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looking for ideas: cap or tent?


Rangerx2

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Hi y'all I'm looking for ideas and any tips from the rest of you that have your trucks set up for camping. I've got an 8' F-150 so space is definitely not an issue. I just want to do some occasional camping and trying to decide if I should buy a cap/camper shell, or a truck tent. I'm on a limited budget of a few hundred so it would definitely need to be a used cap. At that price range, most of what I'm seeing are aluminum. I know from browsing other threads there are people who use the tents, and love them. Then there are those that swear by the caps. So besides the obvious set-up and tear-down every day of the tent; what are the pros and cons of the tents? Likewise the aluminum caps; what are the pros and cons of those? By the way, I still need the truck for some occasional hauling needs as well.
As far as sleeping, I have a cot and sleeping bag; so that's figured out, tentatively.
Thanks everyone!
:icon_confused:
 


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RonD

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Caps are more secure, you can lock things up if needed.

Outside of that tents are less money and easier to move out of the way for hauling taller things in the bed.
And you don't need a truck bed tent, a regular ground tent can be made to work, just want to keep the bugs off and some unexpected rain out.
And just a heads up about caps and rain, aluminum is very LOUD inside in the rain, lol, fiberglass is better but still a drone of noise

8' cap will need two guys to remove unless you set up a pulley system to lift it up and drive out from under it
 

Doofy

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Never had a tent that didn't leak and have never seen one that is Bear or Thief proof. At least under a cap, you have a chance to lock and load. That being said, I love the tent experience and the airriness and even the smell.

Like RonD stated: a cap hoist is very handy if you don't plan on leaving the cap on all the time. I have an old F-350 that is only used for snowplowing so I just un-bolt my cap, unplug the wiring harness and back-up camera and slide it a cross on a couple of 2x4's. Takes all of 20 minutes.
 

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Browse Craigslist and find a cheap fiberglass tent. They're plentiful on there usually. If it doesn't have a rack on it an explorer roof rack fits Ranger caps PERFECTLY just make sure you seal the holes where you bolt it on. Makes room for extra gear on the roof. If you're looking for an F150 cap I bet an Expedition roof rack would fit.
 
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Pgh Rebel

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Thanks everyone. I would prefer a fiberglass cap, but they're hard to find for a 2012 MY F-150/8' bed. If I had a short bed or an older model truck, they're plentiful right now. I hear you about the noise during a rain. What I might do is put up some insulating panels on the inside. I'm talking with a seller now on Craigslist about an 8' Leer aluminum for $100. I would probably need to install a brake light, but that's not an issue. I've seen them on eBay for fairly cheap. I appreciate everyone's comments and tips. If you have any other words of advice, please post.
For those of you who have the truck tents: what do you have and how do you like it? I had an aluminum cap on my Rangers years ago so I'm familiar with those. Never got around to camping out of it, but one cap lasted through three different trucks; on and off all of them several times over the course of near 20 years. Held up great! :yahoo:
 

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I would imagine the self stick sound deadner and heat shield would work to quieten things down. If you wind up with an aluminum topper, they have strengthening ribs that carpeting or sheet type soundproofing can be screwed to.
 

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I did put money down on aluminum camper shell today. Used but in pretty good condition; came with a brake light and a dome light. They need wired in but I've got them. He didn't have clamps though, previous owner of his truck secured it down with bolts. I'll order clamps and sealant tape off Amazon and go up and get it next week. This weekend I need the open bed to help my sister and her husband move anyhow. I noticed the seller has already taken the posting down from Craigslist so I feel better it won't get sold out from under me. There are still some honest people in this world!:icon_surprised:
Best part: it's already painted to match my truck, bright red!:yahoo:
 

Doofy

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Good find! Post pics when you get it all set up the way you want it.
 

Rangerx2

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I might just start a build thread to show my progress. It's going to be done on the super cheap though. I don't want y'all expecting a luxury motor coach!:D
 

Doofy

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Super Cheap can still be done well and be totally functional. I will keep an eye out for your build thread.
 

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2 Person A-frame Tent for Ranger pickup

I found a nice tent for the bed of my 2011 Ranger, its the Magellan Outdoors Journey 2 Person A-frame Tent. I bought it from Academy Sports for $39.99.
It fits nicely in the bed with the tail gate down, is 84" long and 54" wide. Its a little wider then the wheel wells but it doesn't bunch up too much. It actually fills the truck bed.
I've used it now a couple times with the REI Co-op Camp Bed 3.5 Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad XL (the XL is 78" long), I'm 5/6 so problem with my feet hanging off the edge.
 

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you can sometimes find a free cap, ive found 2 for the longbed. first one was a aluminum one, 3 weeks after i got it (some 40 miles from home) a fiberglass cap was in someones front yard not far from me, sign beside it said free, so down the road it went with me. saw he had a shortbed ranger in the driveway, so either he got the wrong cap for it or had recently traded trucks and had had a longbed before. the fiberglass cap does look alot better but about impossible to install yourself, the aluminum one can be handled by yourself, but still is a bit much to handle without help. if you need it off occasionally for hauling, the lighter one would be the one id use. mine normally is on all the time.
 

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Hi y'all I'm looking for ideas and any tips from the rest of you that have your trucks set up for camping. I've got an 8' F-150 so space is definitely not an issue. I just want to do some occasional camping and trying to decide if I should buy a cap/camper shell, or a truck tent. I'm on a limited budget of a few hundred so it would definitely need to be a used cap. At that price range, most of what I'm seeing are aluminum. I know from browsing other threads there are people who use the tents, and love them. Then there are those that swear by the caps. So besides the obvious set-up and tear-down every day of the tent; what are the pros and cons of the tents? Likewise the aluminum caps; what are the pros and cons of those? By the way, I still need the truck for some occasional hauling needs as well.
As far as sleeping, I have a cot and sleeping bag; so that's figured out, tentatively.
Thanks everyone!
:icon_confused:
Check the murder rates and frequency of serial killers within your camping range and go from there. :shok:
 

Larnach

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So I just spent the 12-28th of May heading up into Death Valley, Eastern Sierras, Bridgeport to SF, up to Corvallis (just south of Portland) and then back down the coast all the way to San Diego. I built a cheap (less than $100 platform) https://modestboot.com/post/174519412942/truck-bed-platform-organizer-for-under-100 and just stashed all my gear underneath it.

I slept at a few truck stops, some rest stops, on the side of the road, on the beach, in a KOA, etc. Super cozy with just a 3" Lucid mattress, and I've got a bad back and knees to boot. I won't lie, it was pretty cramped when getting out of the Softopper, but if you get a regular camper shell, or even one that's kicked up about 3" or so, you'll be fine. I'm 6' 2" and 200lbs and it was pretty damn comfortable.

In my opinion, a cap or topper is much more "stealth" and in my opinion the closest you'll get to the security of a van. I'm considering getting a 36" aluminum top, gutting my rear cab window and making it a portal so I can easily move between the bed and the cab.

Do the topper and carry a backup tent if need be, you'll love it!

 


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