Texas Truck and Trailer - Truck Accessories

Fiberglass Camper Shell and Tonneau Cover Frequently Asked Questions

1. How long do fiberglass camper chells and tonneau covers take to arrive after ordering?

They vary, depending on manufacturer:

ARE: 2-3.5 weeks for fiberglass units, 3-5 weeks for a Deluxe Commercial Unit.

ATC: 2-3.5 weeks for fiberglass units

Snugtop: 3-5 weeks for fiberglass units, 4-6 weeks for commercial tops

2. How tight do camper shells fit on a truck?

There are two type of rail finishes on camper shells. The first is a "flat bottom" shell where the bottom of the camper shell is perfectly flat and simply "sits" on the rails of the truck. The second is a "wrap over" design, where the fiberglass wraps over the rails of the truck, often in an attempt to cover up the plastic rail caps on the truck.

As a general guideline, when you purchase a camper shell that "wraps over" the truck rails, you should expect a camper shell to stick out between 1/8" to 1/4" from the painted surface or rail caps of the truck. The reason for this tolerance is to minimize the probability of cap to truck contact, which would result in paint marring and scratches. The rear door tolerances range more widely from truck to truck.

3. How large of a deposit is required to order a camper shell?

We require about 40-50% down to purchase a camper shell.

4. Do you stock fiberglass camper shells or tonneau covers?

Because each truck bed is differrent, and because of the hundreds of different combinations of bed sizes and colors, we do not typically stock fiberglass camper shells or tonneaus. However, at any given time, we do have a modest selection of 7-10 new showroom models on display and 20-30 used models in our yard, all of which are available for sale. Please check our inventory list here: INVENTORY LIST, to see what we have in stock. This list contains both NEW and USED models, which explains the price differences.

5. How long do camper shells and fiberglass tonneau covers take to install?

Typical installation time for a standard camper shell is about 1.5 hours. If you ordered a top with a full rear door, expect about 2.5 hours. fiberglass Tonneau Covers take about 1 hour. Add another 1-1.5 hours if you ordered a shell or tonneau with an electronic locking feature.

6. What is included in the standard $75 installation cost for camper shells and $50 for tonneau covers? Are there any extra fees?

For camper shells, installation includes:

1. Wiring the camper shell's 3rd brake light to your brake light

2. Applying foam seal tape on the camper shell and butyl tape to the truck bed corners.

3. Providing the clamps to secure it to your truck, in addition to securing it to your truck.

If you ordered one with a 12V light, we will also wire it to your parking lights/taillights at no extra charge. If you prefer to be able to turn your interior 12v light on even when you parking lights are off, we charge an extra $40 to hard-wire directly it to your battery via a fused lead. If you order a camper shell with a full walk in back door, the installation fee goes up from $75 to $125. The electronic locking option costs an extra $75 in labor. We utilize clamps to secure camper shells to trucks. If you prefer to bolt them to your rails, we charge an extra $20 fee.

For tonneau covers, installation includes

1. Applying foam seal tape on the lid and butyl tape to the truck bed corners.

2. Ensuring the proper fit, and securing it to your truck via clamps.

If you ordered one with a 12V light, we will also wire it to your parking lights/taillights at no extra charge. If you purchased the sport wing with brake light option, we will also wiring the tonneau's 3rd brake light to your brake light at no extra charge. If you prefer to be able to turn your interior 12v light on even when you parking lights are off, we charge an extra $40 to hard-wire directly it to your battery via a fused lead.

7. If I order a camper shell with a roof rack, how much weight can it hold?

The general rule is that a camper shell can only carry it's own weight on the roof. so if a shell weighs about 150 lbs, then 150 lbs should be its roof weight capacity. However, some brands offer a reinforced roof which offers thicker fiberglass or a reinforced frame and up to 500 lbs of weight capacity.

