I don't understand open bed trucks with racks and tents.

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Lanlubber

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Sounds to me like you're trying to justify your style of overlanding equipment over another which is NOT what this forum is all about. There is no superior vehicle platform or superior style of sleeping arrangement. The only one that matters is the one that works for your specific needs and budget until either of those change.

Wanting to understand why some folks do what they do is cool but how you phrase your questions and responses makes a big difference in how the membership reacts to a post. That's why so many of us come here. To avoid snarky responses and feel welcomed no matter what kind of rig we drive or how we mod it. :smile:

Some of us like the versatility of a rack and tent that can be disassembled as needed for the occasion.

Some examples of how I use my truck. Some of which can be done with a cap and some can't or would be very difficult. And keep in mind, I like caps and may have one someday. They offer lots of other advantages I like.

Oops, I need to haul hay today? Shoot I wasn't prepared but I can do it.


Haul these office desks to the dump? Ok.


Herbicide spray day. So glad I don't have a bed rug or sleeping platform to soak up this water or potential herbicide leaks.


What do you mean we need to use my truck to haul the kids bikes to the bike park for his birthday party?


Shoot, those bikes don't fit under the rack. I'll just unbolt this 70lb rack real quick (4 bolts) and make room.
Very good reply, anyone with a truck should expect it to be used in so many different ways and is the primary reason
to buy it in the first place. I may be the only one in OB who bought a rig specifically for OB activities and nothing else.
 

flyfisher117

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Thanks for the answers. I do not buy some, but who am I. I really want to hear the reasons for a open bed over a shell.
I have a mountaineering, backpacking and climbing back ground. Most of the RTT are not good 3 season tents, in my opinion.

Why do people have to justify their gear to you. Why cant you accept that others have different wants/desires than you? GTFO with this holier than thou attitude.

I bought an open over the bed rack because it was $300+ spray paint to finish it.
The rack+ tent is still lighter than a shell. I don't have windows that I am worried about breaking.
I myself can walk out and put the rack and then the tent on my truck. alone. no special tools needed.
The RTT makes the lady more comfortable when sleeping in Grizzly country.
I can haul fuel for my dirt bike, shuttle mtbs over the tail gate, and access stuff from all sides of my bed.
 

Grendel

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I have a leitner rack as someone said above, I love it. I have full use of my bed and at a time had my RTT on top of it.(would remove when not camping). I just move the top bar back and I can use my truck bed. I have had friends that had caps on their trucks and it diminished(for me) the usefulness of the bed. I can put a kayak on the rack and have bikes and storage underneath. Now I have a trailer with an RTT that works great, I can access the annex through the trailer and can stand-up to change.
 
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Lanlubber

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Why do people have to justify their gear to you. Why cant you accept that others have different wants/desires than you? GTFO with this holier than thou attitude.

I bought an open over the bed rack because it was $300+ spray paint to finish it.
The rack+ tent is still lighter than a shell. I don't have windows that I am worried about breaking.
I myself can walk out and put the rack and then the tent on my truck. alone. no special tools needed.
The RTT makes the lady more comfortable when sleeping in Grizzly country.
I can haul fuel for my dirt bike, shuttle mtbs over the tail gate, and access stuff from all sides of my bed.
I think MMC was only expressing an opinion and no one should take offense. I agree with your second part of your statement and justifies why you have what you have. Experience is a big factor and family needs as well. I have no wife, no girlfriend, no children , no kyaks, no bikes, so my rig is built for just me. Aint I the lucky one !!! :disrelieved:
 
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emulous74

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When I got my truck, I set up the golden rule, that the "truck" functionality had to remain, I didn't want a sole vehicle who's only function was Off-roading/overlanding. I still needed to be able to put stuff in the bed, like moving furniture, getting mulch, etc.

First came the drawer system, I went with Decked because, while it did raise my load floor, it gave me a complete level surface from bedside to bedside, the Decked system is rated to hold 2,000lbs which means I could basically put anything on top of the decked drawers that I wanted.

Next came the bed rack, I went with the Leitner Designs Active Cargo Management system due to it's (IMO) superior design, first the rear bar can easily be slide forward using the turn knobs, this means that I can load tall items without having to remove the load bars or the bed rack itself, second is that all the bars have t-slots on all four sides, this is not just the load bars, but the side bars, etc. This allows me to mount anything I want on all sides/areas of the bed rack. Third was the weight ratings of the bed rack, 1,000lbs static, 500lbs on road, and 250lbs off-road, this I knew could handle my Alu-Cab tent and Awning. Fourth is the construction of this bed rack is amazing, the welds are perfect, almost an art form, it's all aluminum so it won't ever rust, the powder coating has held up really well. The complete bed rack only added 70lbs.

The drawer system allowed me to easily install a fridge slide, as I mounted it under the wide drawer, I didn't even have to take the drawer out to tighten the nuts, I just laid inside the drawer. This installation allows me to easily remove the slide if needed.

In my way of thinking, if I put a topper on my truck, I loose a lot of functionality of the bed that I use the truck for and then the truck would become almost single use.



