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Old 01-01-2019, 10:26 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Camper shells

After looking at a bunch of different suv's, we decided a truck with a shell would fit our needs better. Long story short, ended up with a '15 F150 and now we are shell shopping. I've never had anything new enough to be looking at more than a a $250 shell

So my questions are:

Brands? What's the best? A little bit of research showed snug top was the "best". Any brands to avoid?

Options? So far all we have came up with is pet screens if we go with sliding side windows.

I also am interested in the flip up side windows to access the front of the bed. The downside would be that we couldn't have them open for the dogs while driving. A solution would be to have one side flip up and one side slide. Kind of odd, but I don't think it would bother me.

Any little options that are worth it?
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Old 01-01-2019, 11:46 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I've owned several brands, they were all similar. One thing I recommend staying away from are the flush (smooth) windows - the windows that don't have a frame. The last shell I had with those windows, the window seals leaked terribly and were next impossible to replace. I ended buying a whole new top with the "frame"-style windows.
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Old 01-01-2019, 12:12 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I've owned several brands, they were all similar. One thing I recommend staying away from are the flush (smooth) windows - the windows that don't have a frame. The last shell I had with those windows, the window seals leaked terribly and were next impossible to replace. I ended buying a whole new top with the "frame"-style windows.
The side windows or the back as well?

The one I like so far is the snug top rebel, flat side windows, but curved back glass. The handle on it is way nicer than the one with the flat glass.

Sorry for giant pic

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Old 01-01-2019, 12:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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My brother just picked this truck up and wants to do his the shell. If it would work fer ya Iam sure he’d give ya a hell of a deal on it.
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Old 01-01-2019, 12:54 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Attachment 2913586
My brother just picked this truck up and wants to do his the shell. If it would work fer ya Iam sure he’d give ya a hell of a deal on it.
Looks like a 14 or older, ours is the 15+ so I don't think it will work. Thank you though.
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Old 01-01-2019, 12:58 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Yeah it’s an 2011, oh well hahahaha
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Old 01-01-2019, 01:29 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Currently have an ARE on the Tacoma and a top of the line LEER on the f350.

IMHO, the ARE is significantly better than the LEER. I really do not like the way the LEER fits at all. I almost bought an ARE for the F350, but the pictures of the LEER looked better to me... they of course were of a different brand truck, so I assumed the fit would be the same... nope.

Problem you'll have is going to be availability. In Mid-TN, ARE and Leer are the only brands that have relatively close "dealerships."
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Old 01-01-2019, 03:49 PM   #8 (permalink)
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ARE hands down

I have owned 5 different cap brands on various trucks......ARE is the best
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Old 01-01-2019, 03:53 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Old 01-01-2019, 04:01 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I have no personal experience with camper tops because i find them useless and overly expensive new. However, i buy "old man" trucks and sold plenty of campers this past year.

People jizz themselves over ARE.

the rest are slow movers or i have to give them away for $100.

You better love whatever uou buy. Because the resale is shit.
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Old 01-01-2019, 05:04 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I have no personal experience with camper tops because i find them useless and overly expensive new. However, i buy "old man" trucks and sold plenty of campers this past year.

People jizz themselves over ARE.

the rest are slow movers or i have to give them away for $100.

You better love whatever uou buy. Because the resale is shit.
Funny because I can only find a few used shells in the area, none in my color (gun metal gray) none are in the $100 range.

You aren't going to get what they go for new, but a nice used shell for a common late model truck is still worth a decent amount.
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Old 01-01-2019, 05:33 PM   #12 (permalink)
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i have a Vision on my 2001 Ram. I put it on new in 2003 and its been pretty good for the last 15 yrs. My wife and I call it the mobile man cave. Carpet inside the shell, and a bedrug in the bed.
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Old 01-01-2019, 05:50 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Funny because I can only find a few used shells in the area, none in my color (gun metal gray) none are in the $100 range.

You aren't going to get what they go for new, but a nice used shell for a common late model truck is still worth a decent amount.
Yep, its always the wrong color. You get a quote to paint one to match, then you realize you should buy new.
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Old 01-02-2019, 06:11 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Yep, its always the wrong color. You get a quote to paint one to match, then you realize you should buy new.
Rich people problems.

