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Shell or cover with a rack?...pros and cons

Discussion in '3rd Gen. Tacomas (2016+)' started by AddicTioN, Feb 20, 2017.

  1. Feb 20, 2017 at 7:29 AM
    #1
    AddicTioN

    AddicTioN [OP] Forklift technician

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    So im getting to the point where im trying to decide the route i want to go with my bed. Wanting to get some opinions on the guys that have ran both setups or how they decided to go the route they did.
    Options are either a hard shell or a rollup/fold up cover that can be used with a bed rack.
    Features im looking for are as follows
    *lockable storage space (inside bed)
    *water proof or resistant
    *sleeping space for short camping trips ( RTT tent if i go bedrack, building a platform if i go shell )
    *ability to mount recovery tools
    *theft protection ( i know can only go so far )
    *function first looks second.

    Cost of both options seem to be similar local shell dealer qouted me 1800 for the shell i want. Id be lucky to be under that with a bed cover a rack and possibly adding a rtt.

    Anybody that has experience with both setups or either setups please list some pros and cons about it. Thanks!
    IMG_2604.jpg
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2017
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  2. Feb 20, 2017 at 7:37 AM
    #2
    Big Wave Dave

    Big Wave Dave Member

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    Wyatt - I have a topper/shell and love it. But I put 9' to 12' surfboards/SUPs up there and a canoe so that's why I went that route. I promised my wife that I can always pull it off if we need to stand something up in the bed or haul dirt/mulch, but honestly I don't feel like cracking the taped seal so have shied away from doing that. So that's an issue. It does get in the way when I want to put plants and such in there but at the same time I can cram it with my camping equipment to the ceiling and not worry about if falling out or getting wet. I built a slide out lockable box/trunk that takes up half the bed. That's how I decided to secure things. I can easily pull it out when I need to. Like my topper. - David
     
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  3. Feb 20, 2017 at 5:22 PM
    #3
    AddicTioN

    AddicTioN [OP] Forklift technician

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    Thanks for sharing the experience with the shell. I plan to build some type of truck storage / drawers as well once i decide on what route im gunna go with
     
  4. Feb 20, 2017 at 5:28 PM
    #4
    uhplifted

    uhplifted The Hopfather

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    Truck looks nice. Just FYI a RTT alone will be nearly a grand if not more, then your rollup/cover is another probably close to a grand, and then bed bars is maybe a few hundred.

    For what it's worth, I have a soft topper on mine with a sleeping platform. I've just finally slept in there with the platform and I think I'll be taking it out. There's just not enough room for me to move around/sit up. I am 6'5 so I'm taller than your average person, but that's just something to think about when you're back there. I also haven't figured out a way to mount my hilift/shovel/other stuff inside but I also haven't looked much in to it. Since I'm taking the platform out I'll be able to reuse my hi lift mounts and going to try and see if I can also mount my shovel to it. If not I'll just get some quickfists to mount to the rails. The under platform storage is tricky because you only get about 7-10 inches in height at the max, so it gets tough to store stuff in there. I also found out this past trip that strapping my cooler and other buckets on top of the platform to the rails, results in them still falling over during really bouncy sections of trails. My cooler tipped twice until I finally moved it to the cab most side of the bed, and put a strap over and in front of it to keep it from falling.
     
  5. Feb 20, 2017 at 5:31 PM
    #5
    PROseur

    PROseur Well-Known Member

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    I have oem roof rack

    I have Leer shelll with rack on top
     
  6. Feb 20, 2017 at 5:40 PM
    #6
    AddicTioN

    AddicTioN [OP] Forklift technician

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    Thanks for the input..honestly a soft topper was my first choice but the only thing that i dont like about it is there is no way to lock it which somewhat bothers me. Also you pointed out trying to find a place to mount your revocery tools and that somewhat scares me about going with a hard shell. If i use it as a sleeping platform inside then I obviously wouldnt want the dirty shovel , and such getting that area dirty. Which i could always mount to my cab rac but then that takes up the space i was going to use for the sand ladders i plan to get. Im just lost in all the options i guess..this is a harder decision then buying the truck its self :boom:
     
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  7. Feb 20, 2017 at 5:48 PM
    #7
    uhplifted

    uhplifted The Hopfather

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    My plan is to have my friend custom build me a bed rack that will go over my soft top, and which I'll mount an RTT to. It'll also have side storage to mount up my hi lift, shovels, rotopax, and anything else that you wouldn't want in your sleeping area.

    As for theft, I'm not able to open the back window of the topper without my tailgate being down (almost got stuck inside, lucky I have long arms and was able to reach and pop the tailgate down). So if you keep your tail gate locked it makes it a bit harder. Obviously they can still cut the windows/fabric fairly easily, but to me, if someone really wants your stuff, they're going to get it one way or another.

