Tonneau vs. Cap - Fiberglass RV

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Old 12-07-2014, 02:53 PM   #1
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Name: Joan
Trailer: currently shopping
Posts: 12
Tonneau vs. Cap

This may seem strange after I posted yesterday about the Forester towing my teardrop but I bought a Nissan Frontier SV Crew Cab yesterday. I bought the teardrop because it is something that the forester can tow and as I said yesterday, it does fine. There are two reasons I upgraded my tow vehicle:

1. I finally got around to weighing my trailer and tow. While the trailer weighed 1600 pounds, the forester weighed 4000, 200 below the weight limit for the car. I neglected to get the axle weight which I now know is important. I could move gear to the trailer to take the load out of the car but it seems to me that I reached my comfort level.

2. As I mentioned, I am interested in someday getting a fiberglass trailer. After doing research and touring many of them, I have decided to KISS, Keep it small silly. I have narrowed down my choices to either a 17 foot or 19 foot and possibly the 21 foot. (I toured a Bigfoot 17.5 front bed yesterday and really liked it but oh, was it expensive!) There have been a couple of trailers that have been for sale recently but due to my tow vehicle, I could not jump on them. Now I can although may have to wait until my pocket book recovers.

The next step is to outfit the Nissan to carry my camping gear which is why I am posting. For those of you who tow with a truck and dont tow a fifth wheel, do you have a tonneau cover or cap. Can you recommend a brand?



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Old 12-07-2014, 03:22 PM   #2
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Name: Floyd
Trailer: 2004 13 ft Scamp Custom Deluxe
Posts: 6,416
I love my Fold-A-Cover! It keeps my stuff secure , dry and accessible.

Fold-a-Cover Tonneau Covers | A Division of Steffens Automotive
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Old 12-07-2014, 03:34 PM   #3
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Name: Myron
Trailer: 19' Escape
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Extang roll up Tonneau, bought from Accessories Unlimited. Why? Light weight, convenient, and best price.
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Old 12-07-2014, 03:37 PM   #4
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Name: bob
Trailer: 1984 u-haul ct13; 1996 Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe; 1946 Modernistic teardrop
New York
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We just added a camper to our collection, up from a Uhaul 13 to a Casita 17 and bought a quad cab Dodge Ram pickup. Wanted a cap to haul all our stuff including two bikes. It seems no one stocks caps, they are ordered to fit your truck and to match the color. Our closest cap dealer sells A.R.E. so that is what we got. Ordered it with the optional roof rack rails. It came in less than 3 weeks and the dealer installed it. Price was around $1500, it's the one that is as high as the truck cab roof. I should have bought the higher cap as I have to remove the front wheels on the bikes to stand them up. A tonneau cover would not have worked for us.
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Old 12-07-2014, 03:41 PM   #5
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Name: Clif
Trailer: 08 Weiscraft Little Joe 14 Subaru Outback 2.5i CVT
Posts: 723
Check our Roll and Lock,

Roll-N-Lock | Retractable Tonneau Cover For Your Truck Bed

I have have been using on since 2011 and am very happy with it. I have several friends that are very satisfied as well.

One big advantage is that it will make your tailgate lockable.
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Old 12-07-2014, 04:10 PM   #6
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Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
Posts: 24,540
Old F-150 had an A.R.E. with pass through door. LOVED IT.

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New F-150, now have a foldable BakFlip G-2, needed it because of the 5er. Love it too.
Bakflip G2 on Sale

But boy, do I miss the canopy....
Donna D.
Ten Forward - 2014 Escape 5.0 TA
Double Yolk - 1988 16' Scamp Deluxe
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Old 12-07-2014, 04:28 PM   #7
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Name: Raz
Trailer: Trillium 2010
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We too have a Nissan Frontier crew cab. We went with an Extang Tuff tonneau. About $200 in 2009. The good is it's inexpensive, keeps the bed dry, and being a tonneau gives good visibility. The bad is it only takes a knife to get to our Smokey Joe grill and our 10 year old folding chairs. Also, it can be hard to put on in cold temperatures.

