RSI SmartCap vs Leer vs ARE for build out?

RSI smart caps are very impressive. I have some friends that love theirs, super strong, easy access, plenty of add on's. I have a Snug and love it but if I were to get another one it would be RSI for sure.
 

Trixxx

Well-known member
I had a diamondback cover for a couple years but wanted more room. Ordered an RSI smart cap and could not be more impressed with the overall build quality and functionality. It’s expensive, but seems like you get what you pay for.

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Mdsertell

New member
I had a diamondback cover for a couple years but wanted more room. Ordered an RSI smart cap and could not be more impressed with the overall build quality and functionality. It’s expensive, but seems like you get what you pay for.

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That looks great! Thanks for posting the pictures as I was curious how much room the side bin add-on took up!
I think I’m sold on the RSI cap, just need it to come “ in-stock”!


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Tex68w

Beach Bum
Pretty certain you need to place an order with a dealer and wait short of finding a dealer with one in stock.
 

Mdsertell

New member
I’m on the waitlist with a couple different dealers…whoever can get one first will be who I get it from.

Fwiw-traditional fiberglass cap dealers do NOT like to give much info on the RSI cap, even if they are a supposed RSI “dealer”; Instead they keep trying to sell me a Leer or ARE cap.


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Wilbah

Adventurer
Wilbah - I had the same thought as you about the fiberglass caps holding a RTT and awning...that's what makes the RSI so intriguing...The (RSI) static and dynamic load ratings are considerably higher than ARE or Leer.

I have enjoyed researching all the different options and getting 'real-world' feedback from people who've actually used products. In an age where being smart with money has taken on a whole new meaning, I want to really use my funds wisely. After all, I have 2 young, teenage-boys who are watching their parents and we want to set a good example for them!

I like the RSI products but haven't seen any in rear world use. ARE doesn't make it easy to find specific capacities for the DCU Caps but the "DCU HD" (which is a fiberglass cap) is rated for 550 lbs. I would think the aluminum ones would be rated for more weight but maybe I'm wrong. And it's always a guess between built strength vs what the lawyers will agree to allow a company to put in print- just look at the various capacities diff companies have for dyneema recovery ropes of the same size).

If I read the RSI info correctly they are spec'd for 330 lbs while driving. (Dynamic load vastly different parked vs over roads and even then many of those ratings assume "driving" to be on paved roads).

Good luck with your search! And get the teenagers to help with the research/decision making. Good life lessons there for then to learn as relates to the value of quality products over "look cool" products.
 

jadmt

ignore button user
I’m on the waitlist with a couple different dealers…whoever can get one first will be who I get it from.

Fwiw-traditional fiberglass cap dealers do NOT like to give much info on the RSI cap, even if they are a supposed RSI “dealer”; Instead they keep trying to sell me a Leer or ARE cap.


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All the rsi dealers around me want 50% down to order. None have a wait list without payment. Curious where you were able to get on a wait list without down payment.
 

Tex68w

Beach Bum
All the rsi dealers around me want 50% down to order. None have a wait list without payment. Curious where you were able to get on a wait list without down payment.

The one nearest me requires a $500 non-refundable deposit.
 

dpsmedic

Adventurer
It does leak. Especially around the little windows. But overall - it’s awesome.

I had an issue with leaking windows also. RSI has a fix out under warranty. just called and made a claim. They will either ship direct to you the fix or you can go by a dealer and have them do it. Involves removing the windows and placing a sealant between the window and shell. I chose to have the dealer do it. In and out easy.

https://www.na.rsismartcap.com/warranty
 

Mdsertell

New member
All the rsi dealers around me want 50% down to order. None have a wait list without payment. Curious where you were able to get on a wait list without down payment.
I live about an hour from closest dealer and they don't actually have any display models to look at. So I was online (RSI website) and chose online dealer to get added on the notification list through Carid.com and another site (name slips my mind at the moment).
 

jadmt

ignore button user
The one nearest me requires a $500 non-refundable deposit.
That is more reasonable. All the dealers here want 50% up front and non refundable. I could stomach $500 non refundable but putting down over $2000 with no guarantee that it was not going to take a year or more does not set well with me.
 

