The 7 Best Toyota Tacoma Camper Shell Models – Off Road Tents

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The Best Toyota Tacoma Camper Shell And Why You Need One

Have you ever tried overlanding during extreme weather conditions? The experience of cruising through rainy trails or when it is scorching hot is quite challenging for Toyota Tacoma users who are fond of putting their stuff on their truck beds. For instance, the excessive water that our cargo bed catches during torrential rainfall can damage all our gear and equipment. There are also moments when our outdoor accessories are placed on the back of our truck and are exposed to extreme summer heat or easily soiled by particles. Before getting my first Tacoma camper shell, I remembered the hassle these circumstances brought me every time I went for an outdoor adventure. 

Having the best Toyota Tacoma camper shell definitely boosted my overlanding experience, as well as my overall day-to-day gear and accessory transportation. It simply improved my truck, made my life easier, and has given me more ways to transport cargo, store valuable items, and enjoy extra space in my Taco.

Outdoor adventures have never been the same since I had my Tacoma bed canopy in place. I have never felt more secure while camping outside since I installed this off-road accessory to my rig. The hassle of having an exposed truck bed has been significantly reduced since I considered mounting a bed cap in place.

 

    Tacoma Camper Shell Full Guide

    Aside from providing security of having a Toyota Tacoma camper top, one of the primary purposes of this off-road accessory is to accommodate its users to sleep comfortably inside your Tacoma tub. Utilizing everything placed inside effectively, Tacoma truck beds can also hold your off-road accessories either by using a drawer system or efficiently packing and stacking your stuff while giving that cozy sleeping vibe. However, there are certain limitations to consider before getting your Tacoma bed cap in place. 

    Before having the Tacoma with camper shell experience, here are the things you should consider before getting one. 

     

    Advantages Of A Tacoma Bed Canopy

    Truck bed toppers can contribute greatly to your experience in overlanding. Getting one of those heavy-duty and durable Tacoma camper shells provides more than being an enclosed piece of material mounted on your truck bed. Here are some of the most notable reasons you should get one of these truck bed accessories:

     

    Simple and Straightforward

    Truck bed caps are not complicated off-road accessories. They are usually plug-and-play, provided they are specific to your truck model. This means they do not require additional mounting points or strenuous effort to install. You just need to look for the right camper shell for your Tacoma truck, and you can enjoy your bed cover there and then. 

     

    Safe and Secure

    Everything placed inside a camper shell enjoys the protection that it intends to bring. A camper shell for your Tacoma prevents other elements from entering your truck bed. Rainwater, dust, and other particles cannot penetrate and stay on your truck bed because of the protection it provides. Likewise, these bed canopies are built for extreme weather conditions, so your comfort and safety are ensured when sleeping inside your camper bed truck. 

     

    Superior Storage Space

    One of the advantages of having a Tacoma camper shell is extending your storage space up to your truck cab and beyond. If tall cargo equipment needs transport and protection from torrential rainfall, truck bed caps can be your quick solution. Likewise, having a camper topper around extends your roof-carrying capability, as they can also serve as an extension for anything that needs to be mounted up top. 

     

    Bonus Advantage: Fuel Efficient

    Would you believe installing a Tacoma camper shell can increase fuel efficiency? Since innovative companies and manufacturers carefully consider the design and style of these truck bed accessories, camper shells provide better aerodynamics when mounted on your truck. They lessen the wind drag and provide smoother cruising while on the freeway. 

     

    What To Look For Before Buying A Toyota Tacoma Camper Top:

    Not everyone can confidently sport a camper shell on a Toyota Tacoma. Though undeniably, you can have many benefits in owning one. To maximize the capabilities of having a camper shell, you need to consider these factors to get the most out of your Taco Truck. 

     

    Knowing The Purpose Of Your Truck Bed

    If you often carry out long equipment or oversized stuff, having a camper shell might limit your chances of mounting them. Since camper shells for Tacoma are enclosed and secured, anything that goes beyond our truck bed might not fit. Though there are Tacoma Camper top models that have adjustable panels that can be opened when needed, it still may not be advisable to do such. 

