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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Camper Shells

Often referred to as truck tops and cab extenders, camper shells are the ones attached to a pickup vehicle’s bed to create cargo space that is protected from the weather and secured from theft. This also helps in improving fuel efficiency especially that the price of a barrel of crude oil in the world market has inflated. This is done by enhancing the aerodynamics of the pickup vehicle.

Camper shells are either made out of fiberglass or aluminum. The difference is that aluminum tops are from a standard mold that do not contour around and sold at a $400 price range. In the otherhand, fiberglass tops are from a custom mold specifically designed for the manufacturer and model. It is sold at around $1, 000 that comes painted to match the color of the pickup vehicle.

There are four considerations before purchasing camper shells:
* These are relatively heavy and difficult to remove and replace on a frequent basis. It even takes two people to install it on the pickup vehicle. However, there are creative owners that have devised ways to store and hoist the camper shells by themselves.
* Consider the lift system that is built into the truck top itself. Most truck beds were not designed to have constant 200 pounds of pressure pushing or pulling on the front corners of the bed, so the cap's lift system plays an important role. For example, there are gas
props that add pressure to the truck bed. Some manufactures have built-in systems to their truck tops alleviating the pressure from the props, thus extending the life of the truck bed and framework of the truck top.
* Determine which features you would like to add as options to the standard truck top. You can choose from third brake lights, gas-assisted shocks, interior dome lights. tempered safety glass, paint finish, rear window packages, clothes rod, carpeted interior, style of trim, power locks, windshield wiper, defrost system, spoilers, air deflectors, side access doors, utility racks and roof mounted racks.
* Finally, you'll want to select from a manufacturer that makes a custom fit for your particular vehicle make and model. While the majority manufactured today will fit most in every model but, there are some that does not.

There are also two types of camper shells namely hard cover and soft cover. Hard covers wont blow off even at highway speeds but are available with hinge systems for easy lift. It provides better security because it is lockable. It is also completely waterproof so you need not worry when there is a heavy rain. In the otherhand, soft covers provide less rigid top. However, some are sturdy enough for 1-2 people to stand on it and can even support 12 inches of wet snow with ease. These come with adjusters that allows one to select the tension desired.

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