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Old 02-05-2011, 12:14 PM   #15
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We had a cap on a truck in the '90's and didn't like the poor visibility out back. Backing was more difficult because it's hard to see through a topper and with a trailer, I want to see well in any direction. People can see what you have inside, so that may be a temptation.

We have a hard tonneau with the factory lock. Usually we are in low crime areas, so we don't worry about it. Most things we carry can fit under the cover and when I need a bunch of 8 or 10' lumber, I tie down the tonneau with bungie cords attached to the locking mechanism's bars. It looks flimsy, but I've been doing it for years without incident. The cover comes off pretty quickly if I want to carry tall items. I imagine it is lighter than a topper and that matters with a half ton truck so far as payload is concerned. I can often get things in the front of the bed by standing on my toes and reaching in from the side and2 getting my clothes dirty when the truck is dirty. You can stand on the tire to reach in if you c an get your foot between the wheel spokes. I do like the idea of using the awning hook.

There are 3-part hard tonneaus where you can remove all or part quickly. The ones that wind up at the front end of the bed would seem to have freezing issues in the winter, but I have no personal experience.

Gene
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Old 02-05-2011, 12:28 PM   #16
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We bought our 2006 Silverado pre-owned and it came with a Pace JackRabbit retractable tonneau. It is lockable, as is the tailgate, and keeps the bed suprisingly dry. I guess if somebody wanted in bad enough, they could get in, locked or not. It does a good job of keeping objects out of sight, no wind resistance like some caps and retracts for loading taller objects. It has held up very well. Your choice will depend on your needs and like always, how much do ya want to spend!

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Old 02-05-2011, 12:33 PM   #17
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I keep it simple...







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Old 02-05-2011, 12:33 PM   #18
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This is what we have on our Tundra: Toyota Tundra Tonneau Covers - photos

We've had it since we bought our pickup in 2008; absolutely no water leaks from car wash or driving at highway speeds in heavy rain, but some dust comes in around the tailgate (not the fault of the tonneau cover).

However, same problem described by CrawfordGene: it's hard to reach stuff near the front of the bed. But, it is still hard to reach things with the tonneau cover open or off.

BTW, Stufarmer, nice setup!
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Old 02-05-2011, 12:41 PM   #19
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There are kits to seal the tailgate. They are rubber pieces that you cut to size and they have self stick glue to adhere to the bed body. That has cut down road dust a lot. Sometimes snow or dust can blow in under the tonneau where it meets the tailgate, but usually there's no problem. Very little water has gotten in.

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Old 02-05-2011, 01:35 PM   #20
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I've had a couple of toppers over the years.

Most of last year I traveled with an open bed. I do not carry a generator, and find that in many cases, I don't need to use the bed for storage. While boondocking I sometimes carried auxiliary water and wastewater tanks.

I have a Suburban now, and the body style inherently solves the "bed cover" problem, although carrying gasoline or garbage is problematic.
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Old 02-05-2011, 01:54 PM   #21
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We have a Leer canopy, even with the top of h\the truck. We also have a slide out tray. Love it. Used to use a step stool, but still had to climb into the bed if things rolled back. Now all we have to do is pull the tray out and have easy access to everything.
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Old 02-05-2011, 01:58 PM   #22
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I have an Extang tonneau and the truck is always loaded with camping stuff and ready to go. Its been a problem this winter cause I have to keep brushing snow off. But other than that I am satisfied. Good visability. Use a boat hook to reach stuff. If somebody wants to break in, I dont care what you have, they will get in.
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Old 02-05-2011, 03:47 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by dougsale View Post
I use a Bed Rug and a motorized retractable metal bed cover. I didn't want a cap because it makes it too easy to bring too much "stuff" on trips. Plus, I like having no blind spots. It works for me
Same set up here...Bedrug and a metal putton push retrax cover.





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Old 02-05-2011, 03:53 PM   #24
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I keep it simple...







Nice pictures and a Great setup inside the camper,..but I think I see a slight flaw. Your rod holder brackets are backwards....The handles <rods> should go through the round holders and the smaller ends of the rods slide in to foam ends <lure ends>with the less weight. Looks to me like you have the Fishing holders in reverse. Unless you have it like that for easier removal..

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Old 02-05-2011, 04:03 PM   #25
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I hope I am not guilty of hijacking, but I think this does relate. I would be interested in hearing about experiences comparing a full shell, tonneau cover, and open bed on mpg. From what I have heard it does not seem to make much difference, in fact I have heard a shell will actually give you fractionally worse mileage.

Anybody use one of those big spoilers that goes on the back of your truck?

I have also thought about playing with making a enclosure for the back of my truck similar to what you see on 18 wheelers.
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Old 02-05-2011, 05:24 PM   #26
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I also have the Rhino liner along with the Access soft cover. I like the idea of the Honda generator. I don't do many off-grid camping trips, but it would be handy just to crank it up while in the PU bed. Just roll the cover back and start it up. I also have a Weatherguard tool box but mine is the below the bed type so the cover covers it all.
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Old 02-05-2011, 05:58 PM   #27
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Our Retrax lockable, retractable cargo cover is now over four years old and works great, providing easy access to anything in the cargo area.

Their web site says it can improve fuel economy by up to 10%.

Ours is black, but it is now available in silver, which should keep the cargo area cooler.

We keep the large cooler in the cargo bed, so to keep it cooler on hot sunny days, we open the Retrax partially for ventilation and cover the cooler with reflective aluminum material.
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Old 02-05-2011, 06:53 PM   #28
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Most cover manufacturers claim to that their product improves fuel economy, but I have seen absolutely no difference before and after installing ours. Also, when towing, we have a big rounded box behind us that pretty much negates any imagined savings.
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