     

    Planning Out The Accessories

    Camper shells can easily store and secure your stuff whenever you have off-road adventures. However, if you want to make the most of your truck bed, keeping them organized as much as possible might be challenging. Though there are methods of tidying your stuff, like installing a drawer system, each of your outdoor accessories should be able to fit inside them so that you can have a comfortable camper space on your truck bed. 

     

    Load Rating

    Once you have determined which items you’ll bring and how to mount them, your Taco truck will be filled with these different off-road gear and equipment. However, these accessories correspond to specific weights that can contribute to the total pressure on your off-road rig. Some Tacoma Camper shells even weigh a couple hundred pounds, limiting your carrying capacity for other outdoor equipment. 

     

    Design And Style Of The Taco Camper Shell

    When you have installed a Tacoma Camper top, the difficulty in gaining fast access to your truck bed can be more evident. It may be hard to reach your stuff easily because these bed canopies have secured windows or sliding mechanisms. Keeping the design of your camper shell in mind can affect your accessibility to your truck bed accessories and even give proper ventilation when outdoor camping. 

    Material Composition 

    Knowing the material composition for these truck bed accessories correlates with your load rating. More importantly, being aware of where your camper shells are made gives additional conviction on how durable your Tacoma camper top is. Plus, you’ll never know if you’ll be mounting anything above your bed canopy in the future, so you better be ready with something sturdy. 

     

    Best Tacoma Camper Shell

    Now that you know why you need a camper top on your Toyota Tacoma and what are the things you need to consider in getting one, we’ll now give you the most probable option that your Taco truck deserves. And when we talk about the Best Tacoma Camper Shell, here’s what we are talking about. 

     

    RSI Evo Sport Smartcap

    The most popular camper shell among off-road enthusiasts who prefer to sleep on their truck beds, the RSI Evo Sport Smartcap is one of the most trusted camper toppers to install on your Tacoma truck. Inspired to take on the rugged trails of Africa, the RSI Smartcap truck bed cap can fit directly on your Tacoma and give a whole lot of new experience in overlanding. 

    This innovative weatherproof Toyota Tacoma Camper Top gives quick access to your off-road equipment in place through the advanced mechanism brought by its gullwing door opening. Unlike most fiberglass bed caps, the gullwing door provides up to 17% wider access, giving ease to its users without the need to go inside your truck bed to get something. 

    Purchasing an RSI Evo Sport Smartcap doesn’t only give you a truck bed canopy for your Taco truck. In fact, Tacoma with Camper Shells from RSI has its own roof rails, allowing you to mount and utilize your storage space. You can mount any rack on top to help accommodate your bike, kayak, or even RTT. You’ll definitely get more than what you pay for. 

     

    Camper Shell Type

    Material Composition

    Load Rating

    Warranty

    Camper Shell

    Stainless Steel

    325 lbs (dynamic) 

    2-Year Warranty

    900 lbs (static)

     

    3rd Gen Tacoma Camper Shell

    The latest offering from Toyota Tacoma lineup, the 3rd Generation pickup includes models that are manufactured from 2016 up to date. The 3rd Generation Taco featured a remodeled truck bed and redesigned tailgate, so it is important to check your desired camper shell’s compatibility with your truck. Here’s a camper topper that can perfectly match your 3rd Gen Taco Truck.

     

    RSI EvoA Adventure SmartCap

    Your everyday overlanding companion, the RSI EvoA Smartcap ignites every adventure you are conquering. The 3rd Gen Tacoma Camper shell is built with intense material durability and can withstand the harshest weather conditions you’ll face. Why mounting this Taco bed canopy is a great buy for you? Let me tell you a couple of things.

    The RSI EvoA Adventure Smartcap is constructed from forged stainless steel from South Africa that can effortlessly hold up to 770 lbs of weight on top. The Tacoma camper topper from RSI can mount any equipment you have to bring through its integrated roof rails that you can partner with any roof rack system. Aside from the top mounting point, MOLLE panels are strategically installed on its gullwing windoors, allowing additional mounting points for compatible accessories.

