Different Types of Camper Shells for Toyota Tacomas - AxleAddict - A community of car lovers, enthusiasts, and mechanics sharing our auto advice
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Different Types of Camper Shells for Toyota Tacomas

Author:

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

After reading so many questions from readers about camper shells, tops or toppers, it has come to my attention that some of you really just want to see pictures of various shells on a truck similar to yours. It always helps to 'see' what you want, and in this regard, the internet sadly is not always your friend. I will put together a series of articles that will mostly just feature lots of pictures of different trucks so you get an idea of what certain models look like.

Right now it seems like the Toyota Tacoma is a very popular truck, at least it is for me on the west coast of the country. The Tacoma first hit the market in 1995. It went through a radical design change for 2005, and just recently got changed in 2016. Here are tops, or camper shells from each of those eras to hopefully give you a good idea of what tops look like on the Tacoma.

It's difficult to have pictures of them all, but I have a pretty good database of photos. I took all of these pictures. As always, feel free to ask me any questions.

Third Generation (2016 to Current year)

This is a SnugTop XTR. It's a lot like the SuperSport, except for the mostly cosmetic integrated roof rack.

This is a SnugTop XTR. It's a lot like the SuperSport, except for the mostly cosmetic integrated roof rack.

This is the SnugTop Rebel.

This is the SnugTop Rebel.

Here is an ARE, not sure of the model. Notice the way it fit the front wall of the bed and the rear, it's not as tight as the Leer or SnugTop.

Here is an ARE, not sure of the model. Notice the way it fit the front wall of the bed and the rear, it's not as tight as the Leer or SnugTop.

This is SnugTop's commercial fiberglass shell, with the bolt-on heavy duty rack. It's a very thick top, much heavier than a standard fiberglass camper shell.

This is SnugTop's commercial fiberglass shell, with the bolt-on heavy duty rack. It's a very thick top, much heavier than a standard fiberglass camper shell.

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SnugTop Rebel

SnugTop Rebel

This is the SnugTop GB sport, notice the shape of the sides, it's a little different than their Supersport model.

This is the SnugTop GB sport, notice the shape of the sides, it's a little different than their Supersport model.

This is the SnugTop XTR model.

This is the SnugTop XTR model.

SnugTop XTR

SnugTop XTR

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SnugTop GB Sport

SnugTop GB Sport

SnugTop Sporthighiner

SnugTop Sporthighiner

SnugTop 'cab-high'.

SnugTop 'cab-high'.

This is a Leer 180, looks a lot like the SnugTop Highliner shell.

This is a Leer 180, looks a lot like the SnugTop Highliner shell.

This is a Leer 100R.

This is a Leer 100R.

100R Leer on the shorter bed, with a full Thule rack-factory installed

100R Leer on the shorter bed, with a full Thule rack-factory installed

This is a Leer model 122. It's much different than the 122 for previous generations. It has a wedge shape that many people don't like, but it's very tall.

This is a Leer model 122. It's much different than the 122 for previous generations. It has a wedge shape that many people don't like, but it's very tall.

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SnugTop Rebel, with roof rack set up.

SnugTop Rebel, with roof rack set up.

SnugTop commercial shell, but with the frameless back door. The rack is a square style Rack-It rack.

SnugTop commercial shell, but with the frameless back door. The rack is a square style Rack-It rack.

This top had to be ordered with what's called deleted wrap rails-to accommodate the rack.

This top had to be ordered with what's called deleted wrap rails-to accommodate the rack.

SnugTop Sport Highliner on a 5 foot bed Tacoma

SnugTop Sport Highliner on a 5 foot bed Tacoma

Leer 122 on the extra cab. The bay windows do not open, but the other window does slide open.

Leer 122 on the extra cab. The bay windows do not open, but the other window does slide open.

I think the bay windows ook better than without them.

I think the bay windows ook better than without them.

This is the Leer 100XL on a new Tacoma. The rear part of the glass wings open, or pops out.

This is the Leer 100XL on a new Tacoma. The rear part of the glass wings open, or pops out.

The 100XL, you can see here that only the rear corner of the glass opens up like a wing window.

The 100XL, you can see here that only the rear corner of the glass opens up like a wing window.

This is the SnugTop 'Cab High'. This is NOT a Rebel.

