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What is the Best Camper Shell?

Discussion in 'Product Reviews' started by dumuzie, Dec 6, 2010.

  1. Dec 6, 2010 at 7:16 PM
    #1
    dumuzie

    dumuzie [OP] New Member

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    I just bought a 2003 Xtra Cab Black with the TRD off road package. My next move is to buy a camper shell. Based on my research and reading across many forums, it sounds like ARE is the way to go all around (but you do pay for it) Does anyone have any suggestions? I dont necessarily want the most expensive. But i am DEFINITELY concerned about security of the storage, and i plan to sleep in the back often. Leakage and paint quality are also of concern. What do you guys think?
     
  2. Dec 6, 2010 at 7:37 PM
    #2
    pidro_el_pirata

    pidro_el_pirata Lean Mean MPG Machine (best = 27)

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    Stefan
    Central Coast, CA, US
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    '00 SR5 (4-cyl, 2WD)
    Already done: mats, bed cover, CB radio, sub and deck, red dash lights to match deck, chrome rims, towing kit, aftermarket horn, deck plate mod, K&N drop in filter. On the way: automatic locks w/alarm, powered windows, scan gauge...
    interested as well
     
  3. Dec 6, 2010 at 7:38 PM
    #3
    YellowDog01

    YellowDog01 Well-Known Member

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    Look on Craigslist. There are tons of shells for Xtra Cabs. Most people will say A.R.E. or Leer.
    I just got an A.R.E. I think it's a CX model, don't know for sure. Great so far, fits perfect. Haven't even had enough time to paint it yet.
    Got mine for $300.
    [​IMG]
     
  4. Dec 6, 2010 at 7:39 PM
    #4
    Nicks4x4LT

    Nicks4x4LT Official Villain

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    714 Orange county
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    Custom front bumper, Icon 2.5 ext. travel coilovers, Defined rear long travel King smooties w/ resi. Avid Offroad sliders, Fiberwerx front fenders, Glassworks Shorty TT style rear glass, URD MAF calibrator, DT shorty headers, URD TCAI, Magnaflow catback
    Leer makes a pretty good product, its a little pricey though.
     
  5. Dec 6, 2010 at 7:40 PM
    #5
    YellowDog01

    YellowDog01 Well-Known Member

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    And about locking the shell; I had to buy a new lock because the guy who I bought it from lost the key. It was about 20 bucks for everything. I always have mine locked, just a habit. No problems yet.
     
  6. Dec 6, 2010 at 7:43 PM
    #6
    pidro_el_pirata

    pidro_el_pirata Lean Mean MPG Machine (best = 27)

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    Stefan
    Central Coast, CA, US
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    '00 SR5 (4-cyl, 2WD)
    Already done: mats, bed cover, CB radio, sub and deck, red dash lights to match deck, chrome rims, towing kit, aftermarket horn, deck plate mod, K&N drop in filter. On the way: automatic locks w/alarm, powered windows, scan gauge...
    YellowDog, are you going to paint it yourself or have it painted? How much does that cost?
     
  7. Dec 6, 2010 at 7:44 PM
    #7
    sierrahsky

    sierrahsky Expedition Style

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    Josh
    Reno
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    I did tons of research and decided to go with century. It's owned by leer, comes with headliner, light, sliding windows, and no drilling standard. Plus lifetime paint. I was going to do leer or a.r.e but for the price/ quality I couldn't beet the century. I had a Leer 100r next to a snugtop and the century and by far the century was the best quality and had the most features.
     
  8. Dec 6, 2010 at 7:47 PM
    #8
    YellowDog01

    YellowDog01 Well-Known Member

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    I had it quoted at $200 for a professional paint job. Going to wait a little bit before I paint it, I don't mind it right now. I think paint to do it yourself is 85 bucks or so.

    Plus, I might be selling my truck in a year to get another Tacoma.
     
  9. Dec 6, 2010 at 7:59 PM
    #9
    Hondog

    Hondog New Member

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    Just bought a SnugTop Hi-Liner model. Great fit and paint. Headliner, slider windows with sliding screens, interior 12v light and drop-down front window (needed if you want to clean the rear window of cab and front cap glass) were included in the price. $1440 out the door. SnugTop offers cupons on its web site (unlike Leer) that saved me $100. Leer dealer here quoted me $1545 for similar cap (180 model), but an extra $105 for headliner and $85 to install. And tax on top of all that! I requested a quote via Leer web site, but never got a reply. I did get an email from Leer (after I'd ordered the Snuggie) offering $100 or $150 cupon and free headliner. Hope this helps.
     
  10. Dec 6, 2010 at 8:11 PM
    #10
    Taco76087

    Taco76087 Well-Known Member

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    Rockford Fosgate p2 10'', Q-Logic Enclosure, JVC KD-PDR30 Ipod Connection, Rockford p200.2 Amp, Clear Corners, KING Coilovers, Rancho Rear shocks FJ TRD Trail Teams Wheels with 285/75/16 Duratracs
    I got my ARE off craigslist for $300, it's a pretty nice shell, and it has a locking handle.
     