Just get a cap in white. It looks good on any color truck.
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Old 01-02-2019, 06:46 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I never have bought a cap new from a dealer

Who can afford a $1500-$2500 cap? Not me

I usually pay $300-$600 for a used cap. As long as the fiberglass isn't cracked and the color matches, I am game

Sealing window leaks is easy and wiring it up is cake
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Old 01-02-2019, 07:23 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I bought a midline LEER for my 2012 Ram 3 years ago (a year after I bought the truck used.) One window frame was not tightened down right from the factory, one of the covers over the latch cables came loose in a few months, and that same latch cable has had continual adjustment issues. I wish I'd spent a few extra bucks on the ARE cap now.
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Old 01-02-2019, 08:16 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I bought a midline LEER for my 2012 Ram 3 years ago (a year after I bought the truck used.) One window frame was not tightened down right from the factory, one of the covers over the latch cables came loose in a few months, and that same latch cable has had continual adjustment issues. I wish I'd spent a few extra bucks on the ARE cap now.
have that same issue. One latch won't stay latched and the damn thing will pop open on the freeway.

Fortunately, Leer has HORRIBLE customer support, so we have that going for us.
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Old 01-02-2019, 08:24 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I have an ARE on my F350. It has the flip up window on the passenger side and a sliding window on the drivers side. It's not a bad configuration, especially if you find yourself parking on the street occasionally. It's the high roof grandpa version that looks funny, but it is a cave inside.

That one came with my truck. I think I want my next one to be an aluminum contractor style with barn/ambulance style doors.
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Old 01-02-2019, 08:27 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I had a snugtop on the chevy, and now have a Leer on the dodge. I felt like the $250 snugtop was better made than the color matching Leer. Both bought used, the Leer came with the dodge.

The snugtop came with fold up windows only, which proved to be a pain. Even on a chevy its still really too high to be able to easily get into the truck and you can't have the window open just slightly if your camping in the back. Its all or nothing.

The Leer came with sliding windows in the sides, and the whole window is also able to fold up for access.

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Old 01-02-2019, 10:54 AM   #20 (permalink)
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There are plenty on Craigslist. Every day.

No way I would pay retail for one. You are going to ding it up the first time you have to take it off to use the bed so why get one new?
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Old 01-02-2019, 11:06 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Camper shells

I have a leer with the windows that flip up and also slide

Think leer calls them “windoors”

Your mutts will probably just claw out the screens anyway but I guess they could be replaced with hardware cloth or something stronger

Also have the sliding drawer on the roof
Sportsman’s storage or whatever they call it

Wasn’t cheap although it was a factory blemished so it was 1/2 price
Still cost $1500 and then I had to get it painted to match the truck cause it was turd brown

This is on my employer supplied work truck and they paid for it all but I had to upfit the truck to suit my needs

Running boards
Cargo slide
Camper shell
And a ton of tools
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Old 01-02-2019, 01:04 PM   #22 (permalink)
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There are plenty on Craigslist. Every day.

No way I would pay retail for one. You are going to ding it up the first time you have to take it off to use the bed so why get one new?
OK, find one on Sacramento or redding Craigslist

I can find them for our truck, but white or silver, having it resprayed is not cost effective.

I doubt I'll ever take it off the truck, if we do, I'm not going to just throw it off
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Old 01-02-2019, 06:08 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Try to think about parts costs too down the road if/when you break it. Not sure if there's any brands that are better or worse, but worth thinking about.
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Old 01-03-2019, 07:20 AM   #24 (permalink)
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The side windows or the back as well?

The one I like so far is the snug top rebel, flat side windows, but curved back glass. The handle on it is way nicer than the one with the flat glass.
I've had no problems with the curved back glass.
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Old 01-03-2019, 09:08 AM   #25 (permalink)
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OK, find one on Sacramento or redding Craigslist

I can find them for our truck, but white or silver, having it resprayed is not cost effective.

I doubt I'll ever take it off the truck, if we do, I'm not going to just throw it off
Well, if you want to get all fancy like and MATCH the vehicle then maybe new is for you.

And no one ever plans to "throw it off". It's just that they are bulky and cumbersome. I use my bed pretty regularly for taller than cap sized objects and would end up removing it myself.

If you do not, great. Go for it.
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