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Choices! Truck Cargo Caps, Toppers, Shells, Tonneau Covers, High-roof Hardtops and more... Oh my!


Boudicca908
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Little did I know what little I knew! 

Since I live in a restricted community (rules rules rules) I will have to order a bed cover for my truck, pronto!  I've seen hard canopies (toppers, shells) that looked really nice, blended well with the truck and allowed taller storage space, but I never realized how many different styles and options are out there. As I study, it's hard to say whether I'm narrowing in or just growing overwhelmed by the selection. I'm not wild about the tonneau covers; the one we had years ago (a rolling soft style) was difficult to open and made access a real pain -- meaning that we rarely used the cargo bed. However, it looks to be the cheapest selection. 

*My truck will be a 2500HD Silverado Crew Cab, standard bed; the cargo bed is about 6'-10" if I'm reading the stats correctly.*

So I'm throwing this out to the Oliver Owner's world -- what do you prefer, and why? 

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Oliver Elite II Twin   Tow Vehicle: Chevy Silverado 2500HD.

 

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I've had two of THESE tonneau covers - I don't really need the extra "tall" storage but I do need to carry a motorcycle in the bed.  This cover is one of the only ones that can be folded right up to the rear window allowing full use of the bed.  While not perfect, they do keep things more than reasonably dry, are easy to fold, are fairly hard to break in to, and keep things out of sight.  I'd buy a third when the time comes.

Good luck!

Bill

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

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11 minutes ago, Boudicca908 said:

 

So I'm throwing this out to the Oliver Owner's world -- what do you prefer, and why? 

Our first choice was going to be a hard shell for an F-150.  Priority for us was the ability to carry 4 bikes in a semi-secure enclosed environment.  You know what they say about the best laid plans, right?  We placed an order for our F-150 in April 2021, and by early October, Ford still had not given us a production date, so we pivoted quickly to an Expedition Max.  It didn't have all the bells and whistles of the hybrid F-150, but still satisfied the requirement of an enclosed home for our bikes.

 

mb

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MaryBeth
Boulder, CO

2022 Elite II #953
TV: 2021 Ford Expedition Max Platinum, Max Tow Package

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6 minutes ago, VBistro said:

enclosed home for our bikes

Carrying bikes is a priority for me as well, though I've considered how I might carry one inside Oliver. I really wanted a single cab truck with an 8 foot bed, but choices aren't an option right now. 

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Oliver Elite II Twin   Tow Vehicle: Chevy Silverado 2500HD.

 

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I always tell people that the choice of cap vs. tonneau cover really depends on what else you want to use your truck for besides camping.   I haul a lot of stuff for home projects, hauling motorcycles in the bed, and moving furniture for friends and relatives, hauling top soil or mulch, etc.   So I wanted full standing access to the bed when needed.  I went with the WeatherTech folding rigid tonneau cover and a home built bike rack mounted over that as our setup for camping/towing the Ollie.  The bike rack is built with quick release attachments so the rack can be easily removed so I can fold up or completely remove the tonneau cover.  
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2019 Oliver Legacy Elite II - Hull #461

Tow Vehicles:

Primary - 2019 Ford F-250 SuperCab 4x4, 6.2L Flex-Fuel engine 

Backup - 2019 Nissan Armada 

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1 hour ago, topgun2 said:

I've had two of THESE tonneau covers - I don't really need the extra "tall" storage but I do need to carry a motorcycle in the bed.  This cover is one of the only ones that can be folded right up to the rear window allowing full use of the bed.

Like Bill, I’m on my third BAKflip MX4 and have been very happy with them.  It locks when the truck is locked and keeps things under both dry and secure.  Mike

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

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1 hour ago, Boudicca908 said:

Carrying bikes is a priority for me as well, though I've considered how I might carry one inside Oliver. I really wanted a single cab truck with an 8 foot bed, but choices aren't an option right now. 

