger guys like Front Runner can take 1-3 years to release new products.
That continued innovation and market adaptation is a really big reason why I like GFCs rooftop tent for our 4Runner.
I will follow up with a detailed look inside and also go over using the GFC RTT. And then lastly, I will follow up with a final review of the tent.