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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I need to be able to be able to sleep in the bed of my truck and use the AC occasionally to cool the thing off, haul my $12K mountain bike and have it hidden from view when I'm working (I take my bike with me to work for an after work ride), and also haul my dirt bikes on the weekends. So a fold away camper shell is the obvious solution. But I really don't want to install an aesthetically unpleasing product on my $40K+ truck.

Here are the convertible truck canopy options that I have seen. None are currently available for the Twins but that might certainly change over the next year. I would encourage all interested parties to contact the respective manufacturers to express interest. If you know of any other options, please post them! If you know of any custom builders, please post contact info!

1) Softopper: Not bad but I don't think you will be able to get AC or heat from your cab in a pinch. It's also not secure.
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2) Bestop: I've seen these in person and if you really want to look like an outdoor adventure guy, this is acceptable. But very poor fitment near the cab (bad for aero and aesthetics), wrinkles in the fabric, and a 'tent' like quality abound.
Bestop

3) Fastkap: This is my favorite. The upsides are security (locking lift gate), fantastic reviews regarding function and longevity, looks pretty good imo, tight fit to the cab which is good for aero and with the sliding window option means you can camp with some AC/ heat. Downsides are probably weight (I think I read it weighs 130#) and cost (it looks pricey and might need painting of the fairing portion). I also contacted the manufacturer and they told me at this time they have no intention of building one for the new twins due to no demand. I would encourage you to contact your favorite of these options if you feel that you would be a real buyer for their product. I'll be nagging these guys for sure.
Fastkap Truck Canopies



If I am unable to buy a Fastkap when I go to order my truck, I'll probably just order it with a Tonneu cover and I'll never go back from that. I don't mind spending the $ but once I do, that is it, I won't be changing it up again.
 

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I am looking at a shortbed, so the idea of folding my 6'1" frame in the bed does not excite me. Also, even with long bed, two abreast is going to be cozy with a 44" width between wheel wells. I have a 48 chest, so figure with my arms at my side, I probably and pushing over 30" wide by myself.

As a Jeep Wrangler owner, I would lean toward Besttop, since they make the OEM tops for Jeep.

Not sure how any of these would function, all would likely flap in the breeze at highway speeds.

I am thinking on interesting App for smart phone: Built in thermostat, allow the thermostat app to control the GM remote App to start and stop the engine, and thus the AC cooling in the bed. Thermostat would be measuring the temp in the bed, rather than the temp in the cab - may have to make sure the auto feature on the truck AC is not fighting you for temp control.
 

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Don't see any way that attempting to cool the bed with the engine idling would be practical. I only see the engine developing excessive heat in a loosing battle trying to cool without any airflow, (as in cruising down the highway) heating might be better realized but cooling, I don't see it.
 

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Those retractable toppers are an interesting idea but I need something taller than cab high, and would prefer something more secure. I'll probably end up with a fiberglass topper on there more or less all the time, or maybe a (lighter weight) aluminum topper that I could put on just when I need it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'm 6' and mainly I want to be able to go by myself to riding/ skiiing spots and sleep there. If I take anyone with me it would be when my daughter can start following me on a bicycle and she is tiny.

Vehicles don't overheat when idling. I use to sleep in the cab of my '88 Nissan with the AC running at the motorcycle races I attended as a youth. That said, I would only camp in it if it was supposed to be a nice cool night so that would be an unlikely occurance.

Mainly I want to hide mountain bikes during the day, and be able to haul dirt bikes and household items on the weekends.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Buy a toy hauler with sleeping quarters
Not my thing. I like to keep it simple and self contained. Also, my property has absolutely no storage for that sort of thing.

I am rather surprised that there are not more buyers that need this sort of functionality. Obviously this is a very small group viewing this thread.
 

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Why do you favor this over a fiberglass or aluminum topper, Suns? Just curious as I'm weighing options myself and also want to keep bicycles secure and out of the weather...
 

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I am rather surprised that there are not more buyers that need this sort of functionality. Obviously this is a very small group viewing this thread.
I think your heading is somewhat restricted in appeal, I know I only read your post because I wasn't sure what you were really trying to say, sometimes less said is better, such as

"Camper shell ideas wanted"

Not trying to be critical just trying to help, it would be nice to hear what others are doing whom have similar needs.
 

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Why do you favor this over a fiberglass or aluminum topper, Suns? Just curious as I'm weighing options myself and also want to keep bicycles secure and out of the weather...
Sun also wants to be able to carry motorcycles on weekends, so taking off a hard shell would be a pain.

