Ute Canopies

Submitted: Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 12:12
ThreadID: 64914 Views:18373 Replies:14 FollowUps:23
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Hi, just bought myself a plain '07 Hilux Dual Cab SR, Diesel

Going to set it up for travelling. First addition: Canopy.

Currently am trying to decide between TJM, ARB, and Flexiglass/Challenge.

Any ideas which is the best? On another thread I read one of the major 4x4 supppliers canopy was crap. Poster was to shy to name names though.

I will be fitting _Affordable_Storage_Drawers.aspx, and a fridge slide. Will I really need the high style canopy? Its just I like the look of the lower style, also may have less probs fitting rack better at later date, and also probably less wind resistance.
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Reply By: Best Off Road - Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 12:25

Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 12:25
S,

I've got a Flexiglass, one year old no problems.

Whatever you decide to go with, make sure you get the lift up side windows to be able to access gear.

With regards to your _Affordable_Storage_Drawers.aspx, we do a set for the Hilux, $1099 with a 5 year warranty.

Cheers,

Jim.

AnswerID: 343205

Reply By: Member - Norm C (QLD) - Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 12:36

Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 12:36
My last vehicle was an 'o5 Hilux. I fitted a Carryboy Canopy. Probably at the more expensive end of the options, but excellent quality. Looked like it was part of the vehicle, not an add on. Colour coding was perfect.

Another benefit is, it has a roof load capacity of 100 KG with no added supports. I put roof racks on the canopy and carried a tinnie on it for our travels.

I made my own roller _Affordable_Storage_Drawers.aspx for it which were an excellent addition.

Depending on what you will carry, you probably don't need the one with the high back. I reckon they don't look as good and they interfere with fitting roof racks if you ever want to.
AnswerID: 343207

Follow Up By: Member - Norm C (QLD) - Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 12:53

Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 12:53
Still have a couple of pics of my old Hilux in my profile if you are not familiar with the Carryboy canopy.

Norm C
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Follow Up By: Sobriquet - Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 13:52

Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 13:52
Thanks norm, I do like that blue the hiluxes come in, but mine was secondhand (only just), and I ended up with white. Its practical at least. Say - is that a TJM bullbar on there?

Hmm Carryboy are rather expensive arent they - around $3800.
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Follow Up By: Member - Norm C (QLD) - Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 14:53

Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 14:53
All ARB barwork on Hilux and new 79 Series, Sobriquet.

I think I paid about $3,200 for my Carryboy canopy in 2005. Yes expensive, but good. If you are likely to carry a load on top, the economics might work better as you don't need to put any supports down to the tub.

Norm C
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Reply By: Sir Kev & Darkie - Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 12:45

Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 12:45
TJM are CRAP

I had one on my old Triton Dual Cab and will never fit another TJM Canopy to a vehicle that I own.
The quality of finish was shocking to the extent that the colour coded paint bubbled and peel within the first month, The front window piece is seperate to the remainder of the canopy shell and mine leaked.

Cheers Kev
Russell Coight:
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Follow Up By: Sobriquet - Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 13:52

Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 13:52
Soo - that may be the "well known 4x4 brand" mention in the other thread. Yup, Im leaning towards the flexiglass canopy now.
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Follow Up By: Member No 1- Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 14:24

Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 14:24
the tjm rear lift up i had on a mazda sprung open (even though locked) going over some rough stuff up hill letting some gear (sleeping bags and guns etc etc) slide out and then which was run over by the camper......destroying one of the gun cases (rifle was ok...phew!)
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Follow Up By: Sir Kev & Darkie - Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 14:31

Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 14:31
#1,

Yep I had that happen as well. It was a PITA as I then used oky straps to hold it shut from then on.

Russell Coight:
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Follow Up By: Member No 1- Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 14:51

Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 14:51
i just went back and got some $$$ for the damage and then used rope from roof racks to towbar
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Follow Up By: Sir Kev & Darkie - Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 14:57

Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 14:57
I got a whole new rear window, that I was to fit myself.
I still have the new window now even though I got rid of the triton over 12 months ago hahaha


Russell Coight:
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Follow Up By: Member No 1- Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 15:44

Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 15:44
put the window on ebay

speaking of that...who wants something for nothing...see the trader herein
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Reply By: Member - LOS BUSH - Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 12:45

Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 12:45
Gday Sobriquet. I can not help you with a canopy selection,but you may need to look carefully around the inside of the well body of your vehicle especially under the top combing. In my case there were may areas that were only stiitch welded and a few other smalll holes that let dust into the enclosed area. I used a good mastic type sealing product to seal all the hair line slits and holes. Happy travelling LOS
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Follow Up By: Sobriquet - Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 13:54

Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 13:54
The tray appears very well sealed - every seam appears to have been mastic'd in the factory before painting.
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Reply By: Steve - Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 14:18

Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 14:18
another question on these canopies: I'm wondering if those metal ones get hot inside as well as outside?

