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Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone own the ARE Z or Snugtop Super Sport on a 5' bed Frontier? If so, it would be great to see images on your truck. I cant find any good ones online of the ARE. I took a look at what the dealers have in stock but they change a bit from truck to truck and if I'm going to spend that much money, it needs to look dope.

thanks in advance!
 

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I have a Snugtop Hi-Liner on my 2013 King Cab. Not the same combination that you are looking for, so I won't post a photo. However, I do want to comment that I will never buy another Snugtop. The topper itself is nice. It looks good, matches the paint very well and is quite sturdy. The lift gate, on the other hand, is a real problem.

After seven years the rubber around the lift gate window is falling off. I have tried taping it in place, but that only sticks for a few weeks.

Worse is the latch mechanism. The latch often will not lock. I turn the key to the lock position and push in the handle, but it just pops out at me. I have to fuss with it for minutes, often unlocking and locking, turning and unturning the handle, to finally get it to latch. If it has jiggled itself open (see below), it is dang near impossible to get it to lock again.

When driving down the road, the lift gate latch will jiggle itself open. It is especially bad when pulling my camper. Even when locked it will jiggle loose on one side. It is rather disconcerting to look in the rear view mirror and see the lift gate flopping up and down in the slipstream. It only takes 10 or 15 miles for this to happen.

My work -around is to use a bungee cord to strap down the glass when pulling the camper. For as much as I paid for this topper, it should have a bullet-proof latch system.

Bill Gee
 

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I had several issues with an '08 ARE Z series cap (on my long bed). I've ranted about it on a few different "topper/cap" threads, so I won't go into them here again (gotta go to work soon). Suffice it to say, it was the nicest looking cap IMO, but I would NOT do another one. It almost qualified as a POS, despite company claims of ISO quality standards, etc.

Search the forum, and you'll find my rants.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I have a Snugtop Hi-Liner on my 2013 King Cab. Not the same combination that you are looking for, so I won't post a photo. However, I do want to comment that I will never buy another Snugtop. The topper itself is nice. It looks good, matches the paint very well and is quite sturdy. The lift gate, on the other hand, is a real problem.

After seven years the rubber around the lift gate window is falling off. I have tried taping it in place, but that only sticks for a few weeks.

Worse is the latch mechanism. The latch often will not lock. I turn the key to the lock position and push in the handle, but it just pops out at me. I have to fuss with it for minutes, often unlocking and locking, turning and unturning the handle, to finally get it to latch. If it has jiggled itself open (see below), it is dang near impossible to get it to lock again.

When driving down the road, the lift gate latch will jiggle itself open. It is especially bad when pulling my camper. Even when locked it will jiggle loose on one side. It is rather disconcerting to look in the rear view mirror and see the lift gate flopping up and down in the slipstream. It only takes 10 or 15 miles for this to happen.

My work -around is to use a bungee cord to strap down the glass when pulling the camper. For as much as I paid for this topper, it should have a bullet-proof latch system.

Bill Gee
Sorry to hear about your canopy and thanks for the heads up. I've had good luck with ARE but the price....😬
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I had several issues with an '08 ARE Z series cap (on my long bed). I've ranted about it on a few different "topper/cap" threads, so I won't go into them here again (gotta go to work soon). Suffice it to say, it was the nicest looking cap IMO, but I would NOT do another one. It almost qualified as a POS, despite company claims of ISO quality standards, etc.

Search the forum, and you'll find my rants.
All i can hope is that maybe they've gotten better? The one on my old 03 Tacoma was really good. Thanks for the input!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Another question for you guys about canopies. Did either of you take off your truck bed rail guard or the little spoiler thing on the tail-gait before you put the cap on? It seems like the way the plastic on the tail-gait swoops off the back end might interfere with how it closes or create a weird work-around by the canopy manufacturer.
 

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What color Frontier? (...looks like blue in avatar...)
 

