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Tips on Buying a Shell or Top for Your New Truck

Updated on January 03, 2017
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So you finally got that new truck you've been wanting, but now that it's sitting safely in your driveway, it looks naked. You're considering a shell or a top, maybe even a hard lid-type cover, but there are so many options. Where do you begin?

I spent many years selling truck accessories, but no longer do, so I will try to help by offering this information.

The first thing you want to ask yourself is: How do you plan on using your new truck? If you put a top on the truck bed, will you still be able to use the truck in the same way?

If the answer is yes, meaning a lumber rack and/or tool boxes aren't part of your vision, then you're ready to start looking at tops.

Types of Removable Covers

So you want a shell, or even a lid (also known as a hard tonneau cover), but you want to be able to remove it without too much trouble for that occasional large load. After all, what good is having a truck if you can't use it like a truck.

The good news is that many truck top manufacturers know that truck owners want the option to be able to remove a shell or lid.

SnugTop Covers

SnugTop Mounting System

Where the rail is bulging out is where the mounting clamp is, a feature exclusive to this brand.
Where the rail is bulging out is where the mounting clamp is, a feature exclusive to this brand.

For a good shell that's easy to remove, consider a SnugTop. It uses a J-hook style installation that works like a clamp—no drilling.

The other benefit with this brand is that their tops are very custom fit, meaning the base rails of the shell are a contoured fit, not flat, so you will actually feel the shell fit in place when you set it on the bed.

Their tops also have a bulb rubber seal built-in along the base rail, meaning there is no seal to have to re-do when you remove and reinstall the shell.

Leer

A Leer brand top has a rubber seal and J-hooks as well, although their J-hooks are a little different. Most manufactures require a foam tape to be installed along the base rails to seal the shell to the bed.

If that tape is not replaced when the shell is removed, it will leak after you reinstall it. Either one of these brands of shells will weigh between 150 to 200 lbs, depending on how large your truck is.

Pro-Tip: Ask for the Boards the Shell Was Shipped On

A good tip to remember if you plan on removing a shell after you buy it is to ask the dealer for the boards that the shell is shipped with, that way if you do remove it, you can reuse those boards when you set it on the ground for storage.

These boards typically get tossed out or recycled, so the dealer should not have a problem just giving them to you. Remember too that a lot of truck shells now have what they call wrap-rails-for a nice custom-fit look. They can easily be damaged, so having these shipping boards really helps.

Removing Hard Lid Covers

Hard lid covers (tonneau covers) are not as easy to remove as you might think. A hard, fiberglass, painted-to-match lid is actually quite heavy, and depending on the brand or style, it can be a little tricky to take on and off.

Believe it or not, something such as a basic SnugTop hard tonneau—which they call their TC lid-or Tonneau Cover—weighs almost as much as some shells do. They have a very thick honey-comb construction, and despite what the company says, they're heavy.

Painted-to-match Leer covers are about the same in weight.

Another good painted fiberglass lid brand is the Gaylord cover, and their mounting systems have a lot of flexibility for fine adjustments.

Pro-Tip: Stay Away From Shut-and-Lock Latching Systems

This will make sense when you re-install a lid, since the real trick is for it to be able to open and shut with ease, and for this reason, I like to stay away from these shut-and-lock latching systems.

These latching systems work on the idea that your truck bed is now like a big trunk—use a key to open it, then slam it shut to lock it. Many of the popular brands operate this way, and they all say they work great, but I have sold and installed many lids, and on average, we would replace 2 to 3 Snuglid SL lid locks every week.

The Snuglid TC lid, and the Gaylord basic lid, use the standard lock that turns and swings a cam under a fixed plate to lock it in place. This is really the best way to go. It's not that fancy, but there are no headaches later on. Back in the late 90's, most hard lids used these simple locks, and they hardly ever had problems.

Remember too that all of the lids I described are clamped on-no drilling, but that does not mean they are easy to remove, it simply means less holes in your bed.

The Easiest Lid to Remove

Probably the easiest lids to remove are the non-painted, black hard covers, such as the Undercover brand. They weigh less than half of the painted fiberglass covers, but they are also just as strong. They tend to fit great and are very easy to install.

I found that their cover on the new Tacoma beds were extremely simple to install. Professional installers can get them on in about 15 minutes or less. It's no surprise then that removing these and re-installing them is just as simple.

Since they weigh about 50 lbs. (less for the extra short mini-truck beds) and they aren't painted, taking it off and propping it against a wall in your garage takes about ten minutes and you won't have to worry about scratching it.

True, these covers don't look as good as the painted ones, but they are very functional, secure and strong. Older style covers, like the old Protecto Tops, were very flimsy, and could be broken in half like snapping thin plywood.

The newer Undercover lids are also very reasonable in price, and don't pay too much for labor if you get one of these installed, because believe me, even someone who is mildly handy could put one of these on by themselves.

Rolling Covers

You may also consider a rolling cover. They roll up out of your way into a canister in the front of the bed, and you don't have to remove it. But remember, more moving parts means more that can go wrong over time.

It may work great when you first get it, but give it a year or two and it may need some occasional adjusting, or sometimes a lot of regular adjusting.

Roll covers also take up bed space, and they are notorious for leaking. That's why most of them come with drain tubes. A good, secure cover is the Pace Edwards Full Metal roll cover. It costs almost as much as a shell, but they are designed well, and have few problems.

Style

What do you want your truck to look like?

Good shells and higher-end models will cost well over $2,000 at the end of the day, so before you even start looking, keep that in mind.

Fiberglass

Even when there are special sales, a simple, color-matched fiberglass shell can cost between $1,200 and $1,400 depending on the brand.

Shells are not what they used to be, which were gel-coated (not painted) plastic pieces of garbage that fit lousy, and spent more time on the side of the freeway than on the bed of your truck.

Plastic shells are now non-existent and most fiberglass tops are clear coat enamel paint, just like your truck. I know they seem expensive, but if you just spent more than $35,000 on a brand new truck, you should put something on it that is comparable in quality to the truck itself. After all, you wouldn't buy a $5 tie for a $1,000 designer suit.

High-End Tops and Their Downsides

Expensive styles of tops usually have the all-glass doors with hidden or semi-hidden hinges for that realistic SUV look. SnugTop's models that have this all glass, frameless rear door are the XV (eXtra Vision) or the Super Sport models.

It's all about the look, nothing more. Going with that SUV look may be the coolest, but remember that if and when you do break that back door, it's expensive. Trust me, a lot of people break the back door on their shells.

Backing into the garage with the door up is the most common scenario. Same goes with Leer's popular 100XL model. Remember that the glass in these doors is tempered safety glass, but not laminated like a windshield, so all it takes is one small rock, and all that glass will shatter into very small pieces.

Aluminum-framed doors on the other hand are much cheaper to replace, sometimes half the cost for the part. Most basic fiberglass shells use the aluminum framed rear doors.

SnugTop calls their basic top the Cab High, meaning it is level in height with that of the cab of the truck. Leer's is called the 100R. Of course, all of these tops I just described are cab level in height.

These two types of tops are the most popular, and I highly, highly recommend looking at actual tops at an accessory dealer so you can see the quality difference in the parts they use.

SnugTop vs Leer

SnugTop's shells tend to cost more than any other brand, but that's mostly because they use more expensive parts. It's arguable if that means those parts are better, but they look and feel better, like sturdier latches and metal, not plastic hinges.

SnugTop shells also have thicker fiberglass construction, which may mean nothing unless you want to mount a rack on top of it or if you have an off-road truck and actually use it that way and subject the bed to a lot of flexing.

There are of course many other models, most of which involve extra height for the camping enthusiast or just someone with a need for more headroom and space.

Leer has several taller models, the model 122 being the tallest, but I personally think they look ugly. SnugTop has a very smooth-line taller top called the High Liner, but its availability is sometimes limited as most people want the clean look of a cab high top.

The Best Brands

Notice I am mainly talking about SnugTop and Leer here. That's because these are the two most widely known and popular brands on the market today. There are other more obscure brands, but be careful what you buy.

I have seen manufacturers come and go, and good luck getting parts or service for these tops once the company goes under. SnugTop and Leer have been around for a while. Century is a decent brand, and it's owned by Leer so it's basically a cheap Leer.

Glasstite use to be a really good brand, then they sold out to different corporate owners a few years ago and the service went down the tubes.

A.R.E. is another brand, and they have a very distinct model of top where the tailgate of the truck bed is removed, making it a full walk-in rear door, but be careful with this one, it's prone to many potential problems. The fit from A.R.E. isn't that great either.

Other Options and Add-Ons

Carpet Lining

Yes, truck caps or shells have many optional features. The most common is the inside carpet lining. Most shells have this, that is to say most dealers will stock tops with this option and many models actually come with this option included.

Is carpet necessary? No, not really, it just looks much better than the raw fiberglass, and it helps to insulate the shell better. The carpet is like speaker box carpet, and it's indoor/outdoor grade, so it won't get mildewed if it gets wet.

Windows

The front of a top usually has a sliding window, so the inside of the now covered bed can be accessed from the truck's rear cab window-provided your truck has a rear sliding window. Solid windows are usually standard, but you would only want that if your rear cab window is solid as well.

An option for that front sliding window in the shell is to have one with the capability to fold down, or in the case of Leer, it can be removed.

Why is this a good option? Because cleaning the rear cab window once a shell is installed becomes quite a chore without it.

The gap between the truck bed and cab is very tight, especially now since trucks have more streamlined designs, and if you want a nice custom look, the shell has to fit this way. Fold down glass is also available with solid windows as well, for the same reason.

Folding Front Slider Option

As you can see, with the front slider dropped down and out of the way, cleaning the cab window is a lot easier.
As you can see, with the front slider dropped down and out of the way, cleaning the cab window is a lot easier.

Boots

Don't get a boot. This option is still offered, but I highly, highly recommend not getting it. They leak, they rub off all your paint, they don't last and the list goes on. With folding front sliders now available, they really aren't necessary.

Racks

Racks on top of shells are also common options. The best thing to do is to order the shell with the tracks pre-installed. Either Thule or Yakima tracks are cross-compatible, and even if you're not sure what specific type of rack you want, you at least now have the option to install the towers and bars on the tracks after you get the shell.

You may even have these parts already and want to transfer that system to the shell. Tracks also give you the option to vary the spread between the bars. They can typically hold about 165 lbs. I only know of one shell manufacturer that offers the option to have the roof made thicker to accommodate extra weight, and that's SnugTop.

They call it the sportsman package, and for a price, they will make the roof thicker as well as reinforce all of the critical stress points. Tops with this option can carry up to 500 lbs, which is perfect for a small aluminum boat. For most, this option is probably overkill.

Keep your cargo in one place

Buying Used

You can get a really great deal buying a used shell if you know what to look for. I had a customer once who not only got the exact fit, but he found a used shell that was the same color, and it wasn't a common color either. He bought the shell used for $500, and new, the same shell would have cost $1,500.

Do Your Research

The key is to know what fits what. Full size Chevy beds for example:1988 will fit up to 1998, and some 99s. 2000 up to 2006 Chevy beds are also the same, despite the body style changes. The 2007 model is different than all of them.

Simply measuring the bed though will not always be enough to know if the used shell you're looking to buy will fit. This is because most truck beds are now tapered, meaning the bed is wider in the front and narrower in the back.

Chevy started doing this in 88, Ford in 97 and Dodge in 94. The new full-size Dodge truck beds are so tapered in fact that lumber racks on these beds don't seem to fit until you push the rack all the way forward.

Try It On

Setting the shell on the bed is the best way to determine if it will fit. Remember that even if the shell appears to fit, if the rear door doesn't open and shut right, or lock, what's the point of even having the shell on the bed.

Some dealers also offer close-out shells, because truck bed fits have gone through so many changes over the last five or six years, they may still have a top in inventory that they would love to get rid of.

I once sold a shell to a guy that only fit a 2003-04 F150 crew cab with the extra short bed, and it was even in is color, and he got it for almost $800 less than if he had ordered it, and the shell was technically brand new.

Ask, Ask, Ask

Remember to always ask about warranties and paint finish for those really good deals you see advertised.

Sometimes shells will be offered super cheap, but they may only come with a one year paint warranty, where most have a lifetime warranty.

Good luck, and I hope this info helps.

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    • profile image

      Al Lewandowski 2 days ago

      I just purchased a Toyota Tacoma and am planning to add a hi-rise as I plan frequent camping trips. This article was really informative and helpful.

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      Rex 13 days ago

      Is there any compatibility between truck brands? I found plenty of used chevy caps that according to measurements should fit on my ford, but after speaking with a leer rep, they say 'no way will it work.' If there is any cross-over, the next question would be how perfectly do these caps need to fit onto the bed?

    • profile image

      Annette 2 weeks ago

      Hi

      My husband has a 1988 GMC 3500 truck which we have found a cab for. However, the bed of the truck is sealed and does not have side rails. How do you install the cab on this?

    • Tom Zizzo profile image
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      Tom Zizzo 3 weeks ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @pposey -good question, there have been some slight modifications to that truck, but the old top may still work on it, not sure though, I know that SnugTop has a new mold for the 2014 to current model, Leer also shows that there is a new mold for the current truck, so it might not be a perfect fit.