This is the SnugTop 'Cab High'. This is NOT a Rebel.

A Leer 100XR. This is Leer's version of the SnugTop Rebel, or vice versa I guess.

A Leer 100XR. This is Leer's version of the SnugTop Rebel, or vice versa I guess.

Leer 100XR

Leer 100XR

Second Generation Tacoma (2005 to 2015)

Here is a Leer 100XR with roof rack. This model has sliding side windows and a 'frame less' back door with center twist handle. These models are very popular.

Here is a Leer 100XR with roof rack. This model has sliding side windows and a 'frame less' back door with center twist handle. These models are very popular.

This is a SnugTop Sport Highliner. Much like the highliner, it's a taller shell, but the back glass is a 'frameless' door. The look is very streamlined.

This is a SnugTop Sport Highliner. Much like the highliner, it's a taller shell, but the back glass is a 'frameless' door. The look is very streamlined.

This shell is very unique. This is the SnugTop Outback. The tailgate is fully removed. The shell is still cab level. It offers a variety of other options, like back up camera and roof racks.

This shell is very unique. This is the SnugTop Outback. The tailgate is fully removed. The shell is still cab level. It offers a variety of other options, like back up camera and roof racks.

This is a Leer 100XL. It's not much different than the 100XR, except that it has frameless side windows instead of sliders. That back section pops out like a wing window.

This is a Leer 100XL. It's not much different than the 100XR, except that it has frameless side windows instead of sliders. That back section pops out like a wing window.

This is the SnugTop Rebel. It's very popular, and a lot like the Leer 100XR. The main difference is style-notice the side windows are not recessed into the mold the way the Leer is designed.

This is the SnugTop Rebel. It's very popular, and a lot like the Leer 100XR. The main difference is style-notice the side windows are not recessed into the mold the way the Leer is designed.

Here is another SnugTop Rebel, but on the shorter bed.

Here is another SnugTop Rebel, but on the shorter bed.

This is a Leer 100XR, but has the side windoors. These windoors are vented, meaning they have a built-in slider. SnugTop offers the same feature, but they do not run lengthwise like this.

This is a Leer 100XR, but has the side windoors. These windoors are vented, meaning they have a built-in slider. SnugTop offers the same feature, but they do not run lengthwise like this.

This is a Leer 100R, or Legend. There is no difference between the 100R and Legend but the paint warranty.

This is a Leer 100R, or Legend. There is no difference between the 100R and Legend but the paint warranty.

This is the SnugTop Supersport. It's a lot like the Leer 100XL in that it has the frameless side glass with pop-out wing window.

This is the SnugTop Supersport. It's a lot like the Leer 100XL in that it has the frameless side glass with pop-out wing window.

This is a SnugTop 'cab-high'. It looks a lot like the Rebel, but the back door is not frameless.

This is a SnugTop 'cab-high'. It looks a lot like the Rebel, but the back door is not frameless.

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SnugTop Super Sport on the extra short bed Tacoma.

SnugTop Super Sport on the extra short bed Tacoma.

This is the Leer 122-very tall shell, notice the short window and the vertical 'bay' window. The short window here is actually a 'windoor' for easy side access.

This is the Leer 122-very tall shell, notice the short window and the vertical 'bay' window. The short window here is actually a 'windoor' for easy side access.

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The Leer 100XQ.

The Leer 100XQ.

First Gen Tacoma (1995 to 2004)

This is another cab high SnugTop, with optional Yakima roof rack setup.

This is another cab high SnugTop, with optional Yakima roof rack setup.

Cab high SnugTop on a standard cab first gen Tacoma.

Cab high SnugTop on a standard cab first gen Tacoma.

This is a leer model 100R, nothing fancy, very simple-notice the rear door has two t-handles.

This is a leer model 100R, nothing fancy, very simple-notice the rear door has two t-handles.

This is a SnugTop Highliner, included are the optional roof tracks and rack.

This is a SnugTop Highliner, included are the optional roof tracks and rack.

This is a Leer model 122, it's very tall. The side window options are long sliders or a slider and 'bay' window, which is what's pictured here.

This is a Leer model 122, it's very tall. The side window options are long sliders or a slider and 'bay' window, which is what's pictured here.

Very roomy inside because of the tall 122.

Very roomy inside because of the tall 122.

