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High Topper Discussion/Decision Thread

Discussion in 'General Tundra Discussion' started by Wallygator, Jun 6, 2021.

  1. Jun 6, 2021 at 3:26 PM
    #1
    Wallygator

    Wallygator [OP] New Member

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    So I think I am going to get rid of the Blade and RCI rack and go with a high topper from ARE. Deciding to do this because I feel it would be easier to find a place to stop and sleep for a few while traveling long distances. Also because it would be nice to have the mountain bike locked up and out of sight. An finally because it would be very easy to boondock just about anywhere.

    So starting this thread to get some thoughts from everyone because I want to do this once and not have any regrets on the top and options chosen. Here are the two choices and options I'm considering....

    Number 1:

    Deluxe Commercial Unit (DCU)
    Height: 29" (they also make a 36" on this normal DCU but it looks really bad. Not sure I could do it)
    Color: Painted To Match
    Interior: No Skin
    Front Window: Clear Mitered Sliding Window
    Rear Door: 1/2 Rear Door With Window
    Driver Side Options: Radius Slider
    Passenger Side Options: Radius Slider
    Driver Side Toolbox: No Toolbox
    Passenger Side Toolbox: No Toolbox
    Ladder Rack: Ladder Rack With Center Support and Third Leg (or get the two center supports?)
    eLock Rear: Yes


    Number 2:

    DCU MAX (improved build quality? obviously gonna be heavier)
    Height: 29"
    Color: Painted To Match
    Interior: No Skin
    Front Window: Clear Mitered Sliding Window
    Rear Door: 1/2 Rear Door With Window
    Driver Side Options: Full Length Door (will cut in some nice camper windows and then have the option of the doors to open for lots of air circulation)
    Passenger Side Options: Full Length Door
    Driver Side Toolbox: No Toolbox
    Passenger Side Toolbox: No Toolbox
    Ladder Rack: Ladder Rack With Center Support and Third Leg (or get the 2 center supports?)
    Driver Side Door eLock: Yes
    Passenger Side Door eLock: Yes (thinking about this for convenience/less keys)
    eLock Rear: Yes



    Or basically any combination of the above. I'm going crazy trying to decide what I want/need. The rack will have a solar panel on it and there will be a fantastic fan or similar cut into the top. Also my current awning will be bolted to the passenger side of the rack.

    Thanks for any opinions/thoughts, really appreciated. :thumbsup:


    Borrowed Internet image...

    images_5df8c550d9db0d0dbb068461491795295d6de90f.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2021
    drobb and Black Wolf like this.
  2. Jun 7, 2021 at 6:58 PM
    #2
    2mchfun

    2mchfun Lead foot, left lane, loud stereo

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    Screen one window, even if partial or removable, maybe both. 12v led light fixture, air mattress, water tank on roof to warm in the sun all day. Maybe some insulation for the winter months depends on where and when you are going. That's just a basic quick brainstorm of what I would do for starters.
     
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  3. Jun 8, 2021 at 4:13 AM
    #3
    ezdog

    ezdog New Member

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    So why a DCU instead of Fiberglass?

    Also no idea what truck you have?

    I dont really like the way the high tops look at all but I also think the DCU may get a lot hotter and a lot colder than Fiberglass making for harder sleeping in general in even mild temp extremes and the DCU are also prone to dents if you dont get the inside lining,guess how I know?!

    The looks are really a subjective thing but the function is more obvious to me maybe.

    The HD units are indeed heavier duty and use thicker skin for sure and are this heavier too for sure.

    The Rack design just really depends on what you think you will carry up there but the more crossbars the easier it will always be to have more options,I have had just 2 cross bars and could only carry 8' or longer ladders which seems an idiotic design choice to me.

    I alsi really prefer the French Doors on the DCU for working at least but I can see where the Tailgate could be handy for camping too.

