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Old 06-20-2017, 09:02 AM   #1
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TV Bed Cap Suggestions

Can anyone recommend a cap for the F150? There are so many kinds... There is a Leer place close by, but the store has a few bad reviews and no good ones, the sales guy was a bit of a jerk on the phone, and he never emailed me the order form he said he would. I don't mind driving to another brand's dealer if they treat me with respect and I can trust them to install it right.

We don't need anything fancy--just a basic cap that has sliding side windows for stealth camping.
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Old 06-20-2017, 09:40 AM   #2
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Can anyone recommend a cap for the F150? There are so many kinds... There is a Leer place close by, but the store has a few bad reviews and no good ones, the sales guy was a bit of a jerk on the phone, and he never emailed me the order form he said he would. I don't mind driving to another brand's dealer if they treat me with respect and I can trust them to install it right.

We don't need anything fancy--just a basic cap that has sliding side windows for stealth camping.
We looked for one for our F150 and we really liked the Lear with the sliding windows and some of the options they offered like the built in canoe or kayak racks. We thought we would use it for safety and cover on trips. We ended up not getting and just going with a Extang tri-fold cover as the payload in my F150 was too low for adding the Lear. I am considering again for our F250...I liked the options Lear offers. However, it is not something you just put on and take off all the time, and it was about $2500 for the model we wanted with options...good luck!
https://www.extang.com/p-36824-solid-fold-2-0.html
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Old 06-20-2017, 09:42 AM   #3
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The guys in our club prefer A.R.E. to Leer. I have one on order.
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Old 06-20-2017, 12:37 PM   #4
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Seriously? They have the paint code and VIN and they did not get a color match? That does not sound very good.
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Old 06-20-2017, 01:20 PM   #5
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When I got our F150 two years ago I had the same dilemma but my wife convinced me to NOT get a canopy and that was a great solution, for us. But searching for tonneaus was another challenge UNTIL I found Diamondbacks and we are both quite happy.
A tonneau gives you better visibility when towing and the Diamondback gives you better access to the bed while still providing equal, to a canopy, security. While one can probably stack more into a canopy most of us should be wary of overloading our rigs.
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Old 06-20-2017, 01:44 PM   #6
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I looked at Leer, ARE, and ended up buying a Century. The features and quality of construction seemed comparable and the price was somewhat better. I have the Ultra Sport model and have been very satisfied with it. I added the sliding windows, roof mount rails (only), the carpet lining, and the removable sliding front window.The only disappointment has been that the interconnection accessory to the TV remote locking system was discontinued, due to reliability issues. Maybe by now they have solved that problem.

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Old 06-20-2017, 04:07 PM   #7
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Re: Tonneau & bed cap - Had both, but prefer bed cap

First, we bought this aluminum tonneau cover: http://www.ltsportcover.com/

Then, when mountain bikes wouldn't fit inside, we bought this bed cap (with white panels, instead of windows): http://www.snugtopcommercial.com/product/snugpro.aspx

We are very satisfied with both, but wish we had skipped the tonneau cover and just bought the bed cap, which would have saved $1,300.
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Old 06-20-2017, 04:54 PM   #8
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Hi

If at all possible, see if you can get a weight number on the cap you are looking at. Often bumping that up against the TV numbers is what pushes you into this or that version.

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Old 06-20-2017, 06:18 PM   #9
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I have had an A.R.E. on my last 4 trucks. If I were going to get another one tomorrow, it would be another A.R.E.

I added the factory installed Yakima rails and roof rack. They told me it would support my canoe easily, but do not remember the exact weight it will support.

The weight of my cap with the added rails was just under 200 lbs.
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Old 06-20-2017, 07:46 PM   #10
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Had an A.R.E. V series installed just today. Just picked up the truck on 5/30.

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Old 06-20-2017, 08:39 PM   #11
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Purchased the ARE CX with windoors that flip up plus have sliding doors. Color match was on target. Would do so again. Recommend adding the rug on the roof. Makes a big difference in keeping the inside cool.

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Old 06-20-2017, 08:56 PM   #12
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I choose the ARE CX series cap with slider windows and headliner for my RAM HD after getting requesting competitive quotes from multiple local Leer, ARE, and Century dealers in the Atlanta metro area: eight dealers replied. The color match was near perfect and it has been installed along with a BedRug for 6 years now. I've been quite satisfied with the choice.
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Old 06-20-2017, 09:18 PM   #13
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Another A.R.E here. I love the flip up side window to access stuff. I welded up a shelf that fits over the wheel well and put a big cooler there along with a tote full of dry food and snacks, paper towels etc, easy to get to during roadside stops. My bin with truck stuff sits on another shelf closer to the rear of the cab where I can easily access rags, oil, coolant, fuel filters etc. Under the shelves I can line up a lot of stuff and still get to it without moving stuff from on top of it. No fear of overloading with my F-350 though.

