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Auto Maintenance: Choosing One Repair Shop

One of the things I learned from my dad is that it pays to find a good auto repair shop and stick with it. True enough, I have tried using more than one shop, based on what I needed done to my car. Every time, I found myself going back to one shop that knew my car and the car's history. I had found that shop not too long ago. They had offered help with everything from rebuilding engines to dent repair. The shop is located near my home, and they keep records that went back for years. Thanks to the long history, they always knew what to do when something was not working as it should. If you think that finding one shop to meet all your needs is a good idea, let me help. With a little effort, you'll know exactly where to take your vehicle any time it needs some work.


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Auto Maintenance: Choosing One Repair Shop

Safe, Sound, Or Too Short? Tonneau Covers Vs. Camper Shells

by Noelle Snyder

If you own a pickup truck, you know how frustrating it can be to try to keep items safe in an open bed. Covering the back of the truck is the solution, but do you go for a sleek, customized tonneau cover or a spacious camper shell made specifically for your model of pickup? While the space inside is an obvious factor in which one you choose, so are a number of other characteristics and effects. Here's a look at each.

Camper Shells

A camper shell that is the same height as the top of the truck cab not only gives you extra space for storage, but it is also a lot more secure than a tonneau cover. The shells lock and are very heavy -- someone wouldn't be able to lift the shell off by themselves very quickly. The solid shells also protect the items underneath them from rain quite well because the shells conform to the truck bed perfectly -- in fact, a pickup with a modern camper shell made by the truck's manufacturer looks like an SUV. The connections are that precise. If you want that space and security, and you're planning to leave the shell on, the shell would be a good choice.

At the same time, that heft that makes the shell hard for a thief to remove also makes it hard for you to remove. If you're planning to have the truck open a lot of the time and have the camper shell on periodically, then the shell might be too annoying for regular use. Also, items that you place in the bed of the truck can slide toward the cab and be harder to retrieve. Those items could slide forward with a tonneau cover, too, but the cover is easier to remove.

Tonneau Covers

These fit flat along the top of the bed's sides and make the truck look less bulky overall. You also have excellent visibility out your cab's back window because you don't have anything like the sides of the shell blocking your view. Tonneau covers are also available in retractable models -- either roll-up or fold-up -- so opening up the truck bed doesn't result in storage problems where you have to find a place to put the cover. The covers are also much lighter overall, so your truck will carry less weight that can affect mileage. If you are concerned about being able to see behind you and to the sides, and you want to keep your fuel bills down, a tonneau cover would work.

Of course, if you have a traditional hard model that doesn't retract, then you do have that storage issue. You can't use the tonneau cover with bigger items like large bikes, so those would have to be in an open bed where they'd be exposed to the elements.

If you'd like to see covers and shells that work well with your model of pickup, talk to custom accessory dealers (like Pacesetter Truck Caps & Accessories Inc). They can help you locate a cover or shell that meets your needs.