    One of the added features of having an RSI EvoA Adventure Smartcap is its elegant design infused with functionality. From its double-walled side doors with integrated mounting points partnered with positive pressure air ventilation up to the flush-bonded fixed window from the tailgate with third brake light capability, you’ll definitely feel the premium quality from this Tacoma Camper shell. The good news is that this off-road accessory isn’t exclusive for 3rd Gen Toyota Tacoma pickup trucks but with a 2nd Gen Taco truck. 

    Camper Shell Type

    Material Composition

    Load Rating

    Warranty

    Camper Shell

    Stainless Steel

    330 lbs (dynamic) 

    3-Year Warranty

    900 lbs (static)

     

    2nd Gen Tacoma Camper Shell

    Ranging from models released between 2005 and 2015, the 2nd Generation Toyota Tacoma was considered a mid-sized pickup truck with convenient features for overlanding. During its glory season, these pickup trucks are hailed as one of the most powerful and most reliable trucks ever made by Toyota. With multiple configurations present, finding the right Tacoma camper shell for your 2nd Generation truck can still be a challenge. However, we think that having the next Tacoma camper top can be your next off-road companion. 

     

    RLD Design Stainless Steel Truck Cap V3 

    After rigorous innovation and restructuring, the RLD Design Stainless Steel Truck Cap V3 is the perfect Tacoma camper top for your overlanding needs. The base model of this bed canopy features a sturdy stainless steel material composition designed to withstand brute external force and extreme weather conditions through tig welding construction. Achieve stylish looks that will definitely turn heads when you pass by with your RLD Design V3 Truck Cap installed. 

    This off-road RLD camper top doesn’t only accentuate your overall style but also contributes a lot to its functionality on the table. Large gullwing windows are weatherproofed with a double-layer seal to prevent water from intruding your truckbed and reinforced with a positive pressure inlet to reduce dust intrusion. Plus, all doors are outfitted with dual gas struts for quick access to your pickup truck bed. 

    Never worry about securing your stuff placed inside your Tacoma, as the RLD Design Stainless Steel Truck Cap V3 possesses oversized pressure levers on every door to ensure the security of your provisions. What’s great about this off-road truck bed extension? Everything is customizable, so it can easily fit any Tacoma truck version available. 

    Camper Shell Type

    Material Composition

    Load Rating

    Warranty

    Camper Shell

    Stainless Steel

    700 lbs (dynamic)

    3-Year Warranty

    Camper Shell for Toyota Tacoma Short Bed

    Whether you have a Toyota Tacoma with a 6-foot truck bed or satisfied with having the short bed variant, there’s still the best Tacoma camper top for you. These Tacoma pickup trucks with short beds are still worthy choices for those fond of thrill and adventures. When coupled with the right bed canopy, Taco truck owners will definitely have an all-out off-road experience. 

     

    Tacoma Camper Shell Leer 100R

    Leer is one of the most trusted producers of quality truck beds in the aftermarket. They have been an established household brand regarding overlanding equipment and accessories. This outstanding brand can accommodate Tacoma with shorter beds and supply that additional security to those with longer orientation and crew cabs. However, the Tacoma Camper Shell Leer 100R is a great start for those looking for the short-bed option. 

    Never underestimate the power of the Leer 100R Camper topper. The standard 100R variant features the primary truck bed canopy can offer, such as sliding windows with insect screens, framed glass rear doors with double-secured locks, and interior lighting for better visibility at night. However, the list does not end there.

    Flexibility and adaptability are one of the primary key points of having the Leer 100R Tacoma Bed Canopy. There can be multiple upgrades that you can choose from before installing them on your short-bed Taco truck. You can choose from having an interior headliner for better insulation, side-opening windoors for better accessibility or any window orientation that you prefer. These choices can open up greater possibilities for your Tacoma 100R Leer truck bed canopy. 

