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To minimize weight is always a consideration with expo vehicles, so I was wondering what bed caps you guys have chosen for your trucks with that in mind. What options have you opted for when buying your cap? Have there been problems with your model, what features do you like best, etc. Pictures of your capped trucks would be great.

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Will
 

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Windows that open on the side for easy access is a great tip...
Any issues with water infiltrating the cap?
I've been looking at Leer, A.R.E. and Snugtop and was wondering which brand is more satisfactory for those who actually use these caps expedition-wise...
Any tips on what cap options are the most useful when spending time in the wilderness would be much appreciated...
 

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Love my Leer on my 98. Its been on and off tones of times so the weather striping is a little worse for ware so not 100% watertight anymore but still holding up great, Over 9 years the pistons are still strong, Had to replace the locks (they both froze up after about 5 years) and the center breaklight is so fogged up its hardly visable but still works.
I too wish I had the side flip open windows. Mine just slide for air-vent w/ a screen
 

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I've had a Leer (previous truck) and a Snugtop (older model - current shell). One with the rubber boot and one with a solid front window. If I had to do over I would get either a removable front window, sliding or combo so you can clean your windows and access items from cab to shell. The boot can leak and rubs the paint off around the cab over time.

I have sliding side windows and my Snugtop leaks in the bottom corners towards the rear. I don't recall having this problem with my Leer. I would have preferred the flip up side windows. I am not sure how well they seal but I imagine there is no track for the water to pool so it should be better in wet weather.

I have the double locks on the rear, handle on both sides. If I had to do over I would go for single lock / handle. Just a preference. No other issues.

Sorry at work, no pics. Just check the manufacturers sites for details on what you want. Should have pics.
 

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I lucked out and found an awesome deal on a Vista shell that firts my T100. I think it was originally for a Tundra, same size bed. It has the flip-up windows on both sides, which are awesome, well worth the extra money in my opinion. Mine's also a tall version which I do agree looks a bit goofy, but makes it way more comfortable to sleep in because you can sit up easily. If I were only hauling gear and not sleeping in the back I'd probably get a regular cab height shell.
 

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I think flip up sides or side windows would be key. I run a Soft Topper and am always unbuttoning the sides to get shit in or out without unloading or climbing in the back. If I were to get a hard cap I'd definitely get some type of side access.
 

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I've got and ARE on my '05 and so far I'm happy with it for the most part. I really, really wish I had gotten the Windoors and the drop down front glass though. I've got sliding windows they're not as easy to clean. Being able to access the bed from the side would be much easier too.

One thing to note on the later Tacos is the front of the bed dips slightly so you'll need extra thick foam for it to seal well (there's enough gaps around the plastic bed that dust gets in anyways unless you do a good bit of work sealing it up). Mine has been on the truck since '06 and I need to take it off and put new weatherstripping under it. I've also developed a very slight leak where the wire for the third brake light goes through the fiberglass- a drop of silicon should fix it if I ever remember. I only notice it if it rains really hard. I added a Yakima rack with the tracks myself and so far it's done great. I've had two kayaks, a canoe and a couple of bikes up there with no problems thus far.
 

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agreement with the above

I have had a snug top with a custom carpet kit that I have used for camping since 2006. Probably have slept in it for over 300 nights (really), in all sorts of weather.

I wish I had the flip up side windows. I don't have a flip down window against the cab either, and my windows are filthy. It is a royal pain to clean them, you pretty much are required to remove the shell if you don't have the flip down cab window.

My third brake light leaks too. has since it was new. I took it back to the dealer twice, to get them to fix it, and no luck. I tried once too, but didn't get it right either... now I just put something cheap and absorbent where the drips fall, or a bowl if it will be parked for a while.

Snug top's "slam latch" is an overpriced pos. Using a key to operate the latches is just asking for mechanical failure. In my case the mechanical failure occurred when I was inside, parked at a ski resort. Get the oldskool type that has a handle that pops out when unlocked that you can use to activate the latches.

I bought the truck in Santa Fe, where window tinting is nice to have. Most of the winters I have owned it, I lived in Seattle where window tinting is not necessary, and the nights are long(er). The point being, the tinted rear truck window, combined with the two tinted camper windows makes it so that little if anything can be seen out the back at night. And that is worth keeping in mind.

A few years back in this forum someone posted photos of all the places you should put weather stripping to keep the dust out. It is a thread that is worth finding, because plenty of dust still gets inside if you don't weather strip.
 

