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If you need to leave your tools or other equipment in your truck overnight or for long periods of time but don’t want to take up all the space in your cab then you need to get a truck topper!
You may (or may not) have heard about truck toppers before but if you are wondering what exactly they are and if it is worth getting one for your truck then this article is for you.
A truck topper is simply a hard shell that attaches to a truck bed and protects anything in the truck bed from the elements. A truck topper is a worthwhile investment for anyone who regularly hauls around expensive tools or equipment that they don’t want to risk getting damaged or stolen.
Most truck toppers will bolt directly onto the truck bed and then they can be locked to help keep whatever is in your truck bed safe from thieves as well as the weather.
Truck toppers aren’t for everyone however as if you regularly haul large furniture or loose items like rocks, mulch, etc. a topper will make getting that in and out of your truck bed far more difficult.
Some people will want to add a truck topper when they have to haul valuable cargo on long trips cross country because there is less chance of damage from rain or hail falling on them.
When it comes down to it, a truck topper is worth it if you think you’ll use one often enough and want protection from the weather and the elements for your cargo.
Although truck toppers will add to the cost of your truck (as they are normally sold separately) if you have a bunch of tools that you regularly keep in your truck or other cargo that could be damaged by the elements or stolen then having a truck topper and locking it can save you a lot of hassle and lost money.
You can also save some money by always bringing your own tools with you so you never have to load and unload your truck again!
Benefits Of A Truck Topper
There are pros and cons to anything and that includes adding a truck topper to your truck.
Some of the benefits of a truck topper include:
- Sun/weather protection
- Safe storage
- Easier transportation
- Time saved
- More hauling capability
These are just a few benefits that you will receive when you get a truck topper added to your vehicle.
Drawbacks Of A Truck Topper
Truck toppers are not ideal for every truck owner and it really depends on how you use your truck whether it will be worth getting a topper or not.
Some of the cons for truck toppers are:
- Added expense
- Harder to load some items
- Won’t look as rugged
- Might not match paint color
- Harder to see out of the back
Of course none of these truck topper cons should prevent you from getting one for your truck but it is important for you to consider these things before you make your decision to purchase one.
Do Truck Toppers Affect Gas Mileage?
Unquestionably the most common question asked by potential truck topper owners is “Will a truck topper affect my gas mileage?” Unfortunately, the answer isn’t a simple one. There are a lot of variables involved – from the size and shape of the truck bed, to how well the topper fits your truck, so it’s nearly impossible to say how it will affect your gas mileage in every situation.
In general truck toppers will increase your gas mileage especially on the highway as they will help your truck be slightly more aerodynamic. However the increase in fuel mileage is typically very small (around 1MPG) so you might not even notice the difference.
Unfortunately just adding a truck topper to your truck won’t immediately raise the fuel mileage drastically and allow you to save a ton of money (although that would be nice).
Honestly, driving a little bit softer (when accelerating especially) will have a bigger affect on your fuel mileage than adding a topper to your truck will.
Truck Toppers And Gas Mileage – Why Does It Matter?
It’s important to appreciate just how big a factor gas mileage is when considering the merits of a truck topper. After all, if you’re buying a new truck, what you’re after is increased utility and capability, while also trying to decrease the fuel consumption. If you determine that adding a topper is necessary for your truck then adding one will not only give you all of the benefits mentioned above but also save you a little bit on fuel.
However, adding a truck topper solely to try and save money on fuel is a losing game as the cost of adding a truck topper will be considerably more than what you would likely save on fuel even over the life of the truck.
What Kind Of Truck Does A Topper Fit On?
A lot of people make the assumption that any truck topper can be used on any truck, but this isn’t necessarily true. A lot of topper manufacturers make their products specifically for a specific fit on a specific model of truck, so you can’t just pick up any truck topper off the shelf and use it on any truck.
If you have a Ford F-150 you will need to get a topper that is specifically designed for that make and model of vehicle. Often the toppers will change shape and style slightly depending on the vehicle’s model year as well.
So you will need to make sure that you get a topper that fits your specific truck’s year, make, and model as otherwise you will have to do a lot of adjusting to the truck topper to get it to even come close to fitting.
Are Truck Toppers Universal?
If you have decided that getting a topper for your truck is worth the cost your next question might be whether you can buy any topper or if only some toppers fit certain trucks while others fit different trucks.
Unfortunately all truck toppers are not universal since there are many different lengths of truck beds and many different models and shapes as well. Typically a truck topper will fit a certain bed length and then a certain make and model of truck which should be stated in the listing for the topper.
The best way to get a truck topper that fits almost any truck is to buy one from the folks who specialize in making them. The advantage of doing this is that they test their toppers on many different trucks and know which ones will fit and which ones won’t.
How Much Should I Pay for A Truck Topper?
The price for a truck topper varies greatly depending on how fancy of a topper you get and whether it is designed specifically for your truck and truck’s paint color or not. For example, the Vantech Universal Topper is available at an affordable price however, it won’t match your truck color and therefore won’t look as nice.
On the other hand, there are companies that sell truck toppers that cost multiple hundreds or thousands of dollars that are specifically designed to match the exact shape of your truck, the shade of the paint color, etc.
Nowadays, you can find some truck toppers on eBay for less than $100 however, those might be in bad shape and typically have no shipping options either so make sure you check out all the details when looking at truck toppers online.
When I first started researching truck toppers, I was under the impression that a new one would cost me about $1,000. However, when I actually started looking, I found prices ranging from $100- $10,000! The prices varied based on the size of the topper, material used to make it, and features included as mentioned earlier.
With the above said, there are still some decent ones out there for a few hundred dollars but you have to decide if having a nicer looking topper is worth spending some extra money on it or not.
This is why it is important to do your research before purchasing one.
Important Things To Consider When Buying A Truck Topper
A high quality truck topper will be made from durable materials that will hold up well to the weather and any abuse that you might accidentally put them through. Don’t get pulled in by super cheap toppers that are made of cheap vinyl or mesh as those won’t protect anything inside of your truck bed which defeats the point of having a topper in the first place.
Your topper should come with a warranty. You want to make sure that you can get a replacement if anything happens to your topper or if it was installed incorrectly (assuming you paid someone to install it).
Will A Dodge Topper Fit On A Ford Truck?
If you have a friend who has a truck topper for a Dodge Ram but you have a Ford F-150 you might be wondering if those two models are compatible or not.
Unfortunately a Dodge topper will not fit on a Ford truck because the width of the truck beds will have slightly different dimensions which will make them need to have different sizes for the toppers. Also there will be some different lengths of the beds that Ford and Dodge offers which again will make them not entirely compatible.
If you have a Dodge topper you can likely make it work on a Ford truck but the fit won’t be perfect and in turn likely won’t look very nice.
How Do You Measure For A Truck Topper?
If you are wanting to get a truck topper for your truck but aren’t sure how to measure for it then you are in the right spot.
In general to measure for a truck topper you need to know how long your truck bed is from the back window to the tailgate and also how wide it is. If you buy a truck topper that is too short or not wide enough then it won’t work well on your truck and won’t protect the items that are in your truck bed as well.
Most truck toppers will also have a list of trucks that they are designed to fit onto so you can easily look at that list and see if your truck is on it or not.
If you are unsure it is always better to contact the seller/ manufacturer of the truck topper and verify that it will fit your truck properly before you buy it.