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Buying a Used Camper Shell: Tips and Compatibility Info

Author:

Tom Zizzo, a journalist, has also spent many years selling truck and SUV accessories.

Photo from an actual Craigslist ad. This shell was obviously NOT for this truck, but it seems to fit. You will see used tops sold like this a lot; always measure them before you buy.

Photo from an actual Craigslist ad. This shell was obviously NOT for this truck, but it seems to fit. You will see used tops sold like this a lot; always measure them before you buy.

A Guide to Buying Used Camper Shells

Given the overwhelming number of questions I have received about used camper shells, I thought it might be useful to write a little guide to buying used tops. First I'll tell you a few things to watch out for, and then I'll break down the major changes in truck bed dimensions for different makes in the last few decades.

A used top, selling for far below what it cost new, sounds like a great deal, but you should be aware of a few things before you buy.

What to Look for and Watch out for in a Used Camper Shell

  • A used shell that is damaged may not be cost-effective to repair.
  • A used shell may have come from a different truck than the one it’s sitting on, so you want to measure your own truck.
  • Truck beds, especially more recent ones, aren't necessarily rectangular; they may be narrower in the rear than in the front.
  • Sometimes the shape of the rails and the shape of the cab and tailgate may complicate the fit.
  • The third brake light has to be visible in trucks made 1994 and later, and may complicate the fit for mid-'90s trucks. New shells since 1995 have brake lights built in.
  • Tonneaus need to fit more exactly than shells do.
  • If a used Leer or SnugTop shell has a serial number, you can call the company and try to find out what truck the cover was made for.

A Damaged Shell May Not Be Much of a Deal

The window on this used top is separating from the frame. There is no way to fix this, despite what the seller says. Silicone will not do it, and you cannot replace a pane of glass on these windows; the window itself has to be replaced.

The window on this used top is separating from the frame. There is no way to fix this, despite what the seller says. Silicone will not do it, and you cannot replace a pane of glass on these windows; the window itself has to be replaced.

Keep in mind that if major parts of the top you are looking at are broken, you need to look into the price of replacing those parts before you take advantage of that "deal of the century." Far too many times, I have seen used tops for sale where the seller thinks the repair is simple. In the photo above, the glass is coming away from the frame leaving a big gap. This part of the window should be sealed. The repair in that photo is at least $250, and that's just for the parts.

The Seller May Not Even Know What Truck the Shell Was Made for

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I saw the top above for sale on Craigslist. The ad says it came off a 2000 Ranger, and it now sits on a 2001 S-10. I can tell this is an old SnugTop—by the ridge in the roofline—and it probably came off a pre-'93 Ranger. The dimensions though are close enough.

It’s important to remember that sometimes people will have tops on their trucks that they themselves have bought used, and often that top was not designed for that truck. A dead giveaway is if the top is not the same color as the truck. If you think the fit looks good, and your truck is the same as theirs, no problem; but if you’re trying to make a top made for an unknown truck fit your own truck, you’re on your own, to a certain extent.

Here is some information, broken out by make, about which years had which body styles. It will help you know what to expect when you shop for a used top to match your truck bed.

Ford Trucks

Ford 150/250

1980-1996. From 1980 to 1996, Ford F150/250 trucks had essentially identical beds.

1997-2003(4). In 1997, the Ford F150 was radically changed, most notably by making the bed tapered, meaning it’s wider in the front than it is in the rear. This was initially only done to the F150 line; the F250 and F350 heavy duty trucks remained the same until 1999, when Ford introduced the Superduty.

2004-2008. The F150 changed its body style and bed again in 2004 (except that in the 2004 F150 Heritage Edition, the bed and body are the same as the '97 to 2003 truck). The F150 would remain the same until 2009, when the bed changed; but it changed only slightly, check the top of the rear corners of a new F150 bed and compare it to a 2004-08, you’ll see what I mean. Superdutys really haven’t changed much, as far as the bed is concerned, except that in about 2008 some Superdutys, not all of them, began including a fold-out step built into the tailgate. If your truck has it, the shell door will need to compensate for it. Leer and SnugTop shells have special molded pieces on the bottom of the door to account for it.

2009 -2014. The F150 has gone through some changes, mainly the rear, and the bow to the tailgate area that most of the new trucks have now.
2015- present: If you look at the back end of the new F150's, you'll notice that the bow to the rear tailgate area is wider, and angled, in a way. Overall the bed looks the same from the previous generation, but this wider rear bow will most certainly affect top compatibility.

1999 - 2008 The heavier duty trucks, i.e., the F250 and 350s, came in the form of the new 'Superduty' in 1999. It pretty much remained the same, with the exception of adding a pull-out tailgate step in 2008, which is technically an option. This is important because tops on 2008 or newer Superdutys will have rear doors that can accommodate this step, that is if the truck has the option. If you try to put a top from a 2004, for example, on a 2009 that has the step in the tailgate, it's not going to fit over that bulge. Yes, most top manufacturers can change out that rear door, but beware, those rear doors are NOT cheap.

2008 - 2016 -the F250 and F350s in these years are mostly the same. The only footnote has to do with the step in the tailgate (see above). It wasn't until 2017 that Ford made major changes to the Superduty-most notably, the rear tailgate that has that half octagon shape to it.

2017 to current -The brand new Superduty trucks are slightly different than the previous years, most notably the octagon-shaped tailgate, there are other changes as well. The longbed on these trucks is darn near 9 feet now.

A 2008 Superduty.  Notice the molded piece on the back door of the shell that covers up the step that comes out of the tailgate on this truck.

A 2008 Superduty. Notice the molded piece on the back door of the shell that covers up the step that comes out of the tailgate on this truck.

Notice on this new F150 how the taillight is different than on the '04 to 2008 trucks, and that little corner flares out. This is really the only difference with the new F150s.

Notice on this new F150 how the taillight is different than on the '04 to 2008 trucks, and that little corner flares out. This is really the only difference with the new F150s.

A 1997 F250 top on a 1999 F250

Technically this shouldn't fit, but the rails on the Superduty are wide enough that it fits on the inside rail. On the outside you can see the difference in fit.

