Shipping FAQ and Policy

Please read the entire Shipping FAQ and Policy below to understand the how GAIA Caps and Campers are shipped using LTL Freight. We need your help to ensure it is a smooth process.  Thank you.  If you have any questions, please contact us.

What do you charge to ship GAIA Truck Caps and Campers?

The actual cost of LTL freight shipping for these products is usually MUCH higher than the flat rate we are charging the customer. We are covering much of the cost in order to provide affordable shipping options to our customers.   

For each product, you can check the various shipping options available and their cost by putting the product into your cart on the website and following the checkout process.   However, the costs below are a general guideline (costs are subject to change at any time):

Truck Caps & Shadow Tops:  5ft, 5.5ft truck bed length:

  • $600 to Residential address
  • $500 to Commercial address without valid dock/forklift (requires lift-gate)
  • $400 to Carrier Truck Terminal or Commercial address with valid dock or forklift w/ extensions

Truck Cap: 6 & 6.5ft bed length:

  1. $600 to Commercial address with valid dock or forklift w/ extensions
  2. $600 to Carrier Truck Terminal for pickup with box truck or trailer
  3. $700 to Residential address with valid dock or forklift w/forklift
  4. Not available to Commercial address without valid dock/forklift
  5. Not available to Residential address

8ft Truck Caps and Truck Campers (any bed length)

  1. $900 to commercial address with valid dock or forklift w/ extensions
  2. $900 to carrier truck terminal for pickup with box truck or trailer
  3. Not Available to Residential address

LTL Freight (Semi Truck shipping on wood pallets or in a wood crate)

The following products are shipped using LTL Freight: Truck Caps, Truck Campers, Cap Lid & Track Kits

wood crate LTL Freight

Ground Shipping 

The following items are examples of smaller products shipped by UPS, FedEx, or USPS in a cardboard box via ground shipping:   accessories, crossbars, fabric, replacement parts etc. 

Packages that are returned to us by the U.S. Postal Service, UPS, or FedEx which are marked as "Unclaimed", "Return to Sender", "Attempted Unknown", "Refused", or "Invalid Street Address", will be credited back to the customer's credit card according to the Return Policy found in our Terms and Conditions, less the shipping and handling fees and restocking fee. Return shipping cost is the customer's responsibility. We do not keep credit card numbers on file so please ensure that you provide a valid phone number to receive a credit.

ups ground box

What is the difference and why does it matter? 

LTL Freight does not work the same as typical cardboard boxes shipped by UPS/FedEx or USPS that most people are familiar with. 

In order for your order to be shipped, you must read, understand and agree to the Freight Acknowledgment document that will be sent by email to you when you place your order.  WE CANNOT SHIP YOUR ORDER UNTIL YOU HAVE DONE THIS.

Who is the "carrier"?

The "Carrier" is another name for the trucking company who is carrying the freight. These are companies such as SAIA, Estes, XPO, Central Transport, YRC and so on.   We do NOT know ahead of time, which carrier will be selected for your order. In order to obtain more reasonable rates for our customers, we utilize a freight brokerage service that compares dozens of companies and current rates at the time the freight is actually booked and shipped. 

What is a loading dock?

A loading dock is is an area of a building where the LTL Freight is loaded and unloaded directly from the back of the semi truck. The dock is similar height to the truck deck, so the truck can back directly up to to the dock and the freight can be unloaded with the use of a pallet jack (aka hand truck).

loading dock pallet jack

What is a forklift and forklift extensions?

A forklift must be able to lift the freight from the back of the truck.  Please note that GAIA Caps and Campers are in very large crates with dimensions of 64x64 up to 60x102 inches.  Standard 42" long forklift forks are NOT long enough to safely lift this size freight without danger of damage, tipping etc.   We recommend that all receiving forlifts have fork extensions on hand.  These are inexpensive and can be purchased on Amazon for around $120 including shipping. 

forklift extensions

What is liftgate service? 

A liftgate is a mechanized lifting platform attached to the back of a delivery truck, which allows the freight to be lowered to the ground without the use of a loading dock or forklift.  For this service the carrier charges an additional fee. This is the main reason why residential (home) delivery of LTL freight costs more. 

liftgate service

What is "inside service"?

Inside Service means that the delivery driver will assist in moving the freight from the delivery point to your garage or other requested location using a pallet jack. This service is typically NOT available. If it is available, it comes with significant additional cost. 

inside service

Is my address Residential Or Commercial?

