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Old 05-21-2012, 03:30 PM   #1
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Cab covers?

Ok so heres where I'm at. South Florida sucks in the summer, it rains at 4pm on the dot, like clockwork every day. Im sick of putting the windows on and off my Rampage frameless top. Plus I really like driving with the top in Safari mode and the doors off. Now, I have been researching different cab covers and have read alot of the threads on here and everyone says go with the bestop cover, but I dont see anything on these other covers so here I am.

I need some opinions and suggestions from people who have these covers, or any others that you have experience with. I need something that will cover the door openings, and it doesnt exactly have to be waterproof since the safari top will be on. I just want to keep out that pesky rain in the afternoon then drive home doorless in safari mode.

Here is what I have found:

Rain Gear
http://www.jeepcovers.com/storename/...-10101203.aspx
$119 comes in Black

Cover Craft
Covercraft CO16483PR - Covercraft WeatherShield® Quick Cover for 97-06 Jeep® Wrangler TJ - Quadratec#
$179 comes in Black

Bestop
Bestop 81037-09 - Bestop® All Weather Trail Cover for 97-06 Jeep® Wrangler TJ - Quadratec
$127 Gray or spice

I need the good, bad, and ugly so I can make an educated decision. Thanks in advance for your help. Im really leaning towards the bestop one but really bummed that it doesnt come in black (petty, yes I know) I would get gray or spice if I absolutely have to but I wont like it..

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Old 05-21-2012, 03:41 PM   #2
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I took a tarp and tarp clips from wal mart in the camping section and make a custom cover for mine after my 1st cab cover elastic straps were starting to lose their stretch, cost me about 50$ but it doesn't cover the whole door. I just know that the biggest problem with my original is that it would get whipped up by the wind and would come off if it wasn't secured properly, that's the real reason I made my own so that it wouldn't come off b/c the extra tie downs I added. So do look at the full door covers cause that might help prevent wind from getting in there!

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Old 05-21-2012, 03:44 PM   #3
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The Bestop is working real well for me so far. Thick and appears to be real substantial
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Old 05-21-2012, 03:46 PM   #4
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I have the Bestop (in grey) and am rather happy with it. Just keep it in the back when the top is down, and if it starts raining while I'm at work (live in SC, so familiar w/ pop-up showers), I can just jog outside and cover quickly. Even does a perfectly fine cover job with doors ON.

My only knock is that I'm completely incapable of refolding it to fit that rather tight bag that comes with the top. (also, folding it nice & tight in a way that doesn't bend the plastic drip inserts) But, I suppose, it's just a matter of finding a slightly bigger bag to store it in -- A relatively minor squabble....
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Old 05-21-2012, 03:51 PM   #5
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About how long does it take to put the cover on?
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Old 05-21-2012, 04:08 PM   #6
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I can get mine on and cinched down in less than 5 minutes by myself. Seriously... not exaggerating.

I will say that since I put my Spidewebshade on it helps me because it keeps the thing from sagging into the interior while I pull it over to the other side though. That may shave a minute off the whole thing.
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Old 05-21-2012, 04:09 PM   #7
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A minute or two, roughly.

Honestly, what usually took me the longest is figuring out which end is which. I have since written FRONT and BACK on corners to make the process quicker, instead of folding it all out...

Once that's sorted, it's just a matter of throwing it over the roll cage and securing it. Doesn't take a whole lot of effort.
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Old 05-21-2012, 04:11 PM   #8
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A minute or two, roughly.

Honestly, what usually took me the longest is figuring out which end is which. I have since written FRONT and BACK on corners to make the process quicker, instead of folding it all out...

Once that's sorted, it's just a matter of throwing it over the roll cage and securing it. Doesn't take a whole lot of effort.
Heh... first time or two it did to me too.

I just look for either the big large elastic loop (rear) or any of the cinch straps (front sides) but mostly the big large loop is my key. Tells me its the rear.
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Old 05-21-2012, 04:14 PM   #9
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Heh... first time or two it did to me too.

I just look for either the big large elastic loop (rear) or any of the cinch straps (front sides) but mostly the big large loop is my key. Tells me its the rear.
Yeah, that didn't occur to me until much later, after a few sessions.

Do you store it in the bag it came with or use something else?
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Old 05-21-2012, 04:24 PM   #10
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I have not attempted to replace it into the bag yet. I did take good note of how it was folded coming out after reading some comments about that. However I end up folding it the opposite when I take it off. So I would have to lay it out and redo it. I'll attempt that here some day and experience that myself when I can find no further excuses to avoid it!

