Truck Caps

So I have been thinking about a truck cap, but I am a little concerned about weight as it would be for a 4 cylinder Ranger. A coworker has a Colorado with an aluminum cap. He said the weight was 60 pounds for the aluminum and 300 pounds for the fiberglass. I find that a little hard to believe. I like the look of the fiberglass better, but if there is a significant difference in weight I would go aluminum. I don’t know if it makes a difference but I would like on with a roof rack. I have primarily been looking at used caps.

I think the 300 is over estimated but fiberglass is heavy

The 300 pound weight may not be as significant to the increased cost of operating the truck as the aerodynamics. Any elevation above the cab roof will cut fuel mileage as will any side overhang.

I would be looking for a cab height model. I agree that aerodynamics is probably more of an impact to fuel mileage since I’ve gotten great mileage while hauling a bed full of firewood down the highway. My concern would be the impact to the capacities/GVWR if I’m hauling around 300 pounds of dead weight, especially considering I occasionally tow a 14’ sailboat. That and i would probably be taking it off a couple times a year.
Currently I’m getting about 24-25 mixed mostly city driving and 28 pure highway.

I think either cap would be fine, the ranger will handle it.

Removing a 300 lb cap will be difficult. If you plan on pulling and reinstalling it often the lighter aluminum cap would certainly be the preferred option. I hung a block and tackle from a tree in my yard to enable me to remove the top from an old Bronco which I could do alone but reinstalling it required 2 large people helping me and it weighed less than 300 pounds.

I have had a bunch of aluminum truck caps with all 7 trucks I had, because they could be removed easily when necessary for easy loading of awkward items. They ARE very light surprisingly sturdy and can be removed by one person easily. I always installed them with clamps for quick removal. For a 4 cylinder Ranger, they would definitely be the way to go. They do dent easily so get racks for them that screw into the frame if you want to carry ladders, canoes or planks etc. and be sure to include screens so it can be used as a mini camper. I always got caps that were about cab level or slightly above for less wind age. They are very light, less expensive and don’t look as good as FG…but with all due respect, it’s a Ranger and the weight and investment in FG just isn’t worth it when aluminum will out last the truck regardless. Unless you are always loading tall cargo, you will love having a lockable cap either way…go aluminum !

I don’t know what you have for a sailboat, but for light ones, I fabricated wooden racks covered with carpeting that screwed into the aluminum racks on top of the cap and was excellent for carrying boats under 150 lbs inside down on top, like my Laser and Force 5. The wood racks extended on each side for the spars beyond the hull width. It is much more difficult to adapt FG caps for uses like this. Caps at cab level may very well improve the aerodynamics of your truck. I noticed NO difference or slightly better with a cap at highway speeds.

What kind of a sailboat (class) do you have now ?

The fiberglass caps can be heavy. I too have owned an Aluminum truck cap. I was able to lift it by myself. It was bulky, but not heavy (maybe 100lbs).