Jump to content
FRIENDLY REMINDER ABOUT HUNTING REPORTS/TOPICS... Read more... ×
Dave Erickson

Aluminum topper a mistake?

Recommended Posts

Dave Erickson

I've had fiberglass toppers on my pickups in the past and they have worked out really well for transporting my dogs especially during the cold season. I've been going topper-less for a couple years and despite my best efforts with insulated crate covers (Mud River), and even putting multiple  layers of heavy vinyl tarp material over each crate, as soon as the truck gets up to speed I watch the temperature plummet in the crates. For example, if it's a 19 degree morning the remote thermometers tell me that the inside of the crates are maybe 40+ degrees while we're in the driveway and the dogs have been in them for a few minutes. The minute we start moving the temp starts dropping immediately and in my example here they go right down to 19 degrees after 10 minutes on the highway.  So I need to go back to a topper, and the aluminum toppers are appealing both for cost, and I'd like to be able to take it off after hunting season. I have a  2017 Tacoma Access Cab, and a fiberglass topper like an ARE would certainly look and perform great, but I'd sure like to be able to take it off for spring and summer. Any advice on this would be appreciated.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
rich223

I had one years ago on a Ford it had a roof rack on it for heavy ladders I never had any problems with it. I had a fiberglass one that use to leak around the windows like a sieve so like every things you pay your money and take your chances, I don’t think you’re going to have any problems.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Rogue Hunter

Had an aluminum topper years ago. The first thing you will need is a couple tubes of silicone caulk to seal the rivets and seams. Yeah, fiberglass will be heavy, good for winter driving though. Can you rig a rope and pulley system in your garage?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
max2

For a tacoma size truck the Aluminum are easy to handle . With a set of custom saw horses it can be lifted off for storage quite easily 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
settem
53 minutes ago, Rogue Hunter said:

Can you rig a rope and pulley system in your garage?

This is what I did under the deck on the house. I can easily take it off or on by myself. 

It’s a fiberglass Century Topper and it’s heavy!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Chukarman

Simpler yet, get a HARKEN ceiling lift. I sell them to remove and remount roof top tents... they'll work just as well for a topper.

 

Here's a link... Harken hoister

 

BTW, I much prefer the fiberglass to aluminum for a topper.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dave Erickson
2 hours ago, Rogue Hunter said:

Had an aluminum topper years ago. The first thing you will need is a couple tubes of silicone caulk to seal the rivets and seams. Yeah, fiberglass will be heavy, good for winter driving though. Can you rig a rope and pulley system in your garage?

 

 

Yes I can, and the hoist Chukarman linked looks ideal. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
WyomingArt

Had one aluminum topper, it was easy to dent, wouldn't carry much of a load, hard to find  load bars to carry a ladder or canoe, and then  had to be mounted on an exterior frame to transfer the load on the bedrails, and it was noisy, leaky and cold.  I slept in it a couple times.

 

The earlier post  by Rogue Hunter is  right on about leaking rivets and silicone caulk.   Used fiber glass toppers show up in the paper and Craigslist.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dave Erickson

All good comments, thank you.

 

The heart of the need for me is to get my dog crates out of the wind in the cold season, some extra dry storage for hunts, and the ability to easily take it off come spring. I can get this topper new for $1100 at the local dealer. It also has a front slider. It's not swanky, but I think it would fill the bill.

model800.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Curt

I wouldn't be afraid of an aluminum topper.  I bought my youngest son one for his Sierra when he was in college with a little ladder/canoe rack on top of it.  It worked great and we often took it off to open the bed when needed.  Two guys could have that thing off in five minutes and easily handle the weight.  My fiberglass top weighs a bunch by comparison.

 

Dave, that's a nice looking aluminum top, just one piece of advice.  If you go that way get heavily tinted windows.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
bill

 I have Jones dog trailer I take Plus have 6 hole topper on  PU?Truck thats what haul dogs around when hunting.  The trailer is my dogs sleeping and living quarters where ever I am staying plus couple get bunk in house with me at night rotate them around. I haven't figured out how upload photos yet to this site 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Remo

If you have a slider window and in your truck you can slip a foam gasket between them and run heat from the cab into the back. You can also easily plumb in a bus heater from your heater hoses for those cold days. 3 speed fan and off switch, works great.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ruffs.N.Brooks

www.softopper.com   I'm getting one for my 2017 Tacoma.  Folds down and out of the way easily when not needed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dave Erickson
2 hours ago, Curt said:

I wouldn't be afraid of an aluminum topper.  I bought my youngest son one for his Sierra when he was in college with a little ladder/canoe rack on top of it.  It worked great and we often took it off to open the bed when needed.  Two guys could have that thing off in five minutes and easily handle the weight.  My fiberglass top weighs a bunch by comparison.

 

Dave, that's a nice looking aluminum top, just one piece of advice.  If you go that way get heavily tinted windows.

 

Curt, I called the company and she said that tinted windows can be had for a slight upcharge (less than $50), and they are the maximum legal tint. These are made down near Mason City, Iowa and I happen to have a dealer about 10 miles from here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
markbrit

I had the aluminum topper on my trucks for years, worked fine to stop the wind and dogs were warm in varikennels. Really... wind is the killer, not the temps in my opinion.

 

Only thing I did not like about the topper was after years of taking it on/off, it started to flex and crack from the man handling. It did not hold up.

 

I too had the same idea of wanting to use my truck bed for mulch, etc. I bought an aluminum dog box which blocks the wind. Dogs are comfortable in Winter and Summer.

 

It works for me, good luck in your search :)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

×