Originally Posted by JFScheck
Looks like the little extra money spent on the "known brands" is worth every penny...
known brands, or 'durable' brands matter but one still needs to do their homework.
there are 5-6 nationally known shell manufacturers that have been in biz more than 10 years...
and perhaps 3 that are at the 20 year mark.
the long time brands share many basic parts and design elements.
with minor cosmetic or trim differences, anchor styles and accessories.
most are in the rv/mota belt (indiana) while snug does it's thing in cali...
the a.r.e. snug and leer brands dominate, but there are some small regional makers that do good shelz 2.
the a.r.e. has served me well (lotz of pix of it here)
it was repainted at 1 year for some tiny imperfections and the paint has a lifetime warranty.
all of the hardware bits still work fine, but i did have the gaskets/seals replaced when it was moved to the 2nd truck.
it still looks brand new approaching 6 years living outside 24/365...
really wanted a 'slide' 5 years ago and really really like the 2 major brands...
i think a slide is GREAT for a contractor or service truck when really heavy stuff can be placed deep in the truck and pulled out for use.
but there were TOOOOO MANY negatives for rv'n needs...
-with a shell about 4-6 inches of HEIGHT is lost using a slide, that lost would KILL storing bikes up right.
-the slide is NARROWER than the full bed so all that space fore/aft the wheel wells is not included.
-one can pack stuff fore/aft the wheel wells but getting TO IT is hard with the slide in place.
-the slide really LIKES totally flat parking, so if your truck is UP/down/tilted there are issues.
-to fully use the slide one must DISCONNECT from the trailer AND pull forward 6-8 feet.
-holez will need to be drilled into the truck BED for the slide hardware...
-so IF you plan to keep the slide at trade time, the truck bed will be depreciated.
-while a slide IMPROVES functional access to stuff at the front,
-it REALLY REALLY reduces storage space, width and height inside a shell.
there are other minor things, so find someone WITH a bedslide and consider it carefully...
stu's truck looks a lot like mine when open
and the slide just wouldn't allow the side boxes or anchored stability of some useful storage bits...
as always it really pays to search and read the older threads with lots of good stuff on sheLz n storage...
here is just 1 of dozens...