I have an old TJM fibreglass one which is perfectly ok but but looking a bit tired now. The side window locks coroded inside the barrel but I've just bought two new ones quite easily from TJM.
AnswerID: 343216

Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 18:45

Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 18:45
My traytop canopy is aluminium, 2-pack white with no windows and no ventilation. It stays cooler than a car because the white seems to reflect the heat well, the aluminium dissipates the heat and there are no windows.
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Follow Up By: Steve - Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 20:47

Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 20:47
cheers Phil

Mine would be white too but I was looking at a steel one and thought they'd hold/absorb the heat more than aluminium. Don't know for sure but I was a bit wary of that.
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Reply By: Pete Jackman (SA) - Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 14:24

Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 14:24
My new work crummydore ute was delivered with a flexiglass canopy. Quality was good, but the locking was rubbish. One quick tug on a rear handle popped the back hatch open without any problems (or any damage).

The opening side windows were good for access.

It has now been dumped and I don't have a canopy.

Pete
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Follow Up By: Member No 1- Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 14:26

Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 14:26
sounds like they rebadged my tjm and sold it to you:))))...see above
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Follow Up By: Pete Jackman (SA) - Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 15:23

Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 15:23
This is how easy it was to open.



And just as easy when the handle on the left hand side is still locked.

I now just have a tonneau cover instead. The fit was pretty ordinary around the tailgate and let dudt and water in.

Pete
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Follow Up By: Pete Jackman (SA) - Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 15:25

Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 15:25
dudt = dust, but that dudt is pretty horrible in the tray as well.

:o)

Pete
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Follow Up By: Member No 1- Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 15:36

Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 15:36
at least mine only came open when the canopy flexed

after i made them fit longer bolts it seemed fine...but i never did really trust it

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Reply By: Sobriquet - Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 14:42

Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 14:42
Interesting that nobody said anything about ARB, which BTW are the cheapest of the brands mentioned here.

Prices I got: ARB $2490 with 2 lift-up sides, TJM $2640 with 1 lift-up side ($120 more for 2 lift-ups), Flexiglass $2980 with airvent and 2 lift-up sides.

At that price Flexiglass is smooth, color coded, the others are textured, white. I'm beginning to like the Flexiglass/Challenge one most.

AnswerID: 343223

Follow Up By: Sir Kev & Darkie - Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 14:45

Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 14:45
IMO if you are thinking about getting a canopy rack then make sure you get a canopy that is compatable. I know ARB has a canopy rack system that is compatable with their standard height canopies.

If I was going to buy another fibreglass canopy again I would get an ARB one.

Cheers Kev
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Follow Up By: Pete Jackman (SA) - Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 15:26

Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 15:26
See my video just above on Flexiglass locking.

Pete
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Follow Up By: Sobriquet - Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 15:28

Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 15:28
Yes must admit the ARBs look good too. They are actually some injection moulded plastic though. Not that I have a prob with that.

Cheers
Eric.
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Reply By: Member - John F (NSW) - Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 14:57

Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 14:57
We got a Flexiglass from new. It's hard to rate the quality on a comparative scale, having no experience of other brands, but...

1. It had to be refitted three times, as it was too close to the cab and banged into the cab on mildly bumpy suburban roads.

2. The interior light fell off - not replaced as useless anyway - wired to be powered only with tail lights on.

3. The lower strut mounting nuts and bolts and latch bolts and nuts are mild steel and now rusted, the upper ones are stainless and perfect.

Note: Paint is good, and there are no leaks. The unit is now two and a half years old. From memory it was a bit over $2000, but there may have been a bit of a discount in there.
It is the smooth finish one, with a lower roof load capacity than their high roof tradies model.
It has basic sliding windows - good for the dog.

Good luck. Enjoy the Hilux, it is a superb vehicle, to my mind the best all round value available.

Regards, John.





AnswerID: 343224

Follow Up By: Sobriquet - Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 15:32

Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 15:32
Thanks John. Im actually beginning to lean towards ARB now, provided they can fit it in time for me..

I am enjoying the Hilux already - but so far its pretty basic - just straight SR with air/towbar. Once Ive got canopy, bullbar, and better tyres sorted it'll be starting to look the part.

Cheers
Eric.
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Follow Up By: Member - John F (NSW) - Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 20:01

Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 20:01
Hi S,

We put Bridgestone A/T 694s on when the standard 693s got to 65k (still with life) and found a vast improvement. Not sure about the SR though, isn't 16 inch wheels? Our SR5 has, sadly, 255x75x15, which limits tyre choice greatly. For example we could not find a BFG to fit.

