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Are Truck Caps Interchangeable

author
Maria Johnson
• Tuesday, 08 December, 2020
• 25 min read

I am looking for a reference chart to show truck bed measurements (in inches) for different years as it relates to cap and tonne cover size. If anyone can share a link to a list or a chart that shows the bed measurements for multiple years of cap and tonne cover fitment would be great. Thanks but I'm actually looking for the measurements of the beds, so I can cross reference the sizes.

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Contents

I don't ever recall seeing a size chart and our NBS trucks are narrower in the rear of the bed and wider at the front and bows out in the middle. Plus the rear window slants forward where older bodies were straight so if you did mount a NBS cap on your truck it would look like stuff with a huge gap at top and narrow one at the bottom.

I had a cap on my NBS crew cab short bed. Veteran Member I've got a 99 f-150 standard cab 8' bed 4wd pickup that I need to get a cap for.

While they may be 8 ft long, different models of trucks vary in width. If you find a good deal on CL though, set it on the truck and check it out.

It may be close enough that you're happy, and you save big money. 1 cross + 3 nails = 4given Write with chisel when I'm gone, “Return to sender” on my stone.

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If you find a good deal on CL though, set it on the truck and check it out. It may be close enough that you're happy, and you save big money.

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If I recall, that era Ford had a weird little cut out under the rear glass in the cab. Veteran Member I've had camper caps on almost every truck I've owned, in the early 70s to mid 90s they were somewhat interchangeable, being the widths were the same, The length of course is what had to be correct, when I bought my '99 f-250 I mistakenly bought a used camper cap from an earlier model f-150 which had the same length bed, Paying no attention to the width I realized when transferring it over the camper was stepped in by 2" each side at the front rail of the bed, and at the rear it hung past by more than 1" each side, What I learned was the new f-250 design had a tapered bed (wider at the cab and narrow at the rear) Not only this but the cab height is higher over the camper cap by 2 1/2 inches.

To bad for me because this was a very nice elite camper cap for a good price, I latter found one that fit perfectly but was Black and did not match my white truck although I went ahead and bought it with intention of painting it later, however it never happens before I sold it, a few years later I found another perfect fit and was white, although had a broken side glass, scored it for 50.00 Same- clothing ... any time I needed to haul something the camper is on, so I wound up removing it, it lays around for 6 months gets dirty and weathered, so I sell it, I think the answer to you question is (YES) on most if not all the later year model trucks a camper has to be specific to the truck, and this is why I think has run the cost of them up so high, anywhere from 1000-to-2500 bucks for a camper cap.... Not for me.

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Given the overwhelming number of questions I have received about used camper shells, I thought it might be useful to write a little guide to buying used tops. First I'll tell you a few things to watch out for, and then I'll break down the major changes in truck bed dimensions for different makes in the last few decades.

A used top, selling for far below what it cost new, sounds like a great deal, but you should be aware of a few things before you buy. Truck beds, especially more recent ones, aren't necessarily rectangular; they may be narrower in the rear than in the front.

Far too many times, I have seen used tops for sale where the seller thinks the repair is simple. In the photo above, the glass is coming away from the frame leaving a big gap.

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Here is some information, broken out by make, about which years had which body styles. It will help you know what to expect when you shop for a used top to match your truck bed.

In 1997, the Ford F150 was radically changed, most notably by making the bed tapered, meaning it’s wider in the front than it is in the rear. This was initially only done to the F150 line; the F250 and F350 heavy-duty trucks remained the same until 1999, when Ford introduced the Super duty.

The F150 would remain the same until 2009, when the bed changed; but it changed only slightly, check the top of the rear corners of a new F150 bed and compare it to a 2004-08, you’ll see what I mean. Leer and Stop shells have special molded pieces on the bottom of the door to account for it.

The F150 has gone through some changes, mainly the rear, and the bow to the tailgate area that most of the new trucks have now. 2015- present: If you look at the back end of the new F150's, you'll notice that the bow to the rear tailgate area is wider, and angled, in a way.

Overall the bed looks the same from the previous generation, but this wider rear bow will most certainly affect top compatibility. It pretty much remained the same, except adding a pull-out tailgate step in 2008, which is technically an option.

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This is important because tops on 2008 or newer Supercity will have rear doors that can accommodate this step, that is if the truck has the option. If you try to put a top from a 2004, for example, on a 2009 that has the step in the tailgate, it's not going to fit over that bulge.

It wasn't until 2017 that Ford made major changes to the Superduty-most notably, the rear tailgate that has that half octagon shape to it. 2017 to current -The brand new Super duty trucks are slightly different from the previous years, most notably the octagon-shaped tailgate, there are other changes as well.