...I am rather surprised that there are not more buyers that need this sort of functionality. Obviously this is a very small group viewing this thread.
I know when I have owned SUVs I have laid the seats down and camped out when pitching a tent seemed like a pain. Remember one night at a campsite on the Rio Grande west of San Antonio.

With a pickup, I am not so sure of the market. You have tonneau covers as one class, and hard shell covers/toppers as a second class. I would think that having an option to easily convert from a cover to a functional bed would have a lot of benefits. I bet the biggest issue has been no one has really found a good solution.

Looking at the versions you linked, I have a functional question: How do you get in and out of them for camping? Do you have to unzip the back window and crawl in or out over the tailgate? Sounds like a pain.
 

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I would entertain this but not a full topper as I live in the city. If I wanted to take the topper off, I have no place to put it. A retractable topper is much smaller and can be stowed more easily.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Why do you favor this over a fiberglass or aluminum topper, Suns? Just curious as I'm weighing options myself and also want to keep bicycles secure and out of the weather...
I need to haul furniture, composters, lawn mowers, dirt bikes, and many other random items that are taller than a camper shell.

I want a camper shell to keep my Santa Cruz Bronson out of site and out of the elements as I take the bike around with me when I'm working and doing other things. Last evening I rode hard and my wife needed me to stop and grab milk for the baby when I was driving home. But I can't just leave a $12K bicycle that any kid could easily snatch in about 5 seconds just sitting outside in the bed of the truck. So I have to drive home, unload, then go back out wasting another 20 minutes and some gasoline.

I also want the improved mpg that a camper shell offers, I like the looks, and it's great for piling traveling and snowboarding gear in when heading out in bad weather. Plus you sleep in it, in a pinch. They are just all around useful and really can improve the functionality of the truck.
 

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I need to haul furniture, composters, lawn mowers, dirt bikes, and many other random items that are taller than a camper shell.

I want a camper shell to keep my Santa Cruz Bronson out of site and out of the elements as I take the bike around with me when I'm working and doing other things. Last evening I rode hard and my wife needed me to stop and grab milk for the baby when I was driving home. But I can't just leave a $12K bicycle that any kid could easily snatch in about 5 seconds just sitting outside in the bed of the truck. So I have to drive home, unload, then go back out wasting another 20 minutes and some gasoline.

I also want the improved mpg that a camper shell offers, I like the looks, and it's great for piling traveling and snowboarding gear in when heading out in bad weather. Plus you sleep in it, in a pinch. They are just all around useful and really can improve the functionality of the truck.
I typically use a cable lock to discourage the kids. Most of them are not going to be able to pick a lock or be carrying bolt cutters around. However, with a $12K bike, I would want to keep it clean and protected from sight as well.

Dang, as I sit here and think about my first couple of cars, that bicycle cost more than at least my first two new cars. Almost as much as my parent's home. I am getting old.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Cary, the bike is worth more than the Canyon I drive right now, which is pretty silly. But I love the sport and so it is worth it to me. To be fair, buying used, I have about half that much in to it.

I do have a 12' piece of cable and 2 locks that resides permanently in the bed of my truck that I use to just run thru things when I step away.

In the case of the mountain bike though, a quick release $1.5K wheel could be gone in a moment as well. And of course the elements are a concern.
 

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Cary, the bike is worth more than the Canyon I drive right now, which is pretty silly. But I love the sport and so it is worth it to me. To be fair, buying used, I have about half that much in to it.

I do have a 12' piece of cable and 2 locks that resides permanently in the bed of my truck that I use to just run thru things when I step away.

In the case of the mountain bike though, a quick release $1.5K wheel could be gone in a moment as well. And of course the elements are a concern.
I always wrap the cable through both the front & back tires and the frame on my $150 bicycle.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I'm not sponsored, I just like my toys. You should see my KTM!

I contacted Fastkap and they said that to build a sliding camper shell for the new trucks, it needs to have bed stake pockets as that is how they attach their units. They asked me to check that out then get back with them.

I don't even know if the Twins have bed stake pockets, does anyone know?
 

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Sun,

There are bed stake pockets, see picture here:

2015 Chevrolet Colorado Z71 Rear Rack Photo 40

I am not sure that this picture is true to the final design however. The pockets closest to the tailgate have a different shape to them to make them better handholds when climbing in the bed with the bumper step.

Also, go to the Colorado accessory page - two things to look for. You can somewhat see the different shape of the bed stake pockets, plus you can see the Gear On Utility rack - I am sure it uses the bed stake pockets as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
bump
 
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