    Camper Shell Type

    Material Composition

    Load Rating

    Warranty

    Camper Shell

    Fiberglass Base Rail

    220 lbs (dynamic) 

    Limited Lifetime Warranty

    600 lbs (static)

     

    Tacoma Aluminum Camper Shell

    Aluminum materials are often utilized to reduce the total load rate during overlanding. Off-road enthusiasts take advantage of aluminum materials' lightweight characteristics to bring more outdoor gear that they may need. But if you are worried about the durability and material strength of an Aluminum camper shell, this off-road accessory type can still provide protection from elements. 

     

    Super Pacific Switchback X1 Tacoma Bed Canopy 

    One of the ultimate Tacoma camper top option, the Super Pacific Switchback X1 Bed Canopy can give multiple benefits to your Taco truck because of the innovative design, lightweight material construction, and plenty of mounting options to your off-road accessories. The Super Pacific Switchback X1 Bed Canopy may be made of aluminum, but its outstanding features deem it worthy as an off-road companion.

    Tacoma with camper shells from Super Pacific has advanced engineering to strengthen the framework and make the truck bed canopy base more durable. The Super Pacific Switchback X1 Toyota Tacoma Camper top is made of unparalleled quality build, partnered with aerospace pedigree and over-engineering to match the off-road capabilities of a Toyota Tacoma. This just simply means that this camper topper can outlast your Taco truck, made possible by aerospace engineering. 

    Aside from reducing your overall load rating, the Super Pacific Switchback X1 was built to satisfy your overlanding adventures. Plenty of mounting points and panels are made available, considering the strategic and efficient parts of the Tacoma truck canopy. Modular Molle panels can be placed wherever you want, providing that additional spot to put on your belongings. Likewise, full access on the side of your truck is provided and carefully thought off, to maintain an unobstructed reach to your truck bed. Plus, the Switchback X1 can have its own RTT from Super Pacific. 

    Camper Shell Type

    Material Composition

    Load Rating

    Warranty

    Camper Shell

    Aluminum

    200 lbs

    2-Year Warranty

     

    Tacoma Fiberglass Camper Shell

    Contrary to the Aluminum-made camper topper, Tacoma Fiberglass camper shells feel more exquisite and sturdy. The material composition for this type of Tacoma Bed canopy is usually intricate and heavier. Still, they are more durable and give your Taco truck bed a better framework. Fiberglass camper tops should be your go-to truck bed accessory, when budget isn’t one of your constraints. 

     

    ARE CX Evolve

    ARE CX Evolve Truck Cap is your next-level Tacoma camper top when looking for that elegant style with a touch of innovation and technology. The FIberglass ARE CX Evolve for Toyota Tacoma has outstanding features engineered to have the best experience during overlanding. Even on its Standard model, you’ll feel the difference brought by installing this Tacoma bed canopy. 

    The tailgate-formed rear door is one of the industry’s first of its kind. The rear door panel is frameless and relies mostly on your Taco truck’s tailgate mechanism. Integrating these two separate accessories makes your CX Evolve seem like an extension of your Tacoma truck bed while adding an advanced keyless entry feature and OneMotion handle design for easier access. Infusing the ARE CX Evolve with the Tacoma truck bed feels natural as if this truck bed canopy is already an optional accessory for your off-road rig. 

    Getting the ARE CX Evolve entails many upgrade options, but sticking to the Standard ARE truck cap already gives you that off-road preparedness. All side panels are made from aluminum frames, ensuring that there’s enough access and ventilation to your truck bed. Up top are roof tracks that you can use to mount your roof rack system for better storage organization. As for its interior, a dark gray headliner gives extra insulation on the inside of your truck bed while complementing a 12V LED Dome to shed light when needed. 

    Camper Shell Type

    Material Composition

    Total Weight

    Warranty

    Camper Shell

    Fiberglass

    370 lbs

    Limited Lifetime Warranty

     

    Tacoma Soft Top Camper Shell

    Some off-road enthusiasts prefer mounting something that doesn’t feel fixed and can be easily installed when needed and removed when not in use. Soft top camper shells are recommended for those who are into overlanding, but still have to carry around tall cargo with them from time to time. Here’s our recommendation when you are still in search of the best soft top bed canopy for your Toyota Tacoma. 