We used to carry our bikes in our old hard side travel trailer, but it really only works when you are camping somewhere you feel comfortable leaving the bikes out while you are sleeping.  Fine while boondocking in the middle of nowhere, not so fine when at a commercial campground or even some state parks.  Especially with bike theft rampant in CO like it is now.  Plus, the interior of my old TT wasn't nearly as nice as the Ollie.  If a bike fell over or slipped, it didn't really bother me.  We have a LOT more $$$ invested in the Ollie, and I'm not going to take the risk that a bike rips a cushion or dents a fiberglass wall.  I don't know how I would properly tie 4 bikes down to keep them from flying all over down a washboarded forest service road.

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MaryBeth
Boulder, CO

2022 Elite II #953
TV: 2021 Ford Expedition Max Platinum, Max Tow Package

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@Boudicca908, will the truck also be your daily driver? How much "stuff" do you want to carry?

I have no bed cover on my Silverado.  Paul has an undercover,  easy on, easy off (for two people) rigid cover on the Ram.

As a daily driver, I'd dislike a cap, though it looks really good, and gives a lot of storage height. It also weighs more than a rigid cover like the undercover .

 

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

 

 

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28 minutes ago, VBistro said:

We used to carry our bikes in our old hard side travel trailer, but it really only works when you are camping somewhere you feel comfortable leaving the bikes out while you are sleeping.  Fine while boondocking in the middle of nowhere, not so fine when at a commercial campground or even some state parks.  Especially with bike theft rampant in CO like it is now.  Plus, the interior of my old TT wasn't nearly as nice as the Ollie.  If a bike fell over or slipped, it didn't really bother me.  We have a LOT more $$$ invested in the Ollie, and I'm not going to take the risk that a bike rips a cushion or dents a fiberglass wall.  I don't know how I would properly tie 4 bikes down to keep them from flying all over down a washboarded forest service road.

I think that's an excellent point, for those who carry expensive bikes.

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

 

 

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7 minutes ago, SeaDawg said:

As a daily driver, I'd dislike a cap, though it looks really good, and gives a lot of storage height. It also weighs more than a rigid cover like the undercover

Exactly.

My conundrum: I've decided to give up my beloved Subaru Outback and only drive (license, insure) one vehicle, so this heavy duty truck will be my daily driver as well as my tow vehicle. I plan to be on the road for months at a time with Oliver, so it just makes more sense. It's a crew cab, so a lot of things will fit in the back seat area (maybe even a bike with the front wheel removed). But I dislike the loss of clear visibility out the back. 

I'm a neat-nik too, yet I manage to carry my touring bike (whole, laid out flat) in the back of the Subaru without touching any interior surfaces -- but @VBistro makes excellent points both in terms of travel bumps and stowing during cooking/sleeping hours. When I was in high-risk (theft-ridden) areas and bike-camping, I learned to stow my bike inside my Marmot Swallow tent with me at night -- a trick I learned from a fellow Adventure Cyclist. But I don't really want to be doing that with Ollie. 

So, the pros of high-top covers are: increased storage area, height and security.  And the cons are: loss of clear visibility in the back, weight and cost. 

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Oliver Elite II Twin   Tow Vehicle: Chevy Silverado 2500HD.

 

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We have a locking aluminum toolbox below the bedrails at the front of the 8' bed with a TruXedo soft tonneau cover over the top. Gives us some locked storage but full use of the rest of the bed.

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Stephanie and Dudley from CT.  2022 LE2, Hull #1150: Eggcelsior.

Tow vehicle: 2016 GMC Sierra 6.0 gas dually 4x4.

Our Oliver journey: Steph and Dud B's RV Screed

Where we've been RVing since 1999:

ALAZCACOCTDEFLGAIDILINIAKYLAMDMAMIMNMSMOMTNENVNHNMNYNCNDOHOKORPASCSDTNTXUTVTVAWAWVWIWYmed.jpg.e6391b9064a3f8f0951751f985664135.jpg

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I went from owning three Toyota V8 4Runners to a Tundra.  I knew that I had to have secure and dry storage since I was used to a lift gate.   I studied tonneaus pretty intensively.  I ended up with a BAK Revolver X4 rolling cover.  I absolutely love it and it rolls easily, weighs only about 70#, can handle about 400# of evenly distributed weight on top and also locks for security.   It's been flawless and looks really nice.   

