Alloy Ute Canopy - which one?

Submitted: Wednesday, Jan 02, 2019 at 14:51
ThreadID: 137636 Views:2084 Replies:8 FollowUps:15
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Hi, guys. Happy New Year everybody!

I am considering to get an alloy canopy (as a replacement of my canvas one) for my Landcruiser 79, dual cab. My current set up is a rooftop tent and I'd like to keep it that way for now. I am not a "weekend warrior" and do mostly camping and long touring a couple of times a year.

I've done my homework in making the list of local manufacturers (in SE QLD) and now is where I am stuck.

Here is the list:
- Camp King Industries,
- Concept Canopies,
- CSM Service Bodies,
- Dynamic Engineering & Fabrications,
- Jack Off,
- Metalink,
- Norweld,
- Penny Industries,
- Spinifex Manufacturing,
- Stealth Customs Fabrications,
- TSA,
- Uteboss.

My budget is 10 - 12K. And my most important requirement is quality.

I'd like your opinions - what canopy (out of this list) do you have? Why did you choose the manufacturing company? Are you still happy with their product?

Any input is highly appreciated.
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Reply By: Baz - The Landy - Wednesday, Jan 02, 2019 at 15:56

Wednesday, Jan 02, 2019 at 15:56
Hi Laz

I have an alloy canopy made by Dave’s Metal Products in Sydney and like you quality was my top requirement.

This is the second canopy Dave Vella has made for me. The other was on a similar vehicle.

I’ll unashamedly sing Dave’s praise and if you are looking for quality give him a look.

This current vehicle and canopy has done plenty of off-Track work and has been put through its paces.

Good luck with whatever you choose and you can see photos on my profile page.

Feel free to email me if you would like more information, email also on profile page...

Cheers, Baz - The Landy

Ps. Just realised you were seeking feedback on the list you prepared...! Do yourself a favour and check out Dave Vella.
Daves Metal Products
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Follow Up By: Laz - Saturday, Jan 05, 2019 at 08:28

Saturday, Jan 05, 2019 at 08:28
Hi, Baz.
Thank you very much for your reply.

Any tips on what I should be paying more attention, when choosing a canopy type or a manufacturer - hinges, type of welding, dust proof sealing, etc?

Regards,
Laz.
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Follow Up By: Baz - The Landy - Saturday, Jan 05, 2019 at 13:23

Saturday, Jan 05, 2019 at 13:23
Hi Laz

No problem...

I think you have covered the important stuff. Making sure it is a tried, tested, and proved system of dust proofing. Ours doesn't get dust ingression and it doesn't have any special seals on it, just the way it is designed.

Welding, well, just make sure they are good at alloy welding.

Above all else, keep it as simple as possible. Extra drawers etc makes it heavier and can little the utility of the space. And whilst we have plenty of space, we don't load to the "hilt"...

Cheers, Baz
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Reply By: Frank P (NSW) - Wednesday, Jan 02, 2019 at 16:55

Wednesday, Jan 02, 2019 at 16:55
I have a CSM canopy and unhesitatingly recommend it for its build quality and design.

A major one is no lip or sill at the bottom of the doors, which means everything that slides - drawers, fridge slide, whatever - doesn't have to be lifted 50mm or so to clear the door lip. That saves on wasted space.

Wiring is hidden in enclosed ducts in the 4 corners. There are two cable entry points, one each side, which feed into those ducts so you can add cabling of your own as necessary. They accept proper cable glands.

As an option, the door locks can be integrated with the vehicle's central locking system. You also get a door open or door unlocked alarm as part of the same option package.

Super high quality 2 pack paint, colour coded to your vehicle if you wish.

Excellent door seals. I chose to have a rear door which cops the worst of the dust and it was almost 100% dustproof. I added some thin foam tape to fix it. The two side doors were fine.

The roof has Unistrut channels to accommodate adjustable roof bars. It is also reinforced inside so will easily accept the weight of your RTT, including dynamic loads caused by rough roads and, ahem, nocturnal activities. LOL

A couple of points, though ...