Technically this shouldn't fit, but the rails on the Superduty are wide enough that it fits on the inside rail. On the outside you can see the difference in fit.

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Notice how the bed on the Superduty tapers, and the shell does not.

Notice how the bed on the Superduty tapers, and the shell does not.

Superduty Top on a 97 - 2003 F150

Here you can see the differences between the 'newer' F150 and Superduty trucks, how much taller and wider the F250/F350 beds are.

Here you can see the differences between the 'newer' F150 and Superduty trucks, how much taller and wider the F250/F350 beds are.

Notice how much taller the Superduty top is, and how it 'hooks' in the rear corners to cover up the F250 bed caps.

Notice how much taller the Superduty top is, and how it 'hooks' in the rear corners to cover up the F250 bed caps.

Chevy (1996 Silverado) Top on Ford F150 (2004 to 2008)

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Ford Ranger

1983-1992. Ford Rangers have been around since 1983, and stayed the same all the way up to 1992.

1993-present (2012). Rangers haven't changed much since 1993, except that the flareside bed, also referred to as the Ranger Splash bed, is different. It should be noted that there isn't a huge difference between the 83 to 92 Ranger beds and the 93 to 2012 beds, in other words, an old Ranger top fits the newer Ranger beds, the cab is just a little boxier in shape.

Mazda Trucks

Any Mazda truck built from 1994 to now is identical to a Ford Ranger, for our purposes. In the 1998 to 2006 Mazda B-Series trucks, there is a slight difference: basically, the bed on those trucks has slightly narrower rails. Most shell manufacturers did not change their molds to deal with this variation. I think SnugTop is the only company that has a specific Mazda mold, if that is even still available. But honestly, it’s not that much different than the Ranger mold.

Older Mazda trucks, from 1985 to 1993 have three different beds, the long bed, short bed regular cab, and the cabplus bed. The standard cab trucks have nearly identical bed dimensions to the old Toyota beds, and even the first gen Tacoma beds. Most of the old import mini trucks are around 60" wide and 75-76" long, and the old Mazdas are no different. Just remember that the old extended cab Toyota trucks have a lean or angle to the front of the top.

Nissan/Toyota Shell on Mazda

This is MY truck, yes, mine. The shell was on an 89 Toyota, but it was actually made for an 80's Nissan Hardbody-standard cab. Most old imports are around 60" wide and about 76" long-19 to 20" tall. -cab plus beds are an inch and half SHORTER though.

This is MY truck, yes, mine. The shell was on an 89 Toyota, but it was actually made for an 80's Nissan Hardbody-standard cab. Most old imports are around 60" wide and about 76" long-19 to 20" tall. -cab plus beds are an inch and half SHORTER though.

Chevy / GM Trucks

Chevy Silverado, GMC Sierra

1973-1987. It’s important to remember that from 1973 to 1987, full-size GM trucks had perfectly rectangular beds. That changed in 1988 when they became tapered, much like Ford's did in 1997. If you have a crew cab 1988 Chevy/GMC, however, it still has the 1987 body and bed.

1988-1998. The full-size Chevy Silverado pickups and GMC Sierras are the same from 1988 to 1998.

1999-2006: The Silverado/Sierra changed in 1999; however, some '99 models, specifically the heavy duty 3500 model crew cabs, are the older body style. The full-size GM trucks changed again, like I said, in 1999. The 1999 to 2006 models are called the "classic" Chevys.

2007-2013. The full-sized GM trucks changed again in 2007, but you have to be careful with 2007, because GM introduced the new truck mid-year. Thus a few 2007s still have the ‘06 body, which GM refers to as the "classic" body. The heavy-duty trucks retained the classic body until 2008.
Up until 2007, the beds were the same between a GMC and Chevy, but for the 07 to 13 generation, the bed on the Silverado is actually NOT identical to the bed of the Sierra. The insides of the beds are the same; it’s the outside rails that are slightly different. The differences are very subtle, but they do affect the fit of most hard tonneau covers and bedliners. Try putting an over-the-rail GMC liner in a Chevy bed of those years and you’ll see what I mean; one is just slightly wider than the other toward the rear of the bed. Could you fit a new Sierra shell on a Silverado bed? Yeah, probably the fit would be fine, but for a perfect fit, you’ll want to match make to make.

2014 - 2018. The brand new trucks have this different shape to the rear (tailgate) area there, which for a brand new top means the back door is unique to this model year. Other than that, most of the dimensions are roughly the same. I know the lumber rack part numbers have not changed. Thankfully, the Chevy/GMC trucks are back to being the same in every way for fit and compatibility, unlike the 7 to 13 trucks.

2019- currrent. The new Chevy and GMCs are different, mostly the cab shape, and I have heard that the GMC and Chevy are different this time around. Similar to other generations, the heavy duty (2500/3500) trucks are the older body style.

Chevy S-10/Colorado, GMC S-15/Sonoma/Canyon

1982-1993: The "S-10 years." GMC called this truck the S-15 or Sonoma.

1994-2003: The S-10 totally changed in 1994 and stayed that way until 2004.

2004-2012: After 2004, the old S-10 became known as the Chevy Colorado or the GMC Canyon. The shell for a '94 to 2004 S-10 will most likely not fit the new Colorado/Canyons.

2015-present: The all-new Canyon/Colorado is a very different truck compared to its predecessors. Tops from previous years will most likely not fit these trucks.

Older Top on 2016 Fullsize Chevy

The shell on this new GM truck was originally for a 2007

The shell on this new GM truck was originally for a 2007

Notice how it sits on the back tailgate-where the rear door now, on new tops, molds over the top of that tailgate.

Notice how it sits on the back tailgate-where the rear door now, on new tops, molds over the top of that tailgate.

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A 2010 Shell on a 2018 Chevy: Doesn't Quite Work

This is a 2011 shell on a new 2018 Chevy-hard to notice it doesn't really work (fit)

This is a 2011 shell on a new 2018 Chevy-hard to notice it doesn't really work (fit)

It's very close, but as you can see, the rear is different, enough that the door will not shut

It's very close, but as you can see, the rear is different, enough that the door will not shut

The door will not shut, no matter how hard you try, it was not made to fit the new Chevy

The door will not shut, no matter how hard you try, it was not made to fit the new Chevy

07-13 Chevy on a 07-13 GMC bed

Notice the subtle differences to the shape of the bed. They look the same, until you try to fit one top from the other.

