Topper (cap camper) or tonneau cover 5 people 5 bikes supercrew- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Topper (cap camper) or tonneau cover 5 people 5 bikes supercrew

    I am curious if anyone has made this decision and has wisdom to impart.

    My thougths:
    A tonneau cover is cheaper than a topper, probably results in better fuel economy (without bikes) and allows loading tall things in the bed easily.

    A topper would allow (potentially) bikes to be stored out of sight and out of mind. If they could fit inside vs. a mount the fuel economy would obviosly be better than a tonneau and bike rack.

    This is for long road trips. We have 2 full size bikes now, one 24" wheel, one 20", and one tiny bike. All small bikes will obviously get bigger. Previously I used a 1up on an outback with 4 bikes. Whenever we stopped it was pretty annoying to have bikes hanging off the back advertising their presence.

    We now have a F-150 supercrew with 6.5' bed. My original thought was that I could get a topper. Load gear up in the bed and make some sort of drawer that sat on top of bed under topper to lay bikes down sideways with wheels removed. (I have seen many cargo trays but they are at the bottom and super heavy duty. I want something lighter that two people can just roll out and store when not in use). My thinking has progressed to that is unlikely to fit, but if anyone has done it that would be awesome to hear. I just barely got the truck so have not worked all the details out yet.

    When we park we could toss kids bikes into the cab for now, or probably two adult bikes, but eventually that might not work too well. Anyway if anyone has something helpful to shed light on this conundrum I would greatly appreciate it.


    Some threads I looked at

    https://forums.mtbr.com/cars-bike-ra...k-1019161.html

    https://forums.mtbr.com/cars-bike-ra...s-1059324.html

    https://forums.mtbr.com/cars-bike-ra...es-716377.html

  2. #2
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    My preference would be for the camper shell to store bikes inside out of sight. I plan to buy a pickup truck for my next vehicle and do this. I may need to use fork mounts in the bed, and depending on how things fit, might put them on sliders. You might try a slider that's half as wide as the bed so you can pack bikes in tightly alternate the adult bikes forwards/backwards, and use the other half for gear. Possibly on its own slider, too (packed into totes). Should be light enough for two people to remove. Maybe even light enough for one.

    Whatever I do, the bikes simply have to go into the bed of the truck. Main reason for the truck is to pull a camper, and bikes in the truck is just so much easier to deal with.

  3. #3
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    You linked to the thread I started where I made the side rail rack hack outside the topper, so I won't go into that more here. That setup works great, and was needed, as we tow our camper. When we're not towing it (or anything else), I run a North Shore Rack 4 Bike off the back. Way, way more fuel efficient than the bristling pile of bikes on the roofrack and side racks. I also have a 1/2 deck/drawer system built into the back of my 6.5ft bed - it sits atop the wheel wells, and extends to about the middle of them. It mostly a rolling kennel, and the drawers house their food, bowls, tazers (they're $hitheads) and all the other gerar. When they don't come, we stage other gear in the drawers. The rear portion of the bed is left open and free for coolers, bike toolbox, 35 gallon barrel of fresh water for boondock camping in the desert...whatever. The point being, a full deck all the way to the back of the bed and flush with the tailgate seems nice, but winds up being a world class PITA. If you're single, living out of your truck with your dog, then fine, but otherwise its a compromise in most situations. You're never, ever, getting 5 bikes under a topper without losing your sanity. And if you did, there'd be no room of anything else. Bikes in the bed, under the topper, with kids in the mix doesn't work. Never understood the concept of the tonneau - seems like it would always be in my way. Toppers, however, are great. Of all the racks I've used, I love my North Shore more and more, with each time I load it.

    The pic below shows the upper part of the deck/drawer platform (sorry, best I have, buy you can get the idea). Also, not my dogs. Strays running around and the only way I could corral them was telling them to "load up". Jumped right in.

    Topper (cap camper) or tonneau cover 5 people 5 bikes supercrew-img_20180212_102928150_hdr.jpg
    I would advise not taking my advice.

