Canopy/Campershell on Tow Truck-advice, please - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 06-13-2018, 07:10 PM   #1
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Thumbs down Canopy/Campershell on Tow Truck-advice, please

If your tow vehicle is a truck with a canopy, could you tell me about your experience in driving with it, and particularly in backing up the trailer with it?

I have just bought a 2015 Toyota Tundra Crewmax 5.7 L V8 to tow our soon-to-arrive Escape 19'. The truck bed is uncovered and I now need to decide on a cover so that we can lock the area when we are storing things in it.

I would prefer a hard cap/canopy but worry about the weight and about being able to see through the three (!) windows (truck window, cap front window, cap back window).

Our Tundra has a back-up camera, and I understand that I can lower/drop/lift the truck and cap windows when I am hitching up, and when I am backing up with the trailer, but what about just driving down the road without the trailer attached?

Thank you for any suggestions or recommendations.
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Old 06-13-2018, 07:51 PM   #2
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I had several trucks with my last bumper pull, all had caps. I looked for caps that had close to full length side windows but don't recall the trailer having anything to do with it, I could just see better out the rear window of the truck.


I used the side mirrors to see when backing. Had a spotter for hooking up when she was along.
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Old 06-13-2018, 08:38 PM   #3
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I have a hard bed cover and cap and I use the cap for towing the trailer to help with air flow around the trailer. My cap is level with the truck top and after towing in the rain I could see the turbulence around the front of the trailer. I am now looking for a rear high rise trailer towing cap to help kick the air up over the trailer front and A/C. It also keeps the bugs off the front of the trailer. Which ever cap you get, get one with at least one hinge top side opening window.
I use the back up camera to hook up and aid with backing. I have driven large trucks so using mirrors for backing is not an issue for me. My guess is the cap weighs about 100#-125# more than a hard cover.

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Old 06-13-2018, 09:38 PM   #4
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We have a cap on our GMC Canyon, towing and Escape 21. In our setup, the narrow rear window on the cap combined with the tinted windows makes the view out the rear window of the truck of somewhat limited utility with or without the trailer. And of course when towing all you see out the back is the front of the trailer anyway. I've long since gotten accustomed to using my side mirrors almost exclusively both for normal driving and backing with or without the trailer.

For hitching, I just use the backup camera. That works quite well once you get acclimated to the extreme wide angle view.

As to weight, a fiberglass cap will be around 150-200 lbs depending on the particular style and accessories you get.
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Old 06-13-2018, 10:11 PM   #5
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Why is it important to have at least one hinge-top side-opening window?

(And thank you for your response)
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Old 06-13-2018, 10:39 PM   #6
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We put a Leer 180XL mid-rise on the back of our F-150. The slight rise gives us a little more capacity and a little extra "head room" when inside as well as making it easier to load and unload our bikes when carrying upright inside using a front fork mount. As another noted, it also helps reduce frontal cross-section on the camper when under tow. I use the back-up camera to guide me when hitching, and when the camper is not hitched, I can see well enough rearward out through the series of three windows to know if someone is behind me. Otherwise, the side mirrors are all I need. I couldn't find any specs on weight, but the installers thought it weighed under 200 lb (5' 6" bed).
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Old 06-13-2018, 11:19 PM   #7
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Have to ask. Why not buy an Expedition or Suburban or other SUV? Why buy a pickup and turn it into a sorta-SUV?
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Old 06-14-2018, 01:13 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
Have to ask. Why not buy an Expedition or Suburban or other SUV? Why buy a pickup and turn it into a sorta-SUV?
Well, Glenn for just one thing, I carry spare gas because my driving range might not be long enough while out exploring / camping … has not been a great issue yet but I do like to boon dock in very remote areas. I carry typically an extra 10 gallons in Jerry jugs. I don't want that in the same space that I am driving.

Several years ago I lost a couple good friends who were out firewood gathering one fall. They weren't in a Suburban but in a Ford Econoline. On the way home after filling the van, the driver lost control on some black ice and ran off the road and down a hill. When they hit bottom, the firewood load shifted and trapped the wife inside. Sparks from the accident ignited the chain saw gas stored and splashed around inside. The husband and best friend frantically tried to dig Peggy out as she screamed for help …. they dug until her cries stopped and they knew she was gone as the heat by then was so intense they couldn't even be near the van. Husband started climbing up to the road to get help. He didn't see that they had clipped a power pole and just about when he was about to crest to the road, he walked into a live wire and was electrocuted. The best friend lived to tell the so very sad story. I miss those guys as they were good friends.

Since that happened, I NEVER carry gas inside my cab and neither should YOU!

When I carry spare gas, its strapped down in the bed of the truck (with canopy). Hopefully, in a accident the truck box and canopy area will contain the splash and give me a slight chance to get away. A better idea might be to have a second chasis gas tank mounted …. if there is room.

Tom
Sorry for such a sober story …. there is a lesson there.
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Old 06-14-2018, 05:04 AM   #9
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We have an SUV, and there are things I haul in the back of our truck that I would never haul in the back of our SUV due to: smell, hazard, potential for staining, hard to clean up afterward, etc., etc., etc. In fact, you can see the remnants of hauling bails of wheat straw in the second photo above. Not easy to clean up after in the back of a carpeted SUV.
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Old 06-14-2018, 05:08 AM   #10
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While towing your rear view mirror is worthless and you are using both side view mirrors. While unhitched, you end up doing the same. I do not think the cap impacts viewing little if at all since both side view mirrors will give you what the rear view mirror does. You are reducing your carrying capacity of the bed though.
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