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85MH325 07-15-2003 04:46 AM

a little different perspective...
Tim, the question I'd ask you is: what works the best for you for the 99% of the time you use your longbed Chevy and you're NOT camping? Whatever decision you make for you camping outings, you're going to have to live with all the rest of the time when you use your truck.

I've had several pickups over the years, and a couple of them came with toppers. The toppers were always too short, or what I wanted was in the front of the bed. I ended up taking the toppers off and selling them. I use a truck to haul brush, lumber, lawnmowers, bicycles, and other tall 'stuff'. When I pulled our Safari with our '77 Ford F250 extended cab, the blue (gray water) tank, levelling boards, stabilizer jacks, bicycles, and 'stuff' went into the bed. 'Stuff' that I didn't want to get wet went either inside the trailer or inside the cab, unless it was 'truck bed dry stuff'. If it was 'truck bed dry stuff', I wrapped it in a poly tarp and left it in the bed.

If you just leave 'stuff' in your truck all of the time, and you want it to stay secure and dry then a topper is great, but they can be a real pain to take off and put on when you want to. If you occasionally use your bed for BIG 'stuff' but generally the bed is unused, or you keep small 'stuff' in it, then the roll-away tonneaus are good. If you fill and empty 'stuff' out of your bed regularly, you might want to save yourself a lot of money and effort and just tarp the 'stuff' that needs it when you camp.;)


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