  11. Dec 6, 2010 at 8:12 PM
    #11
    bozotaco

    bozotaco Well-Known Member

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    debadged, new rims, topper, sleeping/ski platform
    I have a Century that came with my truck. I think it looks great, even better than some A.R.E's. Its rock solid fit wise, doesn't leak at all, and the locking mechanism also seems very solid. I have some pictures of it on my profile. I sleep in it all the time, and would highly recommend it.
     
  12. Dec 6, 2010 at 8:25 PM
    #12
    Drunknsloth

    Drunknsloth Indffrnce will be the fall of manknd but who cares

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    Where did you get the locks replaced or buy the parts to replace them? I have the same problem.
     
  13. Dec 6, 2010 at 11:39 PM
    #13
    YellowDog01

    YellowDog01 Well-Known Member

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    We have an A.R.E. Dealer hee in town.
     
  14. Dec 7, 2010 at 1:54 AM
    #14
    Taco4x4NC

    Taco4x4NC Well-Known Member

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    Western North Carolina
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    2010 4x4 DC/LB "Pytrite Mica/Katzkin leather
    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.
    I think you will be fine with either an ARE or a LEER. If you can buy it used consider it. You will save a ton of cash. If you buy it new, find a dealer that you can trust to stand behind his sale.

    I bought a new ARE "Z" series. Check out the search thread, you can read a ton of info. I have had absolutely no issues with my ARE "Z" series during ownership sp far. I would have considered looking at a snug top, but no local dealers.


    [​IMG]



    GL
     
  15. Dec 7, 2010 at 1:59 AM
    #15
    hoosiertaco

    hoosiertaco clowns to the left-jokers to the right

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    Seat belt chime mod, Rear spring TSB, Xzilon paint and fabric protector, front tint 15% too dark, redo to 30%, Weathertech Liners frt&bck,foglights on anytime mod,use defrost w/o A/C mod. Powdercoat black TRD skid plate. Sockmonkey custom 'Whitetail' decals. OEM bedmat. A.R.E. V series shell with some goodies. WeatherTech vent visors.
    not an A.R.E.! If you're west of the Mississippi get a Snugtop.
     
  16. Dec 7, 2010 at 3:24 AM
    #16
    LEEP

    LEEP Well-Known Member

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    a r e
     
  17. Dec 7, 2010 at 9:43 AM
    #17
    Drunknsloth

    Drunknsloth Indffrnce will be the fall of manknd but who cares

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    Blacked-Out Badges; Retribution Decals (Sockmonkey); Tailgate Mod; Red LED Rear Blinkers; Yellow Foglights; Yellow Front Blinkers; Superwhite Xenon Corner Bulb; Leer Bedcap; Bedrug Bedmat; Black Cupholders; Black Plastic Piece Around Window Controls; Plasti-Dip Front Bumper Valence; Plasti-Dip Grill Surround; Blackout Chrome Back Bumper; Metal Miller Skid-Plate; Aero Turbine 2525 Muffler; TSB Rear Leaf Springs and Shocks; Satoshi Grill Pending; Off-Roading Torn off Mirror (Replaced); Blue-Sea Fuse Box; Tinted Tail Lights; URD Short Shifter; Interior Mood Lighting; Hood Lights; BedLights Pending
    Just called up a local Leer dealer. $22.50 to replace each handle. I have four...

    Edit: Local locksmith, $15-20 to create a key.
     
  18. Dec 16, 2010 at 1:08 PM
    #18
    Firenailer

    Firenailer Member

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    Right now I'm on my 4th Toyota Pick up. I should be picking up my 5th this weekend. I've had 3 Leers and an ARE Z series on this last one. They were all fine but I really like the ARE. Nice crank outs instead of sliders and frameless windows with a center rear latch. A real clean look, and the inside has a nice liner instead of the unfinished fiberglass.
    I like it so much I'm thinking about having it repainted and installed on my new truck.
     
  19. Dec 17, 2013 at 2:35 PM
    #19
    DJBRocks757

    DJBRocks757 Member

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    I've got a tacoma with a 6.1' bed and looking for a used cap. Anyone know what other makes/models that would have the same fit?
     
  20. Dec 17, 2013 at 7:39 PM
    #20
    cjcold

    cjcold Active Member

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    I'm on my second tacoma. First was 1999 that I bought new and modded with pretty much everything at one time or another for 14 years. Toyota bought it back due to frame rust. New tacoma is exact same truck down to the black color with alpine nav/dvd, tint, de-badged, and softopper, so far.
    Locks only keep honest people out. If they want what's in your bed they'll get it lock or not and destroy your shell in the process. With that in mind, I ran a Softopper on my 1999 reg. cab for over five years and it was one of the best additions to the truck I made in the 14 years I owned it. It didn't survive the recent wreck, however, so one of the first additions I made to my new 2013 reg. cab was another Softopper. They weigh 35 pounds, are pretty much waterproof, can be folded forward or taken off and carried away in one hand in just a couple of minutes. I did a lot of camping in my 99 and always stayed warm and dry. When it was hot out I just rolled up the sides and back. Well worth the $650.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2013
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