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Old 03-24-2020, 07:18 AM   #21
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1994 30' Excella
alexandria , Kentucky
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I have an ARE cap that is now 10 years old. For the most part I like it but the Windoors leak. I believe the seal between the frame and the fiberglass cap itself has failed. I need to remove the windoors and reseal them.
The windoors have been very useful and I would get them again. I have a tool box mounted in the front of the pickup bed and it is easy to reach in for tools/stuff etc... When I actually take time to lock the cap up there are 5 separate locks on the cap.
Two other items that I you may want to add to your list are getting a lining on the inside and bright led lights.
I installed bright LED lights inside. I put a switch and 12v power port just inside the back window. I also tied these lights in with the trucks interior dome lights so when I unlock the doors with the key fob all the interior lights illuminate.
I had the Yakima rack installed from the factory. It is well designed but expensive. I haven't used it like I thought I would.


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Old 03-24-2020, 07:39 AM   #22
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2014 27' Flying Cloud
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Truck cap

Iím on my third Leer canopy and none of them have ever leaked. On my last truck I had the Windoor on the right/curbside but I seldom used it (due to my Ram 3500 4x4 being too tall). I never used the fold down window in the front either so when I ordered the canopy I have on my current truck I didnít opt for either of those two options. I do like having the lining though.

No experience with the ARE canopy though.
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Old 03-24-2020, 09:01 AM   #23
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2007 30' Classic S/O
Somewhere , South Carolina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crispyboy View Post
I have an ARE cap that is now 10 years old. For the most part I like it but the Windoors leak. I believe the seal between the frame and the fiberglass cap itself has failed. I need to remove the windoors and reseal them.
crispyboy,

I have an ARE also and found that the SMALL hex head SM screws just needed a little snugging up and that took care of the drip. They surround the frame on the inside. Go easy not the power tool time.

OP,

I vote for ARE and mine has windoors and front hinged window too. Two tools that make things easier. A hooked push/pull pole. It fits inside the bed up on the ledge and one end a nice hook to grab something or push something into place. Next I made a wood shelf fits L-R at the front on the cap flange itself with small notches to apply weight direct to flange. It's about 2' deep. Our Weber 100 and other lightweight bulky items ride up there.

Gary
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Old 03-24-2020, 09:21 AM   #24
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

We have been using an aluminum Swiss Cap topper for a number of years. We had one on our 2011 Silverado with an 8' bed. In 2017, we switched to a Silverado with a 6.75' bed. We bought a second aluminum Swiss Cap. This Swiss Cap in now on our 2020 Silverado.

We have come to like the Swiss Caps very munch. This aluminum topper is about half the weight of a fiberglass one. We have never had a leak, even in the most severe rain storms. Our topper has a built-in roof rack that can handle just about anything that you can strap to it.

Our Swiss Cap has a street side tool box that I have found invaluable for our Airstream adventures. This topper is somewhat commercial looking, but I like it that way. These caps are very well built.

Brian
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Old 03-27-2020, 06:12 AM   #25
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Much thanks to everyone that posted. Great advice.
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Old 03-29-2020, 10:06 AM   #26
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2012 25' FB Eddie Bauer
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I have my third ARE with fishing pole holders, hanger bars, roof racks for kayak, slide front wind, extra strength roof with pop out side windows. One word of caution, with the composite that Ford uses on their trucks, the installers didnít tighten the cap down solid! The cap shifted towards the rear about 2Ē. I have moved it back and tightened well. Iím considering drilling on both side at front of cap to bolt through bed. Also, I have a hitch extender for the ability to open tailgate when hitched. I donít get side access because I had it once, could barely reach anything and seemed to scratch up the truck bed by leaning on it all the time. Best of Luck, new fords are awesome (2018) for me.Click image for larger version

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Old 03-29-2020, 10:27 AM   #27
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I had a Leer 100XQ on my '07 Nissan Titan. It was hands down the best looking topper available at that time. The color was a spot on match for the truck color. It didn't leak that I knew of. The lock mechanism was a bit goofy. I had to have it adjusted multiple times. The front of the topper rubbed the back of the cab, but that was the installer's fault.

With regard to bikes in the bed with a topper on, it can be a pain to get the bikes in. The height of the topper door frame made it necessary to angle the bikes in. These were full suspension mountain bikes (regular size frames). I use Rocky Mounts similar to their LoBall product mounted on the edge (not the top) of a 2x4 which was secured to the bed. I didn't want our bikes moving around at all, hence the mounts. I could get four bikes in the bed but it wasn't easy.

Keeping the bikes in the bed was a secure way to travel. For my F-350, I used the same Rocky Mounts to put the bikes on the top of the bed sides. That allowed me to have full access to the bed. I'm going to stick with this approach.

