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Best Truck Cap?

  • Leer

    Votes: 22 33.3%
  • A.R.E.

    Votes: 27 40.9%
  • SnugTop

    Votes: 9 13.6%
  • Other

    Votes: 8 12.1%

  • Total voters
    66
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Discussion Starter #1
I have a bigass Chocolate Lab, and I live in Canada(so when it's not snowwy it's often muddy). I have access to trailers when the day comes I need one(and a brake controller). For my needs, a cap is exactly what I need and I have a 6'4 box. I've worked out 2 competing brands with near identical features/looks. I included pictures at the bottom. The "TRX" model truck is the A.R.E. Cap, and the other "SLT" is the Leer cap. The A.R.E looks a little sleeker by the cap area, but cant tell unless you compare them side by side. My step dad had a Leer cap that lasted 20 years but its the cheapest brand now by far and reviews aren't great. I am trying to decide if there's more bad reviews because they sell more caps of if their work changed. I've never seen anyone with an A.R.E. cap that's old. I don't want something lame on a truck that's so meaningful to me.

The caps are:

Leer 100XL, equipped with:
-sliding front window(which lines up well with the power sliding back window of the cab)
-tilting vent window sides(with shape/size cues taken from the truck, and tinted glass)
-single-handle locking back window
-carpet headliner(with insulation)
-LED Brake light
-LED Dome light

price tag installed with paint match: $2050(CDN)+tax
order time: 2 weeks
Warranty: Lifetime structural(with limitations)

A.R.E. "Z series", equipped with:
-sliding front window(which lines up well with the power sliding back window of the cab)
-tilting vent window sides with twist-out handles(with shape/size cues taken from the truck, and tinted glass)
-single-handle locking back window
-carpet headliner
-LED Brake light
-LED Dome light

price tag installed with paint match: $2500(CDN)+tax
order time: 4 weeks
Warranty: Lifetime structural(with limitations, but much better limitations)

Check out the pics, and look at their sites. I want the "SUV-style", mostly because the windows match better.
 

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Man I wish a lot would respond. I need one also. The shock is price as I have been looking around. The white one on my current Cummins 2500 cost me $450 to build MY WAY back in September of '03 when I bought the truck new.

These crazy "mega-times" more expensive caps today give me major, major sticker shock.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I think the price made my mind. Although I like the shape of the ARE better at the back(slopes the ass more than the Leer), I think I'm going Leer to save the $450. Money talks.
 

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Been unable to find a Leer dealer so far here in south Florida. ARE is close and I got a price already. No prices that I can find are available online. Probably because of color code and shipping issues.

Now I'm going to look a bit harder for someone selling LEER near me.

Looks like months for me to get another truck anyhow. No hurry. Not able to order.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
You might be right to wait or use a closer brand. The main complaints I hear about LEER are damage during shipping, and nightmares with service. I have a really good body shop close by that won't hassle me so I'm going leer out of cost. For the money you'll spend you may save yourself headaches. You don't want to look too far for something that might need service.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Thanks Olli. First one who mentioned any examples of actual quality difference. I'm less worried about the seal than I am a barrier for the bulk of stuff and my dog. I'll probably go Leer to save the money and use clear removable caulk inside the cap/box to pick up any slack if I need to. Seal seems minor because its fixable. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Just looked at a SnugTop that had the best lines of any cap for the Ram I've ever seen. Windows looked amazing. I'll link a pick. Couldn't find a dealer, BECAUSE THERE'S ONLY ONE IN CANADA AND ITS 4,000 KMS AWAY! $2710 for the cap, and $800 for shipping. I wish I was still living out west =/

2tonecap2.JPG
 

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Now that I've got a truck on order I stopped by local dealer today who carries and installs both Leer and ARE.

I asked him which was better and he did a pretty decent job of sounding like a salesman and not giving away which he preferred. But then he slipped and let on that they think ARE is better quality, better manufacturing etc. Said that a lot of guys get a Leer just because they see so many of them. Mainly, he was trying hard to make them both sound good, but he is a terrible liar. (Need to remember to invite him to poker night.)

Both came in at right around $2000 for what I want.
 

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I have an ARE on my 09 1500. The top is nice value for the money, but I had to fix the fiberglass wing on the back window several times. It sticks out to cover the tailgate and It was poorly thought out. I had to forbid my wife from opening or closing the back window, she broke it off twice!
The seam that follows the bottom edge of the topper doesn't look as clean as others. Just my opinion. The ARE and Leer are very close in price. My friend has a 2010 1500, same color but he has the LEER top on his. He did the frameless windows all the way around and the topper just looks awesome, much cleaner look than mine.
I have been to four shops looking at the toppers and I think I am going to go with the LEER or SnugTop. The LEER is almost $600 cheaper, but the attention to detail in the SnugTop is far beyond the others. The screens are removable and slide open and closed, great for dogs and cleaning. The latches are firm and not done with a cable system like the LEER. That is the only complaint that my friend has about his top. The SnugTop and ARE use a fiberglass wing to cover the tailgate, but to get an idea of quality get your hands on both. The SnugTop is much more sturdy. LEER installs a cap onto the tailgate for the window to close against. I think with the SnugTop you could get the same thing as the ARE but after putting my hands on one the other day, I would say the SnugTop is much more secure. I will try and get some photos tomorrow to show what I am talking about.
I just know after owning the ARE i wont buy another one. Especially with the fact that I am spending $45k on a truck I dont want to make it look cheep.
 

