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Old 05-24-2023, 02:24 PM   #1
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F250/F350 Tonneau vs bed cap vs e-bike rack?

Hello again...

Appreciate everyone who chimed regarding my last question on truck bed liner options (https://www.airforums.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=243678).

Based on that feedback, I am going with a spray-in liner.

So, onward to the next problem/question.

We will eventually have some e-bikes to deal with... And... We need to protect the cargo in the bed from weather/water and thieves.

100% watertightness is an absolute requirement. With that in mind, what are the tradeoffs regarding Tonneau covers (hard, soft, roll up, folding, etc) and caps? With respect to caps, I am referring to the ones that are even with the top of the truck cab's roof or extend above the truck's roof.

When you tackle the Tonneau vs cap question, please note if your you know whether or not your recommendation is compatible with an e-bike rack over the Tonneau cover or cap (and which racks are compatible). If you have any other recommendations for bike racks, feel free to toss those out too (like racks on hitch receivers in the front of the truck, or over the propane tanks on the trailer, etc). I am least interested in racks on the rear of the Airstream, but will not rule it out completely (yet).

I have zero knowledge or experience with Tonneau covers, truck bed caps and bike racks that are compatible with either of them, so don't worry about insulting my intelligence, lol.

Thanks in advance for your help.
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Old 05-24-2023, 03:37 PM   #2
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I have a Lear tri-fold hard tonneau cover that I've been very happy with. I've never had a problem with water intrusion with this cover. It's easy to operate and has the ability to fold up against the cab supported by struts on each side so that the entire bed is useable even when driving. The cover is lockable in the sense that the tailgate closes on it in such a way that it can't be opened without opening the tailgate. Although I don't personally have them, I've seen crosspieces from Thule and others that can be fitted over a tonneau cover and used to mount luggage boxes or bike racks.

With regard to tonneau covers vs a full bed cap there are advantages and disadvantages to both. Covers are generally less expensive and a lot lighter, especially in the event payload is an issue. They allow easy access to everything in the bed without having to crawl around under a cap. When not camping, it's easier to bring home something tall and it's possible to pick up a load of landscape materials or what have you without having to remove the cap. On the other hand, you have more headroom under a cap to carry stuff out of the weather and if you're so inclined you can sleep under a cap.

For me, the advantages of a cover are more appealing. I know this will likely cause a reaction from some folks, but I also much prefer the look of a pickup without a cap. A tonneau cover provides the utility I want and maintains the pickup truck profile. Just my personal opinion.

Both a cover and a cap can work great depending on how you will be using your truck. It really comes down to your own requirements.
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Old 05-24-2023, 08:10 PM   #3
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I have had a plethora of tonneaus at this point. First was a truxedo fabric tri fold on the old superduty. Worked well and was easy to remove for “truck” things but not secure. Replaced the superduty with an f150 and it was ordered with the factory hard trifold cover. (Really made by someone else bakflip? and rebranded). Nice quality cover and secure folds up against the cab to do “truck” things but blocks the rear window when up. I have another trifold on the silverado hd that opens from the front or back, hard cover lower quailty then fords and less secure but still better then the fabric model. (This one is also gm factory fitted but probably made by someone else). Finally the last one is a hard roll up tonneau by bakflip called the revolver x2. This is my favorite one of the bunch. Secure rolls up against the cab when open and doesnt block the window. I have had 2 other trucks with canopies and they are nice for stoarge, however you might as well have bought a suburban and been done. Too heavy to remove to do “truck” things and my opinion not as secure, door and windows can be easily pried open. That said i am keen to test out one of the new RSI Smart Caps, made of stainless steel and solid! Just purchased one of the commercial versions for one of our work trucks and its solid. Hope to get a second one soon!
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Old 05-25-2023, 05:05 AM   #4
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Cool

My first top was a Bakflip F1 on a 2011 Nissan Frontier. Looked good for about 5 years, then it started to fall apart, the latching mech was plastic and the exterior rubber was getting fragile (truck always parked outside). Have security cameras all over my driveway, watched a little SOB neighbor kid in his riced up BMW park one January night and use a screwdriver to pop it open when locked only to find out the only thing in the back was my motherís walker. After that, it never felt safe to me. I replaced rivets with screws as the rivets failed, the interior material and the metal the screws went into were fragile, and by 2020 it was not quite junk but pretty close.

