Summit Treestands
Softopper Camper Top Users
Elk
Contributors to this thread:
Browtine 18-Dec-18
OFFHNTN 18-Dec-18
Surfbow 18-Dec-18
Russell 18-Dec-18
midwest 18-Dec-18
Browtine 18-Dec-18
Browtine 18-Dec-18
coelker 18-Dec-18
wildwilderness 18-Dec-18
Tony Phillips 18-Dec-18
Michael 18-Dec-18
Ambush 18-Dec-18
GLP 18-Dec-18
TD 19-Dec-18
Cheesehead Mike 19-Dec-18
Browtine 19-Dec-18
cnelk 19-Dec-18
PO Cedar 21-Dec-18
ND String Puller 21-Dec-18
midwest 21-Dec-18
BigOk 21-Dec-18
Cheesehead Mike 21-Dec-18
rjlefty3 21-Dec-18
PO Cedar 21-Dec-18
PO Cedar 21-Dec-18
llamapacker 21-Dec-18
Ksgobbler 21-Dec-18
Kurt 30-Dec-18
From: Browtine
18-Dec-18
Looking at camper tops. Found a good used but almost new Leer fiberglass one but still a lot of money. Only use it for 2 weeks a year for the trip West from WV and back. Can't stand them the rest of the time. Been looking at the softoppers. Still pricey but also half of what the used hard shell costs. Not concerned about security compared to hard shell. But looking to use for storage of coolers and gear for the trip out and back. Looking for feedback from folks who have used them for this purpose.

From: OFFHNTN
18-Dec-18
I have a hard shell topper and leave it on year round. I love it. So I guess I'm no help with the softopper. Why do you not like a hard shell?

From: Surfbow
18-Dec-18
I nearly bought a softopper, they get great reviews from everyone I talked to out here in Colorado. Decided to go with a fiberglass top though for security and the ability to mount hard racks for carrying building materials or more gear.

From: Russell
18-Dec-18
Maybe consider a used aluminum one?

Add four I-bolts to the top for easy removal if you want to hang the camper shell when not used. Or, they're light and easy to remove with one or two people.

From: midwest
18-Dec-18
I think Ermine has one.

From: Browtine
18-Dec-18
I don't like the hard top in the snow and dust as the back glass stays covered in dust from both and you can't see. I don't like it when it's time to put the four wheeler in the truck and go. I've taken them off and on and stored them up overhead in the garage but that's a lot of weight hanging up there no matter how you secure them. They are great for the trip and much better than the softopper but I really only want one for those 2 weeks of the entire year. The softopper can be completely removed in 2 minutes and stored in my enclosed cargo trailer (which is what I use for most everything anyway) but I like the extra use of truck space in addition to the trailer. Just 2 of us going to Wyoming in 2019 so don't need the cargo trailer but need more than a tonneau. That's why I'm looking at the softopper and another fiberglass. The leer already has the 4 attach points in the roof to aid in removal but I would still have to store it. I know the many advantages of the leer just looking for a travelling hunter's feedback on the softopper so I can better make my decision.

From: Browtine
18-Dec-18
And actually aluminum would be my preferred as I don't need fancy but you can only get a contractor's edition of aluminum for newer trucks (mine is a 2018 Silverado) and they cost the same as the basic fiberglass.

From: coelker
18-Dec-18
There is a new company I just saw that makes a left camper shell. When down it is normal height, but when lifted it has cloth sides and make a lot more room in the back.

Look for that, I have considered one for sure.

18-Dec-18
I have had a soft topper for a few years. Works well for what you are describing. Easy on. off and keeps things dry. Dust will get in if you drive on dirt roads for miles. Over time I have had a couple of the snaps pull out since I was a bit too hard pulling it off at the wrong angle. Its convenient in that you can flip it up and keep it in the bed, or take it off completely and store out of the truck by yourself in minutes.

18-Dec-18
I had a Best Top Super Top on my 99 Tacoma and purchased one for my 2011 Ranger. I like them, they keep your gear dry and with the tinted Plexiglas they kept things hidden. It was nice being able to fold them down out of the way when not needed. They can also be removed totally without too much trouble.

From: Michael
18-Dec-18

Michael's embedded Photo
Michael's embedded Photo
Michael's embedded Photo
Michael's embedded Photo
I had a soft topper for a couple of years.

I bought it for sleeping in the back of my truck. Very easy to take off and put back on.

There are 4 straps that basically stretch the canvas out and hold them upright. Snaps along the the bed rails as well as one in the front. There is a tube that goes across the tailgate. They send Velcro with as well. To remove just undo the 4 straps, unsnap the snaps and fold up. Take off the 2 pin keepers and remove from pin. Lift the topper off the truck.

They have a very good video on there website for removing and reinstalling.

From: Ambush
18-Dec-18
I bought an old aluminum topper that was in very good shape. Since it only fit the older boxes the guy sold it for $40 and threw in the clamps. I just bolted a six inch wide strip of 3/4” ply to the topper sils and now I can clamp it on my Tundra. I only use it every couple years, but it’s invaluable when I do need it.

From: GLP
18-Dec-18
Had a fiberglass tonneau cover on my old truck. (Kind of a mix of both). Loved it! it went on and off quickly by myself. 10 minutes max. Security of fiberglass and ease of a soft shell. Greg

From: TD
19-Dec-18
I replaced a rusted out hard top on my Scout with a Softopper top. WRT security..... there is none.... I had to install an alarm system on the Scout after being broken into a couple times. But overall very happy with it. And my buddies like SteveH don't cut their heads on the top anymore..... =D

A downside is the vinyl side and back windows get dirty fast, and the dirt etc. scratch them up easy. And the sun really messes with the windows in a short time. They basically disintegrate in a few years. The top material itself is very good, holds up very well and is very well made. One advantage is you can replace the side panels and back panel very easy, giving new windows without replacing the entire thing.

