Canopy Fit Out

I am about to fit out a two door telstra style aluminium canopy. I have done a search for various ideas. I can see weight can add up quickly. I have noted some do without a fridge slide and live with the loss of usable space above needed to open the fridge.
The cube lock method of making a frame for drawers, false floor or for a nest of plastic tubs looks good. Has this proven to be durable or did you need to sikaflex or rivet the joiners. What material did you use for decking and what spacings did you use without the deck sagging. Obviously it depends on the deck loading by I am thinking in general camping travel load terms. A outback two drawer set up that came with the vehicle weighs about 80kgs alone so I am interested in any weight saving build methods at least to see if this weight can be reduced.
The most common idea of kitchen one side and storage the other seems like a good template to follow.
Mine has the water tank in the canopy across the front rather than under the tray where it belongs and a under tray drawer so I need to work around this.
Cheers Peter
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Reply By: Gobumpy - Sunday, Apr 24, 2011 at 20:20

Sunday, Apr 24, 2011 at 20:20
Hey Peter

I am about 85% way through setting up an ex cummins service body for my parents at the moment its slightly different to the telstra body but still we have added shelves modifyed alot and done what you are doing. We have fitted tank inside mounted a compressor hard wired in, a cooler box, lighting, inverter, different spare tire set up been alot of fun drilling and skinned knuckles. Ill be helping with final touches on tuesday so ill take some photos and try to post for you or email. the ute is a 2006 4.2 patrol with interior been converted to wagon style carpet better seats adjustable seat belts and centre console looks a real treat. They also got roof top which takes up full size of the body.

Scott n Lara
AnswerID: 452209

Follow Up By: kwk56pt - Sunday, Apr 24, 2011 at 20:39

Sunday, Apr 24, 2011 at 20:39
Hi Scott, sounds similar to what I am doing. What material did you use for your shelves and what did you use for the frame and the spacing between the frames / supports you thought would work best. Some pictures would be great. If you are unable to post them my email is
FollowupID: 724883

Follow Up By: Gobumpy - Sunday, Apr 24, 2011 at 23:32

Sunday, Apr 24, 2011 at 23:32
Hey Peter

Most the shelving was already there but we did use some ply wood i think around 12mm but mum did say that you can purchase the original style from roscoe trademate if you are in wa it comes in long lengths pre bent just gotta cut to length. they are keeping all heavy items close to the bottom. time will tell as the maiden trip is only weeks away so it might be perfect or more tears n mods ha ha ha. Ill try to email you tues arvo. the spacing is roughly half the length but the body has a small tray a bit wider than a tire on the rear hard to explain the photos will help. Feel free to ask if ya need more info.

Scott n lara
FollowupID: 724888

Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Monday, Apr 25, 2011 at 20:03

Monday, Apr 25, 2011 at 20:03
Most of my fitout is made from 9mm ext ply to save weight. Its a bit harder to use and you need to pre-drill the holes to avoid splitting, but once glued and screwed, its held up to 6 years of travel so far.

Enjoy your fit out - I'm still thinking of minor changes to mine.
Anything heavy (jerries, tools, spares) need to be sitting on the tray; My drawers only have the lighter stuff. I have two undertray tanks for 150L of water; and I don't use slides for the fridges - I'd rather strap them down inside, which keeps them lower and saves the weight of a pair of fridge slides.

Avoid the temptation to use stuff (like heavy drawers) that people put in wagons - a traytop canopy is a versatile option - you have a heap more room, so less need to use slides etc to maximise space.
AnswerID: 452293

Follow Up By: kwk56pt - Monday, Apr 25, 2011 at 21:33

Monday, Apr 25, 2011 at 21:33
Doing away with the fridge slides will save weight and cost. I did find a picture of your canopy which has some great ideas, looks like you are using two 29 litre engels so as to be able to see into them.
I will look at the 9mm ply for the drawers and check out some tubs.
I was thinking of a full width shelf 200 mm down from the roof to lay the bedding out flat although I notice your canopy does not have this so you must just roll the bedding up. I was thinking OZ tent and swag for versatility.
Have you formed a opinion on dual fuel stoves. i was trying to avoid the issue of mounting a gas bottle under the tray and getting them filled.
Thanks for taking the time for your reply above.
Cheers Peter
FollowupID: 724977

Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Tuesday, Apr 26, 2011 at 20:17

Tuesday, Apr 26, 2011 at 20:17
Gday Peter,
They are 39 and 40 litre engels, but sit lower when there's no slide. My wife and I are tall enough that we don't have a problem accessing the contents.

I've also done a bit of fabricating with 12mm ply - its a lot easier to drill and screw, and stronger, but I take the view that I'll only ever be putting lighter stuff in the drawers, so there's no need to over-engineer them. I've covered them all wit charcoal coloured utility carpet which makes it all look good, stops things rattling, and allows you to use velcro to attach things - I use a dab of hook velcro on everything I don't want to move around - from a box of matches to plastic boxes to spare aerials, spanners, etc etc

Your idea of oztent and swag is good. We've done the same for many years - 90% of the time we just roll out a big double swag at bed time. That largish space on the drivers side is where we put our rolled up swag - it has one of those thicker 4wd mattresses in it. We take a tent as well if we're staying in a caravan park, or in case the weather turns foul.

Coleman dual fuel stoves are great. But we like to cook on the fire so we only use it as a backup. The pluses are that they take up less space, even after you add a spare 4L tin of coleman fuel. But the flame is very hot (good for stirfries) and they are easier to start on freezing cold mornings. They do need a bit of practice though - its very easy to overfill the tank and you find liquid fuel coming up the pipe and blasting out a yellow flame - so never be tempted to squeeze the last drop into the tank. Ours is the smaller 2 burner (Coleman#424).

FollowupID: 725072

Reply By: Member - Chris & Debbie (QLD) - Wednesday, Apr 27, 2011 at 12:20

Wednesday, Apr 27, 2011 at 12:20
Hi Peter
Our canopy is a work in progress with changes being constantly made. It is a mixture of ply sizes depending on the strength needed. Having used plastic crates previously and finding them a bit of pain to access frequently used item, we decided to go with the plastic draws sets this time. Image Could Not Be Found The ones in the pic are from Bunnings, and are available in different configurations, 9mm ply was used as frame work to give them added strength.
Under these draws is a flat ply, stainless topped shelf mounted on runners. Ths shelf slides out as a kitchen bench, food prep area and access to the gas stove.The draw beside the fridge is 15mm ply which is used to carry any canned food.
On the other side of the canopy is mainly just a flat shelf out of 15mm ply, approx. 300mm above the floor. Plastic box's are used under this floor to carry the bulk food, we usually carry enough for 4-5 weeks, plus spare parts and tools. The shelf leaves a lot of room on top to carry any extra gear like clothing etc.
We are also running two fridges, the 50ltr Trailblaza is on a home made slide, as the ute is fairly high and it needs to slide out to reach in. A smaller Waeco is used as a drinks fridge sitting on the floor, front right.
There is a 75ltr water tank mounted under the tray with an electric pump in the canopy. I have put the roof top tent on for our next trip as we will not be towing the camper. As others have said the idea is to keep the weight down as much as possible.
Coddiwomple (v.) To travel purposefully towards a vague destination.

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