So, when I bought the Jeep in 2020, I wanted something more substantial. Settled on the Diamondback SE, because I didnít want to spend a few hundred more for the HD, plus I was trying to keep weight down due to 1198 pound payload on the Gladiator Rubicon. It is not perfect at keeping 100% of water out, but it keeps 99% out, and what does get it seeps around the edges. it is bullet proof, and it looks awesome on the Jeep. I plan on getting the HD for my F250, in the same black Line-X type of covering. Since I ordered the sport package on the truck, and the wheels and bits that might be chrome are black. I think it will be perfect. I plan on having the factory install a bike rack on one half with the bars to put a car top carrier for stuff, kind of like Long Long Honeymoonís set up. My bikes are not heavy. My bike is a Pinarello Dyodo Grevil a carbon fiber gravel bike with a small electric motor by Mahle. My wifeís is a Orbea city bike with smaller tires and small fenders and upright handle bars. Mine weighs about 27 pounds hers about 45. She has the same electric motor on hers. With the electric assist she is able to go as fast on the road as I do. I am sure my range is greater, but with assist to 20mph and all on you past that we both ride on flat ground about 19-21 mph. I average about 17-18mph on my regular route of hills and flat. Which is faster than I do on my pure road bike with no electric assist on the same route. Plus at the end of the ride, I am never exhausted at any point.

JC
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Old 05-25-2023, 09:52 AM   #5
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I really like my cap, air tit, dust tit. I call it my garage !


https://fibrobec.com/en/model-wild/
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Old 05-25-2023, 09:59 AM   #6
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Afternoon, Here's a link to the YouTube channel Keep Your Daydream on this topic. They have an F250 pulling an Airstream 30ft Flying Cloud. Hope it helps

https://youtu.be/14piA3Web4Y
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Old 05-25-2023, 10:11 AM   #7
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BAK-Flip !! BEST Tonneau Cover Ever! But not likely compatible with most bike-racks.
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Old 05-25-2023, 10:21 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foobar View Post
Hello again...

Appreciate everyone who chimed regarding my last question on truck bed liner options (https://www.airforums.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=243678).

Based on that feedback, I am going with a spray-in liner.

So, onward to the next problem/question.

We will eventually have some e-bikes to deal with... And... We need to protect the cargo in the bed from weather/water and thieves.

100% watertightness is an absolute requirement. With that in mind, what are the tradeoffs regarding Tonneau covers (hard, soft, roll up, folding, etc) and caps? With respect to caps, I am referring to the ones that are even with the top of the truck cab's roof or extend above the truck's roof.

When you tackle the Tonneau vs cap question, please note if your you know whether or not your recommendation is compatible with an e-bike rack over the Tonneau cover or cap (and which racks are compatible). If you have any other recommendations for bike racks, feel free to toss those out too (like racks on hitch receivers in the front of the truck, or over the propane tanks on the trailer, etc). I am least interested in racks on the rear of the Airstream, but will not rule it out completely (yet).

I have zero knowledge or experience with Tonneau covers, truck bed caps and bike racks that are compatible with either of them, so don't worry about insulting my intelligence, lol.

Thanks in advance for your help.

FWIW, weíve also had multiple tonneau covers mostly because we didnít think we cared for the look of the cap. That said we found not enough fit under the tonneau on our longer trips and we occasionally found ourselves leaving the cover open for easier access. Next came the e-bikes and we bit the bullet and added a cap! Actually have grown to like the look of it as itís an exact match in color and finish as our truck, tinted windows to match truck windows and has interior lights. (Shhh, donít tell anyone we admitted that the cap has grown on us)

The luxury of keeping the e-bikes clean, dry and protected and having access to other items in the bed via the side windows that open high enough to access items in the front of the bed has been a game changer and we wonder why we hadnít done it sooner. Everyoneís mileage will carry.
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Old 05-25-2023, 10:27 AM   #9
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Ebikes can be pretty heavy, lifting them up on top of the truck takes good upper body strength. Plus they're not secure. My friend had his bikes stolen off the rack that's on top of his tonneau cover. The thieves pretty much trashed his bike racks in the process to get to his bikes.