I've always had the clear windows, my next ones will be tinted in hopes they may hold up better in the sun.

19-Dec-18

Cheesehead Mike's embedded Photo
My topper rack. The bottom shelf is the same height as the top of my box rails.
Cheesehead Mike's embedded Photo
My topper rack. The bottom shelf is the same height as the top of my box rails.
Cheesehead Mike's embedded Photo
My run and gun bunk with 150 and 100 quart coolers.
Cheesehead Mike's embedded Photo
My run and gun bunk with 150 and 100 quart coolers.
Cheesehead Mike's embedded Photo
Loaded and heading west for elk
Cheesehead Mike's embedded Photo
Loaded and heading west for elk
I know this doesn't answer your question but it might provide some ideas for guys with fiberglass toppers...

I built a rack to store my topper on that is the same height as the top of my truck box rails. The topper is sitting on the rack on long 2x4’s about 12 feet long. When I want to load the topper onto the truck I pull the truck up next to the topper rack. Then I stand under the topper, slightly lift it and slide the long 2x4’s from under the topper and over onto the top of my truck box rails so that the 2x4’s span the gap between the truck box and the rack. I then slide the topper onto the long 2x4’s and across the gap and onto the truck box. I then jump into the back of the truck, stand under the topper, lift it slightly with my back and slide the long 2x4’s back onto the rack. Its slicker than goose poop, takes very little effort and I can mount or dismount my topper by myself in about 10 minutes.

I built a little bunk in the truck bed and a divider board to keep coolers stacked and separated from the bunk area. It allows me to sleep comfortably while traveling or when I’m moving around checking out hunting areas before I commit and set up camp.

From: Browtine
19-Dec-18
Well i had basically made my mind up to get the softopper. But then i seen a new ad on craigslist for another fiberglass topper. It now sits atop my truck bed and it was $225 cheaper than the softopper! Color isn't as nice as the original fiberglass topper i was considering but for the deal i got and no more than ill use it, it's just fine. $650 for a 2 year old ARE.

From: cnelk
19-Dec-18

cnelk's embedded Photo
cnelk's embedded Photo
You wont regret a hard topper.

My topper setup is very similar to CheeseMike's. Coolers on one side, bunk on the other side, store tools, chainsaw under the bunk, and I can lock my tailgate to keep them secure and the topper door unlocked for quick, easy access.

But I leave the topper on all the time.

From: PO Cedar
21-Dec-18

PO Cedar's embedded Photo
PO Cedar's embedded Photo
Bought the Softopper the same time I bought the new Taco, 2011...works good..easy off, on...

21-Dec-18
https://www.fas-top.com/

Just seen this at a local sportsman's expo. It's can be a tonneau or soft topper looked pretty cool

From: midwest
21-Dec-18
Hey Mike, I like that divider idea....stealing! Finally got a 6-1/2 ft. box again so I can sleep in the back.

From: BigOk
21-Dec-18

21-Dec-18

Cheesehead Mike's embedded Photo
Cheesehead Mike's embedded Photo
That's a cool trailer Roger!

Glad you like it Nick. On the front part of the bunk I have bolts with large washers that stick out 1/2" from the 2 boards on the side of the bunk. I cut slots into the front edge of the plywood divider so I can just push the divider forward so the bolts go into the slots and the big washers hold the divider tight against the bunk. That way I don't have to crawl to the front of the box to attach the divider to the bunk. The rear part of the divider is attached to the bunk with 2 carriage bolts and wing nuts. There are two eye-bolts on the underside of the bunk and I ran a long ratchet strap from the front box tie down loop, through the eye-bolts and back to the rear tie down loop.

My original plan was to use two ratchet straps to hold the bunk in; one in the front and one in the rear, but using one long strap made removal quicker and more convenient. I was also going to use another piece of plywood to sandwich the coolers but the second piece wasn't necessary; it was easier to just run the ratchet straps all the way around the coolers.

Its pretty slick and I can remove the bunk and divider in less than 5 minutes.

From: rjlefty3
21-Dec-18
I have a softopper as well. Easy to take on and off, but I honestly don't use anymore. I'd be willing to part with it for a good price if anyone is interested - it's for a 2011ish model Tacoma.

From: PO Cedar
21-Dec-18

PO Cedar's embedded Photo
PO Cedar's embedded Photo
Mike, I mounted a rooftop tent on the load bars, use it behind the Jeep or FJ...

From: PO Cedar
21-Dec-18

PO Cedar's embedded Photo
PO Cedar's embedded Photo
Gear stows inside the trailer, sleep above in tent...good off road option...

From: llamapacker
21-Dec-18
I realize you have your solution, but others might consider a Diamondback topper. Strong enough to carry ATVs and still secure for coolers, etc. I have had one on my last two trucks, and love it. Bill

From: Ksgobbler
21-Dec-18

Ksgobbler's embedded Photo
Ksgobbler's embedded Photo
Ksgobbler's embedded Photo
Ksgobbler's embedded Photo
Here is how I store my fiberglass topper.

From: Kurt
30-Dec-18
I do the same as KS Gobbler..hanging the canopy when it isn't on the F350. I use 4 sturdy flat metal hooks that I bent up to go under the canopy rails on each corner. A cheap boat trailer winch to lift the canopy, 3/8" nylon rope with pulleys above each lift point and a 4 pulley sheave block to bring the ropes down to the winch. Above the winch but below the sheave block I tie all four canopy ropes to a single carabiner then run a single rope to the winch. I also added a ratchet strap to keep the canopy sides at the rear from spreading when lifted. Works great, making it a quick one man job to install or remove the canopy, and mine is a heavy fiberglass unit. You do have to have some garage head room

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