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Topper vs. Soft Tonneau Cover Vs. Hard sectional Cover


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Our TV=2010 GMC 1500 ExtCab Sierra SLE, Bed Len = 6’-5”

We currently have a soft/roll-able Tonneau Cover, but I am considering a Topper.  We carry 2 e-Bikes (broken down to flat), as well as a small prop tbl top grill, some small totes & 5-gl pail containing things needed for setup and stabilization of the trailer, and some extra water if needed.  Currently I would have room for a generator and I could throw in a 5# propane bttl for emergencies.  All this fits under the soft cover. Which has catches that are protected when I remember to lock the tailgate.

With the Tonneau we get some aerodynamic advantage compared to just an open bed.  I am thinking with a topper there might be more of an aerodynamic advantage, as well as reducing bug count on the front of the Ollie.  I would enjoy not have to breakdown the e-Bikes and would build a rack to stabilize them upright while in transit. 

Currently we have no dogs to travel with us; however if that were to change (insert Maggie w/smiley face here...), then obviously all the “Stuff” in the second seating area would be moved to the back bed, to accommodate the new occupants…

I am interested in what you have and why you made your choice.

Bryan,

Maggie & Bryan | Arnegard, ND | 2020 LE II (Twin Setup) Hull #665 | 2010 GMC 1500 ExtCab Sierra SLE 

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I have a WeatherTech folding hard cover and a home built bike rack mounted over that.   Plenty of storage underneath for all the stuff that we carry.  And the rear crossbar of the bike rack can be slid forward or removed so I can fold up the bed cover when I need full access to the truck bed.  The bike rack framing is T-slot extrusion from McMaster Carr and the fork mounts and rear wheel cradles are from Amazon.  

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Edited by FrankC
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2019 Oliver Legacy Elite II - Hull #461

Tow Vehicles:

Primary - 2019 Ford F-250

Backup - 2019 Nissan Armada 

 

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I also have a folding cover on my Tundra and very interested a bike rack like FrankC has.  It has been great to hide/lock things in the truck while traveling.

FrankC,

Thank you for posting these pictures of your bike rack.  Would you PM me the parts list?

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I'll put together a list.  For some reason, a couple of the links for some of the parts on the McMaster Carr site aren't working.

Edited by FrankC
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2019 Oliver Legacy Elite II - Hull #461

Tow Vehicles:

Primary - 2019 Ford F-250

Backup - 2019 Nissan Armada 

 

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Here's the general link to the T-slot framing section of the McMaster Carr catalog.   I used the 1-1/2" size rails.  
Side rails (I ordered the 8 foot long, and then cut to length):
T-Slotted Framing | McMaster-Carr
Cross Rails:
McMaster-Carr
All the connector brackets and hardware for the T-slot framing are listed separately in the catalog. 
You’ll have to adjust the parts list, mounting hardware, and dimensions to fit your truck bed. 
Edited by FrankC

2019 Oliver Legacy Elite II - Hull #461

Tow Vehicles:

Primary - 2019 Ford F-250

Backup - 2019 Nissan Armada 

 

States Visited.jpg

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2019 Oliver Legacy Elite II - Hull #461

Tow Vehicles:

Primary - 2019 Ford F-250

Backup - 2019 Nissan Armada 

 

States Visited.jpg

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This is my current set up.  Leer topper. Decked system storage, drawers are very deep holds  all camping equipment. The champion duel fuel is mounted to a separate platform which is pinned to the deck system also carpeted which make it easy to slide around  on the deck system. Not sure if there would be room for bicycles. There is plenty of room for other items.  I am also considering in the future a topper lift.  This is four electric lifts at each corner of the topper which will lift your topper several feet off the truck bed for easier access.  The company also offers canvas panels that can be installed to use the area is a camper. 

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4 hours ago, FrankC said:

 

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I really like your setup. Those minimalist Yakima Boa mounts are my favorite. Your picture reminds me of my trailer setup from about 20 years ago, when I could still ride a bike.... there is a kid’s Trek in that pic.

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Do you worry about high velocity water getting blasted into your headset bearings if you should encounter a thunderstorm? Are they pretty well sealed? I like Trek bikes, they usually know how to make them attractive. I have a neat older Trek hybrid with Nexus 8 speed internal hub, which is very slick, but that geared hub is super high maintenance. I dare not get it wet.... which is not a problem around here. 😬 What model are yours?

