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Old 06-11-2009, 07:55 AM   #1
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2005 22' International CCD
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Any advice on truck caps? (aka camper shells)

Hello Airstreamers! We're total newbies with our 2005 International CCD. We're towing it with a 2008 Tundra SR5 which has been AMAZING so far. We're ready to put a cap on it so we have additional storage area. We're planning to put bike/kayak racks on the top of the cap. Additionally, we'll probably end up getting a generator and might want to store it inside the shell so might need to look into ventilation options.

There are some nice ones out there and we have an idea of the features we know we want but I wondered if anybody had any words of wisdom for us? Like DEFINITELY get one that has a such and such or DO NOT get one that is bladeebla. Or any favorite brands?

We're thinking of the LEER 180: LEER Truck Caps, Toppers and Camper Shells

As always your wisdom and advice is welcome and appreciated!

See you on the road!


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Old 06-11-2009, 08:00 AM   #2
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2005 25' Safari
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I put a leer top with a rack on my truck and while at it put a cargo carpet in instead of a bed liner. Now its a grea place to store but also my 3 dogs can ride back there and be comfortable too. The cover storage is great on a streaming trip for sure.

Have fun
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Old 06-11-2009, 08:07 AM   #3
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Love Mine!!

I have an ARE tonneau on my SuperCrew, and I love it. It is lockable and looks good (IMO). The drawback is that it does limit the carry capapcity of the truck, and removing this model is a pain in the butt.

Luckily we have an older F150 that we use to haul things if the tonneau interferes with things.

I installed a Yakima Tower Rack on the roof last fall so we can haul ladder, kayaks, and such.

Just my $0.02.


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Old 06-11-2009, 01:39 PM   #4
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We have a Leer tonneau on a 2005 Tundra. It's been great. Waterproof, secure, etc.
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Old 06-11-2009, 01:50 PM   #5
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ARE all the way. They offer many accessories including racks and do a great job of color matching.
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Old 06-11-2009, 02:02 PM   #6
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I was going to post a shot of my DiamondBack tonneau but the attach files icon has disappeared :-(

I've not had great luck with the fiberglass products so I switched to an aluminum model. It's a gullwing so it's in three lightweight sections, I find this very handy and even though I didn't buy the heavy duty version I can walk on it and use it as a work platform or carry up to to 400 lbs of stuff up there.

It seals well against rain and snow and is very durable- secure.

If the attach files button appears I'll post up a picture.
1960 Sovereign 33' Pacific Railroad Custom
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Old 06-11-2009, 02:44 PM   #7
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I've got a Leer fiberglass topper and I'm totally satified with it.
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Old 06-11-2009, 03:47 PM   #8
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2007 25' Safari FB SE
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ARMYOFME.... I had an ARE Z Series cap installed on our 2006 GMC 2500HD and have been very happy with it. They color match the cap to the color of your truck and the paint job is great. ARE can install Yakima brand rails on the roof of the cap at their factory so you can install Yakima towers and the Yakima line of bike and kayak racks on the cap. I would go for the few bucks more and get the opening window at the front of the cap so you can get access to clean the truck's rear window. The two back end side windows open so you can get ventilation in the cap.

If your going for one of the molded truck bed liners be sure that you get the pad that goes under the molded liner to stop the paint from getting worn off by the plastic liner moving across the pained truck bed. We also found that things like to slide around on the molded bed liner so I purchased a heavy duty rubber pad that goes on top of the molded liner and prevents things from sliding around the bed of the truck. It also helps your knee caps if your in the truck bed. Good luck.
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Old 06-11-2009, 03:56 PM   #9
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one step beyond

Going a step further in your you have a sliding window in the rear of the truck? If so you may want a matching slider for the shell. Its handy at times. A light in the roof of the shell...really nice. I had one, once, that had the raised aft section with a huge back hatch which gave me more and easier access...really nice if you camp with a lot of gear...or sleep back there on a camp out. On that note....I always had used 2 x 6 support boards from side to side in the bed of the truck....newer trucks even have the indentations built in....then a couple pieces of plywood slid in on top. It really gives you twice the storage and organization capability. If you have pets...they can ride there off the other cargo. And, I have thrown in a sleeping bag for that place to sleep if boondocking away from the Airstream.
Don't waste your time and money on a cheap flimsey shell either.
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Old 06-11-2009, 04:45 PM   #10
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Leer 180

I have a Leer 180 on my F-250 and have had it for 3 years. I am satisfied with it and it is constructed well. It does have some good points and bad points so I will try and describe them.

- The extra head room is nice. I am tall and I can walk inside while stooped over. I can't do this with a cab high.
- Bicycles fit inside standing up.
-Can fit more stuff.

-Doesn't look as nice as a cab high.
-Less streamlined so it affects fuel mileage.
-I have racks on mine but I need a stepladder to load my kayaks.

Here's a couple pics..
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Old 06-11-2009, 04:48 PM   #11
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I have an ARE

I have had both Leer and ARE. Both are very good but I prefer the ARE. I just purchased this ARE last July. You can get a lower priced top but the Leer and ARE's are worth the money if you are keeping the truck for a while.
Good luck with your search.
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Old 06-11-2009, 04:54 PM   #12
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We have a Leer with only a front slider window(which we never use) and a rear glass on the hatch. NO SIDE GLASSES. It takes a little getting use too. With no side windows you eliminate prying eyes,the back glass is tinted so one cannot see in. We have not lost anything yet. The hatch is lockable. We like it. You can have the dealer install bike racks for you and you just carry a small aluminum step ladder like I do and putting bikes up there will not be a problem.
Good Luck
Roger & MaryLou
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May your roads be straight and smooth and may you always have a tailwind!
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Old 06-11-2009, 04:59 PM   #13
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We have an ARE color matched to the F250. Our second F series and second ARE. Very happy with it. I also installed a bed-slide so we can get to all the stuff we lug around when we travel.
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Old 06-11-2009, 05:43 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by CA Streamer View Post
-Less streamlined so it affects fuel mileage.
Does a shell have any appreciable affect on mpgs when towing? I have even heard it reduces mileage compared to an open bed.

Sail on silver girl. Sail on by. Your time has come to shine.
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