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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2005, had it since new, and I've always been frustrated by the gap between the rear of the bed and the rail caps. My canopy won't sit flush in the very back, because of this gap. Photos attached for reference. I searched & searched, but don't see anything to level it out, so my canopy sits flush and keeps the elements out. Yes, I have rubber/foam attached to the underside of the canopy, but there's a huge gap at the rear. (I didn't feel like disrupting my canopy to get a pic, so these aren't my truck).
61974
61975


ANY suggestions?
 

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My son has an 07 Tacoma, so I think it's the same plastic/composite bed and bed rails as yours. His bed is off the truck right now in my back-yard because we're changing up the rear suspension, so I was able to take some measurements. My rough measurement (eyeballing with tape measure) for the difference between that bed rail that boarders the rear of the cab (just below the rear window), and the extra height added from those bed-rail-covers along the sides of the bed, is 3/4 inch (Hight). Then the distance between the insides of those raised bed rail covers along the sides of the bed is 57 inches, but those bed rail covers on the sides are rounded at the tops, so if you wanted to truly seal off that rail to the corners, you'd probably want 58 inches (Length), and then you could bevel the underside areas of the material right where it meets up with the bed rail covers from each side of the bed. Last measurement is the width of the piece, which you could either do 1-inch if you want it to cover just the bed rail, or 2-inches if you want it to cover the bed rail and that other little inside rail piece for the sliding tie-down eyelets thingies. If it were me, I think I would split the difference here and go with 1.5 inches (Width) unless that would interfere with your bed topper. So my rough measurements that would require beveling/shaping the sides for a flush fit are 58"x1.5"x.75".
My thought is you can find various materials to fill that gap if you wanted your bed-topper to sit flush with all three bed rails. The cheapest route (but not very strong) would be an additional foam strip to meet-up against the existing foam strip along the bottom of your bed topper. I'm sure you can find a foam strip of some sort at your local hardware store, but the cheaper/more creative route would be to make a foam strip out of one of those pool noodles that they sell at the 99-cents stores. You could probably use some heavy-duty double-sided tape to secure it to that bed-rail along the back of the cab, so it meets up with the foam on the underside of your bed topper.
Another more durable material choice would be wood or plastic. Those would probably be the next cheapest material and stronger/more permanent. My first thought for these material types is you'd probably want to drill holes and bolt it to that bed rail that boarders the rear of the cab. Just counter-sink the face of the holes in the material that you use and use flush mount bolts. Being that my son's bed is off the truck right now, I can see that that bed rail is composite plastic, so you wouldn't have to worry about rust. The rails have plenty of flat area underneath that rail for washers & nuts to sit, but I'm not sure how easy it would be to get a nut & washer back in there and hold it in place while tightening from the top if the bed was actually on the truck? If you go this route, I'd suggest allen-head flush-mount stainless (so it doesn't rust), countersunk into the material. Otherwise I suppose you could use some heavy-duty double-sided tape for securing this type of material into place too. If you go the wood route, either use a wood that is weather resistant and/or be sure to treat it with something to protect it against moisture exposure, or paint it with an epoxy resin to lock out moisture (and make it look nice).
I'm not sure if you have access to any plastics distributors in your area, but here in San Diego, I used to frequent "San Diego Plastics" in National City whenever I needed any type of plastic/acrylic/Teflon/etc. for misc. projects. They sell plastics by the piece/sheet ,and they can custom cut, bend, & shape pieces for you (depending on what you need them to do it could be expensive) ...but how I shop there (I'm cheap) is they have two huge bins where they toss all their scrap/remnants from any projects that they do in-house. Last time I was there, they charged $2 per pound for scrap pieces, so it's pretty cheap. I know I've seen pieces in their scrap bins in the past that could have been cut & shaped to fit your application.
Otherwise you could go with aluminum if you have a metal supplier in your area. Most metal suppliers also have scrap-bins where you can sometimes get lucky and find a piece that can be cut-down to fit your needs... but you'd have to be really lucky (at least at the metal suppliers here in San Diego) to find a scrap piece of aluminum that could be cut-down to this size (58"x1.5"x.75"). A metal supplier would likely have or be able to source aluminum stock that is 1.5"x.75" or maybe even a piece of extruded aluminum in 1.5"x.75" which would be lighter-weight, but I'm guessing either of those will probably be in 10-foot lengths. If you can't find a piece in their scrap bin long enough for your application, you might have to buy a 10-foot piece. Most metal suppliers will throw in 1 free cut, so you'd likely be able to get them to cut it to the rough size above, then use a grinder to bevel the underside of the ends/edges. If you go the aluminum route, you could polish it to a chrome-like finish or even get it anodized for a custom look.
