For avid adventurers and off-roaders, there is no better custom modification available than a custom canopy. It’s the Swiss knife, all-encompassing accessory that can either make or break a trip. Nowadays, many companies are offering UTE canopies for a range of vehicles; these can be adjusted and customized according to client’s needs. That is if the client knows what he is looking for and what options will serve him best. To help you make your mind while choosing a canopy, our experts have come up with a guide. Just keep these pointers in mind while hunting for best canopies deals.
A ute canopy is a big investment, it can cost from 3,000 AUD to upwards of 20,000 AUD and if you also add in a caravan setup then they can charge up to 50,000 AUD. That’s serious money, so the company that you choose should be offering serious services and top-notch products. Don’t go for enthusiasts who are in canopy business for a season; buy from a reputed and established company. To help you get started, find the best ute canopies here.
Know your options buy knowing your budget
Even when people are not clear what they need, they do have a clear idea of how much they can spend. If you have to work on a limited budget, don’t be afraid of making few compromises and do a mix and match thing instead of going for an absolute desire. For a quick heads up, quality canvas canopies are usually in the range of 2,500 AUD to 8,500 AUD. Then comes custom built set ups that can cost you anywhere from 5,000 AUD to 1,5000 AUD. Going above and beyond this point will get you into caravan territory and you can spend as much as your pocket allows. Fully equipped caravan setups can cost around 30,000 AUD to 50,000 AUD; the question is, do you seriously need to dish out that much money?
1. Pro Tip: Don’t shop near the bottom end of each category, you will end up with heavier canopies that won’t provide sufficient resistance and versatility, shop near the mid range.
Know what you want and want you need?
Needs are your absolute must haves and wants are your desires, without which you can survive and possibly enjoy. You should be clear as to what do you need from a canopy and how often will it be used? Mostly canopies are used for kitchen and storage, with moveable trays. Then there are additional questions like do you need the tray to be moved out completely? Any special coating or resistances that you require on canopy material? Like corrosion resistance, where are you mostly headed and when not off-roading what duties does the vehicle need to perform? All of these are immensely relevant as to what goes into building the canopy as any changes in back mounted weight can disrupt the vehicles’ balance, besides you cannot cross GVM’s (Gross Vehicle Mass) limit for any vehicle.
2. Pro Tip: don’t leave out essentials like protection and storage space, you can live without fancy sliders and triple batteries for camping.
What to choose: Chassis-mounted or removable canopy?
These two variants have their own pros and cons. For those who don’t need to remove canopy, they can opt for chassis-mounted canopy. It is essentially more affordable and stable option as chassis of vehicle and canopy are bolted together. Yes, you do lose the versatility of a removable canopy and will be carrying yours everywhere you go. But bear in mind, removable ones are heavier compared to chassis-mounted and cost more too. Biggest advantage a tray-mounted or removable canopy offers is versatility, it can be removed at will, and some designs can be removed in a bit over 5 minutes. You are not stuck with one design or even one vehicle.
3. Pro Tip: if you are lean towards off-road more than casual camping, then go with chassis-mounted option as it is more stable in terms of vehicles’ handling and maneuverability.
Additionally, you should ask for rounder edges of canopies, to avoid bruises and bumps.