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ARE vs LEER Camper Shell

Discussion in 'Tonneau Covers, Caps and Shells' started by Pauley, May 27, 2011.

  1. May 27, 2011 at 11:10 PM
    #1
    Pauley

    Pauley [OP] Member

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    This thread is not only for Tacoma lovers, but there should be so many Tacoma users who put camper shell on the bed. I am going to buy camper shell for my taco, short bed. I've got a quote, and these two have almost same price. I want to put 5 or 6 whitewater kayaks on the rack (total weight on the rack is 250-300 lbs). Leer shell comes with Thule rack, ARE shell comes with Yakima rack. If you like or hate one of the two choices by any reason, please give me your comments for my choice.

    Thank you
     
  2. May 27, 2011 at 11:13 PM
    #2
    OZ-T

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

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    What model Leer did you get a quote on ?

    I got the Leer RCC , the commercial version of the Leer 100R and it has a reinforced roof to carry 400 lbs

    300 lbs seems like a lot for the regular model

    [​IMG]
     
  3. May 28, 2011 at 12:00 AM
    #3
    MountainEarth

    MountainEarth Well-Known Member

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    First off, both are good companies. Now to weight capacities...

    Leer has a FAQ page that says all their regular shells (100R, 100XR, 100XL, 100XQ, 180, 122) support the the Thule Aero Bar or Tracker II rack systems and have a weight capacity of 150lbs.

    As OZ-T pointed out, the commercial grade caps - 100RCC and 180CC - can take either the Aero Bar or Thule Professional Rack system, and when equipped with the Professional Rack, supports up to 400lbs.

    See here - http://www.leer.com/FAQ

    I could not find similar info on A.R.E.'s website (www.4are.com) except to say that A.R.E. shells list their standard rack system as the Yakima Control Tower, and then refer you to Yakima's "Fit Guide" to find weight capacities. Well of course you can't use the Fit Guide for the Tacoma because they don't include all shell options. So I did a Control Rack mount on a 4Runner which gave me a suggestion of 48" wide rails and a carrying capacity of 150lbs. So if you want A.R.E. I'd definitely give them a call to see what else they might recommend. I see that they do offer some commercial rack systems (KargoMaster & Prime Design) but I don't know anything about them and again, they provide little info on their actual site. Check www.4are.com for contact info and call the source.

    FWIW I have a Leer 100XR and it's been great. No problems at all. Even got nailed with golfball sized hail last summer that required replacing the hood and roof of the actual truck, but other than shattering the 3rd brake light on the shell (easy $50 replacement) the shell itself came through unscathed. The 100RCC that OZ-T has would be a great choice. If you want a little more interior headroom (3 extra inches), check out the 180CC.

    EDIT - One more thought. Beware dealers who will tell you rack carrying capacity as opposed to shell carrying capacity .. whole different beasts! IF the rack can handle 300lbs and the shell only 150, you will have problems down the road if you load to 300. The 400lb capacity listed for the Leer commercial caps is the cap capacity, not just the rack capacity (though in the case of the Professional Rack, it's also the rack capacity).
     
  4. May 28, 2011 at 5:06 AM
    #4
    gptoy

    gptoy 09 TRD Sport

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    I just put my order in for a LEER 100R last week and before I did I also had Leer and ARE on my shopping list. I didn't have the weight loading thoughts as you do but one thing that steered me to Leer instead of ARE was that ARE has a color matched trim piece along the bottom of the outside where it meets the bed. The dealer said that it's fairly common for that trim to get loose and want to come off. Warranty or not it was the last thing I wanted to deal with after spending $2K on a cap. It would surely look like crap and be a hassle to deal with. The Leer has a nice seamless edge on the bottom.

    Alot of people on here like their ARE's but that was a deal breaker for me.
     
  5. May 28, 2011 at 6:02 AM
    #5
    sprgrey

    sprgrey Well-Known Member

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    Many, the list goes on..
    I went with leer XR with the Thule rack and love it. I carry two bikes with a great Dane dog. Sometimes bikes on top and sometimes bikes inside. Been a great topper.
     
  6. May 28, 2011 at 6:32 AM
    #6
    JimmyBuckets

    JimmyBuckets Well-Known Member

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    I had an ARE on my 05 Taco and I thought the workmanship was crap. I don't know anything about Leer, but I wouldn't buy another ARE anything. Its too bad Leer is using Thule products since my opinion on them is they have gone to shit. The last Thule product I bought was made of all plastic and cracked when it was tightened down too much. The directions did not give any sort of torque rating, just to tighten firmly. Just my bitter opinion.
     
  7. May 28, 2011 at 7:36 AM
    #7
    Bloom

    Bloom Well-Known Member

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    ARE or Leer? I think you take your chances with either company and hope for the best.

    One of the best things I did to my 98 Tacoma was installing an ARE MX camper shell. Great color match and overall quality that held up well until a little traffic accident killed it.

    When it was totalled, it was a no brainer to simply replace what had worked so well for all those years with the latest, greatest versions of the same thing, so I bought an Access cab and another ARE MX shell.

    Unfortunately, what someone posted about ARE's (and other camper shell companies') quality being hit or miss seems to be true. The new MX shell was a good paint match, but that's about it.

    Poor quality workmanship cutting the shell and installing the door, a big paint defect on the passenger side, the black plastic part at the bottom of the rear door had a deep scratch and also rubbed against the tail gate paint...etc. and all for $1500+ out the door.