    DD114330-E785-49D6-8A01-DC2F6B155501.jpg
    98B48365-AB18-4D64-AFD2-4010422A3B52.jpg
     
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  4. Jun 10, 2021 at 8:19 AM
    #4
    Wallygator

    Wallygator [OP] New Member

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    Planned on insulating it and it will have lights, USB charging ports, and 12V plugs. My current solar and battery system will go on the topper. Good idea about the water tank. Really leaning towards the full door on the sides and cutting in some small RV type windows. An then cutting in a fantastic fan or maxxfan on the roof. Thanks for the feedback.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2021
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  5. Jun 10, 2021 at 8:29 AM
    #5
    Wallygator

    Wallygator [OP] New Member

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    Thanks for posting up. Truck is a 2020 dbl cab. Yeah the high top is not about looks that is for sure, but this is gonna be function over form. Want to be able to sit up on a platform bed without being cramped. Also carrying the mountain bike full time with no issues.

    I emailed the dealer and he said the HD version is 50 lbs more than the normal DCU. Don't know the over all weight of either one. But not too bad on the increased weight. May be worth the weight penalty for the increased durability/strength, what do you think?

    On the rack design I will only be carrying solar panels up there and now maybe a water system. Probably should get the 4 cross bars to safe for all scenarios.

    Yeah I thought about the French doors but found I use the tailgate constantly while camping so gonna go that route.

    In the second photo you attached I see you have the hard side doors on that truck. Do you think it would be easy to cut in some small RV type windows into that design? Something like this...

    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Jun 10, 2021 at 8:30 AM
    #6
    2mchfun

    2mchfun Lead foot, left lane, loud stereo

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    Careful on window choice, keep security in the back of your mind. Sucks to live in today's society at times! I have some expanded metal pieces that I hang inside over my camper windows when I vacate it. They look like a permanent fixture from the outside, so any thief is likely to not even try.
     
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  7. Jun 10, 2021 at 8:37 AM
    #7
    2mchfun

    2mchfun Lead foot, left lane, loud stereo

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    Not sure, but you might want to rethink rearview side mirrors. Once you lose the rear window it kinda makes a difference to some people.
     
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  8. Jun 10, 2021 at 8:38 AM
    #8
    Wallygator

    Wallygator [OP] New Member

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    Agreed, it does suck at times. An that is part of the reason for this change also. Need more security and stealth than my current setup. The windows will be small but if someone really wanted to get in I doubt much can stop them. But yeah the windows will be small an then will probably get limo tint on all the windows so no one can see in them.
     
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  9. Jun 10, 2021 at 8:42 AM
    #9
    Wallygator

    Wallygator [OP] New Member

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    It's crazy how one change necessitates many other changes all designed to drain your wallet. :D. Didn't even think about that. Currently I have a little rear view but it's very limited with the tent and rack back there. I will have to see if I miss that small view once the rear view is completely gone. Or maybe get the anytime rear camera mod??
     
  10. Jun 10, 2021 at 8:48 AM
    #10
    2mchfun

    2mchfun Lead foot, left lane, loud stereo

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    Yes, one thing always leads to fifteen! Life! Also might want secondary back up lights. Camera is good, but light really helps.
     
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  11. Jun 10, 2021 at 8:54 AM
    #11
    2mchfun

    2mchfun Lead foot, left lane, loud stereo

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    I guess one could also put a switch inside the bed to flip on secondary reverse lamps for the certain times when a little light don't hurt. Might also want one of those things that cut power before a battery won't turn the starter if going boondocking.
     
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  12. Jun 10, 2021 at 12:30 PM
    #12
    Wallygator

    Wallygator [OP] New Member

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    My solar and second battery system are completely separate from the truck so no worries there. Nice idea on the lights. Hear a noise, flip a switch:D. May depend though, might not want to know what's out there:alien:
     
  13. Jun 10, 2021 at 12:42 PM
    #13
    2mchfun

    2mchfun Lead foot, left lane, loud stereo

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    Depends on your skills, weapons, and ammo quantity. I hope for the best and prepare for the worst.
     
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  14. Jun 10, 2021 at 2:08 PM
    #14
    drobb

    drobb The Feral Snail

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  15. Jun 10, 2021 at 2:14 PM
    #15
    grichg

    grichg New Member

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    not sure what brand you are looking at. i recommend Tradesman for quality build and CS.
     
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  16. Jun 10, 2021 at 3:46 PM
    #16
    Wallygator

    Wallygator [OP] New Member

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    I will check them out, thanks!
     
