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Discussion Starter #1
Bought truck Thursday, need cap as thats where our german shephard will ride. Truck has full power rear window, will have window on cap to get AC to dog. Also dry storage for camping gear, guns, etc. Going to nearest dealer in day or two to order. Wanted some input from you guys prior to ordering.

Heard of compression boot, any particular type or brand best?

Should cap be clamped or bolted to bed?

Bedrug or rubber mat? Sprayed liner from factory.

Fold down, slide, or no window in front of cap?

Any rear suspension upgrades likely after adding cap? Heard of 1-2" sagging.

Any upgrades or options you might suggest?



Thanks for any suggestion.

Dan
 

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I ride with my hunting dogs, gun box, gear, etc in the bed. A few thoughts for what they're worth...

First- I'm assuming the dog will be in a kennel? Should be... your dog will get tossed around the bed if not.

I built a gun/gear box that slides out and put a 4 X 6 horse stall mat on it. Tractor supply special. I actually have it 'upside down' as one side is smooth and the other has a bunch of raised circles (for drainage underneath). Having it this way- things don't slide around at all.

I have ARE's "outdoorsman" cap as I use the windoors ALL the time. It's great to be able to open them all up while parked for better air for the dogs. Also, with the sliding vent window- good air while travelling. (The z-series just has the pop out i believe). I keep an indoor/outdoor wireless thermometer in the back so I can monitor the temps while driving as well. I only have the small sliding window, but have found that opening it with my A/C on does help cool things down a bit back there. With the next truck, that full window will be great. I've heard mixed opinions on boots, and the just of it was it'll just rub off your paint and not fit the best anyways most of the time. Not like it makes the ride that much more quiet, so I'm going to forego it myself. Definitely get the removable front window of the cap though- easy to take off when you want, and keeps the rain out when you have gear in there.

My cap is just clamped- I can still use the tie down rails, haven't had an issue.

What I do also have (and would STRONGLY suggest) - have them run a 12v power block when they install the cap. You can then pick up a cheapo inverter with a cigarette adapter and run a small fan. I've got a couple of the ryobi fans that take the batteries or that you can plug in. When traveling, they're plug in and I save my batteries. When stopped, I can plug in the batteries and keep the air moving.

Also- get the lighting package and a prop switch... very nice to have in the dark.

Not much sag with the cap- I still had factory rake. Get a pair of coachbuilder's shackles if you want to keep it up a bit; and get a better ride from them as well. I did this and was only kicking myself for waiting so long to do it.

hope that helps!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks. I appreciate the reply.

What are coachbuilder shackles, and what do they do?

Appreciate the other insights also, fan in back is great idea. Hot here in NC during summer.

I will check out mats at Tractor supply also, after measuring bed. Truck only four days olds, still not familiar with all aspects.


Dan
 

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Search this forum on the shackles- they are heavier duty shackles with poly bushings to replace the factory ones. Much better ride, and they come in different sizes so you could +1 and keep (possible gain) some factory rake. Even with the factory shackles, topper, storage box, gear; I still had a bit of rake... you won't be dragging.


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I recently went through all the same questions when I purchased a cap. I also ended up with the z series and I love it so far. Because you have the trd pro you will notice a slight sag from the weight of the cap, it will be pretty significant if you load the bed. I just took a road trip with 2 dogs back there, along with some gear etc, and the sag was ridiculous. I immediately ordered the coach builder shackles and shims after the trip. They just arrived in the mail yesterday, hoping to get them on this week. The biggest issue I had with the a.r.e. caps is that the rear window is not removable and you wouldnt want to drive around with the window folded down if you chose the fold option. I wanted my dogs to be able to get some air from the cab of the truck and i didnt want to lose the ability to take advantage of the crewmax rear window. The dealer i went to was able to customize the window of the cap so that its removable. I believe he ordered it with window frame but no glass and then ordered the removable slider window through leer and with a little tweaking it fits perfect. I also went with the full bed rug which is definitely the best option for the dogs. I also ran a 12v power block and have a box fan back there to keep air moving. I originally wanted the boot as well but nobody will recommend one, not even a.r.e., they flat out told me they didnt recommend it. let me know if you want to see any pics of my set up
 

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Would love a few pics, certainly. Thank you.

