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LEER vs ARE fiberglass topper/shell - pros and cons...which is better

Kimo7

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I researched the forum and found a lot of info scattered about on the topic of a fiberglass topper/shell whichever label you prefer. So I figured I’d post a thread and ask it here since there’s a depth of experience out there. I’m thinking of getting one but don’t know much about them. I know there’s probably more than the 2 brands I mentioned just only know those 2. I’ve owned 1 in my life on a 96 GMC and I can’t recall what brand. It was nice, seemed to function well, matched the burgundy paint but I didn’t keep the truck long.

What I’m looking for is input on quality of the product, good and/or bad experiences, customer service etc. I’ll figure out the style and options once I get closer to deciding on brand. Hopefully some of the forum members have owned both and can share their experience or maybe recommend alternate competitor brands.

Thanks
 
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Gondul

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While I haven't owned both, I will say the hardware on the ARE for the Z Series is much better (IMO) than the LEER 100 series which seems to be their equivalent.

ARE as their hardware bonded to the glass for a cleaner OEM look, whereas LEER has it bolted through the glass.
ARE has beefy C hinges and LEER has what looks like door hinges they picked up at the local hardware store.

That alone was enough for me to get the ARE vs the LEER on my old truck.

Now, if you are looking for other models, I guess this really doesn't help...
 

UglyViking

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I agree with @Gondul the ARE cap def looks a bit nicer from that aspect. Seems like the ARE cap has custom designed everything where as Leer is just slapping it together with what they could find.

I think the overall quality is the same. You hear a lot of positives for both and horror stories for both. I was looking back and forth for a while and ended up picking up a leer used from a buddy. Def not exactly the one I'd buy straight up but for the price it was a solid deal and was 80% there.

One thing to note, and this is hard to get data on, but it seems like Leers caps, both "standard" and commercial have a bit more fiberglass reinforcement. The ARE "HD" caps use a metal inner structure, where as Leer uses more fiberglass and internal structure. It seems like the Leer has a little higher weight at least according to them. It was important for me because of wanting to run a RTT.
 

Rogue 2500

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IMHO - I like Leer better.

I have had problems with leaks in the AREs that I have not had in the Leers. The AREs do not seem to be true cab height (at least on the F150) and looks odd to me. Living in the PNW it rains here quite a bit and traveling to the desert in the south west it is important to me for it to be sealed well.

I have had problems with the ARE canopy light. They have this strut switch that broke. Luckily I was able to fix it. I do like the LED strip lights that velcro to the inside top.

I have a Leer now and I am very happy. I like the drop down front window and security screens for the side windows.
 

Steve_Cornell

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I picked up my Leer XQ topper today, I really like the looks of it on the truck, seems to be well made, the installer had no issues getting the power lock to work (they tapped into the lock \ unlock wires on the drivers side footwell.
It was supposed to have the tube light installed but it didn't come with one and the dealer is working on fixing that, there was also a small blemish on the tailgate cover which the dealer is getting with Leer about as well.
Here are a few pics..
 

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Kimo7

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I picked up my Leer XQ topper today, I really like the looks of it on the truck, seems to be well made, the installer had no issues getting the power lock to work (they tapped into the lock \ unlock wires on the drivers side footwell.
It was supposed to have the tube light installed but it didn't come with one and the dealer is working on fixing that, there was also a small blemish on the tailgate cover which the dealer is getting with Leer about as well.
Here are a few pics..
Looks great. Very clean look. I really like the solid frameless windows.
 

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