Notice the subtle differences to the shape of the bed. They look the same, until you try to fit one top from the other.

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From a distance, it looks pretty good, but look closely, the GMC bed is different than the Chevy shell.

From a distance, it looks pretty good, but look closely, the GMC bed is different than the Chevy shell.

F150 Top on a Chevy/GMC

This is a 1997 to 2003 F150 top on a classic body Chevy/GMC (1999 to 2006)

This is a 1997 to 2003 F150 top on a classic body Chevy/GMC (1999 to 2006)

Here's another 97-03 F150 top on a 07 to 13 Chevy/GM bed.

Here's another 97-03 F150 top on a 07 to 13 Chevy/GM bed.

This is a Tundra shell (current body Tundra) on an 88 to 98 Chevy. The fit is not good, too wide and too much front angle.

This is a Tundra shell (current body Tundra) on an 88 to 98 Chevy. The fit is not good, too wide and too much front angle.

Notice the front slope, great for the Tundra, but not for this truck.

Notice the front slope, great for the Tundra, but not for this truck.

Toyota Trucks

"Toyota Truck" (SR5), Tacoma

The basic Toyota Truck is sometimes called the SR5.

1984-88. Some pre-1989 Toyota Trucks have have what is called a "Japanese" bed, meaning the bed rails roll to the outside. On just about any truck today, you access the underside of a bed rail from the inside of the bed, but a "Japanese" bed rail is only accessed from the outside. I don’t know much about what will fit Japanese beds, since by the time I started selling camper shells these trucks were fairly old and I rarely saw one come into the shop looking for a shell.

This is a 1985 Toyota with the imported or "Japanese"-style bed. Notice how the rails roll to the outside. Earlier years of this truck only used Japanese beds, but for this year, both Japanese and non-Japanese styles exist.

This is a 1985 Toyota with the imported or "Japanese"-style bed. Notice how the rails roll to the outside. Earlier years of this truck only used Japanese beds, but for this year, both Japanese and non-Japanese styles exist.

1989-94: From 1989 to 1994, the basic Toyota truck didn’t change much, except for the addition of a third brake light in '94, something I already talked about. The bed is essentially the same as on the 1984-88 truck.

1995-2004: Midway through 1995, Toyota introduced the Tacoma, a name still used today, and the Tacoma stayed the same up until 2004. Will a shell from an older SR5-type Toyota fit a 1996 to 2004 Tacoma? Kind of. It will sit lower than the height of the cab, but the inside of the bed is actually the same as the older SR5 trucks. There are also differences between extended-cab shells and standard-cab shells on the 1989 to 2004 models.If you take a shell built for an extended cab and try to fit it to a standard cab, it will most likely rub the top of the cab, since it has an angle to it to compensate for the angle of the extended cab.

2005-2015. In 2005, the Tacoma changed a lot. The new Tacomas have a composite bed: basically it’s all plastic, except for the outer skin and rear pillars. You cannot fit anything on these trucks that is not designed specifically for the post-2004 Tacoma. Whether you have an "access" cab, crew cab, or standard cab, there is no angle built into the shell, so you can swap one over to the other—just make sure you have the right bed length for the crew cab.

2016 - The all-new 2016 Tacoma IS different than the previous body style, the bed went through the same type of change we saw on the F150's and other types of beds.

Current Tacoma vs. 05 to 15 (2nd Gen)

Notice on a 2016 Tacoma, the rear of the bed, and the top of the tailgate, now flare out the way many new trucks do. You can the flared out piece on the door of the shell where it meets the top of the gate.

Notice on a 2016 Tacoma, the rear of the bed, and the top of the tailgate, now flare out the way many new trucks do. You can the flared out piece on the door of the shell where it meets the top of the gate.

Here is a 2015 Tacoma, notice that it's different than the 2016 and newer models-near the rear of the bed.

Here is a 2015 Tacoma, notice that it's different than the 2016 and newer models-near the rear of the bed.

Toyota Truck Shell on Tacoma

This shell was technically built for a 1990 Toyota, but it's now on a 2003 Tacoma. As you can see, it's not a bad fit. Because it's a high-rise style, you can't really see where it doesn't match the cab roof.

This shell was technically built for a 1990 Toyota, but it's now on a 2003 Tacoma. As you can see, it's not a bad fit. Because it's a high-rise style, you can't really see where it doesn't match the cab roof.

Here is an 89 to 94 Toyota shell on a Tacoma-you can see it fits the bed, but sits lower since the cab heights were different between those body styles.

Here is an 89 to 94 Toyota shell on a Tacoma-you can see it fits the bed, but sits lower since the cab heights were different between those body styles.

Chevy S-10 Top on a Tacoma

This top -a SnugTop highliner, was originally made for a Chevy S-10, or GMC Sonoma (1994-2003).

This top -a SnugTop highliner, was originally made for a Chevy S-10, or GMC Sonoma (1994-2003).

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Cab high S-10 shell on a first-gen Tacoma.

Cab high S-10 shell on a first-gen Tacoma.

You can see it rubs the cab and sits low.

You can see it rubs the cab and sits low.

Tacoma Shell on Toyota Truck

Here is the opposite of the above picture-a 1995 to 2004 Tacoma shell on a circa 1990 Toyota. Notice the slight angle to the front of the shell, and how much taller is than the cab.

Here is the opposite of the above picture-a 1995 to 2004 Tacoma shell on a circa 1990 Toyota. Notice the slight angle to the front of the shell, and how much taller is than the cab.

01 to 04 Frontier shell on a Tacoma

The Nissan Frontier shell -from 01 to 04, sits a couple inches lower than the cab, but the width and length are almost the same.

The Nissan Frontier shell -from 01 to 04, sits a couple inches lower than the cab, but the width and length are almost the same.

You can tell the top came off a Frontier because you can see how it has the cut-out in the door skirt for the Nissan cladding.

You can tell the top came off a Frontier because you can see how it has the cut-out in the door skirt for the Nissan cladding.

