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Posted: 4/15/2002 2:34:56 PM EDT
Hi all, As some of you know, I recently accepted a job offer in the St Louis area, finally getting out of CA! Well I'm thinking the best way to secure my goodies and keep the rain off my belongings for the drive east is to get a camper shell sort of thing for my pickup. I'm not talking about an actual camper, but one of those paint to match fiberglass jobs that make a truck look more like an SUV. (Leer, Snugtop, etc.) FYI I drive a 96 Dodge 1500 extended cab How much do these bad boys cost? I'm thinking of one with side windows and a lockable window/gate in the rear. Possibly a third taillight too. Also, any general comments that you might have on truck bed shells in general. If you have one, what do you like or hate about it? Pics of your trucks are also welcome. Thanks, Dilbert
Link Posted: 4/15/2002 2:37:40 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/15/2002 2:53:53 PM EDT
I'm migrating from CA myself in June, and just checked prices of caps. The lowest priced one they had for my '01 GMC ext cab short bed was $940. Highest was $1850. That was fiberglass and I think I still had to pay to have it painted to match the truck color. It all depends on design and manufacturer too I believe. If you can find a used one and don't care about color (or luck into a good color), you might find a reasonable deal. I don't like them on the truck anyway so I wouldn't leave it on if I didn't have to when I get where I'm going. But they serve a purpose and come in handy. I had an aluminum cap on a '96 S-10 at one time. I think it was about $300 new in '96. The good thing about aluminum is you can get it on and off the truck yourself without too much hassle. Fiberglass is quite a bit heavier.
Link Posted: 4/15/2002 2:58:36 PM EDT
I'm getting one for my '02 Ford 150 ext cab. I've priced the Leer and Snug Top, both are about the same price for what I want - about $1700. That includes: Cab High model, taller is better but won't fit in my garage. 3rd brake light, nice but not necesary. Interior light battery instead of wired, easier to remove the shell without dangling wires - but if you install the 3rd brake light you may as well wire it to the truck. Upholstered sides, nice but not necesary. J-Clamp mounting, no bed rail holes to drill. Sliding slide windows. Locking rear window, able to unlock from inside. Drop down front glass, makes it easier to clean the rear cab and front shell windows. FWIW Terry
Link Posted: 4/15/2002 3:01:08 PM EDT
I have a light blue fiberglass shell for a full sized Chevy that's in good shape that I will part with for next to nothing.
Link Posted: 4/15/2002 3:09:50 PM EDT
I recently bought a JASON Cab-hi Extreme with carpeted roof, sliding front, screened rear screw open vents, lockable single point latch and rear stop light, factory matched to my paint code for $1350. installed. I also had it clamped to the Ram on a butyl rubber seal gasket that won't rot like the foam stuff. [8D]
Link Posted: 4/15/2002 4:28:54 PM EDT
Few things I learned with 98 Ram long bed with an ARA top that has the back door: 1. Paint is hard to match on a new one, for the older trucks I would look for used. 2. They are available in various materials and grades and shapes and heights. The working ones for carpenters, etc., are usually less expensive. 3. Various styles of windows, doors, side openings are available which will affect price. 4. If you have a new one, be sure to include in contract that paint will match. If done at factory, gas fill door, can be sent in for match. 5. Various hangers are available that can be mounted to roof to carry clothes, wood, fishing poles. Again, go over options and locations and direction they will face, front & back or to sides. 6. Depending upon your usage, you might want to see what's available in lighting for interior. 7. If you need 12v in camper, check on having dealer run a fused 10 gauge power line for you if not able to do it yourself. Jacks for cigarette lighter plugs are the most common for spotlights, coolers, compressors,etc. Factory wiring is not heavy enough and you can also screw up the truck's computers. 8. If have any thought at all so far as sleeping in it, make sure the windows will accomodate screens. 9. For secure storage, you can mount a steel or diamondplate box to the floor and put hardened padlocks on it. Then can unbolt and mount it in the next truck rather than having model specific storage that won't fit the new one. 10. If you put an alarm on the truck, consider a separate one for the back end, with an ancillary battery and siren in addition to regular power. 11. For any of you with bad backs, you might want to look at the combination door which has a small plexiglass door that opens like a regular door. Additionally the whole thing is hinged at the top and pivots up for access to the entire opening. The tailgate gets stored in the garage. Lot easier on the back than reaching over the tailgate or lifting that extra height if you don't lower the tailgate. 12. If you're at all handy, you can make your own cargo holders out of 2 x 4s and save some money on the commercial ones, or fancy bed liners with recesses for the wood. 13. Check out the installation for water tightness,tailgate too, not all fit perfectly and it may take some gasketing or silicone to finish the job.
Link Posted: 4/15/2002 5:41:08 PM EDT
I have a work cap on my 2001 Chevy. Bought it new in 94 for $1000. I have one clamp and three special hold downs on mine. No holes in bed rails. I stuck the foam to the cap so top of bed rails would not be marred. Has worked well on last two trucks the cap was on. My "special" hold downs are really simple. I bought three of the rubber swell up things that stick down in the stake pockets and have an eye on top. Tossed the top plate, eye and bolt. Made 12" all thread bolts. Drilled cap in appropriate locations. Tie a string on each all thread and pull rods up to where you can work thru holes in cap. Add TWO nuts jammed together at top end of rod. Lower cap and do a LOT of screwing! Holds great and easy to remove; no marks on bed. Can't use clamps on three corners as it has tool boxes that are in the way. Back to your problem. If you like a cap on a truck (I think they are only way to make one practical) buy a new one you like. If just a part time thing, buy cheap used. Around here $200 will often do the trick. Steel is too heavy. Fiberglass is kinda hefty too. Aluminum dents easily. Windows are security problem. Make sure it locks. (The locks are cheesy but help. Be sure to fill with Lock-Ease when new!!) Buy white and no need to paint. Third stop lite is mandatory under law although I ignore it. Different strokes for different folks!!
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