There are many creative ways to stow bikes. Some of them very expensive, some of them very insecure. You don't want to be that guy driving down the road with a rack full of bikes dragging behind the trailer.
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Old 03-29-2020, 12:11 PM   #28
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Have the ARE, window doors, rack on top with basket with the Decked system Inside on my new TV purchased in February. Old truck did not have the Decked system and even with window/doors and found that reaching tots in the truck was difficult and I had a lot of stuff inside the cab, under the back seat that I hated. Now with the Decked system the stuff, tools, straps, jumper cables and the like are stored in the Decked drawers, the raised deck is flat, level and easy access to totes from the side window/doors.
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Old 03-29-2020, 12:25 PM   #29
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Another vote for a sliding drawer in the back. I did it DIY, with plywood and roller bearings from Harbor Freight. My cap is cab height, and I can still put bikes in standing up (without front wheels).

I also have a deck brush with handle- looks like a small push broom. Great for snagging all the stuff that slides to front. Works good to keep the back swept out, as well.

I added some very bright LEDs, like the kind ATV folks use. Not only does it work for finding stuff, it also is good as an area light when arriving at camp after dark.

Thule makes a channel that attaches to the top of the cap, so that racks can be added.
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Old 03-29-2020, 11:57 PM   #30
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1998 31' Excella 1000
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I owned an ARE "commercial" cab-height aluminum shell on my 2015 Silverado 2500 6.5ft bed extra cab. Had solid front window, 2 solid liftup side doors, glass rear window installed in liftup door. Had metal toolbox already installed on driver-side. All doors had locks and were able to be keyed to ignition key... worked great. (New, but had been sitting on a lot, so got a pretty good deal). Never had any leaks... installer used silicone for potential leak areas and had shell bolted down to bed rail.
Just bought a 2019 Dodge RAM diesel Longbed/crewcab and have ordered a new 6" above cab "commercial" aluminum shell with an aerodynamic sloped front. Having 1000lb. slide installed...would never do without one. Decided on extra height to allow for the loss because of slide. Having solid side doors (less chance of break-ins because of glass) and custom toolboxes installed on each inside... shelves and dividers per my instructions. Depth of toolboxes covers wheel-wells and slide width, so no real loss inside bed for storage... you actually pick up storage space. Opted for rear window in rear liftup door so can see out using rearview mirror. Having LED light strip installed over inside of rear door.
You can go to ARE website and custom design your shell. I was sent an estimate by return e-mail. Plan is sent to local provider. I went to shop and refined my design. It will be custom built and shipped from Ohio. Will take about 5-6 weeks, depending on Covid19.
ARE has very high quality and was recommended by several people I know. Make sure your installer knows what they are doing... ASK QUESTIONS! Mine was very helpful and made sure I am getting what I want and need.
Happy hunting!
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Old 03-30-2020, 05:55 AM   #31
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Any chance for pictures of your home made slide with plywood....thanks.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SuzyHomemakr View Post
Another vote for a sliding drawer in the back. I did it DIY, with plywood and roller bearings from Harbor Freight. My cap is cab height, and I can still put bikes in standing up (without front wheels).

I also have a deck brush with handle- looks like a small push broom. Great for snagging all the stuff that slides to front. Works good to keep the back swept out, as well.

I added some very bright LEDs, like the kind ATV folks use. Not only does it work for finding stuff, it also is good as an area light when arriving at camp after dark.

Thule makes a channel that attaches to the top of the cap, so that racks can be added.
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Old 04-01-2020, 08:50 PM   #32
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Buy an A. R. E.
You will not be disappointed
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Old 04-02-2020, 07:31 AM   #33
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This is our current Silverado 2500HD, and we pull our FC27FB with it, the truck cap adds tons of storage and the Decked system is fantastic.
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Old 04-02-2020, 07:56 AM   #34
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I've owned both Lear and now an ARE cap. The Lears are made very well, but that said, they are very expensive. I am very happy with my ARE.

I bought this model that uses the same bed liner material as a contrasting trim. Kind of breaks up the "old man" look of a cap!

I also have a Bedslide installed and LOVE IT!
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Old 04-02-2020, 10:31 AM   #35
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2018 27' Flying Cloud
Haubstadt , Indiana
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ARE MX series cap

Quote:
Originally Posted by JustRehabIt View Post
I usually enjoy researching future purchases. However I am finding that wading through the options for both Zaire and Leer toppers has been overwhelming challenging.

My TV is a 2020 F-350.

I will be using it for inside bike storage and other rec gear. I like the idea of a slide but think it occupies too much vertical distance. I prefer a cab level cap.

I think a windoor would be nice on at least one side to access stuff without opening reach hatch with the AS hitched.

I donít believe I will camp in the TV and we donít own a dog

I need advice on
brand (probably opinion) ,
use of windoors, or
window choice,
front window removal for cleaning,
Roof rack utilization

Any other things

Btw. This seems harder than choosing an airstream
Thanks in advance...again
I added an ARE MX series cap to my 2016 Tundra Double Cab in August of 2019.
I wanted better access for tools and still be able to fit bicycles inside. This cap works well on both counts. I cut a sheet of plywood to fit the rear of truck bed and mounted fork style bike mounts which do require the front wheels to be removed. Two bikes fit close but it works. I have about 42 inches from floor of truck bed to lower edge of cap to fit items straight through the back and 36 inches between the white tool boxes. The wood stick across the top was used for hanging clothes and must be removed to fit the bikes. I have seen a few drops of water in the bed after a hard rain, but canít be sure it didnít drip from hatch after I opened it. The truck with cap is just under 7 feet tall and fits in our local car wash with a 7 ft bar. I have been very happy with the cap so far and my wife likes it too, as she can now retrieve items from the side boxes.
I hope this helps. See you down the the road.
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Old 04-02-2020, 12:53 PM   #36
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2017 27' International
Wasilla , Alaska
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustRehabIt View Post
I usually enjoy researching future purchases. However I am finding that wading through the options for both Zaire and Leer toppers has been overwhelming challenging.