Ordered my ARE Z cap. 4-5 weeks I am told. May have them add the power block you guys mention. A fan might be handy, what model are you using.

Bedrug sounds nice, saw one today. Still undecided about that or a rubber mat. Either should work well.

Will look into the coach builder shackles. Sounds like they just lift the rear up a bit, correct. Simple install I assume, would have my local 4x4 shop install, along with fender flares and tires. Looking at Toyo open country. Unsure on size, just looking for a bit more off road tread, but want to avoid head aches. 285-70-18 or similar is my thought. Any opinions welcome, naturally.


Dan
 

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Here's my setup- great point above on the bed rug too... I've only got the tailgate cover as this way I can hose out the back.




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Would love a few pics, certainly. Thank you.

Ordered my ARE Z cap. 4-5 weeks I am told. May have them add the power block you guys mention. A fan might be handy, what model are you using.

Bedrug sounds nice, saw one today. Still undecided about that or a rubber mat. Either should work well.

Will look into the coach builder shackles. Sounds like they just lift the rear up a bit, correct. Simple install I assume, would have my local 4x4 shop install, along with fender flares and tires. Looking at Toyo open country. Unsure on size, just looking for a bit more off road tread, but want to avoid head aches. 285-70-18 or similar is my thought. Any opinions welcome, naturally.


Dan


Hi Dan. I put 285/65-18 Toyo Open Country AT2 Extremes on my truck. I went with that size because I wasn’t after the big tire look, and wanted 10 ply tires. I think they’re perfect, and the speedo is exact.




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Doug, we have similar priorities. Great looking tire, saw it at local off road shop today and it caught my eye. With that size, are you having any rubbing or other issues? Is suspension stock? So many seem to have shims and shackles, curious if its needed. I am not into big tires, at least not from an aesthetics point. Just want better off road traction than the stock. Thanks for the pic. If convenient, would love to see a side view image.


Dan
 

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Doug, we have similar priorities. Great looking tire, saw it at local off road shop today and it caught my eye. With that size, are you having any rubbing or other issues? Is suspension stock? So many seem to have shims and shackles, curious if its needed. I am not into big tires, at least not from an aesthetics point. Just want better off road traction than the stock. Thanks for the pic. If convenient, would love to see a side view image.


Dan

Stock suspension, plenty of clearance everywhere. The 285/70-18 tires should be about 1/2” larger radius than what I have, and 3/4” larger radius than stock. Looking at my clearance, I “think” those tires should have clearance without rub, but I know the ones I’m running don’t rub.

I don’t have any full-on side view pics yet. I’ll get one tomorrow.



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I have that cap. Get roof rack installed by ARE. Also, get some helicopter tape on the tailgate where the rear door overlaps.

DO NOT get the compression boot, unless you want to helicopter tape the s**t out of your cab to prevent the paint rubbing off. it WILL rub. Clamps are nice.

If you have a high ceiling garage, you can pull in and use the roof rack to lift the cap off using pulleys. that is better.

Personally, I would not buy the Z series again though. My biggest gripe is that headroom is kinda low, and the side windows don't butterfly open, which is a VERY useful feature. I would buy the MX next time. No complaints at all about build quality.
 

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Doug, we have similar priorities. Great looking tire, saw it at local off road shop today and it caught my eye. With that size, are you having any rubbing or other issues? Is suspension stock? So many seem to have shims and shackles, curious if its needed. I am not into big tires, at least not from an aesthetics point. Just want better off road traction than the stock. Thanks for the pic. If convenient, would love to see a side view image.


Dan








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I don't have any idea what the boot was that was on the Stockland camper shell that came on my 84 Ranger pickup but it didn't rub the paint off the cab of the truck. Not sure who started spreading that around, but if its installed properly you won't have any paint rubbing issues, the boot is designed to be able to move and flex, if it doesn't don't get that particular style of boot. The one that was on my ranger was extremely flexible, and was permanently glued to the camper shell, the shell itself didn't have a front window in it, so you just simply closed the back window of the truck cab. Had carpet in the Ranger and it really helped with road noise. I'd rhino line or linex the truck bed, that will help with noise too.

