Aluminium Canopy build up

Submitted: Wednesday, May 23, 2018 at 16:45
ThreadID: 136748 Views:897 Replies:5 FollowUps:9
Hi all
Just bought a 3 door jack off alu canopy for the BT50, now the fun begins!
I know i want a drop down fridge slide, slide out kitchen and some drawers and of course water, spare fuel, electrics, shower? .....
But how has everyone tackled the issue of liftimg the fridge slide and drawers above the lip - there is about 70mm from floor of canopy to bottom of door opening.
What material have you used as a spacer/packer and how do you attach it to the canopy floor?
look forward to some great ideas
Thanks
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Reply By: Member - Scrubby (VIC) - Wednesday, May 23, 2018 at 19:53

Wednesday, May 23, 2018 at 19:53
I had a similar problem with my D-Max extra cab with a fibre glass canopy with a drop of about the same from the "door sill" to the floor of the tray, in the end I decided against having a drop down fridge slide that would need to be packed up to the sill height, and went for a lower profile fridge that I could leave inside the canopy and access it from the side easily. To be able to open the fridge and have the lid in or past a vertical position, the height when open needed to be no greater than 890 mm to avoid jamming my fingers against the roof of the canopy. The only two fridges that I could find of suitable size were a 61 ltr Everkool and a 50 ltr Trailblaza, for obvious reasons I bought the Trailblaza (another subject).
A piece of slotted angle attached to the floor across each end held with "Riv-nuts and Bolts" enables turn buckles from the fridge handles to the slotted angle to hold it solidly in position.
I don`t know where i`m going but i`m enjoying the journey.

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Reply By: Batt's - Thursday, May 24, 2018 at 01:02

Thursday, May 24, 2018 at 01:02
I went to an aluminium supplier/fabricator when I needed mine done we came up with this 3yrs ago. They welded each side of the 4 lengths of box alloy in place you can see that in the pics. They cut a 3mm plate for the top I fitted it and the fridge slide myself with flat head tec screws from Bunnings https://www.bunnings.com.au/zenith-10g-x-16mm-wafer-head-metal-screws-100-pack_p2408985

I had enough room up front to fit 2 batteries the base plates are held down with 4 x 8mm bolts also bought some cheap plastic CNC chain of the net form Hong Kong 1 mtr for $10 to run the fridge wire in. It's mounted on some angle only used 600mm but have added more since pic taken so it looks neater the good thing with it is you can take out or add links to suit.
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Follow Up By: lizard - Thursday, May 24, 2018 at 12:10

Thursday, May 24, 2018 at 12:10
Am going to get some CNC , what size did you get ? Link to site if possible - cheers
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Follow Up By: Batt's - Thursday, May 24, 2018 at 13:13

Thursday, May 24, 2018 at 13:13
Sorry don't have link to site our computer had problems last yr and lost everything except photos. Just have to google it the chain I have is 18mm x 14mm OD and around 10mm x 10mm ID I have twin core 6mm wire which is 9mm wide in it which is a good fit I cut the leading edge of the outer sheath on a slight taper so it went in without catching on anything.
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Follow Up By: Shaker - Thursday, May 24, 2018 at 13:25

Thursday, May 24, 2018 at 13:25
Heaps on eBay, search for CNC chain
"Jesus loves you"
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Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Thursday, May 24, 2018 at 22:39

Thursday, May 24, 2018 at 22:39
Kingy,

Wouldn't be hard to fabricate a false floor for all, or part of your canopy. If so, you can have loose sections in the floor where you could store heavy and little used items. Rather than a heavy drop slide, a better option is an upright fridge. An 80L Engel upright is only 5kgs heavier than a 40L Engel chest fridge. And regardless what many people think, all the cold air doesn't fall out when you open the door, because it's full of food, drinks etc.

Just be careful of weight, setting up your canopy. Aluminium might be light, but if you add enough of it, it becomes heavy! Things like lithium batteries, exxy I know, plastic drawers, and as little metal as possible keep weight down. You'll need to allow for water, fuel, beer, tucker & maybe some tools and parts.

Some years ago, we got an alloy camper made, and added plenty of options. It's got a double bed, drawers underneath, slide out kitchen, shelves, roof rack, & extra storage. When eventually weighed it, ute was well over GVM. These days we travel with bare essentials.

Bob

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Can't remember most of it.

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Follow Up By: Kingrat - Friday, May 25, 2018 at 14:48

Friday, May 25, 2018 at 14:48
Thanks Bob, agree about the weight issue. One option i am considering is something like the "wolf pack" army plastic boxes, light weight but strong. This may solve two problems-using the canopy for camping and using for work/exhibitions, just change the contents in boxes or better still have other boxes ready to go depending on use. Also thought about a basic slide for these to make them easier to get at.

Slide out kitchen is one of those luxury items, might go with simple bench and cooker!

I had thought of the false floor space usage, remove a drawer to access, no wasted space.

Upright fridge sounds good but the price could be an issue given i already have a 50l waeco.
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Friday, May 25, 2018 at 19:19

Friday, May 25, 2018 at 19:19
Yeah, we've got plastic boxes, with lids in our heavy canopy, they work well and would suit your purpose too.

Have 6 Oates drawers from Bunnings, and after a few trips last year with them held together with duct tape, I made a ply surround for them. Going on a 6-8 week trip into WA, through some of the deserts, so wanted things to be a little more organised this year.



Expensive exercise buying more fridges, eh!

Bob

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Follow Up By: Batt's - Friday, May 25, 2018 at 20:40

Friday, May 25, 2018 at 20:40
I have pretty much the same set up as Bobs 6 draws but I used alloy box for a frame to save weight with plastic elbow and corner joiners from Bunnings connect it kit https://www.bunnings.com.au/our-range/brands/c/connect-it
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Follow Up By: Harry - Friday, Jun 08, 2018 at 08:01

Friday, Jun 08, 2018 at 08:01
Does that mean a trip down the Canning this year Bob??
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Saturday, Jun 09, 2018 at 07:52

Saturday, Jun 09, 2018 at 07:52
Ha ha, no Harry, cancelled till 2019.

Currently listening to it rain at our camp opposite Rawlinna railway station. Got here after dark, saw the Indian-Pacific, met a lovely local who pointed out the campsite and mentioned the rain was gone! Has only just started, so will see what daylight brings.

Will be refuelling at Well 33 maybe in a week, on way to Newman.

Bob
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Follow Up By: Member - Harry C - Saturday, Jun 09, 2018 at 13:01

Saturday, Jun 09, 2018 at 13:01
Just looked at the weather radar for Rawlinna area shows it to be fine enough. I will be passing through your home town around mid August will you be back by then?? We will be heading through to Bedourie and will stop to have a look through the new Waltzing Matilda Centre. Hope you enjoy the rest of your trip.

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Reply By: Member - McLaren3030 - Friday, May 25, 2018 at 09:39

Friday, May 25, 2018 at 09:39
Hi Kingrat,
Where are you located? There are companies like Drifta Camping Equipment (https://www.drifta.com.au) that specialise in canopy fit outs. Try looking at their photo galleries to get a better idea on how you can do it yourself, or just let them fit it out for you.

Macca.
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Reply By: Baz - The Landy - Tuesday, Jun 05, 2018 at 10:50

Tuesday, Jun 05, 2018 at 10:50
Hi Kingrat

This is what we did with our canopy to get around a similar problem. We have mounted the HF Radio and Battery Management System in the space created. There are some other photos under my profile.



Good luck,

Baz - The Landy
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