Review & Install Video
Justin: If you're looking for the functionality of a bed cap but with the convenience of folding things away in a snap, then Bestop's Supertop here might be a great option to consider. Now, the Bestop is going to deliver heavy duty vinyl material along with a sturdy aluminum frame, and will be available for all 2004 and newer five and a half and six and a half-foot beds. Your price point for the Supertop will hover in that mid-to-high $700 level, and the install is not gonna involve any drilling or permanent modification. However, since it is such a large product to work with, the site is gonna nudge things up to a soft two out of three wrenches on the old difficulty meter, and quite a couple hours to complete from start to finish, but if you hang with me for a little bit, we'll walk through the job later in the video.
So, the Supertop here is one of Bestop's more unique and exciting products for the truck market because you have something that's part cap and part Jeep soft top, all kind of baked into one. So, with that said, what do you say we break things down a little bit further? Now, on the surface, guys, the goal of the Supertop is to, essentially, perform as a traditional bed cap, and that is, offer an abundance of storage while keeping things safe and dry from the elements. Now, the drawback with those traditional bed caps is two-fold, right? They're oftentimes not very cheap, and you have to get them painted to match your truck, which can be hit or miss depending on the paint job. However, the biggie to me, no doubt with those traditional caps, is that installing or removing them is not exactly easy, especially if you're in a pinch and you don't have a buddy around to help you out. Now, the Bestop Supertop here will be the answer to all of those gripes as it's at least half the price of those traditional bed caps, there's no need to paint anything, and installing and removal can be done in a snap and by one person.
Now, materials will be Bestop's heavy duty Black Diamond vinyl, which is equal parts fade and mildew-resistant, and it's a material they do primarily use in a lot of their soft top applications. Now, that Black Diamond material is supported by an all aluminum frame, which, again, will bolt right into place, and will allow for the top to be folded down and out of the way completely when the entire bed access is needed.
Now, another cool feature with the Bestop is the fact that there are vinyl windows included and they are completely removable if and when you do wanna fold the top down, or if you just wanted to make a little bit more airflow if you happen to be doing some bed camping in the back of your F150. Now, those windows all are incorporated into all four sides, I should say, so you're still maintaining complete visibility out of the rear-view mirror, but they have been tinted to offer some visual protection for your bed cargo in the event of prying eyes.
But that does lead us to our one and maybe only drawback here of the Supertop, and that is all out or outright protection and security. Those traditional fiberglass bed caps are pretty stout, right? Whereas the Bestop here could be defeated with a knife if someone was desperate enough. Listen, guys, hopefully you never have to deal with something like that, but I wouldn't be doing my job if I didn't point out all the pros but also the cons of things to consider when going with a product like this. And, hey, if you haven't already done so, feel free to check out our "What's up with that bed cover" video, get a better look at the benefits of a hard cover versus a soft cover.
Now, finally, guys, there are a couple of other things to point out here, Bestop does include a third brake light to be used with the Supertop, that's pretty cool. And finally, they do include a limited two-year warranty for the top if you should ever encounter any issues. However, now we wanna show you what it takes to get everything in place, guys, as promised earlier. Again, no drilling, no permanent modification needed. So, without further ado, here's that detailed walkthrough, along with a quick tool breakdown.
Man 1: Tools used for this install: 3/8-inch ratchet, 9/16, 7/16, utility knife, drill with eighth-inch drill bit, and Phillips-head screwdriver.
Okay. First up you're gonna wanna take your tailgate down, because you're gonna wanna access to your bed rails on both the driver and the passenger side. Okay. Next you're gonna take your rear bed rail and your rear tailgate bracket, place it up here, put your cap nut and washer on it. And then you're gonna use a 7/16 socket and just snug it up a little bit. Okay. Next we're gonna repeat the same process on the driver side, putting the bed rail mount onto the tailgate mount using your cap nut and a 7/16 drive, and just snug that up. Next, you're gonna take your bow mounts, and take your clevis pins, the big one goes into the long rail here, and the small one goes into the little hole there, and you're gonna repeat that for the passenger side as well. And you're gonna be putting your pins through the clevis pins, just to keep them in place. Again, we're on the passenger side, we're gonna take our clevis pin and the washer, put it through. The long clevis pin, you're gonna be using the big flat washer, go through there like that, and clip it in. And we'll be getting back to this in a little while.
