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9/19/2017 7:27:10 PM
Posted: 11/27/2002 8:21:41 AM EDT
I have a new Toyota Tacoma Crew Cab, and I need a topper for this thing. Something that looks great and is well made. Suggestions?
Link Posted: 11/27/2002 10:43:59 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/27/2002 10:46:50 AM EDT by powderburner]
Mine's an ARE,Inc., if I'm right on the name. It's a good product and supposed to be highly thought of in the industry. Several tips to consider from what I learned from picking a lousy dealer: Style: Usually numerous choices here as to design, height, materials, etc. Some options only available with specific models; with mine, I wanted the back door and the rear piece that was hinged at the top so it swing up and not have to lift things over the tailgate so as to save this old back. I had one model that was made to take the door and back piece I wanted. Windows: again options with different styles, sizes, locations, opening and locking mechanisms, shading, glass, plastic, some can take screens, some not. Hangers for clothes, fishing poles, etc. will present different locations and directions of mounting. Wiring: Check on what you want in the way of interior lights, type, location, wattage, as well as 12 volts from battery via cigarette lighter jacks, phono jacks, or buss bar. Do you want lights switched at light or via separate switch for all, or 3 way switch so you can turn them off from cab as well as in back. Also, if you might put a 12 volt heater in the back, you'll need a heavy lead from the battery. Any thoughts of a portable winch off the hitch--then consider 4 ga. wire from battery. Check out with Toyota if any problem with computer and increased draw if dealer wants to power lights off existing circuits such as light on back of cab. Mounting: Make sure mounting is secure and weatherstripping on top of bed rails is of sufficient size and strength. See if can double nut bolts and/or loctite bolts so will not vibrate loose. Make sure fit of top to bed is close to spec and not generic and that dealer guarantees dust/waterproof. Same for tailgate/door. Paint: Make sure paint is done at factory and have dealer send in door off gas tank fill to match paint to the factory paint. It's hard to get a perfect match but it should at least be quite close. If you want any tie downs on rails, find out what will work with your specific set up. Bed liner: Personal choice as to a plastic insert, sprayed rubber coating, carpet, etc. A pad under the insert will help to prevent cracking due to weight. Make sure area underneath liner is waterproof so floor of bed doesn't rust out. Side steps or running boards: Personal choice again. I got the biggest heaviest steel tubing and had them add several extra brackets to give it extra strength to protect in collisions. Grill guard: Same here, lot of deer in this area. Alarm: Talk to the kids and they can tell you who makes the best alarms and who knows how to install them. Installation is a huge factor in this area. Bout it----Enjoy.
Link Posted: 11/27/2002 10:55:53 AM EDT
Frontsight: I too have an ARE on my '98 F-150. Very well made. The finish on the gel-coat is a perfect match in color and texture to the paint on my pick-up. My topper has a frameless rear window - all glass. Very sleek. Also the side windows have no metal frame around them, just tinted glass. I have a sliding front window on the topper that matches the sliding rear window of the cab, which works great. The rear quarter windows of the topper have screens, and the glass opens (and stays open) by knobs inside the cab. The topper came standard with an interior light and rear high-mounted stop light. The fiberglass is quite thick, and there is some amount of reinforcing in the roof. Not enough to stand on, but plenty for handling ladders and the like. Mine is a cab-high model, not a high-rise. The styling of the front end of the topper matches the curve of the rear of the cab very well. I am very happy with it. I looked at the walk-through door model that powderburner describes, and sometimes wish I had gone that route. That set-up does seem to offer a great deal of utility. Suggest you buy from a dealer that carries several brands and also does repairs on toppers. They can generally steer you down the right path. I paid over a grand for mine, but could have spent as little as $600 for an ugly, rickety aluminum topper. I spent more to get a good looking, rugged and useful topper. Good luck.
Link Posted: 11/27/2002 11:37:54 AM EDT
Nothing tops off a truck like a Browning M2 in a ring mount.
Link Posted: 11/27/2002 11:45:35 AM EDT
Choose ARE. Best top I've ever owned...
Link Posted: 11/27/2002 12:35:21 PM EDT
I liked the looks of ARE, Leer, and Snugtop. From what I saw, it looked like they were all bult pretty much the same. I decided on the Snugtop for my new F-150. It completeley coveres the plastic bed rails, blends in well with the truck lines, and was custom painted to match the truck. Also I liked the option of the front window swinging down to give access to to the cab and topper windows for cleaning. Not cheap - $1800, but I'm happy.
Link Posted: 11/27/2002 2:37:19 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/27/2002 2:38:32 PM EDT by DarkFuture]
Originally Posted By AZ_Sky: I liked the looks of ARE, Leer, and Snugtop. From what I saw, it looked like they were all bult pretty much the same. I decided on the Snugtop for my new F-150.
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Here Be A Smart Fellow... Run,run far away from Leer. Had one.[img]http://www.stopstart.freeserve.co.uk/smilie/sadness.gif[/img] Leaked from the first day. Many tubes of clear silicon around the windows to seal leaks. Next the paint flaked. Off to the dealer for warranty. 6 weeks later it returned. I walked around the thing, took my fingernail and proceeded to flake the "new" paint off again. Shell came off truck and BACK to factory for another 6 weeks. Paint never did truly match the truck. Fast forward to my latest truck. Selected ARE this time. No muss, no fuss. Perfect paint match and faultless performance on a 4x4 used off road.[img]http://www.stopstart.freeserve.co.uk/smilie/biggrin2.gif[/img] VERY highly recommended, but STAY FAR AWAY from Leer. Edited to add, I also have a Toyota Tacoma(2001)
Link Posted: 11/28/2002 8:20:52 AM EDT
I have a 97 Tacoma 4x4. I recommend Raven. Get the one with the full length window on the sides for max visibility. These things are too small for the cutesy split windows. Get the Tall in the back cap. The standard roof level ones are too short to see out the back using the rear veiw mirror, and you will end up taking it off. Wasted money. If you can, put one on the back of your truck so you can sit in the driver's seat and look around. I had a loaner aluminum one I could not stand for the two weeks I had it.
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