Canvas or PVC for ute canopy?

Submitted: Thursday, Mar 21, 2013 at 11:41
ThreadID: 101223 Views:11038 Replies:7 FollowUps:10
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Hi everyone,

I am in a position to get a Canvas or PVC canopy made up for my ute.
I already have a steel frame made up and it already has a Colorbond roof and front on it so I am only enclosing the sides and rear.
I don't know which will be the best material to use and I am hoping I can get some good feedback from others that may have used or seen both in the field.

We love our camping and we get away as much as possible but our main trip this year is the Finke Desert Race and I want something suitable before then.

I guess im just after opinions and thoughts on the two materials.

The guy quoting this for me can do both and he is steering me towards PVC for the fact than you can just wash it down with soapy water and be done with it. It also wont ignite if any embers get in it from a fire.

Would love to hear your thoughts.

Cheers.
Martin

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Reply By: Member - Broodie H3 - Thursday, Mar 21, 2013 at 11:57

Thursday, Mar 21, 2013 at 11:57
go for the PVC had it on one of my utes for a couple of years , and no problems, no rips and no hassles packing it up wet and airing out later. Easy to keep looking reasonable after dirt roads. I hope you find this useful. and that is my biased opinion.lol
Broodie H3
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Reply By: Member - DereelGirl - Thursday, Mar 21, 2013 at 12:11

Thursday, Mar 21, 2013 at 12:11
Hi Martin, Go for the PVC. I had canvas on my ute and the dog used to sleep and travel in the back, the canvas got very mouldy on the inside and very smelly from the dog & just rotted and fell apart.
Cheers
Robyn
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Follow Up By: Member - MUZBRY(Vic) - Thursday, Mar 21, 2013 at 12:26

Thursday, Mar 21, 2013 at 12:26
Gday Dereelgirl
And i would bet just about anything that the dog didn't care as long as it was with you....

Muzbry
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Follow Up By: Member - DereelGirl - Thursday, Mar 21, 2013 at 17:52

Thursday, Mar 21, 2013 at 17:52
You could be right there. She loved sticking her head out and having the feeling of wind around her ears, it reminded me of the flying nun with her ears at right angles to her head.
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Follow Up By: garry r - Thursday, Mar 21, 2013 at 19:12

Thursday, Mar 21, 2013 at 19:12
Go for the pvc but make sure it is uv syabilised otherwise it may shrink a little. Just remember the pvc material is about 3times the cost of the canvas, but you get what you pay for. I have pvc tarps for waterproof factor and yes there is considerable weight to it compared to canvas. Canvas when wet will weep eventually, and is also heavy when wet. You need to dry canvas throughly before packing it away, where as pvc is a little more forgiving over a short period of time.
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Reply By: Member - Scooby (WA) - Thursday, Mar 21, 2013 at 12:28

Thursday, Mar 21, 2013 at 12:28
Hi Martin,
Had PVC on my Hillux for 10 years. Just sold the vehicle and the PVC was still OK, the colour (blue) had faded a bit, there were a couple of small holes from sharp branches and the zips were a bit hard to do up because of slight shinkage. If you get the heavy duty PVC as used on trucks you won't be sorry.
Regards
Scooby
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Reply By: Martin Gladwin - Thursday, Mar 21, 2013 at 13:28

Thursday, Mar 21, 2013 at 13:28
Thank you for your input guys, will help me make my decision.

Keep the opinions coming though!
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Reply By: Flighty ( WA ) - Thursday, Mar 21, 2013 at 13:29

Thursday, Mar 21, 2013 at 13:29
Martin.
Have had canvas on 3 of my vehicles over the past 15 odd years, but purely my own choice.
Would maybe think about a few issues with either product, before choosing.
Are you going to sleep in there? or simply store in there? as condensation may pose a problem with colorbond roof.
Is water going to evaporate easily with PVC? or will you have a venting arrangement built in to it?
Only my 2 bobs worth but something to think about I guess.
Cheers
Paul

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Follow Up By: Martin Gladwin - Thursday, Mar 21, 2013 at 14:15

Thursday, Mar 21, 2013 at 14:15
Hi Paul,
The canopy is for storage only, we have an Oz-Tent to sleep in.
Will be running a fridge in there and also my deep cycle battery is in there but its a sealed AGM battery so shouldn't be a problem. The rest of the things will just be our camping equipment, fire wood sometimes etc.
I will be running two vents in the Colorbond front panel to give it the internal pressure (when driving) to try and reduce dust in the back.

