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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all,
Don't know much about the interchangeability of toppers.

Really want a topper with side opening "windoors" or just side opening doors (for work) a commercial DCU style topper would be ideal.
Would like front and rear windows ideally. (for the dog)

Problem is, tacoma toppers with side opening windows are about as easy to find as a nigerian leprechaun.

I was talking to a guy on craigslist (with questionable mental ability) who had a nice ARE DCU topper put on his 97 Taco (images attached) (same year as ours). He said it was a little bit shorter, but they had some rubber to retrofit/split the gap on the front side of the bed.

Question is: how interchangeable are toppers? what are the dimensions listed for our 97 2wd base? (I don't really know where to measure from/to, to match whatever the industry standard is)

Anyone have any personal experience with this???

Thanks,
Nick
 

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Mambeau / Admin
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... what are the dimensions listed for our 97 2wd base? ...
Here are the factory specs for a 1997 Regular Cab (in inches) ...

Inside Bed Length: 74.5

Inside Bed Width: 57.9

Inside Bed Width (Btw Wheelwells): 40.9

Inside Bed Height: 15.9

I'm not sure exactly where they measure the inside bed length / height.

According to ARE's DCU specs listing, 75" is the minimum overall length for their standard issue DCU toppers. ARE's availability search indicates the DCU is available for a '97 RC short bed, so I imagine the extra 0.5" represents the topper's extension over the bed sides in front and / or rear.

ARE doesn't mention anything about bed width. I assume this is because they essentially build every DCU to order (i.e., to fit a particular truck).
 

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Mambeau / Admin
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Next issue ...

I'm not clear at all about what you're trying to decide or do ... :shrug:

Are you considering buying the ARE DCU the CraigsList guy has?

I'm not sure his DCU (which may date all the way back to '97) is representative of the possibilities nowadays (talking about ARE specifically).

You say a topper with side-opening win-doors / panels _and_ side-opening rear door(s) would be ideal. Is this the only configuration you're interested in researching at the present time?

Would a regular fiberglass topper with side windoors meet your requirements, or do you need the steel body and / or side-opening rear door(s)?

ARE offers the side-opening windoors as an option on most, if not all, their regular (non-commercial) toppers.

I'm not sure about what the other big-name cap / topper manufacturers offer nowadays ...
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks so much on the bed specs, that is really helpful, I was getting weird and conflicting info out there on the internetz
I'm not clear at all about what you're trying to decide or do ... :shrug:
I am trying to see if toppers made for another more popular truck (like the S-10) will work for our taco. That would increase the pool of toppers I can search through and purchase from.

Right now we have a topper with just the sliding windows, but that limits the cargo we can place in the frontward part of the bed - hence looking for a windoor or DCU topper.
Essentially for our application:
DCU with side door > fiberglass with windoors > fiberglass with sliding windows

Thanks again,
Nick
 
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