When I got the shell for my tundra the dealer had no clue what I was talking about when I mentioned a boot, so it wasn't until later on I found if I would have ordered a Leer or an ARE I could have got a boot. Get the accordian style if you can, they have the most flex to them. If you drive on rough roads you want the boot to flex as much as possible. The biggest issue I've ran into with the tundra is trying to seal the shell to the bed so it doesn't leak. The front of the bed is really narrow, so you need quite a bit of weather stripping to get it sealed properly.

How often are you going to remove the camper shell? If its something that will only be used once or twice a year use clamps. If you want it permanent, bolt it down. The clamps didn't stay on very long with my shell on my tundra, I threw those things away pretty quick. Use 6 bolts, 2 towards the front, 2 towards the back, and 2 in the middle. Use bolts with locking washers and/or self locking nuts otherwise you'll forever be crawling back there to tighten them down.

Get the windors in the sides of the shell, they're extremely useful. Also, get a high back shell rather than the cab high model...I can't count the number of times I either hit my back or head on the back of the shell trying to get in or out of it.

My truck sat level after the shell was installed, but it was pretty much level prior so I didn't notice any difference, but my truck bed was also heavily rhinolined as well so that added a bit of weight too.

Get the 12V LED light package, don't let them install the cheap ass battery powered lights that they love to push. I didn't realize how much I used that dome light in the camper shell until I went to use it and the batteries were dead. So the past 2 years I had the truck I didn't have a dome light in the camper shell. Never bothered taking it apart to replace the batteries as I had wanted to replace it with the LED light package but never got around to doing so.

Go with rhino lining or linex bed liner, and get the camper shell with the carpeted sides and roof, it really cuts down on noise and I think will keep it a bit cooler back there as well as it kind of acts as an insulation as well.
 

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Would love a few pics, certainly. Thank you.

Ordered my ARE Z cap. 4-5 weeks I am told. May have them add the power block you guys mention. A fan might be handy, what model are you using.

Bedrug sounds nice, saw one today. Still undecided about that or a rubber mat. Either should work well.

Will look into the coach builder shackles. Sounds like they just lift the rear up a bit, correct. Simple install I assume, would have my local 4x4 shop install, along with fender flares and tires. Looking at Toyo open country. Unsure on size, just looking for a bit more off road tread, but want to avoid head aches. 285-70-18 or similar is my thought. Any opinions welcome, naturally.


Dan
Here are some pics. Both dogs are pretty large 85lbs & 110lbs, they have plenty of room. Around town they have the entire cap to themselves and don't get bounced around at all. On trips i use crates and use the anchors on the bedrail to secure them. The small box fan moves a decent amount of air for its size. The 12v power strip is always hot so I can run the fan without the truck running. I also have the slide option on the removable window that way they can still stick their head in the cab of the truck and get airflow without me removing the entire window. I included pics of both set ups. They absolutely love being back there. I leave the tailgate open when I'm working in the garage or yard and they both lounge in there the entire time. It's like they know it's for them
 

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Bought truck Thursday, need cap as thats where our german shephard will ride. Truck has full power rear window, will have window on cap to get AC to dog. Also dry storage for camping gear, guns, etc. Going to nearest dealer in day or two to order. Wanted some input from you guys prior to ordering.

Heard of compression boot, any particular type or brand best?

Should cap be clamped or bolted to bed?

Bedrug or rubber mat? Sprayed liner from factory.

Fold down, slide, or no window in front of cap?

Any rear suspension upgrades likely after adding cap? Heard of 1-2" sagging.

Any upgrades or options you might suggest?



Thanks for any suggestion.

Dan
We have two dogs when we bought our 2013 tundra I purchased a camper shell with front sliding & removable window and interior LED light, plus power plug accessory. The shell was clamped on with no problems when driving and the additional weight does not make any difference in appearance or milage consumption. I did not want any carpet covering as our dogs shed and its easy to wash down the shell in side and the bedliner.

Truck is level, I normally park it in our driveway as there is a drain at curb and the street has a decline so the truck looks low on the back. Good luck with your choice. JPech


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