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95.5-2004 Tacomas & 96-2002 4Runners 4th gen pickups and 3rd gen 4Runners

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Old 09-30-2004, 10:03 PM   #1
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Talking Camper Shell for Tacoma

I have an 02' Tacoma, double cab with an over-the-rail bedliner. I'm looking to add a camper shell to the bed. Will the over-the-rail liner effect the installation of the shell and the overall look? Snugtop is at the top of my list but I'm open to other manufacturers, so, any suggestions would be appreciated. Also, how much should I look to spend on a shell (just so I don't get dooped!)? Thanks for any help!!
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Old 09-30-2004, 10:10 PM   #2
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Expect to spend a minimum of $750. Prices can go to over $1000 easily enough.
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Old 09-30-2004, 10:21 PM   #3
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Thanks!

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Originally Posted by Glenn
Expect to spend a minimum of $750. Prices can go to over $1000 easily enough.
Thanks for the info Glenn! I have a feeling I'm gonna be quoted something over the 1k mark...
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Old 10-01-2004, 01:10 AM   #4
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I spent over 1200 for my Snug Lid XL flat bed cover. I have a feeling shipping to Hawaii has a bit to do with it. If you have the Toyota plastic drop in bed liner, it will need to be trimmed to fit under the bedrails from the inside for the camper shell to attach to the rails...at least from what I was told and seen for the Snug Lid campers...the clamps gotta grab that rail to secure. Or you can remove it and do a spray on lining or opt for the expensive molded/fitted bed carpet padding which is really nice if ya plan to sit back there...I know their camper tops cost a lot more than my flat lid. Their paint did match very well considering my color is tough to match.
Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 10-01-2004, 02:53 AM   #5
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$1200 for a good shell is right on target. We've got an ARE on our D-Cab. It is amazing how good these trucks look with a camper top.

Good Luck
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Old 10-01-2004, 07:50 AM   #6
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According to my research last spring, you're looking at $1000 - $1500, all inclusive. Some manufacturers offer entry-level models which can be had for something in the $750 - $850 range. I went with ARE, but I live in Ohio (where ARE is based). Since you're in California, SnugTop is probably the most competitive national brand. There are multiple other brands out there (Leer, Raven, etc.), but most of the ones I know of are in the East or the Midwest. There was a time when Leer was a reliable premium brand, but I've noticed a lot of griping about their quality in the last few years. Apparently they now have multiple (3?) production plants, and these plants (and their products) are not uniformly 'good'.
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Old 10-01-2004, 08:24 AM   #7
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I bought a campershell for my 2002 Taco that came off a 1998 Taco for $250 and spent $200 to have it painted to match my truck. The shell was in excellent condition and after having it painted it now looks brand new. I guess I was lucky.
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Old 10-01-2004, 09:32 AM   #8
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If you get a snugtop, an over-the-rail liner probably won't affect installation. Snugtop uses J-hooks to anchor the shell to the bed, and they can secure the shell even with an over the rail liner. As far as looks, the only difference would be a thicker dark line between the bed and shell.
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Old 10-01-2004, 11:37 AM   #9
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Thanks Everyone!!

Wow everyone, thanks for all your feedback and suggestions. This will really help when I go lookin'. I saw one local shop asking for 1800!! Maybe prices have gone up or the cost of running a business in the Silicon Valley has increased the price of everything!! A little haggling might help...
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Old 10-01-2004, 12:50 PM   #10
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You don't have to buy new. I found a really nice Leer cab-high top for 400 bucks at the local topper shop, brand new it would have cost $1200 bucks. It looks brand new and they also threw in free installation.
So unless you just have to spend extra cash be sure to call around looking for deals.
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Old 10-01-2004, 12:56 PM   #11
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I've got an ARE z-series. I have a regular size bed, so mine cost more, but do expect to spend a pretty penny to get a good one.
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Old 10-01-2004, 01:01 PM   #12
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Good Point

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Originally Posted by Scary Mc
You don't have to buy new. I found a really nice Leer cab-high top for 400 bucks at the local topper shop, brand new it would have cost $1200 bucks. It looks brand new and they also threw in free installation.
So unless you just have to spend extra cash be sure to call around looking for deals.

That's a good point you make. Do most camper shell dealers carry used equipment or was your case a rare instance? I'll be sure to ask...Thanks!
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Old 10-01-2004, 01:43 PM   #13
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I have a Leer on mine and boy do I wish I would have bought an ARE. Oh well live and learn...
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Old 10-01-2004, 02:53 PM   #14
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I just got one brand new, it was $1560 out the door with the rubber boot (connects the rear of the cab to the campershell. I went with a LEER I liked the options and the look, 1 pop lock in the center of the rear window and two windows that open out on the sides. I have a rhino liner over the rail and the fitment was fine but with a plastic liner you'll need to cut slots for the J-brackets so that they can mount to the rail.

http://www.hkarmy.com/mike/tacoma1.jpg

http://www.hkarmy.com/mike/tacoma4.jpg

I'm gonna take more pictures when I have a chance but that gives you the jist of it, I was considering a snugtop too you should check those out some are pretty nice, www.snugtop.com

Mike

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Old 10-01-2004, 02:55 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steelhead
I have a Leer on mine and boy do I wish I would have bought an ARE. Oh well live and learn...
What's wrong w/ your Leer? I had an ARE on my old Taco and the Leer seems just as nice.
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Old 10-02-2004, 08:16 AM   #16
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The Leer looks nice on your truck. It's good to know you didn't have any problems installing it over your liner.
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Old 10-02-2004, 07:33 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRDgal
...Do most camper shell dealers carry used equipment or was your case a rare instance? ...
My experience is that it's rare to find a good inventory of used shells at a retailer's lot. Anything they have is probably a trade-in. In any case, you have to be lucky enough to find something that fits your truck (and that isn't easy in the used market). Best places to locate used shells: local classifieds, eBay, and For Sale forums at (e.g.) YotaTech, CustomTacos, and Tacoma Territory.

There's another possibility - factory seconds.... Back in '85 (at a retail RV / shell dealer) I found a new Century shell that matched my new kidney bean red Toyota truck, but it had a couple of thin / faded patches on the exterior finish. It was all paint - the shell was fine. For 50% off, I decided I could live with the blemishes....
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Old 10-03-2004, 01:32 AM   #18
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Check Ebay. Thats where I got my latest cap (I was patient). Seems like a majority of caps listed there in in Cali. BTW, I don't know if they make 'em for double cabs, but having smacked my way too many times leaning in with the old cap, I have to suggest getting a high rise/wedge shaped cap.
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Old 10-03-2004, 05:13 AM   #19
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TRDgal,
I have a 2004 ARE Z-series cap on my 04 Tacoma. Im very happy with it. Ordered it with several accessories and paid about $1350. Yes the over the rail bed liner will impact the cap. I wanted a flush fit, without the Toyota OEM plastic rail cover showing between the top and bed. See photo. Had Toyota swap it for an under the rail bedliner, but even that one had a piece over the front rail, next to the cab. ARE dealer said it wasnt a big deal and installed the cap, adding a little extra foam to make the transition. I was not happy with it. Next day I fixed it by lifting the cap and cutting the forward rail cover off with a dremel. If I were to do it again, Id remove the Toyota accessory liner and spray in an under the rail liner.
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Last edited by Voyager; 10-03-2004 at 05:26 AM.
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Old 02-15-2005, 07:26 PM   #20
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TR check this out: http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eB...category=33655
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Old 02-15-2005, 07:26 PM
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