Compact pickup toppers

Have you ever noticed compact pickup trucks like the GMC Sonoma, Ford Ranger, Mazda B series of trucks, Chevrolet S10 and even the old Nissan trucks?

Take a look at this tiny truck and it’s pickup topper!  Now isn’t that neat?  You can save gas with a small truck, and with a little pickup topper, you can probably camp inside it too!

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Pickup toppers for small truck

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A.R.E vs. Leer truck caps

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A.R.E truck topper on a Ford F-150

The great debate begins between Leer vs. A.R.E.  To be honest, it’s very hard to find a lot of examples of A.R.E tuck toppers in my town.  Which just makes them more unique.  For some reason there are just a lot more LEER truck caps here, so mostly that’s what you will see.  Here’s an example of one of those rare A.R.E pickup toppers.  This was on an F-150 that was parked outside a safeway.  This truck camper shell is the same model of A.R.E pickup topper that I found at another location across town.  I’ve never seen another model of A.R.E pickup topper yet.  So unfortunately, this is probably going to be one of the few examples I’m going to be able to post on my site.   Notice the locks and roof racks.  This is a quality topper that is accessible and convenient.  When you paint the topper to match the truck, it just looks better in my opinion.  But since A.R.E is so few and far in between in my town, well, this is the best example so far.  I’ll post more pics as I find them.

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Leer truck topper on Chevy Silverado

Now we move onto Leer truck caps.  By far, this is the best selling pickup topper in my town.  However, best selling doesn’t always mean best (although Leer makes a pretty good pickup topper too!)  This example is on a Chevy Silverado and no, this post is not going to become a Ford vs. Chevy debate.  This particular topper was painted the same color as the truck.  It doesn’t open from the side, but it does have roof racks.  Also, it looks like this particular model was made entirely out of fiberglass where the A.R.E model was made out of steel.  Do we have a clear winner?  No, I don’t think so.  In terms of quality, in my opinion they both have their plus and minuses based on type of truck.  Leer truck toppers are better for some trucks while A.R.E is better for others in my opinion.  You just need to shop around and see if you can fit both brands pickup toppers on your truck and see what fits and looks better.  They are not the only manufacturers of pickup toppers but are both very well known.

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Same vs. Different Color Pickup topper

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Same body color pickup topper

Check out the above pickup topper.  It’s a similar Ford Ranger to one that was posted months ago (and in different cities.)  And then compare it to the old picture from a few posts back.   It’s not the same truck.  But notice how just the color of the pickup topper can differentiate your truck!

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If you have a pickup truck with a step in the box, it is possible to get a pickup topper to match. Take a look.



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Did MythBusters really say that pickup toppers do nothing for gas mileage?

Recently I came across this video:

Now they did say it did have some improvement at the end. But notice how they used a hard tonneau cover in their test run. They never used a camper top.

But they also said that driving with a pickup topper did NOT hurt mileage. No Tailgate, Tailgate up and pickup topper were about the same!

But who knew that using a tailgate mesh would get the best mileage!


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Matching the color of your Pickup Topper

Following our last post, this post is about matching your pickup topper. A lot of times, many manufacturers can make the topper in your pickup’s color. However, when they do not, you may have to resort to getting a body shop to paint your pickup topper. Check out this pickup topper. It’s painted to match the body of the truck and it’s got roof racks!

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Creating a two tone colored truck by mixing pickup topper colors

If you are not getting a body colored pickup topper, choosing something neutral is a safe bet. Black or white works alright with most trucks. truck camper shells truck bed campers pickup toppers leer truck caps

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What do I do with the foam tape?

A lot of people stick the foam tape that goes between the pick up topper and the truck onto the truck. But this is incorrect. You should stick the foam tape to the PICKUP TOPPER, not the truck. This way, your pick up topper will have a better

chance of sealing because when you take the topper on and off the truck, you’re constantly shifting it. You won’t always be able to place the topper onto the same spot on the truck all the time. But if the foam sealing tape is taped underneath the pickup topper itself, then even if you’re off by a little bit, there is always a seal between the foam tape and your truck. It looks ugly, but it works.

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Possible roof racks?

Have you ever run into the problem of having too much stuff in your truck camper to fit your bike or canoe? Well, I’ve been scouring the internet for a solution and here is something interesting. I am not affiliated with these guys, but it is an interesting solution.