A cap allows the bikes to be loaded into the truck bed. Much easier. They're also not subject to weather when driving or parked. They're also out of sight so more secure.
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Old 05-25-2023, 10:40 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kscherzi View Post
Ebikes can be pretty heavy, lifting them up on top of the truck takes good upper body strength. Plus they're not secure. My friend had his bikes stolen off the rack that's on top of his tonneau cover. The thieves pretty much trashed his bike racks in the process to get to his bikes.

A cap allows the bikes to be loaded into the truck bed. Much easier. They're also not subject to weather when driving or parked. They're also out of sight so more secure.
What cap do you have?
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Old 05-25-2023, 10:52 AM   #11
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I just replaced our cover on the F250 with a Leer cap. It is level with the roof so the whole thing sort of looks like an Excursion. The first thing I have noticed with it, which I didn't expect was that I get almost 2 MPG better fuel economy with the cap on.

My original motivation was that we have a pair of recumbent trikes and they wouldn't fit under the cover.

Now that I have taken it on a camping trip I have found the following:
1. Crawling into the back is more work than being able to roll the cover off. I plan on getting one of those slides so that I can more easily access the stuff in the front of the bed.

2. The cap is water tight but the truck's tailgate isn't perfectly water tight. I put down one of those sectional rubber floors from Harbor Freight so that water that does get in sits below the floor (the bed liner has corrugated so water can work its way out).

3. I haven't loaded the trikes into the back yet but the next trip they have to go so we will see how they work.

On my last trip with the cap on, I put all the heavy stuff that we take into the back of the truck. When I weighed the whole thing, I found that everything was well within specs and it towed slightly better than before.

So that's my 2 cents worth
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Old 05-25-2023, 11:23 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pitou49 View Post
I really like my cap, air tight, dust tight. I call it my garage !


https://fibrobec.com/en/model-wild/



I had many cap flush with the cab, I was tired to crawl in.



The E-Bike fit in high, dry and secure



you can have it the truck colour,


Fit on all truck, no need to change the cap every time you change the truck.



Better fuel efficiency with the AS
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Old 05-25-2023, 12:28 PM   #13
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Popcorn please



Here we go hang on !
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Old 05-25-2023, 03:33 PM   #14
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We have been struggling with some similar concerns regarding eBikes. We have the Retrax Aluminu8m Manual XR. It has T-Slot rails on either side that allow us to put a variety of different racks on top. We wanted a lower rack so that we didn't have to lift the bikes as far, but there is a downside to that option, at least from Yakima, the bars that fit lower are only rated to 160 lbs on the highway (less offroad). The higher weight capacity bars for Yakima only come in a mid-height rack, which would be hard to life eBikes to.

Then come the eBikes. I have a RadWagon (long wheelbase cargo bike) that I can carry the kids on. There are very limited options for carrying that on a car, and I've seen none that get it above the bed. Not to mention how heavy it is. My wife has a folding eBike, which provides some more options, but small tires (20-inch wheels) so also a limited number of options. Probably will need to go with a fork mount and figure out what to do with the front wheel. My other, non eBike fits easy peasy, but at the moment, it's not that great of an option for carrying a kiddo. So when the kids are old enough to ride their own bikes we'll be back to that coming along, and then we'll be sitting pretty. But in the meantime, we're kinda stuck with no good options.

