5 Best Truck Camper Shells in 2021
Adding a camper shell onto the bed of your truck is an excellent way to keep your gear and yourself out of the weather.
Shells easily mount onto the top of a truck bed to provide a multi-purpose covering, making these a great addition to any truck.
Let’s take a look!
What Is a Truck Camper Shell?
As we mentioned above, a truck camper shell covers the bed of a truck. They may protect gear or other important items from being exposed to the elements or even stolen. Some truck owners use a shell to turn the bed of their truck into living space for camping. In fact, camper shells can turn ordinary truck beds into multi-purpose spaces where the only limits are the owner’s imagination.
The function of a shell is to protect the bed of a truck from the outside environment. This means it will keep rain, snow, and even bugs out of the bed of a truck. Being protected from the weather elements is incredibly useful when camping and in everyday use.
Truck Camper Shell Types
You may not realize it, but there are a couple of different camper shell types. Let’s take a look at them.
High-Rise vs Normal
The style of camper shell you choose will depend on how you plan to use the space. Both high-rise and normal camper shells will protect your truck bed from weather conditions, but both have unique advantages as well.
A normal camper shell extends the height of your bed to approximately the same height as the cab of your truck. This provides a smooth flat transition and is a much more streamlined look than high-rise camper shells. While it provides a cleaner appearance, taller people might lack adequate headroom for sitting up straight. So, the normal shell can be a great option if you plan to use your truck bed for sleeping and would only be lying down while inside.
If the headroom provided by normal camper shells is a concern of yours, a high-rise might be a better option. These camper shells are several inches higher than the truck’s cab and in an aerodynamic shape that reduces wind resistance. These truck camper shells are great for storing bikes and other items that might benefit from the increased height. The several extra inches may not seem like much, but they can make all the difference between an object fitting or not. You’ll also greatly appreciate the extra few inches you’re using the space for camping.
Materials: Aluminum, Fiberglass, or Plastic
Another characteristic that sets camper shells apart is the materials used for construction. There are three materials used in camper shells – aluminum, fiberglass, or plastic. Let’s take a look at the benefits of each type.
When you choose aluminum construction for your camper shell, you’re able to save a considerable amount. However, you do get what you pay for when trying to save a buck. Aluminum tends to dent much easier than other options and begins to look dingy over time. On the other hand, it’s the lightest material used for camper shells and is a great option for individuals concerned with the weight of their truck.
Fiberglass is a very durable material and much more susceptible to damage than aluminum. This durable material also makes for a much more insulated and quieter environment inside the bed. This can be extremely helpful for those using their camper shell to create a space for camping. Keep in mind, though, that aluminum is one of the heaviest materials used in truck camper shell construction.
Another newer material used to construct camper shells is plastic. Due to the newness to the market, there are limited color options available. Plastic is often a middle competitor in terms of quality between fiberglass and aluminum. Composite materials are durable and will last for many years to come. A composite camper shell will be slightly heavier than an aluminum camper shell but far less weight than fiberglass.
How Much Does a Truck Topper Cost?
The cost of a truck topper can vary greatly depending on materials used for construction and features. You can expect to pay anywhere from $500 to $3000+ depending on the quality and options selected. Some truck toppers will replace the tailgate and create a hatchback type covering that includes a door for easy access.
You’re not just paying for the truck topper but also for the painting to match your truck color as well.
Are Truck Camper Shells Easy to Remove?
Installing and removing a truck camper shell is often a two-person job. A camper shell will rest on the bedrails of a truck and attach with clamps that easily tighten by hand, but an appropriately sized socket will additionally secure a camper shell to a truck. Ensuring your camper shell is securely fastened to your truck is essential.
5 Best Truck Camper Shells
We’ve combed the Internet to find the five best truck camper shells for you.
#1 – ARE Walk-In Door Truck Camper Shell
You’ve probably never seen anything like ARE’s walk-in door truck camper shell. A unique design helps eliminate the tailgate of a truck but also includes a walk-in door. This provides a much more residential feel for the truck bed. This is a great option for those using the bed of their truck for camping adventures.
Another great feature of this camper shell is that with the tailgate removed, a hatchback-style door replaces it. This makes accessing equipment and other loads incredibly easy. Expect to pay a pretty penny if you’re considering this camper shell. These camper shells start at $1799, but prices will vary depending on truck style, size, and location.
#2 – Unicover Safari V
Unicover makes the Safari V, which is designed not only for hard work but also for serious fun. The large windows that surround the camper shell provide optimal visibility for the truck’s driver. When loading up your tools and toys, you’ll appreciate the height and extra tall back door. The camper shell comes with a lifetime structural and paint warranty to help protect our investment.
The insulated roof will provide a comfortable environment to help you enjoy your next camping adventure. You’ll be comfortable while camping, but also have privacy with the dark privacy glass that has been installed in all of the windows.
A Safari V by Unicover can cost $1500+ but prices will fluctuate based on style, location, and truck size.
#3 – Leer 122 High Rise
The Leer 122 High Rise truck camper is a fiberglass cap that includes a lifetime warranty for color and structure. A unique design and engineering process helps to optimize the camper shell’s shape to be wind-resistant. The high-rise design provides an incredible amount of headroom that will allow for optimal bed use.
The 50/50 sliding windows also include screens to allow for air circulation but prohibit bugs from entering the bed. There are some incredible add-ons, such as slideout bed slides and deck storage systems. While prices will vary, the Leer 122 High Rise truck camper shell starts at $2076 to $2475.
#4 – Century High-C Max
The Century High-C Max is a great option for those needing extra headroom. These truck shells provide 20% more space than most other high-rise camper shells. This model has side windows that resemble an SUV and provide a tremendous amount of visibility for the driver.
The rear door has a twist latching system that makes it easy to open and close. You’ll have plenty of visibility with the 12V dome light that’s standard on all Century camper shells. Pricing starts at $2,375 for these incredibly well-built camper shells.
#5 – ATC LHR XD
ATC’s LHR XD is the largest high-rise camper shell on the market. It’s not just large, but it has an aerodynamic design as well. You’ll have no trouble seeing your surroundings with the oversized side windows. The screens in the windows provide maximum airflow to keep you cool and comfortable while using your camper shell for truck camping.
One standard feature that we love is the third brake light to help drivers know you’re slowing down or stopped. Costs for an ATC LHR XD are $2500+. But due to the many different styles, you can submit your information for a more accurate quote.
Increase Functionality with a Truck Camper Shell
When you install a camper shell over your truck’s bed, it transforms your truck’s look and functionality. You also open an incredible amount of possibilities for how and where you can use your truck for adventuring. Would adding a camper shell to your truck be something you’d consider?
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