8. Can you guarantee that my camper shell will never leak?

A new camper shell should never leak through the fiberglass or from the aluminum frame seal of the side or front windows themselves. The rear door and side windows should never leak from the top of the hinge(s) or sides unless water is sprayed or forced up from underneath the rear seal or into the sides of the sliding or flip up windows. Camper shell windows are designed to gravity feed water away from the windows, and are not designed to take pressurized water from beneath the seals or from the sides. This is why almost all camper shells will leak when the truck is driven through a car wash. Additionally, because it is removable and is not factory sealed to your truck, there is no way we can guarantee that it will not leak in any areas where the truck bed rails compress to the camper shell's rails. Most trucks now come with plastic rail caps on the sides, which have proven to be a potential leak hazard that has nothing to do with the camper shell. Water can trickle in between the truck's plastic rail caps and the truck's metal body under the plastic rails to create leaks. In addition, there are typically several areas where water can enter the bed of a truck, including gaps or holes in the factory bed as well as at the tailgate area, where a large gap often allows water to enter the bed. In order to minimize leaks from these areas, we offer a tailgate seal for about $29 and we can apply butyl tape to the front gapped areas at no extra charge. Despite these leak prone areas, our goal during installation is still to minimize any potential leaks from any areas to the maximum extent possible.

9. Will my fiberglass camper shell or tonneau cover have a showroom perfect 10 finish?

All fiberglass has minor blemishes in the finish. The general allowance/tolerance for fiberglass manufacturers is about one-half-grain-of-sand-sized blemish per sq foot of the finish. The majority our the tops we sell are well above these tolerances, and many have no noticable blemishes whatsoever. However, because all fiberglass is hand laid, and can react differently with even the most subtle of environmental variances, there will always be a minor allowance for blemishes, as long as they are within the tolerance level.

10. What does a typical fiberglass shell/tonneau warranty cover?

Most of the fiberglass shells and tonneaus that we sell offer lifetime warranties on the frame and structure, and 1-2 years on parts. The lifetime warranty basically guarantees that the paint on the product will not fade faster than the paint on your vehicle. If, for some reason, a camper shell or tonnueau arrives with significant blemishes or minor damage from shipping and therefore requires us to return it, our manufacturer's protocol is to return the product to the factory for minor repairs/touch up. Only after that first step is taken (and the results do not improve) will they consider complete replacing a shell or tonneau. Also, regarding any warranty issues, if the shell or tonnueau is damaged due to abuse or overloading, a manufacturer wil not honor the warranty. Finally, all manufacturer's claims processes require a proof of purchase.

11. Can I remove my top easily?

Yes. All fiberglass camper shells are installed with quick release electrical plugs and 4 (shortbed) or 6 (longbed) aluminum or steel clamps. A socket wrench is required to remove the clamps. It typically takes a minimum of 4 people to safely remove a camper shell or tonneau, and a minimum of 4 people to reinstall it.

12. What is the difference between a less expensive camper shell and a more expensive one?

The difference in price typically comes from 3 features:

A: A more expensive camper shell has frameless, curved glass on the sides and rear door, instead of flat glass, which is commonly offered on a base model. The curved glass accounts for about 60% of the increase in cost. See below for an example. The first one is frameless with curved glass, the second is framed with flat glass.

. FramelessZSeriesFramedWindow

Frameless is generally considered to be a better looking option. However, regarding the side windows, frameless windows are not as functional as a flat framed window. A flat framed window typically comes standard with a slider but can also accomodate a windoor (as an option, see below) that opens so that you can access your truck bed

VentedWindoorOpen

A campershell with a frameless window will usually not accomodate a windoor and comes standard with a "pop-out" rear window (see below), which cranks or pops open for ventilation.

FramelessPopOutOpen

B. More expensive camper shells often come with more features, such as an interior light, a carpeted interior/headliner instead of a basic fiberglass finish, and a rotary latch locking rear door instead of a T-handle with locking extension rods.

C. More expensive camper shells are designed to make your truck look like an SUV, which means a more custom looking fit but sometimes requires tighter tolerances. These shells are often more rounded and fit closer against you truck cab to give a it a more streamlined look.

D. Adding options to any shell can significantly increase the cost as well. A fully loaded camper shell can double the base price.

If you have any additional questions about Camper Shells or other truck accessories, please give us a call. Thank you for reading our FAQs.