Ute Canopy

Submitted: Sunday, Jan 08, 2006 at 18:33
ThreadID: 29479 Views:6913 Replies:4 FollowUps:5
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We are new to 4wding and have bought a ute that we are wanting to add a canopy to so that we can sleep in the back when the going gets tough. Are there any opinions on the best type/brand of canopy, pros & cons etc?
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Reply By: simple - Sunday, Jan 08, 2006 at 18:54

Sunday, Jan 08, 2006 at 18:54
what sort of ute is it. does it have a tray back or ute buck? are you after plastic/fibreglass , canvas , alluminium???
they're some of the q's people will want to know. i've never owned a canopy so i can't help you sorry, but i'm in the process of designing a canvas one for my tray if you're looking at going that way
AnswerID: 147223

Reply By: Motherhen - Sunday, Jan 08, 2006 at 20:39

Sunday, Jan 08, 2006 at 20:39
Hi Samarai. We had a canvas one made for the tray of a Landcruiser. It went over a weldmesh frame, which was great for tying down luggage with occy straps, hanging washing to dry, hanging clothes overnight. It also had a roof rack which fitted on pins that came through the canvas. A dual purpose small ladder for getting from tray to roof rack, and for getting from tray to ground with ease during the night. Wonderful for camping out in the bush under the stars - just leave the back open, lie on the swag and enjoy the view. We could just drive into the bush and stop - best camping ever.

I recall going on 'holiday' (to another family property) with luggage and supplies strapped around the edges, and two pet calves and a pet lamb in the middle! Oh well, they say a change is as good as a holiday.


1. We made it to go behind the frame at the front of the tray, instead of over it (which would have increase the size of our canvas), but if it rained, water could run down onto the tray. If we had it over the frame, and a bit below it, water wouldn't have been able to get in. If we stopped at night and it rained, we had to tie a small plastic tarp over the gap between the cap and the canopy.

2. We needed to put most of our gear on the ground to roll out the swag - a bit tedious, and in the morning the gear on the ground was wet with condensation, so we needed to wait until the sun dried it before packing up - not major unless it was raining.

3. We had clear plastic windows behind the cab rear window and in the back, but without any along the sides, so it was hard to see other cars in those awful shopping centre car parks where small cars back out without the driver looking up to check for bigger vehicle backing out, so i preferred to drive in, crossing the curb if necessary, so i could drive straight out without having to back.


Red desert dreaming

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AnswerID: 147244

Follow Up By: gramps - Wednesday, Jan 11, 2006 at 09:50

Wednesday, Jan 11, 2006 at 09:50
"two pet calves and a pet lamb in the middle!"

Hahahahaha .. and we agonize over what to do with a dog, two cats and a turtle.
FollowupID: 401046

Follow Up By: Motherhen - Wednesday, Jan 11, 2006 at 13:09

Wednesday, Jan 11, 2006 at 13:09
Hi Gramps - Never had a turtle, but the cats are sort of happy to stay home, so long as someone comes out each day and re-assures them that their staff will return soon. Dog of course travels with us in the cab every where we go. Perhaps you could tell the turtle to follow you on foot, then you could pick it up half way down your street on the way home.

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FollowupID: 401078

Reply By: darcla - Sunday, Jan 08, 2006 at 21:42

Sunday, Jan 08, 2006 at 21:42
Hi, Samarai , WE have what i consider to be the ultimate setup that I designed & built myself my wife & I lived out of it For 4.5 months on a trip across central Australia & back across the top . It is set up on a 92 Rodaeo tray back ute canvas canopy on steel frame . Does not let any dust in the bed is superb as I have massive back problems & have got to have a really good bed . If you can let me know if you are interested i can probably email you some photos .

Cheers bungarra.
AnswerID: 147271

Follow Up By: simple - Sunday, Jan 08, 2006 at 21:48

Sunday, Jan 08, 2006 at 21:48
hi darcla, i'd be interested in some photo's if you have them available.
j.sim at ozemail.com.au
FollowupID: 400613

Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Monday, Jan 09, 2006 at 10:05

Monday, Jan 09, 2006 at 10:05
I've got the traytop canopy - had it custom made out of 3mm aluminium - very nice way to camp with great access - the lift-up doors keep the weather out and shade you when camping, and because theres no back door, dust doesn't get in. We swag it, but if we were to sleep on top, we'd get a lightweight rooftop tent made or bought.

Photos of my setup are in the traytop camping group on Yahoo

AnswerID: 147350

Follow Up By: John L G - Monday, Jan 09, 2006 at 18:26

Monday, Jan 09, 2006 at 18:26
Hi Phil

This is completely off the subject of canopies, tho I am picking up my truck next week fitted with a new Al Custom job next week. Quite looking forward to having the truck back actually.

However, reason I interupt and not knowing how else to track you down, even tho now I'm an EO member and am sure there is a way for members to swap info, I was wondering if you could please have a look at my post 29503 Re; reversing cameras. Would like to hear your two penneth worth as I know you have been down this road from your rig profile pics.


John G
FollowupID: 400811

Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Tuesday, Jan 10, 2006 at 23:17

Tuesday, Jan 10, 2006 at 23:17
Good stuff John, New canopy will be great. You can just click on member message. Works very well. But if its something of interest to others, its best to leave it on the forum.

Re reversing cameras - I bought the Jaycar combo - because they had a nice in-dash screen (and I had the spare spot above the stereo) and they had a special price for the camaera. Even so, I spent $500. But I installed it and it all works great. The camera is waterproof and is easily mounted with a 25mm hole. The screen is no good for the computer though.

this stuff is all changing rapidly - you get get more up to date stuff via Ebay and at cheaper prices. And there are more companies retailing the stuff in Australia as well.

I only know that at Jaycar, I could have a good look at what I was buying, and could exchange it or get money back in 7 days if it was unsuitable - so I was willing to pay a bit extra for that. Very happy I've got it - helps when reversing down tracks as well as in the driveway. But they are pretty useless on the highway because the lens is a fisheye.

FollowupID: 401019

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