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Old 05-18-2014, 03:15 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, 05:26 PM   #182
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Originally Posted by Condor 5 View Post
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, 08:19 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, 08:34 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, 03:34 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, 07:28 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, 06:04 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, 03:20 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, 05:56 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, 07:18 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, 07:27 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, 04:24 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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