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Toyota T-100, Tundra

1993-1998: In 1993, Toyota introduced the mid-sized truck called the T-100 (which later became the Tundra). It came as a short-bed extended cab or long-bed standard cab.

1999-2006. In 1999, the T-100 became the Tundra. Now here’s the confusing thing to remember about the 1999-2006 Tundra models. They made both extended-cab or "access cab" trucks, and crew cab trucks. The crew cabs had slightly larger rear doors, and the beds are technically different, although they look very similar. The only standard-cab 1999-2006 Tundra was a long bed.

2007-2013. In 2007, the Tundra completely changed. It’s not only larger in overall size than the previous years, but comes with a long-bed access cab, standard cab, short-bed access cab, or even a short-bed standard cab. The CrewMax (Toyota’s name for the Tundra’s crew cab model) only comes with the extra-short bed.

2014 - present The Tundra, like many others, has seen some subtle changes to the bed in 2014 on to the brand new trucks.

Dodge Trucks

Ram Truck

Pre-1994. It’s not very common to see a 1993 or older Dodge Ram truck. There just aren’t as many on the road as the older GM and Ford trucks, unless of course you’re cruising a badass old Power Wagon.

1994-2001: The 1994 Dodge Ram is so different from the older Rams, including a tapered bed, that I can guarantee those beds are not compatible with the older Ram beds. The new Ram style lasted through 2001.

2002-2008: The 2002 Dodge Ram went through some design changes and some bed changes. The front of an '02 to '08 Ram bed bows quite a bit.

2009-2018: The 2009 Dodge Ram made a lot of changes, including factory plastic bed rails and a strongly curved rear tailgate.

2019 - The all-new Ram is here, stay tuned, very little is even available for this truck, and it IS different than the 2009-18.

Dakota

1987-1996. The Dodge Dakota, born from the Dodge Ram 50, has the distinct honor of being the only "mid-size" truck around. Model years 1986 through 1996 all have the same bed dimensions. One cool thing about the 1994 to 1996 Dakota is that the brake light, now required by law, was placed in the tailgate—meaning the shell itself doesn't need a brake light.

1997-2004: In 1997 the Dakota body style was totally redone to resemble the more popular full-size Ram truck.

2005-present: The Dakota changed again in 2005, to the current body and bed style.

2002 to 2008 Shell on a 1994-2001 Ram

You can see it sort of fits, but sits taller than the cab.

You can see it sort of fits, but sits taller than the cab.

Here you can see the shell is actually a little wider in the front as well as taller than the cab.

Here you can see the shell is actually a little wider in the front as well as taller than the cab.

Rams May Look the Same, but They Aren't

Top: 09-18 QUAD cab, short bed. Middle: Crew cab short bed-1500, Bottom: 2500 crew cab short bed. -all of these shells are different.

Top: 09-18 QUAD cab, short bed. Middle: Crew cab short bed-1500, Bottom: 2500 crew cab short bed. -all of these shells are different.

Dodge Ram has Curves

This is the front (sits behind the cab window) of a top for a new Ram bed. Notice how curved it is.

This is the front (sits behind the cab window) of a top for a new Ram bed. Notice how curved it is.

Nissan Trucks

“Hardbody”/Frontier

1986 (and a half)-1997: The most popular Nissan trucks were the infamous ‘hardbody” models, which later became the Frontier. Those body styles were around from 1986 (1/2)—the change was made in mid-year 1986—all the way to 1997. The 1994 Nissan presents a special problem, because, like I said before, that was the year it became law that all pickups have an additional brake light. On the 1994 Nissan, the brake light is highly obtrusive. In fact, you cannot remove it to install a shell; there’s a bracket inside that just can’t be taken off. That means your shell has to have a huge notch in the top of the roof to compensate for it. This is only an issue for the '94. Nissan did make long-bed standard-cab trucks for these years, but they are not very common.

1998-2001: The Nissan changed for 1998 and became the Frontier, and for the most part, stayed the same all the way to 2004, except that:

2002-2004: In 2001, Nissan put this bulging plastic cladding and logo toward the top of the tailgate, which affects shells and tonneau covers. So if you have a 2001 to 2004 year Frontier, and want to fit a used top from a 1999 Frontier, you will have issues with the back door. It will not sit flat on the tailgate. Hard tonneau covers will not work at all in this scenario.

2005-2019: The Frontier has not changed much since 2005, but it does have this wing-style tailgate piece, which in most cases has to be removed.

Back of '98 to 2000 Frontier

Here is the back tailgate of a 98 to 2000 Nissan Frontier. You can see it does not bulge out like the 01 model does.

Here is the back tailgate of a 98 to 2000 Nissan Frontier. You can see it does not bulge out like the 01 model does.

'01 Frontier With an Older Shell

This is the back of an '01 Frontier; notice how it has changed from the earlier truck in the last photo.  This owner has managed to fit an older top on it, and you can see the door kind of works, good enough I guess.

This is the back of an '01 Frontier; notice how it has changed from the earlier truck in the last photo. This owner has managed to fit an older top on it, and you can see the door kind of works, good enough I guess.

'01 Frontier with Correct Tonneau Cover

Notice how the hard tonneau cover compensates for the bulging tailgate. Trying to fit a tonneau not meant for this truck will not work.

Notice how the hard tonneau cover compensates for the bulging tailgate. Trying to fit a tonneau not meant for this truck will not work.

Compatibility Tips for Older Trucks

  • If you have an older S-10 type Chevy, 1982 to 1992, a shell from a mid-1986 to 1997 Nissan should fit it pretty good,. Of course the opposite is true as well.
  • Shells from 1984 to 1994 Toyotas will generally fit the old Mazda B-Series trucks, before the latter essentially became Ford Rangers. If you do have a pre-1993 Mazda, before it became a rebadged Ranger, remember that the length of the bed on the cab-plus truck is different than the length on the standard-cab short-bed truck.
  • For the older fullsize GM trucks (1973-1987), finding something very specific can be tough, but remember the beds on those trucks are almost the same dimension as a 1980 to 1996 F150. This helps too when you’re looking for a lumber rack for an old Chevy/GMC.