    I was going to fight with the dealer and ARE to get it fixed or replaced, but decided a DC works better for me than the AC does, so I traded the truck for a double cab.

    The new, absolutely BE-U-T-FUL Barcelona Red DC needs either a shell or maybe a DiamondBack cover. But since I am not a loyal ARE customer any more, I'd look at Leer before ARE.
     
  8. May 28, 2011 at 8:05 AM
    #8
    PSJ

    PSJ Prerunners Work

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    I have had a couple of ARE's in the past with no issues with the quality, craftmanship etc.. It seems reading threads on shells lately the Quality of all manufactures has gone down however. I have been looking into a shell as well, and I am leaning torwards the Leer 100. Between the two, as mentioned the bottom trim on the ARE is old school,(entry level models simular to a leer 100) and the shell sits on top of the rails. The leer and others cover the rail on the bottom of the shell, which is a cleaner look. I think the quality and craftmanship of both the ARE and Leer are at the same level, I just think the leer looks better...:cool:
     
  9. May 28, 2011 at 1:42 PM
    #9
    crf69

    crf69 scraping my emblems off my plasti-dip

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    ummm yeah
    Love my 100r
    Cant speak for roof racks though.
    [​IMG]
     
  10. May 28, 2011 at 11:18 PM
    #10
    jb3pin

    jb3pin Active Member

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    Well this is my third truck and third brand of topper. I've had a Leer, SnugTop and now an ARE. I never liked my Leer from the aspect of the rear latch. The SnugTop was on my last Taco. Great fit and best appearance of all. My only beef was again with the latch, the push in t handle often froze during the winter. My new (1 week old) ARE is really nice, new tilt down cab window (which I think other brands do offer now) and the rear mechanism is superb. Fit and look is nice, but not quite as nice as the SnugTop. I don't really like the band of trim along the lower edge, but I can live with it. Overall quality seems good as does the fitment and cuts in the glass around the back hatch.
     
  11. May 29, 2011 at 1:36 PM
    #11
    Pauley

    Pauley [OP] Member

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    Thank you very much for your kind replies and detail information. Please excuse me from replying each of you personally.

    MY quotes for LEER 100R with Thule rack and ARE V series (both are the cheapest model) were 1750 and 1770 OTD, respectively. The ARE dealer told me the Yakima rack has 300 lbs capacity.

    I will definitely carry >150 lbs on the rack, so I will ask a quote for LEER 100RCC to compare with ARE and will decide by considering price and total weight capacity.

    Here is a copy from LEER FAQ (thank MountainEarth for this information!) "When factory-installed on a LEER Model 100RCC or 180CC, the Thule Professional Roof Rack system has a maximum load capacity of 400 lbs. "
     
  12. May 29, 2011 at 1:52 PM
    #12
    OZ-T

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

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    Be careful with the weight capacities , the racks may be fine for 300 lbs but the cap may not , make sure to ask that question .

    The Leer RCC will be substantially more than the cheapest model of either manufacturer as it has a reinforced roof and commercial grade rack system .
     
  13. May 29, 2011 at 4:55 PM
    #13
    MountainEarth

    MountainEarth Well-Known Member

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    ^^this



    I would double check what the ARE dealer told you. Find out exactly what Yakima rack they install, and what length the bars are. Then call Yakima direct and confirm with them, because from what I saw, ARE uses the Yakima Control Tower rack system, and Yakima gives it a load capacity of around 150lbs. To be honest, I've found that a lot of times the dealer might not understand that the cap & rack can have different capacities...
    • Just because the cap says 300lb capacity doesn't mean the rack supports 300lb.
    • Just because a rack may say 300lb capacity doesn't mean the cab can actually support 300lbs.
    • etc.
    If you're going to drop around $2k on a cap and rack, I for one would be calling ARE & LEER customer support directly, and double-checking details. Or call another dealer to double-check. Dealers can and do often get details wrong.
     
  14. May 31, 2011 at 6:40 PM
    #14
    aar0n897

    aar0n897 Member

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    [​IMG]

    I went with Leer. Nothing but good things to say about it. Make sure if you have a sliding rear window that your shell also has a sliding window for access. I camp out in mine all the time and if you plan to do the same I would go with the insulatd option.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. May 31, 2011 at 6:42 PM
    #15
    OZ-T

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

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    I got the removable sliding window on the front of my Leer , it makes washing the rear window of the truck a lot easier
     
  16. May 31, 2011 at 9:32 PM
    #16
    testedone

    testedone Speak English..it's America

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    lets see some more pics..

    I have a friend that has an ARE and he told me and showed me the window and molding issues already mentioned... I am looking at the LEER XL model (don't need the THULE)

    Would like to see some pics on the DC's
     
  17. May 31, 2011 at 10:45 PM
    #17
    MountainEarth

    MountainEarth Well-Known Member

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    Hell yeah it does. I get all kinds of pine needles and cones and stuff down in there, and being able to remove the shell slider is a major help.
     
  18. Jun 1, 2011 at 9:49 AM
    #18
    odomandr

    odomandr Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]
    here is my leer 100xl on my 2010
     
  19. Jun 1, 2011 at 10:40 AM
    #19
    testedone

    testedone Speak English..it's America

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    thanks, looks good
     
  20. Jun 1, 2011 at 4:18 PM
    #20
    MountainEarth

    MountainEarth Well-Known Member

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