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2020 Toyota Tundra TRD Sport 5.7L V8 

2017 Oliver Legacy Elite II  Hull #184 ~ "ILOVHER"

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I am commenting from past experience and future desire, there are two really good fiberglass canopy brands, Leer and ARE, I have used a Leer and I felt it was adequate, but no more than that. To avoid long term hassles, you have to spec the canopy so cleaning the back of the truck cab isn’t a nightmare, and so you can get good ventilation. They all leak dust and water, so you need to use weatherproof containers or covers. None of them hold up well on rough washboard roads……  check the warranty to see if that would be considered abuse. Few are rated to carry much on a roof rack, the Leer can be ordered with factory installed rails and a thicker roof structure.

In an alternate future I would have a Power Wagon with a Go Fast Camper on it, so I could boondock a couple of nights in the rooftop tent when exploring the back country, while “Mouse” is safely parked at a more developed base camp campground. The last I heard, GFC was backlogged forever, but recently they have been hiring and working extra shifts to meet the demand.

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https://gofastcampers.com/

John Davies

Spokane WA

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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, Safari snorkel.

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Like csevel, I have a rolling cover that I had installed at the RAM dealer. It works well for me as it rolls up to the cab where it is secured via staps when not needed. 

This cover provide me with a waterproof cover so I can keep my tools dry in the back. I made a bike rack out of PVC tubing that I saw on u-tube. When carry my bikes, I roll the cover up and place the bike rack in the back and use straps to hold the bikes in place while in the bike rack. Work very well and I can use a cable and paddle lock if I need the bikes to be secure.

John Davis - That go fast camper is nice but very very expensive. I would just carry a tent and set it up on the ground for a lot less cost.

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2018 Oliver Elite II, Hull #354 

2018 RAM 1500 Rebel 4 x 4, 5.7 Hemi, 3.92 gear ratio

 

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We went with the ARE high top (TW model).  Since we've got Decked brand drawers, we needed the extra height in the cap.  We also went with the flip up side windows that are a real plus (though costly).  Color match to our truck was just about perfect.  Build quality is good but not great.  Local installer made some mistakes.  One big downside is security.  We will likely get the windows blacked out to mitigate lookie-lous.  Weight is about 200 lbs.  No noticeable impact on mileage.  Dry as a bone.

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TW Top.jpg

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SE Texas  | 2021 Elite II  # 927  "Lucy"  |  2019 F250 FX4 6.7

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With regards to the comments about a "Bed Rug".

All my trucks have had spray in beds.  But, when wet even these are a bit slippery.  So, I added a rubber mat.  That helped but with my last truck I added a Bed Rug (LIKE THIS).  It is really great and easy to clean.  Note: if you get one of these, be sure to also get the "rug" for the tailgate.

Bill

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

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I would probably have one if we did longer stays when camping, but ours are usually no longer then a week, or 10 day. I do like the campers with the foldout side windows just for the ease of getting into things in the camper. I would remove it when not in use, so this is probably a good reason for me not to have one. The bed covers would just be in the way for me as we carry our ebikes in the bed and need the height for them. If it works for you then get one.

trainman

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Elite II, Twin Bed, Hull #489, 2019 RAM 1500, 5.7 Hemi, 4X4, Crew Cab, 5'7" bed, Towing Package, 3.92 Gears.

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11 hours ago, dewdev said:

John Davis - That go fast camper is nice but very very expensive. I would just carry a tent and set it up on the ground for a lot less cost.

I am well past the “sleep in a bag” stage of my life. I carry one for a real emergency, but no way will I sleep in one willingly. Too many critters. A RTT at least gets you out of the bugs and snakes, if not out of reach of a griz.

John Davies

Spokane WA

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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, Safari snorkel.

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