The information I provided here should cover at least 95% (OK, I’m totally guessing, but honestly it’s a good guess) of the trucks that are currently on the road. The LTAA has proprietary information on truck bed sizes, and other information is out there.

Always remember to measure your bed, front width and rear, and the top you’re looking to buy. Feel free to ask me a question if you have any, I have always responded.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

Comments

Jerry Putter on August 23, 2020:

I have a 2005 F-250 short bed - wondering if and how well a camper shell for on 08-16 F-250 would fit. They seem to be easier to come by - what is the difference in the beds between those generations? I am thinking about getting a newer tailgate with a step - so If I go that route I will find a camper shell that can accommodate the step Thanks in advance for your help.

Tom Zizzo (author) from Santa Clara, CA on August 23, 2020:

@2010 tundrs dc -It might fit, I know lumber racks for those F150s fit on the Tundra beds, you have to remember about how it will fit the cab. The Tundra cab has more of a slope to it than the F150.

Tom Zizzo (author) from Santa Clara, CA on August 23, 2020:

@Dan Bennett -funny because a Ford Ranger has to be the easiest truck to find a used shell for, they were virtually unchanged from 1993 to 2012. It kind of fits, the S-10 bed is actually tapered, so it's a little wider in the front than it is the rear, it also has a different kind of shape to it and will be a little longer than the Ranger bed.

Tom Zizzo (author) from Santa Clara, CA on August 23, 2020:

@Wes -not sure if that's 'compatible' keep in mind, it's more than just the dimensions of the box, it's how it fits against the cab.

2010 tundrs dc on August 23, 2020:

I have a 2010 tundra double cab with a 6.5' box. Will a ARE cap from a 2006 Ford F150 with a 6.5' box fit? On paper all measurements are within 3/4 of and inch.

Dan Bennett on August 23, 2020:

I have a 2002 ford ranger extended cab and i found a camper shell off of a 2000 Chevy s-10 Extended cab same color as mine. I’ve heard I’d people using ranger campers on s-10s will an s-10 camper work on a ranger

Tom Zizzo (author) from Santa Clara, CA on August 15, 2020:

@Cecelia A -no, the Dakota and Ram beds are very different. You need an 02 to 08-some 09s, to fit specifically.

Tom Zizzo (author) from Santa Clara, CA on August 15, 2020:

@Eriek -yeah, tonneau covers can be more difficult-the entire cover is like a deck lid, so imagine if the decklid-trunk, from a Camaro would fit a Mustang-your truck is fairly square, like most mini trucks of its day, but your rail is a little wider than the Toyotas/Mazdas or first gen S-10. Anything from old Toyota, first gen Taco, old S-10 (pre 94) -worst would be newer S-10 and a Ranger.

Tom Zizzo (author) from Santa Clara, CA on August 15, 2020:

@Tacoma 2013 Access Cab -don't have a whole lot of suggestions other than you should try to find something specific-that truck is popular enough you should be able to find something. It takes some work and patience, but keep searching, anything else, not meant for it, would be harder to find.

Wes on August 12, 2020:

‘99 Dodge Ram 1500 shell by Raven. What kind of fit would it provide a 2000 Tundra Access Cab? Owner says “appx 69x80” which seems like a strange approximation but I dont know Dodge trucks at all

Cecelia A on August 10, 2020:

Hi Tom. I have a 04 Dodge Ram SLT quad cab 1500 4X4. I have just started looking for a canopy to fit her. This is a 2nd gen bed (2001-2005)? Will the same year Dakota canopy work for her? Is there any other canopies that will work? Thanks so much.

Eriek on August 08, 2020:

Hey Tom, I know this is all about camper shells, but do you have any suggestions for a hard tonneau cover for a 97 Nissan hardbody single cab? Will something from a 2001 s10 or ranger fit or would it have to be an older squarebody style truck?

Tacoma 2013 Access Cab on August 07, 2020:

Tom you are the man! I don't care about color or look, I just want something I can fit on my 2013 Tacoma Access Cab that is like a leer 122 or any high rise shell. Any thoughts? Thank you so much!!

Tom Zizzo (author) from Santa Clara, CA on August 06, 2020:

@H no, the shell would be too narrow and there would be no way to mount it-anything you mount to that bed you have to use those inner cargo rail tracks.

Tom Zizzo (author) from Santa Clara, CA on August 06, 2020:

@James Leste -I don't really have any suggestions. Shells for that year back then were that specific, problem is we never could figure out a way to remove the brake light -part of it seems like you just can't do it, that's why shell manufacturers at the time notched the shell mold for it. Maybe since then someone has figured it out. Get that removed and you can put just about any mini truck area top on it.

H on August 05, 2020:

Will a Leer cap from a 2011 ford ranger fit on a 2013 toyota tacoma access cab?

James Leste on July 28, 2020:

Any recommendations of shells to look at for a 94 nissan hard body (due to the problem with brake light you mentioned) ?

Tom Zizzo (author) from Santa Clara, CA on July 24, 2020:

@Aryn -So, this is what I know for a truck like that, a lumber rack for an extra short bed F150 crew cab will fit the Crewmax, so I guess it's possible that a shell for an 04 to 08 F150 might fit.

Tom Zizzo (author) from Santa Clara, CA on July 24, 2020:

@Mr. Greiner- The bow to the Ram is literally the whole back end of the box. Some brands of tops have a door that goes straight across, with a unique tailgate piece, kind of hard to explain, but I've always wondered if you could adapt one to fit. At the end of the day it's probably not worth the hassle. Finding a used top takes some time and patience. Took me a year to find my shell.

Tom Zizzo (author) from Santa Clara, CA on July 24, 2020:

@Tony Sparkes. -well, problem is, the rear of the Dodge bed is rounded, like dome-shaped. The rear door of the shell would never shut.

Tom Zizzo (author) from Santa Clara, CA on July 24, 2020:

@J Batal -I don't think that would be a good fit, those beds are vastly different.

Aryn on July 23, 2020:

It's been like pulling teeth here in central Texas to find a black camper top for a 2011 Tundra Crewmax 5.5'! Might you know of a comparable vehicle who's camper tops tend to match those Tundras? Having done my due diligence I've found that in 2013 they increased the length of tundra shortbeds by 3/4 in. Could one of those still work? Taking the lady to Yellowstone in 3 weeks.

