View Poll Results: Camper Shell: Yes or No
Yes 62 73.81%
No 22 26.19%
Voters: 84. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 07-18-2016, 01:30 PM   #29
2 Rivet Member
2006 25' Safari SS SE
LINCOLN , Nebraska
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 40
What a lovely setup you came up with. I love the storage and organization. Think I will get my saw out and get busy!! Where do you put your generator??

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Old 07-18-2016, 01:31 PM   #30
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2017 28' International
Virginia Beach , Virginia
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 65
Camper Shell

Originally Posted by Plasma800 View Post
I'm considering whether or not to put a camper shell on my truck for the long, multi week trips...

What's your thoughts? Camper Shell Yes or No?
Definitely yes. I drive an F250 diesel 4x4, so the extra weight and visibility are not an issue. I purchased an ARE Z series with the Yakima roof rack and the led strip lighting. I know it's a bit of a pain to get my two bikes and other gear loaded, but having the security and weather protection for things like two Honda EU2000is and camp chairs etc makes the investment well worth it. If I get tired of loading the bikes, I'll put a FIAMMA on the back of our 28' International Serenity. The roof rack on the shell is a great way to carry a couple of kayaks or small canoe.

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Old 07-18-2016, 01:36 PM   #31
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1973 31' Sovereign
Middletown , California
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 273
I vote for topper with double doors at the back so you can have easy access when hitched up, and flip up windows on the side for loading stuff near the front. I have a boat rack on the roof that is handy but obviously catches air when driving. Buy used if you could find such a rare top. I really like vans also but bought a pickup thinking I could take the topper off to carry tall things but it turned out to be so much trouble to remove the top that I got a utility trailer for tall stuff. My Chevy is an all around work truck.
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Old 07-18-2016, 01:49 PM   #32
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1994 30' Excella
alexandria , Kentucky
Join Date: Aug 2004
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I have an ARE truck cap in the CX series. I have the front fold down window and the side Windoors for easy access. Yakima racks for the roof to carry a ladder, wood, canoe etc..... The cap also has a flip down coat rack to hang hunting coats on.

I have a love/hate relationship with the Windoors. Access is great but they leak like sieve!!!! Not sure how to fix this issue.

When my cap was manufactured in 2011 ARE did not offer LED lights. I went to and bought two - 1 foot long led lights. It's like daylight inside the truck cap. I put a switch in the back corner along with tying them into the cab lights. Hit the unlock button and all the interior lights go on!
Steve, Christy, Anna and Scout (Border Collie)

1994 30'11" Excella - rear twin
2009 Dodge 2500, 6 Speed Auto, CTD, Quad Cab, Short Bed
Hensley with adjustable stinger

WBCCI # 3072
AIR # 6035
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Old 07-18-2016, 02:43 PM   #33
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2005 31' Classic
Gretna , Nebraska
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 119
I also installed a "Bed Rug". The generator sits on a pair of "furniture slides" amd it is very easy to move around. Picked up a small step ladder for access with aging joints.

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Old 07-18-2016, 03:11 PM   #34
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2011 30' Flying Cloud
Greenback , Tennessee
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 153
I had a tonneau on my last truck, when I used it to pull a 5th wheel. I had plenty of storage in the 5th wheel, so didn't need to carry a lot of stuff in the truck bed. There is also the small problem of the 5th wheel hitch!��

With my first AS, a 25' Safari, I became swiftly aware that my toys would have to go somewhere other than the trailer, so a Jason cap was the answer. I kept two bikes inside the cap, safe from thieves and weather. Likewise; three kayak paddles. The kayaks go on top. I use Rubbermaid tubs for extra clothes, bike and kayak gear, etc. Lawn chairs go there as well.

When we bought our new TV this summer, I immediately ordered a Leer cap that matches the silver truck and I must say it makes a handsome rig!
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Old 07-18-2016, 03:16 PM   #35
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1996 34' Excella
Elberta , Alabama
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 665
Any type of topper is good! Put in a bed slide and they're great!