My TV is a 2020 F-350.

I will be using it for inside bike storage and other rec gear. I like the idea of a slide but think it occupies too much vertical distance. I prefer a cab level cap.

I think a windoor would be nice on at least one side to access stuff without opening reach hatch with the AS hitched.

I don’t believe I will camp in the TV and we don’t own a dog

I need advice on
brand (probably opinion) ,
use of windoors, or
window choice,
front window removal for cleaning,
Roof rack utilization

Any other things

Btw. This seems harder than choosing an airstream
Thanks in advance...again
I also have a late model F350, decided the bed is where the bike(s) will ride, and therefore didn't have the vertical room to either 1: install a slide - which would be VERY convenient or 2: order a cab height topper without complicating the bike stowage. I prefer to load the bike "whole" and ready go without removing the front tire/wheel.

Due to local dealer response, I chose Leer, sold and installed by the same folks that installed my 55 gallon Titan tank. The local A.R.E. folks didn't seem much interested in my business for some reason - no call back after two attempts.

RE: the lift door on the back - very tempting, and the Propride provides the clearance from what i had been measuring. Others with the ARE rear door and standard hitch will know if there is enough clearance. I really like the idea of the big opening and having the big door acting like a roof in the rain. You loose the old fart ladder in the stock tailgate, but can't use that when hitched, anyway.

The higher top has limitations to access some confined spaces, for sure. Since ours is not a daily driver, it was not as big a deal. The higher top is very nice when rummaging around in the back for stuff in the totes i failed to mark, or fetching the ladder and other rarely used stuff up front.

Considered the side window/door, but talked to the dealer and he said most with the F350 can't reach in there for height and never use them. Others carry a step stool or install the retractable step.

Spec'd the removable window for ease of cleaning, clearance is pretty tight. Speaking of tight, the newer Leers have a "drip cap" feature that extends the sides below the mating surface of the topper and the truck bed. It's exactly how you would build a roof, and i think proves somewhat effective. We've had it out in rain and wind around Kluane Lake and had a leak in one front corner, which the installer remedied.

We leave the Champion inverter/generator with remote start in the bed, and bought a stainless access port from West Marine to permit my extended
Napa flexible exhaust to exit the topper safely, even if the back window and tailgate are closed. Open slides on the side windows provide plenty of air flow - I'm in Alaska.

Hope this helps. Have fun!
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Old 04-02-2020, 01:04 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjshier View Post
I also have a late model F350, decided the bed is where the bike(s) will ride, and therefore didn't have the vertical room to either 1: install a slide - which would be VERY convenient or 2: order a cab height topper without complicating the bike stowage. I prefer to load the bike "whole" and ready go without removing the front tire/wheel.

Due to local dealer response, I chose Leer, sold and installed by the same folks that installed my 55 gallon Titan tank. The local A.R.E. folks didn't seem much interested in my business for some reason - no call back after two attempts.

RE: the lift door on the back - very tempting, and the Propride provides the clearance from what i had been measuring. Others with the ARE rear door and standard hitch will know if there is enough clearance. I really like the idea of the big opening and having the big door acting like a roof in the rain. You loose the old fart ladder in the stock tailgate, but can't use that when hitched, anyway.

The higher top has limitations to access some confined spaces, for sure. Since ours is not a daily driver, it was not as big a deal. The higher top is very nice when rummaging around in the back for stuff in the totes i failed to mark, or fetching the ladder and other rarely used stuff up front.

Considered the side window/door, but talked to the dealer and he said most with the F350 can't reach in there for height and never use them. Others carry a step stool or install the retractable step.

We leave the Champion inverter/generator with remote start in the bed, and bought a stainless access port from West Marine to permit my extended
Napa flexible exhaust to exit the topper safely, even if the back window and tailgate are closed. Open slides on the side windows provide plenty of air flow - I'm in Alaska.

Hope this helps. Have fun!
Very good points. The 2017+ Superduty trucks are quite tall (2020 not quite as bad, but still tall) which would make using a side window challenging. I never felt the need to open a side window on my '07 Titan with a Leer topper. Plus, the more you use the side window the more likely you are to scratch the paint on the topper and the truck.

Regarding cleaning the front window, I did it about once every couple of years. I didn't worry about how clean the window was. With the tint on the back window of the cab, combined with the tint on the back hatch of the topper, I didn't use my rear view mirror much. It was so dark, a clean sliding window didn't help much.
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