I was sold the upgraded "Easy Slam" door locks which work the same way as car doors - just slam them shut. If they still do those, then instead choose the standard locks where you twist the handle then fold it down. Reason being the Easy Slam doors need vents in the canopy to expel air when the last door is slammed shut. Vents let dust in. I had to seal the vents, which then meant the last door could not be slammed shut without a ridiculous amount of effort. I now shut the door onto the safety latch, then have to push very hard at each bottom corner to fully latch it shut. A couple of travelling buddies with the same canopy have the twist type locks and don't have the issues I have.

Easy Slam doors have two latches per door. If they still do the Easy Slam doors and you go with them, you will need to ask them to put the lock monitoring on EVERY latch. Mine came with monitoring on only one latch per door. It was possible to have no alarm although one latch on a door could be partially unlatched, allowing dust entry. Doing both latches is trivial and should be standard.

Cheers
AnswerID: 622969

Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Wednesday, Jan 02, 2019 at 17:39

Wednesday, Jan 02, 2019 at 17:39
Should also have said they do nice tool boxes that fit behind the wheels.
A couple of pics:


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Follow Up By: Laz - Saturday, Jan 05, 2019 at 08:40

Saturday, Jan 05, 2019 at 08:40
Hi Frank,

Thank you very much for your reply (very nice photos - it looks like they did a very nice job) and for the tips - no lip at the bottom of the door, warning about 'easy slam' etc.
And, I agree, the quality of the door seals is very important. I will definitely check it with CSM.

All the best,
Laz.

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Reply By: Member - Wildmax - Wednesday, Jan 02, 2019 at 20:23

Wednesday, Jan 02, 2019 at 20:23
I'd add MFI Service Bodies to your list - I had one of their steel canopies on my previous Hilux for eight years and it was exceptional; not a speck of dust inside.
They do aluminium as well and provide a lot of canopies for the various emergency services. Dallas Needham is the business owner and they will design to your specifications.
They used to be at Warragul in Victoria, but recently moved closer towards Melbourne (Pakenham I think, but you could google them).
I have no relationship with the business apart from being a satisfied customer - I had my canopy custom made after seeing one of their products on the road.
Cheers
Wildmax
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Follow Up By: Laz - Saturday, Jan 05, 2019 at 22:23

Saturday, Jan 05, 2019 at 22:23
Thanks Wildmax for your reply. I'm in SE QLD, so I think I'll be looking for local guys. Stay safe.

Cheers,
Laz.
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Reply By: rumpig - Wednesday, Jan 02, 2019 at 21:30

Wednesday, Jan 02, 2019 at 21:30
Have you spoken to any of these mobs about what you want and what your budget is at all?...you may be on the light side of what an ally canopy costs is what i’m thinking if you want powdercoated over a plain chequer plate box, but it does come down to what extras you may want or not...so who knows you may squeeze in.
I have a Spinafex powdercoated ally canopy on my dual cab 79, the canopy is now several years old and done a few outback trips (Plenty Hwy, Lambert’s Centre of Australia, Darling River Run, Flinders Ranges, Oodnadatta and Strzelecki Tracks, Cameron Corner to Wanaaring via Sturt National Park and more...so plenty of dirt roads)...the canopy never let any dust in on our last outback adventure in September, no positive pressure vents or the like required, it just seals as is.
Just to be upfront here...my vehicle actually features in thier tv ad, and I was looked after some on it’s price in return for it being used in thier advertising, I have no financial interests in the company, but was looked after by a mate involved with them.... i’m happy with the canopy to date regardless. I like the fact the canopy is dual skinned with insulation between the inner and outer skins and that it hides all wiring, also that it doesn’t have side wings that return in where the door closes against (means a wider opening and full access into canopy). Also like the fact you can walk on the roof of the canopy which I regularly do tieing stuff on the carry racks, have seen the company owner jump up and down on one at thier Slacks Creek factory to show us the strength of them.
Good luck with your choice, plenty of decent companies out there to choose from.

AnswerID: 622975

Follow Up By: Laz - Saturday, Jan 05, 2019 at 22:35

Saturday, Jan 05, 2019 at 22:35
Hey, Rumpig. Thank you very much for your reply.

Very nice truck on the photo! Spinifex is probably the closest to my place - I live on the Gold Coast. So, I will definitely give them a call.

