Thoughts on RLD design truck cap/canopy?

jagarcia89

Active member
Went to look at an RLD design topper today and the quality seems great. I want to be able to sleep in the back of it so wanted the sliding side windows. But the dealer told me it’d be 8 months to arrive. Then they came running out to the parking lot saying they had one on the way but it’s go the solid side window. Which would be my least favorite option (vs no window or slider).

There’s just not a ton of information/photos/reviews of the RLD. So any onehave thoughts or photos? I’d like to see what the back side of the door with a solid window looks like (mostly wondering if I could cut it out and install an opening, screened window). Also looking for any other reviews or useful info. Tough to drop $5k on something with almost no information online.
 

emulous74

Well-known member
I would say hold out for what you really want, the wait is just the way of the world these days, I ordered my RLD topper in Jan. 2021 and got in Late August/Early September of 2021, so they are spot on for the 8 month wait. There really is no comparison to any other topper, as the RSI is modular and bolts together and the Alu-Cab is aluminum and lighter but it's roof holding specs are much lower than the RLD. I can't speak to the side windows as I went with the solid doors and for your purposes I wouldn't recommend the solid doors or the solid windows, in that you can't open the side doors from the inside. That would be a PIA if you wanted to shut them because of rain/snow/etc. I can say IMO that the quality is worth the money. If I could do it all over again, I would not get the load bars and platform nor would I get the table mount.









The reason I would not get the load bars and platform again, is that it sits too high not only compared to my Rhino Rack backbone platform over the cab, but the RLD platform is designed strangely in that you can't use standard awning mounts on the sides as there is nothing to attach to, so I have to make up brackets that attach over the platform and not directly to the platform. Because the design of the canopy/topper has three raised sections on the roof and the platform attaches to the load bars and not directly to the roof, it's raised 3 inches, but you can't use the space underneath it. Yes, this height does allow the positive pressure vent to open fully. I've ordered a Rhino Rack platform and plan to remove the RLD load bars and platform and mount the Rhino rack platform directly to the raised sections of the roof to the canopy/topper.

The reason I don't suggest the interior table mount is that it hangs down too low and the table is not flush with the roof, this causes two issues IMO, it robs head room, in that there is about 2 inches of space between the table and the roof. The supplied (lifetime knockoff) table shakes in the mount. I would suggest saving your money and mounting a table directly to the inside of the roof.

I do have two of the cupboards, but haven't installed them yet, but they are one piece and appear very stout.

I would also suggest buying it from a dealer and having them install it. The install is not difficult at all, but you do need at least 4 people to lift it and the pallet/wooden box it's shipped in is a big PIA to dispose of.
 

jagarcia89

Active member
I would say hold out for what you really want, the wait is just the way of the world these days, I ordered my RLD topper in Jan. 2021 and got in Late August/Early September of 2021, so they are spot on for the 8 month wait. There really is no comparison to any other topper, as the RSI is modular and bolts together and the Alu-Cab is aluminum and lighter but it's roof holding specs are much lower than the RLD. I can't speak to the side windows as I went with the solid doors and for your purposes I wouldn't recommend the solid doors or the solid windows, in that you can't open the side doors from the inside. That would be a PIA if you wanted to shut them because of rain/snow/etc. I can say IMO that the quality is worth the money. If I could do it all over again, I would not get the load bars and platform nor would I get the table mount.









The reason I would not get the load bars and platform again, is that it sits too high not only compared to my Rhino Rack backbone platform over the cab, but the RLD platform is designed strangely in that you can't use standard awning mounts on the sides as there is nothing to attach to, so I have to make up brackets that attach over the platform and not directly to the platform. Because the design of the canopy/topper has three raised sections on the roof and the platform attaches to the load bars and not directly to the roof, it's raised 3 inches, but you can't use the space underneath it. Yes, this height does allow the positive pressure vent to open fully. I've ordered a Rhino Rack platform and plan to remove the RLD load bars and platform and mount the Rhino rack platform directly to the raised sections of the roof to the canopy/topper.

The reason I don't suggest the interior table mount is that it hangs down too low and the table is not flush with the roof, this causes two issues IMO, it robs head room, in that there is about 2 inches of space between the table and the roof. The supplied (lifetime knockoff) table shakes in the mount. I would suggest saving your money and mounting a table directly to the inside of the roof.

I do have two of the cupboards, but haven't installed them yet, but they are one piece and appear very stout.

I would also suggest buying it from a dealer and having them install it. The install is not difficult at all, but you do need at least 4 people to lift it and the pallet/wooden box it's shipped in is a big PIA to dispose of.
Thanks. You brought up a few things I was curious about.

Couple follow up ?’s:
1. It appears the positive pressure vent is just a little hatch in the roof. I understand it’s there to allow air in this pressurizing and keeping dust out from the tailgate area. But what keeps dust and rain from just coming in the vent?

2. For the roof rack. Could you bolt up standard load bars or a platform to the existing mounting holes? The RLD load bars look quite strange and it sounds like the platform rack wouldn’t work for me based on what you said.


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jadmt

Well-known member
What truck are you putting it on? I have seen both the RSI and RLD the RSI looks better to my eye, but I would get either in a heartbeat. my buddy had the RSI and it was nice and I thought well built. I know I was bummed when he sold his truck on a whim because had I known I would have bought his topper.
 

jagarcia89

Active member
What truck are you putting it on? I have seen both the RSI and RLD the RSI looks better to my eye, but I would get either in a heartbeat. my buddy had the RSI and it was nice and I thought well built. I know I was bummed when he sold his truck on a whim because had I known I would have bought his topper.
Ram 1500 TRX. I’ve seen RSI on one but not an RLD. There’s definitely features I like more on the rsi like the bed light window and standard sliding side windows. But RSI can’t even provide any eta and I’ve heard because of the seams they tend to leak a bit more. The rld just seems more robust and stout than the natural rsi.