 

Lanlubber

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When I got my truck, I set up the golden rule, that the "truck" functionality had to remain, I didn't want a sole vehicle who's only function was Off-roading/overlanding. I still needed to be able to put stuff in the bed, like moving furniture, getting mulch, etc.

First came the drawer system, I went with Decked because, while it did raise my load floor, it gave me a complete level surface from bedside to bedside, the Decked system is rated to hold 2,000lbs which means I could basically put anything on top of the decked drawers that I wanted.

Next came the bed rack, I went with the Leitner Designs Active Cargo Management system due to it's (IMO) superior design, first the rear bar can easily be slide forward using the turn knobs, this means that I can load tall items without having to remove the load bars or the bed rack itself, second is that all the bars have t-slots on all four sides, this is not just the load bars, but the side bars, etc. This allows me to mount anything I want on all sides/areas of the bed rack. Third was the weight ratings of the bed rack, 1,000lbs static, 500lbs on road, and 250lbs off-road, this I knew could handle my Alu-Cab tent and Awning. Fourth is the construction of this bed rack is amazing, the welds are perfect, almost an art form, it's all aluminum so it won't ever rust, the powder coating has held up really well. The complete bed rack only added 70lbs.

The drawer system allowed me to easily install a fridge slide, as I mounted it under the wide drawer, I didn't even have to take the drawer out to tighten the nuts, I just laid inside the drawer. This installation allows me to easily remove the slide if needed.

In my way of thinking, if I put a topper on my truck, I loose a lot of functionality of the bed that I use the truck for and then the truck would become almost single use.



All makes sense to me if one can afford it. I cant but if I could, I would. I'm not fond of the RTT but to each his own.
I don't have a garage for storage of things like that so for me it's either tent or trailer of some sort. You have a very nice rig, with or without the cargo.
 
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OtherOrb

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I just ordered my Leer cap. Went back and forth over the cap vs other solutions. I'm still not certain it's what I want, but it's the best solution for my vehicle at this time.

Main reasons:
1) Keep some equipment out of the elements. I take this vehicle offroad during summer, fall, winter, and spring. Each season here presents its own unique challenges to keeping gear in good condition. A cap allows me to throw gear in during whatever season.

2) Security. It's not secure against a thief, but it is secure against a theft of opportunity. Makes me worry a bit less when I can lock the cap and walk away.

3) Dog. I can put the dog in the bed and not have to worry about him (other than temperature, but I have a solution for that).

There are a lot of reasons to choose one system over another, most of which have to do with use and personal preference.. It's not for me to judge why one person chose a particular solution over another, or even necessarily to fully understand their decision. If I don't understand their decision, it's probably because I'm not using my vehicle how they're using theirs.
 

MMc

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I apologize, I really want to understand and will be more positive in the future. I am beginning to understand why people keep their truck open. My system works for me but I am always looking to improve it.
The tent comment come from many weeks trying to get to the top of mountains, self supported. Wind and snow proof and light were the issues. Camping out of my truck changes everything.
I am not attempting say whatever you do is right or wrong, The reasonI I love a thing and why, can be the same reasons you hate it. Both of us are right.
I see some very nice Trucks

Sounds to me like you're trying to justify your style of overlanding equipment over another which is NOT what this forum is all about. There is no superior vehicle platform or superior style of sleeping arrangement. The only one that matters is the one that works for your specific needs and budget until either of those change.

Wanting to understand why some folks do what they do is cool but how you phrase your questions and responses makes a big difference in how the membership reacts to a post. That's why so many of us come here. To avoid snarky responses and feel welcomed no matter what kind of rig we drive or how we mod it. :smile:

Some of us like the versatility of a rack and tent that can be disassembled as needed for the occasion.

Some examples of how I use my truck. Some of which can be done with a cap and some can't or would be very difficult. And keep in mind, I like caps and may have one someday. They offer lots of other advantages I like.

Oops, I need to haul hay today? Shoot I wasn't prepared but I can do it.


Haul these office desks to the dump? Ok.


Herbicide spray day. So glad I don't have a bed rug or sleeping platform to soak up this water or potential herbicide leaks.


What do you mean we need to use my truck to haul the kids bikes to the bike park for his birthday party?


Shoot, those bikes don't fit under the rack. I'll just unbolt this 70lb rack real quick (4 bolts) and make room.
 
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Bootsie624

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A buddy of mine has a rack, and a tonneau cover. His tonneau cover keeps things dry, while he has the rack for his RTT. He can remove the rack when he doesn't need it, and still has full access to the bed on the truck. This is on a Frontier.
That’s my plan. Need to keep the bed free for work and removing a shell can be (depending on brand, model etc) more difficult then just pulling the rack off.

Different strokes I guess.
 