Okay, next we're gonna be taking our other bed rail mount, placing it butt-to-butt with that, taking our bow mount right here and putting it through these studs. Don't worry about lining it up on the bed just yet, we'll get to that next. You're gonna take your cap nuts right here, just start them up, these four right here. You're gonna wanna make sure your washers on the inside of the bed rail here, so they can slide. Take your socket and just snug them up a little bit. And you're gonna repeat that for the driver side as well.
Okay, next we're gonna be installing the foam tape for the underside of this bed rail, and what I like do is just put it up to the end here. I don't have that large of a wingspan here, so I'm gonna go right there, and then continue to the end, take my marker, mark it off right there, and then using a utility knife, cut it. I'm gonna use a little bit more of a sturdy, flat surface. Peel it back, get the tape off, you can start here. And while removing the tape, the backing on the backside of the foam tape, lay it nice and flat and even, lining up with this edge right here. This is gonna reduce all the vibrations inside, and protect your bed rail from any scrapes and scuffs. Just like that and it's perfect. And we're gonna repeat that for the passenger side as well. Okay. Now, on the passenger side gonna do the same steps. Take your tape, start at the end there, using a nice, sharp utility knife, and it's okay to have a little extra.
Okay. Next up, you're gonna wanna make sure your belt rails are to the front of your box right here, and then you're gonna take your clamps, there's gonna be two for each side, and I like to put them one closer to the front of the box and one towards the tailgate, take a 9/16 drive and just cinch it down. Yeah. And then you wanna keep it somewhat loose so there's a little bit of room for adjustment, and then at the end we're gonna go back around and snug them all up. So, moving towards the back of the truck, you're gonna take your next clamp. Again, like I said, I like to keep them pretty well spaced, this one being halfway between the wheel well and the tailgate, and then just tighten it down. And as the description said, this is a no-drill bed mount system. Okay. And then we're gonna do the same process on the driver side. Making sure your belt rail system is flush with the front of the box here, you're gonna take your clamp, same process that we just did on the passenger side, hand tighten it down, and just snug it up a little bit. And then moving towards the back of the truck, I like to go between the bed and the wheel well here. Okay. Perfect.
Okay. Next, we're gonna be taking our front bow and a bow coupler, installing it right there, it doesn't install with any hardware. You're gonna be placing it right up here. Okay. Next, we're gonna be installing these bow tie down straps on the bow itself. And they do have a little bit of a flex, a little stretch to them, but just slip it through, and then put it back in your clevis pin, and secure it down with your pin. We're gonna be doing the same thing on the driver side. Okay. Again, we're gonna be installing the bow tie down strap on the front bow itself. Go back through your clevis pin, and secure it with the clip. Okay. Next, we're gonna be installing the elastic garter to the rearmost bow on both sides. So, just go over that first snap there, and we can make sure they're in the right place when we put the top on itself. So, again, this is going on the rearmost bow, on both the driver and passenger side. Next step is to take your bow adapter, put it on this side, same on that. It should look just like that.
Okay. Next up, we're gonna be installing our rear bow to our rail mount system here. Make sure it's lined up nice, and put your pin in to secure it. Okay. So, the next step is to install this heavy duty hook strip, so it's just a really heavy duty Velcro, and I already cleaned the surface that we're mounting this to, and you're gonna wanna allow 72 hours for this to properly cure and set, and you're gonna be doing the whole front of the box here. So, again, it's just like the padding underneath the bed rails. Gonna find your measurement, mark it with a pen here, and then cut along your line. Now, you're gonna wanna go every one to two inches, because this stuff, like I said, is pretty heavy duty, and it's gonna stick very good. Go about every one to two inches, make sure you're pressing very firmly to get that to seat right, and take your time. Because this truck is gonna be going go 70, 80 miles an hour down the highway, this is what the front of that soft top is going to be attached to.
Okay. So, this is the front of the top, this will be facing the rear of the cab. And you can see these two indents right here, these are actually for the buckle strap to pass through. Now, they're not cut from the factory, so you do have to use your utility knife and cut from edge to edge, and there it is there. And what that will allow you to do is pass your buckle strap right through it. And what this is for is when the vehicle's top is in the stowed position, you can strap it all together. Then, we're gonna repeat the same process for the one up here. Now, you're gonna wanna make sure you're on a flat, level surface, and again, it's gonna require two passes to get through, and you can hear it there, there we go, and then pass your buckle strap right through.
