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Hi folks,

Purhased my A.R.E camper shell several years ago and couldn't be happier with it. One thing I have noticed is that I appear to be the only one who bought one :). Anybody else have one? If so, please post some pics so I don't feel so lonely. This is damaging to my self-esteem :).

 

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I do not have one, but I also like the way they look. I currently have an Element with 210,000 miles on it. Next spring I am considering upgrading to a Ridgeline. I do need the covered space in the bed. Do you know what the height of the opening is, from the floor of the bed to the top of the cap? Thanks for any info you can provide.
 

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I like that way better than the LEER option. The window shape really compliments the truck vs. the slant window on the LEER (which makes the whole LEER shell looked sloped).
I'll be getting one for my silver '07.
 

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I just bought my '08 with an ARE cap yesterday!

Wasn't sure about the look of the truck with the cap installed, but it was a good deal and the cap adds so much functionality. I do appreciate the previous owner's choice to go with black on the white truck.

ghilber - I measured 31.25" vertically from the bed to the inner lip of the cap.

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I'm thinking about getting a shell for my '06 RT to replace my Torza Hard Hat - find myself needing more height capacity than the tonneau cover provides. Couple of questions for those of you with shells (A.R.E., specifically) - 1.) Does the trunk lid open fully with a shell installed? That's one of my frustrations with the tonneau - due to rail that has to be installed for tonneau cover, the trunk lid won't fully open. 2.) What's the cost of an A.R.E. shell installed? Thanks!
 

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Not sure on the price - the cap was installed on the truck when I bought it. But you can definitely open the trunk lid all the way, with about 10" of clearance between the open lid and the roof of the cap... no problem there.
 

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Thanks duc - good to know! I'm slowly talking myself into getting an A.R.E. shell. That black one does look good on your white RL.
 

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I have an ARE cap on mine. I bought it used last year and it's great...I still have to hook up the 3rd brake light and get it painted black to match my truck.....Plus I need a locksmith to make me a key for it...But for $300.00 I still got a deal......
 

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I know you guys are going to take this personally, so I apologize in advance, but I find that "Butt Fugly"!

I know, I know, if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all, but in all honesty, a lot of folks find the RL an ugly truck, but I love 'em, so to each their own, but add one of those caps, and........
 

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That's ok - I hear where you're coming from.

I personally favor the look of the RL without the cap too. But you can't argue with how functional the caps are, assuming you're not carrying tall things. And the fact that my cap is black and my truck is white, it allows me to see and admire the (uncapped) line of the truck, especially at night. Come summertime, I think it'll come off for a few months. But in the winter, it rules!
 

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I'm good with aesthetic, but I have to prioritize function. I have the A.R.E shell/cap--looks good, works well. I need to put a roof rack up on this Ridgeline/A.R.E. platform for the canoes, plywood sheet, skiis, etcetera; all those things which won't fit inside, have to ride outside.
My current ambition is to mount one Yakima rack above the middle door posts on the cab, and one or two Yak rack on the shell/cap. I want to provide support for shorter items (bikes), and longer ones (canoes). I have not yet peeled up the plastic strip on the cab roof yet to see where the Honda mounting studs are located on the roof- it would be a cleaner installation if I could fabricate a mounting bracket using the existing Honda roof studs. Anyone know about the wire routing, or mounting recommendations from A.R.E.?
My concerns are load distribution and secondarily, airflow characteristics.
There has been mention in ROC of Yakima, and other rack companies offering mounting adapters which allow use of the Ridgeline roof mounting studs to anchor aftermarket racks, but I have only noted general references, and not specific information. A.R.E. lists the YakTrak as an accessory to its shell/caps, that's an option, though I've not yet found load bearing data about the A.R.E. cap/shell.
I'm hoping to hear from those Ridgeliners (ideally you structural engineers our there) who have been through this particular process, and willing to share the specifics of their ordeal.
So, keeping on topic: anyone out there have photos of a Ridgeline/A.R.E rack combination that wants to share images of their success? thanks
 

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My A.R.E. keeps my dog secure in her crate, and my climbing and camping gear safely stowed. I ordered the cap from A.R.E with rails to use with my Yakima tower system so I can put bikes on top or attach my Thule roof box for extra storage. Quick and easy to take the bars on and off the cap.

Maybe the LEER design has changed from 2008, but I chose the A.R.E. over LEER because the A.R.E. had screens over the side windows and they also opened a lot wider than the LEER. Just noticed on the preview that my running boards hadn't been installed at the time the photo was taken in '08. My truck was only a month old at the time. Four years later and my cap has not leaked at all.

 

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I'm sort of on the fence about them. Yes, they aren't that attractive but they do add a little to the look. Some regular toppers look really good while some make you wonder why they even bothered. How good do these seal considering they sit on the composite rails? If I needed a cover I'd go with the OEM, but different applications make us all different.
 

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How easy are these campers shells to remove and put back on? Or is that even possible? I'd love to have one for only certain trips: camping, beach etc but dont want one on all the time.
 

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They're pretty easy - 4 bolts/clamps. You need 2 people since it's awkward and fairly heavy to lift off the bed, but it's certainly not difficult.

Now when I took mine off, I noticed the cap had worn the paint away at several points where it contacts the truck body. So I touched up the paint and got a roll of closed cell, adhesive backed foam from McMaster and replaced the old foam on the cap. Since the cap came with my truck (used '08) I'm not sure how much the cap had been put on and off and how much wear and tear the foam had been subjected to, but I was a little disappointed with the thickness (or lack thereof) of the foam.

I also spent some time with my Dremel smoothing some of the rough edges of the fiberglass where the cap meets the body. Exterior and interior finish of the ARE cap is great, but a little disappointed in the cap/truck interface finish.

Hope this helps...
 

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I kayak when possible and also find myself hauling something on top from time to time (Ikea, etc.), so I put Yakima Tracks on my ARE topper. Then I added the Yakima Landing Pads and the Control Towers. If you go this route, make sure you put Yakima Tracks that are made for a Fiberglass top. The bars I put across are 66" so that I could fit two kayaks side by side. I also got the Bed Rug for the Floor and the Tailgate. The Bed Rug is the way to go to keep an organized truck bed that is easy on the knees. I set up my 2007 Ridgeline the same way I had my 2001 Toyota Tacoma Double Cab. Can't imagine not having a topper. On my Toyota Tacoma, the better topper choice was the Leer. On the Ridgeline, the best choice is the ARE.
 
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