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      pposey 3 weeks ago

      First great website and info,,, I have a 2008 Tundra Crewmax with a Leer fiberglass top that fits really well,, I am looking for a 2015-2017 Tundra Crewmax, will the top fit the newer truck?

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      Jim Heckenkamp 4 weeks ago

      great advice here. Thank you.

    • Tom Zizzo profile image
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      Tom Zizzo 6 weeks ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @Mike -great question, and once upon a time, a couple of manufacturers did. You may be able to modify an aftermarket accessory for a top. Check out the Lund Windjammer. Hope this helps!

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      Mike 6 weeks ago

      HI Tom,

      Why is it and I've checked and checked, that no Cap Manufacture offers a Wind Deflector mounted above the caps rear window to deflect Snow/Dirt off the window????

      All Sport Utility vehicles have these that in most cases work great. When traveling in snow I have a couple of inches of snow that builds up.

    • Tom Zizzo profile image
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      Tom Zizzo 2 months ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @aradsc -they're not wrong, they ARE different, mostly toward the rear, and unfortunately, if you want to get the best water seal, you need a specific mold. If you do have to go with a new top, check out Century, it's made by Leer, but more basic parts so it's cheaper. Hope this helps.

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      Chris 2 months ago

      Thanks for the info in this article Tom. You did not mention Jason brand tops and was wondering if you have any experience or knowledge of them. I am on a really tight budget and need to get the most bang for the buck.

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      aradsc 2 months ago

      Here's my dilemma.

      Guy on CL has a 2012 Silverado w/ short bed and is trying to sell his Leer 100XL truck top for a fair price; I'm interested.

      I have a 2015 Silverado w/ short bed and want to buy the CL one but the Leer site says it wont fit. Leer says the 2012 model Silverado uses a 2007-2013 model 100XL and the 2015 Silverado uses a different "new" model. What is the difference going to be? Bed rails? Can I make this fit on my truck and be water tight? I would hate to pass on this deal if I don't have too. Leer was useless & no one seems to be able to tell me what the fitment issues are.

    • Tom Zizzo profile image
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      Tom Zizzo 2 months ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @Ann, first thing you need to do is locate your local SnugTop dealer, will make what you want to do a lot easier. They should have replacement parts, like the j-hooks and even a key to the lock, or just a new lock. You can mount a rack to the roof-those shells are fairly thick. I recommend using the Yakima or Thule false rain gutter attachments, then you can use any rain gutter style mounted rack. There are battery dome lights available, sealing everything up gets expensive, for the labor, but a dealer can explain that. Hope this helps!

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      Ann 2 months ago

      Dear Tom,

      Your wealth of knowledge is astounding.

      I'm gotten certified in HVAC and may need to use

      Toyota light truck with Snug top shell as my "vehicle" 1993

      My question is how can I for CHEAP

      Lock Snugtop with tools/ equipment (lost key to lock that came with it)

      Put ladder on top of Snug top

      Get replacement J hooks used?

      Keep leaks under control without "smelly" insulation

      All gaskets really need to be replaced!

      (I'm chemically sensitive)

      I make need to overnite in it for work and want to rig up little fan for ventilation?? Battery?

      I know the economy is tough

      and then there's being a woman.

      J hooks first 91101

    • Tom Zizzo profile image
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      Tom Zizzo 2 months ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @Ken -that's a new one, and by insulation I'm guessing you're talking about the carpet lining. Not sure what to tell you. Spray it with a lot of fabreeze or something, I have no idea. In all the years I sold truck stuff, never had that complaint. Wish I could be more helpful.

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      Ken 2 months ago

      Hi,

      Hopefully you receive this message as you seem to be pretty knowledgeable about shells. I just got a brand new Leer shell about a few months ago. It came insulated. One thing I noticed as soon as I got home was the very strong and nauseating odor of the insulation. I figured it would be gone by now but no such luck. Every time I open that shell, I'm blasted with an odor I can't stand. Do you have any suggestions as to how I can get rid of this "new insulation" odor?

    • Tom Zizzo profile image
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      Tom Zizzo 4 months ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @Joe -wish I had some advice for you. A shell manufacturer will not just make a new one, and if they do, it's really rare and depends on what the dealer is able to work out with them, this goes for SnugTop OR Leer. One problem is, every time the shell goes back and then comes back to you, you're going to go over it with a fine tooth comb, I've seen this many times. Shells will never have a 100% paint match, there's multiple reasons for it, and no manufacturer will tell you it will. Does that mean they aren't using the same Dupont code associated with your vehicle? No, they are, what that means is you could park another truck, just like yours, painted the same color, next to your truck, and they probably won't match. No shell is totally leak free, but windows, in general, shouldn't leak. You can keep trying to plead your case, but I'm sorry to tell you that they will still want to 'fix' what you have. Sorry I don't have better advice.

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      Joe 5 months ago

      Bought a SnugTop canopy in December 2015 and it was installed on a brand new Toyota pickup in February 2016....in the last 9 months it has only been on my truck for a total of four months because it has been back and forth to the factory and I still have a MESS. It was installed incorrectly which leaves my truck with scratches all around the top of the bed sides, the paint was inferior from the start with "orange peel" and swirl marks besides not being a color match......The windows leaked, the fancy liner was coming undone, etc etc. Nothing but a run-around from the factory.....it has been sent back three times and comes back worse....the clear coat has mostly been buffed off, the paint is compromised, etc etc .....WHAT to do? The warranty says "until the customer is satisfied???? I have put over one thousand miles on my new truck just taking the canopy back and forth......I asked for a new one and that request is not even taken into consideration.....it has cost more sending it back and forth then it would have to just replace it to begin with.....any advice?

    • Tom Zizzo profile image
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      Tom Zizzo 6 months ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @bobcostas -not sure what you mean, a boot IS an open window. They all leak, and most manufacturers now won't even offer a boot. The fold down window, or with some, you can actually remove that window, has become standard because dealers and manufacturers were tired of dealing with boots. Cabs are no longer the smooth, flat surfaces they use to be, so boots just don't seal well. A better option back in the day was the accordian boot, which clipped around the edge of a unique truck slider that would be installed. It sealed, offered the pass through, but didn't compress against the cab. A fold down slider is just a simple solution to all that.

    • Tom Zizzo profile image
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      Tom Zizzo 6 months ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @Vishal -I've yet to see a rack and fiberglass tonneau installed together, unless the rack is installed on the cover itself. Sorry for the late reply.

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      bobcostas 6 months ago

      You know what leaks worse than a boot? An open window. I still go with the boot. That way I still have my electric pass-through and only one window to clean tilt down or otherwise. In the old days, I used to put vinyl tape around the cab to keep it from chafing. Now I use 3M paint protection film.

      Never had a boot fail (crack or deteriorate) nor really leak. Even if they did 20 years ago, there's little that modern polymers have in common with those old materials. There'd always be a drip or two running down the truck window but no infiltration into the cap.

      To me, if you have a pass through truck window, you almost have to do away with the front window in the cap. Otherwise, whats the point. When we would actually camp out in the truck cap, we'd have a near air tight seal between the truck and the cap so we could leave it open and pass things through. There's not much reason to use a boot or the pass-through. Trucks aren't as durable as they used to be. Laying a 2x6x12 across your rear window is pushing its durability. To me, its about being able to grab stuff quickly without getting out.

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      Vishal 7 months ago

      Hey Tom is there any way to get a fiberglass tonneau cover installed with a chase rack on my F150. Thanks.

    • Tom Zizzo profile image
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      Tom Zizzo 7 months ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @mike ace -they probably aren't much different. I haven't sold truck stuff for a few years so I'm not exactly sure, but I know that the major change GM has made recently has been with the Canyon/Colorado truck, not the fullsize version.

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      mike ace 7 months ago

      Can a ( pro top 100) shell from a l

      2013 GMC Sierra Regular cab 2500hd

      fit a ;

      2016 GMC Sierra Extended Cab 2500hd ?

    • Tom Zizzo profile image
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      Tom Zizzo 9 months ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @Greg Z -after 09 Ford extruded out that tailgate section, not sure why, so, anything from 04 to 08 will be an exact fit. Remember too that if someone has an 04 Heritage model F150, it's the 03 body style-just a footnote :)

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      Greg Z 9 months ago

      Hey Tom, I have a A.R.E. Z series off a 04 F150. Its been in my Garage forever and a day. Tried to sell it today to a guy with a 11. BTW, both trucks a 4dr short bed. The top was only like 1/2 in off from getting the Tailgate to close. Am I just SOL, or is there something we can do? What years does my top fit?

    • Tom Zizzo profile image
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      Tom Zizzo 10 months ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @ -hooks Well, you could just bolt the sucker down if you really had to, but that kind of defeats one of Snugtops main selling features. One thing to do is wrap a little rubber around the part of the hook that's gripping the bed rail. I'm surprised the dealer didn't do that. Give it a little grip if you know what I mean.

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      Tom Zizzo 10 months ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @Christina -I use to work with this company called Access Manufacturing, and they make utility shells, called the Tradesman. They will custom make just about anything. You'd have to find a dealer though, and I'm not sure there are any where you live, and you're right, it would be expensive.

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      David 10 months ago

      Regarding the 2006 Tundra (see immediately below), my clamps are NOT the j-hoks, but Snugtop's proprietary low profile clamps.

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      -hooks 10 months ago

      Hi. I have a 2006 Toyota Tundra double cab. Bought a Snugtop Rebel, which attaches to the bed with Snugtop's "J-hooks" clamps. After initial installation, had to return to dealer twice because the hooks weren't holding the shell in place. (Slid back a whole inch.) They finally tightened it enough that it quit moving. However, the shell developed another problem, so dealer took it off to ship back to factory. The J-hooks had really misshapen my plastic bed rail caps, and slightly bent the bed rails where they turn down on the inside of the bed. Any other options for securing the shell when it comes back? Would aftermarket stainless bed rail caps, which might not be susceptible to bending, work? Thanks!

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      Christina 10 months ago

      Great article! I'm looking into buying a Daihatsu Hijet Japanese mini truck. It doesn't look like canopies are common for these trucks. Is it possible to have one made? Or would that just be so expensive it wouldn't be worth it? Any advice on where to look? I'm in Vancouver BC.

      Thanks!

    • Tom Zizzo profile image
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      Tom Zizzo 12 months ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @Henry P - if you're looking for used, the auto parts section of Craig's List is your best bet, just search using the words 'shell' and 'Tundra'. 2007 was the first year of the new body style. Used will be a lot cheaper than new, but higher end would be like a Snug Top, which is manufactured not far from you in Long Beach. For a new top, prices are probably close to $2K and up. Like I said, used are a lot less.

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      Gordon 12 months ago

      I read your article with special interest on you negative recommendation for a boot between cab and shell. Can you recommend another device that will keep out the rain and snow? Either snow in the gap (during winter), and rain on the outside of the two windows pretty much eliminates vision via inside mirror, and the outside mirrors have too much dead space. I certainly would appreciate any suggestions as I am in way over my head!

      PS- I have a 2014 Ram 1500 regular cab and a Jeraco shell on a 6 ft nominal bed.

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      Henry P 14 months ago

      Tom,

      I'm looking for a 2007 Tundra 6.5ft camper shell higher end (black color) with clamp on and light weight if possible. Do you know how much should it be and where to find it in my area CA 92802? Any recommendation to find used that I may afford? my email fbahenry@yahoo.com

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      Tom Zizzo 15 months ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @ChrisCamps -not familiar with the auto tailgate drop, it's been a few years since I sold truck accessories, I'm guessing that's the pneumatic assisted tailgate that lowers it down slowly. I know you can get the keyless remote lock with a Snugtop, at least I think you can, I know it's available on the hardtop lids. If it pops the back door open, it shouldn't interfere with the tailgate. I'm assuming your tailgate has a factory lock on it. Most truck accessory shops won't know how to tie in the keyless shell lock and your truck's locks, you might want to try contacting a stereo shop for that, those guys usually know that stuff better. Hope this helps!

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      ChrisCamps 15 months ago

      Hi Tom, Great write up and cudos for all the help your providing folks!

      I just got a 2015 F150 5.5 SCrew and am looking at putting on the SnugTop XtraVision. My first question is, what is the best lock that would work with my Trucks Fob to unlock, and be the most reliable and secure? Next question is, Do you think there is a way to retain the ability to Deploy the auto tailgate drop by using one of the locks that "Pops Open" the Back glass by tying its release in with the Tailgate release but keeping the lock and unlock feature separate. Not sure I'm making much sense here. I want the most robust lock that is seamless with my remote first and foremost. Second The auto tailgate drop option ability with shell on.

      Thanks, Chris

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      Tom Zizzo 18 months ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @Jesse -search CL, anything for a hardbody Nissan will work, just remember that there might be a difference between the king cab and standard regular cab shortbed, that is to say I know the bedliners between those two are different, even though technically they're both shortbeds.

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      Jesse 18 months ago

      Im looking for a tonnau cover/ snug top for a 1994 nissan hardbody

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      Tom Zizzo 19 months ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @Mark Jones -Both are NOT short beds, meaning they are not the SAME beds. The double cab Tacoma from 2001 to 2004 ONLY came in what's called a V-Bed, meaning it's less than 6 feet long. The extended cab trucks all have the same bed, which is at least a foot longer than the double cab bed. Sorry, those are not compatible.