Tex68w

Beach Bum
That is more reasonable. All the dealers here want 50% up front and non refundable. I could stomach $500 non refundable but putting down over $2000 with no guarantee that it was not going to take a year or more does not set well with me.

I agree and things have only gotten worse with everything, it almost doesn't make any of it worth it haha.
 

Trixxx

Well-known member
That looks great! Thanks for posting the pictures as I was curious how much room the side bin add-on took up!
I think I’m sold on the RSI cap, just need it to come “ in-stock”!

I wouldn’t hold your breath.. As for the bin, doesn’t seem to take up nearly as much room as I had thought!

I ordered mine last July with a specified delivery date of late October. That was fine - had a 4000 Mile trip planned over Christmas, including 9 days in Baja, that I wanted it for.. We had a new baby and a large dog, so the added space was well warranted…

I kept following up, and it showed up WHILE WE WERE IN BAJA. I was pretty annoyed by that.. I bought it specifically for that trip and followed up weekly in the 6+ weeks leading up to that..

To make matters worse, they scheduled delivery while I was in Baja, despite me telling them I was out of country (multiple reminders). They had called to confirm and set up delivery, but I obviously didn‘t get the message because… baja…

Fortunately, I was able to get ahold of my dealer in the mean time and he was able to intercept/put a stop to it.. Couldn’t have imagined that $4k top sitting in my driveway for a week or two..
 

UglyViking

Well-known member
I had a Leer 100RCC with the gullwing "windoors" that I had for a few months. I recently acquired a RSI Evo cap.

My overall impressions are very similar to those here. I do prefer the design of a fiberglass cap a bit more, but I'll admit the RSI has been growing on me quite a bit.

The pros for the RSI cap I didn't see mentioned:
  • The gullwing doors are huge. With as tall as these trucks are from the factory, exerbated with the fact that I've got 1" rear springs and 37s, the gullwing doors on the leer cap made the bed hard to access, because they add a few additional inches of height. The RSI doors are both much wider, and much taller. This alone is worth the cost in my mind.
  • Seems much more stable than a fiberglass top. I used to have a falcon RTT mounted on the Leer and that thing squeaked so much when I was sleeping in it. In addition to the noise it didn't inspire confidence in the long term durability of the cap. I've not put a RTT on the RSI, and don't plan to, but it seems like it would squeak less and be more stable. YMMV
Personally, I also think the fit and finish of the RSI is vastly better than the fiberglass caps I've seen.

A note on the latches. I live in new england and we get a lot of snow, ice, freezing rain, etc. and the latches are not great. RSI will ship you out protectors for free which are basically covers that go over the latches to prevent them from getting wet and freezing the mechanism. RSI has confirmed that they are working on updated latches that can be retrofit into all their caps which will include improved weather reliability and the ability to close and latch (and possibly lock) from within the cap, thus giving you the ability to sleep in the cap. Last I heard they are hoping to start production end of this year so I'd guess if all goes to plan they will get those out to owners starting early next year.
 

rruff

Explorer
Have you looked at ARE's DCU Caps? I worry about fiberglass caps lasting especially with a RTT and rough back roads.

One very important consideration is... what truck is this mounted to?

Anything with a C-channel frame will flex a lot. Among 1/2 tons, the Tundras and Tacomas are probably the flexiest... unless you are looking at older trucks which I don't know about. Newer 3/4 and 1 ton pickups are stiff boxed frames, but older ones were mostly flexy.

If it's C-channel you want a topper that can flex. Details of the design will matter, but fiberglass inherently has a higher strength to stiffness ratio, meaning that it can better survive a flexy truck and still be plenty strong for mounting stuff and holding weight. Aluminum is not so great in this respect, plus it does not have a fatigue limit (like steel does) and if it's stressed significantly it will fail eventually. For instance, even if you are well below the yield point for stress, if it sees that stress over and over again it will eventually fail... probably around the time the warranty runs out. ;)

Bottom line is... I'd put my money an fiberglass if you have a flexy truck.

But really, if you are going to do an interior build out yourself, why not the shell too? You could make a very aero shell using the stitch and glue technique (upside down boat) with thin ply and cover it with a layer of hand-laid fiberglass. Or if you prefer flat surfaces and you have a stiff truck frame, you can build foam core thin ply panels with a exterior fiberglass coat.
 

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