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

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MidOH

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Are the contents of those boxes more expensive than the bed or tailgate?

Same reason I don't endorse the aftermarket tailgate theft locks for Fords.
 

BLACK_BETTY

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I am between a cap with a rack over it, or an open rack. Either way it will be made easily removable as I use my bed to its fullest extent. I also have a forklift, so fast removal isnt an issue. It is more of what I stumble across first because i am not blowing money on brand new stuff to beat up.
 
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4wheelspulling

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Out of sight is a big start in stopping theft! Bicycle cable locks through your gear attempt to keep all but the most determined the thefts from happening. 2 High-Lift jacks now, for me! Vance.
 

Roots66

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For those that have a Open bed and racks, do you worry about theft?
Since my truck is my daily driver, the bed is empty all the time unless I'm actually hauling something (groceries, feed, lumber, supplies, etc). 100% of my camping gear stays in my garage unless I'm on a trip. Then, it's cable locked to the bed for any short moments I may not be with the truck. Plus, there's always someone else along to ensure it's watched at all times.
 
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Willys_2014

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While it will yet be sometime off, I am thinking of my next new vehicle, likely to be Gladiator with a Decked / rack system. The versatility appeals to me.

Like others, my wife has threatened divorce at the mere suggestion of a cap. :)
 

Montazuma

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I see a lot of trucks here with a open bed, the rack with a roof top tent, why? What is the advantage. Is it because of the cost? is it most beds are short these days? Why no shell/topper? Why not a pop-up shell.
I have a long bed truck, shell and a overhead rack. The rack is for my toys, Surfboards, Kayaks, Fishing rods. whatever, sometimes I sit up there and watch the surf... I can sleep in the back and my stuff stays dry in the rain. It doesn't get dusty or muddy. It's mostly safe when I park somewhere and leave my truck. When I had smaller trucks brought a tent to keep stuff or sleep in, the rack/s was for toys and gear.
If this offends some of you, I apologize in advance. I just don't understand. If it works for you please tell me why.
I've always used shells, I find they are stealth if you need them to be,but I will say when I'm on very dusty trails it gets in every where. That's with a very nice Z series ARE. Its definitely starting to make me consider other options. The Australian market solved that years ago with canopies. We are just starting to see them here....
 
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Lanlubber

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One of the nicest setup trucks I have seen is Chadlyb’s Toyota Taco. He has a sweet setup, and actually uses it lots! He put lots of thought in on everything on the truck. If he does not use an item, it is gone!

An RTT is way down my list for my use. My pop top Alaskan Camper works when I want that comfort. The rest of the time I sleep in a ground tent or my vehicle. Vance.
Ah haaaa, you changed your mind, why ? You recently bought an RTT didn't you ?
 

Old Man River

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I have been planning this for the last two years. I am going to do a hybrid. Im going to have a cap/rack/RTT setup. I daily drive a lot with my truck and I want to be able to sleep in the cap, fish, store my stuff and then I am going to custom build a rack that integrates with the canopy so that I can put an RTT on top so when I take my kids camping they can sleep up top and I can sleep down below. I will have Leitner style side racks so that I can have water/gas etc. Dimensions are important since the main structural load has to be directly on the bed and not outside like some ladder racks are. I finally sold my 14' eco diesel and bought the 18' Hemi. Now the fun begins.
 
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Lanlubber

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I have been planning this for the last two years. I am going to do a hybrid. Im going to have a cap/rack/RTT setup. I daily drive a lot with my truck and I want to be able to sleep in the cap, fish, store my stuff and then I am going to custom build a rack that integrates with the canopy so that I can put an RTT on top so when I take my kids camping they can sleep up top and I can sleep down below. I will have Leitner style side racks so that I can have water/gas etc. Dimensions are important since the main structural load has to be directly on the bed and not outside like some ladder racks are. I finally sold my 14' eco diesel and bought the 18' Hemi. Now the fun begins.
You don't have to reinvent the wheel here. I'm sure their are others in the forum who have already done what you want to do. Maybe some OB'er will tune into your post, they usually do on projects such as yours. There are many good builds on utube by DYI guys.
 
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Old Man River

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You don't have to reinvent the wheel here. I'm sure their are others in the forum who have already done what you want to do. Maybe some OB'er will tune into your post, they usually do on projects such as yours. There are many good builds on utube by DYI guys.
I spoke with a guy up in WA that does an awesome job building racks. Going to present my ideas and see what happens. Love my kids but do not want to sleep with them up in the RTT however I want to utilize the back of my truck so a canopy works as long as I can get the rack around or on top of it...
 
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Pathfinder I

Beyond my last joke post, this is a good question but I took a different approach that I've not seen articulated here yet.

We started with a functional needs assessment. What did we need in a vehicle? In order, our priorities were: 4x4, low range, highest possible payload, 4 full doors for children/dogs, maneuverability in it's own length & general "Compactness", price, nice to drive.

The only vehicle on the market that checked all of those boxes for us was a Truck, and we settled on our little Canyon. I would wager that most people engage in a similar process, though their list of 'wants' might differ.

We were coming from a jeep, so an open rack made sense as it allowed us to re-use existing gear like tent and awning without having to buy new kit. We looked at full toppers, but aluminum ones were a bit too expensive to start with, and fibreglass ones lacked access, were costly, and didn't promise the same level of robustness we want in our rig, and full pop-ups were just very expensive and didn't really match what we wanted. So we fabricated an open rack as a starting point as it allowed use to use all our existing gear, and will create a base for what our rig will become as we get to know it and adapt our systems to suit.