You may consider your address "commercial" but if the address is not a valid commercial address, it will be classified by the carrier as "residential" and higher rates may apply (and are the responsibility of the buyer, not GAIA USA). If you have any doubts while you are placing your order and selecting your shipping preferences, please contact us, or use the following United States Postal Service (USPS) website to validate your intended delivery address:

Step 1: Type in your address and view the results. 

Step  2: Scroll down to the detailed view of your address results. Look for the "RDI" (Residential Delivery Indicator) and see if your address is listed as "residential" or "Commercial". 

Step 3: select the appropriate type of delivery on the GAIA website during checkout.

Where will my LTL Freight be sent?

There are several options available for LTL Freight:

1. Home (Residential) Delivery $$$$

 All residential deliveries will be set up with lift gate service, with an appointment for delivery required.  The Carrier will contact you with the delivery appointment window

2. Commercial Delivery $$$

Option A: Commercial Delivery with a loading dock or forklift.  For example, a business or an installation shop such as a topper shop, overland outfitter, 4x4 or Auto shop etc. 

Note: If you are unable to unload the freight because your dock or forklift are not sufficient (for example you don't have forklift extensions) and the delivery truck must take the freight back, additional charges may be incurred and will be back charged to the customer. 

Option B: Commercial Delivery without a loading dock or forklift capable of unloading the freight - this is considered residential delivery. 

3. Truck Terminal (Carrier Terminal) $$

Each Truck Carrier has a truck "terminal" in all major cities and most reasonably large towns.   This is the most cost effective, the fastest, and the safest form of delivery. 

When the freight arrives at the truck terminal located near you, the carrier may contact you with the provided email and/or phone number to alert you the freight is ready for pick up.  However, they do not always call. Please monitor the tracking number and call the Terminal once you see it has arrived there.  Visit their will call during operational hours with your government issued ID and PRO Number and BOL Document, and pick up the freight.   

Please ensure you bring the appropriate vehicle and help to move the pallet or freight.  Note: the wood crate containing a truck cap is LARGER than the inside of your truck bed (the cap sits over your truck bed) and thus the crate likely cannot fit INSIDE your truck bed for transport.  In some cases, you may able set the crate from bedside to bedside and strap it down. Instead, it is recommended t borrow a larger truck, or to rent one.  It is inexpensive to rent a flatbed trailer from Uhaul or flatbed truck or trailer from most home depot's by the hour.

home depot flatbed truck

Don't forget to bring ratchet straps to secure the freight during transport.  We also recommend bringing a friend or two in case the terminal is not willing to load the crate/pallet by forklift. 

How will I know what terminal you will ship my freight to? 

We aim to use a cost effective carrier with a terminal as close as possible to your provided home address.  However, given the extremely large geographic area, traffic congestion in large cities, or remoteness of many addresses, it may be up to 1-2+ hours or more drive in some cases.  If the terminal is located more than 1 hour from your address we will contact you go over options and verify your choice prior to booking the shipment. 

Once the truck arrives at our warehouse and picks up the freight, that generates a PRO NUMBER (tracking number).  We will email you final shipping instructions including the delivery terminal address and contact information  as well as your Pro/Tracking number. The carrier will contact you directly once it arrives at your terminal.

What happens if there is damage or the freight is lost in shipping?

While it is uncommon for there to be damage or loss, it can happen. Therefore, it is EXTREMELY important that you follow the our guidelines for receiving the freight.  If you do not follow these steps, then it is highly likely that we will be unable to successfully recover any insurance claims against the carrier.  If we do not successfully recover insurance money because the guidelines were not followed, we cannot refund or replace the order.

How do I receive my freight?

Follow these simple freight receiving guidelines to protect yourself.  

  1. NEVER simply sign the delivery paperwork the delivery driver hands you!   Signing the paperwork essentially means “I accept it as-is with any damage external or internal”.  Do not let the driver rush you.  You have, by law, 15 minutes to externally inspect your freight. 
  1. Take several photos (or videos) of the freight as it arrives. Take them while the freight is on the truck, as it's being offloaded, and from all sides once it's on the ground.
  1. Inspect the exterior of your freight. Compare it to the photos provided by GAIA USA when we shipped your freight.  Write down on the delivery paperwork, ANY exterior damage you see.  Be specific and thorough. 
  1. Write “SUBJECT TO INTERNAL INSPECTION” on the delivery paperwork, no matter how good it looks on the outside.  If you do not write this, GAIA cannot help with any damage to the product you later discover. 
  1. Take Photo of the signed Bill of Lading (delivery paperwork) showing your notes. 
  1. You must open and inspect the freight within 48 hours of delivery. Failure to do so will result in any internal damage claims being denied.
  2. Carefully open the packaging/crate without destroying it. In the event the products must be shipped back, you will need the packaging/crate to ship it back.
  3. Within 48 hours, send any photos of damage to the packaging exterior, your signed BOL, or photos of internal damage to immediately so that we can file a claim within the allotted time frame given by the carrier. 

