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Old 09-05-2013, 06:07 PM   #1
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Arrow Camper Shell Visibility

Hi Guys,

I'm 19 and I'm looking at getting a camper shell for my double cab long bed Tacoma.

My parents are worried that it will limit visibility out of the truck too much.

Can anyone with a camper shell elaborate on how the camper shell (Snug Top) will limit visibility?

I've noticed that when I check my blind spot, I tend to look out the back seat windows on my double cab, not over the bed, so I assume it shouldn't make much of a difference.

Will it affect my rear view mirror visibility? Again, it seems to me like, the rear view mirror would just look through the rear window on the camper shell.

I have a chance to get an awesome deal on a snug top tomorrow –*I just need to convince my parents. (I'll be paying for it, but they are looking out for my safety, so it's not a matter of money fort them).

Thanks,

Jack
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Old 09-05-2013, 06:10 PM   #2
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Had a number of camper tops in the past, they are nice if you really need them but they do of course hinder your line of sight.

I prefer not to have one if I do not need one. On my tacoma I have not purchased one since I have need for a camper anymore.

Campers are not cheap for nice models that look good.
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Old 09-05-2013, 06:19 PM   #3
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It won't hamper rear visibility at all.

Shell or not, I like to put spot mirrors on the outside rearviews.
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Old 09-05-2013, 06:20 PM   #4
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It obviously limits visibilty compared to no cap , but I've never felt I couldn't see enough to confidently change lanes

I use my side mirrors as well as check over my shoulder
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Old 09-05-2013, 06:21 PM   #5
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They do limit visibility. Not enough though that it would out weigh the benefits of having one, for me anyway. Snugtop does make a XV shell, XV is extra vision. The windows are considerably larger.
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Old 09-05-2013, 06:22 PM   #6
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I don't see the visibility hinderance to be a problem and it seems like you guys agree.

I prefer to not have a shell, but going to college in Oregon, the bed is basically going to be useless without a shell.
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Old 09-05-2013, 06:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackrules View Post
I don't see the visibility hinderance to be a problem and it seems like you guys agree.

I prefer to not have a shell, but going to college in Oregon, the bed is basically going to be useless without a shell.
Maybe a tonneau cover would suit your needs better?
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Old 09-05-2013, 06:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skidooman View Post
Maybe a tonneau cover would suit your needs better?
I'd like to be able to transport multiple mountain bikes and for other reasons I just would enjoy the height that a camper allows for cargo and camping, etc.

A camper shell is perfect for my needs, I just need to convince my parents that visibility won't become a safety issue while driving if I have a camper.
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Old 09-05-2013, 06:43 PM   #9
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You have a DC. The camper shell won't limit your visibility nearly as much as your parents are making it out to be. When I shoulder check, I look out the rear door windows and my camper shell does not block anything noticeably. Through the rear view mirror, it does lessen the viewable area in the mirror, but not nearly to an unsafe level. You just need to be confident in your driving ability.

The only substantial thing that I have noticed (and take it how you will) is that the auto dimming rear view mirror doesn't auto dim. Ever. Because it has 3 pieces of tinted glass to see through, so it's unnecessary.

Other than that, the only suggestion I could make is you should always back in to parking spots, or pull through. That's the only time that the shell sides will REALLY block your view, is when trying to back out of a parking spot.
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Old 09-05-2013, 07:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ouyin2000 View Post
You have a DC. The camper shell won't limit your visibility nearly as much as your parents are making it out to be. When I shoulder check, I look out the rear door windows and my camper shell does not block anything noticeably. Through the rear view mirror, it does lessen the viewable area in the mirror, but not nearly to an unsafe level. You just need to be confident in your driving ability.

The only substantial thing that I have noticed (and take it how you will) is that the auto dimming rear view mirror doesn't auto dim. Ever. Because it has 3 pieces of tinted glass to see through, so it's unnecessary.

Other than that, the only suggestion I could make is you should always back in to parking spots, or pull through. That's the only time that the shell sides will REALLY block your view, is when trying to back out of a parking spot.
Thanks for the info.

I'm glad to have people backing up my claims that I "blind spot" check through the back seat windows.

Thanks for the tip on backing in, I always do that anyway! I find it hard to turn into spots going forward.
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Old 09-05-2013, 10:01 PM   #12
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I have a Leer 180CC, with solid doors, so my vision is greatly obstructed. I recently added the Pro EFX tow mirrors, a great upgrade. Though if you adjust the side mirrors correctly you can almost eliminate the blind spots.
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Old 09-05-2013, 10:06 PM   #13
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I can't comment on a 2nd gen, but on my 95 Xtra cab, and my 04 double cab, when the camper shell's were on them the visibility when backing up at night (if you looked out the back window) was gone, and it slightly blocked the driving view, but nothing to worry about.

I took the shells of because my quad wouldn't fit in the bed, and i don't care for the look of the trucks with the shells on.
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Old 09-05-2013, 10:19 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OZ-T View Post
It obviously limits visibilty compared to no cap , but I've never felt I couldn't see enough to confidently change lanes

I use my side mirrors as well as check over my shoulder
Yup. I have no side windows on my Softopper, but I feel comfortable driving in traffic.

Use your (properly adjusted) mirrors, turn your head around, pay attention to other vehicles, pull though/back in to park, and don't drive like a Texan. You'll be fine.
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Old 09-05-2013, 10:20 PM   #15
I've done... questionable things.
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People need to learn to effectively use their mirrors
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Old 09-05-2013, 10:23 PM   #16
Most people call me ... Jim.
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No doubt. I'll drive with no rear windows, but not without mirrors.

Toyota should respect people that effectively use their mirrors and give us some heat.
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Old 09-05-2013, 10:45 PM   #17
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Years ago I used to drive a big refrigerated cube truck that had zero viz straight out of the back. It didn't have a rearview mirror at all - side mirrors only. It was a beast, but a good learning tool. Wide angle mirrors were a must on that rig.

If you learn the size of your vehicle and its position relative to others on the road you are all good. I love my Snugtop shell. Be safe.
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Old 09-05-2013, 11:00 PM   #18
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Gotta disagree with the crowd. The shell inhibits your view tremendously. Now, the thing is, it's not usually that big a deal unless you're backing up. You'll be able to pull off lane changes safely. But since my last truck, which did have a shell, I've moved into a neighborhood on a cul-de-sac with a lot of young kids and one deaf dog (and a few others which may as well be) running all over the place and there's no way I'm putting on a shell here as I'd eventually run somebody's pet or kid over. If I had the rear-view camera or a decent backup sensor option, that would be a different story, but I don't so for now, no way. Might do a softtopper and leave it folded down most of the time.
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