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Best camper shell rack

Last Updated: 01.12.22


What are the best camper shell racks in 2022?


Are you shopping for the best camper shell rack on the market? Here you will find all the information you need to make a decision that will have you pat yourself on the back. Our researchers compared the popular models available and concluded that the AA-Racks Model DX36 is worthy of the place on top of our list. Made from steel, this model can support up to 350 pounds, so it is pretty sturdy and has excellent weight capabilities. A nice touch is the fact that you can adjust its length from 35 inches to 57 inches, so you will be able to adapt it to your necessities. Because the steel bars are powder-coated, you can expect them to last for a long time without any issues. If this model is no longer available, our second choice is the Hauler Racks Universal C300FULL-1, a shell rack that offers almost the same degree of satisfaction.



Comparison Table


The Good
The Bad



A short buying guide


A camper shell rack can greatly increase the carrying capacity of a truck, which makes it highly useful to anybody from professional contractors who need to haul around their tools of the trade to sports enthusiasts that can attach specialized bike and kayak racks to it.

Finding the best rack for camper shell isn’t as straightforward a task as we might imagine since there is a great variety of products available for sale. To ensure that we make the right pick, there are a few things to have in mind before purchasing.

Mounting system


There are two main ways in which racks are attached to the canopy of a truck, either by bolting it in place on the top plate or by fixing it to the bed rails using horizontal bars and clamps. One of the advantages of the second camper shell rack system is pretty obvious, in that it doesn’t require for holes to be drilled through the roof to allow the bolts through.

This will make it easy to remove at will without leaving some undesired air vents behind, besides eliminating the risk of rust forming around the holes. The removable rack offers some disadvantages, however, mainly that the many joints and bars used to keep it in place will not offer an equally stable platform as a bolted rack would.

And when there’s a lot of space for slacking, there’s also a lot of room for mechanical failure, and you might end up with your cargo all over the road when a nut happens to snap under heavy load.


Weight allowance


This factor comes mostly down to your own needs. A contractor might require a maximum carry weight in the range of 500 lbs for heavy equipment, while weight will be a non-issue if a pair of kayaks is the only thing you expect to be transporting.

What’s important to note is that as long as the roof is sturdy and the mounts are properly placed, a bolted in rack will be safer to load to full capacity, since there are fewer connectors to worry about. Conversely, a removable rack will allow for better weight distribution, so you might want to look into it if the roof isn’t that solid.


Other considerations


The crossbars are usually made of aluminum or steel. Probably all readers know that the first is lighter while the second is tougher and harder to bend under weight.

The camper shell rack mounts or plates should be wide enough not to damage the roof, and malleable enough to allow for an easy installation.



3 Best Camper Shell Racks (Updated Reviews) in 2022


After carefully considering the opinions of both satisfied owners and specialized reviewers we’ve settled upon the products below as our top picks.



1. AA-Racks Model DX36


You don’t have to struggle to find the right shell rack for your vehicle when the answer is right at your fingertips. The AA-Racks Model DX36 is a universal model that is easy to adapt to any configuration as needed, made from durable materials. If you’re looking for reliability and durability in the same package, look no further.

The manufacturer warns that some drilling is necessary for installing the rack, but, otherwise, setting it up and managing to mount it on top of your vehicle is simple. The 13-gauge steel used for the frame is resistant to wear and tear and comes powder coated to withstand corrosion and rust attacks.

Its mounting base is also made from 11-gauge steel, and it is designed to support quite a lot of weight. According to the specifications, it can support up to 350 pounds so there is plenty you can take with you on your vacation without worry that your rack won’t hold.



With 350-pound loading capacity, it is easy to see why this model enjoys such great popularity among RV owners and not only.

Due to the galvanized and powder-coated steel structure, this model is sturdy and reliable, and you won’t need a replacement anytime soon.

Because it is a universal rack, you don’t have to worry about compatibility; its length is adjustable, and that’s another great plus.

It is essential to know that the extra-wide base has a polyfoam gasket and uses an interior plate for securing the rack onto the vehicle.