Mr. Greiner on July 22, 2020:

I have a 2011 Ram Crew Cab, are there any other brands like ford or chevy that would fit my 6.5ft bed? Or does slight bow the rear of the cab restrict any "universal-fit"? Thanks, Tom, loads of good information here.

Tony Sparkes on July 21, 2020:

Just wondering if a canopy from a 2002 Chevy 6.5 box fit a 2014 dodge 6.5 box

J Batal on July 20, 2020:

I have 2013 Chevy Silverado. I found a Leer Cap that is presently sitting atop an 07 F-350 will this world on my Chevy?

Tom Zizzo (author) from Santa Clara, CA on July 19, 2020:

@Daphnye -nothing is really 'compatible' not sure if that would work or not. The T-100 is probably slightly shorter and narrower, otherwise they aren't that far off.

Tom Zizzo (author) from Santa Clara, CA on July 19, 2020:

@Thomas C Jeffers. -depends on the year of the S-10. A pre 94 S-10 would probably work, would be a little shorter than the bed, and different cab height. The later S-10 has a tapered. bed, so it would sit wider in the front and narrower in the rear.

Daphnye on July 15, 2020:

I got a 98 t100, and im looking at a camper from a 2006 tundra, are they compatible?

Thomas C Jeffers on July 15, 2020:

Hello, I may have a top from a 98 Ford Ranger for my S-10, will that work?

Tom Zizzo (author) from Santa Clara, CA on July 14, 2020:

@Chad -problem on the Tundra is more than just the gate. I have no idea what shell you're talking about-from what to the Tundra, you didn't specify. Truck beds are becoming more and more unique, and the Tundra shells have an extreme sloping angle to the front of them, which is more of a problem trying to fit a Tundra shell on something else.

Tom Zizzo (author) from Santa Clara, CA on July 14, 2020:

@o j baker -no, not even remotely the same. The Superduty truck is wider, longer and taller.

Tom Zizzo (author) from Santa Clara, CA on July 14, 2020:

@wwoodley. -hard to believe you can't find anything, but if you look at what I wrote under the F150 section, 1980 to 1996 are pretty much the same, also 97 to 98 F250/350. That's a lot of trucks, anything else would be harder to find, like a shell off a 73 to 87 longbed Chevy/GMC full-size truck.

Tom Zizzo (author) from Santa Clara, CA on July 14, 2020:

@Jesse Strickland Jr -not likely, the Dakota bed is at least 3 to 4 inches wider.

Chad on July 11, 2020:

Wow, lots of great info!! Probably no dice if trying to fit a Leer 55tt on a 2018 Tundra. The only difference I notice is the tailgate but that is probably enough to compromise the overall seal or closing of the rear door. Any thoughts?

o j baker on July 10, 2020:

is the 2011 f350 short bed the same as a 2009 f150 short bed

wwoodley on July 10, 2020:

Tom,

Great information, appreciate the write up! I'm looking for a cap for a 1996 Ford F150 with an 8ft box but haven't had much luck. Any recommendations for similar caps that would fit? Thanks!

Jesse Strickland Jr on July 10, 2020:

Will a s10 or r anger topper fit 7 ft 94 dakota

Tom Zizzo (author) from Santa Clara, CA on July 09, 2020:

@Blake Morgan II - don't think that would work too well. A shell off a Ranger generally fits a lot of the older import mini beds, it looks kind of fatter, maybe slightly taller. But I have no idea if that would fit on the wider Tundra bed.

Tom Zizzo (author) from Santa Clara, CA on July 09, 2020:

@Shins -I posted a picture of a guy that did the opposite, he put the shell for the 02 bed in the 01 bed. So, if you took the older shell on your newer bed, it will be a bit narrower, maybe sit a little higher, but I'm not sure.

Blake Morgan II on July 09, 2020:

Tom,

Could you tell me if a Century camper top for a 2003 Ford Ranger/Nissan B2300 will fit a 2001 Toyota Tundra Access Cab? The only dimension I have on the camper top is about 76-1/2” in length...I don’t know the style of Ranger it is coming off of.

Thanks,

Blake

Shins on July 08, 2020:

Hi Tom,

It's probably already been answered, (got into about 400 q&a's), but im looking at a shell that fits on a 2001 Dodge ram 1500 slt quad long bed to go on my 2002 Dodge Ram 1500 slt quad long bed.

Measurements are close and i know about the curve issue on my 2002. I've read the other issue might be cab height differences of 1-3 inches. With all that said, will it work?

Shell is in good shape, minus a future paint job, but the price is right. Great article by the way.

Cindy on July 07, 2020:

Im looking for a camper shell to fit our 98' Nissan Frontier in Southern Illinois

Tom Zizzo (author) from Santa Clara, CA on July 05, 2020:

@Greg -sort of, it's about an inch longer, width is also off, but I've seen it used on that truck.

Greg on July 01, 2020:

Will a 2002 Tacoma canopy fit on a 1999 Mazda ok,they seem to be the same size,appx. 60"x75". Thanks

Tom Zizzo (author) from Santa Clara, CA on June 30, 2020:

@Trever -yes, I once had a customer who tried to fit the Leer off his 2013 Chevy on his 2018, it fit the bed ok, but the rear door would not shut-fit over the bulge of the new style tailgate.

Trever on June 28, 2020:

So a 2011 chevy 5'8" shell wont fit/shut on a 2015 gmc 5'8" bed?

Tom Zizzo (author) from Santa Clara, CA on June 26, 2020:

@Ron_Spiwak -not sure, never tried it. Just remember that the Frontier has that piece on the tailgate that has to be removed.

Tom Zizzo (author) from Santa Clara, CA on June 26, 2020:

@rondon37 -not of you have the new body-the cab height is very short own the new bodies, and they have that spoiler type thing on the roof of the cab. Older body shells will not work with that.

Tom Zizzo (author) from Santa Clara, CA on June 26, 2020:

@Kevin from Ky -tonneaus have to be specific-the whole lid is like a trunk lid. Could you fit a Ford Mustang trunk lid on a Camaro trunk lid?

