Canopy Window Options Please.

Submitted: Wednesday, Apr 18, 2012 at 09:26
ThreadID: 94974 Views:10657 Replies:7 FollowUps:4
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Hello, I am Allan, a new member to Expo Oz.

I am looking at purchasing a new canopy for my Colorado & have decided on an ARB smooth finish. I would like the opinion of some owners of the for's & againsts of sliding verses lift up windows.

I had thought lift up all round but have been told it's difficult to vent the area as lift ups are either open or closed, where as with slides, you can travel with one partially open. I am considering a combination, RH slide & LH lift up. Looking forward to your thoughts. Thank you.

Cheers Allan.
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Reply By: Member - Mark G Gulmarrad - Wednesday, Apr 18, 2012 at 10:23

Wednesday, Apr 18, 2012 at 10:23

i have lift up windows on my canopy.really glad i opted for them over the sliding ones. access up the front of the canopy is so easy where sliding windows would have been a PITA in my opinion. also i purchased the high roof model. great for the extra high loads :-)
AnswerID: 483432

Follow Up By: Member - bill f (QLD) - Wednesday, Apr 18, 2012 at 10:49

Wednesday, Apr 18, 2012 at 10:49
Hi, Got mine for the tub back ute from Flexiglas. High roof model ( great for high loads) & lift up windows. Had roof top vent fitted. Worked well for ventilation & pressurising canopy on dusty roads. In my opinion lift up better for access. Will be fitting a full tradesmans canopy to the new tray back soon to allow better access. Bill
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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Wednesday, Apr 18, 2012 at 13:03

Wednesday, Apr 18, 2012 at 13:03
I got the high roof ARB model thinking I would be getting bigger windows, however they are the same window in both canopies. The actual opening is barely 300 mm high which I am disappointed with, if there is a next time I will be looking for a canopy with taller openings.
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Reply By: Ron N - Wednesday, Apr 18, 2012 at 12:04

Wednesday, Apr 18, 2012 at 12:04
Allan - I'm not sure about the design of the sliding windows you're currently looking at - but every sliding window I've had anything to do with, ends up becoming difficult to slide, either leaks, or becomes loose in the slides. They generally also collect dust, dirt and water, when the drainage holes block up, as they invariably do.

My experience has ranged from sliding windows on Landrovers, to sliding windows on about 20 caravans, as well as a couple of canopies, I've owned as a contractor. Gas-strutted lift up windows that have good sealing design (important) are the best thing around, AFAIC.

There are some problems with lift up windows, as listed below - but they are quite manageable;

1. They suffer from opening restrictions in confined areas (rare, but it does happen, as in sheds or garages).

2. They do have the potential of being damaged by something passing close to it (rare - but I've seen it happen). Then there's the situation related to "mind being in neutral", and shifting the vehicle with a lift up window open, and hitting a fixed object. You never move a vehicle with lift up windows/doors open.

3. You can sometimes bang your head on them when they're open, if you're tall. Make sure the ones you're looking at, open to a good height.

You can generally get around the venting problem by installing angled or stepped vents on the leading face of the canopy.
These are vents where opening doesn't lead directly to the internal area of the canopy.
The front face of the vent is covered, and the airflow opening is behind the front face, either angled or at the side. This design ensures flying mud, water, insects, stones, etc, can't go straight into the canopy - but airflow can enter the canopy once you get above about 30kmh, to pressurise it.
If you're doing a lot of slow dusty work, you can install a small 12V fan in a canopy vent, wired into the ignition, to pressurise it.

I don't see why one would want to drive along with a vent window partially open, unless you're on a sealed road.
On dirt roads, any partly open window will suck in dust, unless the canopy or cabin is pressurised.

Cheers - Ron.
AnswerID: 483438

Reply By: DaveO*ST-R - Wednesday, Apr 18, 2012 at 14:50

Wednesday, Apr 18, 2012 at 14:50
I had a Navara until recently with the smooth finish canopy from ARB. I got both sides with lift up gas struts and was very glad I did. Much easier to access gear at the front of the tub. I had no issues with banging my head etc. Whether it be lift up sides or sliding, you are still limited to the size of the opening to get things in and out, but at least with the lift up, you can utilise the whole opening, not just half with the sliding window.

The only time I thought it would be handy to have half and half (lift up ojn one side and sliding on the other) was on the odd occasion I put the dog in the back and I could have partly opened a sliding window. Other than that, for me, lift up sides were definitely the go and worth paying the extra.