The black coating also makes the rack a good pick for any system as it is a color that works with anything.



There are some complaints about the rubber gaskets being beveled to adapt to a curved roof; one customer mentions that water infiltration happened due to this issue.

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2. Hauler Racks C300FULL-1 Universal Aluminum Camper Shell Rack


This is a removable, or clamp-on, or whatever-you-want-to-call-it shell rack from the ever popular Hauler Racks. It connects to the rails on your truck’s shell without requiring to be bolted in place.

This often comes with the disadvantage of being hard to fit on certain trucks or minivans, but judging by the comments surrounding this product, it seems to be adaptable enough to mount on any mini, mid and full sized truck as long as the roof is leveled.

Also from the client reviewers, the C300 is said to fit very tightly and stay in place under fast turns, even with heavy loads.

It can be used to carry up to 300 lbs, according to the manufacturer’s specifications, and this isn’t dependent on the roof’s durability, as the weight will be evenly distributed around the midsection of the vehicle.

Anodized aluminum was used for the platform and the clamps, to keep them light and rust-free under any weather.



This model is designed to fit a full-size pickup truck, so you will easily find it ideal for your vehicle.

Its maximum load capacity is 300 pounds, and it can accommodate your luggage when you leave on long trips without a glitch.

You can adjust the cross bars so that they fit the cap width, another great plus that will come in handy during installation.

Another thing that many people like about this model is that the mounting brackets can pivot to a 90-degree angle, allowing you to adjust the rack even more than previously explained.

Made from aluminum, the rack is lightweight and also treated for preventing corrosion and rust.



Some buyers complain about the fact that some parts they received with their purchases were defective, and therefore, the item became unusable.

Also, others talk about some parts wearing off a bit too fast.

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3. Ventech M1019B Camper Shell Rack


This is the slightly bigger version of the M1009B that we’ve highlighted above and very similar in specifications and general quality.

Meaning that people are impressed with how sturdy it is, they like the slick black finish, and they find it easy enough to install once the mounting plates have been shaped into place with a wooden or rubber hammer.

The only significant difference can be found in the width of the crossbars, which are 75 inches in this case, as opposed to the 60 inches of the M1009B.

This means it will look nicer on wider trucks and you can spread out your cargo over a larger surface when using it.

It has the same maximum weight allowance of 500 lb which we don’t recommend you put to the test with a truck that has a fiberglass canopy because although this might hold well when static, the extra forces the roof will have to handle while moving might make it to give in.



With a maximum capacity of 500 pounds, this shell rack is, without a doubt, in a league of its own when it comes to how much you can carry on top of your vehicle.

Equipped with a 3mm thick mounting base made from aluminum, this model is both sturdy and lightweight, two aspects that will surely convince you it’s worth a try.

The polyfoam gasket and the interior plate serve well for securing the rack onto the roof of your vehicle, to eliminate any possible problems.

All the hardware provided is made from stainless steel, so it won’t have any issues with rust and corrosion, adding to the overall durability of this model.

You can pick from two color versions – white and black – so that it works best for your current configuration.



Small mishaps, such as the holes being drilled too small for bolts, and some slots being slightly too big, make some customers knock off a star or two from their final reviews.

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Unavailable products




This bolt-on shell rack earned a lot of appreciation for its exceptional sturdiness, conferred by the use of 3-mm thick aluminum for the two rectangular crossbars, mounting brackets and interior plates. The gaskets it comes with are polyfoam, so they don’t rot as easily as rubber.

The aluminum has been powder coated for better corrosion resistance, which also gives it a cool look that will make you never want to take it off, which is just as well, because this unit is bolted to the roof through four relatively wide plates and steel hardware.

It’s been commented that these don’t allow for any give when connected with the crossbar, so they cannot usually be placed at an angle without tools.

We believe that this is a feature, not a bug, since racks are supposed to stay firm, and the installation process itself is fairly easy going once the plates have been bent into shape with a hammer.