    Feel free to ask me any question, I'll do my best to help out. Good luck with whatever route you choose
     
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  8. Feb 20, 2017 at 5:54 PM
    #8
    AddicTioN

    AddicTioN [OP] Forklift technician

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    I definitely wasn't aware that u had to have the tail gate down to open up the soft topper. Im not to worried about extensive theft because if a true theif wants to get in they will find a way. but just want to be able to keep a "honest" person out if u know what i mean. I appreciate all of the info. Did you order your soft topper direct from them?
     
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  9. Feb 20, 2017 at 5:57 PM
    #9
    Joe23

    Joe23 Canuckistikian

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    I prefer a bed rack
    I plan on getting a KB voodoo eventually. Run the tonneau for daily driving in the city and in winter to stop the bed from filling with snow, rack for camping/overlanding.

    Mount recovery gear and whatever to it. The bed is too small to sleep in.
    Just get watertight storage bins like plano or pelican cases for all your gear?
     
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  10. Feb 20, 2017 at 6:05 PM
    #10
    Joe23

    Joe23 Canuckistikian

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  11. Feb 20, 2017 at 6:09 PM
    #11
    AddicTioN

    AddicTioN [OP] Forklift technician

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    If i do go the rack mount voodoo's is my first choice definitely a quality looking product and seems like a stand up guy. I honestly wish a company made a mid height rack that would set a rtt a little over roof top height and had a canvas cover that would expose just the side mounting points for shovels or hijack and such and the top mountaing points for a rtt. This in my eyes would be best of both worlds.
    And would still have a somewhat water resistant bed space for the drawer storage system id like to have to store guns and such when going to the land to shoot.
     
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  12. Feb 20, 2017 at 6:11 PM
    #12
    AddicTioN

    AddicTioN [OP] Forklift technician

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  13. Feb 20, 2017 at 6:12 PM
    #13
    dratliff1978

    dratliff1978 Well-Known Member

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    I've been using an All-Pro pack rack for almost 3 years now. I opted for the nutserts and accessory bar for my rotopax to go with it. It works great and you can add additional accessory bars for holding shovels, hi-lift, etc. With that said, I just picked up a topper last weekend and cant wait to get that set up with a rack on top to carry my RTT. The reason for my switch is that I've found myself in a rainy situation many times these last couple of years while hunting at my lease. After having deer corn bags soaked, rifle cases soaked, and everything else I finally decided to get a topper.
    Both are great depending on your needs. If you decide to go with a topper, you should look at the Pelfreybilt website for some options to stow your recovery gear. They have some cool stuff.
     
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  14. Feb 20, 2017 at 6:12 PM
    #14
    uhplifted

    uhplifted The Hopfather

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    I'm not sure if the gate has to be dropped for other brands, but I know Bestop does. The 2nd and 1st gens I think can be opened with the gate up, but ours are a little bulkier at the back and I haven't been able to open it without the gate dropped. But it would keep an "honest" person out as you say. I park my truck in not the best part of LA when I stay at my girlfriends and I've never had anyone take stuff out of there or found damage to the topper.

    I have the Bestop, I wanted the side windows for when I sleep in there. I did get it directly from their site.
     
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  15. Feb 20, 2017 at 6:13 PM
    #15
    Joe23

    Joe23 Canuckistikian

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    probably wouldn't be hard to make some sort of canvas cover yourself with snaps etc.

    I need something with roof height since I use a ground tent, I need something for carrying kayaks for the girlfriend and I
     
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  16. Feb 20, 2017 at 6:13 PM
    #16
    uhplifted

    uhplifted The Hopfather

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  17. Feb 20, 2017 at 6:15 PM
    #17
    Shwaa

    Shwaa Well-Known Member

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    You mention 2 things that are important to you: lockable storage space (in bed) and theft prevention. Would anything other than a shell really cover those 2 bullet points? Admitingly I am not very knowledgeable in the soft-topper/rack set-ups
     
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  18. Feb 20, 2017 at 6:17 PM
    #18
    uhplifted

    uhplifted The Hopfather

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    A tonneau cover would. Which is what he mentioned of sorts.
     
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  19. Feb 20, 2017 at 6:18 PM
    #19
    Shwaa

    Shwaa Well-Known Member

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    Ah, true. I was picturing a soft topper or just bed racks. You are right, tonneau cover would.

    EDIT: just re-read the OP, I missed that part where he did mention the roll-up cover. My bad
     
  20. Feb 20, 2017 at 6:23 PM
    #20
    Joe23

    Joe23 Canuckistikian

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    One thing I was thinking though was if this is always on or not.
    I mean, is theft while out on the trails something to really worry about?

    I can see in town but I'm pretty isolated on the trails, no ones around, and those that are I know.

    That's why I have tonneau for city, and want rack for camping etc
     
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