Cap/Topper Style, flip up rear window or Barn Doors???

03Marauderman

New member
Making a long story short..In 2014 I bought a new Access Cab 4X4 base model 4 cyl A/T .... with the intent of retiring & doing a cross counrty trip with perhaps an Alaskan detour... Since then life has changed & the truck is in the garage with 3000 miles....Now I'm once again getting ready for my build....With weight as the overall dictator, I decided on a ARE commercial aluminum cap....I'm seeing the barn doors as a win/win with regards to accessibility..(not to mention I like the look) over struggling to get in & out over the tailgate & pulling down the hatch.... But I must be missing something... the greatest amount of builds have a flip up door with the tail gate...I should also mention that the rear bumper will have swing arms for Rotopax & trail hardware....Is there something obvious that I'm missing with the allure of the barn doors???
 

Recommended books for Overlanding

Into Africa
by Sam Manicom
From $26.43
The Essential Guide to Overland Travel in the United Stat...
by TeriAnn Wakeman
From $64.95
The Total Approach of Getting Unstuck Off Road: 4WD Self-...
by Robert Wohlers
From $59.95
Lone Rider: The First British Woman to Motorcycle Around ...
by Elspeth Beard
From $19.95
just got a topper with a single barn door, took the tailgate off, it is definitely really great for camping, actually feels like a 'camper.' It is also super easy to access the back of the truck when standing on the ground as you dont have to reach over the tailgate, but makes it definitely makes it less functional as a work truck, but not totally unfunctional like a slide in camper, imo.
 

03Marauderman

New member
'highdesertlandworks' - That was my thought exactly...I believe there's a huge benefit from a water/dust leak standpoint, as once that end panel is installed, it no longer has to move so the seal can be permanent... What brand & style did you get?
 

Tex68w

Beach Bum
OP, the reason most builds have the traditional lift glass and tail gate setup is because an overwhelming amount of camper are built like that. In order to go with the barn door style system you have to ditch your tailgate and usually order a commercial spec topper like you've mentioned that incorporates those doors which usually runs double if not more than double that of the standard topper.

I agree that for your use and needs that a door style setup would be more user friendly and beneficial for someone who will be crawling in and out of it every day. I have done the lift the tailgate up from inside of the bed thing more than a few times and it does suck, even more so on the full size HD trucks lol. If I were planning a long term trip where I would be in and out of my bed multiple times daily such as you have suggested, then I would 100% go for the barn door style camper.
 

03Marauderman

New member
Ok - So its not something obvious that I'm missing...On the Tacoma, especially the 4 cyl. weight of anything is the first consideration. I once had an 8 cyl 2007 Ram with a Leer 8 ft. fiberglass topper. I only became aware of how heavy it was until I removed it for a hauling purpose. That topper was a load in itself....I can't even imagine how uncomfortable a fiberglass topper would be on a 6 ft. Tacoma with a 4 cyl. This commercial DCU with the barn doors is getting pretty pricey with the options I've selected. Its designed more for recreation than commercial use, In place of tool boxes it will have tinted, sliding windoors with screens. Front drop down, insulation...ect...I gotta make sure I get it right as I'm thinking it would be a tough sell, unless I give it away, if I make a mistake....I'm still convinced the end panel where the doors are, would be easier & a better seal for water & dust.....
 

plh

Explorer
I'm building my own. Will be slightly short of the total bed length and have a pair of barn doors, but with the option to leave the tailgate on or off.
 

phsycle

Adventurer
Not sure if this guy already bought one but some of those DCU caps are pretty heavy. Almost as much as fiberglass shells. The regular non-commercial shells are fairly light (80lbs), but DCU, and especially if you add in shelves and other options, is going to get heavy. So watch for that. Your truck is probably around 1,200-1,300lb payload, which doesn’t account for passengers, so take that into consideration. I’d forego the rear bumper with the swing out if you can. They are heavy.
 

03Marauderman

New member
Still hesitant to pull the trigger on the cap....many good points in response....like the one above...perhaps the Tacoma is not the ideal truck for the intention.....
 

Recommended books for Overlanding

Into Africa
by Sam Manicom
From $26.43
The Total Approach of Getting Unstuck Off Road: 4WD Self-...
by Robert Wohlers
From $59.95
Long Way Down: An Epic Journey by Motorcycle from Scotlan...
by Ewan McGregor, Charley Boorman
From $40
Overland: A Mercedes-Benz Journey Through the Americas
by ri M. Stroh
From $20

03Marauderman

New member
Nice....The pull out kitchen drawer is awesome....The shell/cap looks like a home made build....Can you share a few more pics, & tell a little about it?....Thanks
 
Nice....The pull out kitchen drawer is awesome....The shell/cap looks like a home made build....Can you share a few more pics, & tell a little about it?....Thanks
It’s a custom ordered ARE DCU that I built for a camper in 2017 for a trip to the Yukon and Northwest Territories ,pretty basic ,works well .
 

Attachments

Last edited:
Top