RSI Smartcap questions?

Martinjmpr

Wiffleball Batter
Several years ago, when I still drove my Suburban, I posted up that I wished somebody made a "modular" truck cap.

Then, along came RSI with their smartcap. Now, I didn't know about the Smartcap when I got my F-150, and I'm not even sure I'd have gotten one if I did, given that the cost of an RSI is can be as much as double what I paid for my base-model Leer cap (I paid around $2400 OTD for my color-matched Leer, I know the RSI starts around $4k but can go above $5K depending on options.)

But, I'm still interested. Particularly since I now have a motorcycle I'd like to haul, the idea of a modular, easy-to-remove-and-replace cap is very appealing to me.

However, I went to the RSI web site and watched the video of their assembly instructions, and now I have a question. Well, several questions actually:

1. The web site says the RSI is made of stainless steel. Is that just the frame or are all the panels made of steel as well?

2. For a full sized short bed truck, what is the weight of the heaviest SINGLE piece? I would assume this is the roof panel?

3. Most importantly, has anyone here ever tried to assemble or remove the topper one piece at a time on the truck?

Here's why I ask: The video shows the assembly process as: Lay the roof panel on the ground upside down, attach the sides and the front and back, then lift the entire assembled shell onto the truck. It recommends a minimum of 4 people to lift the (fully assembled) topper onto the truck.

So am I crazy or does that pretty much negate the whole "modular topper" aspect of the RSI?

I mean, if I want a fully assembled, 250lb topper that needs 4 people to put on the truck, I don't need to spend $4k on an RSI - I already HAVE one of those!

To me, the main thing I'm looking for is the ability to assemble the cap by myself. So what I would like to know is if anyone with an RSI has assembled and/or disassembled one ON THE TRUCK and whether that worked or not.

Ideally, I'd love to assemble the cap like this: Put a side panel and front panel on the truck and bolt together. Then put the other side panel and back panel on, bolt that all together and then put the roof panel on and bolt it in. As long as no single piece weighed more than about 60 - 70 lbs I think this would work (and given that the entire RSI supposedly only weighs around 250lb that seems like it would be a reasonable conclusion.)

I would absolutely LOVE to have a topper that I could assemble and disassemble by myself and then store the flat panels in my garage and I'll bet I'm not the only one who would.
 

jadmt

ignore button user
the whole thing is stainless and my buddy had one and we looked at it and it looked like it would have been a pain to take apart. he paid to have it assembled at the topper dealer and they said it was a pain to do and they lost money on the assembly. Pretty sure it would need to be assembled then lifted up. They are very cool toppers tho and I kind of want one.
 

Martinjmpr

Wiffleball Batter
So, really, the RSI is NOT the modular topper I'm looking for. :confused: Hmph.

I still think there's a viable market for a truly user-assemble-able (is that even a word?) modular hard-sided topper.

Plastic would seem to be the material that would work best (possibly with a steel frame.) I'm thinking of the same kind of polymer plastics that modern handguns are made out of.

Hmmm...maybe that's the angle that would work: A GLOCK Topper. ;)

Edited to add: RSI does advertise "easy removal" as a feature (circled in green):

RSI.jpg

Technically it's not "wrong" but it's misleading IMO.

I mean, my fiberglass topper is "easy" to remove in the sense that it's not difficult or complicated. Loosen 4 bolts and remove the C-clamps, disconnect the third brake light and then - voila! Just lift it up. All ~ 250 lbs of it. :rolleyes:

It's the whole "lift 250 lbs" thing that makes it a chore and as near as I can tell, the RSI suffers from this exact issue.

In WWII vehicles like this were called "knock down" for easy shipping. There were KD versions of the ambulance, the 2 1/2 ton CCKW and of course the Jeep was the original "knock down" vehicle that could be shipped in a crate. So I get that aspect of it, being able to ship from overseas at a lower cost.

But the whole "modular" thing doesn't seem to offer a whole lot of advantages over a fiberglass topper that costs half as much.
 
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jadmt

ignore button user
get the inflatable one.
 