Notice the molded piece on the back door of the shell that covers up the step that comes out of the tailgate on this truck. Notice on this new F150 how the taillight is different from on the '04 to 2008 trucks, and that little corner flares out.

Here you can see the differences between the 'newer' F150 and Super duty trucks, how much taller and wider the F250/F350 beds are. Notice how much taller the Super duty top is, and how it 'hooks' in the rear corners to cover up the F250 bed caps.

Any Mazda truck built from 1994 to now is identical to a Ford Ranger, for our purposes. Most shell manufacturers did not change their molds to deal with this variation.

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I think Stop is the only company that has a specific Mazda mold, if that is even still available. Most of the old import mini trucks are around 60" wide and 75-76" long, and the old Mazda's are no different.

Just remember that the old extended cab Toyota trucks have a lean or angle to the front of the top. The shell was on an 89 Toyota, but it was actually made for an 80s Nissan Hardbody-standard cab.

It’s important to remember that from 1973 to 1987, full-size GM trucks had perfectly rectangular beds. The differences are very subtle, but they do affect the fit of most hard tonne covers and Berliners.

The brand-new trucks have this different shape to the rear (tailgate) area there, which for a brand new top means the back door is unique to this model year. Similar to other generations, the heavy duty (2500/3500) trucks are the older body style.

The door will not shut, no matter how hard you try, it was not made to fit the new Chevy Notice the front slope, great for the Tundra, but not for this truck.

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I don’t know much about what will fit Japanese beds, since by the time I started selling camper shells these trucks were fairly old, and I rarely saw one come into the shop looking for a shell. 1989-94: From 1989 to 1994, the basic Toyota truck didn’t change much, except for the addition of a third brake light in '94, something I already talked about.

It will sit lower than the height of the cab, but the inside of the bed is actually the same as the older SR5 trucks. The new Tacoma's have a composite bed: basically it’s all plastic, except for the outer skin and rear pillars.

Notice on a 2016 Tacoma, the rear of the bed, and the top of the tailgate, now flare out the way many new trucks do. You can the flared out piece on the door of the shell where it meets the top of the gate.

Here is a 2015 Tacoma, notice that it's different from the 2016 and newer models-near the rear of the bed. Here is an 89 to 94 Toyota shell on a Tacoma-you can see it fits the bed, but sits lower since the cab heights were different between those body styles.

This top -a Stop high liner, was originally made for a Chevy S-10, or GMC Sonoma (1994-2003). Notice the slight angle to the front of the shell, and how much taller is than the cab.

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The Nissan Frontier shell -from 01 to 04, sits a couple inches lower than the cab, but the width and length are almost the same. You can tell the top came off a Frontier because you can see how it has the cut-out in the door skirt for the Nissan cladding.

The crew cabs had slightly larger rear doors, and the beds are technically different, although they look very similar. The Crewman (Toyota’s name for the Tundra’s crew cab model) only comes with the extra-short bed.

2009-2018: The 2009 Dodge Ram made a lot of changes, including factory plastic bed rails and a strongly curved rear tailgate. 1997-2004: In 1997 the Dakota body style was totally redone to resemble the more popular full-size Ram truck.

2005-present: The Dakota changed again in 2005, to the current body and bed style. Here you can see the shell is actually a little wider in the front as well as taller than the cab.

This is the front (sits behind the cab window) of a top for a new Ram bed. 1986 (and a half)-1997: The most popular Nissan trucks were the infamous ‘hard body” models, which later became the Frontier.

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The 1994 Nissan presents a special problem, because, like I said before, that was the year it became law that all pickups have an additional brake light. In fact, you cannot remove it to install a shell; there’s a bracket inside that just can’t be taken off.

2002-2004: In 2001, Nissan put this bulging plastic cladding and logo toward the top of the tailgate, which affects shells and tonne covers. 2005-2019: The Frontier has not changed much since 2005, but it does have this wing-style tailgate piece, which in most cases has to be removed.

This is the back of an '01 Frontier; notice how it has changed from the earlier truck in the last photo. This owner has managed to fit an older top on it, and you can see the door kind of works, good enough I guess.

Shells from 1984 to 1994 Toyota's will generally fit the old Mazda B-Series trucks, before the latter essentially became Ford Rangers. Always remember to measure your bed, front width and rear, and the top you’re looking to buy.

Dan Bennett -funny because a Ford Ranger has to be the easiest truck to find a used shell for, they were virtually unchanged from 1993 to 2012. It kind of fits, the S-10 bed is actually tapered, so it's a little wider in the front than it is the rear, it also has a different kind of shape to it and will be a little longer than the Ranger bed.