I'll go with the checker plate and not many extras, I've never had a need for a fridge. But dust proof is very important to me, as I know what it is with my canvas canopy.

Would you be willing to share a couple of pictures of your canopy inside set up? Just to give me an idea - what they can do. Thanks beforehand.

Cheers,
Laz.
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Follow Up By: rumpig - Sunday, Jan 06, 2019 at 09:32

Sunday, Jan 06, 2019 at 09:32
Hi Laz,
If I get a chance today I'll grab some pics for you, though my canopy isn't fully decked out like many others you'll see elsewhere because I use it daily as a work rig and need to carry stuff in the back also (that's about to change though, so likely will add some more stuff internally eventually). There are several vehicles shown in the tv ad more decked out then mine, I likely gave the impression mine is more kitted out then it is by mentioning that advertising, but only mentioned it for full transparency incase someone wanted to arc up about it later on. Still I do have a few things fitted internally in the canopy that may help give you an idea what to do or not maybe, depending what you want in your set up.
As far as fit outs go, they'll pretty much make whatever you want.
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Follow Up By: rumpig - Sunday, Jan 06, 2019 at 19:12

Sunday, Jan 06, 2019 at 19:12
Not the best pics as just took them in the carport a moment ago, but gives you an idea of what I have internally in the canopy, usually I have a heap of work gear where my shoes and chair are pictured, holidays it has the Weber, solar panel and a few clothes bags for the kids in there, as well as extra drinks etc.
Spare tyre is mounted internally on front wall so as to keep weight forward in the canopy, fridge on other side is upfront also for the same reason. Storage box on the drivers side houses recovery gear, tools, air compressor, sail track awning extension etc etc....if you look closely you'll notice the storage box has it's own tie down rails fitted atop the box, same rails run internally along the floor of the canopy also. The tie down rails have little brace sections you slide along the rail to where you are tieing something too, this stops those rails from bending out of shape.... if you throw heaps of dirty stuff in your vehicle as i do, they can get hard to slide at times and you'll need to clean out the tracks they slide along. The ceiling has flush mounted lights in it and there's a direction adjustable light mounted on each gull wing door, if I had my time again I likely wouldn't bother getting the ceiling mounted lights as I rarely ever use them, I just use the gull wing door lights 99.9% of the time. The fridge surround is something extra I had made up about 6 months ago, the ladder and rubbish bag holder aswell as the hand wash water tank behind the rubbish bag were also added on at a latter date to originally getting the canopy.







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Follow Up By: Laz - Wednesday, Jan 09, 2019 at 08:24

Wednesday, Jan 09, 2019 at 08:24
Hi, Rumpig.
Thank you very much for the photos.

It's a very nice set up inside. I also carry a spare wheel close to the centre and that is the way I would keep it in the new canopy.

I like the idea of the storage box lid transformed into the bench when you need it. And the rail on the top of the box - gives you more options, when you load and tie it down.

You right - the door lights would, probably, be sufficient enough, without the ceiling ones.

Thanks for sharing ideas.

All the best.
Laz.
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FollowupID: 896222

Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Wednesday, Jan 02, 2019 at 22:50

Wednesday, Jan 02, 2019 at 22:50
We've got an alloy canopy from Dynamic, in Hervey Bay. It's a bare shell, with 3 doors & 3 windows, one being a slider. It cost $7,200 almost 3 years ago. Have done about 8 Simpson and/or Madigan crossings in that time as well as an epic trip for almost 6 weeks through SA, WA & NT last June.



Except for a bit of wear on the rear door's slam locks, have had no dramas.

Few things I'd change if getting another one:

Plan to reduce length of canopy so one has a short, 200-300mm, step at the rear, to stand on if loading etc.

Change front & rear windows to be clear, instead of tinted, so one can see through & into the canopy with sunnies on.



This side extrusion is a big plus for Dynamic canopies. Moulded sail track, for mounting awnings etc and a keyway that accepts the head of an 8mm bolt. Just the thing for mounting assorted rails and racks.

Don't be lulled into thinking, because the canopy is aluminium, it will be light. Certainly lighter than steel, but the more "stuff" you add, the less room you'll have to keep at or under your GVM.

Bob

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Can't remember most of it.