This is a SnugTop 'cab high' shell. Unique to this top is the center t-handle that pops out. This allows you to be able to lock the door from the inside.

This is a SnugTop 'cab high' shell. Unique to this top is the center t-handle that pops out. This allows you to be able to lock the door from the inside.

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SnugTop SuperSport for a first gen Tacoma

SnugTop SuperSport for a first gen Tacoma

SnugTop's commercial shell (SnugPRO)

SnugTop's commercial shell (SnugPRO)

© 2018 Tom Zizzo

Comments

Krieg on September 06, 2019:

I put a California-based Snugtop Highliner on my 2016 Tundra two years ago and am mostly happy with it. It has a front window which folds up, being supported by struts and has full-length side sliding windows. This configuration allows for maximum ventilation and coolness as my dog rides in the truck bed and I routinely sleep there when traveling. The front window has leaked once during a very heavy rain while at freeway speed but otherwise it’s been fine. I also had Yakima rack mounts installed and, without the racks mounted, the overall height of the cap is 7 foot 2 inches which is nice for camping. Unfortunately, I've found that this increased height prevents me from being able to access almost all parking garages. I wish the dealer had mentioned this as I live in a city where curb parking is scarce. The Snugtop was about $3,500 new with the additional options of dog-proof window screens and an auto-locking rear window. Pretty expensive but the overall quality appears to be very good. Of note, I chose a white color for the cap so as to not bake in the sun. It doesn't match the truck's color but looks okay to me. I could also mention that I like the cap's interior flocking as it allows for curtains having sewn on 'hooked' Velcro patches to easily be mounted and repositioned. The flocking is black which leaves the interior a bit gloomy, necessitating using the overhead LED lighting strip if I want to read during the daytime. I also had the dealer move the LED strip all the way forward to put it where it doesn't shine in my eyes so much when I'm reading. I'll also mention an incident when I was unable to open the tailgate window. Thinking the electronic lock wasn't releasing, I returned it to the dealer. It turns out that the rubber skirt seal was temporarily 'welded' to the tailgate after taking it through a carwash. Apparently the soap residue had penetrated between the seal and tailgate which, when dry, acted as a glue. It was easily resolved by working my fingers between the seal and tailgate to free it up. Hope you find this info helpful.

Tom Zizzo (author) from Santa Clara, CA on August 31, 2019:

No, sadly, it would seem to fit everything the same, but the new (2016-19) is a good inch and half, longer, mostly because of the way the tailgate now flares out. I tried to fit a new top on the 15 bed, won't work.

tony sellman on August 30, 2019:

I need to know if a 2015 toyota tacoma extend cab would fit a 2019 toyota tacoma

Tom Zizzo (author) from Santa Clara, CA on July 12, 2019:

@Thannisch Tim -avoid the soft tops, the fit isn't very good, hotter than hell in them and they leak, bad. While it will look funny, you may want to go with a taller shell, for the extra headroom, if you don't care, I recommend the SnugTop mostly because the roof is so thick it's going to muffle out sound the best, and make sure you get one with the felt/carpet headliner. But be prepared that it is nearly impossible to totally seal that bed, they tend to leak in the front corners. A Sport Highliner will give you added headroom, but if you prefer cab-level, even a basic SnugTop Cab High will be good. They sell for around $2,100, after tax, etc. The sport highliner is more like $2,500.

Tom Zizzo (author) from Santa Clara, CA on July 12, 2019:

Sorry for the late reply, no, won't fit. 05 is the first year of the new body with the composite bed, and it's at least three inches wider than the old bed, if not more. Depending on the brand of top, it might sit on the rails, but I would guess that it won't since the first gen Tacos have very thin, narrow rails.

Thannisch Tim on July 12, 2019:

Need ur expertise. Want a decent camper for Tacoma 2010 sr5 and pretty sure bed is only 5.5 feet or approx. gonna do a lot of living in it as I work at different hospitals around the west in probably off the beaten path places like forest reserve where there’s no hookups Sorry that’s irrelevant. Which model or brand is cheap but also good for sound proof as I work nights and need to sleep during day. Any info at all would b greatly appreciated. I found fabric shells that looks solid for like 500$ but I’m afraid they’ll have no sound reduction

Tom J on July 03, 2019:

Will a 05+ Tacoma shell fit on an 04 Tacoma and how well?