Camper Top for Standard Cab Conversion (1 Viewer)

dodored

That ain't your cake Phillip! That's Simones cake!
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I recently had an interest in putting a camper top on my 1988 4x4 standard cab. I have collected some photos of different truck with the toppers on and thought that it would be cool to have one with a camper shell, considering I have another full size pickup to haul bigger stuff i. I started my search on Craigs List and Facebook Market Place an quickly realized how difficult this is considering the age of my truck.

First here are some examples of what I had in mind:

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dodored

That ain't your cake Phillip! That's Simones cake!
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The big issue is to find a top that is reasonably priced, not too far away, and actually will fit my truck. Here is a great YouTube video on what will fit and what will not. My bed on my 1988 is 60 inches by 76 inches.


Apparently the majority of the shells are either damaged, for late model trucks, or the aluminum siding type, and what I wanted was the fiberglass one with the sliding windows. I found the aluminum toppers for as little as $20 and the fiberglass ones as much as $1500. Keep in mind that the toppers new can be over $2000, and with options can be over $3000, so buying a new one was completely out of the question.

The other big issue is that the standard cabs and the extended cabs have two different angles on the back of the cab. The standard cab tilts forward at 4 degrees and the extended cab tilts forward 10 degrees. That said, the camper shell for the extended cab will not slide all the way up the the front of the bed as the top of the camper will hit the top of my cab because the camper front leans forward.

Searching for several weeks all I could find was the extended cab versions. What to do?

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dodored

That ain't your cake Phillip! That's Simones cake!
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After much thought, I reasoned that you could make a fiberglass camper top fit the truck rather than the truck fit the camper top. With that in mind I found a really cool high end top, (I forget the name) for $375 an hour away from the house. Bonus points as it was already blue in color. The only down side was that it was for an extended cab.

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dodored

That ain't your cake Phillip! That's Simones cake!
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My idea was to cut the front panel out of the camper top and lean it rearward from the bottom the match the cab. After figuring out how much angle I need I could re-fiberglass it in from the inside and finish it out on the outside to look factory.

This project is in process so I will post pictures as I get deeper into it to let you know how it goes.

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dodored

That ain't your cake Phillip! That's Simones cake!
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Sorry for the delay - Still waiting on the truck to get back from the shop with it's new drive train. Should be back next week and I will start the topper project.

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dodored

That ain't your cake Phillip! That's Simones cake!
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Well got the Yota back from the shop and started on my topper project but ran into a little snag. The bed of the truck was rust free on the bed sides, but the bed floor had some issues. Apparently the bed had a rubber mat that held moisture in and rusted the floor out in several areas. Luckily I had a doner parts truck that had some decent sheet metal that I could use to fix the bed. I cut as much of the doner truck's bed floor out that was usable and took the pieces to my sand blasting buddies. The floor pieces came back nice and clean on one side, but the Japanese undercoating refused to give up. That rubberized coating is truly bad azz.

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dodored

That ain't your cake Phillip! That's Simones cake!
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After hours of cutting and welding it was completed. Next came the roll on Rynoliner. This can cover my goobery welding and protect the bed when the mat goes back on. (not that it would need protecting with a camper top)
 

dodored

That ain't your cake Phillip! That's Simones cake!
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The moment of truth arrived - The topper was put on the bed and I was ready to mark and cut.

But wait!

Does this fit without modification? It was for an extended cab, and you can see the angle difference at the cab, but does it warrant major fiberglass surgery? No, I don't think so.

Yes it does! It is not perfect but it is pretty darn close. Good enough for this application and what an improvement visually it makes to the truck.

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The one thing you gotta watch out for is the top of that shell will rub the top of your roof over time and cause the fiberglass to wear and rust on your roof. My truck had a xtra cab camper on it for the first half of its life. It had a nice rust ring around the rear glass that I had to fix before serious damage occurred. Maybe put a gasket of some sort around the leading edge of that camper. Looks good though
 

dodored

That ain't your cake Phillip! That's Simones cake!
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Hey Toast,
Thanks for the heads up on that. I looked at it a little closer based on what you mentioned and I measured 0.177 inch gap between the cab and the leading edge on the top of the camper. Do you think that this will be enough clearance? I can imagine there is some movement going on, but how much I am not sure. Your thoughts are appreciated.

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no doubt it can flex enough to hit at .177. you could plate the frame in that area to mitigate flex
 
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dodored

That ain't your cake Phillip! That's Simones cake!
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I think I will keep an eye on it and see if I get some rubbing. If I do I am not ruling out cutting the front of the fiberglass camper shell to gain some clearence.
 
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It will rub a little here and there over time and wear it down. I think a few strategically placed pieces of rubber or something would keep it from wearing down your paint and fiberglass but you seem pretty handy, I’m sure you’ll figure it out.
 

brettk

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I bought my topper in pretty poor shape. My paint guy had to refiberglass a few spots, so while he was at it, he shaved off some of the angle and made it more parallel with the cab. I would recommend it if possible.

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dodored

That ain't your cake Phillip! That's Simones cake!
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Looks like you had the exact same situation that I have. Did he cut the entire front and lean it back from the bottom or did he just modify the top portion? I was thinking to cut it in line with the top of the window hole on the camper top that faces the cab, and just lean that part back. Yours looks factory - Great job!

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brettk

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The leaning part on mine was nothing more than a lip. All he had to do was shave the lip off (mostly the top portion) so that the side of the topper met the cab side at 90ish degrees.
 

dodored

That ain't your cake Phillip! That's Simones cake!
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I am probably making it a bigger project than it needs to be. Thanks for the insight!
 

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