ScottReb

Adventurer
I imagine their concern with an easy to disassemble topper would be water egress. We're prototyping a steel frame, aluminum shelled topper and debating the possibility of shipping disassembled for costs. The problem we see is if the customer doesn't assemble correctly and if it leaks we, the manufacturer, get the blame.
 

STREGA

Explorer
I was considering a RSI Cap but the “some assembly required” was the deal breaker for me. In the research for the RSI Cap I found another company RLD that makes stainless steel caps as well but come fully assembled and are made in South Africa also. They are about the same cost and after looking at both caps at overland expo the RLD Cap was the one to get IMHO.
The RLD/RSI stainless steel caps are pricey for sure but to me are better than a fiberglass topper, I have had a couple over the years and was never very impressed with them. Installing a cap on a truck is pretty much a permanent commitment since it is a PITA to put on and take off.
Last couple of days I’ve been pricing out RLD Caps and another option I have been looking at, Highway products pickup pack which is a all aluminum tonneau cover with tool box storage on the sides. A made in America product and also very pricey but does come with a lifetime warranty. The issue with the RSI/RLD caps is the oversea container shipping timeframe, which on the RLD was a optimistic 5 months at best. The way things are going these days I just don’t have a lot of faith in getting one in a timely manner. Highway Products is backed up time wise also but was given a firm 138 days from order date to install on my truck, the fact that there made in Oregon removes the stuck on a container ship problem. Probably going to pull the trigger for it Monday.
 

Victorian

Approved Vendor : Total Composites
It took me half a day to assemble the smart cap. although it’s straight forward, I would not want to do it again.
the overall quality is truly amazing and I think they are worth the money. Needs 4 people to lift onto the truck! Certainly not something I would want to take off on a regular basis.
 

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ricoisme26

Active member
I had big dreams of designing a modular cap/tonneau/ladder rack system once upon a time. Utilize the stake pockets of the truck bed, build an external skeleton frame that could function as a ladder rack. Remove the most rear uprights and have a headache rack. Design panels to act as a tonneau with the headachrack. Design more to slide into the ladder rack to enclose the bed like a topper.

Molding panels and machining latches/locking mechanisms and other fixtures was where I dropped the idea...
 

jadmt

ignore button user
GFC keeps teasing a cool topper that fits the bill. I had the GFC and would absolutely love it if they had just the topper portion without the tent. Mine was leak free. It would be light and easy to break down etc.
 

CFMGarage

Active member
Or opt for the whole RSI bed replacement option- very nice!!

Has anyone seen one of these for a full size in the wild? They have quite a few applications listed, like 6'4" RAM, but any actual pictures? I can find quite a few pics of short beds, but I'm wondering how they handle the area in front of the wheel on the full size models.
 

ScottReb

Adventurer
Just starting production on our first topper, should have them available in 4-6 weeks. Renders will be on the website next week or so. Steel bolt together frames with aluminum roof/door panels, side doors, approximate weight 225-250 lb depending on the truck. Very similar to all the wedge campers without the tent top. Able to mount any type of racks to the top.
 
the video is good and has valuable tips. Like at the end-"find a few buddies to lift and place on the rails and there you go."

I was seriously looking at these and alucab etc Ultimately I opted for a retrax rolling cover which has served me well. But if I was looking at a cap I would wrestle between the RSI and other brands. It just looks to cool to pass up if thats in your wheelhouse. Like Victorian says...its worth it
 

elizer

New member
Just starting production on our first topper, should have them available in 4-6 weeks. Renders will be on the website next week or so. Steel bolt together frames with aluminum roof/door panels, side doors, approximate weight 225-250 lb depending on the truck. Very similar to all the wedge campers without the tent top. Able to mount any type of racks to the top.

Did you end up doing this?


Anyone recently purchase an RSI cap? Have they fixed the small window leak from factory and the freezing locks?
 

ScottReb

Adventurer
All drawn up and start cutting this week. The render model will be on the FORTCampers.com website next week.

It will allow any style rack to be mounted. First one produced will have an ultra low mount thick has crossbars 1” off roof.
Will be able to run a “prinsu” style rack. We will also offer a contractor type ladder rack built in versus a separate piece.

First one is for a 2nd Gen Tacoma long bed.
 

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