John~SWNM

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I dont have an RTT, too hard to get two 50 pound dogs up a ladder, but I do use a bed-rack & cargo basket. For me it makes loading very easy, the heavy stuff in the bed and lighter stuff in the basket where it wont effect the CG as badly. A packing job that used to take over a half hour is now done in less than 15 minutes. Plus the rack gives me places to mount my traction boards,, water cans, Hi-lift & pioneer tools. The stuff that goes in the bed is generally in weather tight crates/boxes and whatever is in the rack basket gets covered in a hgh-quaity waxed canvas tarp to keep the rain and trail dust off of everything. It's a great system for us. Also, if I need an open bed for moving furniture, etc, I designed the rack so it comes out easily, only 4 bolts & 4 nuts and it's ready to come out., which I can remove myself because I made it light weight.

I went from a Jeep CJ-5 (as a single guy with just my dog) to married with 3 dogs & an SUV (Jeep Liberty). The SUV was OK and we got lots of use out of it but the engine let go at only 140k miles so when we were looking for a new vehicle I specifically wanted a truck, preferably one with more than 2 doors. Found the Tacoma at a great deal and started turning it into a verhicle to suite our specific needs.
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John~SWNM

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It's hard to shuttle multiple mountain bikes over the tailgate with a cap.

Some people feel clausterphobic sleeping inside a cap.

Short bed mid-size trucks only have a bed length of around 5 feet making them too short to sleep in.

Caps are crazy expensive when purchased new.

My wife thinks caps turn pickups into "grandpa trucks. So she won't approve my request for one. lol


There are pros and cons with both systems. Some people start with one system then switch as needs change or deals pop up.

And many truck "caps" , especially the inexpensive ones, arent strong enough too support the weight of the tent and it's occupants.
 

JCWages

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I apologize, I really want to understand and will be more positive in the future. I am beginning to understand why people keep their truck open. My system works for me but I am always looking to improve it.
The tent comment come from many weeks trying to get to the top of mountains, self supported. Wind and snow proof and light were the issues. Camping out of my truck changes everything.
I am not attempting say whatever you do is right or wrong, The reasonI I love a thing and why, can be the same reasons you hate it. Both of us are right.
I see some very nice Trucks
No worries, man. :) It's cool seeing how other folks use their rigs and as our lives change we may adopt some of their strategies and modifications to suit our new needs and desires. That's what makes this forum and hobby so cool. We don't suffer from "group think" and there is no shortage of diversity or creativity here.

Glad you didn't take my post too harshly. It wasn't meant to be.
 
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Renegade

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I just don't understand. If it works for you please tell me why.
I do not like shells.

They severely limit the usability of your bed (No side access, no ability to put tall things in bed, cant use a goose neck, etc). I have 40 gallon refuel tank in my bed, would not work with a shell. Works fine with a rack...
 
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Cdaug

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I'm glad to see this post getting so much attention! I think this is a really good point of conversation and one I've wondered about often.

I run a camper shell with a cheapo "drawer" system with a mattress on top. This was only possible because I had the long bed (6ft for Tacoma), I'm 6-3 so just have to sleep at a slight angle. I've seen guys my height camp like that in a 5ft bed. Got a good deal on a shell for my make/model/paint for $200. The rest was less than $100 for plywood and those storage boxes that fit under your bed. I don't have the money or expertise to build full drawers or run an RTT. This was a very opportunistic build that helps me get out more for relatively little cost.

What I like about my build is the flexibility, PRICE, and security (both theft and weather). Whatever gets you out there! Pics of the dog in the back, a trail at Big Bend, and everything taken out.IMG_20190619_231314_01.jpegScreenshot_20190619-231600.jpegIMG_20190619_231306_01.jpeg
 

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Titan Tom

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I use to think it's because you want to be able to detach from your rig before doing any crazy offroading but then I had one of those crazy rigs meant for offroading yet I found myself wondering why I have it when I also have a camper shell on my truck. Initially the truck camper was for my dogs but they were too much to deal with at times. Ultimately sold my offroad rig after dumping thousands into it I finally came to terms that it was cool but the trade offs were not worth it. Roof top tents are not so easy to remove so putting it on a truck to me was unimaginable. I did have one on my camping rig. I liked it but ther trade off was less space in my garage. A lot less room since this sucker was behemoth. Thousands my friends. Now I have a hilleberg tent a back pack and a truck with a shell. Simple efficient. That is what i should have done first.
 
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Lanlubber

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I'm glad to see this post getting so much attention! I think this is a really good point of conversation and one I've wondered about often.

I run a camper shell with a cheapo "drawer" system with a mattress on top. This was only possible because I had the long bed (6ft for Tacoma), I'm 6-3 so just have to sleep at a slight angle. I've seen guys my height camp like that in a 5ft bed. Got a good deal on a shell for my make/model/paint for $200. The rest was less than $100 for plywood and those storage boxes that fit under your bed. I don't have the money or expertise to build full drawers or run an RTT. This was a very opportunistic build that helps me get out more for relatively little cost.

What I like about my build is the flexibility, PRICE, and security (both theft and weather). Whatever gets you out there! Pics of the dog in the back, a trail at Big Bend, and everything taken out.View attachment 104321View attachment 104323View attachment 104324
I dig it---- I'm single so a bed half that width would do me, leaving room for a lot of other things like ref's. and storage
 
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