Excited to hear if anyone has found good ways to carry big eBikes like the Radwagon with them while trailering.
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Old 05-25-2023, 06:01 PM   #15
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For at least 15 years I have pondered the best way to move our bikes. Click image for larger version

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For our most recent trip I Put our e-bikes in the trailer. I have a 4 foot long board that I use as a ramp and I just wheel them in. We put 1500 miles on the trailer with no problems
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Old 05-25-2023, 06:13 PM   #16
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THIS ^^^^^^

Protects them from theft, and abuse of road-grit blast, rain, etc.
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Old 05-25-2023, 06:20 PM   #17
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For our most recent trip I Put our e-bikes in the trailer. I have a 4 foot long board that I use as a ramp and I just wheel them in. We put 1500 miles on the trailer with no problems

Yeah, Iíve thought a lot about this. Do you have a post somewhere with more details on how you set this up? I had a plan for this when we were looking at the Basecamp, but not sure how best to make it work in our Flying Cloud. If we could wheel my RadWagon in there, that would be ideal.
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Old 05-25-2023, 06:33 PM   #18
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F250/F350 Tonneau vs bed cap vs e-bike rack?

I donít have any plans. Iím a carpenter so woodworking just sort of happens. I used two knockdown fittings on the underside of the table to hold the plate connected to the bike. Two threaded inserts in the back of the dinette seat holds another bracket.
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Old 05-25-2023, 09:25 PM   #19
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We ended up with the Diamondback HD cover over the bed of our RAM 3500, which has the factory spray-in in its bed. We aren't likely to carry big rocks, so my guess is that spray-in lasts forever.

We picked the DiamondbackHD cover because of our bikes. It's much easier to put them up on the Yakama Overhaul HD racks when you can walk around on the cover. The FrontLoader Yak bike racks are good up to 40lbs -- enough for now for us. The Diamondback supports 1,600lbs of well-distributed weight.

To load, bikes go on the tailgate first, then I climb up on the cover and pull them up from the tailgate. The bike loading and securing is done about two feet above the Diamondback.

If you loosen the back of the Yak bike rack completely, you can tilt the front cover of the Diamondback up to get to, for example, stuff in one of Diamondback's shelves. Tilting works better w/o the bikes in the trays, although even that does work if you need to sneak something out.

To cut down on crawling under the cover, I bought a boathook, and we keep most everything in the bed in a plastic bin. For example, I can retrieve a Honda 2200 generator, in a plastic bin, from all the way forward back to the tailgate by snagging it with the boathook.

I envy those of you with bed slides...someday I may try that. I'd have already done it, but I'm not convinced I can give up 2-3 inches of height, so that's why I'm sliding plastic bins for now.

M & K
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Old 05-31-2023, 09:18 AM   #20
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Ebike & topper.

Quote:
Originally Posted by foobar View Post
Hello again...

Appreciate everyone who chimed regarding my last question on truck bed liner options (https://www.airforums.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=243678).

Based on that feedback, I am going with a spray-in liner.

So, onward to the next problem/question.

We will eventually have some e-bikes to deal with... And... We need to protect the cargo in the bed from weather/water and thieves.

100% watertightness is an absolute requirement. With that in mind, what are the tradeoffs regarding Tonneau covers (hard, soft, roll up, folding, etc) and caps? With respect to caps, I am referring to the ones that are even with the top of the truck cab's roof or extend above the truck's roof.

When you tackle the Tonneau vs cap question, please note if your you know whether or not your recommendation is compatible with an e-bike rack over the Tonneau cover or cap (and which racks are compatible). If you have any other recommendations for bike racks, feel free to toss those out too (like racks on hitch receivers in the front of the truck, or over the propane tanks on the trailer, etc). I am least interested in racks on the rear of the Airstream, but will not rule it out completely (yet).

I have zero knowledge or experience with Tonneau covers, truck bed caps and bike racks that are compatible with either of them, so don't worry about insulting my intelligence, lol.

Thanks in advance for your help.
I pull a 22í airstream with a f150 super cab with a 6.5 bed. With a topper. I put the full size mountain e-bikes inside the topper along the sides with the front wheels removed. They are safe and dry and out of the way. I had to move my electric jack back 6 inches to allow the gate to be lowered with the trailer attached. This allows easy access to the bikes. The bikes can be easily secured to anchor points on the shell or truck bed.
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