What is the Shipping Agreement?

The Shipping Agreement is a document that we send for your understanding and approval as a final check when your order is close to being shipped out. You will receive email with the Shipping Agreement attached after you place your order.  We cannot ship your order until we have received a singed copy of the Agreement from you.  You can read the complete Shipping Agreement below:

  1. Failure of the Buyer (customer) to follow these instructions and rules may result in GAIA USA being unable to help the Buyer with refunds, an exchange or replacement parts, returning the damaged product(s) and so on.  
  2. No refunds, exchanges, replacement parts/products, or return authorizations will be issued until the damaged freight claim has been paid in full to GAIA USA by the shipping insurance provider.  
  3. An insurance claim cannot be filed with the Carrier unless the Buyer has provided sufficient photo documentation of the damage and followed the proper steps outlined in this Agreement. 
  4. After the Carrier picks up the freight at our warehouse we will email the Buyer the Carrier’s BOL/PRO number. This number can be used by the Buyer to track the freight on the Carrier’s website. After the freight has left GAIA’s warehouse, the shipment is no longer within our control.  Only the carrier can provide information about delivery date, information about delays, coordination of delivery at the Buyer (or buyer’s representative) hours of operation, etc.   The Buyer is responsible for tracking their shipment. The terminal might NOT call you after it arrives.
  5. GAIA products are packaged in large wood crates or on large pallets. They may not fit inside your pickup and you may need to rent a trailer or make arrangements for pickup at the terminal. The crates are heavy and are not moveable by one person alone, we recommend you bring help.
  6. The Buyer is responsible for additional Carrier charges due to the following:
    1. If the Buyer does not pick up their order at the Truck Terminal within 3 days of arrival at the terminal and the Carrier charges storage fees. The Terminal may NOT call the Buyer when freight arrives. It is the responsibility of the Buyer to track their order and call the Terminal for pick up.
    2. If the Carrier charges for failed delivery attempts because the Buyer was not available or home to receive the freight.
    3. For residential delivery, the Carrier will contact the Buyer for a delivery appointment window. If the Buyer requests any additional changes to the delivery time or date, additional charges may apply. GAIA cannot control or dictate to the Carrier the delivery date, or delivery time of day.
    4. If the Buyer requests a change of address after receiving a shipment confirmation email from GAIA USA, the Buyer is responsible for any reconsignment fees and/or holding fees the Carrier charges due to the alternate delivery address or due to an en route address change.
    5. If the Buyer selects commercial delivery during online checkout, but the provided address is not recognized by the Carrier as “commercial”, additional fees may be charged by the Carrier and are the responsibility of the Buyer.  Refer to our website shipping page to use the USPS RDI tool to check your intended delivery address to see if it is considered residential or commercial. 
    6. If the Buyer directs the delivery driver to perform additional services during delivery such as “inside delivery”
    7. If the Buyer directs the delivery driver to use the liftgate to lower the freight but liftgate service was not selected and paid for by the Buyer when they ordered. 
    8. The Buyer is responsible for confirming a commercial delivery address or installer has the proper equipment to safely unload the freight. Any Carrier charges due to improper equipment such as lack of a loading dock or forklift (or forklift with forks too short to unload the freight) is the responsibility of the Buyer.
  7. See the GAIA Warranty page on our website, warranty covers product workmanship and materials defects, not shipping damage. 
  8. GAIA is not responsible for damages caused by the Buyer, or the buyer’s installer, during unloading of the freight, removing the packaging, or during installation or assembly of the product.   
  9. GAIA recommends that if the buyer has any doubts about their installer (and if they would admit fault should installation damage occur) that they participate in the unboxing and installation process.  GAIA WILL NOT COVER DAMAGES CAUSED BY THE INSTALLER DURING INSTALLATION.
  10. The Buyer has 48 hours from delivery to open and inspect the product inside the delivery packaging. Failure to do so will result in any shipping damage claims for internal damage being denied.
  11. The Buyer, or the Buyer’s representative (installer), must follow the Delivery Day Instructions shown below, or damage to the product during shipping may not be covered by the shipping insurance.