Regards, John.

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Follow Up By: Sobriquet - Friday, Jan 09, 2009 at 10:53

Friday, Jan 09, 2009 at 10:53
Hi john,

SR has 16x6 rims. Im just going to get ROH 16x7 steel rims and put on some good quality 265/70R16 tyres - just within legal limits, and much wider than originals. Probably Coopers or BFGs.

For the SR5 with 15"rims, coopers do 265/70R15. Also a 31/10.5R15, but the increase in diameter (~40mm) is beyond legal if thats a problem for you. Legal max increase in dia. is 25mm.
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Reply By: wicket - Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 19:12

Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 19:12
you should ask over here as well

http://www.newhilux.net/
AnswerID: 343251

Reply By: MAVERICK(WA) - Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 19:30

Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 19:30
which ever you get make sure you get lift up sides - the sliding windows are only useful if you have a dog in the back. rgds
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Reply By: Garbutt - Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 20:15

Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 20:15
I have an ARB on my 02 Lux, colour coding is fine, have had no probs at all but did improve the tailgate sealing somewhat. I went for a flat top not hi top as I sometimes carry a kayak or two, Hitop would prevent that.

AnswerID: 343270

Reply By: Nomadic Navara - Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 21:04

Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 21:04
The TJM, ARB, and Flexiglass/Challenge canopies all look to be of a similar quality. The ones I have noticed all seem to have the same lifting windows with same 2 locking handles. (I may possibly get shot down here as I have not looked too closely - but I will still maintain they all look the same type of crap and I am expressing a personal opinion.) I purchased an ARB model for my D40 as the Nissan one was not available with lifting side window. It is not a patch on the quality of a Nissan canopy on a family members D40. Mine feels too lightly built, no lining and 2 locks/handles per window - the Nissan windows are of heavier construction with a single point handle with good locking points each side. I would have paid the extra $1,000 or so extra for better quality if the Nissan one had lifting side windows.

An extra disappointment was the window was not very high (even though I have a high top canopy.) I find it not the easiest to get things through the side windows. Since getting the canopy I saw a couple of other models recommended in the Navara forum. Have a look at these and express your opinions:
http://www.utecanopies.com.au/thdcwsww.html
http://www.autoseatandsun.com.au/NewProducts.aspx

PeterD
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AnswerID: 343288

Follow Up By: Sobriquet - Friday, Jan 09, 2009 at 11:01

Friday, Jan 09, 2009 at 11:01
Hmm, looking at the online pictures of the Toyota and ARB canopies they look amazingly similar. Both are made made out of same material (moulded ABS plastic) - I believe its possible the Toyota ones are re-badged ARBs.


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Reply By: Sobriquet - Friday, Jan 09, 2009 at 11:16

Friday, Jan 09, 2009 at 11:16
Thanks to everyone for their input. Its been interesting and informative.

At this stage what I got from it all is that the TJM got a lot of bagging, the Flexiglass is not significantly better but it is more expensive, and may have fitting/locking poblems, other brands mentioned in other posts were either too expensive (eg Carryboy - looks fantastic though), or had no representatives to supply & fit the things in SA.

The ARB one has received very few complaints here, and it is actually the cheapest as well by a significant margin. Not often you get those two attributes together.

Soo, I've bitten the bullet and ordered an ARB with two lift-up windows - $2264 installed. Its just I need it installed for a trip later in the month - so I'd better get on with it.

Well, thanks again for all the input.

Cheers
Sobriquet.
AnswerID: 343381

Reply By: rodweb - Friday, Jan 09, 2009 at 11:25

Friday, Jan 09, 2009 at 11:25
Interesting nobody has mentioned that there has been an issue of the ARB glass falling out of the windows. Maybe they have fixed that.

Here is my Caddy Workmate canopy on my 2007 Hilux which I chose over all of the rest. It is vastly superior than the Flexiglass one and is much the same price when fitted with roof racks. The rack is 100 kg rated and screws straight onto the roof so there is nothing obscuring the window access.



Here are a few more pics More Caddy Canopy Photos

Note the lockable slam shut latches.

This stands about 80 mm lower than the rear of an ARB high back canopy and is tall enough to stand a washing machine up in no worries. You will appreciate the extra height if you add _Affordable_Storage_Drawers.aspx and a fridge and you have that height over the whole tray!

The side doors are big enough to put the largest porta pottie through. Try that with the Flexiglass Windoor.

AnswerID: 343384

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