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      Mark Jones 19 months ago

      Hello Tom, first of all I appreciate your time and effort answering these questions.

      I am needing to know if a cap from an 02 double cab Tacoma will fit a 02 Extended Cab Tacoma ?both are short beds.

      Thanks.

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      Tom Zizzo 20 months ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @lisa508 -If you're talking about the rails that are like tracks, in which a rack slides into them, then no, you can't mount a shell on top of those. If the rails are thin and flat, then yes, you can mount a shell to it, but without seeing specifically what you're talking about, it's hard for me to know.

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      lisa508 20 months ago

      I have a '02 Silverado 250HD XT.

      I have ladder rack rails that run on rails atop the sides. Can a truck cap be mounted over those rails, so that I wouldn't have to remove them? If so, which brands, please?

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      Tom Zizzo 21 months ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @Mike -interesting, I know that stuff will deteriorate after time, but not that bad. The carpet doesn't really do much, truth be told, but I will say that trying to add it after the fact is virtually impossible. My shop tried to do that once and it kept sagging no matter what type of glue we used.

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      Mike 21 months ago

      I had a 99 tacoma and purchased a nice LEER shell with carpeted top. About 7 years into it the carpet started to disintegrate and any little touch of it would rain down a fine dust of what appeared to be fiberglass. Was a pain to rip out and clean up.

      Other than that it was solid.

      Buying a new LEER top and curious if anyone had a similar issue. Debating on carpet this time around...

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      Tom Zizzo 21 months ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @Primeaux -You can call Leer if you want, and if you give them the serial number on the top-should be etched on a small metal plate, they can tell you what it was built for. I don't have an 800 number, but a number of their midwest plant is: 574-522-5337. -Leer is part of the 'TAG' group, which stands for Truck Accessories Group, they make more than just tops.

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      Primeaux 21 months ago

      Is there a way to find out what a top fits by the model # I have a leer top i want to give away needs work but dont know what it fits model #2991032

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      Tom Zizzo 2 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @Jared-so sorry I didn't respond to this, the last three weeks have included everything from extreme sciatic nerve pain to a death in the family.

      Remember that what you have is not technically a 'long' bed, it's just not the extra short bed, I say that because the old Nissan Hardbody did in fact have a long bed, they aren't that common, and it's not what you want. The Nissan in those years can be tricky, I tried to get a rubber mat for a guy once with the same truck you have and it was never exactly right. Your truck is either about 74 inches long, and just under 55 inches wide, or, it's about 72.5 inches long, and like 58.6 inches wide. If it's the 74 long and 55 wide, then you're good with the older Frontier shell-your tailgate has that budge in it though, or you have the wider bed. I do think a Tacoma shell will fit, again, if you have the 74 long and 55 wide dimension. Sorry again for the late reply, hope I've helped.

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      Jared 2 years ago

      I am trying to find a shell for my 2008 Nissan Frontier Crew Cab Long Bed. I dont need it to be perfect, just fit on my truck. Will long bed tacomas, gen 1 frontiers or hardbody shells work? I found an old Glasstite shell for a Nissan Hardbody and the dimensions are super close. Any suggestions?

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      Harry Callahan 2 years ago

      Thanks for the reply. Yes...I remember Campway. I believe they had a store in Martinez near where I grew up.

      I will take a look at the Lux and the Trifecta....the folding ones are pretty attractive feature wise.

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      Tom Zizzo 2 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @Harry Callahan -near San Jose actually, but I worked for a company called Campway, and they do have a store in Sac, on Power Inn road. Yeah, that center lock thing was nothing but problems, and the front spring thing you're referring to is the no drill mounting system, again, just more stuff to have to adjust, etc. The old lids were so simple. Undercover does make a smooth, painted lid, called the LUX I think, forgive me, I've been out of the truck accessory biz for a few years now. It has a different style to it though, but those covers are soooo much lighter and simpler. I liked that folding cover too, the Trifecta by Extang, it's really simple.

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      Harry Callahan 2 years ago

      This is very helpful...though too late for me unfortunately. You're right about the Snuglid tonneau covers. I owned one about 10 years ago for my 2004 Tacoma. It was the old style with two locks....one at each side. It was stone reliable. I was led to believe that the ones with one key in the center were better...they certainly were more expensive.

      Fast forward to present. I just found a used Snuglid SL for my 2005 Tacoma. The previous owner had the same exact truck, so fit wasn't a problem. It is very heavy and awkward (no longer a one man job.) The single key system sucks. It never seems to want to grab both sides despite the strikers being well positioned. I really am not liking it...and the new style hinges at the front with the springs...what is that? Very poor design.

      I have never liked the look of the Undercover...the flat black and all, but after reading this I may just try one. Being able to take it off by yourself is a huge benefit.

      Thanks for the helpful article. Are you near Sacramento by chance?

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      Tom Zizzo 2 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      Angela!! I haven't talked to you in a really long time, hope all is well :) Yeah, boots suck, stick with a front slider, many of them now fold down, which will give you the access that a boot would, but without the problems. A basic Leer, painted to match, will run you like $1,400, and it includes the front slider, it's a little more if you want the lifetime paint warranty, but it's really not necessary. I called the Campway in San Jose to check on the price, their basic Leer is called the 'Legend'.

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      Angela Quintana 2 years ago

      Hi Tom! This article is super helpful. I just had my 200o Tacoma totaled by a wreck less driver while parked in front of my home. I'm looking at new Tacomas and shells of course to keep our dogs safe on trips. I had a Leer on my truck and loved it, except for the crazy random squealing during the first few years I had it. Spent lots of money on diagnostic checks etc., but nobody could figure out where the noise was coming from. Per your article, my guess is that the boot was causing the noise, because it all sudden stopped after we adjusted the shell a couple times. I'm looking at Leers again, and was curious about price range and which would be the most basic painted shell with side sliders, and black molded screens?

      Best Regards,

      Sutter Frog Jumper

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      Tom Zizzo 2 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @Kris -it's hard to compare to Stockland and SnugTop-both of which came out of southern California, which is why they had a similar style and construction. I sold some AREs, and I was never impressed with the fit, but that probably wouldn't matter so much with your older F150. Lifetime warranty is only good if the company is around for a while, ARE has been around for a long time. You can check Century or Leer as well-both are actually the same manufacturer. There was a time when Leer used aluminum rails, pieced with the fiberglass-not so good-but they stopped doing that a long time ago. I would say ARE is better over Pro Tops-never heard of it, but I have heard of Vision.

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      Kris 2 years ago

      Actually I just realized you said the fit from A.R.E isn't the greatest. Dang. I was looking at a company called Pro Tops? I think formerly known as Vision I believe. Thank you for all the info again.

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      Kris 2 years ago

      @Tom thanks for the response. I Saw the XV I do like the big windows but it is what it is. I may just get an V series cap from A.R.E yes a little pricey but I was told it has a lifetime warranty AND it gets color matched to the truck. I don't think i've seen you bash on A.R.E at all and they seem decent.

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      Tom Zizzo 2 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @Kris -Stockland's were great tops, arguably just as good if not better than a Snugtop. I sold a couple of those in the day, in fact, Snugtop copied the Sebring design for their own line that they called the 'extra vision', or XV for short. I always tried to discourage customers from getting front boots. The problem is that the hole cut for boots was typically too large to allow for a window frame, meaning you couldn't add a slider even if you wanted to. Good news is, Snugtop does in fact still have a mold for that truck, it's not cheap, but if you wanted a new top, with the same quality, that would be the way to go.

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      Kris 2 years ago

      Im glad i found your page. I have a stockland sebring on my 91 f150 love the shell, seems built well but of course stockland no longer exists. The thing i hate about it is it has a boot and no front slider. Sounds like it'll be expensive to get a slider installed. So im probably going to sell the stockland and get another fiberglass shell.

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      Tom Zizzo 2 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @ Eva m. -yeah, they're close, the Chevy bed has a taper to it, so the rear of the bed is about two inches narrower than the front, and the length is very close between the two. A Glasstite shell has one-piece fiberglass rails, but I don't think they 'wrap' the rail, that is if the shell came off the Chevy. It might work, the shell would sit a little lower than the cab though.

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      Eva m. 2 years ago

      Hi Tom. Curious how the fit would be between a 2000 Chevy 1500 and 2004 f150. Box sizes seem very close. Topper is a glasstite.

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      Tom Zizzo 2 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @Derek -you should be fine. Those lids are actually thicker than the shells. I've seen what the honeycomb constructions looks like-thicker than any other manufacturer, and you're right about Thule. Don't be fooled that the company is Swedish-they are, but nearly all their products sold in the US are made in Michigan. Yakima is now made in Mexico, and owned by an Arab bank.

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      Derek 2 years ago

      Thanks Tom - If I'm lucky, this truck should be my last. Trying to make it as easy as possible to handle kayaks, bikes, tow camper, store goods, etc. From my reviews, I'd have to say I'm leaning towards Thule for the racks. I'm somewhat concerned about the weight on the SL top. The top itself is a beast (weight wise), so it seems like it should handle a couple kayaks, but I'd hate to damage it if not necessary.

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      Tom Zizzo 2 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @Derek -the best thing to do, and I don't know if there's a link or not, is use the roof tracks. Yakima and Thule sell them, and there is no, and I mean no difference between the two. The tracks will allow you to vary the spread between the bars so you can add virtually any attachment that Yakima or Thule offer. It will also give you the flexibility of removing the rack if you want to. I would say the 60 inch long tracks would be fine, and you would just make sure to mount them into the area of the shell that is the thickest-i.e., away from the edge, mount in into the thick honeycomb area. The kit will come with everything you need to install them, and it's not that hard, just make sure they're straight. Of course, depending on the brand you prefer, you'll need the towers that slide into the tracks, the bars, and whatever attachments they sell to ad to them. There really is no other way to do it. Remember too that if you ever sell the truck, you can slide those towers out of the tracks and use them on another vehicle. I found this video online, it's for a camper shell, but the concept is identical:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zsOpf-zlIKQ

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      Derek 2 years ago

      I'm looking for a link to options on what to use (and how to install) a rack for a single (maybe 2) kayak on my SungLid SL top on a 2006 F-250 long bed.

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      Tom Zizzo 3 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @Nick-not likely as your truck bed is about a foot longer than the crew cab truck, unless you have the very rare extra short bed, but it's highly unlikely that you do. Now, it's also unlikely that the crew cab truck has the same bed as yours, but what is very likely and typical is that your bed is 6.5 feet long, and the crew cab 5.5 feet long, approximately.

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      Nick 3 years ago

      Hi, I'm looking for a shell for my 2003 silverado extended cab short box will a 2007 crew cab shell fit?

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      jmell44 3 years ago

      Thanks Tom, that's what I was looking for, a little bit of reassurance before drilling holes in my $2300 shell.

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      Tom Zizzo 3 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @jmell44 -ok, I know what you're talking about, so the Tracker 2 mounts are stand alone then, instead of in the tracks. I don't think it will be a problem moving them over, so long as they are still on a relatively flat area. If the overall weight is distributed evenly, you should be fine. Keep in mind that those racks are typically rated for any standard car roof, which is like 160 lbs I think. So, go for it, but remember to plug any holes you leave after you move the mounts. SnugTops are not like any other brand, which has much thinner fiberglass-even in the non-honeycomb section. I've seen a cutaway of what they look like-you'll be fine.

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      jmell44 3 years ago

      Tom, the mounts I have are not the gutter type, it's the Thule Tracker 2 Rack Pack. The problem is that the Aerobars don't allow the towers to be adjusted far enough in to reach that thicker area. I'm just wondering if it is ok to mount the Tracker mounts outside that thick area without posing a problem. Ideally, I would like to use the thicker area but that would mean buying shorter crossbars. I really need the wider ones not to mention the cost of buying additional crossbars.

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      Tom Zizzo 3 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @jmell44 -The 'thicker' area of a SnugTop roof is where the honeycomb construction is, which is by far much better than anywhere else on the roof of that top. My guess is the mounts you're referring to are the tracks that they install. The weight shouldn't be a problem, if anything, you may need some longer crossbars. We use to mount these false rain-gutter type brackets on the sides of tops all the time-before the tracks became popular, and they were literally on the outside of the top, i.e., not the roof. I don't see what that would do for you though, the tracks should be fine. I don't know where you live, but you might also want to ask someone at Rack 'N' Road and see what they think. Don't worry too much about flexing, SnugTops have reinforced corners, etc., hand-laid rails, it should be fine, unless the Kayak was twice the weight, I would consider a shell with the off road package on it-the roof is twice as thick, but has to be custom ordered that way.

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      jmell44 3 years ago

      Tom, I've got a 2008 Tundra Double Cab long bed with a Snugtop shell and Bedrug. I have a Thule rack I want to mount to carry a Hobie kayak (100 lbs). It comes with permanent mounts that allow you to easily remove the racks. The crossbars don't adjust far enough in to be able to put the mounts on the shell where it's thicker (about 1" thick). I'd like to put the mounts closer to the top edge but that would be outside the recommended thicker area. I would think it would actually be stronger being closer to the sides of the shell. Do you see any issue with that? I was considering putting metal supports from the truck rail inside the shell to the mount but I'm concerned about the bed flex and tweaking the shell and maybe popping windows. Any suggestions?

