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A.R.E. V series cap

Discussion in 'Product Reviews' started by hoosiertaco, Oct 6, 2009.

  1. Oct 6, 2009 at 2:13 PM
    #1
    hoosiertaco

    hoosiertaco [OP] Well-Known Member

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    The product under review is listed in the title, options include: vented windoors, fold down front slider, Yakima roof rack, dual 12-volt lights, headliner.

    I could not get the vented windoors with any other company.(which helped me to choose A.R.E.) I read many reviews and did many hours of research before making this investment. A.R.E. has a terrific track record from sale to service. But my experience was less than favorable.

    The top cost just under 2K.

    I received the top at initial delivery to find many quality issues. The windows were the majority of the problem. Gaskets coming out, screws not installed completely, black tar sealant smeared between windows, rusty rivets, scratches/scuffs everywhere on the frames of the windows, a chunk of large headliner missing right near the back door, and dangerous burrs hanging off the back window to mention a few.

    I didn't get any pics because I never got it home, and the A.R.E. dealer is over an hour from my house. The dealer took all the pics and sent them to A.R.E.(they have been fantastic!! Rep out to Tillman's in Greenwood!! Thanks guys!!)

    Needless to say, I kept my cool through this, but the most aggravating thing through this process is that A.R.E. would not communicate with me in a timely manner. They prefer to operate and communicate only through the dealers. I can understand that to a point, but to refuse to drop a real quick line from a rep or higher up would have been appreciated. They were cc'd but yet never got involved to my knowledge. I asked them to replace the windows and keep me informed as to their progress. They never contacted me. I had to contact them. This is supposedly a family owned business; therefore I would have expected a little more communication and status on the progress.
    I also wanted to know of their countermeasure to prevent this kind of poor quality from leaving their facility. I was only told by the dealer that they used my top to retrain their employees and tell them to not let this happen again. I would have preferred to hear that they added another quality control process at the end of the manufacturing line before releasing a product for shipment.

    This whole experience is hard to put in print, but there was a final straw that pushed me to write this review.

    After having my top back for nearly a month, the rain poured through the back of the top at the third brake light one night while driving home. ($2000 and they can't seal the rear light!!:eek:) Leaving a huge puddle in the back of the bed.(previous rain I hadn't seen had caused rust on some tools back there:mad:) At this point I'm thinking what is the point of this thing. Yes the leak is covered under warranty, but another long trip to get there, and time out of my busy week I can't spare.

    I will keep my top, because if you stand back, it looks really good IMO,(and they haven't answered if they give refunds or not) and if we get it to be dry inside,(front corners at bed mount on both sides are not sealing either) I might get some functionality out of it. But from my experience, if you aren't dead set on getting the vented windoors like I was, get some other brand.

    A.R.E. just changed from a big manufacturer of windows(makes them for the others like Leer) to a smaller company that has a big quality issue going on. Oh, forgot to mention one of the window panes was installed upside down.....

    I'm sorry, it's not like me to be negative, but sometimes, the truth is negative. That's all for now.

    some pics...........
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
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  2. Oct 6, 2009 at 2:38 PM
    #2
    Rtrn2taco

    Rtrn2taco Nostalgia...

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    I've been selling truck caps for over 10 years and let me tell you. The quality issues you have explained are not uncommon to any cap manufacturer I have dealt with (Leer, Jeraco, Century, Jason). It does not seem to make a difference what manufacturer you buy from thay all have the same problems. It is really a crap shoot as to getting a good quality one among the garbage they put out the door. The most important thing in buying a truck cap is the quality and reputation of the dealer and how far they are willing to go to either have taken care of the issues before you arrive or see to it that they are taken care of after the sale.

    I could go on all day, but you would just get bored of my ramblings. I hope it all works out in the end.
     
  3. Oct 6, 2009 at 3:20 PM
    #3
    hoosiertaco

    hoosiertaco [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I won't get bored, I ramble on all the time, just ask around....:eek: Enlighten me....:D

    You would think the quality of the dealer would not be a factor if the initial quality from the factory was good.

    I just don't understand how such poor quality, that they immediately took back and tried to fix, ever got out the door.

    These caps are so expensive and something we don't have to have, and in this economy, you would think they would slow down and care a little more.

    What do you know about the two different manufacturers that make windows for all these shell manufacturers?

    Thanks for your input. It's very helpful info from someone who has sold them for years.
     
  4. Oct 6, 2009 at 7:02 PM
    #4
    wolf13

    wolf13 Well-Known Member

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    TRD Offroad w/Tow package. LEER 100XQ topper, painted grill surround, 08 cup holders, scangauge II
    I've been debating between a leer XR or XQ and the ARE Z series, I actually went to order an ARE yesterday based on the quality reports of ARE vs LEER in the midwest (midwest leer factory seems to have a bad rep for service). however, the ARE dealer was closed and I am still in the market and after reading this I find myself once again seriously looking at the leer (and the leer dealer is local vs the are dealer being an hour away).
     
