If you own a ute, you’re probably a hard-working person who needs something rugged to keep their tools and gear lasting for a long time. Used for transporting tools and any other type of hardware, a part tray ute canopy is a tradie’s most important storage space. Not only can it keep your essential equipment safe from thieves but it can also provide more than enough storage space for all your gear. Mounting a canopy on your ute is a big investment which means you need to carefully select the one that suits your needs best.
Cross Deck Canopy Features to Consider
What is also known as a cross deck ute canopy can have side windows installed for better ventilation. If your cross deck canopy is used for having a kip especially in the hot weather side windows are a feature you should consider. Windows can be used as an additional access point for your gear. This way you make for a more convenient way of getting to your tools as you don’t have to go around the ute to go inside the canopy to get your equipment. Just reach through the window.
If convenience is the main reason for you buying a cross deck canopy, then having a lift-up door is something you don’t want to miss out on. When you’re carrying heavy items, a lift-up door can come in very handy as you only need one hand to open it up. You don’t need to worry about the elements as a lift-up door can provide protection from them too.
Rack or Cargo Bar
Ute canopies that come with pre-installed racks or cargo bars are great when travelling or when going camping with heavy loads. A cargo bar or rack will increase the storage space in your canopy. Usually, you won’t have to worry about running out of any supplies even if you’re gone for days.
A carpeted headliner will allow you to keep the inside of the canopy more aesthetically pleasing. A carpet is able to absorb moisture too which can become a big issue when it starts evaporating under the hot sun. You can also have a sleeping platform on top of the headliner or sue the canopy as a changing room. It’s up to you – the options are endless.
Aluminium & Steel
The best type of mini or part tray canopy as people also call them are those made of aluminium or steel. These are the strongest and most durable out there. Steel and aluminium trays make for the ideal solution for the working ute. You can have them made with a felt lining, lighting and central-locking too.
The most popular material for trays nowadays is fibreglass. Usually, these types of trays have a sliding or lift up window on each side and a door at the back. Whilst fibreglass isn’t as strong as steel or aluminium it is still a solid choice. You will, however, need to install cargo racks as these ute trays do not support a lot of weight.
Canvas trays are combined with a steel frame and some zips on the sides and back. While they have an alloy hardtop they are not as durable as any of the aforementioned options. Canvas canopies are a versatile alternative to both fibreglass and steel/ aluminium.
How Do You Clean a Ute Canopy?
The first thing to do to keep your ute canopy in good shape is to have it under cover whenever you can. Dust, bird and bat droppings, as well as hail, can easily stain your canopy. Although it’s not that hard to get rid of the stains the fact that you’ll clean your canopy more often can be an issue.
Why? This way you put a lot more stress on the canopy which can affect it negatively especially if its made of canvas. To make things less convenient and your ute canopy welcome your next ute upgrade make sure to keep them covered with a large tarp. No matter if it’s parked in a garage or outside.
Keeping your canopy covered won’t keep you from ever cleaning it though. From time to time you’ll still need to give your mini canopy a good wash. This goes mainly for aluminium and steel canopies.
1. Wash the canopy down with a water hose and make sure to apply some pressure when doing so to remove debris and dirt around the edges. Next, get a clean sponge and a buck full of water and one full of diluted detergent and water. Wipe down the surface of the canopy and include some elbow grease to remove salt deposits, grime and dirt build-up. When you’re done give the canopy a good rinsing and you’re finished.
2. After rinsing the canopy if you have some stubborn stains get a pressure house and blast them away while they are still wet. You may use an aluminium or steel cleaner to remove the grime and tougher stains. This will also give your canopy a shinier look.