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Old 11-04-2010, 10:19 PM
270man 270man is offline
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truck opinions, please

I bought a new Chevy Silverado 4WD pickup last summer and I'm having trouble deciding how to cover the bed. Choices have been narrowed down to a bed lid vs a cab-high camper shell. I see advantages and disadvantages in both.

The lid (hard tonneau or whatever the correct name is?) allows more visibility and looks better (the truck has a crew cab and short bed). It is clamped on and fairly easy to remove if one needs the open bed. The camper shell provides more protected gear space and it is easier to install a rack for carrying a canoe or ?? Disadvantages are reduced visibility and blocking of the bed light (top and back of cab).

Give me your experiences and opinions -- particularly with the lids. I've had a pickup with camper shell before and am pretty familiar with the pros and cons.

Thanks, 270man
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Old 11-05-2010, 07:56 AM
buckhunter buckhunter is offline
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I always used a camper shell. Usually one that stuck up about the cab a couple of inches. Protected everything you put back there. Never stored important stuff cause it was easy to get lifted.
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Old 11-05-2010, 11:22 PM
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fabsroman fabsroman is offline
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When we say "camper shell", are we talking about a truck top? With the truck tops, you can get some pretty nice ones nowadays. I was looking at one from Leer called the 100RCC. It is a commercial cap that would work pretty nicely for my hobby needs (e.g., cycling, hunting, and fishing). It allows for a rack to be used on top to carry bikes around along with other gear. You could even put one of those black boxes on top. The interior comes with options for power and lights, so there isn't much worry about not getting enough light in there to see what you are doing. Plus, I like the side box that is a little harder to break into than the windows. However, I still would not leave anything of value in it for any extended period of time. There are even interior accessories for it and Leer offers three packages called the 1) Adventure Sports package, 2) Wilderness package, and 3) Fisherman's package. Even the non-commercial tops are pretty nice and offer a lot of options. On the non-commercial side I was looking at the 100XR. Still haven't decided on whether to get one or not because we are contemplating the purchase of a SUV. Time will tell.
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Old 11-07-2010, 05:02 PM
dovehunter dovehunter is offline
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I've always preferred the cap/camper shell as opposed to a toneau cover. Mainly becuase you can get more stuff under them - also taller stuff. As far as looks are concerned, I personally have always thought the caps looked better than toneau covers anyway but that's a personal opinionthing. Another reason I don't like them is I have seen several of them fly off the pickup bed. One such occurence occured while I was driving home from work and the fiberglass bed cover came off the truck in front of me and flew through the air. It was just pure luck that the durn thing didn't go through my windshield and kill all of us in my car. I would have thought this was a fluke but, as I said, I have seen the same thing happen on at least two other occasions.
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Old 11-07-2010, 10:48 PM
skeet skeet is offline
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Well having had a couple or more of each.. The Tonneau cover is the more pleasing in looks..better on gas mileage by far and it can be locked..without people being able to see what is under it. I have seen waaaayyyy more caps come off pickups than the tonneau covers..mainly I think because there are more caps. I even have a soft tonneau cover now that i hardly ever use..manily because of carrying a fuel tank in the pickup bed. Farm use ya know. I do have a cap on the old Chebby El Camino right now..but think I am going to remove it..mainly cause it is much better looking without the cap. When I had the auto accident in 2003 the tonneau cover flopped around a bit but was still attached after rolling the truck 5 times....probably still usable if not for the cracked area on one corner.. Not my truck...but i'd vote for the tonneau cover....cheaper better looking and much better for fuel mileage
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Old 11-08-2010, 11:40 AM
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Problem with a camper shell is height for taller items, but you can always camp in the darned thing, and it is lockable. Problem with a hard cover (Turtle hull, teneau cover etc) is it is even shorter, and some of them are designed to be installed ONLY once. You remove it it never goes back on. The main holes for it are molded into the fiberglass. Myself if I don't care for either one. There are a few "soft" covers out there that roll away, etc. But some of them use bolt on or clamp on aluminum rails that get in the way. It all depends on what you want to do with it. My truck is a hunting and farm truck fuel milage don't really come into it, particularly since 3 out of 5 loads stick up above the cab (need to take an old fridge, old washer, and old water heater to the scrap yard this weekend for example)

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  #7  
Old 11-18-2010, 10:44 PM
270man 270man is offline
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truck tonneau or shell?

Guys,

Thanks for all your comments and ideas. It was a tough choice but I finally ordered a cab-high camper shell. The hard tonneau looks better and provides better visibility but the shell holds more stuff, has a lighter door to lift up and is better for sleeping (for me, it will be emergency or rough-camping only). Another big factor was PRICE! I was amazed to find that the shell cost little more than the hard tonneau.