If your truck didn't come with the rail system you might find this useful. Raz

A Home Brew Tie Down System for the Pickup
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Old 12-07-2014, 04:48 PM   #8
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Trailer: 19' Escape
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My big decision was to choose between velcro closure or snap button closure. Velcro easier but was told they wear down (mat down?) over time and weather. Went for the buttons despite warnings buttons harder on the fingers. [Six of one, right?]

Install was easy. Cap not wanted because I don't like crawling in there to get my stuff. And, it's just stuff. Hoping a thief will forget to bring a knife and check the always unlocked back gate first, anyway.
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Old 12-07-2014, 04:54 PM   #9
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Name: Byron
Trailer: 2006 Scamp 13' towed with a 2005 Dodge Dakota 4.7l Magnum W/full tow package (over kill)
Posts: 6,462
I have cab height cap and the bed is equipped with a "Bed Rug". It makes the bed an isolated rear of an SUV.
The one thing I would do differently is get side windows that swing up to open for access.
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Byron & Anne enjoying the everyday Saturday thing.
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Old 12-07-2014, 05:12 PM   #10
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Name: Bob
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA
W. Mass
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Had a bumper pull before I got the fifth wheel. I've had truck caps for at least the last 20 years before taking off the current one and getting the tonneau for the FW.

I liked and prefer the caps as I could carry the bikes and everything else imaginable inside while high and dry, as well as out of sight. Also could run the generator inside the cap to keep the noise down. Could at the same time carry one or two of the canoes on the roof.
Cons to it were harder to access the stuff up front, can't carry stuff like loads of dirt without getting help to remove it. Blocks visibility somewhat, and it's one mor thing to wash and wax of you do sunch.

For caps... Had a Century long ago, good, cheap, lightweight aluminum that could be removed by one person. Had a Leer fiberglass job on my 06 GMC, kind of cheap paint job, it had some rust, and the brake light lens fogged. Got an ARE for the Ford I have now, better quality then either of the others I had, higher price too.

Have an Extang Trifecta tri-fold now, pretty cheap at under $400 for my 8' bed. Easy on and off so it can be removed for dirt and such. Simple to use, hides what's in the bed, no rails, snaps, or Velcro to mess with. It works fine but I do miss the cap.

If you want to be able to remove your cover I'd suggest either an aluminum cap or a tonneau cover. If you go with a cap, the more windows the better, if you want to be able to put your bikes in, measure the bikes before you buy a cap. In my opinion a tonneau looks better.

The only thing that impacted towing in any way with either one was the visibility issue with a cap.
Bob & Deb
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Old 12-07-2014, 05:35 PM   #11
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Name: Joan
Trailer: currently shopping
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Thank you everyone. I should mention that I got the 5' bed. Donna, I like the cap you referenced but I got the backup camera that is in the tailgate so not sure that would work.
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Old 12-07-2014, 06:05 PM   #12
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Name: Charlie Y
Trailer: Escape 21 - Felicity
Posts: 1,161
Love my hard tonneau - Undercover brand. Extremely strong, double locks, gas struts hold it up. Comes off in less than a minute, about 50 pounds. Hides everything I need for camping and I run my Honda 2000i with just the tailgate down.

Had caps, found them more hassle than I wanted - love the visibility with the tonneau.

Undercover ™ is the new standard in tonneau covers. Our Patented X-effect ™ design and advanced polymers give this tonneau cover unparalleled strength and durability at a fraction of the weight and less cost than fiberglass.

Charlie Y
Charlie Y

Don't drill holes, try custom storage you design:
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Old 12-07-2014, 06:09 PM   #13
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Name: jim
Trailer: 2016 2ndGen Escape19 Prairie Schooner pulled by 2014 Dodge Ram Hemi Sport
Posts: 6,407
The fiberglass caps will impact your mpg as they are heavy, between 2-300 lbs for a good one. A tonneau cover weighs less than 20 lbs. Your Frontier is a 6 cyl and has a weight limit, the cap will impact that.
Never in doubt, often wrong
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Old 12-07-2014, 06:18 PM   #14
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Name: Joan
Trailer: currently shopping
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Looks like the A.R.E. are 130 to 150 for the mini. The midsize to full are 175 to 195. I am assuming I would need the mini but I could be wrong.

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