     

    Bestop Supertop Soft Bed Tacoma Camper Topper 

    Whenever you are in need of a camper topper that you do not need to be fixed or installed permanently, having a soft top cover is the most ideal Tacoma bed canopy for you. This set of truck bed accessories provides smoother access to your entire tub in case you need to take mount something taller. Since they aren’t riveted permanently in place and no drilling was made, the option to disengage them is still possible. 

    The collapsible Supertop Soft Bed Tacoma Bed Canopy from Bestop can still provide what other hard shell camper toppers give. Protecting your truck bed from external elements is still at its best, thanks to the black diamond fabric material from which this truck bed canopy is made. The camper shell windows provide basic resistance against strong, heavy winds attributed to the solid vinyl construction. 

    Getting the Bestop Supertop Soft bed canopy for your Tacoma is an ideal choice if you are leaning towards a flexible, removable and easily adjustable bed topper. You can still get the best protection from a soft truck bed topper without needing to permanently drill on your Tacoma truck.

    Camper Shell Type

    Material Composition

    Total Weight

    Warranty

    Truck Bed Canopy

    Fabric and Metal Frames

    110 lbs

    Five Years Warranty

    The Difference Between A Camper Shell vs. A Bed Canopy

    You might encounter terminologies used in this article such as Tacoma Bed Canopy, camper shells, truck cap or Tacoma camper toppers. If you are wondering about the difference that these off-road truck bed accessories have, the simple answer is NONE. These terms refer to the same overlanding attachment placed on your truck bed, for this instance, your Toyota Tacoma. 

    Tacoma bed canopy or camper shells provide that enclosed space that you can utilize to store your off-road equipment on your truck bed while still maximizing the space from your cab clearance to your truck bed floor. Truck bed caps can provide that secure protection for your gear and equipment while possibly accommodating you to camp inside your truck bed. 

    However, camper shells are always made from rigid and sturdy materials, like aluminum or fiberglass, that provide the framework for your truck bed cap. On the other hand, bed canopies can also be made from hardcovers also but there are truck bed canopies that have soft tops too, which are usually made from durable and weatherproof fabric.

    Tacoma Camper Shell FAQs

    What is a bed canopy used for?

    A truck bed canopy provides security and protection to your gear, accessories, and equipment placed on the pickup truck bed. Bed canopies shelter your stuff against extreme weather conditions, external elements, and even theft.

    Can you put a camper shell on a Tacoma?

    Yes. Installation varies depending on the type of Tacoma camper topper of your choice. There are bed canopies that don’t require additional extensive drilling, while some may suggest modification on your truck bed railings just to accommodate your truck bed cap. 

    Can you sleep inside a Tacoma camper shell?

    Sleeping inside a camper shell is possible, provided that you have figured out how to properly organize everything placed inside the truck bed. Some off-road enthusiasts purchase drawer systems to provide storage for the accessories and a platform for your camping mattress. 

    Can I install a roof rack over a bed canopy?

    Yes. Installing a rack system on top of a bed canopy is possible, provided that you are informed of these factors:

    • Overall Load Rating - this is the total capacity of your Toyota Tacoma truck to handle everything that is mounted over it and placed inside. Your Taco truck is prone to damages and untoward incidents when the weight capacity is exceeded. 
    • Bed Canopy Load Limit - aside from Tacoma’s capacity to mount heavy loads, there are also limitations on how heavy your canopies can withstand. Usually, the load limit of your truck bed canopy depends on the material construction.
    • Track system - some available truck bed camper toppers have readily available roof tracks that can hold any compatible roof rack system. These are mounting points to your roof rack accessories that you can utilize depending on your Tacoma camper top. 

    How do I install a camper shell on my Taco?

    Depending on the brand and build of your Tacoma camper shell, installing this off-road accessory may require additional effort from its users. Some camper topper brands use clamps as mounting points for the truck bed cap, others utilize the truck bed railings as the primary point for attachment, and other brands require drilling to your truck bed to be installed. 

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