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Old 05-18-2014, 04:15 PM   #181
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Originally Posted by Okkine View Post
Wow, glad I found this thread. I've been wanting to get a Bestop, but it's looking like the Softoppers could be better suited to my needs. One question: The company website says that you can drive with the side/rear panels rolled up. Anyone have any experience with this? I assume it would be fine for city speeds, but how about highway speeds?

EDIT: Another question. According the the product video, the sides snap onto the rail. How does the back flap attach the top of the tail gate?
It attaches using Velcro strips you tape to the back. It mostly works, I need to apply some more glue to the strips before this summer due to wear-off. It also leaks a little inside the truck.
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Old 05-18-2014, 06:26 PM   #182
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It attaches using Velcro strips you tape to the back. It mostly works, I need to apply some more glue to the strips before this summer due to wear-off. It also leaks a little inside the truck.
Rivets work well. My Velcro contracts considerably when cold, and the adhesive probably lost the ability to anchor it long ago.

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Old 05-19-2014, 09:19 PM   #183
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I found a soft topper for a t100 75 inch bed, my bed on my tacoma is just shy of that. What would I have to do to make it fit? The guy only wants 150 for it
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Old 05-19-2014, 09:34 PM   #184
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Originally Posted by 09sr5 View Post
I found a soft topper for a t100 75 inch bed, my bed on my tacoma is just shy of that. What would I have to do to make it fit? The guy only wants 150 for it
Check the width of the T100 bed and compare. How long is your bed 72"? Length wise I think you could put the rails up far enough toward the front of the bed to make it fit. My concern would be the width.
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Old 05-20-2014, 04:34 AM   #185
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 09sr5 View Post
I found a soft topper for a t100 75 inch bed, my bed on my tacoma is just shy of that. What would I have to do to make it fit? The guy only wants 150 for it
Buy a T100. Lol, sorry. If it doesnt fit close enough for your liking, there isnt much else you can do.
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Old 05-20-2014, 08:28 PM   #186
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Long term update

I'm going on 4 years with my Softopper so I thought I'd share some of my thoughts:

I have taken it through a handful of automatic washes and through Hurricane Irene ahead of North Carolina Task Force 1 with no problems. I have driven maybe ~110mph with it. (Downhill run out west: truck doesn't drive that fast.) Its basic design is sturdy.

I laced the doggy door shut using a hole punch and 550 cord. If you have the doggy door that is absolutely necessary if you are going to drive it through severe thunderstorms. I tried velcro on the vinyl first but summer heat melted the adhesive.

Although the top leaks less in severe weather than my previous Leer top, I built a plywood shelf with skids (72 x 40 inches) in the bed that pulls out. The shelf keeps everything elevated an inch or so off the bed and bone dry. It also helps me load and access items deep in the bed. The shelf has a lip to hold things on it as I pull it out.

I originally planned to replace the plastic brackets that hold the rear door bar in place with metal brackets. Instead, I incorporated step pegs on a cargo rack that also protect the brackets. (See picture.)

I had an overhead rack built from 1.5" square tube, with four removable cross bars and a platform on top for camping on the roof, and stake pockets on the side rails to extend the rack upward if necessary. The rack is half the weight of the only quality commercially available rack I found for this application (Kargo Master). I might still have the plans I drew if anyone is interested.

I trashed the bed clamps and screwed everything straight to my bedrails with sheetmetal screws. This keeps the aluminum base bars from bowing outward in the middle. The whole top fits and looks better now.

At time of purchase I elected to have a white panel sewn in on top instead of getting an all black Softopper. (You have to catch them at time of manufacture to do this.) The white panel makes it more comfortable for camping, since it keeps the temperature down, but it is a total PITA to keep clean. It currently has a lot of mildew staining on it that I need to clean off.

My fuel economy has suffered about 1 to 1.5 MPG with this setup. Interestingly, that loss was BEFORE the rack went on. The rack hasn't significantly impacted fuel economy.

The top offers little security for items in the bed and poor visibility, but you all know that. You buy it for its versatility, and hopefully you buy some stick-on convex side mirrors too.

My only major complaint is that the mesh and the vinyl windows are on two separate doors panels. This is a total PITA when traveling cross country through rain storms and camping in the back, when you need the functionality of both panels, but have to change the entire door out to either let the top breathe or protect your cargo. Softopper should really offer a 2-in-1 option.

