Canopies or service bodies

Submitted: Tuesday, Dec 10, 2019 at 19:51
ThreadID: 139408 Views:4137 Replies:8 FollowUps:15
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Hi all

I often prefer to sleep in the ute on short trips but have struggled to find a suitable water and dust - tight option.

Any thoughts on whether its advisable to put a box or canopy on a timber-floored tray? I am wondering if water would be an issue, getting trapped in the timber or wicking along the gaps if you had an open shell on top. 


Here's some other thoughts I have after looking for a suitable canopy forever, which might assist others:

I have looked into canopies without ever getting to the point of buying one. If you buy a Chinese import, you get what you pay for. A local designer who happens to get things made overseas is the next most affordable option with the benefit of local understanding.

Canopies or service bodies need to be tougher for 4wd work as the body flexes and makes the canopy flex too. Aluminium fatigues / work hardens with bending so can experience brittle failure after a lot of use, also why aluminium aircraft bodies are considered to have a "life" and need regular checking.

If starting with a cheap canopy, by the time you add in your options, you've basically paid for an expensive one. So go more upmarket.

Are you looking to put a canopy on a tub? Then Flexiglass or ARB fibreglass are the best, but make sure you get the internal frame to support the racks.

A service body on the chassis is probably the ultimate solution but they are pricy.

Thoughts and contributions welcome.
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Reply By: Kazza055 - Tuesday, Dec 10, 2019 at 20:13

Tuesday, Dec 10, 2019 at 20:13
I had a SMM steel canopy fitted, they don't weigh much more than the others once an internal support frame is add, 85kg if I recall. Because it is steel it does not need reinforcing.

They also have a lip that goes over the tub edge and this helps seal it to the tub.

AnswerID: 629050

Follow Up By: Fourbie - Tuesday, Dec 10, 2019 at 21:48

Tuesday, Dec 10, 2019 at 21:48
Hi Kazza, thanks, I actually hadn't heard about them before. What kind of budget is required for them?
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Follow Up By: Kazza055 - Tuesday, Dec 10, 2019 at 22:14

Tuesday, Dec 10, 2019 at 22:14
I was charged $3,318 back in 2014.

They come with lift up side windows, internal roof lining including a light that comes on when the door is opened plus central locking.

They are the same as the Razorback canopy but they could not supply in time.

My SIL had and ARB canopy and he could not get it sealed his tools would get wet.
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Follow Up By: Fourbie - Tuesday, Dec 10, 2019 at 22:24

Tuesday, Dec 10, 2019 at 22:24
Very interesting, thank you.
I gather they don't do service bodies or tray top canopies?
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Follow Up By: Kazza055 - Tuesday, Dec 10, 2019 at 23:22

Tuesday, Dec 10, 2019 at 23:22
As far as I know they only do ute canopies.
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Reply By: IvanTheTerrible - Tuesday, Dec 10, 2019 at 21:30

Tuesday, Dec 10, 2019 at 21:30
Waterproof is pretty easy, dustproof on the other hand is bloody hard. The only way we have ever achieved it was by using a positive pressure fan system.
AnswerID: 629051

Follow Up By: Fourbie - Tuesday, Dec 10, 2019 at 21:52

Tuesday, Dec 10, 2019 at 21:52
Hi Ivan,
That's a topic I have followed with a great deal of interest from time to time. My current f/g canopy has a scupper vent that serves well enough to keep the dogs cool and the dust out of the tailgate, but of course if you are travelling in a dusty convoy it wouldn't help a lot. I read some really interesting posts where someone had rigged up a truck air filter to capture dust from a positive pressure vent, but I can't remember now. Do you have links to thread on this?
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Follow Up By: IvanTheTerrible - Tuesday, Dec 10, 2019 at 22:04

Tuesday, Dec 10, 2019 at 22:04
The setup is common on earthmoving equipment. Donaldson aircleaner and a fan to feed the cab. John Deere tractors and headers actually have 2 fans for their aircon. One move air around the cabin and one for positive pressure
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Follow Up By: Member - Warren H - Tuesday, Dec 10, 2019 at 22:47

Tuesday, Dec 10, 2019 at 22:47
LSM Technologies make cabin filters for machinery and RVs. They quoted a bit over ~$1500 for a kit. Engineering drawings are provided for fitting. Haven't purchased but enquired as I saw them recommended on another forum. Link below:
LSM
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Follow Up By: Fourbie - Tuesday, Dec 10, 2019 at 22:50

Tuesday, Dec 10, 2019 at 22:50
Thanks Warren
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Follow Up By: noggins - Wednesday, Dec 11, 2019 at 12:36

Wednesday, Dec 11, 2019 at 12:36
I had a positive pressure system in my last Ranger that had an ARB canopy fitted to the tub.
I use something similar to a scupper vent that faced forward into the oncoming air and changed the base so the air went in and not back out.
Then to filter the dust out I had a couple of "Pollen Filters " from the PX Ranger fitted up into slide in / out ali rails and silastic-ed into place with no outside air gaps, so any incoming air had to go thru the filters.
They were easy to pull out and clean every so often.
Because they gave positive pressure in the tub when moving the tailgate gaps didn't suck in dust etc.

