Toppers vs Tonneau Covers - A Discussion - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-13-2015, 02:40 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Carol H View Post
I also prefer a tonneau to a topper as it does not interfere with the rearview at all.
What I don't like about my current tonneau is that fact its impossible for me to remove on my own if I want to carry something large in the back of the truck when not towing. For that reason the next truck will have a BakFlip Tonneau installed instead. Have a few friends with them and they are real easy to flip back as far as one needs to allow space for taller items.

Have to agree with you on the tonneau, it doesn't work for every one. A few of my buds have them and I ended up moving things because of my open truck. As far as a shell/ topper I have to kind of disagree with the rear view. Side view looking over your shoulder...yes. Your inside rear view only shows the front of the trailer. Yup, it's still there . The side mirrors show clearance, possible sway and such. After 20 years of commercial towing (only side mirrors) I find the interior center rear view more of a hindrance than a help as it takes my eyes from front and side to side checking. Keep telling myself to tilt it up to take it out of the loop. YMMV
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Old 11-13-2015, 04:11 AM   #16
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I prefer the tonneau because it provides better visability when unhitched and I don't carry a lot of stuff. Mine is an inexpensive soft tonneau. It can be rolled up if I need to carry something large or need access anywhere in the bed. I've had it for 6 years and it still works great. As far as security, there is none. Any one with a knife can get in. Raz
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Old 11-13-2015, 04:52 AM   #17
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Good post Raz, being that the folks here are towing eggs I didn't think to mention the difference with rear view vision driving barefoot, thanks.
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Old 11-13-2015, 06:33 AM   #18
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I have had a couple dozen pickups over the last 35 years, and only a couple, as well as my new one, had toppers on them. The main reason for the toppers is for work though, as I never carry enough personal gear to warrant one, or even a pickup for that matter.

Most of the toppers I have had or seen are not all that theft proof. If someone wants in, they will get in. Even my current work truck (Ford F-350) topper, a full body aluminum insert type, so really not a topper, made out of heavy duty aluminum, was stolen and had the heavy metal hinges cut off with a metal blade in a recip saw, with the thieves getting away with about $15k work of tools.

Here is a shot of it with a Trillium 1300 behind it for comparison. It holds a lot of stuff well organized. It is not light at all though, having heavy aluminum on all six sides.



With my new truck, a Ford F-150, bought with towing my upcoming Escape 5.0TA in mind, I obviously will not be able to use a topper of any type. So off to search and research tonneau covers I went. I spent many hours looking for just the right one. I will likely sell my big truck, as well as my big dumping construction trailer, and use this truck for work, in order to get some cash flow happening.

I looked at all the tonneau covers available. Lots of really good options, that offer every bit of security that a topper does, however, I was keen to have one with a built in toolbox, for use as much when towing, as for work. I finally ended up ordering a Fold-a-Cover G4 Elite four panel folding tonneau, with their built-in Personal Caddy Toolbox. I did the install myself, which went very good.

This topper is great, I can flip the front panel back to access the tool caddy, or flip the back three on top of the first one, allowing full access to the rest of the bed, and be able to hitch up my 5.0. So far no leaks at all, and this thing is really tough. I can even walk on it. Once it was set up, if I should ever need use of the full bed, it is only minutes to remove the cover, though leaving the side rails in place.

Here is the link. I am sure some of you have heard of them, but worth checking out.\
Fold-a-Cover Tonneau Covers | A Division of Steffens Automotive

Bottom line, there is no right or wrong to either a topper or tonneau cover in my opinion, there are good and bad in both categories. You just need to find a solution that works for you.
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Old 11-13-2015, 06:57 AM   #19
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I recently switched from a folding cover to a topper. The topper gives me much better access (especially in the rain). I pack the stuff that's needed for setup around the edge of the truck's bed (chocks, toolbox, electrical & plumbing) all easily reached thru the topper's side and rear windows. While camped it becomes a "spare room".