      Jeff

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      Tom Zizzo 3 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @Englishman007 -yeah, I DO NOT recommend that top, the door is very prone to shattering. Remember that all camper tops use tempered safety glass, so they don't crack or chip, they shatter into a million pieces. Glass on those tops is NOT like the windshield of a car, if they were, the tops would be incredibly expensive. But for safety standards, they have to use tempered glass. Most of the big companies have dealers overseas , I know for a fact that SnugTop does, pretty sure Leer does as well.

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      Englishman007 3 years ago

      Hi tom,

      I'm considering an ARE mx top with walk in door but as I will be carrying large dogs that are vehicle protective I'm concerned the glass door would be suitable! In your opinion would it be safe? Or at risk of shattering?

      I'm in England so do you know of suppliers here or someone willing to ship to uk

      Many thanks for your reply in advance

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      Tom Zizzo 3 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @ToneTorres -Yeah, the old ProtectoTop dealer would have been in Santa Clara no doubt, and like I said, I'm almost 100% sure that is an early El Camino SnugTop mold. In the picture I can tell those are fairly common parts. I know that their old tonneaus had unique t-handles, but not the tops, and looking at your picture, it looks common, although the inside placement of where the mounting holes are could be off compared to a new one. You may have to do what you said and just use the old base. Like I said, find a dealer, bring in the part, I'm sure they can help you. In my days I saw much more unique stuff than that, like the old MG hardtops, which were SnugTops, but very hard to get parts for those. You would be surprised by how many old El Caminos and Rancheros are still on the road. My old shop sprayed line-x in those things at least once a month.

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      Tone Torres 3 years ago from Albuquerque, New Mexico

      That's some pretty good news and I appreciate you sharing your knowledge. Its a simple thing that is very hard to find these days believe me. I am the guy that always seems to have the vehicles that parts are not repoped for so everything is a mission. But I am good with that especially when I don't look like every other car on the road. I checked the tag it says 400 Bellamy St. Santa Clara Calif. None the less if its an old SNUGTOP I like even better. Parts or no parts I will make it work and it will have a rubber seal not foam. As far as the color the Camino and the top will soon get new matching ones. Mr. Z thank you for your time again.

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      Tom Zizzo 3 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @ToneTorres -I saw the pics, what you have is most certainly an old Snug Top. They were sold under the Protecto Top name, your serial number plate may even say Fremont CA, but I know my tops. Call the mfgr- 1-800-SNUGTOP and see if they can direct you to where you can get parts. I know it's a SnugTop because of that ridge in the mold, although what you have might be an early model, pretty sure they used the same parts. Call them, they can tell you where to go, you can get new rubber and t-handles. I saw the pic of the t-handle, that's a standard part, not sure why the measurement is off. I haven't worked in a shop in years so I'm not looking at a current t-handle, but I know what you have there is not unique or uncommon, like an ARE t-handle. If you can find a local SnugTop dealer, talk to the oldest guy there, i.e., the guy that has been there the longest, and just say that I'm pretty sure this top is actually a SnugTop, and I need some parts. Don't put foam tape on that thing, stick with the rubber bulb seal, that's what would have been on there originally.

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      Tone Torres 3 years ago from Albuquerque, New Mexico

      Protecto top shell, right now there is no rubber seal on the bottom of the shell. I noticed in another comment a link to Extruded rubber site? would you use one of them or what do you suggest? I do not want to put any foam tape on the bed chrome molding or the shell It doesn't look like it lasts too long? Wouldn't a rubber seal be better?

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      Tone Torres 3 years ago from Albuquerque, New Mexico

      Here goes a try at a picture of the T-handle and the shell.

      http://s1.hubimg.com/u/8338164_f1024.jpg

      http://hubpages.com/u/8338152.jpg

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      Tone Torres 3 years ago from Albuquerque, New Mexico

      Tom it is a surface mount T-handle w/ diamond base . The base is 2"1/2 x 7/16 x 1"1/8 (LxHxW) Center width 1"1/8 tapers to 1/2" on ends. Mounting holes are 1"3/4 center to center and 2"x 5/16 square shaft. I was thinking if I cannot find another T-handle lock that I could get a new lock and put the old base on the new lock. All that holds the T-handle in place on the base is a press fit washer on the shaft? That is if the new locks are assembled the same? I am not exactly sure how to send a picture from here.

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      Tom Zizzo 3 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @Tone Torres -surface mount? Is it a round base? There are basically square, or diamond shape based T-handles, and round base ones. Of the round base type, there is one called a 'blind' mount, meaning there are no holes on the surface of the base from the outside, you have to screw it in from the inside. These are fairly standard handles. I actually know the brother of the former owner of Protecto-Top, some of which were actually SnugTops. I think what you have may be a blind mount. If you want, you can e-mail me a picture of the handle you're trying to replace and I can tell you exactly what you have.

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      Tone Torres 3 years ago from Albuquerque, New Mexico

      Funny I came across your page I am not buying but already bought a shell for my 1984 El Camino. Actually number two the first is a gemtop shell that I do not like cause it has a bumped up section that looks camper like. After looking for 4 years I just found and bought a protectOtop shell that is as much a cab high as you can get. It is in great shape and found it a mile or so from my home for $150. One problem need a new t-handle with keys. I cannot find one that is surface mount with mounting holes that are 1 3/4 inch apart. All I find are ones with holes "1 1/2 apart. any suggestions?

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      Tom Zizzo 3 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      The beds are a little different-not much. I can't link to my other Hub, but I have one on tips for buying used tops, and there's a picture on there of an older style Chevy/GM shell on the new bed. It will basically be a little narrower than the new bed, and I'm not sure about how the door will meet up with the top of the tailgate. You can get an estimate from just about any body shop on repainting, your paint code is listed on a sticker in your glove box. It's basically two numbers followed by the letter U. I would set it on your bed and test the fit before getting it repainted, you can even check with your local Leer dealer and ask them is Leer will re-paint it. It would have to get sent back to the factory though.

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      Rob Decand 3 years ago

      I currently have leer 100xl style (961046) a 2000 sierra 1500 extendcab short bed 6.5ft. Will it fit on a 2013 extendedcab with a shortbed? If so, how well And what is the best way to repaint to match?

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      Tom Zizzo 3 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @Allan -Which Snuglid do you have? If you have the single lock in the center, worst case scenario, you have to drill the lock out, if it's stuck, or locked and you don't have a key. If you just need to fix the lock, you can get replacement parts from a local dealer, typically the center lock itself, the rods under the cover are probably ok, or you just need to adjust the rotary latches on each side. There is an adjusting bolt on each rod assembly, which you will see when you remove that cover. The two lock style lids are really easy to repair, they just have a single cam that swings under a plate. You can get all those parts from a dealer.

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      Allan 3 years ago

      How to open fix broken lock snug top cover

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      Michellet 3 years ago

      Thank you! I think we'll get this one we're looking at then. Amazingly, it's even the right color.

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      Tom Zizzo 3 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @Michelle -yes, that's exactly correct. Technically nothing else is different, with respect to the two beds. Even if the '08 did have the step in the gate, it would still fit, but not the other way around.

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      Michelle 3 years ago

      Wondering if a 2008 F250 shell would fit our 2002 f250? (if I read your info correctly it should fit as long as the '08 doesn't have the step in the tailgate right?) thanks for your help!

      http://www.ksl.com/index.php?nid=678&ad=246234...

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      Tom Zizzo 4 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      My concerns are several things. One, that back door-in the center-is all glass, and all camper shell glass is tempered safety glass, meaning one thing in side slides back and hits it-boom, no more door, and they aren't cheap to replace. That glass door also doesn't seal really well, so expect leaks, and it's also not very secure. The other issue is that giant door that opens up, which is the entire rear gate, is not that easy to open up and it puts a lot of strain on those props, which are not cheap to replace. Believe it or not, the concept of that full back door is not new. Glasstite was making those 20 plus years ago, and there's a reason they stopped doing it.

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      jimca 4 years ago

      Great info Tom.

      Can you expand on your concerns with A.R.E. MX canopies with the tall door (with the man door inside of it) that replace your truck's tailgate. I like the looks of them and think not leaning over the tail gate seems to be a good idea (I did just purchase a used Bedslide which will alleviate most tailgate leaning over). I spoke with one guy who had one and liked it. I have a new 2012 GMC ext. cab 6.5 bed truck.

      Thanks,

      Jim

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      Tom Zizzo 4 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      It's possible, again, you need to know front width and rear width. Your truck is probably like 77 to 78 inches long? But your bed tapers, if the shell doesn't, it won't work-at all.

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      hank 4 years ago

      http://www.ksl.com/?nid=218&ad=22639888&ca...

      Good price and 80 inches. Possible? Of course it woulda helped if he had mentioned the YEAR.

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      Tom Zizzo 4 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      I thought you had a short bed Hank-that shell is certainly a longbed-notice the distance between the front wall and where the wheel is. On shortbed's it's right in the middle. Right model truck though for sure. Body shops charge between $300 to $400-around here they do, may be different where you live though.

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      hank 4 years ago

      Still likely to go with white utility shell tho, like you said.

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      hank 4 years ago

      http://www.ksl.com/index.php?nid=218&ad=225899...

      Okay Tom check out this deal. It's especially great if a fit because tailgate on my newly purchased 1999 SuperCab f150 standard bed is a little maybe 1" or more bent along the rail, due to a trauma. So how much would I expect to pay for paint job to match silver truck? Do paint guys match faded older paint or is it always a noticeable difference?

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      Tom Zizzo 4 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      If you find a nice, specific fit fiberglass top for around $200, then yes, you could have it painted, but if I were you, I would stick with finding a white utility top, cause white goes with everything : )

      -Cluck U Chicken is kind of still there, it changed names to University Chicken for while, now, a former employee has taken over and it's called Wicked Chicken. Funny though, I still have a bunch of Cluck U Chicken cups.

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      hank 4 years ago

      Ok last comment and again many thanks. Is repainting used an economical option? Also I ate at Cluck U chicken wings on the curve by Santa Clara University a few times, is it still there? I liked the Nuclear Warhead hot level sauce, yowee! and right to the celery sticks and blue cheese dressing to brake the pain..

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      Tom Zizzo 4 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      -That top won't fit your bed, that's for a Superduty-very different bed. You can measure it if you want but I don't think it will fit. A utility top is more forgiving for fit because it is not a molded fiberglass, it's a flat, metal rail. There was a time when all tops were like that, but most haven't been like that since the early 90's. Those tops seal using a close-cell foam tape, most hardware stores carry it. You tape along the bottom of the rail before mounting it to the bed.

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      hank 4 years ago

      http://www.ksl.com/index.php?nid=218&ad=224306...

      Cool unit, no? What should I offer the guy seeing as the listing is now 12days old...price seems high actually. I did see unracked full door ubiqitous white units for 300 dollars. Anyway, why is fit more forgiving due to material? Also in the case of utility top what do you recommend for sealing to bed?

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      Tom Zizzo 4 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @Hank -Checked out that link, you know the 'classic' Chevy bed and what you have are fairly close, but honestly, I have never tried to fit those. I have fit a utility shell off a truck like yours to a 1988-98 Chevy and it fit, so the reverse may just work.

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      hank 4 years ago

      Well what a thorough timely response thank you sir. Interestingly one Utah quirk fyi I am a newcomer to Utah and guesswhat CL is very oddly and inconveniently and peculiarly NOT used for such things. There's a dominant media conglomerate run by a certain etc. Utah, ahem. So as per link above all classifieds go through KSL which is to its credit a free service Like CL. Think I'll go with a tailbedded utility cap...but those would tend not to have pass-through sliding front window to squirm into cab...decisions decisions...there's a burly one at a good price with a monster rack for canoes and gear..will send link....and tell me whether it's reasonable economic option to get ideal used capnpainted to match

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      hank 4 years ago

      Here's the link that spurred the 99 F150 question. http://www.ksl.com/index.php?nid=218&ad=224496...

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      Tom Zizzo 4 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @Hank -99 F150, extended cab, 6.5 foot bed-very common truck, first generation of tapered Ford beds. Your bed should be around 80 inches long, roughly 69 or 70 inches wide-keeping in mind the front will be a little wider than the rear. That truck is the 1997 to 2003 generation, and sadly those tops are very specific. Utility bed shells though are not. I have sold a number of utility shells used for recreational purposes over the years, so yes, that certainly is an option. There are just too many cool options, the only problem is, you would have to get one new and it would probably cost you more than you paid for the truck. I was curious though and did a search on CL in Salt Lake City under the auto parts section (search 'Shell Ford' ) -a utility shell came up. $500-no windows in it. I think that price is kind of high, but you should expect to pay anywhere between $300 to $600 for a good used top. Because utility shells aren't molded fiberglass, there is more 'wiggle' room for fit, but if you find a used one with a full walk-in tailgate, you need one that is specific. Ford has lots of deals with cities, etc, so many have been used commercially, so check with your local pick-and-pull or truck dismantler for used utility tops.

