Dual cab access to cargo area

Submitted: Monday, Feb 27, 2017 at 14:57
ThreadID: 134374 Views:3340 Replies:10 FollowUps:21
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I am in the process of deciding on a new tow vehicle (dual cab) which will probably see the deal done in the latter half of this year.
Ford Ranger and the Hilux (new model) lead the field with an Isuzu a very close third.
Anyway, regardless of which brand gets the nod, access to the load area will be a very important concern. As per the thread about roller floor accessories, I am leaning towards a tray back rather than the style side, tub, well body or whatever they are called.
As far as appearance goes I must admit the appearance is better with the tub but access with a tray with aluminium storage boxes or a custom made aluminium canopy with doors as required and probably front and rear windows seems a much more practical option.

Any forum members with either option care to comment for or against ?????

Cheers
Pop
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Reply By: Baz - The Landy - Monday, Feb 27, 2017 at 15:44

Monday, Feb 27, 2017 at 15:44
The aluminium canopy on the chassis has worked well for us, and being custom made allows other options.

Good luck with the project,

Cheers, Baz
AnswerID: 608968

Reply By: Member - mark D18 - Monday, Feb 27, 2017 at 17:17

Monday, Feb 27, 2017 at 17:17
pop

Yep have to agree with Bazz , an aluminium tray is the way to go .

And I think they looks heaps better as well and are a easier to store and organise your load .

Cheers
AnswerID: 608973

Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Monday, Feb 27, 2017 at 19:28

Monday, Feb 27, 2017 at 19:28
Thanks guys, Fortunately my son in law has a good mate who does the type of work that would make knocking up to order whatever I needed in the way of a canopy a breeze. Whether that is for a tub or tray body. At mates rates too....LOL.

The only qualms I have is that in all likelyhood this will be the last new car I buy for touring so whatever I go with is going to be around, hopefully, for some time and I don't want to stuff it up.

Cheers
Pop
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Follow Up By: AlbyNSW - Wednesday, Mar 01, 2017 at 19:47

Wednesday, Mar 01, 2017 at 19:47
Agree also that a tray back with a gull wing canopy is the best way to go.
Apart from much easier access you get 1m2 extra floor space and no wheel arches with a tray
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FollowupID: 878819

Reply By: Kazza055 - Monday, Feb 27, 2017 at 18:31

Monday, Feb 27, 2017 at 18:31
Have a D-Max with SMM Steel Canopy and Outback drawers.

I sit a 40L Engel and 32L Waeco in the drawers when touring which still leaves about half the drawer depth for storage.

The canopy has lift up windows that allow good access via the sides.

Was originally looking at a Ranger but was sold on the Isuzu reliability.
AnswerID: 608982

Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Monday, Feb 27, 2017 at 19:19

Monday, Feb 27, 2017 at 19:19
Kazza,

I'm assuming you are talking about a well/tub body, yes/no??

While I don't consider myself to be inflicted with ducks disease, at around 5' 9" I'm no giant. Looking or reaching in over the sides of any of the dual cabs is a bit of a stretch. Add a canopy with side windows and I would need a step stool to reach anything in the middle. A drawer system would certainly help but at the expense of some load space, hence the consideration of a tray instead.

Thanks for replying.

Cheers
Pop
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FollowupID: 878725

Follow Up By: Kazza055 - Monday, Feb 27, 2017 at 19:44

Monday, Feb 27, 2017 at 19:44
Yes Pop, it is a ute tub.

I am around 5' 10" and can easily reach in via the canopy windows to get items even with the GVM upgrade that gives me about a 40mm lift.

Any heavy objects usually go in via the tailgate.

I was thinking of originally going for an aluminium setup but am more than happy with the end result.
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FollowupID: 878728

Reply By: lizard - Monday, Feb 27, 2017 at 20:01

Monday, Feb 27, 2017 at 20:01
Our Dmax LST only came with a tub , I would have preferred a tray - but am happy with tub - made my own draws to allow access - one thing to remember is that a tub has the floor between the wheels - so it has that storage room available that a tray doesn't (tray floor is a few inches above wheels)
AnswerID: 608991

Reply By: Supersi - Monday, Feb 27, 2017 at 20:08

Monday, Feb 27, 2017 at 20:08
Pop, also consider the dust sealing of each option. The ute tub with a fibreglass canopy might not be dust free - based on various reports on the forums.

A good quality alloy canopy with gull wing type doors will give you great access and be dust free.

I'm biased, I have an alloy canopy from Concept Canopies in Brisbane.

AnswerID: 608993

Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Monday, Feb 27, 2017 at 21:08

Monday, Feb 27, 2017 at 21:08
Yes, good point about dust sealing. I must admit the utes with tub bodies I have looked at so far just have the tailgate without a seal. I have heard that you can get car door type seals to fit but it seems that some are happy and others not so much, going by reports on forums.

Cheers
Pop
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Follow Up By: Kazza055 - Monday, Feb 27, 2017 at 21:54

Monday, Feb 27, 2017 at 21:54
I went to Clark Rubber and purchased 4 metres of 25x20 rubber seal, more than enough to seal the tailgate.