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Tom Rizzo (author) from Santa Clara, CA on August 23, 2021: owes -not sure if that's 'compatible' keep in mind, it's more than just the dimensions of the box, it's how it fits against the cab.

series -yeah, tonne covers can be more difficult-the entire cover is like a deck lid, so imagine if the decklid-trunk, from a Camaro would fit a Mustang-your truck is fairly square, like most mini trucks of its day, but your rail is a little wider than the Toyota's/Mazda's or first gen S-10. Anything from old Toyota, first gen Taco, old S-10 (PRE 94) -worst would be newer S-10 and a Ranger.

Tom Rizzo (author) from Santa Clara, CA on August 15, 2021: It takes some work and patience, but keep searching, anything else, not meant for it, would be harder to find.

Tom Rizzo (author) from Santa Clara, CA on August 06, 2021: Get that removed, and you can put just about any mini truck area top on it.

Tom Rizzo (author) from Santa Clara, CA on July 24, 2021: Karyn -So, this is what I know for a truck like that, a lumber rack for an extra short bed F150 crew cab will fit the Crewman, so I guess it's possible that a shell for an 04 to 08 F150 might fit.

Tom Rizzo (author) from Santa Clara, CA on July 24, 2021: Mr. Grader- The bow to the Ram is literally the whole back end of the box.

Tom Rizzo (author) from Santa Clara, CA on July 24, 2021: PJ Fatal -I don't think that would be a good fit, those beds are vastly different.

Tom Rizzo (author) from Santa Clara, CA on July 19, 2021: A PRE 94 S-10 would probably work, would be a little shorter than the bed, and different cab height.

Tom Rizzo (author) from Santa Clara, CA on July 14, 2021: -hard to believe you can't find anything, but if you look at what I wrote under the F150 section, 1980 to 1996 are pretty much the same, also 97 to 98 F250/350.

Tom Rizzo (author) from Santa Clara, CA on July 14, 2021: Jesse Strickland Jr -not likely, the Dakota bed is at least 3 to 4 inches wider.

The only dimension I have on the camper top is about 76-1/2” in length... I don’t know the style of Ranger it is coming off of. It's probably already been answered, (got into about 400 Q&A's), but I'm looking at a shell that fits on a 2001 Dodge ram 1500 SLT quad long bed to go on my 2002 Dodge Ram 1500 SLT quad long bed.

I've read the other issue might be cab height differences of 1-3 inches. Shell is in good shape, minus a future paint job, but the price is right.

Tom Rizzo (author) from Santa Clara, CA on June 12, 2021: You have to tap into the CHM SL wire, which stands for Cab High Mounted Stop Light.

Tom Rizzo (author) from Santa Clara, CA on June 08, 2021: Steve -no, the back end of an 09 Ram is not straight across, won't work.

Tom Rizzo (author) from Santa Clara, CA on June 08, 2021: A shell off an 02 to 08 Ram kind of fits, but it's a little wider and taller.

Tom Rizzo (author) from Santa Clara, CA on June 04, 2021: Yeah, be patient, it takes time when you send it back to the factory, but they will take care of it, and often times they replace other parts in the process.

Someone wants to buy it for their dodge Cummins long box. Wanted to stop by and give you a big thanks for pointing me in the correct direction with regard to my Snug top shell peeling paint finish.

Tom Rizzo (author) from Santa Clara, CA on June 03, 2021: Aaron -your best bet is anything from a 1980 to 1996 longed F150/250 -the dimensions are the closest and there were A LOT of those trucks on the road-still are in fact.

Tom Rizzo (author) from Santa Clara, CA on June 03, 2021: If the other truck is older than 2014, the rear gate won't shut.

@crosbullet -you can probably make it work, just remember the bed dimensions on those trucks didn't change too much, it's the width of the rail-and shape, and the height of the cab that's different. I am looking for a topper and I have an extended cab long bed (8ft) 2008 Ford F-150.

Tom Rizzo (author) from Santa Clara, CA on May 23, 2021: I don't know, maybe, it's never stood out that has left me saying oh yeah, you can totally stick the GMC shell on the Chevy bed but not the other way around, that doesn't make a lot of sense.

I know it won't fit the gate, the front of the bed has a big curve to it as well. I found a 07-13 GMC cap (a leer 122) and the salesman says it'll fit my 13 Chevy fine.

Tom Rizzo (author) from Santa Clara, CA on May 19, 2021: Ronald Berry -wow, those pickups are rare, my friend had one, loved that truck, built like a tank.

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4 www.glassdoor.com - https://www.glassdoor.com/Overview/Working-at-VioVet-EI_IE1171391.11,17.htm
5 www.ebay.co.uk - https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Wintec-Elastic-Dressage-Girth-Horses-Ponies-/164249121978
6 pitchbook.com - https://pitchbook.com/profiles/company/112297-24
7 www.glassdoor.com - https://www.glassdoor.com/Reviews/VioVet-Reviews-E1171391.htm