With Utes becoming more and more popular with families, tradespeople and off-road enthusiasts, it’s no surprise that the humble aluminium canopy has finally come of age. No longer do you have to put up with boring off-the-shelf canopies, you can now design your own canopy that is perfectly suited to your needs.
There is no denying that a bolt-on custom-made canopy is tough, durable and perfect for travel or work. An aluminium canopy is also the best as far as weight is concerned because when you add the weight of a steel frame canopy with all your gear and other inclusions, it might go over the weight limits for your 4WD. This will be both a safety concern and a problem with your insurance, as any claims may be void.
Aluminum is very lightweight and corrosion-resistant, giving you more leeway with added weight, allowing you to pack more into the back of your Ute and making it more long-lasting than other materials.
Let’s take a look at some of the factors you need to consider if you are thinking of a custom aluminium canopy.
Why do you need an aluminium canopy?
If you want a custom made canopy, the manufacturer will need to know how it will be used. So consider whether you will need the tray to be removed at some time in the future and if so, how often? Do you want the tray to be used just for storage, will you need to sleep in it on the road and will you need to use if for both camping and for work?
So functionality is one of your first considerations because without knowing how you will use your canopy, the manufacturer won’t know where to start designing it for you.
What style of aluminium canopy do you need?
Generally, you can either opt for a tray or a chassis-mounted canopy with enthusiasts for each style split fairly evenly. The chassis-mounted tray is popular with people who won’t ever need to remove the tray and it’s also the cheaper option because you don’t need to purchase a tray and a canopy. On the other hand, a tray mounted canopy is both heavier and more expensive, but these issues are overcome by its versatility. You can remove a tray mounted canopy and use the Ute without the canopy, even fitting it to another vehicle if needed.
Also consider whether you will need to store a boat on the roof or even a tent, as your canopy might need to be reinforced to take the additional weight on the roof.
What inclusions do you need?
Will you use your canopy for work or road trips? Do you need it filled to the brim with storage facilities or does it need room to sleep? If you want to use the canopy for camping, you will need an electrical setup that can deal with lights and appliances, as well as an area for water storage and plumbing, as well as for cooking.
Once you have all of this plan, it’s time to discuss your new aluminium canopy with an experienced manufacturer so you can get on the road as soon as possible.