Toppers [Archive] - RetrieverTraining.Net - the RTF

: Toppers

Margo Ellis
11-15-2005, 07:10 AM
I know this has been kicked around but if you were going to buy a topper for the first time what brand and or gizmo's on it would your recommend.

Would you go with a less expensive topper to see if you like it or break the bank and go for the big guns?

This is linked to the RV is for sale thread. We are up to 5 dogs now and want to take them with us.


11-15-2005, 07:51 AM
Hello Margo,

Shamrock makes a pretty nice topper for the $$. There are better for lots more $$ but I have been happy with my"half topper"

Robert S. Libberton
11-15-2005, 07:55 AM
Call the Mountaintop guys and ask them, you cant beat their customer service.

11-16-2005, 03:13 PM

Ainley Boxes cannot be beat. Yes, they more expensive than most, but you get what you pay for. I got a chance to meet w/ Jane Ainley and look over some of their newer products and was totally impressed. Everything from the welds, joints, finishing is above top notch. Not only are they top notch fabricators, but they are dog folks first and foremost that understand what is needed in mobile housing for our 4 legged family members.

I'll be ordering a 2 or 3 hole box in the very near future.

Eddie Sullivan
11-16-2005, 07:52 PM
Deerskin is one of your top manufacturers. The family business started in 1972 to handle their own dogs as they have run field trial for years. You will get a great built, very safe and comfortable box for the money. I am a stocking dealer and if I can answer any questions please let me know.
And yes, you do get what you pay for.
Volvo v50 (

Margo Ellis
11-18-2005, 08:22 AM
OH decisions decisions. I have requested a brouchure from Ainley, hopefully they will send me some thing. I did get Deerskin to quote a box, they seems more expensive than the others at this very moment.

Thanks for all the responses.


Dave Tackes
11-19-2005, 07:28 AM
Ainley -

Good people, actual dog people, midwest work ethic, and a beautiful manufacturing facility.

Met with Jane and Chad this past fall, placed the order and now I can't wait for Feb. 2006 for my setup.

Margo Ellis
11-22-2005, 06:52 AM
Just got my Ainley cataloge in the mail. I wished it showed more pictures of the extra stuff. What does the ladder look like? Does it have a platform half way down it or is it just a hanging ladder of some sort?

What extra stuff would you feel is needed? What stuff could you do without?


11-23-2005, 09:39 AM
Mike Ducross of CPH Sales makes some pretty nice toppers.
He's located in Cornwall Ontario and is close to Vermont.

Lynn Moore
11-24-2005, 04:55 PM
Hi Margo,
We have been so happy with our Deerskin 6 hole topper, with plenty of extra storage. They really listened to our requests, and custom built for us. Lights, storage, fans, complete ease of use, doors are fantastic quality. We feel our dogs are completely safe in hot weather, and locks and latches are excellent. The customer service was outstanding, good luck.
Lynn Moore

Margo Ellis
11-28-2005, 05:52 AM
Yes it will be either a Ainley or a Deerskin that we go with. Just need to get the budget worked out right now.

Thanks for the input.


11-28-2005, 08:22 AM

Good luck with your topper decision. Be ready for the BIG bucks.

Features that I have seen and liked.
Pressurized water system, make sure you have a gravity bypass.
Temperature controlled power vents.
Full rail around top for storage and easier tie down.

Robert S. Libberton
11-28-2005, 09:26 AM
When you have all the prices and details ironed out make sure you call the Mountaintop guys, there closer to you and you really cant beat the customer service they have, I have found them to be reliable, honest and trustworthy. The best thing about them is they manufacture what you want and the price of their work is usually under everyone else. I have a 2 hole insulated box with top storage and watertank from them and I could not be happier. It is everything I asked for and more and the workmanship is very professional.

Chad Baker
11-29-2005, 08:02 PM
I have a 6 hole chassis mount made by Mountaintop that I am extremely happy with. Ben and John Hucks are in this business for the long haul and you can tell by their workmanship and honesty. They also are in the dog game they have 2 MH, 1 SH and two nice young dogs that are hopefully FT prospects which are all trained by Ben, no Pro help! Before you make a final decision you should at least give them a call. My 2 cents!

Margo Ellis
11-30-2005, 06:44 AM
I have looked at Mountain Top, it seems that they don't include a lot items that the others have as standard items on the base models. They don't even include a water tank in their base models.

Not sure on price but I might have them quote me a topper just for the heck of it. They do look nice. Not really happy with the looks of the ladder, it looks like it could be slippery when wet for the dogs.


11-30-2005, 02:33 PM
Margo, I like the cph toppers, thet have the best appearance of all I've seen.
I will be contacting them for additional specs and info on their toppers soon.

Margo Ellis
12-01-2005, 10:02 AM
Okay so on to something else that popped up. Have you ever had any issues with a 1/2 ton pickup hauling these toppers? I have found out that with topper loaded with dogs, equipment, water, and food you are looking at a 4-6 hole weighting in at 1500 lbs. This is almost too much for the average 1/2 ton pick up.

12-01-2005, 11:03 AM

You are right that the weight will be pushing the truck a little. You can have a leaf added to your rear springs or have air bags installed and that will great help the issue.

Might want to consider an aluminum topper of a stainless to help save with some weight.


12-01-2005, 12:01 PM
Okay so on to something else that popped up. Have you ever had any issues with a 1/2 ton pickup hauling these toppers? I have found out that with topper loaded with dogs, equipment, water, and food you are looking at a 4-6 hole weighting in at 1500 lbs. This is almost too much for the average 1/2 ton pick up.

Yup it is - you'll need to get a towing package installed or something of that nature - extra leaf spring, etc.

I was talking to mark and he suggested I go with a steel frame and aluminum body for the topper to reduce the weight - but he insisted on the stell frame under neath!

Good luck - BTW what tuype of truck do you have?

Lainee, Flash and Bullet

Margo Ellis
12-01-2005, 12:08 PM
I have 2004 F-150 1/2 ton extended cab. There is the other issue, with the extended cab 4 holes with some storage or 6 hole with no storage.

Either way Mountain Top did call me and give a great price on a 4 hole topper. They have aluminum frame and SS skin, so I am saving a little on the weight of the topper then I did with Deerskin. Both units look good, Mountain Top is half the distance from my house as Deerskin if I am looking at driving to have it installed.

Oh the issues we face :lol: Probably bag the entire idea and put up with cap and some extra fans in the truck this next season. Who knows, if someone comes a long and wants to buy my travel trailer that will free up some cash to buy a topper. It has been a busy year for my check book with the new kennel and all, plus a trip to two that was thrown in for good measure.


12-01-2005, 12:51 PM
4 hole or 6 hole. I guess the question to ask yourself is, "do you ever see yourself carrying more than 4 dogs on a regular basis". I think a trip here or there, you can work something out, but if you ever have plans for more than 4, go with the 6-hole. You can always store stuff in the extra 2 holes.

Otherwise, if you don't ever see yourself with more than 4 dogs, I say go with the 4-hole and get the storage.

12-10-2005, 10:12 PM
I bought a topper from Crow River and love it. Very well made, Russ customized it the way I wanted it. SS is heavier and I would suggest a heavier duty truck to haul it. I would also suggest a water tank and fans be a requirement. Those are the two things that you just can't do without.