  • Vantech M1000 Rack System Pickup Toppers & Caps – The Aluminum M1000 is a universal rack system that can be installed on any Pickup Topper & Caps (drilling required). The mounting bases are 3 mm thick and have an extra wide 6in X 1.5in mounting base, polyfoam gasket …
  • New Vantech M2000 Rack System Pickup Toppers & Caps – Archives – New Vantech M2000 Rack System Pickup Toppers & Caps Universal STEEL. The Steel M2000 is a universal rack system that can be installed on any Pickup Topper & Caps (drilling required). All steel systems are galvanized …

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Welcome to, the site for pickup truck owners with pickup toppers!

Welcome to the pickup toppers community.  As pickup truck owners, we love riding around in our trucks and having a pickup topper adds a lot of utility to our trucks.  Some of the benefits of using pick up toppers include:


  • Pick up toppers provide privacy for the items in your truck bed
  • Pick up toppers prevent theft, let’s face it, having an open truck bed full of tools or anything for that matter it is just an invitation for theft
  • Pick up toppers can make your truck more aerodynamic, helping save gas 
  • You can top your truck with campers 
  • There are toppers that actually have spoilers on them if that’s your style
  • You can get various types of toppers, from tonneau covers, to vinyl, fiberglass, and steel ones.
  • They can make your truck look cooler

Let’s look at these items one by one.

Pickup toppers provide privacy for the items in your truck bed.

Sometimes, you just don’t want to let others know what you are carrying.   Maybe on the outside you act like a rugged guy, but you’re a teddy bear when it comes to women and you just don’t want to get bugged by your friends when you’ve got a bunch of roses and gifts for your gal.  Or maybe you’re an avid sportsman, and you don’t want your competition finding out what gear you are using to beat them in competition.  (ie. special fishing lures, skies, fishing poles, etc.)

Pickup toppers prevent theft.

Let’s face it, having tools or anything for that matter sitting in your truck bed is just an invitation for theft.  With a pick up topper, you can have a lock added to it to prevent access to your belongings.  This is partly tied to privacy.  Sometimes you just don’t want people knowing what you got, because if they knew, they may steal from you.  The wonderful thing with pickup trucks is that they carry a lot of stuff.  More so than a car trunk.  But without a pickup topper, you don’t have the security.  I know of a lot of friends that have had tools stolen from the back of their trucks because they didn’t have a tool box or pickup topper secured to their truck.  The cost of replacing some of the tools were enough to cover the cost of a pick up topper.  Especially when they cheaped out and just replaced their tools and repeated their habits of leaving tools in the truck bed.   Sure enough, it was a matter of time before their tools got stolen again.

Pickup trucks can make your truck more aerodynamic, helping you save gas.

This is partly true depending on the topper you have.  Think about it.  That tail gate that you have in the back of your truck acts like a parachute.  You’ve got it locked in the upright position, meanwhile as you’re driving along the highway at speed, air is just hitting the back of that tailgate when it’s in the upright position, creating more drag that eats up horsepower and consumes more gas.  If you had the right type of pick up topper, air would circulate around the back of your cab and around the topper and away from the truck without hitting the back of the tail gate thus creating less drag.  

You can top your truck with a camper

One of the best things about owning a pickup truck and having a camper is that you can just take off, and go into the wilderness and camp.  Some campers have a sleeping area above the cab, and it’s the freedom of just driving into the wilderness, hunting and fishing for your food and falling asleep in the camper at night.  There’s a certain sense of freedom that comes from just living off the land that you only can get with a truck and a camper.  If you don’t like your campsite, you just get out, get in your cab and drive to a new camp site!

 There are actually truck topper with spoilers on them!

Let’s face it, we all customize our trucks with a little bit of ourselves.  And choosing a truck topper is no different.  From the colors, to the material they are made of, to the purpose, the end use that they provide.  There are many styles to choose from.  And there are actualyl some truck toppers that come with spoilers at the back of them.  Depending on the truck you have, it can make it look like you belong in the NASCAR truck series.  

They come in all different types of styles, color and materials

There are many different types, brands and styles of truck toppers.  From Tonneau covers made from leather and vinyl to hard shell toppers in an assortment of shapes and sizes made out of metals and plastics.   Choose a color, there’s one that probably fits your style.

And last, but not least, truck toppers make your truck look cool!  They really do.  And this site is dedicated to pickup truck owners and the pickup toppers that you put on your truck.  Feel free to post your pickup and pickup toppers on this page!

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