As far as mounting stuff to the outside, I don't care what the rig looks like -- it's all about function. I happen to think functionality looks cool, so I suppose there is an aesthetic to it from that perspective, but it's driven by function and when it comes to the box on a truck, that function is all about access to stuff, which an open rack is ideal for. You can reach over the sides of the box from fore to aft to grab something if need be, making access super simple. Our plan is to eventually close our rack in with custom access areas, but having used it for the summer in it's current state, we really like it as-is and see the appeal. When on a trip, we have all out gear in Actionpackers. When not on a trip, we have the use of the bed which is handy for so many things. We have a full size truck for major projects so we don't worry about the rack getting in the way of hauling; even with the rack, we can take a LOT more stuff than we could in the Jeep, and the tent gives it a bit of shelter from light rain and other issues.

As far as theft goes, I use tamper-resistant fasteners on my tent, traction mats, and awning, and otherwise all the stuff is the action packers and not kept in the vehicle unless we are on a trip. In the future the enclosed cap will be lockable so we will feel more comfortable leaving stuff inside it, but it's really just keeping honest people honest and we plan accordingly with backup plans in case of theft, good insurance, etc.

There are definitely downsides to the open box, but that's true with any platform; if you focus on the feathers -- ruffled or preened -- you lose sight of the wings.
 

F250_IDI_Scott

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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.

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.
Glad someone said it because I was about too. ;-)
 
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grubworm

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I see a lot of trucks here with a open bed, the rack with a roof top tent, why? What is the advantage. Is it because of the cost? is it most beds are short these days? Why no shell/topper? Why not a pop-up shell.
I just don't understand. If it works for you please tell me why.
Well, you asked a question and got 5 pages of answers! Besides seeing all the reasons why people are doing what they do, did you get any useful ideas?? This forum is definitely a "buffet" of ideas and information, the purpose is not to eat it all, but pick out what you like. Sometimes it just takes a while to understand something. My neighbors couldn't understand why I have an excavator parked at my house, but when a storm hits and they need help moving fallen trees or need a trench dug to run power to their shop, it suddenly makes great sense...sometimes you just need to see something in action to understand it's purpose.
I enjoy threads like this and find that there is always some good tidbits of information to get no matter what the topic.
 

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My neighbors couldn't understand why I have an excavator parked at my house, but when a storm hits and they need help moving fallen trees or need a trench dug to run power to their shop, it suddenly makes great sense...sometimes you just need to see something in action to understand it's purpose.
I enjoy threads like this and find that there is always some good tidbits of information to get no matter what the topic.
Suddenly I need an excavator.

I can already see the look on The Bride's face.
 

MMc

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Thank you for asking Grubworm! I do understand why some use a open bed. This thread opened my eyes as why some have a open bed with a rack, many are very valid. This also reinforced some of my own decisions. I started use a small truck with a shell in the 80's when I was climbing. The "old guy with a cap" comment was pretty funny.(it fits me now) Most of my trips are go to a place and post up for a couple days and recreate with my toys. I need to place for surfboards and kayaks, fishing rods. Having a RTT is out for me. I used to think they were a bit of a fashion statement, that was very, very wrong of me, I don't think that now. I really don't care what people use as long as get out and have fun.
 

DoubleA_FL

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For me, a cap is simply out of the question, like so many others, because I use my truck as a truck first, and a camping vehicle second. But personally, I would also not run a RTT on my truck because it would be too darned tall, she's a big girl and already has some issues with certain parking garages and shes on stock suspension/tires. My truck also has about as long a wheelbase as you can get before going to a F450 type work platform, so it isn't the best offroading vehicle anyways. (F350 Crew Cab 8' box, single rear wheel)

The trailer with a tent definitely appeals to me though. I have two boys, so when I think about family camping trips I am thinking about a teardrop trailer with a RTT on top. That way the wife and I can sleep below in our nice AC/Heated trailer and let the boys fend for themselves in the RTT. This is my end goal, so, for now, I think I am going to buy the RTT first, have it on the vehicle until I can afford the teardrop and then switch it over. I also really like the idea of being able to leave the campsite and not have to close up the RTT if you want to go explore in the vehicle.

To each their own, whatever works for you.

Thank you for asking Grubworm! I do understand why some use a open bed. This thread opened my eyes as why some have a open bed with a rack, many are very valid. This also reinforced some of my own decisions. I started use a small truck with a shell in the 80's when I was climbing. The "old guy with a cap" comment was pretty funny.(it fits me now) Most of my trips are go to a place and post up for a couple days and recreate with my toys. I need to place for surfboards and kayaks, fishing rods. Having a RTT is out for me. I used to think they were a bit of a fashion statement, that was very, very wrong of me, I don't think that now. I really don't care what people use as long as get out and have fun.
 
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Lanlubber

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The wife comments about the “grampa truck” make me laugh because my wife said the same thing. My response being “why are you not in the kitchen making me a sandwich?”
Where do people come up with these ideas about Granpa trucks. I'm a GG Grampa and neither me or my Father ever had a cap on our trucks. Station wagons, truck bed campers, travel trailers, Yes, and now SUV's that are off road capable. Grampa is keeping up with the times . I can see where a topper would be the way to go for certain people. It's a home on wheels. I even saw one topper on top of a trailer, and lastly someone gave me one about 15 years ago that they had no need for. I was going to make a green house out of it but didn't. I did use it for the roof of my chicken coop though.
 

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