How do you choose the right canopy?

RevN3

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So, after much thought and discussion I've decided I need to get a canopy for my DCSB. It needs to meet these criteria:

- strong enough to hold a RTT and two people in said RTT (and obviously mounting points for RTT)
- flush height with truck roofline
- front window so my dogs can talk to me when they are riding in the back
- blue to match the truck...or at least a color that doesn't clash too bad.
- needs to be secure so I can use the back of my truck as a trunk and not have to worry about it too much.

So I go to the websites for all the canopy makers and I can't tell anything from anything. There are no prices, each manufacturer has 15 thousands different models but never explains the differences, there are several add-ons (with no prices or explanations) and also material choices. As far as I can tell all the name brands are about equal in terms of quality. I'm a bit overwhelmed and concerned that the whole industry is just a hustle. How do I get my money's worth?
 

Tyler

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Are you talking about the bed toppers/caps/lids?
 

Malcolm

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RevN3

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Yes, that's the other thing that's confusing. Everyone calls them different things. I was just out looking at them and the sales guy was calling them canopies. For instance: https://canopy-world.com/
 

Rob Daman

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Yes, that's the other thing that's confusing. Everyone calls them different things. I was just out looking at them and the sales guy was calling them canopies. For instance: https://canopy-world.com/

I think I covered the names in my video ;) 0:53 in

 

Rob Daman

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they want you to go through their dealers to order so there are no prices usually. You'll also need to shop around as dealers have different prices.

look for reinforced fiberglass for extra weight as you mentioned. there's front slider windows and some that also fold to make it easier to clean. color matching is no problem but be sure to check on the quality and paint match, once you receive it. If you want true security you'll need some lockable storage like Decked or other drawers.

Another option you may consider are windoors. The side windows open up to gain access especially to the front area.

You mentioned dogs so you'll want pet screens on the side.

So, after much thought and discussion I've decided I need to get a canopy for my DCSB. It needs to meet these criteria:

- strong enough to hold a RTT and two people in said RTT (and obviously mounting points for RTT)
- flush height with truck roofline
- front window so my dogs can talk to me when they are riding in the back
- blue to match the truck...or at least a color that doesn't clash too bad.
- needs to be secure so I can use the back of my truck as a trunk and not have to worry about it too much.

So I go to the websites for all the canopy makers and I can't tell anything from anything. There are no prices, each manufacturer has 15 thousands different models but never explains the differences, there are several add-ons (with no prices or explanations) and also material choices. As far as I can tell all the name brands are about equal in terms of quality. I'm a bit overwhelmed and concerned that the whole industry is just a hustle. How do I get my money's worth?
 

Tyler

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Rob covered it pretty well.

Definitely look at ones you find aesthetically pleasing, then start comparing the functionality of those, such as the type of window/hatches it has and how they could suit your needs.
 

RevN3

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Yeah, I think I'll need to write down a list of options I want and then go to all the places in town to see what prices they offer me. It seems like my suspicion that brand name is irrelevant is confirmed.
 

Rob Daman

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there's also some lesser known brands but are just relabeled ARE, LEER, etc but can be had for cheaper.


Yeah, I think I'll need to write down a list of options I want and then go to all the places in town to see what prices they offer me. It seems like my suspicion that brand name is irrelevant is confirmed.
 

Mr. Nobody

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Rob's pretty much covered it but I will add, check out Pinterest. lol Bare with me, in a short period of time I found photos of every possible combo of shell on the market and was able to get a real good idea of what I wanted.

Also, if you do plan to camp, don't skimp, get windoors. They are seriously one of the best mods on my truck and make accessing the bed in camp so easy. Really opens up the versatility of the bed for camping, Definitely worth it.

Be sure to shop around. Once you know exactly what you want its easy to just type it up in an email and send it out to every shell dealer in 500 miles. you'll be amazed at the different prices.

I ended up with a Leer 100XR, carpeted headliner, roof rack rails, sliding windoors on both sides and a fold down front window.

Some things about my Leer that you won't find online easily. The warranty is actually pretty decent. Cracks, fractures and even paint defects are covered to the original owner. So if it cracks from my tent I'm good.

Now, the weight on the roof. So you will never get a rack manufacturer to tell you what their rack can hold, just like you'll never get a shell manufacturer to tell you what their shell can handle. The rack guy will say it depends on the shell, and the shell guy will say it depends on the rack. Confusing? Pain in the butt? Yep, both. I did however find that the dealer I purchased through will warranty damage to the shell caused by stress from weight on top up to 250 lbs static load. My tent weighs 125, and my rack weighs about 70. So, by my math I'm good for warranty issues if they happen.

Hope that helps.