Truck caps are also known as topper shells, camper shells, box shells, or truck canopies. Most truck owners purchase one to create larger storage, protection for tall contents, or even a space to sleep while going camping.
Usually, truck caps come with a rear liftgate window and a simple lock. However, each car model will have a specifically designed truck cap, to correspond to the roof line of your truck.
These truck caps are an excellent alternative to round off the appearance of your truck and can be found in different colors and materials.
How Much Does a Truck Cap Cost?
The cost range of a truck cap is somewhere between $900 to $3,500 installed, depending on several factors. This price range is influenced by the make and model of your car, the material used in its manufacture, the brand, and where you buy it from.
There are four major material possibilities on the market, each one with different costs and characteristics. These are aluminum, fiberglass, composite/plastic, and stainless steel.
Aluminum is the least expensive option you can find on the market, with pricing between $900 and $1,300 installed. Even though they are usually only available in white, the lightweight structure compensates.
Another available option is the fiberglass cap, which will come at a greatly increased cost of $1,800 to $3,000 including the installation. The fiberglass truck caps, on the other hand, come in a wider variety of colors and can even be painted to match the color of your pickup truck.
Composite truck toppers fall somewhere in the middle of the price spectrum between aluminum and fiberglass, costing anything from $1,200 to $1,800 installed. These caps are relatively new on the market and even though they come in a small range of colors they compensate for this in cost and features.
The fourth option which is also relatively new on the market, is the stainless steel truck cap from the SmartCap company. Their costs are higher than the other options, the pricing starting from $3,500+, but they are the most durable and have the longest service life for sure.
Take into consideration that each car cap model may have different costs even for the same material. Also, the company from whom you acquire it will have an impact on the cost as well.
We did some online research to find out more about the different companies and brands of toppers and their prices. To make it easier to compare the prices, we compiled the information in the table below:
|TRUCK CAPS BRAND||AVERAGE COST|
|A.R.E.||$1,200 for aluminum to $3,600+ for fiberglass|
|Century||$1,700 to $2,400|
|Leer||$2,000 to $3,000|
|SmartCap||$3,200 to $3,900 stainless steel|
|Unicover||$1,100 to $1,400|
For example, TopperWorld.net, a truck accessory store, has listed the cost of a truck cap from the ARE Aluminum Series that starts from $1,645 installed. Also, the LEER truck caps are listed with prices starting from $2,445 up to $3,725 depending on the truck model.
A member of the Ram1500Diesel.com forum stated that he received a quote of $2,875 for a Leer 100XL cap and $3,050 for the ARE Z Series.
The cost greatly varies depending on the model of your car, materials, color preference, brand, and the seller. Consider looking at the prices provided by multiple vendors to find the best deal.
What are the extra costs?
An additional cost would be if you want to add carpet inside of your truck cap. This is not mandatory, but if you choose to make it more appealing it may add an extra $100.
Some truck caps come with roof racks included. However, if this is not pre-installed, adding one may cost you somewhere from $350 to $600 including the installation.
Important things about truck toppers
Consider purchasing a ”high rise” truck cap if you intend to transport higher things, such as a bed.
Look for a truck topper with side windows if you want simpler access to the full bed. Side windows are currently available on many commercial toppers, so it appears to be a common choice.
In addition, some commercial alternatives have a sliding bed cargo tray to facilitate access from the back door.
If you intend to hang something on top of your truck cap, consider purchasing a roof rail with a pre-installed ladder.
Measure your truck bed and specify to your vendor the exact make and model of your car, to ensure you will purchase the right truck cap.
Due to the extra drag they cause and extra weight, truck tops can increase gas consumption.
Truck caps are waterproof and will protect the inside from water damage if properly sealed.
Usually, new truck caps come with a product and installation warranty. Make sure to ask your dealer about this aspect.
Purchasing a truck cap may increase the value of your truck if you consider selling it in the future.
As we mentioned above, adding a truck cap to your truck bed can make a perfect space for camping.
ARE, ATC, Century, Jason, Leer, Raider, Snugtop, and Unicover are the most known truck cap brands.
How can I save money?
In order to save money, people often choose to purchase used truck caps. On different websites like Craiglist and eBay, you can find several second-hand truck caps. Also, if you find a proper one for your car model but it is not in the right color, you can simply purchase Durabak’s durable paint, and paint it yourself.
On Hubpages.com, Tom Zizzo stated that used truck caps can be found for only $500. But he recommends verifying the condition of the cap, ensuring that it is the right model for your car, and also asking if any warranty is included, before purchasing it.