I only wish it had a flip up window on the other side but you do lose the screened window.
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Old 06-21-2017, 06:50 AM   #14
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I have an ARE cap, very happy with it. When the time comes, my next truck will have one too.
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Old 06-21-2017, 11:30 AM   #15
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Stealth camping is my fav! With 2-5% ("Miami" or "Limo") tint and blackout curtains
As a general rule, just get the best cap for the best price - everybody has an opinion. Depending on how old your F150 is, instead of spending a couple grand, try Craigslist and local shops. Here in the Inland Empire of SoCal there's a couple top makers and dealers, but the best I found was a clean Vision cap for my 03 F150 7700 4x4 Regular cab long bed- great for urban or mountain "camping", but this is where it gets wiggy- the generation from 97-03 has different cab angles for regular, extended and super Crew. Which one is yours? I will try to attach a pic of extended cab version on my regular cab to give you an idea. Because my TV (and occasional wheeler) is "old", I couldn't justify a $2k + shell. So I found one for $300 - clean almost new with (almost) everything i wanted. The local topper place sells it for $1500 new. (they are wrangling a deal with Leer even though Vision and their other brands are half what a Leer would cost)
If my F150 was '13 or later I would invest in a new matching topper, camper shell or whatever you call it.
Happy hunting :-)
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Old 06-21-2017, 12:58 PM   #16
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I bought a Leer this time, because it seems most folks on this forum seemed to like it the last time I looked. It appears that A.R.E. is the favorite this time around. In any case, I am glad I have a cap, since it allows me to carry my bikes and kayak paddles out of view and out of the weather.
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Old 06-21-2017, 01:11 PM   #17
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Also, whichever you pick, shop around. I wanted a Leer tonneau.
There were 4 Leer dealers near me. One was $300 less than the chain dealers. I drove an hour, but saved 3 bills.
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Old 06-21-2017, 01:36 PM   #18
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We bought a Century from Boondockers in Hendersonville, N.C. It has worked for us. Around 2k. Thule racks and carpeted sides and ceiling with sliding side windows and folding or removable window next to cab. Added a gear net that is attached to the ceiling.
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Old 06-21-2017, 01:57 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ITSNO60 View Post
I only wish it had a flip up window on the other side but you do lose the screened window.
My 2017 ARE CX has sliding windows with screens. My specifications were that I would be hauling dogs in the rear during appropriate seasons and needed ventilation while still wanting flip doors. So, their term for this is Windoors.

Also had them install the LED ceiling strip and whether you do it yourself or have them do it, it makes a big difference.

Not sure if your F150 has the upfitter switches but if so, I'd use the constant hot wire in that bundle instead of the standard harness going to the battery. This way everything goes through the Ford computer for balancing.

Did the research on ARE, LEER, Century and Snugtop and although Snugtop was #1, it isn't serviced/sold on the east coast. That left me with ARE and my decision came down to looking at about 30 trucks over a month or so that had the tops and comparing them to the age/registration sticker. The ARE seemed to "age" better in terms of color, door health and window plastic deterioration. This was a non-scientific test but I got so I could tell you how old a LEER or Century was but it was harder for the the ARE which more consistent over time. YMMV
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Old 06-21-2017, 02:41 PM   #20
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I have had Unicover and ARE aluminum caps with top hinged side access doors and a top hinged rear door. No windows for security. These are both petty commercial, and commercial-looking caps. If you want sleek this ain't exactly it.

I think the ARE is much better built and has more useful options, for example integration with the truck's central locking, locks that "learn" the truck key, and more lighting options; both LED strip and spots. You can use the configurator on the ARE Web site to get a list of options but no price. Then you send your list to ARE corporate and they suggest local/regional vendors, but still no price. Then you contact the vendor(s) you may be interested in and make a selection. I tried two and got a better price from the farther one. BUT it was only better because they made a mistake--I don't think there is much (any?) negotiation on this brand.

I ordered mine with central locking for the rear door (it works great, and so do the adaptive locks) and an LED strip on the inside of the rear door frame--it illuminates the interior but does little for the tail gate area. I decided I wanted an LED strip on the door itself--this is an option ARE offers--and contacted the selling dealer about this. After about four months of trying ARE would not speak or correspond with the selling dealer or me about getting parts for this light upgrade! I have never, ever, had this kind of experience. I gave up and did it myself for about $10 in parts and a short learning curve on LED strip light soldering. The moral is that you had better be damn sure you order what you need because ARE will not be there to help fix any oversight. I'm still glad I have the ARE.
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