  5. Oct 6, 2009 at 7:15 PM
    #5
    bmactexas

    bmactexas Member

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    ARE Shell, tint front and back.
    hoosiertaco.

    Thanks for the update.

    The finish--meaning overall quality not paint finish--on my 1 year old ARE is terrible. Sloppy carpet installation, sharp metal edges, and now, the color-matched, plastic trim that surrounds the lower edge of the top is peeling off. I've got an 18" strip that is slowly peeling away from the back to the front. If I don't get it taken care of soon, it will begin rubbing through the clearcoat, but I, too, don't have time to deal with this POS. I am loathe to deal with both ARE and the dealer that sold it to me, but I've got to get it fixed.

    Also, is the windoor on the shortbed model new? I bought my top in late 2008, and I was told the windoor wasn't an option on shortbed models? What gives? I'll be doubly mad, if I was lied to. Though it occurs to me that I have a different model. Maybe it isn't available on the model I chose...one that drops below and covers the black bed edge.

    All that said, I've had a Leer on the back of a T100 for 11 years, and it only began to give me some mild leakage problems the last couple of years. The finish was nice, and it still is. Though I appreciate Rtrn2taco's wisdom and experience, my own tells me that I should have bought a Leer---Snugtops, which look to me to be the highest quality, aren't sold near me. All other brands look inferior to me, but Rtrn2taco, you may be right that it is a crapshoot.

    I'll follow up when I get by the dealer and argue/plead my case.
     
  6. Oct 7, 2009 at 8:09 AM
    #6
    Rtrn2taco

    Rtrn2taco Nostalgia...

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    Hoosier to answer your question about the windows. There are primarily two manufacturers used in the truck cap business Statewide and Creations. Leer had used Creations for the most part upt o about 3 years ago when Leers Corporate owners (J Poindexter, whom also owns Morgan Trailer) purchased Statewide glass. Which made Leers competition buy parts from guess who LEER. Without Leer's demand for windows from Creation they soon shut down their PA plant causing problems for cap companies outside of Indiana where Creations is currently.

    Don't get me wrong any one one of these manufacturers can and do produce a quality truck cap, thats where the crap shoot comes into play. The employee turn over in these places is very high due to minumum wages and mostly fresh high school grads. Causing untrained and unskilled workers to build and assemble your cap in order for it to arive in the reasonable 2-3 weeks time frame. Bmactexas
    has it right on two perspectives A) if only 10-15 more minutes where taken to concentrate on the details of the cap the satisfactory would multiply ten fold. B) Snugtop with my very limited experience does in fact seem to be the most consistent and best quality, we on the east coast are just not able to purchase them and would not be able to resell them for a reasonable profit due to shipping costs and the availability of their cheaper and lessor quality counterparts.

    Also Hoosier, you asked how such poor quality makes it out the door only to be brought back to be fixed. This is the wager these companies make, 90% of the buyers have no clue what defects to look for and or are just shafted by the dealers till they give up in trying to have all the issues resolved.
     
  7. Oct 7, 2009 at 8:19 AM
    #7
    shawnd2

    shawnd2 Well-Known Member

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    I also had some issues with my ARE cap.
    The first being the lack of "sky light" on my MX Series cap. When I ordered it their website indicated that it had a sky light in the front portion of the cap. When I got it, there was a fake sky light (the tinted panel is on the outside, but does not go all the way through.)
    I asked the dealer, he indicated that ARE no longer offers the skylight as they had issues with them leaking.
    After numerous attempts to get a response from ARE's customer service I looked up the president, vice president and area sales reps names on the internet. I copied them on all my previous email corespondence, and literally within 10 minutes got a response back, asking me to explain the issue. Since they no longer offered the sky light they offered to give me a free roof rack (just the rails), I noticed with-in the week they changed there website from "Sky Light" to "Vista Glass".

    Recently I noticed some paint peeling around the windows (see pics). Since I already had the higher ups emails, a sent the pics to tem, and they immediately reponded indicating that I should drop my cap off to my dealer to have it sent back. They kept me in the loop via email as to the status of my cap during the repair.
    My dealer has been excellcellent in accomodating my schedule (he came in of the July long weekend just to take my cap off to send it back) and they have done a good job on the install etc.

    I am happy with my cap, although the windoor seals etc. exibit the same issues as the OP indicates.
    ARE has been very good to me at responding to issues, but I agree, the issues should not have happened to begin with. Espicially for something so expensive.

    Anyways, sorry for the long post, just thought I would share my experience.

    Shawn

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  8. Oct 7, 2009 at 8:36 AM
    #8
    hoosiertaco

    hoosiertaco [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I believe it, it's just so unfortunate.
    Not keeping me in the loop through this process was my biggest issue with them. They must have liked you better than me.:notsure::D

    No need to apologize, thanks for the input. I would liked to have had some of this heads up info before I bought mine. Kinda give you something to expect without surprises.
     
