Steel or Alloy Canopy on a L/C 79 cab Chassis ?

Submitted: Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 11:35
ThreadID: 100015 Views:5727 Replies:9 FollowUps:4
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I presently have a heavy gauge steel canopy on my 79 RV L/C which is a little worse for wear due to collision damage.
In thinking of a replacement & I wonder whether an alloy canopy would handle the stresses from chassis flex in off road situations.
If so the weight advantage would be very helpful.
Any thoughts on this?
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Reply By: GEMAC Solar and Power - Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 11:40

Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 11:40
Hi Ross

I have seen a few Tradie utes with these on.
As well I had one manufactured for the rear of the van. Made to my specs

http://www.toolboxcentre.com.au

Regards

Geoff
AnswerID: 502681

Reply By: Mick O - Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 13:28

Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 13:28
Ross,

I have a dual pod system on my 79 series ute, both of which are constructed entirely of Aluminium. They have been pounded constantly over my outback expeditions and have performed exceptionally well. I have experience a little fatigue cracking on the edges of an interior wall. This was the wall that the two spare tyres were mounted two so would have experienced excessive vibration, particularly when the tyres were flat (allowing a bit of movement than ususal). As you have indicated, the weight savings were well worth it. I actually have a Steel/Alli tray as well. Steel frames with aluminium tread plate screwed down as a floor. Saved weight and allows me to get access to the tanks etc built into the tray.


Building the off-roader



Cheers Mick
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trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
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Follow Up By: AlbyNSW - Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 19:16

Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 19:16
Mick not wanting to go off topic but I am making a steel tray with aly tread plate floor at the moment for my cruiser
I was planing on bedding the floor down in sikaflex and screwing as well but as you pointed out it would be good to be able to access under tray for maintenance
Did you just fix it down direct with self drilling screws or another method?
Thanks
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FollowupID: 779235

Follow Up By: Mick O - Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 20:08

Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 20:08
Alby, I've used nut-certs in the frame. The screw is a wide headed phillips fine thread that sits flush. When I put them in for the first time, we gave a pretty good spray of fishoil into the tubing of the tray frame and then screwed the nuts down with of squirt of silicone in the thread for waterproofness. Man I'm glad we screwed it down as I've had the floor out several times to get to the water tank hoses and also replace and later bypass the pump. Don't be afriad to use plenty of screws.

Cheers Mick
''We knew from the experience of well-known travelers that the
trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
Richard Maurice - 1903

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Follow Up By: AlbyNSW - Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 20:53

Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 20:53
Thanks for the heads up Mick, I have a nutsert gun so will do that

Cheers Alby
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Reply By: bluefella - Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 14:26

Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 14:26
G'day Ross
have a look at the website for lowline canopies, i had one, could not fault it for strength, the roof rack is intergrated with box steel frame of canopy, alluminium outer skin, all sorts of different configerations.
AnswerID: 502695

Follow Up By: TrevorDavid - Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 17:33

Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 17:33
Ditto for the Lowline canopy, had mine for ten years now no problems what so ever.

Regards

TDB
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Reply By: Member - Rosco from way back - Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 18:56

Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 18:56
G'day Ross

Check outhttp://apvtechcentre.com/vehicle
We have one and whilst we have not had a chance to subject it to the rigours of offroad as yet, I'm fairly confident of the outcome. They are always busy making them for Powerlink and the mines etc so that says something.
They're not cheap, but nothing good ever is.
AnswerID: 502724

Reply By: AlbyNSW - Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 19:22

Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 19:22
Ross I have a sheet alloy gullwing canopy that has seen plenty of offroad work and very happy with how it is holding up
I can recommend a custom fabricator in Windsor who made mine and a couple of mates since if you need it.
AnswerID: 502726

Reply By: Member - Mary W NW VIC - Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 20:29

Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 20:29
Check out ebay there's a very nice one ending soon.No personal interest to me
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AnswerID: 502736

Reply By: Barry 2 - Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 23:00

Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 23:00
Hi Ross
I have a 2006 L/C Tray originally had a steel canopy but now a Aluminium canopy with gull wing side and rear doors saved about 200kg compared to steel canopy.
Also have Aluminium tray and 4 x Aluminium tool boxes under tray travelled all over the high country, Vic, plenty of chassis twisting up there no problems so far.
As already mentioned about spare wheel mounting and the weight / stress I have my spare wheels located at front of Canopy in separate compartment with no floor in canopy allowing spare tyres to sit on tray and are held in place by ratchet straps so that there isn't any stress on mounting points taking the weight of the spare inflated or flat.
IMHO Alumimium is great. Good luck with it.

Safe Travels
Barry - Southern Cross Dreaming.
AnswerID: 502748

Reply By: Member - GRANT HID(NSW) - Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 at 09:10

Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 at 09:10
Hi Ross,
I have had 2 steel canopies and on the 2nd ally.The ally ones are much lighter but if built the right way you shouldn't have any issues with stressing.
We have had ours through the cape,GRR,Hay River,simpson etc with no problems at all.The spare wheels mounted on the back with both ally units.
Each time i have 1 built you always make changes and internal improvements.All racking for plastic tubs is fabricated from aluminium from floor to roof and a lot of the expanda aluminium mesh giving a lot of strength for not much weight.I even stand the mesh off the roof by 15mm to be able to mount fishing rods spare parts tent poles etc.
You wont look back getting rid of the weight.

Grant
AnswerID: 502767

Reply By: Member - Ross N (NSW) - Friday, Jan 18, 2013 at 09:42

Friday, Jan 18, 2013 at 09:42
Many thanks to all who contributed advice. All good material.
It looks like I will go the Alloy route.
Now to select a fabricator.
AnswerID: 502840

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