John Davies

Spokane WA

 

Edited by John E Davies
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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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John, water ingress on the bike components is a bit of a concern with this setup if we end up driving in heavy rain, which I’m sure will happen at some point.  I did get covers from Amazon for the handlebars to keep the hand controls and headset covered a bit on both bikes.  And I’ll just have to make sure the rest of the components such as the brakes and derailleurs stay lubricated.  The bikes are both new 2020 Treks that we just bought this past year to upgrade.   Mine is a Trek Verve 2 and the wife’s is a Trek Verve 1.  We’ve found them to be great bikes for getting around campgrounds and moderate trails.  
 

Vincita Water-Resistant Durable Handlebar Rain Cover Red Bike Cover for Road Bicycles, Mountain Bikes, Bikepacking Accessories https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07HMRSBDB/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_fabc_K3X8PBYY688DVFC376JY?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

Edited by FrankC

2019 Oliver Legacy Elite II - Hull #461

Tow Vehicles:

Primary - 2019 Ford F-250

Backup - 2019 Nissan Armada 

 

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Frank, those bar covers will work fine, and they will also keep bugs off.... One overlooked source for water entry is the seat post, water will trickle down and into the frame, and when you turn the bike over, to change a flat or lube the chain for example, it runs all over and even into the headset. I would suggest that your routinely remove the seat and post on each bike and rubber band a heavy zip bag over the opening . It will also eliminate the possibility of somebody flipping the quick releases and walking away with your seats..... You can mark the posts with a Sharpie so you can get them positioned correctly again. You can drill a tiny weep hole (1/16”) in the middle of the bottom bracket (at the very lowest point) so any trapped moisture has a place to go. Some bikes have a drain, but many do not. The bottom bearings are a sealed assembly, so they are usually no worries.

John Davies

Spokane WA

Edited by John E Davies

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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I think a topper/drawer setup like what Landrover has is probably the most practical solution for most owners.  Just put the bikes behind the trailer.  I go back and forth all the time wondering if that wouldn’t be a better setup for us. But in the end, there just isn’t anything as versatile as a Leitner rack,  provided you don’t mind things getting wet.  Nothing else that I’ve seen let’s you load up as much stuff in as many ways and still have it relatively accessible.

Here’s ours, with a front runner rack and 200w of solar on top, 2 side mount storage boxes, propane, CO2, and a custom rack in the middle for Hardigg cases. I’m also carrying two bridging ladders, four sand tracks, an extra spare for both the truck (enormous) and the trailer, portable winch, grill, gas firepit, chocks and blocks, plus some firewood. The only thing that would be a pain to get to is the 2nd spare, which is strapped to the front of the bed between the storage boxes. The photo is from the middle of the CDD, which we ran in 4 1/2 hours, to give you an idea of how strong the racks are and well secured everything is. It’s a tough rack.  
 

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Snowball • The world's only spherical Ollie

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I really like Overland's setup - but it doesn't work for our situation. I went with a Leer top. I can store my road bike (or any bike) out of the weather. Plus I have a place to store almost anything we need. Endless possibilities on how one sets up their storage and hauling setup. And with another rack on top - my kayak and other water craft have a place to go. I think it all comes down to personal preferences. 

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Cindy,  Russell and  "Harley dog" . Home is our little farm near Winchester TN

2018 Oliver Legacy Elite II - 2018 GMC 2500 Duramax 

"Die young - As late as possible"
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I've got that same - MX4 - cover that TexasGuy has and it has performed great.  However, the issues of toting bikes and watercraft can still be an issue unless you are willing to mount some type of rack via the "stake holes" that are still visible in the picture above.

Bill

2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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1 hour ago, topgun2 said:

I've got that same - MX4 - cover that TexasGuy has and it has performed great.

I have the same Bakflip too.  It’s my third one.  Mike

Texas Hill Country | Elite II #135 | Ram 2500 6.7L

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1 hour ago, Mike and Carol said:

I have the same Bakflip too.  It’s my third one.  Mike

Sure - but do you like it?☺️

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2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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