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Old 03-21-2020, 04:18 PM   #1
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2020 28' Flying Cloud
North Oaks , Minnesota
Join Date: Apr 2019
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Truck cap

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
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Old 03-21-2020, 05:09 PM   #2
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The last 4 caps I bought were ARE brand. Local dealer/installer was the main reason. I have had three different heights, but I like the 4" above cab height best. Maximizing the bed to cap height but still able to drive through a residential garage door or go into a parking deck was necessary for me. I leave the cross bars off unless I have something up there. If height is an issue you will have to do some measuring of your truck to figure that part out.
The factory installed Yakima rails allow for 125 lbs of cargo on the roof, of the one I bought, though I only carry my ~90 lb canoe on top. I got the double locking latches on the rear door for added security. I got the moveable glass in the window between the cab/cap thinking this would be useful, but have not found that to be true.

You can see mine here>
https://www.airforums.com/forums/f38...ml#post1460100
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Old 03-21-2020, 05:15 PM   #3
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2020 25' Globetrotter
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I got a f250 with a shell on it. I couldn’t reach anything in the bed without the cap on. But maybe if what I wanted was sitting on something else. Mine is a pro top I can’t remember if I paid extra for the front window to fold down, but it does. It’s a cheap cap, I needed it fast and got a lumber rack for my canoe. Have to buy better quality for a roof rack I think. Also it’s a pain in the ass to put bikes in it. I do ride a big mountain bike that’s expensive, and gotta lower the seat and remove the front wheel to put it in vertical. I used plywood and a wood block to affix the fork while in transit. It all works and keeps it safe, but it isn’t quickly deployed, the pedals love fighting with stuff. When I just go on a ride and I take the big truck I always curse a bit trying to stuff the complete bike in there. Gotta angle it to clear roof which makes the bike go sideways. Sometimes I just want to pick the bike up and throw it in there. So I take my Tacoma most the time.
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Old 03-21-2020, 06:46 PM   #4
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1965 24' Tradewind
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I have Just put a SoftTopper on my Ram 2500 and like it more than a regular cap or tonneau cover. The big reason is that it folds forward like a convertible top. Makes the bed more useful when height is not limited.
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Old 03-21-2020, 07:29 PM   #5
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I have had two Leers. Both leak water when it rains. I’d go with ARE.

Mike
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Old 03-21-2020, 08:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustRehabIt View Post
I think a windoor would be nice on at least one side to access stuff without opening reach hatch with the AS hitched.
.
.
.
I need advice on
brand (probably opinion) ,
use of windoors, or
window choice,
front window removal for cleaning,
Roof rack utilization

Any other things
I got the A.R.E. with windoors, sliding front window, lowering front window, and roof rack. The roof rack is level with the roof rack that I had installed on the cab roof so I can put LONG stuff up there, level. I am pleased with what I have. If buying today, I would get the same. I have used all of those features at least once in the 3 years I have had it.
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Old 03-21-2020, 08:15 PM   #7
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I am on my 2nd ARE cap (different truck). This cap has flip up windows on the sides, but not sliding windows. I had them on the previous truck and never used them. The window to the cab slides and flips down. The flip down option allows you to clean the windows between the truck and the cap. I had the rack system on the previous cap and only needed the tracks on the new cap as I moved the rack system over.
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Old 03-21-2020, 08:21 PM   #8
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I have owned both Leer and ARE caps. I much prefer the ARE as it has never leaked nor had any element fail during ten years of use. Mine is cab height, has the stout roof for additional weight carrying capacity, a moveable forward window (works well with my dogs) with the fold down cleaning feature, and passenger side windoor for access. I also have the BedRug in the interior.
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Old 03-21-2020, 08:33 PM   #9
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Check out MarandaCap.com
We have the overcab topper on our f350 for my husband's motorcycle.
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Old 03-21-2020, 08:35 PM   #10
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Another vote for A.R.E. I have had it on my 08 GMC since new. I also have the rack system but opted for the glass rear door and center electric lock. I believe it is what is called the Z series with the flip out rear vent windows and flush main windows with the very dark tint. The unit was going to house my dogs while travelling so I opted for the lined interior and full padded bed rug from the dealer. The front window was left out as I had the slider in the GM and and the rubber cab boot to cap to keep the back cooler for the dogs.
Guess where the dogs travel?
I would highly recomend and will purchase another for my next truck.
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Old 03-21-2020, 09:39 PM   #11
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ARE - windoors are essential to get at things in the back without having to crawl around inside on your knees. Use them all the time.