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      hank 4 years ago

      And gosh darn these autosuggest tyrannical touchpads , for "liking" I of course meant "locking"utility doors, and color in a haystack not Colorado in a haystack, sheesh. Yet it let me type "bu" instead of "but". Go figure.

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      hank 4 years ago

      Tom, this is a wonderful service you are providing! I can hardly believe that the new beds are curved and tapered and everchanging. That's kooky! Well anyway I just bought a 1999 standard bed silver f 150 superCAB. I want a cheap USED camper shell but here in salt lake city the pool of possible matches is fairly limited. So anyway I see online a Chevy 7 footer or whatever size (what was called shortbed of yore is now standard bed) so maybe there's a match, or are we in taper time etc etc? Also what's your opinion of utility caps? Bed will be used for sleeping and various outdoor sports/camping gear for several people so outside liking bins sounds great for ease of gear access. Then it's a question of full doors and removed tailgate, or tailgated style? Tailgate is useful for sitting and as workbench so that appeals. Also can'nt go much above $300 bu there's plenty of stuff available at that price, except Colorado is haystack situation...thanks for reading ramble, main q is re: cross-make fitment. And again thanks for providing a valuable service!

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      Tom Zizzo 4 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @Carson -no, a 2000 is a Superduty, very different from a 97 F150, I'm sorry.

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      Carson 4 years ago

      I am selling a Leer canopy off of my 1997 F150 single cab short bed truck. Will it fit a 2000 F250?

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      seth 4 years ago

      Wow Tom! The info that you gave me is great. Thank you!! And yes the topper does have double rear doors so I will look into that a little closer. Thanks again for all your help!

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      Tom Zizzo 4 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @joesiv11 The dualie beds on Chevys are slightly different than a standard longbed-not much though. It will depend on the top you're looking for, for example, a SnugTop has a specific mold for that bed, other brands, like a Leer or ARE, have just one mold they use(I think, it has been a while since I sold a camper shell). I know for a fact that at one point SnugTop was officially authorized by GM, so they always had very specific parts and molds for those trucks. Your bed is not exactly square, should be wider in the front than it is in the rear. The dualie beds have slightly wider bed rails because the outside fender wells are fiberglass. I always try to answer questions, or you can e-mail me via HubPages, I answer those as well.

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      joesiv11 4 years ago

      First off I want to say this is a great article and the following posts are amazing!!. The Information I am seeking is about a 2006 Crew Cab Dually. I have measured the bed, and it seems square. Are there only certain toppers that fit this ie: will a standard long bed topper fit this truck or is it different form the others? Just want to make sure I search for the correct one. Thank You in advance.

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      Tom Zizzo 4 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @seth -That Dodge bed should be about 99 inches long, 72 inches wide in the front, and 69 inches wide in the rear. Now, your Chevy, if it's a standard longbed, meaning not a dualie, should be 100 inches long, 70 inches wide in the front, and 68 inches wide in the rear. If it's a contractor-type shell, not fiberglass, its dimensions will not be as precise, so yes, it will probably fit. I wouldn't make any guarantees about a removable rear door working-those would be like the doors that are put in place when you remove a tailgate. Hope this helps.

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      seth 4 years ago

      Im looking for a used topper for my 05 chevy duramax 8 ft bed. I found a contractors topper on craigslist that came off a 95 dodge 8 ft bed. Its 4 1/2 hrs away. Any chance it would fit?

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      Tom Zizzo 4 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @Sandl If you truly have a long bed (they are not very common at all) you may have a hard time selling it because they are so uncommon. Does it improve your gas mileage? Not enough to make it a big money saver, but it won't hurt your gas mileage. Now, the fact that a true older model S-10 longbed is rare could work in your favor if you can find a buyer, because I'm pretty sure that not many manufacturers make a hard tonneau cover for that bed. Try to sell it, post a free ad on CL under the auto parts section, see what happens. The years for your truck cover 1994 to 2004.

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      Sandi 4 years ago

      I bought a Chevy.S 10 1997 long bed, that was read ended in a snow storm. There was a snug top tonneau on it at the time and I took that off. It sustained some damage , in the left rear side, approx12 inches by 2 inches, fiberglass and paint. So I am in a quandary... Would anyone buy something like this, it is otherwise in great shape. Or, should I keep this? Would it significantly reduce my gas mileage? I am in my final year of student teaching and need money...

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      Tom Zizzo 4 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @Jan, maybe, maybe not. Did you buy the top new? What brand is it? Some of them just fit that way. I once had a customer who bought a cab high SnugTop for a new Tacoma, and it had this wide gap all the way around it-never did figure out why. I stuck a different top on it-same brand, but different model, no gap. If it isn't that bad you may just have to live with it. I have seen customers try to dispute tops that don't exactly have a perfect fit, they never win.

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      Jan Johnson 4 years ago

      Hi, I just bought a cap for my 2007 silverado crew cab new body style. The cranberry color was a perfect match, all the angles and curves seem perfect but it doesn't fit perfectly without a one inch gap all the way around. Is there something (rubber seal) maybe that it is missing?

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      Tom Zizzo 4 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @ JZ -No. New trucks are not like the old ones. Just look at your top bed rails and notice the shape of the bed. They really aren't the square boxes they use to be. That new Dodge has a very curved rear tailgate and and a good bow to the front wall. You need a specific shell, one for a 2009 to current year Ram-and measure your bed, Dodge has a crew cab and a quad cab-and trust me, they ARE different, by that I mean the beds are different. I've learned the hard way on this, one bed is about 10 inches shorter.

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      JZ 4 years ago

      I have a 2011 Dodge Ram Crew Cab. I'm looking for a shell. Will a shell for a Chevy 1500 or Toyota Tundra crew cab fit?

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      Tom Zizzo 4 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @ Max -great name by the way :) Your thinking is correct, your bed should be about 72 inches wide, the newer Rams (94 to 2001) were about 4 inches narrower in the rear, which is the first generation of the tapered bed. What you need is something made for a 1972 to 1993 Ram, but remember that back then, other old trucks were similar in shape, i.e., they were not tapered, so one for a 1973 to 87 Chevy would probably fit as well, older Ford 1980 to 1996 is the same width, but a little too long. Hope this helps!

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      Max Headroom 4 years ago

      Also, if that doesn't fit, what years and makes should I look for?

      Thanks

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      Max Headroom 4 years ago

      I found a deal on a 98 Dodge 3500 top.

      I have a 91 Dodge W 250.

      Will it fit my truck? The measurements they sent me seem like it would hang over the back pretty far.

      Thanks -- Nice website!

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      Tom Zizzo 4 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @ Erica. It won't be a perfect fit, but generally speaking, it should fit your bed, the dimensions between the new body style GM trucks and the 'classic' body didn't change much. The length should be around 100 inches, it's possible that the newer truck is like an inch or inch and half longer. I have not personally seen a newer shell put on the classic bed, but I would imagine that one will fit the other, of course you will probably be able to tell that it isn't a custom fit, but it won't be super obvious.

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      Erica 4 years ago

      Wonderful! Someone who can answer my question, yeah! I have a 2006 GMC Sierra with an 8' bed. Will a leer topper for a 2009 GMC with an 8' bed fit on my truck?

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      Tom Zizzo 4 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @ Kieran I did some research as I haven't checked prices on new tops in a little while. A friend of mine told me that a basic Cab High SnugTop is only $50 more than a Leer 100R, which is their basic top. The SnugTop should run you about $1,800 after tax and install, but remember that the SnugTop uses much better parts and has a thicker overall construction to the fiberglass than a Leer. Their warranties are the same. It use to be that the Leer was a couple hundred dollars cheaper, but I guess SnugTop has lowered prices to be more competitive.

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      Kieran McDougall 4 years ago

      What would you suggest for a 2011 tacoma double cab short bed under 2k?

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      ChrisT 4 years ago

      Sure does, thanks!

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      Tom Zizzo 4 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @Chris -If someone is being very vague on the fit of a used top it's because they think they will just fit any truck that's close. The good thing is, the shell you're looking for will only weigh about 150 to 175 pounds, so just set it on your bed and see how it fits, or just ask the seller to be a little more specific on what truck the shell came off of. The main problem you're going to have on a Toyota bed is the rails are very narrow-not like an F150 or Silverado where the top width of the bed rail is probably twice as wide as yours. What that means is, the shell won't have a lot of room to adjust the size-it has to fit closer to the actual dimensions of the bed. Think of it like walking on a ledge as oppose to walking on a sidewalk. Hopefully this makes sense.

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      ChrisT 4 years ago

      I have got an 03 xtracab tacoma, the bed dimensions are 76x61.5 (6'3"x5'1") . I see a lot of used canopies which I like, some are even the right color, advertised as 6'x5'. Will those few inches be the difference between a fit? Thanks,

      Chris.

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      Matt D 4 years ago

      Thanks Tom!!!

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      Tom Zizzo 4 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @letsjet Your Dakota should be around 81 inches long, and 63 inches wide. It's kind of unique as a Dakota is technically a mid-size bed.

      @Matt D You need to find something for a 2002 to 2008 Ram. What's unique about that bed is the extreme bow to the top of the front wall behind the cab.

      I would post a link to my other hub I wrote that details all this info but the site won't let me.

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      Matt D 4 years ago

      Tom, I have a 2003 Dodge Ram 2500 Long Bed Quad Cab. What model years or other makes are compatible with this bed? Thanks.

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      letsjet 4 years ago

      I need a used shell for a 2001 Dakota, extended cab. I believe the bed length is 6.5' Will any 77 inch shell fit?

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      Tom Zizzo 4 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @Gary -I seem to remember that most of the shell manufacturers used glass from a company called Creation. I know they are still around. I'm not familiar with that manufacturer. You are correct that most of the time you need to replace the whole frame and glass-they go together. I know that Snugtop actually puts part numbers on silver tape on the window frames to make getting parts easier. Wish I could help more.

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      Gary Magnuson 4 years ago

      I have a Covermaster top on a 2001 Silverado 2500HD LE,6.5 ft bed with a broken the rear slider window. Covermaster is out of Business now. It would seem that the manufacturers must have bought their glass panels from a vendor. Any suggestions how to find a vendor to order a replacement frame and glass? When I broke the window on the other side, I had to replace the whole frame and glass.

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      Tom Zizzo 4 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @ JJ -yeah, that's pretty good, unless it has a broken door or something, otherwise, yes, that's a good deal. New, those tops will cost around $2,300, and that's before you add tax, so if there are no broken parts and you can get it for under $1,000-great deal.

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      JJ 4 years ago

      I have a 2004 nissan titan and I found a use snugtop XV for sale at $700 for my truck is that a fair deal? it seems to be in good condition with keys.Thank you

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      Tom Zizzo 4 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      Humm, I planned to stop by my buddies shop later, maybe he has a more current number. Remember that Century is part of the Truck Accessories Group-aka TAG in the industry. They own quite a few big accessory vendors, including Leer. Try to find a Leer dealer, they may be able to get a hold of Century, otherwise, I'll post another comment if I can get a more current number.

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      Jstay 4 years ago

      LOL Tom, I guess the word is out. That number is, " No longer in service or has been disconnected." I had called two of the dealerships closest to me but no answer. Oh well, we'll just keep tryin....Thanks again!

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      Jstay 4 years ago

      Thanks Tom....appreciate it!!!!

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      Tom Zizzo 4 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @ Jstay If you call Century, they can tell you exactly what make and model the shell was made for when you give them that serial number, I personally don't have access to that and although Century makes it difficult to just call them-a lot of manufacturers leave their direct lines off their sites for some reason-you can call them at: 574-264-7528. I still have some old trade magazines with that contact info in it :)

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      Jstay 4 years ago

      I want to buy a Century shell with serial number 1327182. Can you tell me what vehicles this will fit and what model it is? It was on an 07 Silverado and I want to put it on a 2010 Sierra.

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      Tom Zizzo 4 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @John, that's a tough one, the Titan long bed is kind of rare, but I know it exists, just don't know that many manufacturers made anything for them, so having said that, will the shell from an F250 work, are we talking Superduty longbed? Odds are, that shell will be too long for the Titan bed, which should be slightly less than 8 feet long. You can measure your bed, but a Superduty longbed is around 100 inches long, and 75 inches wide in the front, 70 inches wide in the back. Compare that to whatever the dimensions are on your Titan.

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      john 4 years ago

      I have a 08 nissan titan with a 8' bed. Will a LEER camper, for a long bed truck. Previously on a Ford F250 long bed fit on it?

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      Tom Zizzo 4 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @ Serg When you say 'cover' are you talking about a hard tonneau cover? Like a Snuglid? If you are, I really don't think that's going to work, remember that a lid needs to go up and down like a trunk, it's not like a shell where you only need to worry about the back door. The hardware for the lids are also very specific, in the case of your Titan, you need the frame rails of the lid to mount in those tracks-maybe, only you will know that if your bed has those tracks in it, not all Titans have those. Then there's also the bulging Nissan logo on your tailgate, a lid needs to mold around it. Honestly, I wouldn't bother. If you are in fact talking about a hard tonneau and you can't find anything used, check out the Undercover-they're lightweight, secure, reasonable in price, they fit good, and they have virtually no problems. Just remember if you do go the route of an Undercover, make sure to find out if you need the special track hardware kit, that sometimes gets overlooked.

