Full Size Truck Toppers/Camper Shells

Trixxx

Well-known member
Looking at getting a truck topper/camper shell for our 2020 F250 (pic below for reference). We currently have a pretty awesome diamondback cover with frontrunner racks installed, but now that we have our first baby due soon, the extra room will be well utilized. We will also be adding a 2200lb bed slide for convenience.

So now the question - picking out the right cap. I am “pretty” set on the ARE CX HD, but open to other options. The HD has a full interior aluminum skeleton for added reinforcement. The issue is that to get the full 550 lb weight limit on the roof, you need to use their cross bars that mount through the cap, directly to the skeleton. Unfortunately, the stick up pretty dang high and aren’t removable. They also wouldn’t allow for other good racks to be mounted on them (frontrunner, etc.). My desire for a roof rack is pretty basic - down the road probably an iKamper roof top tent and ARB awning. May just have the awning and some small totes if we don’t go for the RTT. Also, I’d do the drivers side tool box. Pretty good review of a similar top (and the toolbox) here: https://www.drivingline.com/articles/fullsize-overland-upgrades-are-cx-hd-series-cap-review-video/

Question is - without the HD cross rails, the regular mounting rails (that I could use a front runner rack on) have around a 175lb capacity. I’m wondering if I could use the internal skeleton to possible modify some to better support the rack.

Another option is the RSI smart cap, which is stainless steel and has a 700 lb capacity. Unfortunately, it only comes in black and my truck is star white (platinum tri-coat metallic). Also - the lines of it aren’t near as seamless as the fiberglass toppers.

Also, apparently my color is rather hard to match, but that can probably be worked.

Thoughts? What have others done here and been happy with? Even if I can’t swing the RTT, the topper alone will be a huge advantage (fridge, more totes)

Here’s some pics of the truck/current set up:
 

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jadmt

Well-known member
how about a Go Fast Camper..
you can put 500lbs on the top in the down position. the bottom portion is wide open. it is cheaper than an RSI and a Rooftop tent and actually not a lot more than an RSI by itself.AC5B388F-E6B1-4129-A001-64B0051C3BEE.jpeg4B3F8DD7-B15D-462E-A539-9F86A98E413F.jpeg
 

Trixxx

Well-known member
how about a Go Fast Camper..
you can put 500lbs on the top in the down position. the bottom portion is wide open. it is cheaper than an RSI and a Rooftop tent and actually not a lot more than an RSI by itself.
That looks like a really solid option. For an F250 it does look to be about $7500, vs an RSI at $3900, so basically the same as an RSI & RTT. Also, the lead time of Spring 2022 is a bit of a challenge as I was hoping to have something in time for a planned 2 week trip over Christmas.

If there wasn‘t the long lead time, that’d definitely be a potential option. I’m also not sure what the difference is between the V1 & V2, but it appears the V2 hasn’t been designed/released for the super duty yet.
 

jadmt

Well-known member
That looks like a really solid option. For an F250 it does look to be about $7500, vs an RSI at $3900, so basically the same as an RSI & RTT. Also, the lead time of Spring 2022 is a bit of a challenge as I was hoping to have something in time for a planned 2 week trip over Christmas.

If there wasn‘t the long lead time, that’d definitely be a potential option. I’m also not sure what the difference is between the V1 & V2, but it appears the V2 hasn’t been designed/released for the super duty yet.
I found mine used less than a year old but as new for $6400. If you go to the gfc forum you can find used ones and also people put money down and then back out so just sell their spots for what they have in them basically just find someone selling their XL spot. I was on the site looking for an XL spot and this one popped up. also I was just at GFC and they said they are starting to pick up production so build times are going to be much less.
 

Shovel

Dreaming Ape
When I wanted to run a topper I just found a used ARE for $300 and painted it with rattle cans. I did clean work it looked like it was properly color matched... well, it was properly color matched just I did the work in my garage for about $75 and a weekend I would have otherwise spent doing nothing.

As for putting stuff on top of the topper.. eh, I just try to bring less stuff. Any time I get the urge to spend more money on more junk I remember how many camping trips my family took with two adults, two kids, a dog and a VW Beetle (with no roof rack) . Big ol pickup truck with a cap is luxury and the more baubles you glue to it the worse your fuel mileage and the faster everything wears out. No need to get a second job just to go camping people have been doing it tens of thousands of years.
 

GreggNY

Well-known member
RSI sells their commercial line of caps in white if the color is the only thing holding you back on going that route. They seem pretty much the same as the regular line with the exceptions of windows on the sides
 

Zuber

Member
With the trailer I'd think you would want to remove the tailgate and get double doors like on the commercial caps.
 

Trixxx

Well-known member
Did some more research today. I see that the Snugtops have a “Sportsman Package” that has twice the normal fiberglass thickness on the roof and a 500# capacity. The have tracks that I believe would allow me to mount a front runner track to it as I would like. The downside is that they don’t have the window tool box that the ARE has, and the quality of the Snugtop doesn’t seem quite on par with that from ARE, based on some online reviews.

I'd get anything that's slightly taller so you don't bash your shoulders getting in and out. It's old man but function before form.
I’d have a slide out tray in the back and the windoors that flip open on the sides, so I hopefully wouldn’t have to crawl in too much.