Most of the fibreglass canopies just sit on the rim of the ute tub, the SMM Steel Canopy wraps over the edge and down the sides about 20mm creating a very tight seal.
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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Monday, Feb 27, 2017 at 22:05

Monday, Feb 27, 2017 at 22:05
Tail Gate Seals
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Follow Up By: noggins - Monday, Feb 27, 2017 at 22:13

Monday, Feb 27, 2017 at 22:13
Put 2 scupper type vents in the roof of the canopy and any dust is pushed out by pressurizing the canopy



This is a home made one I had on the Ranger canopy.
Never any dust or fuel smell in there after fitting them

Ron
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Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Tuesday, Feb 28, 2017 at 10:42

Tuesday, Feb 28, 2017 at 10:42
Thanks for the reply Ron. I have seen those air scoops on some of the canopies, I wasn't sure how effective they would be. I guess they would need to be able to admit enough air under some small amount of pressure to counteract the partial vacuum created at the rear by the movement of the vehicle.
I was also unsure about how much dust they may cause to be ingested if traveling along a gravel/dirt track either following another car, or cars passing in the opposite direction.
I guess if that was a problem, some sort of filtration could be fitted up.

Cheers
Pop
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Follow Up By: noggins - Tuesday, Feb 28, 2017 at 20:39

Tuesday, Feb 28, 2017 at 20:39
With the scupper vent make sure you don't fit the Muller as they're designed to extract the air, which would only create more suction at the tailgate

Ron
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Reply By: Sigmund - Tuesday, Feb 28, 2017 at 08:13

Tuesday, Feb 28, 2017 at 08:13
My brother bought a Ranger twin cab ute and put a canopy on the tub and drawers in it.

After a while it gave him the sh*ts - all the leaning in the side windows over the high sill and getting dirty off the body. And leaning over the tailgate. At considerable loss he turfed the tub and put a tray/canopy on.
AnswerID: 609004

Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Tuesday, Feb 28, 2017 at 11:02

Tuesday, Feb 28, 2017 at 11:02
Thanks for your comments Sigmund.

I guess in a nutshell what your brother experienced is what I am trying to avoid.

As I said in my original post, from purely an aesthetic point of view I would settle on the tub with canopy approach. However as I will have to live with my choice for a few years to come I don't want access to be such a PIA that I regret it in future travels.

Like all of us, I'm not getting any younger....(;=((

Cheers
Pop
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Reply By: Alloy c/t - Tuesday, Feb 28, 2017 at 10:33

Tuesday, Feb 28, 2017 at 10:33
Have a look at the 'factory' accessories available on the new Hilux , the have a full slide out bed tray that can then still be fitted with draw systems...
AnswerID: 609011

Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Tuesday, Feb 28, 2017 at 11:05

Tuesday, Feb 28, 2017 at 11:05
I picked up brochures on the various vehicles on my list but didn't see that in the Hilux one. Better have a closer look.

Cheers
Pop
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Reply By: Motherhen - Tuesday, Feb 28, 2017 at 22:51

Tuesday, Feb 28, 2017 at 22:51
We purchased and F250 (tub) with a fibreglass canopy - not easy access. We should have done what many others have done, dispensed with the tub and got a tray back. A custom built canopy with lift up sides on the tray is far more useful and easier to access contents.
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Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Wednesday, Mar 01, 2017 at 13:21

Wednesday, Mar 01, 2017 at 13:21
Hi MH,

The last ute I owned with a tub body was an early model Holden so much lower and narrower. At my 5' 9" and probably shrinking, I wouldn't even try to reach in over the sides of an F truck. If you and "The Rooster" are 6 ft or over it may have been ok but with my fast deteriorating back....forget it..lol. My current Land Cruiser ute came, as per most of them, with a tray back and drop sides. Probably not the most attractive looking combo but easy to work with hence my inquiry about the two options. My working from the back of a ute days are well and truly over but I still don't want something that makes me wish I had gone for the less schmick looking vehicle and didn't.

Cheers
Pop
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Wednesday, Mar 01, 2017 at 13:52

Wednesday, Mar 01, 2017 at 13:52
Hi Pop - I need to take a step ladder LOL. With the fibreglass canopy, the only way was for me to crawl in from the back. My husband chose to try a ute lid instead, however this limited packing space, nowhere to sleep when camping away from the caravan, and access at the front where the lifted lid is still low, even more difficult for me to wriggle under.

A tray back with both sides lifting up would be user friendly.

Here is a sophisticated one set up on an F250, but the overall weight was heavy.