Old age is coming at a really bad time!

1996 34' Excella 1000, interior totally redone, 2003 Dodge/Cummins HO, Diablo tuner, 115 gallon aux fuel, Bedslide, Airsafe/Reese Dual Cam, and a bunch of other stuff
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Old 07-18-2016, 03:25 PM   #36
1 Rivet Member
Pearland , Texas
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 11
I have an ARE topper and really enjoy it. I also bought a Bed Slide at Costco and installed it. Makes access to everything I have in the back very easy without having to crawl into the bed.
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Old 07-18-2016, 03:47 PM   #37
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1983 27' Excella
Currently Looking...
Charlottesville , Virginia
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 79
I had Retrax on my Tundra, but only because it came with the truck and it was slightly better than nothing. It leaked like a tar paper shack and the cassette took up a lot of room in a short bed.

Last month I put an ARE Fiberglas cap on as the Retrax finally gave up the ghost. I doubled my cargo space vertically plus it is 100% waterproof. Big win.
83 Excella 27
07 Tundra Limited
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Old 07-18-2016, 03:50 PM   #38
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2003 30' Classic
Fresno , California
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 32
We have a shell on our Dodge Ram and really feel it is a necessity. It keeps things like our inverter generator safe from all the sticky fingers as well as keeps things dry and out of the weather.
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Old 07-18-2016, 05:03 PM   #39
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2012 27' Flying Cloud
W , New England
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 4,678
I currently use a hard roll up tonneau - it's not standing up well to use. Was thinking of a full topper but the one thing I really don't like about them is the windows that let crooks see what's in there. With the hard locking tonneau, it's all out of sight. I'm thinking a full hard tonneau with racks for bikes but kayaks would still be a challenge (more easily solved with a full topper).

Does anyone know of a "convertible" topper that could be a hard tonneau but also rise up at all 4 corners with hard slide in sides if desired?
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Old 07-18-2016, 05:06 PM   #40
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1993 34' Excella
York , South Carolina
Join Date: Jan 2010
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Originally Posted by MissingLink5 View Post
What a lovely setup you came up with. I love the storage and organization. Think I will get my saw out and get busy!! Where do you put your generator??
Thanks ML5. Gotta have my ducks in a row. "a place for everything, everything in it's place"

The Honda 3000 rides at the front of the bed, against the front wall, out of the way. Plus, it is heavy, so keeping it at the front helps thwart theft, even with a cable & lock. When needed I run the big drop cord up to it, raise the windoors, lock the rear door, let it do it's thing.

The cabinets down the sides let me haul the usual stuff....WD bars, leveling blocks, chocks, tools, flags, etc. The bicycles ride vertical in another homemade removable rack in the center, against the ginny, surrounded by the rest of the usual stuff...grill, buckets, kitchen sink.

If I'm not hauling bikes, the rack comes out, and I still have 50'' between wheel wells. More room for more stuff.

Love the big top, and the room and security it provides.
WBCCI #3892
Region 3 , 1st VP

Go often to the house of a friend, for weeds choke the unused path........Emerson

Never pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight he will just kill you........a wise old man.
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Old 07-18-2016, 06:13 PM   #41
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Currently Looking...
Racine , Wisconsin
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 38
Originally Posted by Plasma800 View Post
Well one consideration I'm having is I'm not 100% positive I'll be keeping this truck... i've been considering moving to a diesel in the next two years....
Find a used one for now. Should be some out there.
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Old 07-18-2016, 07:09 PM   #42
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2005 25' Classic
Austin , Texas
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 152
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Both towing trucks I've had I was able to find color matched toppers for them on Craigslist. Current one is a Leer exact color as the truck and only paid like $700. Put the rails on top for the canoe. Only problem I have is packing too much stuff on trips because I have all that room. Still haven't learned to travel light.

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