With the trailer I'd think you would want to remove the tailgate and get double doors like on the commercial caps.
The Snugtop outback model does have the contractor doors. With the trailer, I agree and had really considered that route quite a bit. That being side, with the flip open rear glass and windoors I could access most of what I need to.

RSI sells their commercial line of caps in white if the color is the only thing holding you back on going that route. They seem pretty much the same as the regular line with the exceptions of windows on the sides
It’s not so much the color holding me back, I could do the black, I’m just iffy on how it looks in general. Doesn’t seem to flow well with the truck. I know, there’s a lot of “form over function,” in which case it check’s all the boxes. That being said.. It is nice to be able to look at your rig and think, “dang that’s sexy..” I would like to continue to think that..
 

bas157

Member
RSI would be my choice. The few I've seen were pretty sweet! Any good body shop should be able to color match it.
 
It’s not so much the color holding me back, I could do the black, I’m just iffy on how it looks in general. Doesn’t seem to flow well with the truck. I know, there’s a lot of “form over function,” in which case it check’s all the boxes. That being said.. It is nice to be able to look at your rig and think, “dang that’s sexy..” I would like to continue to think that..
I've seen a few in person. You're right, they don't flow like a "regular" fiberglass cap, and they only come in black.

But somehow the two together combine to make a cohesive whole. They actually look better in person.

They don't look out of place, they look like a detail that's intentionally different.
 

yfarm

Observer
I bought a used Snugtop pro for my Raptor, paid $350. Had side doors no windows with built in tool box on the passenger side.. Very well made, I was the third owner and had no cracks. Used the toolbox as a kitchen prep area, worked well. On the raptor, the height of the side door allowed the tool box to function well without standing on steps. The tool box did significantly limit the interior space to sleep two people. The person on the toolbox side had to be careful sitting up in the dark to avoid a head injury. My 2020 F250 is taller than the raptor on the same size tires and would require the use of steps or a ladder to access the bed for someone 5’11” or less in height. Looking for a topper for the f250, had a Ranch on a Ram 2500 bought used that was similar in quality to an ARE I had on a Taco.
 

Tex68w

Beach Bum
I've owned ARE and Snugtop caps and I would put the Snugtop at the top of the heap in regards to best build quality and fit/finish of the standard fiberglass shells offered and most dealers who sell the main brands would likely agree. I went with ARE this time around simply because I liked a certain model they offer better than the equivalent from Snugtop. I would place Leer lower than both ARE and Snugtop. For a similar product to the RSI SmartCap there's RLD Design, sadly neither work for my truck because RSI doesn't make one for long beds (8ft) and RLD doesn't offer a model for the 2019+ RAM. Both claim to be working on those offerings but they aren't expected anytime soon. If the RSI Smartcap were available in a long bed model that would be my choice. You can have the topper painted to match or go with the standard white in the commercial model.
 

jupp0r

Active member
I am running a setup pretty close to what you are envisioning (SnugTop Rebel with Sportsman Package, tent and awning). I went with cross bars to save weight vs a full roof rack. Works
well so far. If I had to do everything again, I’d consider the upcoming bed replacement system by RSI, pretty pricey but looks amazingly functional.




 

UglyViking

Active member
… RLD doesn't offer a model for the 2019+ RAM
There is no difference between the bed of a 2018 and 4th gen ram HD and a 5th gen ram HD. They both utilize the same bed with the exception of the tailgate has a slightly different skin design on the outside. You can 100% fit a 4th gen cap on a 5th gen truck. I did it on mine (see below)

20201017_160236 (2).jpg

I had a cap on my truck with a RTT for a little and ended up selling everything. My cap was the Leer 100RCC, which is reinforced with extra layers of fiberglass and something. I don't personally feel that an RTT is worth it unless you're camping all the time and you leave it attached to your vehicle. Taking it on/off is impossible alone, and storing it presents some challenges. You would end up spending over 2 hours getting setup to save 5 minutes in setting up a tent. A few additional things I personally learned with my little cap and RTT excursion.
  • I'm lazy, and a keyfob lock would have to be a requirement. I had one without a key fob lock, and I hate having to put in the little keys in every time I want it locked unlocked.
  • The "front" window has to fold down. Mine had a slider, but trying to get the windows between the cap and the truck clean was an absolute PITA. I wouldn't even consider a cap unless you could fold down that center window. (I don't believe the RSI has this option, but there looks to be much more distance between the two, so it may not be an issue.
  • You really need a step on the side to get into the bed with the cap. I think Fords ride higher than Rams from the factory, and the Carli kit for the Ford is a higher lift than the Ram, so you're gonna have a real hard time getting into anything in the bed with the extra lip from the cap, unless you're pretty damn tall. I'm 6'1" for reference with almost comically long arms and I had a bit of an annoyance with it.
  • Having a large storage area, tucked away from the rain and snow, was absolutely bomb. I personally hate the way the things look, but damn was it functional. If I ever go back to one, outside the items I mentioned above, I'd also look to some sort of storage solution. Those side mount plastic toolboxes, a bedslide with some storage boxes at the back, a decked, something to help organize things.
ARE vs Leer vs Snugtop. I feel like I've heard the most positive about Snug but they aren't sold back east, so I've got no personal experience. Honestly, they are all hand made fiberglass tops so I think they will be pretty similar. I liked the ARE for it's window hinges, frameless windows, and no rear window mounts visible, but Leer has that commercial cap without the posts that stick way up in the air.
 
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