The shell comes with sliding side windows, interior light, brake light (high, above the lift-up door) and a fold down front window. The fold down window will allow me to clean both sides of the glass (both shell and pickup).

270man
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  #8  
Old 11-18-2010, 11:01 PM
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fabsroman fabsroman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 270man View Post
Guys,

Thanks for all your comments and ideas. It was a tough choice but I finally ordered a cab-high camper shell. The hard tonneau looks better and provides better visibility but the shell holds more stuff, has a lighter door to lift up and is better for sleeping (for me, it will be emergency or rough-camping only). Another big factor was PRICE! I was amazed to find that the shell cost little more than the hard tonneau.

The shell comes with sliding side windows, interior light, brake light (high, above the lift-up door) and a fold down front window. The fold down window will allow me to clean both sides of the glass (both shell and pickup).

270man
Just wondering what brand you went with and what you paid for it. I sent Cap World a price request last spring on a Leer cap but never heard back from them. If you want to keep the price private but are alright with sharing it with me, send me a PM.

Thanks
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  #9  
Old 11-23-2010, 04:13 PM
270man 270man is offline
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No problem Fab,

Mine is a Leer (haven't got it yet -- still on order) and the price was just over $1300, including tax. They didn't charge me for installation as some other vendors do.

270man
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Old 11-23-2010, 04:44 PM
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fabsroman fabsroman is offline
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Originally Posted by 270man View Post
No problem Fab,

Mine is a Leer (haven't got it yet -- still on order) and the price was just over $1300, including tax. They didn't charge me for installation as some other vendors do.

270man
That is a pretty decent price. I was expecting to pay over $2,000 for one. Which one did you get, and what, if any, options did you get on it? I might actually have to check this out after tax season because I could really use a top.

How hard is it to install and take back off should I want to haul stuff like bricks or dirt? Guess I could get a trailer for that stuff.
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  #11  
Old 11-23-2010, 07:07 PM
dovehunter dovehunter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fabsroman View Post
...How hard is it to install and take back off should I want to haul stuff like bricks or dirt?...
I've got basically the same cap, though mine is a Raven brand. Most all these things are installed now using specially made c-clamps so they're extremely easy to remove. The problem though is that the fiberglass ones are heavy. The one on my Ranger Super Cab is cab height and about 6 ft. long. My son and I have removed mine (and set it on the ground by ourselves). However, when it came to putting it back on I enlisted the aid of two of my neighbors to help. It was much easier with four guys.
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  #12  
Old 11-24-2010, 05:20 PM
newB newB is offline
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Try to get a cap with single handle operation, less messing around with keys (keep all lock styles covered and oiled). Truck cab height avoids low clearance problems. A few draw backs on a cap is the loss of vision out the back and sides, you must rely on your side view mirrors 100% with a 99% look out the rear view mirror, on an extended or crew cab any reflection/distortion from all light sources makes using the review mirror impossible in low light.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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  #13  
Old 11-28-2010, 09:58 AM
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fabsroman fabsroman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 270man View Post
No problem Fab,

Mine is a Leer (haven't got it yet -- still on order) and the price was just over $1300, including tax. They didn't charge me for installation as some other vendors do.

270man
Told my wife about the $1,300 price tag and she said "That's all? That is pretty cheap!!" So, I might have the green light for this purchase come spring time.
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Old 11-29-2010, 04:02 PM
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To bad I saw this late. I have a GMC as you describe, bought it last year. I took the taneau cover off and replaced it with a Folding Lock. I bought their top of the line model. They are pretty slick. They lock up tight, seal out the rain and you can fold them from the rear to the front in two moves, leaving the bed open. My unit cost me $800.
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  #15  
Old 11-29-2010, 09:34 PM
270man 270man is offline
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truck lid vs shell

Guys,

Can't argue against any of your comments. Each type of cover -- hard Tonneau lid or shell camper -- has its advantanges and disadvantages. I've had a shell camper before, so guess I won't ever know about the lid. Rapier and I found the same price on the hard, tri-fold lid. Just before I decided on the cab-high shell, I checked the tri-fold out and the quoted price was $800.

After 3 trips in my truck with lots of gear and an open bed, I'm convinced I made the right decision -- for me. My junk soared above the bed sides on all three of those trips. The single, center handle is probably better but I have friends with dual handles and they seem to have no problems with them. All of them should be kept clean and lubed.

270man
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