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BUYING ADVICE--CAMPER SHELL TUCSON

Discussion in '3rd Gen. Tacomas (2016-2023)' started by desertprospect, Feb 11, 2024.

  1. Feb 11, 2024 at 11:29 AM
    #1
    desertprospect

    desertprospect [OP] New Member

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    Hi. I haven't purchased a Tacoma yet, but I am hoping to in the next couple of months. I expect that I will be putting a camper shell on the back. I have read a few threads about people's favorite. It seems like for overall quality, Snugtops are the way to go.

    Does anyone know whether new ones are negotiable on price? Even with custom elements? Are they the same price from one dealer to the next?

    Can anyone recommend the best place to buy one--price, speed, and quality installation--within 150 miles of Tucson?

    Thank you in advance.

    Also, if you have any advice about purchasing a used Off-Road access cab, that would be great.
     
  2. Feb 11, 2024 at 11:45 AM
    #2
    scoopdaloop

    scoopdaloop Member

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    I would not agree that Snugtop is best for overall quality. Leer, ARE, RSI are all nicer IMO. I just purchased an RSI Smartcap, zero negotiation and you will have to wait months unless your timing has a touch of luck. Never thought to purchase a used cap.
     
    Newbie17, boston23, MastaZ9 and 3 others like this.
  3. Feb 11, 2024 at 11:49 AM
    #3
    desertprospect

    desertprospect [OP] New Member

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    Ok. Good to hear more opinions @scoopdaloop. Thank you.
     
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  4. Feb 11, 2024 at 11:53 AM
    #4
    eurowner

    eurowner Duke Sky

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    Bilstein 8112+650lb coils, 8100+Deaver Stage II leaf pack, SPC UCA, DuroBumps, Mobtown 0* sliders W/fill plates, Mobtown Recovery Bar, Radium PVC & CCV Dual Oil Separator Catch Can System, Snugtop Hiliner Sport, ATH bed Stiffeners (cuz bottle openers!) and front corner tie down, Badger plates for Firestone airbag + Relentless U-bolt flip + Daystar cradles, TRD Pro shift knob, TRD Exhaust, HPS Silicone intake tube, Green Filter, TRD Intake Air Accelerator, 265-70-17 Toyo Open Country ATIII on TRD 17"Rockwarrior Cold Forged wheels, TRD alloy front skid, RCI Aluminum transmission & transfer case skids. Much Meso awesomeness, FreshMexicanTaco TacoGarage Camera Controller + DDM, WarFab Sheridan hitch skid, Rago LCA steel skids + lower rear shock guards, ScanGauge II, FN Koning Countersteer 16" spare, OEM T4R 90105-14104 coilover lower mounting eye bolts
    I looked at ARE, Leer, and Snugtop and bought a Snugtop.
     
  5. Feb 11, 2024 at 12:09 PM
    #5
    SwollenGoat

    SwollenGoat Onwards and Upwards!

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    Arizona Truck Outfitters on Stone. All dealers are about the same.

    https://aztruckoutfitterstucson.com/

    Leer now owns SnugTop, have both on my trucks. Differences are negligible. No matter what, they all leak. You’ll be good until monsoon season. :)

    Check CL and FB marketplace on used ones, usually can find a deal.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2024
  6. Feb 11, 2024 at 12:13 PM
    #6
    Chew

    Chew Not so well known user

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    Also, if you intend to carry any weight, be prepared for the OE leaf springs to squat a fair amount. With just a topper and a couple hundred pounds, you’ll get firsthand experience of how hard and jarring the bumpstops (I call em hardstops) are.

    this is firsthand information, not internet hyperbole
     
  7. Feb 11, 2024 at 1:09 PM
    #7
    Sasquatchian

    Sasquatchian Well-Known Member

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    Snugtop Hi-Liner here. Perfect color match with only very minor metamerism certain lighting conditions. No leaks whatsoever after six years and driving through Hurricane Hilary last August and the latest torrential rains from two weeks ago in southern California. With the rest of the world being price fixed these days, I would only expect insignificant price differences at different dealers. I opted for the electric locking of the rear window, which activates with your key fob. I often load the truck with lots of heavy photo gear - Pelican cases full of cameras and lenses, Tenba cases full of strobe packs and flash heads, C-Stands, sand bags, a Yamaha 2000W inverter and other ancillary equipment and have no real issues with the rear suspension, but I do have a set of Sumo's instead of the original bump stops.
     
  8. Feb 11, 2024 at 1:35 PM
    #8
    desertprospect

    desertprospect [OP] New Member

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    Hi @Sasquatchian. This is very helpful and opens up another question I have: security. I am also a photographer and will most likely be working in some distant backcountry areas... some along the border. Have you found these tops are as safe as the rest of the car? In other words, not easy to pry open, break windows, etc.?

    Thanks for the input.
     
  9. Feb 11, 2024 at 1:52 PM
    #9
    Rock Lobster

    Rock Lobster Thread Derailer

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    Still my personal favorite. :cookiemonster::cookiemonster:

    PXL_20240211_212112956.jpg



    If I ever decided that canvas wasn't going to cut it, it would be between the smartcap and the RLD. Those are pretty cool designs.
     