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The bed rails stayed on and my 08 didn’t have the tailgate spoiler. I would assume the manufacturers make them to fit the truck (to fit the spoiler). Your canopy dealer should be able to find that out. Good luck!!
 

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Another question for you guys about canopies. Did either of you take off your truck bed rail guard or the little spoiler thing on the tail-gait before you put the cap on?
The topper dealer removed the air dam on the tailgate and replaced it with a generic plastic cover. The replacement looks and works fine. No problems with it. The main thing it does is keep the gasket on the lift gate from eroding the pain on the tailgate. I did not have bed rails on my truck, so nothing to remove there. The dealer used "topper tape" between the bed and the topper. That is basically 2 inch wide foam tape with a mild adhesive on one side.

Bill Gee
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The topper dealer removed the air dam on the tailgate and replaced it with a generic plastic cover. The replacement looks and works fine. No problems with it. The main thing it does is keep the gasket on the lift gate from eroding the pain on the tailgate. I did not have bed rails on my truck, so nothing to remove there. The dealer used "topper tape" between the bed and the topper. That is basically 2 inch wide foam tape with a mild adhesive on one side.

Bill Gee
Thanks Bill, that makes sense. What topper did you get?
 

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After seven years the rubber around the lift gate window is falling off. I have tried taping it in place, but that only sticks for a few weeks.

Worse is the latch mechanism. The latch often will not lock.
A relative of mine has a SnugTop Super Sport on his Ram 2500. You just described his problems to a T. Does yours have a center latch with two cables running to the corners of the door? We tried fiddling with it for a few hours but couldn't get it to consistently lock or unlock. Oh and those curved windows are stupid expensive to replace.

I have an ARE DCU. It's definitely not gonna win any beauty contests, but I'll take function over form. Had a preowned one on my F250 and ordered a brand new one for the Frontier. The utility and durability are unmatched. Heck, the lock rods are 1/4" solid steel, not some thin cable with return springs.
 

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A relative of mine has a SnugTop Super Sport on his Ram 2500. You just described his problems to a T. Does yours have a center latch with two cables running to the corners of the door? We tried fiddling with it for a few hours but couldn't get it to consistently lock or unlock. Oh and those curved windows are stupid expensive to replace.
My SnugTop has a center latch that pops out when you unlock it. There are two metal rods going from the center the sides.

I found a replacement T-handle on Amazon - for $60! Ouch, that is way too much. I have two ideas that might help it keep from jiggling open. One is to make the arms on the inside of the latch a little longer. That should give the rods more overlap when locked. The other idea is to take out the pop-up handle and replace it with a regular handle. That will probably require fabricating up something so the metal rods can be attached.

My topper has a flat window, so at least there is not THAT problem to worry about!

Bill Gee
 

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Discussion Starter #16
So I've been spending way too much time visiting canopy dealers in the Portland area. I think Snugtop is out of their mind, they want $3500 for the 5 ft Super Sport.

The Leer 100QX is the best looking but Leer discontinued that model for the Frontier.

Looking hard at the ARE z now. Found this odd picture of it on a Frontier. The window line doesn't match the top line of the canopy roof. I'm hoping they have changed this because it looks like sh!t.

I know, first world problems. : )
 

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That is a weird window line. If sliding windows on the sides, then I'd think it would not be skewed like that??
 

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That is a weird window line. If sliding windows on the sides, then I'd think it would not be skewed like that??
Yeah. Weird line. The Z series didn't used to have that line. And the windows don't slide. The rear portion opens like a wing window.

The glue that holds the rubber trim covering the gap between the two panes of glass (forward & rear) will probably fail. ARE had claimed a "bad batch of glue" back in '08 when my trim peeled off about 40 minutes into my drive home from the dealer when I bought it. I'm not sure what the company's excuse was when I talked to an owner of a '15 whose trim had also peeled off & was lost on a highway somewhere.

In each case (mine & his), the company (ARE) was completely unresponsive. No returned emails or calls. Nothing. The dealers just made excuses (I'm assuming because they got no response, either.