As an example of a simple and easy to access canopy plucked from Google see Ute Canopy
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Reply By: greybeard - Wednesday, Mar 01, 2017 at 00:20

Wednesday, Mar 01, 2017 at 00:20
Had a couple of dual cabs over the years, currently an MK triton. Every time I say that I'll never buy another one with a well body and I stupidly ignore my own advise.
My knees, back etc are constantly reminding me of the absurdity of buying a well body ute. The current one had a canopy with sliding windows that I refitted with lift up windows. It's an improvement but you've still got the height of the well body and the problem of having to reach in/over and/or crawl into the back of the ute to access anything. Utopia would be a large lazy Susan so you could access all of the storage in a convenient manner.
I'd strongly suggest going with a tray back with side opening doors.
AnswerID: 609031

Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Wednesday, Mar 01, 2017 at 13:30

Wednesday, Mar 01, 2017 at 13:30
G'day gb,

I must admit that the more I think about it, and going by the replies I have had from yourself and others, it's pretty hard to build a case for a tub/well body from a user friendly perspective.
I still reckon the well body wins from a looks point of view but how long before the nice looks takes second place every time my back reminds me that I'm not getting any younger.

Now all I have to do is convince the OB&T about the practical aspects. (;=))

Cheers
Pop
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FollowupID: 878799

Reply By: 9900Eagle - Wednesday, Mar 01, 2017 at 14:02

Wednesday, Mar 01, 2017 at 14:02
Pop, I have a fibreglass canopy on mine and I do find it difficult to access the top of the roller draws when it comes to heavier items. Dust isn't a problem as I have a vent and tailgate seal.

I place plastic cube boxes on top of my roller draws and I have made an aluminium handle that both pushes them in and retrieves them. I have a roll out drop down slide for the fridge so that isn't a problem.

All in all, I would probably go for a tray back and alloy canopy if I bought a another ute.
AnswerID: 609047

Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Wednesday, Mar 01, 2017 at 15:51

Wednesday, Mar 01, 2017 at 15:51
Thanks Eagle,

Yeah I think the decision is pretty much in favour of the tray with canopy from any practical point of view.

For those that have gone with the well/tub style and are happy with it all good. We all have different needs and as long as what ever we each have works for the individual so be it.

My thanks to all of you who took the time and effort to reply.

(:=))

Cheers
Pop
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FollowupID: 878805

Follow Up By: 9900Eagle - Wednesday, Mar 01, 2017 at 20:08

Wednesday, Mar 01, 2017 at 20:08
Pop, just a couple of things I should have mentioned if I was going flat bed. Try and keep the weight of the aluminium canopy down and make sure it is easy to remove, so the tray can be used as intended.

One thing is my roller draws have a flat top and I have put a quarter of a tonne on top of them with no problem. Guess that depends who made the draws.

If you don't intend to carry others around consider a single cab or if you carry others for a short distance, maybe think about an extra cab.

Hope you choose the right combination that suits. From someone that is doing a little fewer K's each year with a smilie face inserted.

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FollowupID: 878823

Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Wednesday, Mar 01, 2017 at 20:31

Wednesday, Mar 01, 2017 at 20:31
G'day Eagle,

As I said in an earlier post I am fortunate to have access to a bloke, actually a good mate of my son in law, who has done work for me in the past. A very talented guy who makes all sorts of aluminium and steel canopies, tool boxes and a heap of other sheet metal work. Good rate too (;=))

I doubt I would need to remove any sort of canopy so when the time comes in the latter half of this year I might just do the maths of getting a tray with the vehicle and having him build a canopy on that, or forego the tray all together and get him to build something that mounts direct to the chassis.

As far as the basic configuration goes my personal choice would be an extended cab rather than a dual cab. However grandma seems to be of the opinion that our grand kids should be carted around from time to time. More negotiation required on that front....lol. Actually I don't have a problem with a dual cab anyway but don't tell her that.

Cheers
Pop
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FollowupID: 878825

Follow Up By: Gramps - Wednesday, Mar 01, 2017 at 22:16

Wednesday, Mar 01, 2017 at 22:16
"However grandma seems to be of the opinion that our grand kids should be carted around from time to time."

You're not alone in that predicament LOL

Regards
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FollowupID: 878833

Follow Up By: Mark - Sunday, Mar 05, 2017 at 16:33

Sunday, Mar 05, 2017 at 16:33
i'm also looking into a new Ute with Aluminium canopy and currently the DMAX is looking like my preference. I did ask if i could by a cab chassis but I think you can only get a tub or tray and interestingly the tray was around 3k more, I'd not be using it in any case as the mob (Norweld) I intend to use can fit their canopy straight to the chassis with a kit it seems and overall lighter than their unit that sits on top of the tray version.
One thing to consider is they recommend a GVM upgrade as the canopy is over 300kg and when you load it up with gear, fridges and carry 4 people it can exceed GVM. If buying new it seems that the best option is to get a GVM upgrade done before rego by someone like ARB as otherwise it cost $$ to get the rego redone (blue slip?) afterwards.
You may not need a GVM upgrade if a home built unit but worth keeping in mind if the weight creeps up.
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FollowupID: 878964

Follow Up By: 9900Eagle - Sunday, Mar 05, 2017 at 18:35

Sunday, Mar 05, 2017 at 18:35
Mark, you can buy a cab chassis D-max and if I was you, I would go to another dealer in Townsville if they don't want to play the game. Isuzu might be interested in why a dealers can't supply a cab chassis. Makes it look like they want to use someone else to supply a body or get a better return on the sale.
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FollowupID: 878970

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