Here are some pictures from Hell's Revenge trail in Moab and other parts of the West. Since these pictures, I have gusseted the front corners of the cargo rack and changed the rear bumper. Enjoy.











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Old 05-21-2014, 07:04 AM   #187
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Nice write up!

I put a tarp down at the bottom for the leaking issue, like you said the water runs down the channels and the stuff on top stays dry.
I didnt go with the mesh window for the reason you gave, I didn't want one more thing to carry and swap out.
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Old 05-28-2014, 04:20 PM   #188
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I just bought a used softopper and going to install it this weekend. I want to install new weather stripping on the side rails. Any buy anything at Home Depot or Lowes that is similar to the original material?
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Old 05-28-2014, 06:56 PM   #189
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjconkli View Post
I just bought a used softopper and going to install it this weekend. I want to install new weather stripping on the side rails. Any buy anything at Home Depot or Lowes that is similar to the original material?
I was never able to keep the weatherstripping under the rails. No matter how square and even I make everythng, it always works itself out. I said fuck it and just ran a bead of silicone.
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Old 05-29-2014, 08:18 AM   #190
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My weather stripping does the same, kinda squeezes itself out from under the rails. That being said, I still have a good seal all the way around, not much if any water gets through. The original weather stripping feels like foam mixed with a little rubber. I bet you could find some good stuff at Home Depot or lowes.
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Old 05-29-2014, 08:27 AM   #191
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjconkli View Post
I just bought a used softopper and going to install it this weekend. I want to install new weather stripping on the side rails. Any buy anything at Home Depot or Lowes that is similar to the original material?
Quote:
Originally Posted by CorrosiveTendency View Post
I was never able to keep the weatherstripping under the rails. No matter how square and even I make everythng, it always works itself out. I said fuck it and just ran a bead of silicone.
I use the 3M double sided foam tape. Silicon would work but clamping the rail right to the plastic would mark up the bed rail. Plus my skill with putting down a bead of silicon would look just as bad as the foam squishing out.
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Old 06-01-2014, 05:24 PM   #192
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I ended up using 3/4" W x 5/16" H Frost King Weather stripping from Lowes. I washed my truck with the top on and got no leaks with it installed! I will see how it does with the rain on the highway.

I also kept the weather stripping closer to the inside of the bed so when it was pushed down it was not exposed to the exterior as noted by other people.
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Old 12-08-2014, 09:09 PM   #193
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Not finding any good prices. 777 at softtopper.com are there any coupons? Also shipping was another 40. Amazon is 779 and free shipping.
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Old 12-08-2014, 09:21 PM   #194
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Originally Posted by dirtymike420 View Post
Not finding any good prices. 777 at softtopper.com are there any coupons? Also shipping was another 40. Amazon is 779 and free shipping.
I have never found a discount, the best thing to do is find free shipping.
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Old 12-09-2014, 06:45 AM   #195
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Thank you CVyota. Can you see out your rear view mirror in the cab? Or is that what the 79 dollar upgrade mesh window is for?
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Old 12-09-2014, 08:05 AM   #196
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I figured this was a good place to post this, too. Using a magnetic strip on the rear flap is the way to go, and Chad at KB Voodoo has the tailgate caps on sale right now.
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KB Voodoo tailgate cap: $80 + shipping

--------------------
Full disclosure: Chad asked that I review his product, and he shipped it to me at no cost. I'd already decided that if I liked it, I'd send payment, but if I didn't, I'd just return it. I really like it and offered to send payment, but Chad refused, so I'm donating an equal amount to an animal shelter in my area. Chad's a good guy.
--------------------

At two years old, my truck is holding up well, but it was time to address a couple of problems with the tailgate cap. After quite a bit of use, the Velcro I riveted to the tailgate cap to hold the rear flap of my Softopper down started to fail.





I knew that'd happen, and had planned to drill out the rivets and install new Velcro, but two things happened. Count Coconut came up with a hybrid mag strip/Velcro solution, and Chad released his steel tailgate cap.

-------------------------------------------------------------------
McMaster-Carr parts list

1" Width x 5' Length, Marine Grade, Hook - Part #8200K331

Flexible Magnetic Strip with Increased Pull - Part #5769K82
Adhesive Back, 1/8" Thick, 1" Wide
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Chad shipped the tailgate cap and it arrived a few days later. Bubble wrap was sufficient protection, and he took the time to add several layers to the ends. I used scissors to open it to avoid scoring the paint.