I would strongly NOT recommend ARE. And don't bother with their interior light if you do go with them. It'll fall apart on you in no time. Yeah.

And their "new" window line looks weird. Too bad they "upgraded" it.

YMMV.

Edit: It almost looks like the rear window still sits funky, too. Take a look at the top side edge of the window. Looks like it sits a bit recessed, making the glass flush with the fiberglass. Then follow the side edge down... the glass looks like it sits above the flush plane of the fiberglass portion of the cab. I can't quite tell from the picture, but in my case, in '08, the glass sat a good 1/2" above (protruding out further) the fiberglass. I fuggin' hated that. And the company said nothing while the dealer said that was their design. Yet on any other make of truck, it wasn't like that. But their "bad batch of glue" extended to other makes.

Sorry for blathering on... I just had a shitty experience after spending more than $2K, and no-one would do anything to make it right.
 

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In each case (mine & his), the company (ARE) was completely unresponsive. No returned emails or calls. Nothing. The dealers just made excuses (I'm assuming because they got no response, either.

I would strongly NOT recommend ARE. And don't bother with their interior light if you do go with them. It'll fall apart on you in no time. Yeah.

...

Sorry for blathering on... I just had a shitty experience after spending more than $2K, and no-one would do anything to make it right.
Same experience here. ARE does a good job of pushing any customer comments/complaints to their dealers, who they largely leave in the dark.

I needed a replacement lock for the DCU on my F250. Rather than, I don't know, mailing it, they shipped it truck freight with the next batch of camper shells to my local ARE dealer. It took six weeks to get the lock. Fortunately my dealer is transparent about everything and even willing to work with me, so I didn't mind.

ARE DCU's and Leer DCC's are not made by them. They are outsourced to Tradesman Truck Tops. http://tradesmantrucktops.com/

They are in Northern California. I got a quote from them for essentially an unbranded ARE DCU. They have great pre-purchase service and it's refreshing to talk to the manufacturer directly. I ended up ordering a DCU from my local dealer, knowing ARE's "service", because I know the product is decent and Tradesman welcomed me back if I had issues and didn't get a response from ARE.

Another slightly more visually-appealing option is Caravan Campers. I considered them, but didn't go with them because they didn't have a half-door option at the time that lets you keep the tailgate.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Yeah. Weird line. The Z series didn't used to have that line. And the windows don't slide. The rear portion opens like a wing window.

The glue that holds the rubber trim covering the gap between the two panes of glass (forward & rear) will probably fail. ARE had claimed a "bad batch of glue" back in '08 when my trim peeled off about 40 minutes into my drive home from the dealer when I bought it. I'm not sure what the company's excuse was when I talked to an owner of a '15 whose trim had also peeled off & was lost on a highway somewhere.

In each case (mine & his), the company (ARE) was completely unresponsive. No returned emails or calls. Nothing. The dealers just made excuses (I'm assuming because they got no response, either.

I would strongly NOT recommend ARE. And don't bother with their interior light if you do go with them. It'll fall apart on you in no time. Yeah.

And their "new" window line looks weird. Too bad they "upgraded" it.

YMMV.

Edit: It almost looks like the rear window still sits funky, too. Take a look at the top side edge of the window. Looks like it sits a bit recessed, making the glass flush with the fiberglass. Then follow the side edge down... the glass looks like it sits above the flush plane of the fiberglass portion of the cab. I can't quite tell from the picture, but in my case, in '08, the glass sat a good 1/2" above (protruding out further) the fiberglass. I fuggin' hated that. And the company said nothing while the dealer said that was their design. Yet on any other make of truck, it wasn't like that. But their "bad batch of glue" extended to other makes.

Sorry for blathering on... I just had a shitty experience after spending more than $2K, and no-one would do anything to make it right.
Thanks for the heads up. Yea, im leaning towards Snugtop but the price is insane...
 
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