Had to remove the topper for some really annoying reason and get some body work done on the cab…
Anyways taking it off was 4 bolts, few wires… But then holy shit the weather stripping was stuck on like glue and it took hammering wedges in between the bedrail and the GFC frame while someone laid in the truck pushing up with their legs… It finally came off.
To remove it we lifted it in place and slid some 2x4s through and took 4 people one on each end of each board to carry it off the truck. This thing is surprisingly heavy…
Anyways, I already got replacement weatherstrip and everything… but how the heck do you get this thing back on the truck without damaging the new weatherstripping?
Anyone reinstalled their gfc at home? Tips or tricks?
I just put mine on solo by getting in the bed and pushing up with my shoulders. I only had to slide it from a buddy’s truck but it worked ok. I am not worrying about my weather stripping for now because there are so many other leaks it is kinda a moot point.
But anyways, maybe if you have a few people push up from inside you can lift it up without touching the bottom and quickly put on the weatherstripping? My other thought would be to open the panels and stick the 2x4s through and lift off the upper frame, but not sure if that would work out.
Funny enough, my dealer just moved my top from my old Raptor to my new one yesterday. I just got my camper in June, so I left the weatherstripping alone on the camper. I had ordered new, but when they pulled the top, it was stuck to the bottom of the camper already. Didn’t want to mess with it, as it was pretty much new.
@jedgar you just rawdogging it without any rubber between the truck and GFC? Forget the seals - that sounds like it would be noisy!
@d.shaw weatherstripping has glue on the bottom side - did you place these strips in advance or wait until you had the camper positioned and then carefully place them so they stuck only where you wanted them to?
I did leave my original weather stripping on the truck when i sent it in to the shop. hoping they dont take that off and i can use some tape or something to get the new stuff in the same location… then it’s more a matter of putting the camper back where it came from if i can figure out a way to get it over the new rubber. Otherwise - seems like getting the camper placed first then lifting and inserting the weatherstrip would be the best most. I think I would still pre-adhere the cab side rubber as that is not accessible from the outside…
Mine was installed with just some thin foam stuck on the bottom instead of the bulb seal. Not sure why. I have a new bulb seal to reinstall with. I am going to glue it to the camper rather than the bed rails which makes way more sense to me.
As far as noise the bed rail welds failing due to some spirited driving makes way more noise. I need to build a structure for the camper to attach too that is not the bed rails alone.
I also think it would be easier to install the bulb seal to the GFC frame and then place the whole thing down on the truck and be able to move it around a bit. that’s what i am thinking i will do unless an obvious reason not to becomes apparent. the whole thing gets so smashed over time that it hardly seems to matter and I would imagine an EDPM strip of any kind would work as well as a bulb seal anyways.
will keep people posted - hopefully they get me my truck back soon. sure the neighbors dont love the giant blue tarped object on saw horses in my street parking… hahaha
I see where you and @jedgar are coming from here, but just some things to keep in mind from our experiences in the install bay.
It’s not the safest to be under an elevated camper. While no injuries were sustained, even professional rigging can fail. We’ve since upgraded considerably and toss on a hard hat if absolutely necessary.
Proper alignment might seem easy, but getting the bulb to lay perfectly straight on the frame is a task. Add glue, and that becomes a bit more difficult.
If it’s not dead center, it looks wonky once compressed against the bed rails.
I’d imagine it could be a similarly frustrating removal process in the future, or worse depending on glue used, but we’re all capable here and this might be smooth for ya. Good luck either way and feel free to reach out if questions pop up.
@GFC_Thayne - Appreciate it! Honestly, any tips are appreciated. The guidance from GFC has been “get a few friends and go for it” but that’s not really advice or a how-to. I want to make sure we get it back on as well as possible, bought a replacement seal (the glue I talk about is the bulb seal adhesive, not an additional glue), and while I would always much prefer to have a pro do things it simply isn’t possible being in Seattle.
Being underneath it would be limited to when it is already sitting on the bed rails of the truck - then just lifting it one side at a time by a couple inches and putting on the bulb seal, but because I have the GFC installed seals STILL on the bed rails, I would likely want to try to replace those with new ones in the exact same locations with the canopy OFF the truck, then return it to the truck to fit the seals that were installed by y’all… the issue is that while you use a gantry and suspend the canopy over the truck, I don’t have anything like that available to use so have to carry it in on 2x4s and then try to slide them out of the way and get the camper correctly positioned without damaging that bulb seal.
As for putting the bulb seal on the frame of the canopy instead of the bed rail, that’s only an idea but if the bottom of the camper frame isn’t flat, it would be more difficult to do well.
Unfortunately, without a gantry or professionals in the mix, it’s certainly a “me and the homies” type job. Hopefully no one misses too many leg days. While we nail it on the first try pretty often, the team generally has a few micro adjustments from front to back. Lifting the camper just enough to move/ push the bulb seal into the right spot should get your alignment right, it just takes some patience.
And you’re right, it’s difficult dealing with that curve and having it look right once compressed.
@GFC-Thayne Mine was installed with foam that is stuck to the camper and no bulb seal at all. It wasn’t straight on the truck or lined up with the foam so it was sticking out random spots. In addition the front two bed clamps were only clamping the plastic bedrail and not the metal underneath. Think I should be able to get it better than new pretty darn easily.
@jedgar - Sorry to hear that, buddy. Your new bulb seal was sent under warranty though, correct? You might have been installed during a very temporary supply issue with the double bulb seal, and foam was the next best option. Not as ideal as the bulb seal, but good to hear the team took care of you for a proper setup.
Once on, you’ll find that adjustments are pretty smooth, and a few center to center measurements from the frame front to back can be helpful prior to placing the camper back down.
No I purchased a new bulb seal. I assumed you guys had just switched to foam at some point. I should have reached out to check if it was normal. I’ll submit a service request form to check on the clamps possibly being wrong as well. Thanks!
I put mine on first with no seal, lined everything up and put marks with a silver sharpie on the rails. Then lifted one side put down stripping, then the other and then the front. Worked well for me to get everything lined up and seal in the right place.
replaced the cab side seal while everything was off the truck. reinstalled the GFC without the side seals and lined it up to the cab seal and bolted all 4 anchors down. bolting it down aligned it more or less where it should be. a little fine tuning and it was good to go.
had to wait for it to not be raining to do the side seals. replacing the 2 anchor bolts on just one side at a time, i used some shims and a flat bar to lift the frame of the gfc and slid in a 3/4" piece of wood. repeated on both front and rear so the entire side was off the bed rail. used a heat gun to dry the bed rail, started the seal, put shims in on top of the installed seal and removed block 1. kept running seal until reaching block 2, added shims behind it on top of seal, and removed block. finished seal install and then pulled out the shims. bolted down that side and unbolted other side - repeated everything. solo took me about an hour all in.
there’s a bit of a trick to the GFC anchors. I ended up loosening the nut and bolt that attaches the upper and lower portion so I could line up the lower portion in a way that when i tightened the upper and lower back together it would add pressure to the weather seal.