The last shell I bought was in 1985 and it served as a platform to carry a John boat and a place to camp in when needed. I just bought a new Ford with the 6’5” bed and I’d like to add a cap that can carry 2 or 3 kayaks. I’m looking for recommendations. Thanks.
We carry 2 kayaks on our Leer 100R. It's a basic shell but I added a carpeted headliner (a must, IMO), side win-doors and Thule/Yakima tracks.
I have a set of Yakima Control Towers and Landing Pads. The Landing Pads stay on the truck and the Control Towers just snap in - takes a few seconds and they lock into place. The Landing Pads have covers on them and are barely noticeable when the Towers are not on them.
This is what the racks look like without the Kayaks on them. Our kayaks are pretty wide so we use a 72" bar. On the 4runner the 72" bar looked ridiculous because it stuck so far out to the side, but on the F-150 it fits perfectly. Another benefit to a full-size truck.
I just bought a SnugPro topper for my F250. Seems made pretty well. Rated for 500lbs on the top I think.
Best part was paying $1000 for a like new used one versus the $3700 the original owner paid.
I had a basic ARE on my F150 that held up fine, most roads here are dirt and with the wash boards are hell on a topper.
I do have a friend that got a Leer around the same time as I got my ARE and the quality of his is much lower.
The rear window is going to fall off any day now.
Not sure if Leer is crap or his is a one-off situation.
Stay away from LEER. I had the 180XL on my Tundra, and for what it costs, the fit and finish was absolute dog pop, and it went back to the dealer 3x for "fixes" Horrible quality and the dust intrusion was ridiculous!
Friend with the same truck bought a SnugTop at the same time, and it was night and day better quality and only a little more.
I have three trucks with shells, and all are SnugTops. Good quality, relatively high price, crappy customer service (they force you to go back to a dealer). The "work" truck has Yakima crossbars and a Yak DryDock, and has carried as much as 1100 pounds in a single load with no damage to the shell even though the Yak bars bent. Also used to carry an aluminum bass boat up there with no problems. The "travel" truck had Yak bars until I bent them badly while bouncing around on bad dirt roads with a few hundred pounds on top. No damage to the shell. The "daily driver" truck has no rack (yet) but I bought the shell used, had it painted to match for $300, and it looks new. The only failure or maintenance issues on my SnugTops relate to the third brake light (they use cheap ones), the window screens, and the lock cylinders. My oldest one has been in heavy use for 21 years and is getting a little finicky to unlock. For me the only reason to get anything other than a SnugTop would be a screaming deal on something else.
I had a Snugtop on my Tacoma. It was okay, but I did not like how limited the bed was by it. Tied up nearly $3k and dust still got in. I wasn’t too happy with the finish near the bed rails, had some exposed fiber glass. I also had long term concerns about the bedsides of the Tacoma since they already spread quite a bit. Shouldn’t be an issue on the Ford, those beds are stout.
My new truck is a long bed Ram 2500. I’m exploring a few options. One will be doing a combination of a headache rack, rear rack, and water resistant containers. The other is a Diamondback bed cover as it’s pretty darn easy to remove compared to a topper. Overall expense is similar but I love having an open bed for hauling.
This company is new to the US, they seem pretty nice: https://www.rsismartcap.com/
Stainless steel construction, has roof rails by default.
The 2 I saw both seemed very cool.One was all decked out with overlander accessories (the kitchen in the side, and the roof racks).