Ron
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Follow Up By: Fourbie - Wednesday, Dec 11, 2019 at 18:30

Wednesday, Dec 11, 2019 at 18:30
Ron, that sounds like a great idea. Did you have any issues with dropping dust into the internal space when you pulled out the filters? Can we share pics here?
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Follow Up By: noggins - Thursday, Dec 12, 2019 at 00:23

Thursday, Dec 12, 2019 at 00:23
The filters have a small lip around then that helped with the seal and held the dust when pulled out.
I no longer have that Ranger and so far have not done anything similar to the newer one .
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Reply By: Dave B18 - Wednesday, Dec 11, 2019 at 17:33

Wednesday, Dec 11, 2019 at 17:33
What happened to the DIY person.
Made my canopy with Galtube RHS frame, had BHP Sign White cut and bent to fit, stainless steel trim for corners cut and bent by sheet metal works. Bought two Australite sliding windows, stainless steel paino hinges for doors from marine store, rubber seal strip off eBay, door locks from Bunnings, spring loaded pressure scupper vent from a company in WA. Lined with HD foam between RHS frame glued with water based contact cement, lined with thin prefinished ply. Waterproof and dust proof and have 375W solar mounted on the roof. 12 years have recently replaced the two door locks and some of the rubber moulding.
AnswerID: 629054

Follow Up By: Fourbie - Wednesday, Dec 11, 2019 at 18:27

Wednesday, Dec 11, 2019 at 18:27
Sounds like you did a great job. Can we have pictures for inspiration?

Did you make the RHS frame by cutting and welding, or by bending? How did you fix the Sign White skin and corners together?

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Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Wednesday, Dec 11, 2019 at 22:39

Wednesday, Dec 11, 2019 at 22:39


We had this alloy canopy built by Dynamic Engineering, in Hervey Bay Qld.

Has done 8 Simpson crossings, as well as a GCR & CSR trip this year, with only some wear in rear door slam-locks. Waterproof, & generally dustproof. Have slept in it a couple of times during storms, but otherwise I just prefer to sleep on a stretcher by the vehicle.

Bob

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Follow Up By: Member - A J - Thursday, Dec 12, 2019 at 17:59

Thursday, Dec 12, 2019 at 17:59
Fourbie

Bob Y. Qld is a very experienced travel and if it was me I would look closely at his style of canopy

I have been travelling in the same sort of set up since 1990 and on about my fourth canopy of this type.

Just watch where the door hinges from in respect to the roof as the higher the hinge it could cause problems for roof racks it the racks hangs over the top of the canopy

Also with mine I do not have a back door


A J

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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Friday, Dec 13, 2019 at 10:56

Friday, Dec 13, 2019 at 10:56
Fourbie,

Check Dynamics website here.
Bob

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Reply By: Member -Pinko (NSW) - Thursday, Dec 12, 2019 at 20:47

Thursday, Dec 12, 2019 at 20:47
All alloy, waterproof, dustproof since 2007 Rosscos canopies. make sure the pillars at one end are wide to prevent collapsing forward if you have a roof rack .
Living is a journey,it depends on where you go !
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Follow Up By: Fourbie - Thursday, Dec 12, 2019 at 22:17

Thursday, Dec 12, 2019 at 22:17
Thanks VKS737.
Thst has some similar design features to Bob Y's, from a distance.
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Reply By: Batt's - Saturday, Dec 14, 2019 at 14:50

Saturday, Dec 14, 2019 at 14:50
My cheap Matesrates alloy canopy doesn't seem to leak dust no splitting or cracking.

Some expensive ones have bugger all fittings that come standard to suit your needs as well. I looked into it when I was searching a few yrs ago I could have paid 4 grand plus and still needed to add extras like batteries, a charger, solar panels etc etc. I spent $2,200 and added on from there coming out in front it's a basic set up but I've spent approx $2,500 on top of the price of the canopy. It pays to research what you need and what you might add on later and shop around for a while don't be in a rush.

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Reply By: Jacko11 - Saturday, Dec 14, 2019 at 21:06

Saturday, Dec 14, 2019 at 21:06
Have had a Dynamic Engineering canopy for 6 years now and would highly recommend them. Mine has 1 inch styrofoam lining all round, and has been both water and dust proof. Dynamic will build what ever you would like into the canopy and are very good to deal with.
AnswerID: 629088

Reply By: Gusthebus - Sunday, Dec 15, 2019 at 18:06

Sunday, Dec 15, 2019 at 18:06
Service body. We're happy with ex telstra canopy. Heaps of undertray storage.no rear door, dust, what dust? 6 mths seriously traveling all good.
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