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Follow Up By: Laz - Saturday, Jan 05, 2019 at 22:49

Saturday, Jan 05, 2019 at 22:49
Hi, Bob. Thank you very much for your reply.

I like the photo of your truck. And I will be going with the checker plate, as well. Thank you for the very good tip about the little step at the rear. Good idea, I'll keep it in mind.

I am always careful about overloading, and that is one of the reasons that I never use a fridge. But many people do, because they need it.

Madigan Line. This is on the cards sometime in the future. Would you recommend any tag-along companies?

Cheers,
Laz.
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Sunday, Jan 06, 2019 at 10:39

Sunday, Jan 06, 2019 at 10:39
Laz,

We did Madigan in 2016 & ‘17, but didn’t go with any tag along companies. In ‘17, a mate, his brother & I were doing it and we picked up 2 other couples at Mt Dare that were pre arranged to meet us there.

Outback Spirit & Diamantina Tours are 2 companies that I’ve seen regularly “out there” and might do a Madigan trip through the year? Going W-E, the Madigan isn’t difficult at all, but you need to carry ample fuel, water & tucker, as well as reliable communication, PLB & few basic spares.

Perhaps you could put a trip advice note on here, with your planned timing and see if you get any takers. Would be cheaper than a tag along, and you only have to put up with your “new” friends for 5-6 days............and vice versa.

I’m still undecided if I’ll do a trip there or not? Would be late May or early June if I did.

Bob



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Follow Up By: Laz - Sunday, Jan 06, 2019 at 17:39

Sunday, Jan 06, 2019 at 17:39
Hi, Bob.
Thank you very much for the suggestion. I'll do that, when I think I am ready to go.

Safe travelling to you.

Cheers,
Laz.
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Reply By: Matthew G3 - Thursday, Jan 03, 2019 at 08:57

Thursday, Jan 03, 2019 at 08:57
Hi Laz

I am about to order a CSM canopy for a dual cab Dmax. At 1850w x 1650l[or you can get 1800l] x 1000h[optional 900h] with just the side doors and rear quarter boxes. The canopy itself weighs 215kg plus the two boxes which isn't to bad for $11400 fitted. They also come with 3 year 100,000km warranty.

Cheers Matt
AnswerID: 622978

Follow Up By: Laz - Saturday, Jan 05, 2019 at 23:06

Saturday, Jan 05, 2019 at 23:06
Hi, Matt. Thank you very much for your reply.

Checked their website. Looks like they are willing to do customs jobs. I'll give them a call.

Cheers,
Laz.
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Reply By: Member - Woteva - Thursday, Jan 03, 2019 at 17:02

Thursday, Jan 03, 2019 at 17:02
Hi Laz
A recommendation if I may , no matter who you elect to go with consider having a “door adjar” alarm fitted and for convenience connect it to your vehicles central locking.
I have a “bosston” (not on your list) canopy for my Isuzu spacecab and the door adjar alarm has paid for itself several times. If you can imagine its not a nice look to drive in or out of your garage with a side canopy door open, plus it can be expensive – just ask my BIL.
Very happy with my bosston canopy, if you were located on the West coast (Perth) I would recommend you give them a look, they produce an excellent product.
Cheers.
AnswerID: 622985

Follow Up By: Laz - Saturday, Jan 05, 2019 at 23:12

Saturday, Jan 05, 2019 at 23:12
Hi, Woteva.

Thanks for the tip on the door alarm.

Stay safe.

Cheers,
Laz.
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Reply By: Member - peterdre - Thursday, Jan 03, 2019 at 21:17

Thursday, Jan 03, 2019 at 21:17
Hi Laz,
It would be worth a visit to KT’s Welding at Clontarf.
Excellent quality and good to work with.
Manufactured a canopy and frame to go straight onto the chassis of my DMAX at a very competitive price.
Cheers
Pedro
AnswerID: 622991

Follow Up By: Laz - Saturday, Jan 05, 2019 at 23:16

Saturday, Jan 05, 2019 at 23:16
Hi, Pedro.

Thanks for the suggestion about KT.

Never heard of them, but I'll give them a call.

Cheers,
Laz.
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FollowupID: 896144

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