Feature Friday: 8 Unique Rooftop Tent (RTT) Setups For The 5th Gen 4Runner

Rooftop Tent (RTT) on 5th Gen Toyota 4Runner

For The Ultimate In Outdoor Camping, Checking Out These 8 Rooftop Tent Options on 5th Gen Toyota 4Runners – Car Camping Inspiration for 2022

This Week’s Topic: Roof Top Tent Setups

Welcome back to another Feature Friday! If you missed last week’s FF, we showcased some awesome “OG” Army Green TRD Pro 4Runners that you should definitely check out!

This week, we are taking a look at some rooftop tent (RTT) setups from 8 different owners to help you gain some inspiration if you’re in the market for one, or even just curious to explore the tent space. With the weather warming up and summer  upon us, camping/wheeling season is in full swing.

Below you will find real life owners’ experiences with and opinions on their RTT setups. If you need some more information on choosing a tent for your 4Runner, you can also take a look at our RTT buyer’s guide for the 5th Gen 4Runner to aid in your decision. This article covers some key topics to consider prior to purchasing an RTT, such as manufacturing differences, weight impact, maintenance, mounting applications, and more.

Benefits Of Having A Rooftop Tent

Magnetic Grey 5th Gen 4Runner with CVT RTT

The decision to add a rooftop tent (RTT) to your rig is not an easy one for most. These tents, aside from wheel/tire/suspension combos, are a very significant and expensive upgrade.

With tents ranging from $1,000-$5,000, it makes you think twice about their worth and utility. For many, it’s worth every penny. For others, a cheap Walmart tent and cot will do just fine. However, if you want to take your overland setup to the next level, consider two of the benefits of upgrading to an RTT.

Sleeping Above The Elements

By having your tent on the roof of your 4Runner, you are up and out of the way from potential predators and critters down below. Often times we camp in very remote areas and the last thing you want is to meet something small and potentially poisonous when you are miles from civilization. This applies to larger predators as well; like bears, coyotes, and mountain lions. Being up off the ground is ideal, in my opinion, for remote camping. While not a be all end all alternative to ground tents, it’s plain to see some separation from the ground is better than none.

Some may say that sleeping in the 4Runner would suffice, which is a great segue into my next point.

Saving Valuable Interior Space

I’m an individual that likes to sleep inside my vehicle. I don’t have big storage bins or a bunch of things that would limit my space inside my 4Runner to sleep in it if needed. This may not be the case for everyone, however. Having a rooftop tent allows you to move much of your sleeping gear to your tent/roof, allowing for more storage in the 4Runner’s limited cargo space.

Even if you have spare room inside your 4Runner to sleep, the space is nowhere near that of a RTT. Most of the RTT setups you’ll find below are about the size of a full/queen size bed – talk about camping in luxury!

There are several other benefits, major and minor, that the owners below point out about their specific platforms, so let’s check them out!

1. Crystal Stegman (@pnwt4rgal) – Alu-Cab

Alu-Cab Rooftop Tent on Red 5th Gen 4Runner

RTT Details

  • Model: Gen 3.0 Hard Shell
  • Weight: 196lbs
  • Price: ~$4,000

What Do You Like About Your Setup?

I have an Alu-Cab 3.0 hardshell rooftop tent. It is an aluminum hard shell tent that retails for around $4,000. I replaced the original foam mattress with an Exped Megamat Duo for additional comfort. I have also replaced my original ladder with a CVT telescoping ladder. The 3.1 Alu-Cab models now come with a telescoping ladder and a handful of additional features that my 3.0 does not have.

When building my rig, my primary concern was to be able to operate everything independently. Because of this, most flip-out RTTs were out of the picture. I’m pint-sized and I couldn’t reach the ladder on most to be able to flip it out by myself. I love that the Alu-Cab is both up and down in mere seconds, minutes if I take my time.

It fits the new mattress great, blocks most wind, and keeps me dry. Being on the shorter side, I can also stand up in the tall section of the tent which is great for things like clothing changes without the usage of an annex. I’m also able to keep all my bedding material in the tent which is also a nice bonus feature.

2. Eric Jackson (@gen5t4r_eric) – Unknown Manufacturer

White 5th Gen SR5 4runner Overland Camping Setup with RTT

RTT Details

  • Model: Unknown (no branding, likely a Chinese wholesale product)
  • Price: $1,000 (used)
  • Features: Motorized Opening & Closing + Internal Storage

What Do You Like About Your Setup?

The primary thing I like about this RTT is the motorized opening and closing. I just plug in the 12V power, hit the switch, and the tent opens and closes while I attend to other things. In addition, I also like the load-bearing roof rails. Even though they are not as long as what is being offered on the market right now, they are the perfect size for a 100W solar panel that I utilize to charge my rig while it’s parked (I run my fridge directly to the car battery and the fridge is on 24/7).

Finally, I like the hooks and loops on the ceiling. I’ve run a 33ft LED string light around the entire ceiling for permanent tent illumination. Overall, I am extremely satisfied with my (relatively) cheap RTT, as none of the current offerings on the market feature motorized operation.

