Ram 1500 build ... should I even bother?

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Good point on the weight but the reason I'd avoid gutter clamps on anything fiberglass is that long term, they are apparently prone to cracking especially in the gutters/edges like we're talking about here. This is super common with Jeeps - similar design as a truck cap, and folks use gutter-mounted roof bars all the time without issue, but it seems the combination of high vibration (i.e. gravel road) and lateral, side to side movement (i.e. twisty gravel road :p) will spell a problem long term for some of these caps. Given the investment, and the potential risk, it's not something I would personally do without some serious reinforcement or understanding more about the stress limits of those gutters. I have seen folks drill through the top of canopies into reinforcement bars (like a backbone for the cap), and that seems to be less problematic, but the gutter mounts seem to crack regularly. This would be a much lighter option than a separate ladder rack though, and depending on the use case it might be a viable option for folks.
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I have had them on 3 different Super Duty fiber canopies with no problems since 2000. No cracks, no enlarged bolt holes, no issues. Three sets of brackets, three sets of Yakima towers with round bars. Craigslist regularly has the towers and bars for little $$.
 
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ChasingOurTrunks

Well-known member
I have had them on 3 different Super Duty fiber canopies with no problems since 2000. No cracks, no enlarged bolt holes, no issues. Three sets of brackets, three sets of Yakima towers with round bars. Craigslist regular has the towers and bars for little $$.
Glad you have had success! I’ve read quite a few folks saying “no problem” but also quite a few folks with cracks. Perhaps some brands are better than others? For me it wasn’t worth the $$ on the cap with a risk of cracking when a more solid solution was available for the same dollars or less, but not everyone will reach the same conclusion.
 

ThundahBeagle

Well-known member
Figure about 100+ pounds for tubing and the plates that sit on the bed rails.

Before doing that, I’d look at a gutter clamp setup with roof rack brackets and bars over the glass canopy.

Not sure about other companies but my fiberglass Leer 180 shell has no gutters. Maybe the industrial metal ones have gutters.

For my fiberglass Leer, I found a Trac Rac "Cap Rac" made specifically for mounting to the top of a fiberglass shell. FYI Trac Rac is now owned by Thule. I did have to drill. I recommend affixing painter's tape to the area you will drill - it keeps the fiberglass from cracking. Then I filled the holes, wound around the bolt threads, and placed under the rubberized part of the brackets a nice marine grade sealer as I bolted the racks on.

The racks themselves hold like 800 pounds - well north of what should ever be placed on that roof. The fiberglass shells can probably take about 200 to 400 lbs. I generally use the racks for kayaks. I suppose a roof box could go up there
 

ThundahBeagle

Well-known member
I have had them on 3 different Super Duty fiber canopies with no problems since 2000. No cracks, no enlarged bolt holes, no issues. Three sets of brackets, three sets of Yakima towers with round bars. Craigslist regularly has the towers and bars for little $$.

Same except no gutters on mine. I've had my racks mounted for YEARS and no cracks. There IS a small bit of bracket on the inside (underside) of the fiberglass as well, helping to stabilize
 

ThundahBeagle

Well-known member

^^^ Something along these lines. Obviously this is an industrial cap but the Kargomaster ladder rack is what I mean. And can be used with fiberglass cap if you like.

Got my shell and my Trac Rac on CL
 
Not sure about other companies but my fiberglass Leer 180 shell has no gutters. Maybe the industrial metal ones have gutters.

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The gutter brackets bolt to the sides of the canopy. You can buy them at eTrailer, Rack Attack, etc.. If desired, you could even add stiffeners on the inside of the canopy to put any weight on the bed rail.

There is no load on the top, it’s all on the sidewalls.IMG_1125.jpeg
 

mekcanix

Camper
I run a Leer cap that I picked used a few years ago, and it was built in 2010. I installed rails from a jeep Cherokee and use my Rhino Rack cross bars. I on most camping trips haul a canoe and 2 regular bikes on the rack and have not developed any cracks yet.
I am sure you can tell I am cheap.
I am with you on getting a bigger rig, I have always wanted a power wagon, but they are always way over priced or if reasonably priced of way higher mileage. So I decided to keep the rebel and just make it my way. I try to pack with the limited payload in mind. Thus far we have been able to make it work

John
 

ThundahBeagle

Well-known member
I run a Leer cap that I picked used a few years ago, and it was built in 2010. I installed rails from a jeep Cherokee and use my Rhino Rack cross bars. I on most camping trips haul a canoe and 2 regular bikes on the rack and have not developed any cracks yet.
I am sure you can tell I am cheap.
I am with you on getting a bigger rig, I have always wanted a power wagon, but they are always way over priced or if reasonably priced of way higher mileage. So I decided to keep the rebel and just make it my way. I try to pack with the limited payload in mind. Thus far we have been able to make it work

John

My Leer cap is also used. I am also a cheap basssstard. It was made in 2011 for a GMT900 body, but is sitting for years on my 2014 K2 body k1500 GMC. With a Craigslist-sourced rack. It all works. I do the same. When I built the platform in the back, I forwent the bottom sheet of plywood for weight savings. Other than that, a couple of big backpacks, cooler(s), some tools and gear I didnt weigh it all, but gave a jaundiced eye and a yardstick to my rear rear well clearance.

I try to stay half to 2/3 of total available haul weight, if possible but sometimes it creeps up there to 75 or 80%

I would love a k2500 GMC Sierra but I cannot justify the cost and higher consumption of gas as I use it daily as well
 

Olde_Kyng

New member
I have noticed a lot of the Tacoma guys are running the A.R.E. DCU caps. I could maybe shed a few pounds if I ditch the tailgate and get the ambulance doors. Only thing is, I would lose my backup camera. Does anyone have any idea about the weight of these? Google says 220 lbs. Does this sound about right? Does anyone have any experience with these?
 

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