No matter what you use your ute for its usefulness can be enhanced and increased dramatically with the use of a ute canopy. But the decision to buy a canopy for its usefulness is in itself a task and requires a certain level of research and awareness. Read on for our top 5 tips for what to consider when you’re looking into buying a ute canopy.
Do you actually need it?
A canopy is a handy thing, there’s no doubt. But if you rarely use the storage space your vehicle offers you, or if you use it but ocky straps or a tarp are suiting you fine, then maybe you don’t really need a canopy? As useful as they are ute canopies can get quite expensive, and if you’re not going to use them to their fullest potential then it’s probably not worth the money that you may end up spending on it.
Consider how you normally use your ute. Think of how often you drive it, and when you drive it how far are you going? Have you ever had an instance where you’ve just wished there was more room in it? And if so, how much more? Is the lack of space in your ute a frequent issue? Do you regularly sleep in your car and wish you have more room to sprawl out?
Think of all these things and if the answer is a resounding “My car is good but it would be handy to have access to these features”, then the decision is made and you’re officially in the market for a canopy.
What kind of Canopy do you need?
There are many types of ute canopies. There are ute canopies that are made of canvas and simply offer a basic wall and ceiling system to occasionally transport some minor cargo. There are fiberglass canopies that offer more hardy protection.
Aluminum ute canopies are very popular for their aesthetics and general hardiness and resistance to rust. You should have some kind of idea about what kind of canopy you need after step 1, as the canopy you need will determine how and what it can be used for.
Typically, people using it to transport things like camping gear on family trips will use very light, basic ute canopies, while professionals who use their ute as a gigantic moving toolbox will go for more robust canopy designs.
How much security do you need?
This is largely tied to step 2, as most of the major security options come on hardier canopy designs, such as aluminum and fiber-glass canopies, while the softer canopies made of canvas and plastic don’t offer the same security.
There’s a big difference between someone who is a bit of a DIY enthusiast around the house and wants a canopy to protect hauls from the hardware store and a professional who has to sleep in their car because their job frequently takes them to the wilderness.
The former may only need a canvas canopy, enough to increase the storage space of the ute and make sure that their purchases don’t fall out of their vehicle, while the latter may appreciate the security of metal walls and hard-wearing locks to increase the feeling of their safety at night. Steps one and two should have familiarised you with your canopy’s needs, now consider how much protection against outside forces those needs warrant
How big of a canopy can you get?
Whatever Canopy you get it has to fit your ute. Many people do research, buy a canopy, and then find they’ve made a huge purchase on something they can’t use because through all their research, the most fundamental step slipped their mind – they forgot to measure the back of their ute, and the canopy they bought is either too large or too small.
Make sure that when you’re in the market for a ute canopy, you measure the back and keep these measurements close at hand. Not only is this step important so that you know your canopy will fit your car, but so that you know whether or not a certain size canopy will do the job you need it to.
After all, there’s no use buying a canopy to sleep under if you can’t fit under it comfortably, and maybe its inbuilt toolboxes take up much too much room. You won’t know until you measure your ute and keep the measurements handy against the canopies you look at.
Checking the Canopy’s Weight
This is possibly the most important thing to remember about your canopy, it has a weight. Just because your ute is made specifically for carrying stuff doesn’t mean it can carry everything and its own roof. There are countless horror stories of people having a canopy on their ute and doing irreparable damage to the car through the excess weight bending the chassis.
Not to mention, excessive weight throws off the car’s balance. When this happens, the car becomes unpredictable and dangerous to control. Always make sure you check your car’s load-bearing capacity before buying a canopy.