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Old 01-06-2011, 06:54 PM   #43
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I have used an A.R.E. tonneau-type cover, with a slide, for 7-years now. My only complaint is that I wish I had the newer model that "scissors" up horizontally to provide access at the front of the bed when I don't want to pull the slide out. My reason for the tonneau-type cover was personal due to past experience with two other pickups and caps and the reduced visibility afforded thereby. My GMC is a long bed and I managed to fit everything I wanted to carry under the tonneau and on the slide. I did some carpentry work in the bed to create compartments in front of and in back of the wheel wells in the open space created by the bed slide. One compartment carries a compressor with tank, another carries two portable gas cans, and the remaining two compartments in front of the wheel wells carried emergency tools and supplies that I seldom need to access. The major load on the slide consists of two 2000i Honda generators. The woodwork consisted of three components - with one component being a plywood floor and hinged tailgate "ramp." It's all held in place by eight screws. The remaining advantage of the solid tonneau-type top, for me, is that everything is locked up out of sight. I did consider, for awhile, a utility type topper with no windows - but my "claustrophobia" got the best of me!
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Old 01-06-2011, 07:02 PM   #44
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a slide with a tonneau is a nifty combo...

of course one can simply REACH into the space fore/aft the wheel welz.

the stacking height is naturally limited by the tonneau which might be a good thing too...

a rigid tonneau improves mpg a tiny bit, another good thing.

and yak/thule rails/racks can be mounted on TOP of the tonneau if needed.

therez r many wayz to cut cheeze.

cheers
2air'
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Old 01-06-2011, 08:50 PM   #45
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Step up shell

This shell has the step up top which doesn`t seem to hurt the mileage,it also has the side opening windows,which saves a lot of crawling in and out.
The Globetrotter is on it`s way to my shop in Ohio.
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Old 01-06-2011, 10:18 PM   #46
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I have an ARE that I ordered / purchsed new for our 2008 Dodge Ram 2500. I will NOT but another one! The window gaskets are just tacked on and need to be constantly re-glued. The screens are glued in with PVC glue and the workmanship sucks. From everyone that I have talked to the Leer tops are not any better.

Get a GemTop. They are made of corrosion resistant steel and painted to match your truck. They have all the options that ARE and Leer have and are about the same weight but many times stronger. They are a bit more boxy looking because the are made of steel. The quality of the workmanship is incredible.

I wish I had listened to all the retriever field trialers suggestions when I purchased my canopy. I decided based on the look and now I am paying the price. Maybe some day I can convince my wife that we should just dump the ARE and get a Gem Top.

As others have said there are a number of options that you should consider. A tilt down front window so that you can clean the back window of the pickup, vented side window-doors so that you have access from the side of the pickup, A coat rack for hanging wet cloths, and an interior light. You should also consider having the inside of the canopy carpeted.
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Old 01-08-2011, 09:51 AM   #47
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After my research so far - the A.R.E. Brand of products is looking very attractive!
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Old 01-08-2011, 10:34 AM   #48
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Rear doors

I'm a little surprised that no one has even mentioned getting doors instead of the lift-up window and tail gate combo yet. Maybe that's because I have one and find it super convenient.

Yeah, you have to remove the tailgate. Not that big of a deal, and I wasn't planning to use the bed to haul anything I can't fit in the cap anyway, so putting it on and off wasn't a concern for me.

There's a couple pictures of my truck with the cap here:
Gone Trippin | WebTrippin
California Photos

Mine is a GemTop and it's an aluminum one, a little contractor looking but not too bad. Most aluminum ones will look somewhat similar. It fits very well, and is light - comparatively. MPG did go down just a little bit. I don't like how the rear part of the side windows tilts forward, but that's just how GemTop does their windows on these. I think it's so they can attach stuff to the top for contractor and utility use racks.

I got a Thule rack on top, the kind with the rails so you can slide it forward and back which is well worth the extra couple bucks.

My favorite part about the doors is that there's no folded down tailgate in the way when you need to get stuff out, and I can just open one side door with a handle. No clearance problems for anything - I've previously had issues with the tailgate being too close to the tongue jack on some trailers and if you're not parked straight it would hit it on the paint of the tailgate.

I don't need a bed slide, I just pack whatever I need more common access to within leaning reach from the back.

The bed side is tall enough that I wouldn't be able to lean in to reach stuff from the side windows anyway if they opened, and I'm not sure if GemTop makes opening side windows, but I know they make opening side compartments, tool type storage. I wanted windows so if we put the dogs in the back or whatever we can open them.

Temperature wise, we've driven through 95 deg with the windows open on the top and the back never got hot at all, around 80 deg maybe. Dunno if that was maybe because it's white, maybe because it's shaded and maybe because there's some spray type insulation on it. Either way, it was not uncomfortable. I could sit back there when it was parked even in the sun and not feel hot at all.