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      Serg 4 years ago

      Tom, I have a 2004 Nissan Titan LE V8 with a crew cab. I ran across a Snug top cover that the seller says came of a Dodge dakokta. The messurements are 67"x82". Thius seems to be a clos size that my bed is? Will this fit before I drive down and look at it?

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      Tom Zizzo 4 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @Mike, I have no idea where you live-that might matter-but where I live in Nor. CA bay area, I think, not sure, but I think a body shop will charge you like $400. I haven't looked into that in a while, so that may have changed.

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      Mike 4 years ago

      Thanks for this article and the writeup about compatibility - very useful.

      So, I've found a used shell for my truck (amazingly) - it's a 98 Ford sCab Flareside.

      The shell is white, the truck is red, so I'm trying to get a ballpark figure on having it painted - any ideas?

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      Tom Zizzo 4 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @miles, I did in fact write a whole Hub on used top compatibility a couple weeks ago, but I'll answer your question anyway :) That body style came out in 1995.5(mid year truck), and stayed that way until 2004. You DO need a shell meant for a standard cab as one for an extended cab will angle forward and likely rub on the top of your cab. Now, you can fit a shell from an older SR5 type Toyota on there(date back to 1989), but the height of the shell will not match up to the height of the cab, but it should fit the bed dimensions, basically, your truck is a little over an inch wider than the older Toyotas-pre-Tacoma bed. The length is the same though. Hope this helps!-and check out my other Hub :)

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      Miles Anderson 4 years ago

      Hey Tom ! I have a 2002 Tacoma Regular cab. getting a used camper top to fit is like looking for the veritable needle in the haystack. Do you know if there are any models available or is the tacoma a specific size?

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      Tom Zizzo 4 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      It's all subjective really, I think SnugTop is well-made and uses better parts, but if you're on a budget, a Century or Leer are just fine. With certain trucks, specific tops look better, which is why I recommend people take notice of one they see on the road they like.

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      Mike 4 years ago

      I figured as much! I appreciate you quick response though! I will start calling around and seeing what I can find! Would you happen to know what would be the best brand for it? I am sure that it is not that important but I know nothing about canopies. Thanks again and enjoy the rest of your day!

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      Tom Zizzo 4 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @Mike, well I just published my used buying guide for tops. Just an FYI. No, it won't fit, problem is that a Superduty bed is at least an inch longer, and and the front width is about 3 inches wider than an F150, not to mention that most tops for both of those trucks are made to wrap over the plastic caps, so they really need to be on the same beds. I know they aren't common, you might get lucky and call around to see if a shop has one they just want to get rid of, like a closeout shell or something.

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      Mike 4 years ago

      Tom, I have an 06 standard cab f150 with a long bed and I am wondering if a canopy from an f250 long bed would fit? I am not picky on the style of canopy as long as it looks good. There are not a lot of long bed f150s and I dont want to pay more because it isn't as common!

      Thanks!

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      Sherri36R 4 years ago

      Thanks Tom, will do a deep dive into the Snug Top's!

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      Tom Zizzo 4 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @Sherri36R Century and Leer are essentially the same, and the roofs of those tops are basically constructed of a layer of fiberglass, cardboard, and another layer of fiberglass. Will they handle 100lbs? Yes, but if you want the piece of mind to know the roof of the top is thicker, a SnugTop uses a honeycomb construction between the layers of fiberglass, so it would hands down be a better choice for mounting anything of weight on the roof. If you do a fair amount of rough road driving-doesn't have to be 'off-road' per se, but lots of bumps and washboarded out dirt roads, I would highly recommend SnugTop's off-road package. They make the roof twice as thick, and reinforce all the corners to handle bed flexing, and trust me, beds on trucks flex a lot more than you think. Flexing can cause window seals to literally squeeze out of the frames over time, doors can shatter, etc. Think about how much of that type of driving you do if you want to go with extra reinforcement, otherwise, a standard SnugTop is the way to go.

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      Sherri 36R 4 years ago

      Tom, I have a 2006 Toyota Tacoma Pre Runner Double Cab 2 WD, short bed. I race A Stock Runabout and my dad is building me an A Stock Hydroplane to race as well. I am looking to buy a new top to haul the hydro and putting something like the Thule Tracker II on top. Considering Leer, Snug Top and Century. The boat will weigh about 100 lbs. What would you suggest would be the best top to haul the hydro, we will pull a small box trailer with the runabout on top of it. Reading your hub have some concerns about weight on top, back window breakage and locks. Thanks!

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      Del 4 years ago

      that is what i needed to know thanks very much

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      Tom Zizzo 4 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @Del, you should be able to find something, what you need (specifically, for a perfect fit) is a shell made for a 1995.5(Tacoma was introduced mid-year) to 2004. You said 2-door, so I'm assuming that it's a standard cab, meaning no extra back seat. There is a difference with shells made for standard cabs and extended cabs for that model Tacoma. A shell for an extended cab wall have more of an angle to the front of it which could rub on the cab's roofline on a standard cab. You can also technically put a shell on it from an older SR5 type Toyota, it will fit the bed dimensions, it just sits lower because the newer Tacomas have higher rooflines. Those years go all the way back to at least 1989, not a perfect fit, but they will fit. Hope this helps.

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      Del 4 years ago

      i am looking for a used topper for a 2001 Tacoma 2dr with a six foot bed. can you let me know what toppers are compatible with this? i have been searching and cannot find any listing using just this information.

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      Scott 4 years ago

      OK, thanks for your help.

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      Tom Zizzo 4 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      That's odd, I've never heard of that, almost sounds like a pre-runner bed, sometimes those are made of lighter weight materials, never heard of that being a factory set up though, even the Ford Raptor is still a standard steel bed. I know the dualie beds have fiberglass fender wells - on the outside. Well, you might want to try having something custom made, I know Access Mfg. will make just about anything, have no idea how it would mount though.

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      Scott 4 years ago

      My Z-71 is a Chevrolet ext. cab short bed. The bed is made of a weird composite and the outer quarter panels and tail gate are fiberglass...the owner said it was to help with towing. It is a factory set-up because I had to replace the tail gate straps and the dealership said they were different than a regular bed.

      The inside of the bed runs straight up and turns 90 degrees out for the area where the camper top would rest...nothing to clamp to. Naturally I would be the one to find a one-of-a-kind rig that nothing works on.

      I appreciate your quick response.

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      Tom Zizzo 4 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @Scott, I don't know what you mean by a composite bed. Z-71, like a Chevy/GM truck? Those don't have composite beds, as far as I know, but you say no rails to accommodate clamps, so is it a stepside bed? If you are talking about a stepside bed, honestly, for a classic body truck, I only ever dealt with one for a shell, and he had a Snugtop. They just aren't that common, in northern CA especially. I remember them more on the 1988-98 years, but you will need something specific and I cannot remember at all how it mounted. Sorry I couldn't help more.

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      Scott 4 years ago

      Tom, I have a 2002 Z-71 with a composite bed. Would the same top fit my truck as a normal short bed? Also, what mounting options are available for composite beds since there are no rails to accommodate clamps?

      I would rather not drill and bolt to the top of my bed because I want to keep the top easily removable.

      Great info, thanks for the article.

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      Meg 4 years ago

      Thanks so much Tom - for the speedy reply especially!!

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      Tom Zizzo 4 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @Meg, for a used top, you need something made for a Nissan KC-only one bed length for that, your 6.5 foot calculation sounds correct, but you need one made for a 1998 to 2000, even one for a crew cab with the longer bed will work, or even standard cab, and technically speaking, a used top for a 2001 to 2004 Nissan is the same, except for the back door. In 2001, Nissan put this big logo on the top of the tailgate that sticks out, so a shell for a 2001 to 04 will compensate for that. What that means is it will fit your bed, but you will have a bit of a gap where the bottom of the door meets the tailgate. This is bad if you're going somewhere that rains a lot. The best place to look is on Craig's List in the auto parts section, type in 'shell' as a search item. Those trucks are fairly common. If someone tells you that their used shell was on a 'hardbody' Nissan, that is the 1986.5 to 1997 version of your truck, just remember that those truck beds were about 2.5 inches shorter than your bed, width is the same, so they might fit, but the door won't shut right, and if you need security, that type of fit won't work at all.

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      Meg 4 years ago

      Hey Tom - this is great, thanks so much!

      I just bought a 2000 Nissan Frontier to take overseas for work (it is a King Cab, XE - i *think* it has normal length 6.5 ft bed - it's definitely not a 4 door crew cab with a short bed). I bought used/old intentionally - anything too shiny/new will get you carjacked where I am going. I am now hearing I need a cap, mostly to prevent people from jumping in the back and expecting a free ride.

      Do you know what used caps I should be searching for? The color, aluminum/fiberglass/even plastic doesn't matter too much to me, as long as it is not a tonneau cover (apparently people will still hop on the flat covers). I was not expecting to have to buy anything else but the darn truck, so price is the most important thing. Well, price and timing, since I am leaving in about a month.

      What would you recommend I look for, and where should I look? Thanks SO much for any advice you can give.

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      Keith 4 years ago

      Hey Tom, thanks for the quick reply!

      Once again, great article. Look forward to seeing your used buying guide.

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      Tom Zizzo 4 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @Keith, yeah, you just have to take that piece off the tailgate, most shell doors won't even compensate for that, it just has to be removed. The GMC trucks don't have them. Wade, or is it Westin, makes a flat replacement piece that just sticks on and covers up the holes on the front of the gate where it comes off, any accessory shop should sell those. Your bed is fairly common, like I mentioned, 2000 to 06 will fit, as long as you have the right bed length.

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      Keith 4 years ago

      Hey Tom, nice article, thanks.

      You mention about Chevey beds being the same from 2000 - 2006. I am not sure that is correct. My 2003 has a fairly good sized plastic topper on top of the tailgate that makes the need for the bottom of the rear window skirt to come out and around that plastic. Where a 2001 does not have that and that bottom skirt is just straight.

      Been trying to find a used shell for the 2003 extended cab...

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      Tom Zizzo 4 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @Kevin, your welcome, it's always harder finding stuff for long beds for some reason, especially with newer trucks. It's not uncommon now to hear new truck owners, as in people who have never owned a truck, refer to their 6.5 foot bed pickup as a long bed because of all the crew cabs now that have 5.5 foot beds, but an 8 foot bed is really a long bed. Good luck!

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      Kevin 4 years ago

      Thanks, I might just go with a soft top cap.but all in all you have been a great help. Enjoy your easter weekend.

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      Tom Zizzo 4 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @Kevin -Not really, the fiberglass rails on a shell built specific for a newer Ford bed mold over the rail, so if the bed is not contoured to fit that, they will either stick out, or just not sit on the bed at all. If you were to look at the rails of a new F150 with the bed caps removed, it would make more sense. They aren't just stuck on there, the bed itself has an indentation to compensate for the thickness of the plastic, so when you look down the side, the plastic is actually flush with the bed. Sadly, the new Dodge, Tundra, Titan, F150 and Superduty's are all built this way.

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      Kevin 4 years ago

      Thanks, not the news I wanted to hear but it does help.any chance aftermarket rail caps would help.

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      Tom Zizzo 4 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @Kevin, with the new trucks, there really isn't much that crosses over, if you know what I mean. The shell on the Ford will likely be too wide for your truck, the length will also be off. The other part of the problem is that the GM trucks are now the only ones that do not have factory plastic bed rails(except the duallies), so most fiberglass tops made for those trucks with the plastic rails will wrap over those rails for a nice fit, that in itself means that Ford shell will not sit on your truck bed properly. If you can find a nice used commercial shell-has flat rails-that was on a classic body Chevy/GM, that might work-the classic body beds are just a hare longer and I think wider than the new trucks. Hope this helps.

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      Kevin 4 years ago

      I own a 2011 gmc sierra long bed regular cab, any chance a late model ford, dodge or even foreign cap would work. there's an a.r.e. Mc with the hatch that I want but its on a ford fx4. Any help on crossovers would be great because craigslist is loaded with long beds not for gm. Thanks for the article.

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      Tom Zizzo 4 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @Greg, well, it should fit. Will there be a gap on the tailgate? Yes, for sure. If you're getting a good deal on it, something simple you could do to fill in the gap would be to get some extra foam tape, you can get this at just about any hardware store or camper shell dealer, and slap that on the edge of the door where it would rest on the gate to close the gap. I have seen people modify much worse, but your concerns are valid, modifications or not, the seal will never be that great. You can also call SnugTop and find out if you can replace the newer door with an older style part, just explain what you're trying to accomplish, I'm sure the mold of the shell itself is the same. If it's an all-glass door(no aluminum frame) it will be expensive. There should be a fair amount of used tops out there for that truck.

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      Greg 4 years ago

      I have a 1999 superduty short bed, would a SnugTop from a 2011 superduty fit mine? I worry about the step ladder on the newer models creating a gap on my truck.