  10. Feb 11, 2024 at 1:55 PM
    #10
    TS4x4

    TS4x4 Well-Known Member

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    Will always vouch for Alu Cab. Rock solid construction, light weight, and looks cool IMO
     
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  11. Feb 11, 2024 at 2:21 PM
    #11
    markgphoto

    markgphoto Well-Known Member

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    Full time volume photographer here. I chose the Leer 100XQ because the shape of the side window matches the shape of the windows on the Tacoma rear doors. I carry a couple hundred pounds of gear on a daily basis. With proper preparation before having your shell is installed, your gear will stay safe and dry. After four years, I've never had a leak. About a year ago, I did upgrade the leaf springs with Icon Add-A-Leaf and Sumo Springs bump stops. I do suggest getting bed stiffeners. The back of my bed was off square straight from the factory. I also have a full BedRug. It matches the Leer carpet liner.

    InkedIMG_0483_LI.jpg
     
  12. Feb 11, 2024 at 4:34 PM
    #12
    Sasquatchian

    Sasquatchian Well-Known Member

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    I'm sure that anyone that really want's in would just smash and dash. I just make sure I don't leave in full of gear and as often as possible we'll sit in a place in a restaurant where we can see the truck. It would be more secure if there were no windows and no glass in the back and some heavy duty locks back there too, but that would also attract its own attention. I mostly just use common sense and have everything insured.
     
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  13. Feb 11, 2024 at 4:58 PM
    #13
    TacoTuesday1

    TacoTuesday1 Well-Known Member

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    Snugtop is the way to go? Interesting.
    Because what I had was heavy, said to be fragile, did not come with roof rack, and what you see is what you get. Fiberglass with carpet slapped on.
    Boat material.
    And it rubbed off my bed paint.

    If I do it again, the cap is gonna be made of metal, not fiberglass, and have the ability to put stuff on top of it.

    fiberglass cap is 1980's shit.
     
  14. Feb 11, 2024 at 5:02 PM
    #14
    TwinTaco31719

    TwinTaco31719 Well-Known Member

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    I’ve had snug top rebel, leer R, leer XR and RSI smartcap and I would say that the rsi is hands down the best shell I owned. However, that being said 3,750 versus in the 2k range for leer and snugtop. Aluminum for rsi versus fiberglass.
     
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  15. Feb 11, 2024 at 6:15 PM
    #15
    mrtonyd

    mrtonyd Well-Known Member

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    Isn't rsi steel? It's like 200+ lbs?
    Alucab is aluminum, like 130 lbs.
    I think OVS is coming out with an aluminum version of the rsi. The kuat ibex rack/shell is aluminum but probably not as secure.
     
  16. Feb 11, 2024 at 6:22 PM
    #16
    TacoTuesday1

    TacoTuesday1 Well-Known Member

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    so, I’ve heard the Alucab one is not good
    kuat just came out with flat solid panels for their Ibex. Probably light aluminum.

    but unfortunately, not sure why, no windows.

    no idea if it’s possible, or how to do it, installing windows onto a flat panel that didn’t come with it.

    it might be possible to add a regular shell type window by tracing and cutting a hole. But the metal may be thinner and I’m not sure if that is important for mounting. Regarding the trims that screw in, gaskets, etc to have a good fit that doesn’t shake or leak.

    IMG_2640.jpg

    a universal non contoured RV window might work but that would add cost doing something they should’ve done in the first place.
    682879a29e6882095cd87ea1e38731e328d439a7.gif
     
  17. Feb 11, 2024 at 6:31 PM
    #17
    mrtonyd

    mrtonyd Well-Known Member

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    What's bad about the alu cab one?
     
  18. Feb 11, 2024 at 6:38 PM
    #18
    TacoTuesday1

    TacoTuesday1 Well-Known Member

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    look don't get me wrong, I want it to be good
    but some guy on here just posted a negative review saying his basically started falling apart quickly and got no support or something along those lines

    I've only heard positive about RSI SmartCap, nothing negative
    and so far, I am yet to see anything similar that also offers necessary window capability
    for example, in my case I have a 2nd gen
    and while AluCab appears to offer windows in 3rd gen, not 2nd gen
    AluCab website only shows a flat solid panel kind for 2nd gen, making it basically off the table

    and I don't know if a new RSI is even worth the price
    considering it may be the same price to get a Ute Tray with canopy that is both gonna be
    -higher clearance
    -longer, extending 5' bed to potentially 6' without sacrificing clearance
     
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  19. Feb 11, 2024 at 6:41 PM
    #19
    mrtonyd

    mrtonyd Well-Known Member

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    Interesting. I'll have to look for that review of the alucab falling apart. There are a handful of posts on some rsi threads on here about theirs leaking. Seems like the 2nd gen rsi is the better build quality but the new latches are on the 3rd gen caps.
     
  20. Feb 11, 2024 at 6:43 PM
    #20
    TacoPacific

    TacoPacific Just a Joe in a Taco

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    Smartcap Evo Sport, Gar-FAB tailgate panel, TRD Performance Suspension/Lift
    Everyone is going to have an opinion.

    I have an RSi Smartcap Evo A. It’s been rock solid. Carries a 210lb RTT 9 months of the year; then sleeps a family in that tent.

    their client care/customer service has meant having wiring harnesses shipped to me express from South Africa at no charge.
    Being able to email one of their designers about water ingress and then having new gaskets sent.

    no leaks… none. The positive pressure vent means dust and particulate and evacuate nicely.
    You can also back into a not yet fully opened garage door and it only gets a scratch on the paint. Fibreglass would have cracked and been done.

    Stainless Steel is heavier. But the upsides mean basically never worrying ever in the last three years.

    334240AA-035C-45DE-AC2F-66944B54D180.jpg
     
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