Oliver | Luxury Fiberglass Travel Trailers, Campers & RVs › Forums › OLIVER CAMPING › Submit Your Story › Camper shell vs. bed topper
- August 21, 2016 at 8:09 am #37991
I have settled on a Ram 2500 with the 5.7 Hemi. This will be a late model (2013-2015) used truck. A little hard to find but I have time.
The next question is what to cover the bed with…flat or shell? My Avalanche has hard panels which are great for strapping items such as clam room, lawn chairs, etc. but the inside bed area is limited.
I would appreciate pros and cons for both systems.
Current 2007 Airstream Classic Limited 31
2015 Oliver Legacy Elite II (Sold)
2016 Ram 2500 HD 6.7i Cummins turbo dieselAugust 21, 2016 at 9:38 am #37995
I vote for the camper shell. I have a Leer 100XQ which is color matched to the vehicle, has three 12 V outlets, interior lights (LED), gear net on the ceiling for clothes etc, and fully carpet lined. Also has heavy gauge screens plus small gauge screens (can transport dogs if need be with the heavy screens). I have a collapsible cot which fits the length of the bed, thick Thermarest that goes on the cot, a 12 V fan for circulation during the summer months.
I find the camper shell very convenient for transporting most anything and keeping them dry. I can even put my mountain bike in there and lock the tail gate and the window latch. It also is set up with Thule rails on top so that I can attach Thule accessories such as one of their rooftop cargo carriers.
1 user thanked author for this post.August 21, 2016 at 10:07 am #37998
AnonymousAugust 21, 2016 at 10:32 am #37999
Hey Laps, Wow! Wow! You do not need an Ollie, you have everything you need in the bed of your truck. I bet you even have a 12V fridge for the beer and a grill for the bacon! Wicked cool! ? Buzzy
Ha! thanks Buzzy, but it is a “bit” cramped! I have a Pelican cooler for ice, no 12 V fridge yet, but great idea! Going to get a small propane grill to complement the Coleman white gas stove. Small tent for the outside camping experiences. I have truck/motorcycle/backpack camped for years, and of course you now know how wonderful it is to have an Ollie compared to roughing it.
Since this isn’t going to be the year for me for an Ollie, very sad to say, I’m headed out West either late September or October to the Utah/Moab area where I have been several times in the past. Going to get a good bike rack (hitch mounted) and do some MTB trail riding.August 21, 2016 at 2:27 pm #38001
Just a quick note on my 5 cents. This is my second truck and have used the camper top both times. I put the doors on the side that way I can put the items like chocks, leveling blocks, water connection, etc. right there for when I sent up camp. The second thing is make sure your truck bedis 6 1/2 ft long to fit items like your clam. Third I would say to not to buy one hight than the truck cab as every once in a while you have to go into a parking garage and I have been in some close ones. Thanks Gary
Gary & Jona
2016 Silverado 2500 Diesel
Legacy Elite II Hull 81August 21, 2016 at 4:47 pm #38003
I am on my 5th truck and have gone through a litany of different models and makes from small imports to the larger domestics and others in between. Likewise I have also tried just about every thing available to deal with the truck bed from nothing, to FG topper shells to roll up tonneau’s and have come to the conclusion there is no perfect answer and regardless what you decide on there will be some buyers remorse at some point. For my last two trucks I have used the rollup tonneau covers but at times really wish I had a FG topper shell. But we also often load lots of other things into our trucks from landscaping materials to lumber, plywood and other items where not having a topper is a huge benefit. The rollup tonneau allows either one of us to stand up in the truck bed almost instantly, and if need be we can load things that are taller than the truck bed sides with ease. This arrangement also allows us to attach our Thule rack mount system to the side rails which then allows us to carry kayaks on the crossbars, and road bikes below in the truck bed. The down side of course is those items are not weather protected, and their in lies the rub.
Good luck with your decision.August 21, 2016 at 11:05 pm #38013
We chose the camper shell. One of the trade offs that comes with the Oliver’s size, construction and technology is a bit less storage space for bulky items. These need to go in the truck. A sliding/rolling tonneau cover sat a bit lower than the bed rails and we needed to pack a few items that would have been too tall to close and lock the cover. Our travel plans include combining campgrounds and hotels and we need secure storage. The second influence was grandchildren. Oliver has three beds and we have three grandchildren that are too young to sleep outside on their own-grandpa sleeps outside. A fitted air mattress goes a long way in making this comfortable. Camper shell avoids camper’s hell.
Bob and Camille 2016 Ram 2500 6.7 Cummins 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull#141
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