Okay. The next step is to take the front of the top, place the front of the top over the rear bow, set it back down, and then set the whole top carefully on top of your cab. Okay. With the top on top of your cab, you'll have easy access to the snaps right underneath here, and just start snapping away. Pretty heavy duty here. All right. Next step is you're gonna take these soft top and bring it over the center hoop and the rear hoop, and then working from the rear to the middle here with the clasps here, just like that. And then, again, you're gonna be working with the clasps on the backside of the rear bow. And then before you get to the middle, just step out of the bed of the truck, make sure everything looks even. Okay. And then just make sure you clamp these all up, and then move towards the center. These ones are every other, so there's gonna be one on the inside, and then one on the outside, just like that.
Okay. The next step is to make sure that your front bow is set into this rear hook right here, I'm gonna do the same thing on the other side. Okay. And then you're gonna locate your other side of the Velcro right here, and just set it down onto the heavy duty Velcro that you laid down in the last steps. Go all the way down, be sure to not make too many adjustments. Okay. Now that we have the Velcro inside the bed set, you'll see the plastic on the inside of the top here, and the lip underneath the bed rail, that just slides right underneath it. And don't worry about how tight it is, when we get to the back, that'll put tension right on this front bow and make everything look nice and tight and the way it should be. And we're gonna repeat this process on the driver side. Okay. Again, the plastic goes right underneath the rail and slips up, just like that.
The next step is gonna require us to put a lot of tension on the top here. So, this is a good chance to tighten up your clamps, I already did this on the passenger side, just snugging them up on the driver's. All right. Okay. The best way to get the corner onto the rear of the bed rail is to grab the top of the rear bow and bring it down, just like that. Okay. Again, the best way to get the corner of the rear of the top to the corner of the bed here is to grab on the rear bow and slip it in like that. And then there is also the plastic rail here that goes underneath the rail as well, just like that. Okay. Bestop did include this nice third brake light for you, so we're gonna put it into place here, mark our holes with a pen, and then with an eighth-inch drill bit you're going to drill just a hole right here, making sure not to go to the other side, and you're gonna be drilling two holes, just like that.
Okay. Now, with your holes drilled, I took the sticky tape off, I'm gonna put the screw through, and with your impact, locate that hole. All right. That one's in. All right. Now that we have the right-hand side self-tapper in, we're gonna go ahead and start the left. Make sure your wires are out of the way. Make sure you can find and locate the hole that you pre-drilled. All right. There it is. Okay. You see this J-hook right here, this is what is gonna secure our rear window to the back of the truck. And what you're gonna do is pull down pretty firmly, and you can actually hear it engaging, and we're gonna continue this all the way down to the passenger side of the truck.
All right. The next step is you're gonna wanna put this bulb seal on your tailgate bar, and you wanna start right at the end here, and continue working down, and make sure it's evenly seated on that whole bar. Okay. Okay. The next step is you'll see this channel here and the tube that's attached to the rear of the top here, the rear glass, you're gonna slide that through all the way to the other side of the top. And then when you're done, it should look just like that.
Okay. The next step is to install your zipper here, and you're gonna wanna have a little patience to get to the right angle to start your zipper, just like that. Okay. Again, moving onto the passenger side, bring your zipper up all the way to the top position, make sure that the zipper is seated in the top position, and then bring it down.
Okay. Next, we're gonna be installing our side windows, making sure you have the right side, you'll see the Bestop logo is gonna be towards the rear. Now, I'm gonna start by orientating my zippers in the downward position, because that's where they will zip up from. And you'll see the J-hooks at the top, that J-hook is gonna be going to the one at the top there, and it's gonna clip right in, just like that. Pull down a little bit, just to make sure it's seated correctly. And, I like to get my hand behind here so I can grab the lip on the top, just like that. There's gonna be two more towards the front.
Okay. Now that you have your J-hooks fastened on the top, you're gonna move on to the zippers on the bottom. Just like a coat zipper, you wanna make sure that the bottom is seated, and then just go up with it. Now, this also has a J-hook towards the bottom, it's gonna require a little bit of tension. Just go down, keep going until you reach... Okay. Now, with the J-hooks on the bottom and the top secured, we can move on to our zippers. This needs to shift down just a little bit, there is a little bit of play fore and aft. And if you're having a little bit of a tough time, do this on a bright, sunny day, with the sun shining on it, and it'll make it a little loose, a little more malleable. We're gonna repeat the process on passenger side.
All right. That's gonna wrap up my install of the Bestop soft topper. For all things F-150, keep it here at americantrucks.com.