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      Tom Zizzo 4 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      SnugTop should definitely have a UT Pro for that truck, you should also look into a company called Access Mfg. -if it is available where you live. They make the Tradesman, it would probably be cheaper than the UT Pro, and literally everything is an option so you can have it made anyway you want. Access use to be SixPac-the same guy still owns it. I believe that company is out of Winters CA. Keep in mind too that the commercial-type shells that SnugTop and Leer offer may be farmed out to another manufacturer, meaning SnugTop isn't actually making it, I could be wrong, but I know that Leer use to do that.

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      toddjmoore 4 years ago

      Wished I lived in Santa Clara. Anyway, I have a '99 tacoma 2wd reg bed. We bought a used canopy and the door won't open unless I move it farther down the bed. Then it leaks through the bed. The seller said we could just add some new seals and it would work. Alas. So, if we buy a new bed, snugtop seems the place you recommend. Would their UT Pro work on our truck?

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      Tom Zizzo 4 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      I'm working on a comprehensive used shell guide given the number of questions I have had on the subject, look for it soon.

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      Ed Ancona 4 years ago

      Hello Tom , THANK YOU for writing a great and informative piece! I am searching for a shell for my 1998 Chevy and this is perfect! Appreciate your knowledge and time.

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      Tom Zizzo 5 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      The Dodge Ram changed in 2002, but honestly, I never tried to fit one of the 94-01 Ram shells to that one, so I'm really not sure. I know that on the new Rams, the measurement of the width of the bed in the front compared to the rear are very different. Of course, the Ram changed again in 2009, and I KNOW it wouldn't fit on that, which are the brand new ones. I would take some measurements of the front and the rear of the bed width, and maybe the height of the cab. It might fit, I'm not sure. Sorry I couldn't be more help with that. Remember too it depends on the shell. If you're trying to fit something like a GemTop Workmaster, Tradesman or ARE commercial shell, those have flat rails and have a better chance of fitting. Molded fiberglass is different.

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      Steve 5 years ago

      Would a canopy from a 98 dodge ram 1500 short bed fit on a 2004 dodge ram 1500 short bed?

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      Tom Zizzo 5 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @chance -Didn't know Guidon made anything other than hardtops for Jeeps and those little SUVs. Those beds are quite different, more importantly you need to know exactly what that top was made for. Is it a shell with windows or a hard tonneau? Most shells for a 97 to 03 F150 bed are made to wrap over those factory plastic bed caps. The only things I have seen fit were commercial-type shells with flat rails. It's hard to say without doing a test fit, and even if it does, the door may not shut properly.

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      CHANCE 5 years ago

      will a guidon fiber glass top off of a 97-03 f-150, cover fit a 06 gmc

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      Tom Zizzo 5 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @daryl, I would not know that, if those are serial numbers. You would have to contact Leer manufacturing, either directly or through an authorized Leer dealer. If you call your local dealer though, they will probably tell you to call Leer.

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      daryl 5 years ago

      i have 2 leer shells 100r-15ff 1389418 and 1176159 100xu-65ff. what do they fit

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      Jay Allan 5 years ago

      @ Tom. Ya Thx for the info

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      Tom Zizzo 5 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @Jay, in 1988, the GM beds became tapered, so the 85 bed is the same width in the front as it is in the back, not so for the 93. Will it still fit?-no, I don't think it will, but here's the good news, your 85 Chevy bed-if we're talking fullsize truck here, NOT the S-10-is the same dimensions as the 1980 to 1996 Ford F150/250, so, finding a used shell to fit it shouldn't be too difficult. Ford didn't start tapering the beds until 97. Same goes for lumber racks for that truck. Hope this helps :)

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      Jay Allan 5 years ago

      HEY. I have a 1985 chevy pickup and was wondering if a canopy from a 1993 chevy pickup would fit? I know it'll get narrower towards the end. I just wanna know if it'll work at all

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      Tom Zizzo 5 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @Marbry Well, technically the beds are very close to being the same dimensions, however in 2005, the Tacoma radically changed the bed, and by that I mean they are all now composite beds-they are not sheet metal, except for the outer skin. Why does that matter? the bed rails on the new Tacomas are not only wider, but most shell manufacturers make the tops to mold over those plastic rails, and-most importantly-shells on the new Tacomas must utilize that inside metal track rail-there really is no other way to mount it. Sadly, I don't think a shell from a 99 would work on a new Tacoma, and the Access Cab is essentially an extended cab-they only come in one bed length. What you need is one made for 2005 to current year, don't listen to what the seller might tell you. The only thing from an older bed that may work with a newer Tacoma composite bed is a rubber bed mat. I hope this helps.

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      Marbry 5 years ago

      Would you happen to know if a cap from a '99 Tacoma extended cab would fit a '12 access cab? I know the cab styles changed, but I'm not sure about the bed.

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      Steve Vac 5 years ago

      Thanks for the info, Tom.

      Much appreciated.

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      Tom Zizzo 5 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      So, the Superduty came out in 99 like I said, before that they were just F250/F350's. In 2008, Ford added this step in the tailgate-some trucks never got these, like commercial fleet trucks, but if you were taking a shell off a 2001 and putting it on a 2009 for example, the tailgate on the newer truck flares out for that tailgate step, and the 2001 shell won't take that into account, i.e., the door won't shut right. Everything else should be the same. So if you're taking a 2001 shell and putting it on a 2005 truck-both Superduty Ford shortbeds, yes, they are identical.

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      Bruce 5 years ago

      Both short beds 7 ft

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      Bruce 5 years ago

      I'm sorry f350 2001 to a f250 both ford r they the same beds

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      Tom Zizzo 5 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @Bruce -Are we talking long bed or short bed? Ford F350/250 is called the Superduty, and Ford started making that truck in 1999, and not much has changed with the bed dimensions to the current year. Chevy would be a 2500, and that body is now called the 'classic' body, which changed after 2007-for the heavy duty models. Is a Ford shell compatible with a Chevy bed? I doubt it if it's a fiberglass top. Most fiberglass tops for Superdutys have molded rear corners, and that would be an issue if you put that on a Chevy bed. If it's a flat railed shell, like a commercial-type ARE, Leer, old Gem Top, etc., it might work. I know I've put a newer Ford shell on an older Chevy bed, not the greatest fit, like I've said before, measure the front, and the rear width of the beds to get a better idea if they will fit.

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      Bruce 5 years ago

      Will a 2001 f350 topper fit a 2005Chevy f250

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      Tom Zizzo 5 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @kelly -If there is dirt and dust, first try to clean and lube the hardware. That lock should have an adjusting screw or nut on the rod(there are threads on the end of the rod) connecting to each rotary latch, so there should be two of them total, one on each side. Turning that nut will affect the latch on each end. When you push down one of the rotary latches manually with the door up, you should hear two clicks to know it's working properly, if it doesn't, you need to adjust it. Turning the handle in the middle should release it. Most of the time, this works. These nuts do need to be adjusted from time to time.

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      kelly 5 years ago

      Hi Tom. I have a 2005 tacoma with a snug top camper that has the one lock in the middle of the window down along the bottom and this lock controls the two levered hooks on either side of the window. one hook is no longer hooking and this is making the key pretty hard to operate. i live in the tropics where there is lots of humidity and the majority of the roads i live on are dust. any suggestions? thanks in advance for your help.

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      Tom Zizzo 5 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      The Dodge Dakota changed body styles in 2005, so technically, it shouldn't fit. I don't think I ever tried to fit the previous generation Dakota shell on the newer body style, so the best thing to do is measure. Be sure to measure the front AND the back(width) to see if one might fit the other. I'm sorry to say I don't think they will, might be close though.

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      bertha 5 years ago

      would a cap that fits a 2000 dodge dakota fit onto a 2005 dakota?

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      andres lozano 5 years ago

      tom, you are doing a wonderful job at keeping the public inform of our product. way to go,,,,,,,.

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      Dirk 5 years ago

      Thanks for your input Tom. I just ordered the Snugtop Rebel without the boot, and with the fold-down window with a slider. Leaks aren't an option where I'll be driving this truck (Ohio). I was liking the Xtra Vision or SuperSport's looks but chose the Rebel since it has flat side windows which should provide a better seal to the shell and make it less likely to leak (compared to here in SoCal) especially after a few summers and winters there. Thanks again.

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      Tom Zizzo 5 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @Dirk-I can't stress enough how much a boot is a BAD idea. Today's trucks are not like they used to be. The back cabs and beds are not just square boxes and neither are the shells. They are very custom, contured fits, especially with a SnugTop. If you get a sliding window-and you should get the fold down kind-the gap between the shell and the cab will be so narrow that you can barely fit your hand in it, so road noise won't be that bad at all. Boots actually make their own special noises-they tend to squeek. As far as your Shepard being able to poke her head in and give you sloppy wet kiss with a sliding window, just remember she has to be able to do that through the opening of the CAB window now, and as I recall, the opening on a Tacoma cab slider is not that big, so even if a sliding window on the shell is a huge opening, the cab window on the truck may not be. Another thing to remember about boots-IF you did get one and after having it for a year you realize a lot of water leaks in, you're stuck with it. You cannot change a boot over to a slider becuse the manufacture has to cut the whole for a boot larger than they do for a slider, so there's no going back.

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      Dirk 5 years ago

      Thanks for this post! I purchased a 2007 Tundra and am expecting to buy a SnugTop. We have a German Shephard and we'd like her to be comfortable in the back. You recommend against getting a boot because they leak and wear off the paint. But I've heard they are much quieter than the alternative of having both pickup rear window and the front window of the shell open. I am hoping that our dog can stick her head through the window and say hi!! Any thoughts on this? Thanks!!

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      Tom Zizzo 5 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      Thanks Sarah. I have since started selling accessories again-not tops though. I do still try to advise people on what to buy and where to get it. I'm trying to now learn lift kits and wheels and tires, which is new and a bit much to take in.

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      Sarah Hill 5 years ago

      I deal mostly with bed liners so it was nice to be educated on shells. You seem to know your stuff. Thanks for the breakdown of info, appreciate it!

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      Justin 6 years ago

      Thanks Tom....

      I have State Farm and they said they would cover glass breakage on a truck cap, but they don't have a lower deductible for "glass replacement", so you'd have to pay whatever your normal deductible is on the policy. (Of course, then they'd probably raise your rates during your next renewel....)

      Appreciate your advice!

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      Tom Zizzo 6 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @Justin -I say break a lot because we seemed to be replacing a lot of doors, but just because that seems like a lot to me, doesn't mean it's a lot for an individual. Lets just say it is a common repair, after all, it's really the only major moving part on a camper shell.

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      Justin 6 years ago

      doh... "break a lot" is scary.

      Thanks a lot for all your help! I'll need to think about this and talk to my insurance company.

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      Tom Zizzo 6 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      Camper shell rear doors break a lot. The most common thing people do is back up into their garage with the door up. Sometimes aluminum framed doors can get bent out of shape, and not break-never the case with the all-glass frameless doors. The glass itself can be very fragile, because it's tempered safety glass, one small rock and it will shatter into a million pieces. The other common scenario is when the weekly gardeners kick up a small rock with a weed whacker and hit the glass. There is one insurance company that actually has camper top coverage, and a nice $100 to $150 deductible for broken glass. Can't think of who it is, but I ran across it one time.

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      Justin 6 years ago

      Thanks again - I'll talk with a dealer to try to get more info about the Pro-Lock.

      Yeah, I've read about how costly rear-glass replacement can be ($500+) if it breaks. That's one thing I definitely worry about. I'm also considering a product like softtopper.com which would cost about $700-$800, so much cheaper, but also much uglier. It's a tough decision...

      Have you seen many cases of broken glass? Do you why they broke?

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      Tom Zizzo 6 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      The pro-lock must be new, but is most likely an upgrade from their former flushmount lock-the one that didn't pop-out. The old pop-out lock is good, and I think reliable. The reason some people have problems with them overtime is because they leave them popped out and allow lots of dirt, roadgrime and dust to get into the mechanism and don't lube it. If it wasn't good, they wouldn't have been using them for the last 20 years. This new pro-lock is probably not much different than what they were using on most all-glass doors, but with an actual handle on it, which the old one didn't have. Either way, I'm still not a big fan of rotary latches. Again-remember that the XV and SS shells have the all glass doors, and if you break them-they are not cheap to replace.

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      Justin 6 years ago

      Thanks a lot! I'll be talking with a dealer, but I wanted to do some homework first. :) I will go with the sportsman package based on what you said.

      I wished SnugTop had more detail on their website, but there seems to be 2 or maybe 3 locking systems:

      Rotary Latch Locking System:

      http://www.snugtop.com/products/Features_Options/R...

      Patented Flush Pop-Out Lock:

      http://www.snugtop.com/products/Features_Options/P...

      Pro-Lock -- the SnugTop picture below has info about this lock:

      http://www.snugtop.com/products/Features_Options/P...

      I heard about problems with the pop-out lock (freezing up, falling apart), so I'm thinking about going with the Pro-Lock -- this is also what they use on the Hummer H3 lid.

      Are you familiar with the Pro-Lock, and if so, any negative thoughts about it?

      Thanks a lot!