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Reply By: craigandej - Thursday, Mar 21, 2013 at 13:54

Thursday, Mar 21, 2013 at 13:54
Hi, had canvas on my 'cruiser canopy. Roof and all sides. Never leaked, we travelled and slept for 2 years with 2 dogs this way. BUT....... was great living in the Red Centre and inland NSW, however then we moved to Far North Coast NSW and it went black with mould within six months.

Cheers
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Follow Up By: Martin Gladwin - Thursday, Mar 21, 2013 at 14:16

Thursday, Mar 21, 2013 at 14:16
I am in the Adelaide Hills so humidity shouldn't be a problem.
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Reply By: graham B9 - Thursday, Mar 21, 2013 at 22:23

Thursday, Mar 21, 2013 at 22:23
Hi Martin,

PVC is better but it will not be the PVC that will give way first. So you need the following:

The PVC should be between 650GSM and 850 GSM. Less than this bracket and it will flap in the breeze but more than this will be very stiff and hard to use in colder weather. 850 is about he thickness of the side curtains you see on trucks these days.

The zip should be "spiral". There are 2 types of zip "Chunky" and of course "spiral". Spiral is better in the dust and smoother to operate. You should ask for "YKK" brand. It is the most expensive but the best. Lubricate the zip with Selleys "Easy Glide" and not silicone spray. The hardware salesman will tell you that easy glide is silicone spray and so it is but a different type. It does not leave a residue on the zip and therefore will not attract dust. Normal silicaone spray will.

The thread that is used sew up your cover should be UV stable and not just cotton thread (ie cheap threat). I like "Coats durabond". It is very strong and easy to waterproof as well. After you get your cover immediately coat the stiching with "Thompsons Waterseal". (get at Bunnings) It will make the thread swell and waterproof it. Also stops the dust getting into the thread and going brown. Now you are set and ready to go. As you might imagine I make covers.
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Follow Up By: Martin Gladwin - Friday, Mar 22, 2013 at 09:00

Friday, Mar 22, 2013 at 09:00
Thanks very much for your input Graham, lots of info for me to research! I will ask the guy im thinking of using some questions and let you know what he says.
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Follow Up By: Martin Gladwin - Friday, Mar 22, 2013 at 13:37

Friday, Mar 22, 2013 at 13:37
Graham the mob got back to me.
Their PVC is 650GSM which they said is pretty standard for ute canopies. He said if you went anything more you would struggle to roll it up etc.
They use spiral zips which is good. He didn't say brand though.
And the thread he said is UV stabilised etc and will hold up no worries.

They seem a pretty decent group and offer 12 months warranty on workmanship. No warranty on zips though which I think is pretty standard.

Also one question if you don't mind mate. How far below the top of the sideboards would you bring the PVC? They are telling me around 50mm is plenty and any more is just wasting money on extra material.

Would love to hear your opinion.
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Follow Up By: Rockape - Friday, Mar 22, 2013 at 14:30

Friday, Mar 22, 2013 at 14:30
Just a bit of info for you.
CRC put out a product called dry glide which is teflon based.
It also has a cure time and really works well.

RA.
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Follow Up By: graham B9 - Saturday, Mar 23, 2013 at 05:46

Saturday, Mar 23, 2013 at 05:46
That all sounds OK to me.
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Follow Up By: Uteski - Tuesday, Apr 23, 2013 at 10:31

Tuesday, Apr 23, 2013 at 10:31
Hi Graham,
I'm needing a new ute tarp for our BT50 - I really like your advice - can I ask where you work?
Cheers,
Kez
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