Building a Canopy

Prof. Average

New Member
Hey All

I have just upgraded to a 2019 MR triton which currently has a steel tray.

I want to have a camping set up that i can use jacks to easily take off when not using but also take off on site so i can still drive away and use the care without having the pack everything up.

I dont want to spend $1000's on a canopy, my brother is a metal fabricator and i want to utilise him to build one for me, it wont be a flash over the top one like a mits canopy, but i will start with the basic frame and then slowly add to it over time depending on how i want to use it.

I would like to know what material and thickness for the frame should i be using ? As i said i want it to sit on jacks at home when not using but also want it on jacks at camp and to be able to sleep in it. Obviously the choice is between alloy and steal but what size bars should i be using to support all the weight ?

Any help would be great? i have attached a picture of what i am thinking.
 

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cam04

Well-Known Member
Mines just normal ally box section. Not heavy section. Weight is a big consideration with canopies. It runs away fast.
 

Albynsw

Well-Known Member
Study some of the ones commercially made. As @cam04 said weight is abig consideration and you can easily go overboard without the experience to know how to build one.

To be honest if you are looking to save money buy a finished one and then get your brother to modify it if needed. You will likely find the raw material costs will equate to the price of a finished bix from a lot of the suppliers.
I was speaking with my fabricator just this week about some boxes and he even buys them rather than make them if he can get the size he wants.
 

CTL

Well-Known Member
Ah canopies, just been down that track. There is a huge difference between the budget “off the shelf” products and the custom made canopies. Construction and finish are the biggest differences which equate to how much they weigh and how they look. Looks are subjective but weight is always a concern. Cost is directly linked to both.
I went for a local custom build and I don’t have any RHS inside and only two lengths of RHS under the floor. Everything else is folded to reduce weight and add strength. It is a fine balance between weight and strength. Good luck
 

G_ute

Well-Known Member
Nobody seems to be building the common "steel-style" tray canopies (not ute-tub canopies) but from pantec/composite paneling with glue/screw (little to no welding required)
I want to build a lightweight canopy which is either lift-off or even, to fully disassemble, quickly. With more security than canvas.
There are plenty of strong latch systems which could make disasembly quick, for easy stoage.
 

Albynsw

Well-Known Member
Nobody seems to be building the common "steel-style" tray canopies (not ute-tub canopies) but from pantec/composite paneling with glue/screw (little to no welding required)
I want to build a lightweight canopy which is either lift-off or even, to fully disassemble, quickly. With more security than canvas.
There are plenty of strong latch systems which could make disasembly quick, for easy stoage.

An alloy gullwing canopy not suitable?
 

cam04

Well-Known Member
Nobody seems to be building the common "steel-style" tray canopies (not ute-tub canopies) but from pantec/composite paneling with glue/screw (little to no welding required)
I want to build a lightweight canopy which is either lift-off or even, to fully disassemble, quickly. With more security than canvas.
There are plenty of strong latch systems which could make disasembly quick, for easy stoage.
Dynamic engineering in Hervey Bay do magnificent single skin coach built bonded canopies. My uncle got one built. Way too flash for a fleet ute and a bush basher such as yours truly
 

Albynsw

Well-Known Member
Dynamic engineering in Hervey Bay do magnificent single skin coach built bonded canopies. My uncle got one built. Way too flash for a fleet ute and a bush basher such as yours truly

They do mint work but you need deep pockets
 

Albynsw

Well-Known Member
Absolutely. Best part of $20k for a twin cab chassis mount canopy with not much on it. I really like their pop top camper version but I’m not game to ask haha.

You should see the numbers for the tray on modules they do for the travel truck o_O Nice gear though
 

CTL

Well-Known Member
Absolutely. Best part of $20k for a twin cab chassis mount canopy with not much on it.
When I was chasing quotes for my chassis mount, dual cab, alloy canopy, I received several “bare bones” quotes over $20K. Couple were just shy of $30K
 

G_ute

Well-Known Member
I am looking for a canopy which will only be used rarely as I need the tray available most of the time.
Perhaps canvas over aluminium mesh (home security door meterial) is an option.
It will be DIY, not a commercial product.

Otherwise I will just go with a gullwing toolbox and big lockable cargo boxes, space cases.
 

cam04

Well-Known Member
I am looking for a canopy which will only be used rarely as I need the tray available most of the time.
Perhaps canvas over aluminium mesh (home security door meterial) is an option.
It will be DIY, not a commercial product.

Otherwise I will just go with a gullwing toolbox and big lockable cargo boxes, space cases.
Most of my builder’s trailers I shelved out and made racks with amplimesh. Great product and tie down points everywhere.
 
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cam04

Well-Known Member
Sounds good, nice and light.
How did you join the panels?
There’s right angle and flat join extrusions for that. Just cut to length, pop it all together and throw some screws into it. On a car I’d use some silicone too because the rattles will drive you nuts otherwise.
 

Prof. Average

New Member
Thanks for all that guys, I have started looking for pre made one.

Idealling I want something I can take on and off pretty quickly and leave packed so I can put on and go.

But have another development
I have a 2019 dual cab with a steel tray, my tray dimensions are 1780 between the lips and then 1680 long.
I have a friend who is giving away a steel canopy which is 1830 wide and 1910 long. I can lay so 20mm ply to build it up to the lip and so it sits flush throughout on it. But I'm curious about the 200 overhang at the back.

Obviously I would not load the back and would all be loaded at the front, Essentially exactly how I would load a 1600 canopy or a 1400 canopy. But will that be a problem long term with the overhang? It's a jack off so would only have it on for transport and would take it off at site and at home when I'm not camping. The remaining rear space would just be bags and other small things if anything. It's more canopies are expensive and if I can get this for free then awesome but if it will cause problems then I'll just keep looking.
 

Prof. Average

New Member
There’s right angle and flat join extrusions for that. Just cut to length, pop it all together and throw some screws into it. On a car I’d use some silicone too because the rattles will drive you nuts otherwise.
Do you have any pictures of this? Curious to see what you mean and if I can build one myself.
 

Prof. Average

New Member
I am looking for a canopy which will only be used rarely as I need the tray available most of the time.
Perhaps canvas over aluminium mesh (home security door meterial) is an option.
It will be DIY, not a commercial product.

Otherwise I will just go with a gullwing toolbox and big lockable cargo boxes, space cases.
Are you going to be welding your frame? If not how are you going to make it?
 
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