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A camper top that can handle a load?

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by vegetopia, Aug 16, 2010.

  1. Aug 16, 2010 at 3:47 PM
    #1
    vegetopia

    vegetopia [OP] newbie

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    Hey all, I'm thinking of getting a camper top for my '03 extended cab pre-runner, but wanted some advice.

    My primary use for the truck will be hauling lumber for framing houses, etc. so I'm imagining going to grab a few 2x12x20s, 2x4s, etc. I won't be hauling a lot at any given time, but I am assuming it will be fairly heavy.

    so, I would like to have a camper that I can put a rack on and be able to carry a good amount of weight on top.

    Any suggestions, or am I asking for the impossible? I know I can just make a lumber rack, which is what I will do if I have to, but I am also a photographer, so I would like to be able to put my lights, stands, gear, etc. in the camper and not worry about the elements getting to them while on assignment.

    TIA
    -Jamie
     
  2. Aug 16, 2010 at 3:58 PM
    #2
    Mush Mouse

    Mush Mouse Club Soda Not Seals

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    where ever you want me to be
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    its a Toyota truck and that's all the modifications needed
    ARE brand,I had a fiberglass shell on my Hi Lux 95 truck it was tough and the price was reasonable. I would try to find a used one lots of people try to sell them check out the 4 sale ads in your newspapers or online,
     
  3. Aug 16, 2010 at 6:33 PM
    #3
    vegetopia

    vegetopia [OP] newbie

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    I'll check it out, thanks.

    any other suggestions? What about fabbing up a steel "cage" that goes inside the camper to give it reinforcement? Although at that point, probably not worth it.
     
  4. Aug 16, 2010 at 6:54 PM
    #4
    Namyo

    Namyo -

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    Fab a cage on the outside of the camper....custom or factory. I kno I've seen a lumber rack on the out side of a shell.
     
  5. Aug 16, 2010 at 7:01 PM
    #5
    Barnone

    Barnone Guest

    I never carried any 2x12x20's but a lot of shorter lengths on my aluminum topper. Twenty foot length's would require a rack on the front bumper.
    I have abused it for eight years. Can't remember the make or load capacity but I'm sure that I have exceeded it. Had a load of PVC pipe on it today. It sure is handy.

    [​IMG]

    Don't know if you can see the racks on top of the topper but they seem stout enough.
     
  6. Aug 16, 2010 at 7:04 PM
    #6
    dexterdog

    dexterdog My pee parts itch

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    I wouldn't trust a shell to carry the weight you are probably used to. They make lumber racks that fit around shells.
     
  7. Aug 16, 2010 at 7:08 PM
    #7
    vegetopia

    vegetopia [OP] newbie

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    does the same company that makes the shell, make the rack as well? thats not a bad idea at all. I would be worried about it looking a little bulky and awkward though.
     
  8. Aug 16, 2010 at 7:11 PM
    #8
    JoeyTacoma

    JoeyTacoma Well-Known Member

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  9. Aug 16, 2010 at 7:38 PM
    #9
    Barnone

    Barnone Guest

    Take a look at some aluminum shells before you go with the outside rack. My shell's frame is made of 1" square aluminum tubing.
     
  10. Aug 16, 2010 at 7:43 PM
    #10
    whitebread

    whitebread Well-Known Member

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    If you order a shell, and think you might end up wanting the ladder rack, make sure you specify you don't want the shell to wrap around the bed rails.
     
  11. Aug 16, 2010 at 7:52 PM
    #11
    vegetopia

    vegetopia [OP] newbie

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    ladder rack's not a bad looking option. seems strange that that "flimsy" 1/4" plate steel sticking out from the bed rail under the shell is enough to support 1000lbs +
     
  12. Aug 16, 2010 at 7:53 PM
    #12
    OZ-T

    OZ-T Quite an experience to live in fear , isn't it ?

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  13. Aug 18, 2010 at 5:32 AM
    #13
    oliverlove

    oliverlove Well-Known Member

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    My local fab shop is working on a internal support for my cap so I can mount a tent up top. They basically are going to run a support from the floor of the bed up to where the rook rack mount is on the cap. It is a ARE cap. It should be pretty simple when it is finished and carry more than it needs too.
     
  14. Aug 20, 2010 at 7:24 AM
    #14
    vegetopia

    vegetopia [OP] newbie

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    you definitely gotta post some pics of that when it's done. sounds like exactly what I'm interested in.
     
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