Tom Zizzo (author) from Santa Clara, CA on June 26, 2020:

@Brandon -same thing I told Jason, if you look at the content here you'll get your answer-yes, it does sort of fit.

Tom Zizzo (author) from Santa Clara, CA on June 26, 2020:

@Jason -no, look at the contents of this article, I have a picture of what you're trying to do, it mostly fits but the rear door will not shut over the newer style tailgate.

Ron_Spiwak on June 26, 2020:

Hi Tom,

Would a Tacoma or Colorado shell work for a Frontier (2016), as long as its they are both the same length bed??

rondon37 on June 25, 2020:

Curious to what could fit on my 2019 chevy trail boss 5.8 bed? wondering if the 2014-2018 models will fit my truck

Kevin from Ky on June 25, 2020:

Will a 2005 Dakota crew cab 4x4 tonneau fit a 2004 Crew cab 4x4?

Brandon on June 24, 2020:

Will a 2001 f150 camper fit a 2004 Chevy 2500 both are short bed.

Jason on June 24, 2020:

I have a 2013 GMC 1500 Crew Cab. Any chance a cap from a 2017 Chevy Crew Cab will fit? Before I make the drive, lol.

Tom Zizzo (author) from Santa Clara, CA on June 23, 2020:

@D. Owens. -will a camper off a 2012 Ram fit a 2017? Yes. Keep in mind with the Ram trucks, you need to match the same cab and bed configuration, and there's a difference between a quad cab and a crew cab. A true crew cab Ram comes in two short beds, one is like 5.7 feet, the other is more like 6.7 feet, make sure they are the same, and if you try to put a shell from a quad cab 6.7 bed on the same bed on a crew cab, the front of the shell will hit the top of the cab.

D. Owens on June 23, 2020:

Will a 2012 Ranch XD Hi-Rise short bed camper shell for a Ram 1500 fit on a 2017 Ram1500 crew cab short bed ?

Tom Zizzo (author) from Santa Clara, CA on June 19, 2020:

Depends. The 2007 2500/3500 used the same chassis as the the 99 to 06 generation. GM called it the 'classic' body and it is a little different. If it's a later year than 07 it would be the same.

Chuck Richards on June 17, 2020:

Are toppers for the 2007-13 silverados interchangeable between 1500 and 2500/3500? If no, how much different are they?

Tom Zizzo (author) from Santa Clara, CA on June 17, 2020:

@Terry -no, the whole back end of the new F150's has a very unique shape to it. Any shell for a 2015 to current F150 has a door skirt that will fit the tailgate, if you don't have that, the rear door to the top won't even shut.

Tom Zizzo (author) from Santa Clara, CA on June 17, 2020:

@Catfish -I doubt it, I mean, not sure the contours of those beds are even close that it will sit on that bed ok without damaging it.

Terry on June 15, 2020:

Will a cap from a 1999 f150 supercab 6.5 box fit on my 2016 ford f150 crewcab with a 6.5 box

Catfish on June 13, 2020:

Hi! Will a camper from a 2011 Ford Raptor with a 5'5 bed fit on a 2009 chevy Silverado 1500 crew cab 5'8 bed? I dont need perfect fit.... I just need something! Thanks!

Tom Zizzo (author) from Santa Clara, CA on June 12, 2020:

You have to tap into the CHMSL wire, which stands for Cab High Mounted Stop Light. You may have to tap into it in the cab under the dash, not sure. Send me an email to my work address and I can see if I can send you a PDF of instuctions. My work e-mail is tomzizzo @ campway.com

Markus Urbanik on June 09, 2020:

Tom,

I have a 2007.5 2500hd Crew Cab Chevy Silverado. I just bought a topper for it and am trying to wire the third brake light. If I wire directly to the tail light the third brake light blinks with the turn signal. Is there another option for wiring?

Tom Zizzo (author) from Santa Clara, CA on June 08, 2020:

@Steve -no, the back end of an 09 Ram is not straight across, won't work.

Tom Zizzo (author) from Santa Clara, CA on June 08, 2020:

@Tim- yeah, I posted some pictures of just that. A shell off an 02 to 08 Ram kind of fits, but it's a little wider and taller.

Tom Zizzo (author) from Santa Clara, CA on June 08, 2020:

@Ric west - that truck is very unique, if you want a shell really bad you may have to suck it up and buy a new one.

Tom Zizzo (author) from Santa Clara, CA on June 08, 2020:

@Wm. A -no, 80 tio 96 Ford bed is not tapered, the Dodge bed is tapered, if anything, try something from a Chevy (88 to 98), nothing is technically compatible.

Tom Zizzo (author) from Santa Clara, CA on June 08, 2020:

@cchern -aside from Craigslist you can check Facebook marketplace or others apps like letgo or offerup

Steve on June 08, 2020:

Tom

Would a 2014 silverado topper work well on a 2009 ran 1500?

Tim on June 08, 2020:

I have an 01 Ram 1500 with the Club Cab and the 6.5 bed. Is there anything made for another make that would fit? How about a newer cap that's Dodge? I see one example in the article that's kind of in the not-quite category. Would one that's "off" by that much work ok and stay on and so forth? I'm a topper Noob, sorry for severe lack of clue.

Ric wess on June 05, 2020:

Hi..I have a 2008 Nissan Titan extended Cab truck..it seems to have a bed that is longer than a standard 8 foot bed, by maybe 2 inches so it might be like 97 or 98 inches? I have looked for a specific used camper for this truck for years without any luck, Is there any other long bed camper made for other make trucks which might work as a camper on my Titan? Thanks in advance for any info or suggestions!

Ric Wess ricwess@yahoo.com

Wm. A on June 05, 2020:

96 Ram 1500 extended cab long bed. What would be the compatibility of another truck will a 80-90's ford 8ft fit?

cchern on June 04, 2020:

Hey Tom, thanks that was really informative. I have a '96 Taco extended cab. I saw that I'm in the same region as you. Do you have advice for where to look for used shells that would fit my truck? I've watched craigslist, where I got the best deal on my last shell for a 2000. But haven't found anything suitable in the 6-9 months.