Anyway, those are my thoughts on your project.
Good luck and whatever way you go, I hope it works out great!
-Steve G-
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
My son has an 07 Tacoma, so I think it's the same plastic/composite bed and bed rails as yours. His bed is off the truck right now in my back-yard because we're changing up the rear suspension, so I was able to take some measurements. My rough measurement (eyeballing with tape measure) for the difference between that bed rail that boarders the rear of the cab (just below the rear window), and the extra height added from those bed-rail-covers along the sides of the bed, is 3/4 inch (Hight). Then the distance between the insides of those raised bed rail covers along the sides of the bed is 57 inches, but those bed rail covers on the sides are rounded at the tops, so if you wanted to truly seal off that rail to the corners, you'd probably want 58 inches (Length), and then you could bevel the underside areas of the material right where it meets up with the bed rail covers from each side of the bed. Last measurement is the width of the piece, which you could either do 1-inch if you want it to cover just the bed rail, or 2-inches if you want it to cover the bed rail and that other little inside rail piece for the sliding tie-down eyelets thingies. If it were me, I think I would split the difference here and go with 1.5 inches (Width) unless that would interfere with your bed topper. So my rough measurements that would require beveling/shaping the sides for a flush fit are 58"x1.5"x.75".
My thought is you can find various materials to fill that gap if you wanted your bed-topper to sit flush with all three bed rails. The cheapest route (but not very strong) would be an additional foam strip to meet-up against the existing foam strip along the bottom of your bed topper. I'm sure you can find a foam strip of some sort at your local hardware store, but the cheaper/more creative route would be to make a foam strip out of one of those pool noodles that they sell at the 99-cents stores. You could probably use some heavy-duty double-sided tape to secure it to that bed-rail along the back of the cab, so it meets up with the foam on the underside of your bed topper.
Another more durable material choice would be wood or plastic. Those would probably be the next cheapest material and stronger/more permanent. My first thought for these material types is you'd probably want to drill holes and bolt it to that bed rail that boarders the rear of the cab. Just counter-sink the face of the holes in the material that you use and use flush mount bolts. Being that my son's bed is off the truck right now, I can see that that bed rail is composite plastic, so you wouldn't have to worry about rust. The rails have plenty of flat area underneath that rail for washers & nuts to sit, but I'm not sure how easy it would be to get a nut & washer back in there and hold it in place while tightening from the top if the bed was actually on the truck? If you go this route, I'd suggest allen-head flush-mount stainless (so it doesn't rust), countersunk into the material. Otherwise I suppose you could use some heavy-duty double-sided tape for securing this type of material into place too. If you go the wood route, either use a wood that is weather resistant and/or be sure to treat it with something to protect it against moisture exposure, or paint it with an epoxy resin to lock out moisture (and make it look nice).
I'm not sure if you have access to any plastics distributors in your area, but here in San Diego, I used to frequent "San Diego Plastics" in National City whenever I needed any type of plastic/acrylic/Teflon/etc. for misc. projects. They sell plastics by the piece/sheet ,and they can custom cut, bend, & shape pieces for you (depending on what you need them to do it could be expensive) ...but how I shop there (I'm cheap) is they have two huge bins where they toss all their scrap/remnants from any projects that they do in-house. Last time I was there, they charged $2 per pound for scrap pieces, so it's pretty cheap. I know I've seen pieces in their scrap bins in the past that could have been cut & shaped to fit your application.
Otherwise you could go with aluminum if you have a metal supplier in your area. Most metal suppliers also have scrap-bins where you can sometimes get lucky and find a piece that can be cut-down to fit your needs... but you'd have to be really lucky (at least at the metal suppliers here in San Diego) to find a scrap piece of aluminum that could be cut-down to this size (58"x1.5"x.75"). A metal supplier would likely have or be able to source aluminum stock that is 1.5"x.75" or maybe even a piece of extruded aluminum in 1.5"x.75" which would be lighter-weight, but I'm guessing either of those will probably be in 10-foot lengths. If you can't find a piece in their scrap bin long enough for your application, you might have to buy a 10-foot piece. Most metal suppliers will throw in 1 free cut, so you'd likely be able to get them to cut it to the rough size above, then use a grinder to bevel the underside of the ends/edges. If you go the aluminum route, you could polish it to a chrome-like finish or even get it anodized for a custom look.
Anyway, those are my thoughts on your project.
Good luck and whatever way you go, I hope it works out great!
-Steve G-
Wow, first off: Thank you for the very thorough reply - this is very much appreciated. I will re-read it a little later and make some notes, but for now - thank you!! Pic attached to show you what I'm working with... it's not a fancy shell, but I want to keep water out.
61977
 
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