05+ Taco Bestop Camper Review/Write-up

barlowrs

Explorer
Ok, this write-up is a little different; I have actually had the bestop on my truck for several years now, so this is more of a “review/what I have done to modify it over the years” write-up than an install write-up. Hope this is useful to people running into the problems I had, or thinking about installing this. (Note: pay no attention to the chorme offorad wheels in the pics, they are placeholders for now until I can get my new wheels fitted)

Overall, I HIGHLY recommend the top. As it has been great, there were just a few obstacles to get over after several years of use.

The History:

Well when attacking the bed, I had some constraints I had to work around.

First, I needed something removable, as I use my truck to haul my motorcycle to the track, which stands higher than the top of most campers. While most camper tops are removable, my next constraint really limited me. I live in an apt with a single parking spot, so leaving a fiberglass shell in my spot was pretty much out of the question. This left me with two options, the Bestop Softtop, or the Softopper. Both of which collapse and remain on the truck. I decided to go with the bestop as I like having the windows while I am sleeping in the back.

The bestop is nice because it has 3 basic modes:

UP (Acting like a typical camper shell):





This is great for protecting things, and also sleeping inside. I have actually camped inside of it while ice climbing in Lee Vining, and I must admit, it actually stays pretty darn warm inside; the canvas is pretty thick.

As you can see in this picture, it can support quite a bit of snow on top without collapsing..haha




I cannot say she is COMPLETELY sealed, as a SMALL amount of water CAN leak in the front corners at the bed rails, however, it is a very small amount and only if the rain hits it right. To alleviate this, I have gotten the rubber bed mad. This allows for a nice rubber mat to sleep on, while also giving the bed a “false floor”. Any water that does creep in finds its way UNDER the rubber mat, keeping me nice and dry on top of the mat.


WINDOWS OUT:


I have found this mode to be quite useful on hot days on Joshua tree climbing when you need shade. I have even had my truck at the base of a climb and belayed out of it..haha. this mode works great if you just want shade, almost like an awning.

COLLAPSED:



It takes approximately 5 EASY minutes to collapse her fully, and this allows a fully open bed to haul my bike or any large things. As all of us with a truck knows, we always get called upon when friends need to move, and this allows for full loads.
 

barlowrs

Explorer
Modifications after 2 years of use

MODIFICATIONS AFTER 2 YEARS OF USE:

Now for the modifications that I have had to make after several years of use.

RUST ISSUES:

First off, the rivets that are used as the pivot points and to hold the upright bars are NOT stainless, and they WILL rust out. After about a years and a half, I finally got around to drilling them out. I installed some nice stainless hardware with lock washers and locktite to make sure the opening and closing does not back them off.



The side windows actually rest up and rub against the heads of the upper hardware, so to keep from wearing a nasty hole in the sides, I put these screw caps on. This also makes it look cleaner when the windows are out.




After 2 years, the paint started to wear in several places after repeated “up and downs”. This allowed for a TINY bit of surface rust on some parts. Luckily the whole thing is VERY easy to take apart so I just simply took her apart, gave a slight scotch brite rubbing and rustoliumed the rusted parts. Flat Black worked great and blended well so I didn’t have to paint everything.

While I had her apart I also painted the aluminum clamps with rustolium, as they were starting to show small signs of corrosion as well. I think it actually makes everything blend better having them black too. (You can see the two clamps up front are not painted below so you can see the contrast between painted and not)



NOISE ISSUES:

While discussing the clamps, another issue I discovered was that at high speeds, the Velcro that is supplied to hold the front (under the window) down to the bed rails was not sufficient and would pull up due to the wind force. This made an annoying flapping noise form the bed. TO alleviate this, I was able to get 2 spare clamps from bestop and use them on the front flap. Have never had a problem since I did that.



Another random noise issue was front the clasps. When the top is installed upright, the claps hangs down between the cab and the bed. Whiled driving, the plastic clasp would hit the bed and make an annoying ticking noise. This may not bother most ppl, but it annoyed the heck out of me, so to alleviate this, I wrapped the clasp in foam and wrapped some electrical tape around it. Noise gone.



That is all the mods I have had to do, and overall this top has stood up VERY well to a lot of punishment and I HIGHLY recommend it!
 

Applejack

Explorer
The Bestop is a great top. I had one too when I had my Taco. Is was nice to have the top up and the widows out. The kids liked to ride back there on mellow trail rides.
 

HoosierTacoma08

New member
I've had my top for nearly 14 months now and I recently started having the Velcro issue, and was wondering what Bestop charged for the extra clamps? Also, have you ever noticed the flap rubbing on the cab body? Mine has done it since day one to the point of wearing some paint off. It's not major but it does bug me. Other than those two things the top has done great! :sombrero:

Jared
 

barlowrs

Explorer
I've had my top for nearly 14 months now and I recently started having the Velcro issue, and was wondering what Bestop charged for the extra clamps? Also, have you ever noticed the flap rubbing on the cab body? Mine has done it since day one to the point of wearing some paint off. It's not major but it does bug me. Other than those two things the top has done great! :sombrero:

Jared
Hmm, no I havent noticed that, are you sure your camper is not too far foward toward the cab? I suppose if it was too far foward it would not collapse, so if you are able to collapse it, you should be good.

I actually got the clamps for free as part of the warranty. When I first got the shell, there was a problem, so they had me send it back and they sent a replacement, I "forgot" to send all four clamps back though. (I kept two, and they sent me a new set of four.) I am sure you can call and find out how much they are though, cannot be much, otherwise you could easily make some clamps that will hold it down.
 

HoosierTacoma08

New member
Hmm, no I havent noticed that, are you sure your camper is not too far foward toward the cab? I suppose if it was too far foward it would not collapse, so if you are able to collapse it, you should be good.

I actually got the clamps for free as part of the warranty. When I first got the shell, there was a problem, so they had me send it back and they sent a replacement, I "forgot" to send all four clamps back though. (I kept two, and they sent me a new set of four.) I am sure you can call and find out how much they are though, cannot be much, otherwise you could easily make some clamps that will hold it down.
Thanks for the reply. Yeah, I readjusted the cap several times at first thinking I had done something wrong, but I hadn't. I'll look into the clamps if I don't fab some first.
 
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