3. Dustin Bray (@overland.rnr) – Ironman 4×4 

5th Gen 4Runner with Ironman 4X4 Swift 1400 Hard Shell Rooftop Tent

RTT Details

  • Model: Swift 1400 Hard Shell
  • Weight: 215lbs
  • Price: ~$1,400

What Do You Like About Your Setup?

What I like most about this tent is that it’s super comfortable while being incredibly robust. I’m 6’4” and the tent is 7’ long, so there is plenty of room to sleep despite its compact size. I love the fact that it also has the option to have a rack on top of the tent for lighter recovery gear.

4. Tiffany Legree (@tzlouise) – Free Spirit Recreation

Army Green 4Runner with Free Spirit Recreation 49" Odyssey Series Silver Top

RTT Details

  • Model: 49″ Odyssey Series Silver Top
  • Weight: 134lbs
  • Price: ~$2,399

What Do You Like About Your Setup?

One of my favorite things about this tent is its low-profile design. It makes clearing the parking garage at work possible. I also love the ease of setup and breakdown, which makes camping a breeze. The gas strut assists for set up in seconds. Lastly, the big windows make enjoying the outdoors from the comfort of my tent a great experience. The tent comes with FreeSpirit Recreation tri-layer fabric that makes multi-season camping comfortable. It also has integrated LED inside for lighting, so cool!

Photo cred: @pnwt4rgal

5. Stewart Green (@trikerastops) – Alu-Cab

5th Gen 4Runner TRD Pro with Alu-Cab Expedition Gen 3.0 RTT

RTT Details

  • Model: Expedition Gen 3.0 (3.1 Available Now)
  • Weight: 196lbs
  • Price: ~$4,199

What Do You Like About Your Setup?

The number one benefit of my RTT is the ability to store bedding, pillows, and a ladder inside it with room to spare. The built-in roof rack for lightweight stuff is awesome. I’ve had 4″+ of snow and skis on it and it stays open. The tent is pitch black inside when fully zipped up. It’s very airtight, however, that can cause a problem with more than two adults breathing all night while zipped up. For miscellaneous small issues like latches, paint, and seals, the Alu-Cab support (OK4WD in the US for me) is second to none. Outgear Solutions has some great low pro mounts that fit Alu-Cab bars as well.

6. Rod Rosine (@drksd_4rn) – CVT

4Runner with CVT RTT Mt. Hood (Double Channel) Small 50

RTT Details

  • Model: Mt. Hood (Double Channel) Small 50”
  • Weight: 165lbs
  • Price: ~$3,295

What Do You Like About Your Setup?

Howdy, ya’ll! The best thing I like about the Mt. Hood RTT is that it sets up in under a minute. This easy setup gives you more time to enjoy a nice cold beer.

Another thing that I like is having the high ground vs. sleeping on the floor with all the critters of the night. Being off the ground and up high also has other perks like better views, being off the cold floor, and peace of mind from any potential predators.

The tent also has outside t-channels around the perimeter that attaches a multitude of accessories which is nice. 

7. Vik Majoulian (@olie4x4) – Camp King Industries

Camp King Industries RTT on 5th Gen 4Runner

RTT Details

  • Model: Hardshell
  • Weight: 198lbs
  • Price: $5,000+

What Do You Like About Your Setup?

For me, a few criteria were highly important in my choice for this tent.

One was having the ability to store bedding and extra clothes while on the go. This helps to leave space in the truck for other equipment. The second was a quick setup along with the smaller footprint so that I can deploy it anywhere the truck can fit. Additionally, the canvas needed to be thick to help keep noise and light out.

Finally, living in a foggy city means that I need to keep moisture out at all costs. This tent delivers with its full top/bottom aluminum shell along with a quality rubber seal.

8. Conner Frost (@connerfrosty) – Roofnest

Roofnest Falcon XL on White 5th Gen 4Runner

RTT Details

  • Model: Falcon XL w/ Exped Mega Mat Duo LW
  • Weight: 175lbs
  • Price: ~$3,795

What Do You Like About Your Setup?

What I like about my 4Runner and tent is how quick the setup is for camping and being able to explore the backcountry while knowing that I won’t get stranded.

I also like how the low-profile awning mounts allow the awning to fit perfectly under the tent. The Falcon XL is great for storing gear like surfboards on top with its adjustable crossbars. I also highly recommend upgrading to an inflatable backpacking style mattress for the tent, so that you can store it in the tent at all times.

This is still a build in progress, but I feel that overall, I have all the essentials needed for a fun comfortable trip anywhere I go.

Final Thoughts

Alu-Cab Expedition Rooftop Tent on 5th Gen Toyota 4Runner

What a great group of rigs to showcase rooftop tents! As I mentioned in the intro, I am more of an in-car camper. However, if I had the coin for a RTT, I’d definitely pull the trigger on one for sure!

If you would like to be considered for next week’s Feature Friday, we will be showcasing ROOF RACKS. 

We want readers to get inspired by a variety of rigs/products. Submit your build for Feature Friday here to get featured. If you would like to submit your build for next week, include your setup details and an awesome photo that shows it off.

Have a great weekend everyone!

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