escpen

Truck Cap / Topper suggestions

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7 minutes ago, NonTypical said:

I had an ARE on my full size Dodge for 15 years. No complaints here. I did get the fold down window so that I could clean the rear window occasionally. 

Awesome, thank you!  I think I may opt for the fold down sliding window for both cleaning purposes (fold down) and ventilation (slider) when needed.

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Mine has the fold down window/slider.  I don't think I've ever opened it for ventilation OR cleaning.  I do use it to transport longer building materials for work occasionally though and wouldn't be without the option.

Edited by Lawdwaz

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1 hour ago, escpen said:Can you elaborate on this a bit further?  What don't you like about the rear hatch handle?  Does your cap have the single handle or the dual handle option?

Do you have a good feel for why sealing the rail beds to the cap is so difficult?  I wonder if there are things that I can request up front to prevent this from being an issue.

I know you were quoting Lawdwaz, but I'd figure I'd comment on my experience. I had the single handle on mine, with no real issues. 

When I purchased mine, the guy told me that he was going to double up the weatherstripping on the bed. He said it would help it seal better. He was right. I never had any leaks. 

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4 hours ago, escpen said:

Can you elaborate on this a bit further?  What don't you like about the rear hatch handle?  Does your cap have the single handle or the dual handle option?

Do you have a good feel for why sealing the rail beds to the cap is so difficult?  I wonder if there are things that I can request up front to prevent this from being an issue.

Single handle that has a fancy azz design that few can figure out the first time they try it.  Friends have darn near broken it but didn't.   It appears to be a sealed unit and has recently had a hunk come out of it.  The lock cylinder worked longer than any other cap I've owned, three years or maybe four??  Most of my old caps over the years would last a year to year and a half.......

If I get a chance and remember, I'll snap a picture of the handle. 

As far as the seals go, they can double them up all they want but most will leak anyway from my experience. :)

The glass around my rear hatch was leaking too but I sealed that with some good clear silicone.

Caps is caps, even the good ones are only OK after some time.


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I have had my pickup for 8 years love having a cover but thinking my next truck will have a cap. I like having the extra room under the cap and if I need to take it off I'll just throw some 2x4's under it and hoist it off in the garage. I think if I go the cap route I'll get it with built in roof rack so I can throw some bigger stuff up top.

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11 minutes ago, chas0218 said:

I have had my pickup for 8 years love having a cover but thinking my next truck will have a cap. I like having the extra room under the cap and if I need to take it off I'll just throw some 2x4's under it and hoist it off in the garage. I think if I go the cap route I'll get it with built in roof rack so I can throw some bigger stuff up top.

Great suggestion!  I already have a Yakima cargo box that we use on the family vehicle for vacations, etc.  It would be great to have cross bars installed so I can attach that cargo box when needed.  I think that will only be on rare occasions, but I do hope to make some trips out west for DIY public land hunting in the future.  Gear and supplies for a 2 week + trip for me and a buddy could take up quite a bit of space!

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Leer-locker-opened.jpg

1 hour ago, escpen said:

Great suggestion!  I already have a Yakima cargo box that we use on the family vehicle for vacations, etc.  It would be great to have cross bars installed so I can attach that cargo box when needed.  I think that will only be on rare occasions, but I do hope to make some trips out west for DIY public land hunting in the future.  Gear and supplies for a 2 week + trip for me and a buddy could take up quite a bit of space!

Go on the Leer and ARE websites and see what meets your fancy. I am planning on going Leer probably because they have the "Leer Locker" that mounts to the top of the cap so you have a lockable locker of stuff. Pretty neat idea for extra storage that isn't on the sides of the cap or in the bed.

Edited by chas0218

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As Buckmaster has already mentioned, if you are taking it on and off a lot, then and aluminum cap is a good idea, because it is a lot lighter.   Almost anyone can remove a 5-1/2 or 6-1/2 foot aluminum cap, using just one hand.   The downside is that aluminum caps are uglier (in my opinion), but looks don't matter to everyone.   My current cap is an 8 foot fiberglass model.  It is heavy, but with some difficulty I can move it from one truck to another by myself,  by backing them up to each other, getting under the center, lifting and then turning it around, and walking it onto the other truck.  Some variation of that with a raised rack and platform might work for do it yourself unloading from a single truck.  To take it of a truck and set it down on lower racks, I need a helper.   Since that is not always available, I made a set of wood fork-extensions for the front loader on my tractor, which makes it an easy one-man job. 

A sliding front window is nice in the front of the cap, if you ever have passengers back there.  The locks on most of the rear doors are garbage and when they crap out, I just bolt a hasp one side of the door and use a padlock to lock.  Most truck caps come with brake lights which must be properly wired to pass inspection.  You can not just splice it to a back side brake light wire of your truck or it will flash with the turn signal and not pass inspection.   A cheap way out of that is to remove the entire brake light assembly from the back door of the cap.    As far as the color of the cap goes, I like a contrast with the truck.  A black cap looks good on a white or silver truck.  Those are the only truck colors I run because anything else takes too much effort to keep looking clean.  

If you are thinking long-term, about what to do with the cap when it reaches the end of service, you can't beat a construction-style cap with fold out sides and a ladder rack.   These make great covers for ground blinds.  Those sides make nice sun and rain screens when they are folded out, and the ladder rack can support a second floor to be used in fair-weather conditions.  I have a few of those two-story blinds and they are definitely my favorites.  I shot a mature buck from the upper deck of one last fall with my crossbow.   He was fooled by the sound of me scraping the leaves off the upper deck, probably thinking it was a rival buck clearing a scrape.  When he came in to investigate, all he caught was a bolt thru the lungs.

Edited by wolc123

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