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Old 06-02-2011   #1
Davis, California
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 1
Advices on camper shell and rack to carry 6 boats

Hi Folks,

I am going to buy a camper shell for my truck. There are LEER and ARE dealers nearby. Their cheapest model of camper shell with Thule (LEER 100R) or Yakima rack (ARE V series) are almost same price (~$1800). There will be an occasion when I want to load 6 creek boats on the rack. I am not a big guy, so I need to climb up on the shell roof and tie boats. I also worry about the attachment/connection parts of the rack to the shell when loading 6 creek boats. There may be a way to buy reinforced model since the weight limit of LEER reinforced model (100RCC) is fine with 400 lbs on the rack, but it cost me $450 additionally.

I would like to ask you some questions.

Do the cheapest models from LEER and ARE have any problem when people (weigh <200 lbs) stand on the shell roof? Loading 6 creek boats on the rack is still fine? Should I buy reinforced model of the shell for that occasion? Your experience and comments, any suggestions for other models from different company would be so much appreciated.

Thank you for your time,

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Old 06-02-2011   #2
Andy H.'s Avatar
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,909
Sack up, Dude. You don't need no stinking rack if you've just got a few straps!

Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. Yet it has no equal for conquering the resistant and tough. The flexible can overcome the unbending; the soft can overcome the hard. - Lao Tse
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Old 06-02-2011   #3
Avatard's Avatar
portland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Apr 2011
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Badges? We don't need no stinkin badges!
Hey, if you want me to take a dump in a box and mark it "guaranteed", I will. I got spare time.
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Old 06-03-2011   #4
raftus's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,128
I haven't priced toppers since I bought my truck in '03. But at that stage there were topper options for less than $900. Combine one of those less expensive toppers with a ladder rack and you can load a ton of gear on your racks. A rack like this only costs $464 shipped, and holds 1000 lbs.
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Old 06-03-2011   #5
Gallatin Gateway, Montana
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 99
Those ladder racks are the way to go to hold mucho weight...
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Old 06-03-2011   #6
Crested Butte, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1987
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 298
I don't know about the area that you live in but you may be able to find a welder to make you one. Where I live a good custom rack to hold as many boats as you want can be had for $500 or so. This would be made by a welder that wants to make money on the side and doesn't need to cover overhead and charges less. Try advertising locally or search for such a welder if you think this would work for you in your area.
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Old 06-03-2011   #7
Shit Creek, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 277
IMHO, for sure go with the pre-made ladder/cargo rack or get a custom one. You can get them rhino liner covered for a little more as well and that is a pretty sweet option I have seen a few times. If you can be a dirtbag (you are a boater after all) I bet you can find a nice shell for well under $500 if you are willing to drive a ways from where you are and not worried about color. I have had friends who have gotten some sweet lined shells in off colors for by doing this. A truck is in the cards for me in the next 12 months and that is what I am planning to do.
Speak of Peace, (but carry a big gun)
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Old 06-03-2011   #8
lhowemt's Avatar
at my house, Montana
Paddling Since: 2020
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,345
I wouldn't count on climbing on top of a topper, plus boats without starting to damage it. You need an external rack, like the ladder racks. They are awesome, had one on my '94 Tacoma we just traded in, hoping we can afford a new external rack for our newish Tundra. If you get ladder rack, then you can buy a more economical topper if you like.
I am a river, babe - I've got plenty of time, I don't know where I'm going, I'm just following the lines..... - "We are water" by Shaye
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Old 06-03-2011   #9
the fort, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 672
if you want to walk on it, get a ladder rack and have someone weld some mesh in the top. that way it isn't just for carrying boats, and you can walk on it much more easily.
By the waterside I will lay my head.
Listen to the river sing sweet songs to rock my soul.
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Old 06-03-2011   #10
Hans's Avatar
Louisville, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 110
i told myself i wouldn't but i will. company i used to work for designed a racking product to go up against unistrut, welded frames, etc., & be easy to use. while i was there, i built myself a rack from my tacoma out of the product in an afternoon. many people have commented on it, it's strong & light (aluminum), & easily modifiable/customizable. if i buy another truck, say a tacoma from an older tacoma, most likely the bed size is different & i'm SoL with my old welded "ladder" rack. with this one i can fairly simply adjust it & be good to go by only loosening a few nuts & bolts. i built my for less than $100 (at cost)

anyways, here's a picture. & the product is Zilla® - So Simple It's Scary! grrrrr, more than likely there are still links/pictures showing the rack i built & my truck on their website (mothereffing, &*$(&#, ($&#*%& *$&#&*rds)

yeah they are still there... in product galleries... other... truck rack (MFing SoBing C***S***ing A-holes!)

~Get all the sleep I need when I'm dead.
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