Clutch’s deep thoughts thread...

What's the consensus on Softoppers? I think I have asked this before, but can't remember. Now I'm debating this again. I sometimes have to haul things that would not fit inside a shell (even high rise). I wish there were an uber light shell available. So maybe 25% of the time, I'd need the topper off. Rest, it would stay on the truck. I just hate the hassle of taking the shell on and off, and I really don't even have room to store it. (no, @Clutch, trailer idea is a no go! Again, storage. :D)



I'm not fond of the looks of the Softopper, but it would do what I'd need. Security is not an issue. I'd get rid of the stupid vinyl windows and replace them with solid canvas inserts (they sell this separately).

Someone mold me an 80lb carbon fiber shell. Don't need windows, keep the weight down. Don't need to stow anything up top, so no need for brute reinforcements.
Loose some space over a regular shell. That and I don't like the looks of them. Soft top on a LC40=good...on a pickup=bad.

Telling ya man, trailer! They practically load themselves. Once you get one you'll never go back.

How hard is it taking off the shell? I have a pully system rigged up in the carport off the garage. Takes me maybe 10-15 minutes....but I have a trailer so really never use it, used more for my Snugtop storage, which I should sell it, but I know the moment I do I'll regret it.
 
I'm not sure an aluminum topper isn't just as light, too.
Aluminum toppers are just as heavy. Per at least two shops here, they say you'll maybe save 10lbs or so. They're still all around the 200lb range.

I typically won't have anything of value back there. The times I do, I wouldn't be leaving the truck for an extended period or heading out camping. Probably the most valuable thing I'd put back there is my bike. And if it gets stolen....good excuse to get a new one. :D
 
Aluminum toppers are just as heavy. Per at least two shops here, they say you'll maybe save 10lbs or so. They're still all around the 200lb range.

I typically won't have anything of value back there. The times I do, I wouldn't be leaving the truck for an extended period or heading out camping. Probably the most valuable thing I'd put back there is my bike. And if it gets stolen....good excuse to get a new one. :D
Are you sure on wieght? I had an aluminum one on my F250, could take it off myself. At our house in PA we had an area that was tailgate height for loading tractors, ATV's and bikes. I would get in there and put the shell on my back and walk it out. Weighed maybe 75-100 lbs.
 
I've had two aluminum toppers in my life, a black one I put on my Ranger and my white 1991 came with a white one. Both were standard Unicover cab-high plain ol' caps. I'd be surprised if they weighed 100 lbs. I'd guess 75 lbs at most. I did the same as Clutch, stoop over and walk it down a ramp off the truck solo.
 
Loose some space over a regular shell. That and I don't like the looks of them. Soft top on a LC40=good...on a pickup=bad.

Telling ya man, trailer! They practically load themselves. Once you get one you'll never go back.

How hard is it taking off the shell? I have a pully system rigged up in the carport off the garage. Takes me maybe 10-15 minutes....but I have a trailer so really never use it, used more for my Snugtop storage, which I should sell it, but I know the moment I do I'll regret it.
Trailer: I wouldn't mind one, if I had the acreage or garage space. I've had em in the past. Nice for some things. Hassle for others.

Pulley system won't work for me, either. Garage design/space.

I think if the aluminum shell really weighs 75lbs, I could take it off by myself, leave it in the garage, then reinstall myself.
 
What's the consensus on Softoppers? I think I have asked this before, but can't remember. Now I'm debating this again. I sometimes have to haul things that would not fit inside a shell (even high rise). I wish there were an uber light shell available. So maybe 25% of the time, I'd need the topper off. Rest, it would stay on the truck. I just hate the hassle of taking the shell on and off, and I really don't even have room to store it. (no, @Clutch, trailer idea is a no go! Again, storage. :D)



I'm not fond of the looks of the Softopper, but it would do what I'd need. Security is not an issue. I'd get rid of the stupid vinyl windows and replace them with solid canvas inserts (they sell this separately).

Someone mold me an 80lb carbon fiber shell. Don't need windows, keep the weight down. Don't need to stow anything up top, so no need for brute reinforcements.
I had an aluminum topper on my old zr2. I don’t remember the weight but I never had a problem taking it off myself. I don’t see how any other topper could be lighter.

Not thick aluminum, the kind you could punch through with a screwdriver.
 
Trailer: I wouldn't mind one, if I had the acreage or garage space. I've had em in the past. Nice for some things. Hassle for others.

Pulley system won't work for me, either. Garage design/space.

I think if the aluminum shell really weighs 75lbs, I could take it off by myself, leave it in the garage, then reinstall myself.
I think he was BSing you, they are super light.

We "bearly" have enough space for my little utility trailer with the new house. The car part is in front of the garage...which the topper is hung from and the trailer underneath. A little white trash looking but I put on one of those roll down screens in front of everything to hide it.

Would love to get a little enclosed...but it would have to go on the street. Kinda one of the reasons why I am thinking of doing a popup enclosed pod on my existing trailer.

Found this build which is exactly the same trailer I have. I like how he did the rear door. Right up my alley of being super cheap too.

https://expeditionportal.com/forum/threads/utility-trailer-teardrop-off-roadish-camper-build.161384/



Something to.....'bear'.... in mind depending on where you like to camp. I mean overland....
LOL! chuckle of the day
 
I don't know fellas. I called another (different) shop just bearly. They said that all the aluminum units are commercial grade. They stopped making "recreational" shells years ago. He confirmed no way they're less than 150lbs. That's standard with no options.
 
I believe a commercial topper would weigh that much.

KnapKap-ACU-Toyota-Tacoma.png
I can't really believe they don't still make plain aluminum toppers. Unicover and A.R.E. both advertise them. Talking about the 1" square tubing frame with wrinkled paper-thin aluminum sheeting. I bet they don't make much money on them so it's not at the top of the sales guy's stack of cut sheets. I dunno, maybe not. The number of people willing to slap a random color topper on their $65k truck is probably dwindling.

http://unicovercaps.com/aluminum.php

https://www.4are.com/product/cal/
 
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