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To minimize weight is always a consideration with expo vehicles, so I was wondering what bed caps you guys have chosen for your trucks with that in mind. What options have you opted for when buying your cap? Have there been problems with your model, what features do you like best, etc. Pictures of your capped trucks would be great.

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Will
I've had an ARE Z-Series cap for about 4 years and here is what I can tell you:
1) the lock needs to be lubricated with graphite every year or so
2) the overhead lamp is not very bright and the plastic cover is easy to damage when loading gear
3) the overhead lamp is easily left on by negligence resulting in a dead battery
4) if you are going to drill though the roof to mount a rack, there is a honeycomb section in the top that (depending on where you drill) will require the injection of epoxy to fill the honeycomb void to create solid mounting points.


None of these observations are intended to create a negative impression of the cap. I am very satisfied with my ARE Z-Series cap and have not had any problems other than stated above. These are just the practical considrations that I have experienced. I've had no problems with leaks or dust getting in where it sits over the bed. Everything else about this cap is rock solid.


I put a wrap arround shelf inside the cap which I've found quite handy.


Also if you put a cap on your truck it will take in dust from the tailgate and several other locations do a little searching and you'll find some info on this.
 

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I have the ARE with windoors/sliders on both sides, dropdown front window also a slider, liner. I agree with Switch and replaced the light with a Baja Designs utility LED. As for drilling threough the roof ARE recommends to drill outside the honetcomb area. My cap has the Thule tracks factory mounted and it mounts to a BajaRack with their mounting hardware. And for dust intrusion you have to seal the tailgate.

 

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I found that even after sealing around the shell where it meets the bed, weatherstripping around the tailgate, you will still get dust coming in through the slots under the bed rails at least on the older model Tacos. No experience with current generation. Just glob as much silicone in there as you can to minimize it. Messy but eliminated entry of most of the dust for me.

My interior light got bumped one too many times and broke. I just bought a two pack battery operated LED. Put velcro on them and stuck front and back of shell walls.

I attached a rack to my shell as well. Just make sure you seal the holes well before putting bolts in. No problem with leaks.
 

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leer topper

I bought my Leer 100RC series which is a reinforced construction built shell that they make. They claim it will support 600lbs. if properly loaded. I purchased this with the intent of putting a tent up there but never got around to it. I can tell you that it weighs significantly more than other toppers this size which is good and bad. Personally I prefer the extra strength "just in case".

I would also highly recommend the windors on any model you get. Just like the other guys have said access to the front of the bed from the sides is great. Here are some pics for reference.





You can barely see the extra ribs in the top of the shell in these pics, but they are SOLID.

 

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TRDFAN,
You've got the right idea. Question... Is yours a short bed or long bed? I'm leaning toward the Leer... but still not sure about wheel base. Yours looks like a short bed...

Thanks,
 

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To minimize weight is always a consideration with expo vehicles, so I was wondering what bed caps you guys have chosen for your trucks with that in mind. What options have you opted for when buying your cap? Have there been problems with your model, what features do you like best, etc. Pictures of your capped trucks would be great.

--
Will
What about this DCC Wedge from Leer:

http://www.leerfleet.com/Commercial-Caps#
 

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For the record, if anyone needs a tailgate seal, I have one in my room unopened and unused that I'm trying to get rid of.
 

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it seems to me most have really been pleased with the are. i really like some of their designs, and even thought one of their steel work caps would be nice if it weren't for the weight. i have an innovation, and it is junk. the side windows are sliders, and when i slide them closed with any amount of force, they pull the front of the window, the non active portion, out of the seal causing visible gaps where it leaks like a civ. i pulled them apart and siliconed the seals which sandwich the glass, but it just happened again, very frustrating. it also leaks around the rear window, which is curved glass, and if i position the canopy back any further to alleviate it, it makes a poor seal in the front on the bed rail. i also hate the fact it is made to fit the rear cab slider size of an 01-04, which is narrower than my 99, so i can't squeeze through from the cab to the back without a heck of a lot of sucking in the gut. the third brake light is dim, hazy and has some burned out led's, and try as i might (granted i am no electrical expert) i can't get the overhead light to work consistently. basically, it seem to be a very poorly thought out, and i would ditch it altogether if it weren't for the security of keeping tools out of sight. i wonder what the weight difference is for a steel cap verses a fiberglass of similar dimensions? the nice part about steel is i think i could weld up a rack pretty easily to bolt to it and it would be pretty secure.
 
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