  9. Oct 7, 2009 at 10:01 AM
    #9
    shawnd2

    shawnd2 Well-Known Member

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    My dealer who apparently used to sell LEER and Snug Top told me that they have way less issues with ARE then with LEER and espicially Snug Top (he said Snug Top were terrible).
    This was after my second repair, so I don't think he had reason to lie to me.
    From what I read ARE was supposed to have the best quality, maybe my expectations are to high, I just think for the money, they should be more "automotive quality" when it comes to fit and finish.
     
  10. Oct 7, 2009 at 6:05 PM
    #10
    sportnobadges

    sportnobadges Well-Known Member

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    de-badged / weather tech digital floor mats front and rear / weather tech in-channel vent visors / A.R.E. MX cap / bed mat / blacked out 4s
    WoW. Sorry to hear about all these issues with the A.R.E.s I have had mine since late August '09 and so far have had no issues with the cap. Windoors work just fine and show no signs of leaking and we have had some Noah-type rains here lately. Fold down front window also works fine and shows no signs of leakage. Fitment to the truck bed is also tight. No water infiltration at all. Yet???????????? You guys have got me worried now. I will be watching for cracks and pealing in the paint and leaks and such. Was also somewhat dissapointed with the fake "sky-lite" when the cap was delivered. But I didn't expect a "sky-lite" at all. When I first saw the "glass" on the outside I was plesantly suprised, then when I looked inside to see how much light it let in and saw that it let in no light at all I was a little dissapointed. The fake "sky-lite" is kind of like the fake "hood-scoop", looks nice but doesn't do anything functionally. Guess you gotta have those 'looks' to be cool.

    o/39512/cat/500][​IMG][/url]

    Originally Posted by lsocoee
    I am so envious of Dodge, Chevy, Ford, Nissan, GMC, and Suzuki owners. They get to check out my sweet Tacoma when they're driving, I'm just stuck looking at all their ugly trucks.
     
  11. Mar 17, 2010 at 9:33 AM
    #11
    hoosiertaco

    hoosiertaco [OP] Well-Known Member

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    grrrrr.........5 months later the Windoor on the passenger side is leaking. I love my vented Windoors for functionality, but they are junk..........period!:mad:
     
  12. Jun 8, 2010 at 8:34 AM
    #12
    hoosiertaco

    hoosiertaco [OP] Well-Known Member

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    .................and after finally having time to wax this thing I got above it and found all kinds of paint flaws. The person that painted it must have had long curly hair because there are several places with stuff in the paint looking like hair and such............so much for having one thing I could brag about with A.R.E.


    I will never buy another A.R.E.


    THE END:quickdraw:
     
  13. Sep 14, 2010 at 2:25 AM
    #13
    Taco4x4NC

    Taco4x4NC Well-Known Member

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    3m clear bra or Venture, stant locking gas cap, Shield, front windows tinted, weathertechs, ARE "Z" topper. Sockmonkey decal, Billy 5100's x 4 corners, Eibach coils, Toytec 1.5 AAL. Michelin 265/75/16 MS2's, Grillcraft MX series/TOYOTA badging. FJ/SE TRD Anthracite gray wheels. Katzkin leather/heated seats.
    So far I am happy with my ARE "Z" series. It does what I want it to do and seems to function well. At the time I purchased this topper I looked at the top of the line LEER as well. I could have bought either one. I decided on the ARE Z after looking at the door hinge hidden hinge system and the rear door handle. I liked the set up ARE had. And I was impressed with their website. None the less, you still must carefully inspect any topper you order for issues before you have it installed. And make the dealer correct the issue even if it means sending it back to the company that produced it. I believe there have been many issues with LEER and ARE. I also believe there is high turnover in the plants that produce them, hence always training a new guy to paint, or to lay wet fiberglass strips in a mold, to sand, and on and on. With a constant turnover of help, quaility can easily slip. I had one minor "thumb print" in the clear coat on my topper when it arrived. I told the dealer to have it fixed before installing it or send it back that I was not going to accept the flaw. He agreed it was unacceptable and had it corrected, then I had him install the topper. So my advice is inspect the topper before having it installed or you may have to live with whatever the issue is.

    Its ashame that you have to really inspect the work of either company, but anomalies and defects do slide by the QC and they should not. You would think that for a product that is a "want" and not a "need" companies would take more pride in their final product. So thats my rant....


    [​IMG]
     
  14. May 11, 2011 at 2:16 PM
    #14
    BayTaco

    BayTaco Well-Known Member

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    2.5" Lift, 265/75R16 A/Ts, aFe Pro Dry S, ARE Shell, Magnaflow
    Hi Shawn
    Would you mind sharing those contact emails (president, vice president and area sales reps) I am in the process of purchasing my shell from ARE and would like this for my records if I have any issues in the future. You can PM me if you'd like. Thank you in advance.

    Johann

     
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