Tonneau vs. Cap - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-07-2014, 03:53 PM   #1
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Name: Joan
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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?

Thanks

Joan
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Old 12-07-2014, 04:22 PM   #2
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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, 04:34 PM   #3
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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, 04:37 PM   #4
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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, 04:41 PM   #5
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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, 05:10 PM   #6
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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....
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Old 12-07-2014, 05:28 PM   #7
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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, 05:48 PM   #8
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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, 05:54 PM   #9
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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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Old 12-07-2014, 06:12 PM   #10
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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.
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Old 12-07-2014, 06:35 PM   #11
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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, 07:05 PM   #12
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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.

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Old 12-07-2014, 07:09 PM   #13
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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.
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Old 12-07-2014, 07:18 PM   #14
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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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Old 12-07-2014, 07:43 PM   #15
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+1 on the Undercover. Light and strong. Lockable. Ok, not as secure as a trunk, by far, but it locks...
Can be removed in minutes, reinstalled in same, when we need to carry a tall item.
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Old 12-07-2014, 08:15 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
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.
I have been towing a Casita 17 SD using a 2004 Frontier Crew Cab with a small 3.7L V-6 engine and A/T. I have a cab height fiberglass canopy and haven't noticed one iota of loss of gas mileage during my ten years with this truck. I usually drive at 65 mph+ and there hasn't been any appreciable fuel consumption difference. Don't get me wrong, when I tow, my gas mileage goes from 18 mpg down to 11.5 mpg, but there is no difference in towing or not towing fuel economy whether I have the canopy on or off.

Also, the tongue and gross towing weight on a pickup, even a small Frontier, is generally better than many of the other "tow rigs" I've seen being used, particularly minivans and anything "unibody" constructed. YMMV.

The main reason for the canopy vs tonneau cover is the extra storage space. You can never have enough storage space, especially with a small trailer.
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Old 12-07-2014, 08:21 PM   #17
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I just bought a Diamondback HD for my Chevy Silverado. I love it. It is Linexed Diamond plate, has 12 tie-downs, 2 lids (front and back) and only weighs about 125 lbs. The best feature is I can haul 1200 lbs on top of it I make handmade outdooor furniture and take my camper and furniture to shows. I can haul 8 adirondack chairs and stools on top and still have the bed for miscellaneous stuff and also pull my little 13' Burro. So far it has been great. Each lid comes off in about 5 minutes and the whole thing can be taken off in about 30.
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Old 12-07-2014, 08:26 PM   #18
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Roll-n-Lock is a good product

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Minimalist View Post
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.
I bought a new Roll-n-Lock in 1997 for my Ford F150 and both are still working great. Its made from very sturdy powder coated aluminum. When your cargo is too tall to be covered the top easily slides back out of the way. When its closed and locked your cargo is very secure. I think its worth the extra cost if you plan on keeping your truck several years. After 18 years of use it looks like it will last as long as my old Ford.
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Old 12-07-2014, 08:34 PM   #19
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Look for a Bak flip folding cover on line . I put one on my f 150 and love it. It will keep your stuff secure and only weighs about 30 or 40 lbs. easy to install I am mechanicaly challenged and did it in 45 min. with minimum tools. I have had the Lear tonneau cover ,it looked great but you couldn't carry anything tall. Same with a shell on my next truck. With the bak flip you only lose a few inches near the cab when it is folded up .
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Old 12-07-2014, 09:49 PM   #20
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I have an EXTANG Full Tilt on my Tacoma.
The EXTANG was the only light weight, less than 20 pounds, that could be made to accommodate a cross bed tool box.
It has an aluminum frame and is covered with a vinyl material that has a life time guarantee.
It hinges behind the tool box and lifts from the rear.
If I need the whole bed it takes about 10 minutes to remove the top and all of the mounting hardware.
Just the Tonneau self can be removed in about a minute.
I've had it on my truck for almost 7 years and have had no problems with it.
I did need a corner bracket, called them and had it in 3 days at no cost.
It looks as good as the day I bought it.
I've had caps and prefer this arrangement.
If I need the whole bed it can be had with a minimal of effort and I don't have to worry about where to store the cap.


extangtonneau.com if you're interested.


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