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-   -   Need help Deciding (http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/arizona/279214-need-help-deciding.html)

bkrdave36 05-23-2013 10:03 PM

Need help Deciding
Should I go with a bed rack/tent combination or with a fiberglass shell (ala Leer,etc)?

The main reason is for shelter when camping, which I only do occasionally mostly in the spring and summer (sometimes in the rain due to monsoon).

Bed rack idea is similar to this ....


with a Cascadia tent (or similar)


This set up gives me flexibility if I want to haul the tent or not, where a shell I'm pretty much "married" to all the time (I don't have a place to store the shell off my truck.)

BUT ... the shell will likely give me the guarantee of dryness if I am out in the rain.

So I'm stuck as to what I should do.

Any suggestions from practical experience, etc will be greatly appreciated! I'm guessing cost difference between the two options will be negligible so that really isn't a factor at this time.

And this is what it will be going on ....


gottahot1 05-24-2013 09:45 AM

It kinda sounds like you made up your mind already - rack and tent. I would personally prefer that option too, as a fiberglass topper seems to limit the usefulness of the truck by limiting the size of what can be carried in the bed. True, you might not need to carry a fridge all the time but not being able to do so when you really need to would drive me crazy.

Another consideration is being able to store gear and sleep under the topper at the same time. Some people have built platforms but they generally seem to be fairly low to the bed floor and really limit what can be stored underneath.

I have neither option so take my comments as anecdotal, but it sounded to me like you are leaning toward the rack/tent option. Oh, I do have a roof top tent and although have not spent any monsoon nights in it, it seems that it would keep me plenty dry in the rain.

Good luck with your decision.

Aw9d 05-24-2013 10:03 AM

Rack and tent would be my choice.

HolyReptar 05-24-2013 10:32 AM

dave I would say go the rack and tent combo... That way you can pop the rack and tent off when you need to move stuff and you can store the rack/tent during winter when its not being used.

cynicalrider 05-24-2013 10:35 AM

Is a rack that much easier to take off the truck compared to a shell? I guess a shell requires two people compared to a rack that only needs one?

Maxx 05-24-2013 12:50 PM

I'm running a SnugTop and I love it. I still have lots of storage and most of all its secured storage. It's really easy to move but yes you need a second set of hands to do it. It doesn't support the weight of a roof top tent but there are ways. I am looking into having a small support cage built inside of it so that it will support the weight.

iJonny 05-24-2013 01:20 PM

desertdrifter will be at the meet tomorrow, He has a sweet AVID bed rack and tent! Check his set up out!

bkrdave36 05-25-2013 11:00 AM

I'd love to be at the meet up, but I have something else going on. Can someone post pics of desert drifters set up for me? Thanks!

cytocycle 05-25-2013 11:55 PM

yeah I was having that same decision problem, I choose to do the Front Runner Roof rack which supports 600lbs in t
he stock taco mount locations (3 sets per side versus the 2 of the factory rack) and they offer a quick release setup. I will later either do a camper/shell to lock things away but don't trust a 150lb RTT and people on a fiberglass shell, and bracing the inside is the same cost and a lot of trouble. Wind noise is not noticeable but my XM radio has reception problems so I canceled it. Sierra Expeditions did an excellent install as usual!

I also choose the roof because I wanted access into the cab from the below room.



bkrdave36 05-26-2013 08:48 AM

Looks good. But if I go with the bed rack I will have it made so I can remove it at will.

Kyouto42 05-26-2013 07:45 PM

Personally, i'm doing a rack with a roof top tent on my truck hopefully this year sometime...

If I still owned a house, I was going to rig up a pully system so I could latch on, quick release the rack with tent mounted, and pull it off the truck one person. The setup will be wayyyy to heavy for 97% of people out there no matter how you set it up without some sort of mechanical assistance...

bkrdave36 05-27-2013 01:12 AM

Anyone have a set up like this ? http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/buy...ade-order.html

This could be the best of both worlds for me.

Infra 05-27-2013 08:44 AM


Originally Posted by bkrdave36 (Post 6944966)
Anyone have a set up like this ? http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/buy...ade-order.html

This could be the best of both worlds for me.

I have a softopper on my truck and have 2 different bed racks for my RTT. One is a Box Rocket bed rack that requires me to remove my softopper, and it was modified so it sits 11" above the bed rails. My other bed rack allows me to keep the softopper on the truck and it mounts over the softopper and has rotopax mounts on each side of the bed rack and my RTT mounts on top of the bed rack.

TheGloryFades 05-27-2013 11:40 AM



iJonny 05-28-2013 09:50 AM


Originally Posted by bkrdave36 (Post 6938690)
I'd love to be at the meet up, but I have something else going on. Can someone post pics of desert drifters set up for me? Thanks!


This is Desert Drifters set up. I took this picture at the meet like you had asked. He didnt have the tent installed. I saw it when it got mounted up @ AVID. The tent has a aluminum floor and just folds out and looks great. He said that the wind didnt effect it too much and he makes the treck down to Tucson once a month. I would PM him with any other questions. Not a cheap set up, but fully functional. :D

bkrdave36 05-28-2013 10:38 PM

The more research I do ... and to meet my needs (meager as the are - lightweight, easily stored when not on truck, and easy to get on and off truck, and inexpensive) the soft top type of tent is looking better and better to me.

Thanks for the feedback everyone, it really helped me solidify a decision.

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