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  17. Jun 10, 2021 at 3:47 PM
    #17
    Wallygator

    Wallygator [OP] New Member

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    Looking and talking to a salesman with ARE, specifically their DCU commercial top. I edited the first post to say which brand. Will check out the tradesman, thanks!
     
  18. Jun 10, 2021 at 3:52 PM
    #18
    Wallygator

    Wallygator [OP] New Member

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  19. Jun 10, 2021 at 6:06 PM
    #19
    ezdog

    ezdog New Member

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    So the ARE DCU are really pretty stout in just standard configuration and mostly the difference is in the skin material thickness as I understand it so the HD version has thicker skin and they also offer a 3rd version that uses Diamond plate for the skin which is even tougher!
    Mine is the thin standard version and it is really easily popped or dented or bent from anything punching it anywhere especially between the internal framing which makes the HD or Diamond Plate versions appealing as I am sure they are tougher to dent,especially the D.P. which seems really thick.
    I think they might even offer 2 thickness of Diamond Plate too?
    THEY ALSO CAN FINISH THE INSIDE OF THE DOOR PANELS WITH A SKIN THAT IS JUST VHB TAPED ON THAT HELPS FROM STUFF POKING THE SKIN FROM THE INSIDE.

    Sorry about the all caps there but too tired to fix it now too!

    I understand about the tailgate vs doors too but I use my Bed Slide as a Tailgate it turns out too which is nice.

    I think it will be tough to install windows in the side doors really as the doors structural framing is to close together for any window that I have seen though you might be able to spec it in the build too so that the spacing does fit the windows?
    You can also just order them already installed by ARE and then obviously framed properly too and you can get any type of window in there that you want but it will also clearly add to the cost of the whole top too.

    Interesting too is that having a glass window in the passenger side door can really help with blind spots too as is also being discussed! The Phone Company where Safety is also on the mind only orders them this way to avoid mowing people over on the blind side with their trucks for instance.

    Also I find those BelAir tops intriguing until I saw that they are simply made like a stick built trailer overall and there is simply nothing about that type of construction that I ever want to be part of again,EVER!
    They do seem homey and comfy though except for that.

    I think they are also priced about the same as the DCU variety configured similarly but the DCU is all Aluminum inside and out which will just be stronger and last longer which I do not think can really be questioned?!
    You could definitely finish the inside of a DCU in wood though too which might be the best of both ideas in the end!

     
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  20. Jun 12, 2021 at 8:15 AM
    #20
    Wallygator

    Wallygator [OP] New Member

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    So a little more information. The DCU Max weighs about 350lbs and the normal DCU is about 300lbs. Also the dealer told me the prices they quoted me are cash prices without tax. If I order via email, over the phone, or use a credit card to purchase there will be a 3% "convenience fee" tacked on... About $100. Really? :rolleyes: Not happy about this and hope it's not the norm for all these dealers. Gonna contact a different dealer to confirm. The dealer also said it's about a 6-8 week wait time.
     
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  21. Jun 12, 2021 at 8:49 AM
    #21
    Rex Kramer

    Rex Kramer 'Screaming Buffalo'

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    I love my DCU High Wedge. It's made of thin light weight aluminum, and it has all of the space I need.
    The Line-X was how we sealed a leaky roof, I also had the front and back sprayed, but not the door.

    IMG_8109.jpg

    The interior is bare metal, and I have one long strip of LED lights inside just above the piano hinged door.

    IMG_7745.jpg

    I get compliments from those that see it in person, and the full size hatch door has improved it's versatility.

    IMG_7753.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2021
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  22. Jun 12, 2021 at 9:22 AM
    #22
    2mchfun

    2mchfun Lead foot, left lane, loud stereo

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    Have window in back door at all?

    Well done sir!
     
  23. Jun 12, 2021 at 9:28 AM
    #23
    Rex Kramer

    Rex Kramer 'Screaming Buffalo'

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    Thank you, and yes there is a large window in the backdoor.

    IMG_7748.jpg
     
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  24. Jun 12, 2021 at 9:44 AM
    #24
    Wallygator

    Wallygator [OP] New Member

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    That's awesome!:thumbsup:
     

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