Tom Zizzo (author) from Santa Clara, CA on June 04, 2020:

Depends on the year of the Dodge. If it's a 2009 or newer, don't bother.

Tom Zizzo (author) from Santa Clara, CA on June 04, 2020:

Yeah, be patient, it takes time when you send it back to the factory, but they will take care of it, and often times they replace other parts in the process. Don't quote me on that but I have seen them do it.

travis wood on June 03, 2020:

I have a leer 100xl off my 2016 GMC dually. Someone wants to buy it for their dodge Cummins long box. Do you think it’ll fit ?

Dick Lenahan on June 03, 2020:

Hi Tom,

Wanted to stop by and give you a big thanks for pointing me in the correct direction with regard to my Snugtop shell peeling paint finish.

After contacting and reading on Snugtop website, I found that my 17 year old shell is under warranty for their lifetime warranty on paint.

I stopped by the dealer I bought it from yesterday and they will send off to the factory in Long Beach to have it repainted...... drawback, 6-8 weeks cause of the convid-19.

Anyway, thanks again

Dick

Tom Zizzo (author) from Santa Clara, CA on June 03, 2020:

@Red -no, the whole back end is curved-mostly the tailgate, but it's more than that. It would be like trying to fit the piston for a Hemi motor in one that was not.

Tom Zizzo (author) from Santa Clara, CA on June 03, 2020:

@Aaron -your best bet is anything from a 1980 to 1996 longbed F150/250 -the dimensions are the closest and there were A LOT of those trucks on the road-still are in fact.

Tom Zizzo (author) from Santa Clara, CA on June 03, 2020:

I would need to know more. What year is the extended cab truck? Typically, there are different mold between the crew cabs and extra cabs, but for the most part, it will work. If the other truck is older than 2014, the rear gate won't shut.

Red on June 02, 2020:

With a topper from a 2018 Dodge 1500 short bed fit on a 2006 Dodge 1500 Short Bed

Aaron on June 01, 2020:

I have a 72 dodge d200 with a long bed any suggestions on shells that be a close fit to mine

Jose on May 31, 2020:

I was wondering if a camper shell on a Chevy extended cab fit on a 2014 Chevy duramax crew cab? Thank you.

Tom Zizzo (author) from Santa Clara, CA on May 31, 2020:

@Catfish -Chevy bed-if we're talking fullsize (Silverado, NOT Colorado or S-10) is like 68/69 inches wide, the Dakota is like 63 inches wide-I don't think that would work. What I have not tried is a shell for a more current Frontier or Tacoma, because those trucks are now just as big as the old Dakota.

Catfish on May 30, 2020:

How about a 2002 dakota snug top on a 2009 chevy short bed? Really just need a cover! Thanks!

Tom Zizzo (author) from Santa Clara, CA on May 29, 2020:

@Nmartin82 -the problem is, Ford flared out that back end in 2009, so the top will sit on the bed perfectly, but it will stick out like an inch and a half out the back. It's a fairly big gap, most people don't like that, but other than that big gap, it does fit.

Tom Zizzo (author) from Santa Clara, CA on May 29, 2020:

@crosbullet -you can probably make it work, just remember the bed dimensions on those trucks didn't change too much, it's the width of the rail-and shape, and the height of the cab that's different. Not a perfect fit, but I think that would work.

Nmartin82 on May 26, 2020:

Great article. I am looking for a topper and I have an extended cab long bed (8ft) 2008 Ford F-150. Came across a used 2009 topper I know there were changes to the truck in 2009 but in your opinion would that long bed topper for a 2009 fit a 2008 or is the design too far off? It is fiberglass not metal, I’ve heard that makes a difference.

If it won’t can you recommend a metal commercial topper that would fit a 2008 that’s not designed for a Ford F-150 but compatible as well as maybe fiberglass?

Thanks

Thanks

crosbullet on May 25, 2020:

Hey Tom. Thanks for helping so many people... I have a 2010 Silverado 6.5' box. Will a canopy from a 2006 Silverado 6.5ft fit properly? Color is a match and the price is right....hoping I got lucky. Thanks for your time.

Tom Zizzo (author) from Santa Clara, CA on May 23, 2020:

@Thomas -same difference, I mean, it has to do with the rear of the bed. The top bed rails of the GMC bed are a little wider than the Chevy bed. Either one will technically work, does one combination work better than the other? I don't know, maybe, it's never stood out that has left me saying oh yeah, you can totally stick the GMC shell on the Chevy bed but not the other way around, that doesn't make a lot of sense. What's important is to know why the beds are different.

Tom Zizzo (author) from Santa Clara, CA on May 22, 2020:

@Markus Urbanik -what do you have, Chevy/GM or Dodge? If they're GM trucks, the 2007 2500/3500 is the older (classic body) but the 1500 was the newer body. It's not a perfect fit but it will probably work. If it's a Dodge, they would both be the same.

Tom Zizzo (author) from Santa Clara, CA on May 22, 2020:

@Travis -I doubt it. I know it won't fit the gate, the front of the bed has a big curve to it as well.

Thomas on May 21, 2020:

I found a 07-13 GMC cap (a leer 122) and the salesman says it'll fit my 13 Chevy fine. He said GMC caps will work fine on Chevy's but it won't work the other way around. Is this accurate?

Markus Urbanik on May 20, 2020:

I have a 2007.5 2500hd short box and I am looking at a CTC topper that came off of a 2007 1500hd short box. Will this fit my pickup. It is a non skirted topper.

Travis on May 19, 2020:

Will a camper top off a 2010 crew cab Silverado with a 5.7 bed fit a 2018 ram 1500 crew cab with a 5.7 bed

Tom Zizzo (author) from Santa Clara, CA on May 19, 2020:

@Ronald Berry -wow, those pickups are rare, my friend had one, loved that truck, built like a tank. Sadly I have no idea what the dimensions are. I can tell you that the 73 to 87 short wheelbase Chevy pickups were like 80 inches long and 72 inches wide, the longbeds were like 99 inches. Most of those old pickups were similar dimensions.

Ronald Berry on May 19, 2020:

I just bought a 1972 International Pickup. Do Ford or Chevy from that generation work?