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Looked at four dealers for Century, Leer and ARE. Think the last "topper" place told me Century is made in the same plant as Leer.

All the places I visited are full of BS. All but one did little more than a version of ..."Here's what we have"! All were stupid expensive.

On that price issue I paid $450 for the cap on my '04 2500. It looks new today and has been wonderful. Only thing is the manufacturer - Ranger Caps in Greensburg, Pa. - is out of business. They got old and died. Now these major places all want $1,500 or more. Heck. I used to buy the whole truck for that much and can still get something decent just for what they ask for fiberglass or metal molded cover.
 

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I've had good luck over the years buying used caps. Sometimes it wasn't the exactly right color or exactly right size, but it was always pretty close. Paying $2-300 for a $2k cap is a pretty good deal. One of the reasons there's a lot of caps available is that when dealers take a truck in on trade, they almost always remove the cap. Each city has a couple guys that buy these used caps from the dealer and resell them on Craigslist.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I've had good luck over the years buying used caps. Sometimes it wasn't the exactly right color or exactly right size, but it was always pretty close. Paying $2-300 for a $2k cap is a pretty good deal. One of the reasons there's a lot of caps available is that when dealers take a truck in on trade, they almost always remove the cap. Each city has a couple guys that buy these used caps from the dealer and resell them on Craigslist.
Putting a used cap on my brand new truck is outright blasphemy let alone if it didn't match or fit right. A mint condition used vehicle is different, but I'm not putting a used cap on a brand new truck I ordered from factory and waited months to arrive. That just seems wrong.
 

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My wife MADE me order Prairie Pearl instead of white. No way will I be able to find a used cap that might match.

If white, I would have tried to use my old cap. Not into trying to impress others. Only want to impress me by getting from point A to point B while towing my "stuff".
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I bought a vehicle not a piece of equipment. I don't care what people think it looks like I care what I think it looks like and what makes me happy. Nobody but me would even notice if it was used unless I told them, but I'd know. I also didn't get the old man style cap, I got a cab-high one one that uses the lines/details of the vehicle for which it was designed so an off-year wouldn't achieve the look I want.

I realize that a cap isn't permanent, but would you put a used roof on a brand new house? Probably not, because a new one will likely have more years left in 'er and the overall value will be less. Where I live, selling the cap separate of the vehicle is not a reasonable venture, so with respects to my truck I have to consider them combined as I will never remove it and will only ever sell them together.
 

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Yeah. I'm an equipment man unless it's a motorcycle. Then it's a vehicle that's exciting. Trucks and cars are essentially transportation services and quite boring to operate. That's why they put radios and other distractions in them. Keeps you awake.

Agree with lots but the resale idea has issues. First my experience is resale is bogus. You literally have trouble giving stuff away. I'm getting people offering me $500 for my Cummins 2500. Sometimes they go to $5,000 but the point is, like my antique motorcycles, they cost huge amounts to have but are worth literally nothing nothing if you try to move them.

You CAN sell used caps. I see them for sale often but realize I'm not sure if they sell well. On my truck I think it's almost a negative. Like you said..."old man's cap". Much the same could be said for my extra 30 gallon fuel tank in the bed. Bet I struggle to get $12,500 for my Cummins. That's like a thousand less in trade because of taxes. Dealers want my truck for $9K tops. That's it.

Shortly I will find out. Time to get serious on finding and ordering a cap when I get a full VIN number for the paint code, if it's in there.
 

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After much shopping and discussion I will order an A.R.E. tomorrow morning.

First the "V" series cap with flip-up side window, tilt back front window and color-matched is $1,340 plus tax installed. Leer is about a $100 more and the rear window comes out instead of tilting. Jason is about the same as Leer because they want $90 to color-match my Prairie Pearl. All those brands offer some kind of coupon discount so check on line and prepare to be a bit frustrated when you do. None of the sites work easily. Jason sends you a validation number but I never figured out how to get the coupon.

I quit looking so A.R.E. it will be.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
After much shopping and discussion I will order an A.R.E. tomorrow morning.

First the "V" series cap with flip-up side window, tilt back front window and color-matched is $1,340 plus tax installed. Leer is about a $100 more and the rear window comes out instead of tilting. Jason is about the same as Leer because they want $90 to color-match my Prairie Pearl. All those brands offer some kind of coupon discount so check on line and prepare to be a bit frustrated when you do. None of the sites work easily. Jason sends you a validation number but I never figured out how to get the coupon.

I quit looking so A.R.E. it will be.
NICE! Congrats! Feels good to buy things that show up on time! (hope I didn't jinks it)
I liked A.R.E.'s look, but the cost increase was $500 over the Leer (guess it goes by dealer what they charge) when I looked at mine, which is a whole lot of diesel fuel!
 
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