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jadmt

Well-known member
Ram 1500 TRX. I’ve seen RSI on one but not an RLD. There’s definitely features I like more on the rsi like the bed light window and standard sliding side windows. But RSI can’t even provide any eta and I’ve heard because of the seams they tend to leak a bit more. The rld just seems more robust and stout than the natural rsi.



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my buddy took his rsi through a car wash almost every single day as he drives past it on his way to work and has unlimited washes. he said some days he used it 3x. his did not leak. at first he had a few drips from the positive pressure vent but that was corrected right away and was a simple fix. I agree it suxs you can not get any kind of eta. I have contacted rsi several times and never have they responded back. I just emailed RLD I will see how they are. nice looking truck looks fun.
 

jadmt

Well-known member
I would say hold out for what you really want, the wait is just the way of the world these days, I ordered my RLD topper in Jan. 2021 and got in Late August/Early September of 2021, so they are spot on for the 8 month wait. There really is no comparison to any other topper, as the RSI is modular and bolts together and the Alu-Cab is aluminum and lighter but it's roof holding specs are much lower than the RLD. I can't speak to the side windows as I went with the solid doors and for your purposes I wouldn't recommend the solid doors or the solid windows, in that you can't open the side doors from the inside. That would be a PIA if you wanted to shut them because of rain/snow/etc. I can say IMO that the quality is worth the money. If I could do it all over again, I would not get the load bars and platform nor would I get the table mount.











I would also suggest buying it from a dealer and having them install it. The install is not difficult at all, but you do need at least 4 people to lift it and the pallet/wooden box it's shipped in is a big PIA to dispose of.
looks great. did you have it shipped to you direct? if so any damage. I have no problem getting help lifting or getting rid of a wooden box. I just run an ad on craigslist to give way and I have people lined up for a wooden pallet or box.
 

emulous74

Well-known member
Thanks. You brought up a few things I was curious about.

Couple follow up ?’s:
1. It appears the positive pressure vent is just a little hatch in the roof. I understand it’s there to allow air in this pressurizing and keeping dust out from the tailgate area. But what keeps dust and rain from just coming in the vent?

2. For the roof rack. Could you bolt up standard load bars or a platform to the existing mounting holes? The RLD load bars look quite strange and it sounds like the platform rack wouldn’t work for me based on what you said.


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1. Some dust can get in there, but think about it's placement like the raised air intakes/snorkels you see, the air coming in creates the positive pressure, meaning dust doesn't come in from anywhere else (tailgates are especially leaky. It's the best dust determent by far. I've never used it in the rain, as the rain typically abates the dust.

2. The holes 3 on each side are fixed holes, so yes it's possible, but I've seen (youtube) where someone installed tracks to install bars which allows multiple placement for the bars. That's the route I'll go if I can't get the Rhino Platform mounted directly to the existing holes. Because of the "tracks" on the roof, you can't access random holes you would drill to put them where you would want them.
 

emulous74

Well-known member
looks great. did you have it shipped to you direct? if so any damage. I have no problem getting help lifting or getting rid of a wooden box. I just run an ad on craigslist to give way and I have people lined up for a wooden pallet or box.
I did have it shipped to me, there was no damage at all, you basically have to destroy the "wooden"/masonite box as there are metal edges where the rivet the box together. I wish I had your luck with craigslist, I've got a pile of pallets in my backyard that get chopped up and eventually make their way into my fire pit.
 

jagarcia89

Active member
Well the one that was on the way already sold quickly (as I should've guessed). So If I get one, I will have to wait. However, I am not sure if I'd rather wait 8 months for this or a year for a pop top like project M or an camp ovrlnd.
 

emulous74

Well-known member
The only reason I went with RLD Canopy of the Alu-Cab canopy camper is I wouldn't be able to fit in my garage. Go with what you will use the most and provide the best value to you.
 

jagarcia89

Active member
The only reason I went with RLD Canopy of the Alu-Cab canopy camper is I wouldn't be able to fit in my garage. Go with what you will use the most and provide the best value to you.
Yeah. Just a challenge. I typically don’t run any vehicle/rig longer than a year. So hard for me to commit to any of these options that are a year out. This is reminding me why I usually build instead of buy.


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STREGA

Explorer
I spent most of last year on researching what I wanted to put in the bed of my 2020 PW. The 2 finalists were the RLD cap and a Highway Products Pickup Pack. 2 totally different options both had pluses and minuses and either one would get the job done for me. I did go ahead and ordered the HPI Pickup Pack this morning and will be having it installed in June.
The RLD beat out a lot of other toppers/caps for my choice for the PW. Consideration were cost, build quality, build time, what material it was made from, weight and deciding if I wanted a built-in RTT (which I decided no too). After attending the overland expo in Flagstaff last year and looking over all the different offerings and there is a lot of cool truck caps from simple to wow! The RLD cap won out overall beating out the RSI cap mainly by its more robust construction and the way it was mounted to the truck. RSI mounts using clamps RLD uses bolts instead. RSI got the nod for “looks better on the truck” everything else was a wash. Once I decided no to the need of a RTT that narrowed the choices down a lot, fiberglass caps were never in contention for me.
Thanks to covid, time frames from ordering to receiving whatever choice you go with are long to forget about it. 5-8 months wait time (5 being optimistic I believe) was what killed the RLD for me, I really needed to get something on the truck by June. HPI has given me a firm mid June delivery date. There were a few other things that made the HPI the better choice as well.
 
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