Normally I use it here at the house and I park under a covered double carport that is right in front of another carport. So I will simply fold it loosely and lay it down in the other area of the carport until I return. But I am intending to use it for mobile situations so I do need to either learn to fold it or to get something else to put it in. It would appear to me that properly folding it to get it back into the original sack would be aided by a second person and some patience.
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Old 05-21-2012, 04:45 PM   #11
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So noone has any opinions or suggestions on the other ones? The cover craft one is probably too expensive and is only water resistant, and the rain gear one looks very loose to me. Im sure I will end up going with the bestop one but not very happy about it lol.
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Old 05-21-2012, 04:50 PM   #12
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I have had my Bestop cover for 2 years and it is holding up very well. My jeep stays out in the Texas sun 7 days a week rain, shine and 1 hurricane. The only issue is the need to insert a post in the center as it will collect rain ( a lot of rain ). The covers takes me 5 mins to install.

I don't use the storage bag as I still have my back seat installed and just roll it up small and stash it back there.

It is made of real heavy canvas and should last for years. The elastic loops die quick but they don't really serve much of a purpose anyway. Best 100 bucks I have spent on it.
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Old 05-21-2012, 06:48 PM   #13
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The Bestop cover is very quick and easy to fit on the Jeep - it actually takes longer to put it back in the storage bag.
If you have Rocker Panel Sliders, you MAY have to improvise with the clips that fasten to the tub below the door frames.
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Old 05-21-2012, 07:13 PM   #14
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Thats another thing I was wondering about the windshield lights. It seems thats its almost a non-issue thats a good thing thanks!

Can someone post up a pic of the straps? what kind of material are they, are they stretchy, what kind of ends do they have on them? thanks.
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Old 05-21-2012, 07:32 PM   #15
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The Bestop cover is very quick and easy to fit on the Jeep - it actually takes longer to put it back in the storage bag.
If you have Rocker Panel Sliders, you MAY have to improvise with the clips that fasten to the tub below the door frames.
I have the same problem with my sliders. I'm thinking of replacing with longer straps so it can get under far enough to reach the inside edge of the slider. For now they car just wrapped around the tubing.
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Originally Posted by LilYeller View Post
Thats another thing I was wondering about the windshield lights. It seems thats its almost a non-issue thats a good thing thanks!

Can someone post up a pic of the straps? what kind of material are they, are they stretchy, what kind of ends do they have on them? thanks.
Too late for pictures of the straps, but they are typical cinch straps with a flat hook on the ends to secure under the tub. Don't cinch too tight or they'll rip where they attach to the top itself. I did that on my first install.and still have to repair/reinforce the rip. The straps that are elastic get stretched out fast like the ones that your roll the rear window up in (stock soft top). However, they are not needed since it fits tight around the rails.

One big piece of advice I have is to ensure any water that collects on the top is removed before taking the top down. That is unless you enjoy driving around with a couple of gallons of water in your driver's seat.
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Old 05-21-2012, 08:03 PM   #16
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Dana, I just bought a Smittybuilt cab cover with door flaps like last week. I know a lot of people give Smitty a bad rap, but I was totally shocked at this thing. It is thick, feels very durable and it has a soft felt like underside so it won't scratch the paint. I'm telling you man, I expected something that was going to feel like a tarp or canvas drop cloth but this thing is thick and durable.
I put it on at night because here in NOLA we have pretty much the same kind of weather.
$86.74 on Amazon, they have them on Ebay for as low as $77.
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Old 05-21-2012, 08:07 PM   #17
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The Best Top cover works great for me. The quality is great and it fits like a glove. I can install it in 5 minutes or less. It is bad to collect water so be careful and drain the top before removing unless you want a bath :-) .
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Old 05-21-2012, 08:10 PM   #18
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Like I said before, I will still have the rampage top in safari mode so I don't think pooled water will bee too much of an Issue. I was curious about the smittybilt top also, thx for the input.
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Old 05-21-2012, 08:24 PM   #19
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I'm in the same state & confront the same issues, except we still seem to be in a drought up here. At least we're not on fire yet. Anyway, I personally don't worry about the afternoon showers like I use to. I don't have carpet, rarely have the back seat in, & run safari most of the time. When rain does come I just put my uppers on & push the seats forward. This works best for me, but I also don't have full doors anymore. However, when I did have full doors I ran with the below tarp (9x9 I think). Picked it up at Home Depot for all of 10 bucks. Worked perfectly, even when I left it at the airport. I looped over the mirrors (hinge if no doors) & the the rear bumper. Left it stashed under a seat when not in use.

