Jump to content
REGISTERING FOR MEMBERSHIP ON UPLAND JOURNAL Read more... ×
Dave Erickson

Aluminum topper a mistake?

Recommended Posts

Chukarman
14 minutes ago, Jakeismydog2 said:

 

 I have always liked the design you came up with. I have never been bold enough to copy it... but I have thought about it quite a few times.

 

Not that tough, really. I built it in a long weekend. Hardest part was cutting the holes in the brand new topper. Once I got over that it was smooth sailing. If you want help, e-mail me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Fur and Feathers

I have had both aluminum and fibreglass on trucks. My last truck was a Ranger with an aluminum cap and the side access doors.I bought the cap used off craigslist really cheap. I kept the dog kennels towards the tailgate which made for easy loading an unloading of the dogs, and the side opening doors allowed me to keep and get at my gear in the back towards the cab.

I totalled that truck last fall and went to a full size. I decided after having a truck with a topper that has access doors that I would not own a truck with out a similar set up. So I started researching new toppers with intentions of going with aluminum again. After calling a few dealers I found that the aluminum toppers are nearly as expensive as the fiberglass now. I like the looks of the fiberglass much more painted to the color of the truck, and I will rarely remove it so I am opting for a ARE v series with the windoors.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dave Erickson

Thanks F&F. That's the decision I'm looking at, an ARE or this aluminum Unicover. Either with the same window access and kennel placement. A couple underused shotguns in my safe should be nervous.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dave Quindt
17 minutes ago, Dave Erickson said:

Thanks F&F. That's the decision I'm looking at, an ARE or this aluminum Unicover. Either with the same window access and kennel placement. A couple underused shotguns in my safe should be nervous.

Have you looked at Lakeland?  I've found them generally to be less expensive than the national brands.

 

FYI,

Dave

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dave Erickson

I'll check them out, thanks!i

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25/06

I had an aluminum topper on a short bed regular cab Ford Ranger. I ran it for about 6 years.

It did not leak and I never resealed anything

 

I could easily remove it myself and I hung it on the garage wall like a picture frame. I used a 2x6 of appropriate length that I cut one long edge at a 45 degree angle.

I screwed the 2x6 to the wall with the widest portion away from the wall. The topper easily hung on this and did not seem to stress it at all.

 

I got the partial side windows that opened up line the one in David Erickson's post. It also had slider windows in the front as well as each side behind the large opening window.

Mine also had an option where the front window of the topper folds down for cleaning a really nice option!

 

I also put an endgate seal in and was surprised how much dust still ended up in the topper. On a dusty gravel road it was horrible. I found out (on the Ford at least) there are numerous holes

under the bedrail that are open all the way to the ground. I sealed these with aluminum tape and everything worked great.

 

A note of caution I ALWAYS kept at least the side slider windows open to prevent Carbon monoxide issues.

 

I would leave the sliding window in the pickup open  and the slider in front of the topper open. In the summer it would simply be open. In the winter they used to make a small inflatable

bladder that would inflate around the opening so  you could let the heat from the cab get back there.

 

If you do not drill holes and use the clamps make sure you check them regularly! Many toppers end up in the ditch!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25/06
5 hours ago, Dave Erickson said:

Thanks F&F. That's the decision I'm looking at, an ARE or this aluminum Unicover. Either with the same window access and kennel placement. A couple underused shotguns in my safe should be nervous.

Make sure you look around for used

Toppers are easy to buy dam hard to sell

I bought a new fiberglass one matched to a truck. When I sold the truck the guy did not want the topper. I ended up selling it for $500 ( after 3 month) and my barber bought it and paid $350

to paint it to match his truck.

 

The aluminum topper I mentioned above I bought off a used car lot. The topper was black and fit a short bed Ranger( my truck was red). At the time I was quoted about $900+ tax for a new aluminum topper. I spotted the topper at a lot and was willing to go as high as $400. The salesman asked me If I was interested in the pickup with the topper. I said no but for $200 bucks cash I would take the topper.

