Used camper shell repairs

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Used camper shell repairs

Postby Tom&Shelly » Mon Sep 30, 2019 6:38 pm

Got a great deal on a used camper shell for our Taco! Fits, and it's even the right color (matches the dirt in some of the places we like to camp).

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We think it will be much better than a tonneau cover for our planned long duration camping (now 4+ months) with our teardrop.

Just a few issues with the shell: According to the previous owner (a young man) it tends to make the Taco look like an SUV. I told Shelly (later) that it would make her look like one of those sexy young soccer Moms. We're okay with an SUV look (though I don't necessarily share the opinion that it looks like one); It's all perspective!

Seriously, the fellow says the front of the windows leak a little in serious rain. We are open to advice on any fix (or at least mitigation) we can do.

We also noticed some minor bubbling of the paint

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This may be water--it was stored on a tarp on the ground, with another tarp over it, and water did get on top the the bottom tarp. Shelly is thinking of poking each with a needle, draining the water, and then resealing. If anyone has ideas or experience, we thank you in advance for sharing!

We also want to redecorate our rear window


We both like the Zia, we both want the cow head off, and the deer is a mixed decision. (I like it!) We'll see how that one goes. So what's the best way to get one of these things off without ruining the window?

Oh, we also may want to replace the struts on the rear window--they don't hold the window all the way up anymore, and we will have to do some minor re-wiring in the Taco for the center break light and dome light. The young guy said he thinks there is a way to wire the lock so it locks with the rest of the truck, but we're not sure about that one.

As always, thank you all for sharing any experience or advice!

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Re: Used camper shell repairs

Postby tony.latham » Mon Sep 30, 2019 7:15 pm

I can't imagine not having the extra cargo space.

I put a forward bed rail in mine and it allows me to bolt the spare for camping season to it. Can't do that with a tonneau cover. You can buy extra T-slot nuts for them.


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Re: Used camper shell repairs

Postby pchast » Mon Sep 30, 2019 8:47 pm

Try a medium setting on a heat gun or hair dryer to warm/melt the glue....
If a Decal, saturate with soapy water. I've covered them with a wet paper
towel for a time before trying a plastic scraper.

Is the window plastic or glass. That will require different tools........
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Re: Used camper shell repairs

Postby Tom&Shelly » Sun Oct 06, 2019 6:48 pm

I was out cutting brush this morning while Shelly removed the dead cow's head decal from the back window of the camper shell.


She says she tried the hair drier, and it was working okay but left some glue. So she got some alcohol to take that off, and it immediately helped remove the entire decal.

She's okay with the elk decal, now that she added the "mountain life" under it.

She discovered yesterday that the two middle mounts, holding the shell to the bed, were bent. So we went to a Snugtop distributer, ordered some new gas struts and a cable for the lights, and he gave us some new mounts for free. He also said it would be unusual for the windows to leak. It rained hard on Friday and the bed was wet, but that may have been due to the bent mounts. On the other hand, we don't know the history of this shell (windows taken out to have it painted--who knows?)

Turns out, a cable that we could splice into the tail light cost $25, and one that worked the automatic lock was only $5 more, so we went with that. It'll be here in about two weeks. We will have to figure out how to thread the lock wire back to the rear door lock.

While she was at it, Shelly also added the New Mexico mandated caution label to the Tacoma


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