Velox Offroad Gullwings on a 5th Gen 4Runner
Gullwings seem to be a controversial topic; you either love them or hate them. I have a controversial relationship with my rear bumper! I love my Trailgater tailgate at lunch stops and at camp. I hate opening the tailgate when it’s holding over 80 pounds of water to grab a small item from the back. Since I have carseats in the rear; I don’t have the convenience of easy access from the rear seats.
I’ve been dreaming of a gullwing forever; solely to keep airing up/down gear and recovery gear easily accessible when I’m trying to hit the road fast or when I’m stuck in a precarious spot. When Velox Offroad came out with their gullwings; I jumped on the opportunity to pick one up.
I was given an install link ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mpuzTqs_dWE ) which showed “step 1” is to throw something heavy through the window and shatter it. Then the video said this was a joke and actual instructions will be provided later. I researched how to remove the glass panel as it’s held on solely by adhesive. I tried all the methods; fishing line, pushing the glass, and using a knife. I realized quickly that these methods are going to take hours. So I decided to break the glass instead. I used blankets on the inside and outside to catch all the glass.
I then used a hammer to break as much of the remaining glass as possible to expose the adhesive.
I was then able to use a utility knife to cut out most of the adhesive.
Afterwards I used a heat gun and a razor blade to remove the remaining adhesive. If done in this order, I would say the whole process took 15 minutes plus about 5 minutes of cleanup time.
The rest of the Gullwing install I was able to complete in about 60 minutes following the instructional video provided by Velox Offroad; but if I had a second person helping align the wing, I believe the install time would have been knocked down by 15 minutes. Then the mole panel took an additional 20 minutes to install. Overall the install was not difficult but took some unexpected commitment.
Quality and Use
The product performs exactly as expected. The quality is outstanding and very thought out. The mole panel has a shelf at the bottom so if you throw things in there; they are going to stay in place. I was able to get more than I expected inside the storage area: 30 foot Kinetic rope, all my air down tools, and my soft shackles.
The gullwing appears to be very watertight. I sprayed it with a hose and no water was able to get through. We don’t get enough rain in Southern California for me to really put it through the test.
Honestly, there are no real issues. I was a bit concerned that the hinge would eventually develop a squeak and there are no zirks to grease them. But I was informed (and confirmed) that there is a small gap in the hinge which will allow me to grease the mechanism. Only time will tell on this. The powder-coating is not the color I would have chosen. It appears to be a matte black which will most likely develop visible pin-striping (to match my wrap). But I may eventually powder coat it in a more textured black (BK59) as that seems to hold up better to pin-striping.
It is also important to note that if you overstuff the gullwing it will bend and allow water through it.
Who needs a Gullwing?
You have a full rear bumper which is a pain to access.
You have no organized location for minor necessities on the trail.
You spend too much time looking for these items at quick stops or breaks.
Would I Buy Again?
I was worried about the quality and if the cost is justified for this type of convenient access to storage. After installed and tested; I am extremely satisfied with my purchase and plan to order an additional gullwing for my passenger side!