 

The salesmen simply said I got a tool inside to unbolt it, do you want help putting it on your truck!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mccuha
15 minutes ago, 25/06 said:

Make sure you look around for used

Toppers are easy to buy dam hard to sell

I bought a new fiberglass one matched to a truck. When I sold the truck the guy did not want the topper. I ended up selling it for $500 ( after 3 month) and my barber bought it and paid $350

to paint it to match his truck.

 

The aluminum topper I mentioned above I bought off a used car lot. The topper was black and fit a short bed Ranger( my truck was red). At the time I was quoted about $900+ tax for a new aluminum topper. I spotted the topper at a lot and was willing to go as high as $400. The salesman asked me If I was interested in the pickup with the topper. I said no but for $200 bucks cash I would take the topper.

 

The salesmen simply said I got a tool inside to unbolt it, do you want help putting it on your truck!

 

I agree. Check Craigslist and other sights that sell used stuff. I was actually looking for an aluminum topper but stumbled up on a fiberglass one. Got it for around 300 and got a guy to paint to match truck for 100. I wanted the aluminum because it was light and could be easy to take on and off. I have ended up leaving my topper on all the time. I use it more than I thought I would 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
bamaquail

 I found an aluminum ARE DCU on Craigslist for $100, insulated it, put in the wingworks doors, and built a deck with storage below. Pretty easy build. I copied Chukarman's topper and it worked out great for 5-6 years until I totaled my truck this year. I've been working on my new rig for this year, will post some pics in a couple of weeks when I'm done with it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dave Erickson

I ordered an ARE V series with the Sportsman's windows today. I'm scratching the take it off in the summer idea. That's just too much fiddling around. ARE is 8 weeks out, so just in time for hunting season. I'm pretty sure my dogs will approve!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dave Quindt
1 hour ago, Dave Erickson said:

I ordered an ARE V series with the Sportsman's windows today. I'm scratching the take it off in the summer idea. That's just too much fiddling around. ARE is 8 weeks out, so just in time for hunting season. I'm pretty sure my dogs will approve!

 

Be aware that while the sportsman-style windows are very convenient for us, they do reduce the airflow for the dogs.  I have them in my current topper and fight heat build-up far more than I did with the screened half-sliders.  I usually have to block the rear door open a few inches when on the road in the summer to allow for enough airflow.  Keep in mind I don't have a front slider so that doesn't help.

 

FWIW,

Dave

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dave Erickson

Thanks for the heads up. I asked about the front slider and was told it greatly increased the air flow, so I included it along with the drop down feature for cleaning.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Cold Iron
6 hours ago, Dave Erickson said:

Thanks for the heads up. I asked about the front slider and was told it greatly increased the air flow, so I included it along with the drop down feature for cleaning.

 

Great call Dave. When I showed you my ARE at Woods & Meadows I forgot to point out that the one option I wish that I would have added was the drop down feature of the front slider. But you figured that out easily enough. The space between my cab and topper is a no mans land even with sliders on both. The drop down would make it much easier to clean the leaves out in the fall that are soon going to build up in there. Along with everything else during the year. Well worth it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
fourtrax57

I think the front slider is a good option as ColdIron says. That shade thingy on the bump up on the roof of my ARE to me is silly.

At least it can't leak as it's only a fake shade and not a window or skylight. One note. If you ever may consider a deck storage system ( gun vault etc)

you may want to consider the extra height in a topper. When I ordered mine the guy taking the order asked about the 6" bump up and I shrugged and said "why not."

I managed to "flounder" my way thru that lucky call. W/o the bump up on mine due to the added height of the bed with the drawer storage system I would have had to loosen the topper on it's mounts to take dog crates in & out to raise it up for adequate clearance for the crates. (nothing wrong with being lucky).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dave Erickson

I went with the flat one. I'll just make a low pedestal, so there is enough room to slide shotguns under there while hunting and perhaps the dogs' water bowl and a few small things. 

 

The dealer wouldn't let me pass on the slider drop-down feature. Now I'm glad he didn't!  I also got the carpeted ceiling after his strong recommendation. I skipped the lighting, but he said he could add it later if I want it. I typically live with a headband light on my noggin around the truck in the dark, but I might have to rethink it. 

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

×