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      Tom Zizzo 6 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @ Justin Yes, the sportsman package is worth it if you do a lot of 'rough' road driving. You don't have to be doing the Top Truck Challenge to subject your bed to a lot of flexing. If the road isn't paved, then you do a lot of off-road driving. It's been a couple years since I sold a Snugtop-I know what the pop-out lock is, not sure about the pro-lock. It's probably the semi-flush mount one with the rotary latches-slams shut. I already mentioned why I don't like those locks-if you watch them and adjust them, they're ok, but they do need occasional adjustments and tweaking, otherwise the door will just pop open or not open altogether. The rubber seals that come with a Snugtop are fine-you don't need to change them. They actually use good rubber. Regarding the carpet color-if you get the black headliner, it will match the Bedrug-they are the same carpet actually. Your Snugtop dealer should really know this. Hardly any of those shells use the older grey or charcoal color. They used to have just charcoal and a light gray or tan or blue, now I think all they have is tan, charcoal and black. When the black carpet came out, the fact that it was the same color as the Bedrug is why we would stock all the shells with that color. Hope this helps!

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      Justin 6 years ago

      Sorry, I forgot some other questions about the Snugtop XV:

      What kind of rubber seals, between the truck bed and truck cap, are used for Snugtop caps? Do you think the rubber seals at the following website would be better: http://extrudedsolutions.com/products.htm

      Your picture shows a grey BedRug with a grey headliner, but they seem to be different colors of grey -- does this clash when you are looking at it in person? Just wondering if maybe a black headliner with a grey Bedrug would look okay?

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      Justin 6 years ago

      Great info!

      For the Snugtop XV truck cap, do you prefer the Pro-Lock over the pop-out lock?

      I do a lot of off-road driving, but mostly on Forest Service or BLM lands - nothing crazy. Is the extra strength/reinforced stress points offered in the sportsman package useful in this case?

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      Tom Zizzo 6 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @ Ryan 2005 is what I call a 'fringe' year for a truck. It was the first year that the Tacoma changed body style since it was introduced in 1995. Prior to that, those trucks were just Toyotas, or 'downsize' since there were the T-100 trucks, which later became the Tundra. If your bed is composite, ie, it's black plastic, then you have the current style bed. You'll know this because the new or current bed is actually like a plastic insert, it's not metal, only the rear pillars are actually metal. If this is what you have, any shell that's on a 2005 to current year will fit. There isn't much difference between cabs, in other words, the extended cabs, crew cabs-or double cab-and standard cab trucks with the longer bed will all be compatible, unless the top is a Snugtop(shell, not the hard lid tonneau)the shells have specific molds for the standard cabs. I could be wrong, but I think Leer only has one mold for that length bed. There really is no good single source to know this stuff. I know it because I've worked in the industry a while, I've thought of putting together a resource. Feel free to ask me any other questions.

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      Ryan 6 years ago

      Hey Tom,

      Great article. Good to see the break down of the different components of a good truck cap or shell.

      Speaking of which is there a good resource you can recommend for which year trucks are the same? I have a 2005 single cab std bed tacoma and am looking for a shell but cant work out which will be compatible. Found a 1996 shell but have yet to try it out.

      Anyway, thanks for the article.

      Regards,

      R

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      Tom Zizzo 6 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @ Travis I don't know which model you have-possibly the Supersport or XV-but these have what's called wrap rails-obviously you don't like that. I think their cab high model does not have wrapped rails like this. The dealer should be able to find out from the manufacturer if a shell has this, just ask, does this mold wrap the rails-if they don't know, they can call the factory and ask. I did have a case with Snugtop on a Tacoma where the rails wrapped over too much-looked too wide, you could fit two fingers in the gap that hanged over the side, so we swapped it out for another one I had on my lot, and it fit much better-hardly any gap at all. I thought it was very strange at the time, but this might be the case with your top. See if the dealer you got it from would be willing to just set another similar top they may have in stock on their lot on your bed and see if it fits different. If it does, you may be able to ask them for a new top or make some kind of deal because it shouldn't fit that way.

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      Travis 6 years ago

      I just bought a 2011 Tacoma 4 door long bed. I ended up getting a SnugTop cap but I don't like the way it hangs over the edges of the truck bed. It looks like the cap is too big for my truck. Do you know if SnugTop makes a cap that sits flush with the bed? Or maybe you can recommend another brand that has the look I'm going for?

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      Tom Zizzo 6 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @ Rebecca any Toyota older than 1989 can either be standard or a little different. One thing to look at is if the bed rails roll to the outside, they call this a 'Japanese' bed. Older import trucks are like this. Basically, can you grab the bed rail from the outside of the bed, or the inside? If it is NOT a Japanese bed, then you're in luck. Snugtop does still have a mold for the shortbed Toyota, but it aint cheap. You have a 1 ton, so it might be the longer bed. If it is, there's not too much you can get aside from used. I don't know what part of the country you live, but a good top for unique, older trucks is one made by Access Manufacturing, which makes a shell called the Tradesman. Yes, these are technically commercial shells-made of aircraft aluminum-but a cab level model actually doesn't look very commercial. They will make a top for just about anything-if a local dealer is available of course. It's the same company that made the popular Six Pack and Bac Pack tops. Because of the older year though, your options will be limited. This doesn't rule out used, I see used tops on Craig's List all the time. Toyota models from 1984, all the way up to 1994 are generally the same, and some 1995s, later that year, 1995 1/2- they started making the Tacoma-it's different. Just remember, take measurements of your bed, and know the years that will be compatible. If someone tells you the shell on their 2000 Tacoma will fit, don't trust that they know, because it probably won't. Also remember that a shell for an extended cab Toyota has more of a slopped front angle to it. This is a problem if you try to fit that to a standard cab. It will hit the top of the roof of the cab. I have seen used old Snugtops for these trucks on CL for really cheap, which is ideal because the hull of the shell will last a long time, may need new windows, but those can be replaced. My shop once sent out an old Snugtop-whose mold no longer exists-to the factory and had it re-painted, and new windows put in, basically a new top, and it was just a little cheaper than a new one. Hope this helps.

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      Rebecca 6 years ago

      Your info is really helpful. I just got a 1988 Toyota truck, a 1 ton with low miles. I want to get a shell but am just now beginning to do my research since I have no clue what to get and have never had a shell. Any suggestions?

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      Joe 6 years ago

      Thank you for the comments. They are appreciated and make me feel more confident in spending a little extra money on the SnugTop, which I was already planning on doing. A lot of your comments on the options were exactly what the salesperson at the dealer advised, so it just reinforces my confidence in doing business with them.

      Thank you

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      Tom Zizzo 6 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @Darren -That pop-out handle is a standard Snugtop part-they use it on their non-commercial shells as well. I called an old friend that sells this stuff-go to any Snugtop dealer, you can call them to find out who that would be, the part number you need is: 713125. Hope this helps :)

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      Darren 6 years ago

      Tom,

      On my commercial snugtop I have a center popup t handle on the rear glass. The pin in the tumbler that releases the lock sheared off.

      Do you know where to purchase/what the part number is for the popup snugtop T handle used on the rear glass?

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      Tom Zizzo 7 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      -Sean: You said the Leer top was 88 to 99, which would be two generations past, so I'm not exactly sure how that might fit. If the shell is that old, it may have a flat rail, not 'wrapped' which some of the newer shells have to contur the new style body lines-that wouldn't fit for sure, but if it's flat, it will probably sit on the rails ok. I've never tried it with a shell but I can tell you that a lumber rack for an 89, 8'bed GM will fit the new bed, so the general dimensions have stayed the same. Try setting it on there. I'm used to using a forklift, so I'm a little spoiled with that.

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      sean rarrick 7 years ago

      It's new body style. I'm not worried about it looking like a custom fit one. I just don't want it to fall off because I cannot clamp it correctly. What do you think?

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      sean rarrick 7 years ago

      It's new body style. I'm not worried about it looking like a custom fit one. I just don't want it to fall off because I cannot clamp it correctly.

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      Tom Zizzo 7 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @Sean-Unless your truck is the 'classic' body style, than no, it shouldn't fit-however, it may sit on the bed, but it just won't exactly fit right. The body style changes for fullsize GM trucks are as follows: 73 to 87, in 1988 the bodystyle changed to a 'tapered' bed, so it became wider in the front than the rear-this is a major problem for shells fitting. If the truck is an 1988 longbed dually, it's the 87 style. Then it changed in 99, but some are new and some are old for those fringe years depending on the production dates. The trucks changed again in 07, except for the heavy duty(2500, 3500)which are all now the new style. If it isn't, they refer to it as the classic body. So technically that shell shouldn't fit, but if it has a flat rail, it might 'kind of' fit. Hope this helps, feel free to ask me any other questions.

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      sean rarrick 7 years ago

      Hello,

      My truck is an 08 GMC Sierra with an 8' bed. Will the following 8' Leer Hi Rise cap for 88-99 Chevrolet/GMC pickups fit my truck?

      Thanks...

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      Tom Zizzo 7 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @Scotty- well, the door handle itself should be fairly standard, and you're right, sometimes the handle is riveted to the frame of the door-but those rods usually aren't. You'll see what I mean when you take it apart. There are two basic types of door handles-round base and square base. These are still used so a camper shell lot should have them or be able to get them. Sometimes they are 'blind mount'-meaning you see no holes from the outside, and you need that specific handle. But even rod assemblies can be bought and replaced, they just need to be cut to length. Where it gets a little sticky is trying to re-rivet this hardware without breaking glass, but in your case, the glass was already broke so you should be fine. The few shell mfgrs that have specific handles are Snugtop and ARE, and some others, but what you have is probably fairly standard. Hope this helps!

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      Scotty 7 years ago

      Hey Tom, Thanks for the nice article. I have an '87 Toyota truck with an equally old Wagonmaster cap. I replaced the broken door glass myself with plexiglass a few years ago because when I called to find replacement tempered glass, I was told that parts are no longer available for this cap. Now, the door lock has a problem; the latch is fine, but the lock is very difficult to turn, almost key-breaking difficult. Also, even after I've managed to turn the key fully to unlock it, I have to play with the handle a few minutes to get it to turn. I've squirted graphite lubricant in the keyhole a few times, but it has done no good. If it were easy and cheap to replace, I wouldn't worry, but the handle is riveted in, and the latch rods may also be attached to the handle permanently, or in some special, difficult-to-duplicate way (can't tell for sure). My question: is there anything I can do to get this lock working right again? If not, what is the best approach to this problem?

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      Tom Zizzo 7 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @luis- I know the guy who's brother started that company-Protecto Top- and I think they still make those, but he is in the process of shutting everything down. You can try searching the auto parts section on Craig's List for something, or you can try a shop that sells Gaylord, because they still make tonneau covers for those old El Caminos-that might be your best bet. Hope this helps.

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      luis 7 years ago

      i have a 1987 el camino, and looking for a protecto cover , any idea's

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      Tom Zizzo 7 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      @Stevo- sorry I have not been active that much with my Hubs, need to write more. The TC Snuglid-the one with the two cam locks, I think, is arguably more secure, because the cam only has to make a quarter turn and if installed nice and tight, it locks down really well. The single rotary lock of the SL lid requires that both ends of the latch catch as the lid is closed, well this can go out of adjustment as the bed flexes with normal use. As long as you understand how the lathces work and check them, and you don't do a lot of rough road driving, it should be fine. The dealer only wants to sell you the more expensive lid, and the SL lid is just cooler because slamming it shut and not having to use the key to lock it is just easier to do.

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      Stevo 7 years ago

      I stumbled upon this guide. Great info! I'm looking to get the Snuglid SL for an 07 Tacoma with long bed. The local installer says the SL lock locks better, more secure. Whereas the basic snuglid with the two cam locks at both corners are less secure, cumbersome to lock/unlock. Can you elaborate on what you wrote regarding the locking systems?

      You mentioned that you used to change out the latch lock systems quite often. Does it still ring true with today's snugtop lids? I don't want to deal with the locking system especially if I'm paying $1600 for the SL. I'm on Oahu, Hawaii and I think they are the only dealer.

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      Tom Zizzo 7 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      Kevin: Yes, I know that SnugTop uses Yakima tracks, and the shop I worked at only sold Thule racks and accessories, so whenever we sold a SnugTop with the Yakima tracks installed at the factory, the Thule towers slide into those tracks with no problems at all. I don't thik Yakima or Thule advertise that fact, but I know this is accurate. A good place for info on all things Yakima or Thule is a shop called Rack'n'Road. They have a few locations here in California and the West Coast, and I'm pretty sure they have an 800 number so feel free to call them and confirm this fact.

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      Kevin 7 years ago

      Are you sure Yakima and Thule tracks are cross compatible?

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      Tom Zizzo 8 years ago from Santa Clara, CA

      Cal: Probably the only thing you can do to find a used part is check the Craig's List auto parts section-search on shell. Honestly though it will be like finding a needle in a haystack, but you never know, you could get lucky. Remember that the old Mitsubishi truck is going to be similar in dimension to other mini-sized pickups, so if someone has a Leer 122 on a Toyota, Nissan, S-10, Ranger etc., it may work. $600 for a door sounds high, maybe you have another local Leer dealer with a better price? Hope this helps.

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