My least favorite, yet sometimes still appreciate part is the slam latches on the doors. Meaning you have to slam them real good to get them to latch and that's by design. So its very durable, but slamming 2 doors late at night in a park makes me feel like a jerk. If I forget something and have to do it another time then I really feel guilty. You CAN close it without slamming but it takes 2 hands and leaning on it pretty good while holding the latch open.

The price for this was a few hundred more than a no-name version someone locally was building. The quality was much worse. I got it on special since GemTop was moving their production to Texas a month or two from when I purchased so I think they wanted to get rid of material. I also went straight to them, which was a LOT cheaper than going to one of their retailers. Net result was this top (racks were installed later) installed on the truck for about $300 more than a fiberglass one without the double rear doors.
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Old 01-08-2011, 03:11 PM   #49
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Webtrippin - thanks for sharing as I've never seen an aluminum topper with door that looks as good as yours - for me usually they appear more "commercial"...

Yea - more research, this is the fun stuff that can be done while this winter hangs around out here in the East - Salt all over the roads, ugh...

Still leaning towards a A.R.E. tonneau cover - I think I'm gonna dig that look...
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Old 01-08-2011, 03:24 PM   #50
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the tailgate LESS option is available with most of the shell brands now.

some even have 'swing door' within a LIFT door that opens up things.

it would be great if the truck maker offered a split rear gate visavis the old expedition...

the problem however with pulling the tail gate of most of the new trucks ?

the rearview/backup camera is located IN the tail gate at the latch.

this camera (especially on the fords) is extremely useful and precise for backing up.

one could buy/install a fisheye camera some place else and reroute the wiring...

but the camera is addictive and convenient in the tail gate.

even with a tonneau that allows full view rearward from the cabin,

the camera can get with a fraction of an inch when docking or backing up.

cheers
2air'
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Old 01-08-2011, 04:02 PM   #51
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This what I have..Best of both worlds....No need to remove for taller items and very secure. I love it. I have the electric one.

Powertrax electric retractable truck bed cover pickup bed cover tonneau cover

Don't like the A.R.E. topper or any of those. If you have to haul anything any taller your limited to how high the topper will rise, and ata anglel or you have to take it off and store it somewhere. Too much hassel for me. I deer hunt, camp, and but things at the spur of the moment and sometimes I need the added height. With a push of button it's outta the way. OR another push of the button and everything is secured and dry!!

Hope this helps.


Shane
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Old 01-08-2011, 04:35 PM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by THEPILL View Post
This what I have..Best of both worlds....No need to remove for taller items and very secure. I love it. I have the electric one.

Powertrax electric retractable truck bed cover pickup bed cover tonneau cover

Don't like the A.R.E. topper or any of those. If you have to haul anything any taller your limited to how high the topper will rise, and ata anglel or you have to take it off and store it somewhere. Too much hassel for me. I deer hunt, camp, and but things at the spur of the moment and sometimes I need the added height. With a push of button it's outta the way. OR another push of the button and everything is secured and dry!!

Hope this helps.


Shane
Nice tonneau, but that one wouldn't work for me....I routinely carry items that wouldn't fit under it, and must be secure.

There really is no best ONE for all.
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Old 01-08-2011, 04:46 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveH View Post
Nice tonneau, but that one wouldn't work for me....I routinely carry items that wouldn't fit under it, and must be secure.

There really is no best ONE for all.
Apples and Oranges, I assume.

My post was directed to the OP.



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Old 01-08-2011, 06:39 PM   #54
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Hi, Excursion had the three piece tailgate with the two side swinging bottom doors. This was never on the Expedition.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman View Post
the tailgate LESS option is available with most of the shell brands now.

some even have 'swing door' within a LIFT door that opens up things.

it would be great if the truck maker offered a split rear gate visavis the old expedition...

the problem however with pulling the tail gate of most of the new trucks ?

the rearview/backup camera is located IN the tail gate at the latch.

this camera (especially on the fords) is extremely useful and precise for backing up.

one could buy/install a fisheye camera some place else and reroute the wiring...

but the camera is addictive and convenient in the tail gate.

even with a tonneau that allows full view rearward from the cabin,

the camera can get with a fraction of an inch when docking or backing up.

cheers
2air'
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Old 01-08-2011, 08:07 PM   #55
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yes eXcursion not exPedition.

and a cool tailgate 4 sure.

cheers
2air'
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Old 01-10-2011, 07:39 PM   #56
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I hope the Excursion resurfaces on a F-250 frame with the new Oil Burner for an engine - that would be sweet...
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