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Old 02-21-2013, 09:15 AM   #15
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1975 25' Tradewind
Dewey , Arizona
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Fuel economy was not a consideration when I purchased a cap for my truck. Security and protection of the items I travel with was the main concern. Having bikes on the roof of the cap most likely costs me a little, but it keeps the bikes safe and secure.
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:35 AM   #16
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Nixa , Missouri
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Thanks for eveyone's comments. I haven't purchase a PU yet but when thinking of what to do with the bed for storage I was thinking a tonneau cover, one that has hard segmented sections that allow you to open only what your need all the way to the full painted cover that hinges up from the front. The I started to wonder about aerodynamics. I guess these fiberglass shells run about $1500 to $2000 and they weight about 250lbs. That would reduce the payload on a Tundra Doublecab from 1650 lbs to 1400 lbs.

Another question I have is placing bikes on tonneau tops. If there is a way to do that you'd have to remove the bikes to raise the lid so the photo on the bikes on the camper looks appealing.


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Old 02-21-2013, 10:50 AM   #17
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Bad Axe , Michigan
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We have a fiberglass shell on our F250. We have had one on every pick up since 1983 except for one with a sectioned tonneau cover. Have never noticed any difference in in MPG with either gas or diesel trucks. We have found the fiberglass topper to be handier for carrying stuff.
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:05 PM   #18
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1961 24' Tradewind
1969 29' Ambassador
1970 21' Globetrotter
Jamestown , Tennessee
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There is no doubt the fiberglass covers are prettier thsn the aluminum ones, however the aluminum ones cost a lot less and are a lot lighter which is a consideration if you have to install or remove it yourself or with little help.
My Jason cap, with lift up side windows and boat racks cost around $600 in 2000 and has served me well for several hundred thousand miles as have other aluminum caps since I started using them in 1970.
I have removed/ installed the caps by myself using various schemes with boards, come alongs etc.
I currently lift it off by hanging the boat racks on the bottom of a front loader.

A cab high cap will about double the storage space available compared to a bed cover.
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61 tradewind, plus a few others
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Old 03-14-2013, 06:16 AM   #19
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Nixa , Missouri
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Hard Folding/Retractable Tonneau and Cargo Mgmt Questions

I just purchased a Tundra Double Cab with the 6 1/2ft bed. It's preowned and came with a a hard plastic-like berliner. I'm almost prefer it didn't have a bed liner so I could just drop in a bed rug but I think they make one to go over these liners.

I've decided that a bedcover is needed. I've decided to go with a hard cover folding or retractable type. I may need to carry large items occasionally.

I'm concerned about water leakage and security. I would also like flexibility to allow a rack system to be inserted into the bed sides if ever needed something like that. Can anyone can recommend a rack system. I don't want to look like a contractor. The Tundra is white.

The Toyota dealer had the Extang Solid Fold. I didn't like it because it overlaped the bed sides too much. I didn't like the way the back section opened up, two spring clips vs a latch system other companies use. Seems like it would be easy to jimmy the cover open.

Florida 55 posted his experience with the Bak Flip

My concern with retractables is the mechanism. Are they prone to failure? What happens if it rains then freezes or snow? I live in the Dallas area and that can occur. The truck will have to be parked outside with no cover.

Then there is cargo management. The hard bedliner will cause everything to slide around so I'll get a BedRug mat for berliner. I don't need the full bed wall version. How do you keep stuff secured? Can you purchase a system that has adjustable sections to constrain cargo? I can envision having a portable generator and a gas container back there and would want those things sliding around. I will probably use plastic bins for stuff but I have an O'Grill BBQ, portable roll up table, chairs and a 55qt ice chest that can side around.

Thank you

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Old 03-14-2013, 08:11 AM   #20
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Red Hound; What are you doing with my truck and trailer? We have good taste.
I have used both the cover and the cap and didn't see any difference in gas mileage. The big difference is that you have a good excuse NOT to be a hauler for friends with the cap on.
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Old 03-14-2013, 08:23 AM   #21
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I have a hard tonneau on my truck - it's aluminum, lockable and is segmented so you can open part of the bed as needed. It's tough and can withstand 300lbs standing on it. Weighs about 30lbs It was $700 and I installed in myself in about 30 mins. Nice thing about it is that you can easily remove it if you wanted to to haul something big.

One could argue that the big cap actually is increasing drag because of the large rear surface area. That combined with the extra weight can reduce mileage. Once downside of the cap is that you can only access your bed from the back and they are a pain to remove if you need to haul something. The nice thing about them is you can haul fairly large items in a dry space.

Don't justify what you buy on some hope of a few dollars in MPG savings. Buy to suit your needs, as the savings are dubious at best.
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Old 03-14-2013, 08:30 AM   #22
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Fort Collins , Colorado
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I wouldn't decide whether or not to get a cap based on fuel economy; doubt it would make enough difference to be worth it. However, a tonneau cover or cap provides protection and some security for your bed loaded items. Our current truck has a cover (one of the ones that is hinged at the front of the bed) which has proved inconvenient when carrying bulky items. Next time it will be one of the folding covers or a cap.
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Old 03-15-2013, 05:46 PM   #23
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2006 34' Classic S/O
Lakewood , New Jersey
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I have an under cover hard tonneau. It makes my truck bed into a very nice trunk. Not sure if it helps fuel economy, but I like how it keeps the bed dry from the elements, and hopefully cuts down on rust and corrosion.


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Old 03-25-2013, 08:34 AM   #24
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Puyallup , Washington
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I used to have camper shells on previous trucks but hated trying to clean the windows between the cab and shell, so now I have a bakflip folding hard tonneau cover. I like this because it fits fluh with the bed and can be folded up to haul larger things unlike the fiberglass ones

BAK Tonneau Covers and Truck Bed Covers |
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Old 03-26-2013, 05:45 AM   #25
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I've decided against the camper shell for these reasons

1. When the truck is hitched to the trailer you can't drop the tailgate all the way down because the hitch jack and propane tanks are in the way. You could get the camper shell tailgate up but then you'd have to crawl in there to get anything. Seems inconvenient. A hard multi section tonneau you have access from all sides of the truck bed to get at something.

2. The extra weight of the camper shell reduces the truck payload further. Tonneau covers are about 1/4 to 1/3 the weight.

3. I can use the power rear window to hear my wife when trying to hitch up and better visibility when trying to back the AS into a camping spot. I still don't find it easy to use the side mirrors 100% for backing.

4. Camper shells are more expensive and must be special ordered for paint matching while a sectional hard tonneau can be ordered online and I can install it myself.

Thanks for everyones comments.

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Old 03-26-2013, 08:30 AM   #26
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Yet the shell makes for an excellent "doghouse" when your wife kicks you out for frying fish in the Airstream.

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