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Old 05-21-2012, 08:40 PM   #20
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Like I said before, I will still have the rampage top in safari mode so I don't think pooled water will bee too much of an Issue. I was curious about the smittybilt top also, thx for the input.
Uploading some pics for you now bro.
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Old 05-21-2012, 08:51 PM   #21
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Smitty cab cover



http://i1101.photobucket.com/albums/...-26-32_385.jpg





It does have tabs that snap into the tub rail, it's pretty tight when you use them. I don't have it hooked that way because my CRES is on under it. Hope this helps.
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Old 05-21-2012, 09:45 PM   #22
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Yea helps to see it on a tj . Only pics I could find are on a jku. I will have to look into that one more. Does it not fit with the cres on? Would it fit with the rampage top on?
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Old 05-21-2012, 09:48 PM   #23
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Nvm I get it. It snaps into the rail just like the other tops.
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Old 05-21-2012, 09:56 PM   #24
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Nvm I get it. It snaps into the rail just like the other tops.
lol, yeah, I could pull the CRES out of the rail and snap it in but they provided straps that allow you to hook it to the fenders instead.

There are two straps/hooks on each door flap, straps that line up with the middle of the rear fenders, straps that run down to the back of the rear fender, straps that can be looped around the tail lights (you'll have to figure something else out, lol), and a big elastic strap to go around the spare.
There are rail tabs right above the rear fenders and on the rear corners if you choose to use them.
It does seem like it could be a tad bit longer on the door covers but everything that I read about it says that over time it stretches and fits better.

Only real complaint, no bag. But that's easy to resolve. For $77, I'll pick up a bag at the dollar store or use on of the many that I have in the closet.
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Old 05-21-2012, 10:27 PM   #25
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I have the Bestop cover now and have mixed feelings about it. I usually ride with my factory top in safari mode and can't use this cover when my top isn't all the way down. It is high quality and fits really snug but I am not in love with it. I used to have the Mopar cover and it could be used top up or down, was easier to put on and off and to store but wasn't as water proof as the Bestop and didn't cover the doors. If I were making the decision over again I would probably still get the Bestop but it doesn't get used as much as my Mopar cover did.
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Old 05-21-2012, 11:18 PM   #26
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So noone has any opinions or suggestions on the other ones? The cover craft one is probably too expensive and is only water resistant, and the rain gear one looks very loose to me. Im sure I will end up going with the bestop one but not very happy about it lol.
Read the descriptions carefully!
"weather resistant" and "weather proof" are two very different things.
The covercraft you linked is weather resistant (usually also mentioned as a breathable fabric). It's OK for a LIGHT rain, and dew, and that's about it. Unless you put a top under it, and even then, if you have a heavy rain, you're gonna find moisture inside.

The raingear.com link you posted doesn't seem to say much of anything about their product.
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Old 05-21-2012, 11:22 PM   #27
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Whichever top you choose, I would weather proof it. I have a cab cover (the mopar jeep logo one) with my safari top and it literally soaked through the safari top and I ended up with 1 1.5" of rain water in my drivers and passenger side floor including both cup holders were literally full of rain. I bought the NikWax from REI that's supposed to water proof tents, rucksacks, camera bags, etc. Used it on my cab cover and now I have no worries about getting water on the inside. Just an FYI.
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Old 05-22-2012, 06:14 AM   #28
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Whichever top you choose, I would weather proof it. I have a cab cover (the mopar jeep logo one) with my safari top and it literally soaked through the safari top and I ended up with 1 1.5" of rain water in my drivers and passenger side floor including both cup holders were literally full of rain. I bought the NikWax from REI that's supposed to water proof tents, rucksacks, camera bags, etc. Used it on my cab cover and now I have no worries about getting water on the inside. Just an FYI.
This helps alot thanks! I was considering doing this anyways cause I have a can or 2 of similar stuff laying around. Any idea how it soaked through your safari top? that sounds bad.
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Old 05-22-2012, 08:02 AM   #29
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Old 05-22-2012, 01:12 PM   #30
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The Bestop cover is very quick and easy to fit on the Jeep - it actually takes longer to put it back in the storage bag.
If you have Rocker Panel Sliders, you MAY have to improvise with the clips that fasten to the tub below the door frames.

I have this top too. I can put it on in about 3 min. Not to hard to put in the bag, but you have to lay it on the ground to do it.

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