As for dust ingress, I can assure you that in my vehicle at least, all I had to do was open the front sliding window about 50mm when I got onto gravel and that stopped 95% of dust from entering. I still got a very small amount of dust coming through the gaps in the tailgate, but very minimal. Without opening the front slider, which I forgot to do only once, the whole tub and canopy was filled with dust in no time. As far as I am aware, (I stand corrected if I am wrong) all ARB canopies have a front sliding window, so it would matter not if you had the 2 lift up sides.



AnswerID: 483455

Reply By: Andrew - Wednesday, Apr 18, 2012 at 15:27

Wednesday, Apr 18, 2012 at 15:27
Hi Allan

As others have said, sliding windows tend to jam and rattle and don't give as much access as lift ups.
i suggest you think about the window openings as access points and think about which does that job best.

I would treat venting separately from access.

Using the windows as vents is problematic and is probably responsible for more dust in vehicles than is realised. The best way to keep the dust out is by using a pressure vent. That is a vent that gets air pushed into it by the vehicle moving that then pressurises the interior. The pressurised air leaks out every hole and gap in the body and stops dust getting in. It's almost impossible to dust proof by sealing all the holes and joints.

We used to try and seal rally cars in the old days but don't bother now as fitting vents is more effective.

If you use the window the air is just as likely to travel out through the window after coming in (with dust) through all those gaps and joints. Its hard to get a window located in a constant high pressure area as it changes according to the wind direction.

As previously suggested, having a fan on the vent for low speed work is not a bad idea either as it can also help ventilation when you have a strong tailwind. Solar powering it will keep the temp down inside when stationary as well and this will help a lot if you have the fridge in the back.


AnswerID: 483459

Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Wednesday, Apr 18, 2012 at 18:18

Wednesday, Apr 18, 2012 at 18:18
Hi Allan,

Don't even consider sliding windows.

I have lift up windows on my ARB canopy and congratulate myself on choosing lift up's every time I access the tub area. You can obtain almost full access from the front of the tub to the rear, whereas with sliding windows you only have limited access, as half the window is fixed.


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AnswerID: 483475

Reply By: Member - AllanL2 - Wednesday, Apr 18, 2012 at 20:20

Wednesday, Apr 18, 2012 at 20:20
Many thanks for your opinions. I will stick to my original plans for lift ups & treat ventilation issue as a separate issue as suggested.

AnswerID: 483488

Reply By: Les - PK Ranger - Thursday, Apr 19, 2012 at 13:54

Thursday, Apr 19, 2012 at 13:54
G'day Allan, well you've made that decision on the canopy doors I see.

I'd like to post my experiences with ARB canopy.

Went for the textured finish, as (at least with metalics and possibly some solid colours) paint colours will vary, unless you're very lucky, and the textured surface hides a shade or 2 difference.

Went with LH lift up, right hand sliding, and front window lift up as well (very easy to clean !) . . . also had the canopy vent added, fitted up the back (top centre) about 100mm from the back), and usually leave this open.

So far it works great.

I generally leave the RH slider open 1st lock setting, a gap of ~ 35mm.

No dust enters the back, just a tad of light stuff in the tailgate jamb itself.
This may vary with other makes / models of vehicle of course.

The canopy vent is not waterproof . . . I was advised that water enters the vent and blows through the back like a snorkel, but I didn't really expect it to not allow some penetration.
It is only in heavy rain, and when around town there's usually nothing back there anyway, and on trips it's just the ice box and pantry box (large plastic sealed tub).

The only thing I've noticed bad about the lift up is that on dusty / sandy trips, grit can get into the top hinge and grate a little, easy to work out with water when it's being washed though, and a quick WD40.

No problems at all with the slider remaining clear, and workable.

AnswerID: 483534

Follow Up By: Member - AllanL2 - Thursday, Apr 19, 2012 at 17:30

Thursday, Apr 19, 2012 at 17:30
Thanks Les.
Glad to hear your happy with the front lift out, only recently found out about this option. The vent not being water proof be too much of a hassle, don't usually get major dust hassle & rain at same time.
FollowupID: 758827

Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Thursday, Apr 19, 2012 at 18:30

Thursday, Apr 19, 2012 at 18:30
No problems Allan . . . Forgot to mention, I just keep items in LH tub near the lift up window that may need day access quickly, like recovery items, tools, compressor.

When I looked at the front sliders, I am sure the design means you can't clean some part of the glass easily . . . would be great for ventilation perhaps.
The tilt up window allows all the outer canopy glass and the cab back window to be cleaned very easily.

Cheers mate, the ARB canopy has been great so far, I'm sure you'll enjoy yours.
FollowupID: 758839

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