Dog loves the sliding windows.

Roof rack option rocks for bikes up top.

Love my DECKED system with sliding draws and raised bed too!
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Old 03-21-2020, 09:39 PM   #12
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I bought my Tundra new in 08. When I bought my Tundra I had already decided that I was going to buy a Leer cap, so I did. Big mistake as it doesnít fit as well as the ARE caps fit. Now having said all that, it has worked well for me and looks good. I just think that ARE makes the best cap available.

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Old 03-21-2020, 10:09 PM   #13
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I have an ARE cab height model with sliding side windows and fixed front window. I do camp out of mine, so my needs are different than yours. It fits great and doesn't leak. I'm not sure how old it is because I bought it used, but it looks brand now. I've had it for 2 years so it's probably at least 4 years old. I like having the center latch on the rear door because I can open it by just turning one handle. I do wish I had roof racks with tracks that allow the cross bars to slide forward and backward to adjust the distance between the bars.

And I agree, it's difficult to shop online for them because the manufacturer websites aren't very sophisticated. They leave you with a lot of questions unanswered. If I were buying new, I'd spend more time researching local dealers and less time researching topper manufacturers online.
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Old 03-22-2020, 05:42 AM   #14
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I have an ARE cap on my 2500HD. It looks great and does not leak. I learned a number of things after going this route from a hard tonneau on my 1500.
First, I went low cost with just the basics. Not smart. I since retro-fitted a fold down window for the front as that is the ONLY way to clean the truck rear window and the cap front window. Second, I wish I had spent more for a model that had an electric lock tied to the truck locking system. It is an annoyance to have to unlock the tailgate and separately unlock the cap rear access. Third, hunching over or crawling into the bed just got old, for my old body. I just had a bed slide installed and it is great. Although the slide does waste some cubic inches of available storage, the ease of use and the side rails easily overcome the faults.
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Old 03-22-2020, 06:30 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lsbrodsky View Post
I have an ARE cap <<snip>> I wish I had spent more for a model that had an electric lock tied to the truck locking system. It is an annoyance to have to unlock the tailgate <<snip>>
Larry
I have not heard of this option.
My truck's tailgate has a keyed lock, not electric.
Did your truck come originally with an electric?
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Old 03-22-2020, 06:48 AM   #16
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A.r.e.

Cab level ARE cap on my 2019 F-350. Have flip up windows on the side with sliders that will lock in a slightly open (<1”) for a little ventilation if needed. Good quality. Get the center LED strip light. It turns on with the cargo lights in the bed. I have the flip down front window as well. Also have Yakima roof racks. My first ARE cap was on my 2015 Tundra. Ive been happy with both caps.

I also have a 2200 lb CargoGlide slideout. As you mention it takes up vertical space (6 or 7”). If I had it to do over I’d get the 1000lb model as it takes up less vertical space.
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Old 03-22-2020, 07:09 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by A W Warn View Post
I have not heard of this option.
My truck's tailgate has a keyed lock, not electric.
Did your truck come originally with an electric?
My truck came with a tailgate lock that operates with the ignition key and also locks/unlocks with the electronic lock from the keyfob. ARE and others make a lock for the cap that ties to that, but not for my low end cap.
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Old 03-22-2020, 08:18 AM   #18
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Old 03-22-2020, 08:28 AM   #19
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We have a Snugtop Sport Highliner on our 2012 F250 longbed.

The extra 6Ē of height allows me to put three mountain bikes inside and use tie downs to secure (like a dirt bike). No need to take off wheels or adjust seat)

The front window folds down for cleaning and I got the electric rear window lock so it unlocks with the truck and the dual LED strips inside.

I got the curved sliding side glass which matches the window height of the TV for a consistent look, but the flip up side windows would be nice sometimes.

I like it a lot.

https://www.snugtop.com/product/sporthiliner
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Old 03-22-2020, 03:09 PM   #20
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We got that option with ours back in 2008 and it is invaluable.
Would definitely get it again.
Nice to know when you hear that little audible Click that it is secure and much less hassle to open than the two side locks.
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