  4. #4
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    Topper (cap camper) or tonneau cover 5 people 5 bikes supercrew

    Sorry for the thread creep but...
    Iím looking for some advice on a topper (hard or soft) for a 6í bed for my 2011 Tundra. Anyone have any suggestions? Brands?
    Iíd like to keep the cost at a minimum. I usually use a tailgate pad or Thule hitch but Iím interested in camping in my truck.
    Thanks


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  5. #5
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    I went with a topper. The bike is out of the weather, and out of sight of thieves. Since I travel solo, I just lay the bike down. I also tow a camper and all this works out well on long trips. I bought a BedRug to avoid scratching the bed with the bike, and sometimes I sleep in the truck bed on short overnight trips. Of course, I have to remove the bike and lock it up. As for fuel mileage, I can't say I notice any difference with the topper, and the ARE shell I bought is one of the tall ones that rises about 6 inches above the cab.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by 6280 View Post
    Sorry for the thread creep but...
    Iím looking for some advice on a topper (hard or soft) for a 6í bed for my 2011 Tundra. Anyone have any suggestions? Brands?
    Iíd like to keep the cost at a minimum. I usually use a tailgate pad or Thule hitch but Iím interested in camping in my truck.
    Thanks

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    So Truck Accessories Group owns
    Snugtop
    Leer
    Raider
    Century

    4ARE is the other company.

    I ended up purchasing a LEER b/c that was the best available nearby. I think it will just come down to what dealer is best. They are all pretty similar now unfortunately or fortunately. You can therefore price a bunch of different models that are basically the same and pick whatever dealer seems best. It is too bad that they are basically all the same company. I found the whole process tedious having to call a bunch of dealers. The same shell models vary a lot unfortunately as you can see in reviews. So some are great and some are terrible and there is nothing you can really do about what you get. So if you like games of chance you should be excited. I don't have mine yet, but I hope it will be good. I got a 100xr (which is a cab hi) with thule tracks only. They cost a lot for something that is hit or miss in my opinion. The warranty is that the fiberglass will stay attached. Rain might just pour in and that is not covered. Your dealer will try to help probably, but if the mould is bad you are out of luck. Not sure if I can figure anything out about fitting some bikes in there or not, but if I do something nifty I will post it somewhere.

    If you get a chance the best possible thing would be to go to a dealer that has the shell you want and just buy it if it is in good condition.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the replies above.
    Yeah Iím starting to get frustrated calling some places Iíve found. It seems trying to describe a 6ft bed on a Tundra Crewmax is alien to these people. I didnít want to spend a day driving all over the place either.


    I found this pic on the internet. This is what Iím trying to do.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  8. #8
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    Look into the ARE MX model. Pricey, but it offers a little more headroom.

  9. #9
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    I ended up purchasing a LEER b/c that was the best available nearby. I think it will just come down to what dealer is best. They are all pretty similar now unfortunately or fortunately. You can therefore price a bunch of different models that are basically the same and pick whatever dealer seems best. It is too bad that they are basically all the same company. I found the whole process tedious having to call a bunch of dealers. The same shell models vary a lot unfortunately as you can see in reviews. So some are great and some are terrible and there is nothing you can really do about what you get. So if you like games of chance you should be excited. I don't have mine yet, but I hope it will be good. I got a 100xr (which is a cab hi) with thule tracks only. They cost a lot for something that is hit or miss in my opinion. The warranty is that the fiberglass will stay attached. Rain might just pour in and that is not covered. Your dealer will try to help probably, but if the mould is bad you are out of luck. Not sure if I can figure anything out about fitting some bikes in there or not, but if I do something nifty I will post it somewhere.
    Oh man that is most perfect description I've ever heard of the canopy market. You would think for as many of these things as they sell there would be better competition. Even in a suburb of the metropolis of Seattle, you still have to buy a cap from some semi-shady dealer in a janky downmarket used car lot setting with someone who is taking paper notes over the phone. And if you order a cap and it doesn't meet your standards you're SOL once its mounted.

    Anyway, for the OP and others, I absolutely love getting the bikes out of the weather and out of sight (I lock them with a big chain going through a 0.25" wall tubular bracket I welded to the bed).

    But its also a huge pain getting them in and out all the time. I routinely transport 4-6 full size bikes. We put 3 of them in my stand up rack and slip the others in between - the 5th and 6th one have to ahve the wheels removed.

    So unless its particularly rainy or we're parking or on a roadtrip, I'm actually thinking of getting a hanging hitch rack just to make life easier for the day trips. BEst of both worlds !

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