It is a good idea to check any used camper shell for leaks, especially if the purchase is still pending. Some leaks may be minor, while others may be expensive or impossible to repair.
Leaks can be caused by damage to the body of the shell or deterioration around the windows or seams. It can also be caused by a camper shell that does not fit the bed correctly, allowing water to leak in where the shell meets the truck. Not all leaks are impossible to fix, but the ease and expense of the repair varies.
Window seal problems can be among the most difficult and expensive to repair, especially if the window is actually coming apart from the frame. Minor cracks or other damage to metal shells can sometimes be fixed with Leak Stopper or another rubberized repair material.
Leaks caused by fitting issues can be a problem in F150s because the shape of the bed has changed several times over the years. Trucks manufactured from 1997 to 2003 have a bed that is wider near the cab then at the tailgate, so a rectangular shell may not fit correctly. Special edition F150s, such as the Superduty and Heritage Edition, may be shaped differently than other F150s made in the same year. Buying a used shell from a reputable dealer can help buyers make sure they get the right version.