Your experience with Canvas Canopies

Submitted: Saturday, Feb 25, 2006 at 23:05
ThreadID: 31156 Views:11789 Replies:6 FollowUps:2
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I would like to hear about peoples experience with their choice of tray back canopies particuarly the canvas versions from a travel and camping perspective. Would you choose another type of canopy or make any alterations or additions having owned one ?.Did you find it irksome in traffic or parking, did you find it durable or were small water leaks a problem, full canvas or hard top with canvas sides ? Advantages and disadvantages of the canopy over other vehicle set ups you may have owned
Acolades or bitches your thoughts on Canopies please
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Reply By: Member - John - Saturday, Feb 25, 2006 at 23:42

Saturday, Feb 25, 2006 at 23:42
diver, I have had a couple of different canopies, full canvas, good, but not very secure, very little dust, can't stow anything ontop. Hard top canvas sides, better, more secure as I made mesh sides as well, very liitle dust. Easy to stow lots on top if needed, fire wood etc. Have fitted two cameras to the tray, one looking directly back, the other on the left hand rear, looking to the left, allows easy viewing when backing out of angle parking. I also had a window sewn in on the left hand side, towards the front, allows a quick scan on that side in traffic etc. I have found this set up to be the best, so far, always looking and thinking of ways to make things better. Hope this helps. Any questions, ask away. John
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Follow Up By: diver2 - Sunday, Feb 26, 2006 at 22:41

Sunday, Feb 26, 2006 at 22:41
Thanks John, two cameras, I assume one screen with some means to flick betwween them ? I am keen to hear more, how big is the screen and where did you mount it ? & brand of equipment as I had thought of this instead of the rear clear window. I was thinking of the mesh sides behind canvas version with no windows for security purposes. I thought this would be better than the flexiglass canopy option for access and security but cheaper than the aluminium/ steel box version
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Reply By: Dunedigger - Sunday, Feb 26, 2006 at 06:44

Sunday, Feb 26, 2006 at 06:44

I have had two but made of a "fiber coverd plastic ? ? ?" I have had it made to go right down to below the sides of the tray so water can't get in. I also have made my own frame so I can take the whole thing to peices and put in the back or put it away in the shed. The most important thing is to put enough slope ontthe ridge or to use support to keep the shape. If you park on a slight angle, water may collect on the roof.

Dust has not been a major problem BUT I have not been into really dusty conditions but done many Kms in the VHC.

In heavy rain I have felt very secure sleeping in the back!

I would not have a hard top as it becomes a storage / transport problem when not in use.

You CAN make a canvas top and carry a load on top, but I would worrw about leaks.

AnswerID: 157094

Reply By: Bros 1 - Sunday, Feb 26, 2006 at 07:56

Sunday, Feb 26, 2006 at 07:56
I have had both types on the two cruisers that i have owned.
The first one was a hard top/canvas sides and rear with a clear plastic space on the rear one and perspex window in front. Pockets were built in along the inside top on both sides and these were utilised for tent poles and rods in tubes. A tinnie could be placed upside down on top.
For :- Strong, waterproof and storage for long objects in pockets.
Against :- The one i had was heavy and needed at least two people to remove, small amount of dust.

The second one and the one i have at the moment is all canvas with two clear plastic spaces front and rear. I still carry the tinnie on top but have had to have holes punched through the canvas in four places to bolt the piece of hardwood on that the boat sits on.
For :- Light and easy to remove, very little dust.
Against :- Holes in canvas for hardwood bolts.

If i had to do it again i would go for the hard top/canvas sides.
Tip :- To dust seal the canvas against the tray top sides put some of that half inch tape along where the canvas touches the side. Rubbery on one side and peel off sticky on the other. (forget the name) Quarter inch thick.
I have seen water sit on the canvas one for two days and not leak.
Now that i have totally confused you, go for it.

Work is the curse of the down and out bludger.

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Follow Up By: diver2 - Sunday, Feb 26, 2006 at 22:53

Sunday, Feb 26, 2006 at 22:53
Thanks for the input guys, storage pockets for rods and poles are the sought of good ideas I am interested in. I will have to investigate the hard top versions further as I do keep a look out for canopies to get ideas and the hard top version is not as common as the all canvas version. Most seem to have the air flaps at the front. The sealing strip isnt a bad idea either. It sounds generally they are water proof and reasonably dust proof too.
Thanks Peter
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Reply By: Member - Jeff H (QLD) - Sunday, Feb 26, 2006 at 14:24

Sunday, Feb 26, 2006 at 14:24
.G'day diver,
We use a flat vinyl cover over 50mm pipe frame.
The frame is "2 canvas hammocks" wide, and just high enough to accommodate jerry cans.
Happy with durability, water and dust exclusion, though slow speed + following wind on dirt = dust entry.
Some condensation when sleeping on humid nights.
Disadvantage: once set up, it's a pain to move the ute.
(Probably not what you had in mind.)
Happy researching,
AnswerID: 157144

Reply By: Bros 1 - Sunday, Feb 26, 2006 at 23:08

Sunday, Feb 26, 2006 at 23:08
I was lucky with the hardtop one i had as i found it at the local tip. One of my mates rang me up on a Friday night to say that he had just been to the tip and saw a hardtop canopy sitting among the recently dumped rubbish. I raced straight over and there it was for the taking, so i took. Fitted perfectly to the top of my dropsides. A couple of years later i was talking to this lady that i knew and she said that my canopy looked like the one they had dumped years before as it was too heavy for her and hubby to lift. Two blokes could lift and fit no worries.
Made from 25x25 box with aluminium top and surrounds.
Work is the curse of the down and out bludger.

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Reply By: Member - John - Sunday, Feb 26, 2006 at 23:55

Sunday, Feb 26, 2006 at 23:55
diver, the cameras, QC-3452 and 7"screen, JQ-3753 or QM3753 are from Jaycar, used the in dash screen to prevent unwanted interest. Switched thru two switchs on the power suppy to the cameras. If I was doing it again, I would look seriously at the combined dvd player/screen, camera kit on page 37 of this issue of 4wd monthly mag. this unit doesn't fit into the dash so is a bit more of a theft target. Hope this helps?
John and Jan

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