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Old 11-13-2015, 08:12 AM   #20
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We have pulled our boler with a lot of different vehicles.
The small pickup with a topper was very handy but did have some
visibility issues (for me anyway).
We had to upgrade as the little truck had almost 400,000 k on it.
The van has about the same space but not as handy because of business
requirments.
Thinking 4dr 4x4 truck with a topper will answer my needs best.
Fred
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Old 11-13-2015, 08:24 AM   #21
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The way I see it a thief don't need a knife to get into my truck bed. If the gate's locked they can just un-button it. Hard shells, caps, etc?? Regardless of the covering, nothing short of common sense vigilance will stop a determined thief. I bought my cheapo $300 Tonneau just for keeping things out of sight (hopefully therefore out of mind) and to keep stuff from blowing out when I'm doing 75 mph on the interstate.


Oh, and because someone told me it would increase my gas mileage.
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Old 11-13-2015, 11:04 AM   #22
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I had the f150 crew, with tonneau cover (snaps). Gave the truck to my step son, he won`t buy a replacement cover. I thought it was great, everything stayed dry and hidden from view. Had the bed liner and if you parked so your tail was lower, all water drained out so it wouldn't puddle in your truck bed. I may buy another truck,maybe about 10 or 15 years old at a good price and low miles, if i can find one, no hurry. Maybe i can give the Rav some rest days. Carl
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Old 11-13-2015, 11:07 AM   #23
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I've owned five different trucks through the years and have gone back and forth between shells, tonneau's and naked (without either) and regardless of which method I chose there was and still will be some bit of buyers remorse, IOW's none of them are perfect for all of the obvious reasons already stated.

However for the last 12 years I have stuck with soft rollup tonneau's on two different trucks, Tundra before and now my F150. There have been times when I wish I had a cap not for security but just to keep things like our bikes out of the weather. FWIW we have been all over the country with both trucks and never had a case of break in with the soft rollup tonneau. Perhaps we are pressing out luck.

I am inclined to believe though the rollups provide the most versatility of them all and this is why we have kept with them. Some of the newer very well made toppers do indeed offer more security and definitely better weather protection. But they are expensive, roughly $2500 + compared to the $400 rollup. At the end of the day it really boils down to individual needs, budget, and what you're willing to compromise on. And make no mistake there will be compromises regardless of which decision you make.

Below is our F150 loaded with two road bikes in the truck bed, two kayaks (14ft) on our Thule rack, side rail mounted onto the tonneau rails with tonneau rolled up.

Hope this helps.
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Old 11-15-2015, 09:25 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Jerrymcs View Post
I have a Thule rack mounted to sides, thus leaving equipment stored in bed of truck vulnerable. Are there any covers that would work short of removing the Thule rack?
There are hard rolling tonneaus that work with Thule systems. Here is one for example.
Accessories

I've got something similar, I forget which brand I have, but with a little MacGuyvering I was able to install rails onto it as well. Mine being a little older - this type of rail system was not available yet.

One thing not mentioned in this discussion is the air dam effect. Marketing departments often flout the tonneau as being more fuel efficient as the air is not catching on the tailgate. That argument goes out the window when you are towing a trailer. So the toppers win in this area.

I've had both, I prefer the hard rolling tonneau. I've had it ~ 10 years. The springs are getting weak and some idiot bent mine trying to break in by jumping on the rear center trying to disengage the lock. I call them an idiot because the tailgate is almost always left unlocked. All they had to was try the handle.
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Old 11-15-2015, 09:31 AM   #25
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They're also likely to use a knife on my unlocked soft top tonneau regardless. That's the way I see it; all thieves really are lazy idiots.
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Old 11-15-2015, 10:16 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
I also chose a fiberglass topper and for the same reasons (storage and security)
A tonneau cover is a less expensive choice . My fiberglass Unicover Safari II was over $1500
which included sliding windows with screen all around and painted to match my truck.
Most locked toneau covers can be opened with a knife so the added security of a topper was worth the additional cost IMHO
I have an early version of the Fold-A-Cover on my Ranger and it is perfect for storing all our camping stuff, dry and secure....
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Old 11-15-2015, 12:13 PM   #27
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I like my topper, but only because it has side doors in addition to the back door. My old 2003 F-150 has bedsides low enough to reach over and actually get stuff in the bed. New trucks with there chin-high bedsides might as well have a tonneau since most ordinary folks can't reach over the side anyway.
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Old 11-15-2015, 12:24 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Timber Wolf View Post
New trucks with there chin-high bedsides might as well have a tonneau since most ordinary folks can't reach over the side anyway.
I just keep a couple cheap folding stools handy. One at each side, as even with a tonneau cover you need them to get over the sides.
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