Inside, you'll find two rolls of foam cut to the correct length, and a T-30 Torx bit taped to the foam. Be careful not to lose the bit.





I have a BedRug tailgate mat installed, and it came with plastic spacers to allow for a better fit with the OEM tailgate cap. I recommend not using the BedRug spacers with the KB Voodoo cap. There was quite a bit of dirt under the OEM cap, and some very minor damage to the paint.



I cleaned up the tailgate and applied the foam, with the mat flipped out of the way as needed.





The KB Voodoo cap fits very tightly. The mat may make it fit a little tighter than usual, but it worked without any modification. I found it easiest to center the cap on the tailgate with the outer edge basically in its final position, then slowly roll the cap over and down on the tailgate. I put the OEM screws in finger tight to keep the cap in place, then ran them down with a drill. As Chad warns, be careful not to over-torque the screws; they anchor into plastic. Also note that the screws have a small shoulder at the top of the threads, which should nest inside the holes in the cap. Note the quality of the powdercoat.



Some people were concerned about the small gap at the outer edge of the cap. The tailgate skin is curved, so a straight part will stand out just a bit at the end of the tailgate, 3/8" at most. In my opinion, it's not an issue.





From below, center. The white line is the compressed foam.



From below, right.



The KB Voodoo cap looks like an OEM part. It adds noticeable heft to the tailgate, and I'm sure it adds some strength. Unlike the OEM part, most wear & tear can easily be addressed by painting the metal cap with bedliner spray. It's not cheap, and it shouldn't be. I believe Chad has developed a quality part at a fair price, and I recommend it.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

On to the Softopper modification. I wanted to try anchoring the rear flap with the Velcro/magnet method, but I didn't want the magnet on the paint. The way my Softopper fits, I didn't think the flap would reach past the plastic cap, so I wasn't sure how to fix it until I saw the KB Voodoo cap. I installed the magnetic strip and Velcro listed above.

The mag strip really gloms onto the cap. It's much stronger than the typical refrigerator magnet material. I rolled it out on the cap and trimmed it to the same length.



I did the same with the Velcro, mating the two adhesive sides.



With the two strips joined, I positioned it on the cap and brought the flap down attach the Velcro/mag strip to it.



Installed. I like the way it sits on top of the cap, but someone with a little longer flap could put the magnet on the back of the cap.



I left the Velcro/mag the full width of the cap, but I may trim it later to the width of the Softopper cap. It should work fine either way.





I'll test it on the highway tomorrow, but I think the magnet will keep the flap in place. If needed, I have some small NIB magnets I can sandwich between the Velcro side and those will definitely do the job.

If you're looking for a way to secure the bottom flap on your Softopper or BesTop SuperTop, adding a KB Voodoo tailgate cap and using the Velcro/magnet method is a very good way to go.
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Old 12-09-2014, 08:33 AM   #197
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Thank you CVyota. Can you see out your rear view mirror in the cab? Or is that what the 79 dollar upgrade mesh window is for?
You can see out, the mesh is for air if you sleep back there or have dogs. I sleep in the bed but never have an issue with airflow.
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Old 12-09-2014, 07:07 PM   #198
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i no longer have my softopper but enjoyed it for the year that i had it. buying new, you're not going to find many bargains, but they do pop up on craigslist. That's where I bought mine and how i eventually sold it. I actually ended up selling it for a little more than what I bought it for, but i did invest some money into it after i bought it, too (new rear window and new rear mesh window).

I did like running the rear mesh window in the winter. I found that the vinyl window would get dirty quickly in the winter, making it hard to see. The rear mesh window definitely has better rear visibility, but with the downside of less overall protection from the elements. Also, the vinyl window is known to be pretty brittle when it's cold out, which made me a little nervous to clean (and scratch) or roll up the window in the winter.
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Old 12-09-2014, 07:14 PM   #199
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I never roll up the rear window. Flipping it over the top works well, and I added some shock cord to the side buckles to hold the tension bar in place.



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Old 12-09-2014, 07:44 PM   #200
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That's a great idea. How strong is the shock cord? I had bed bars and a ski rack mounted inside the bed last winter. Had to roll up the rear window anytime I went skiing because the skis would hang out the back a little. Not sure how that shock cord would hold up with the flap up (and catching air) at highway speeds?
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