You might ask yourself the question: what is a truck canopy and is it useful? And we’re going to answer this question without wasting much time. So, a truck canopy (also called a truck topper) is a small housing structure that covers the bed of your truck. Most of the time, a truck canopy comprises either fiberglass or Aluminum as its material.
But you can be sure to find those made of either wood or canvas, especially if they are a homemade truck canopy. Is a truck canopy important? Yes, it is very important because of a few reasons. First, a truck topper can protect the cargo on the truck bed from elements such as the sun or rain during transit, just in the same manner that a tent will protect you from the sun or rain while camping.
Second, it is important since you can convert your truck into an RV (recreational vehicle) after attaching a truck canopy to its bed. You can sleep on your truck bed if you have a truck canopy to shield you from the cold and rain. It's evident that a truck canopy is a very useful structure that every truck owner should consider adding to their vehicle.
How do you make your truck canopy?
You can always make your truck topper if you’re a DIYer. Of course, you will need a few materials besides having some hands-on skills to make a truck canopy. The materials might include the following:
Once you have gathered the essential materials, the next thing to do is to start the construction of your home-made canopy. And you will simply follow the steps below:
Start with the frames
When looking to build your home-made truck canopy, you will need to start with the frames that will support the canopy. There are a few ways to build the frames. If you have steel piping as the frame material, welding them together with a gas welder and filler bars will be ideal.
Use 2-inch steel pipes since they are sufficiently thick and will make the truck canopy sturdy enough. Cut them into the right size using either a pipe saw or a steel pipe cutter. But you can still use 1-inch or 1.5-inch steel pipes. Make sure you know the measurements beforehand.
You can choose to shape the frame into a trapezoid. The top frame will, of course, be smaller than the bottom frame. Weld cross braces horizontally on the top frame and diagonal vertical braces that connect the top and bottom frames.
Choose excellent sliding materials
The siding material should be durable and have sufficient weight. You have a wide array of siding materials to choose from. Some of the options include fiberglass sheets, corrugated fiberglass, and plywood. A few factors should inform your choice for particular siding material.
If you’re looking to cover more miles on less gas, fiberglass sidings might be what you need. However, they are less durable than other materials such as wood. If you’re a camper, plywood will be the appropriate siding material. This could also be an option for people looking to convert their trucks into an RV.
Assemble the truck canopy materials
The assembly method will depend on siding material. For example, you will rivet fiberglass onto the frames if it's your siding material. But if you have chosen plywood, you will screw them directly into the frame.
And you will need to use a power driver to crew in the metal screws that will hold the plywood. To make the installation more accurate, you will have to drill pilot holes. Screwing in plywood siding materials into the truck canopy frame is the fastest installation process.
Buy some accessories
Your truck canopy should have a door. This will make sure you can access and use it as frequently as you want. There are a few accessories that you will need to install the truck canopy door in place. In this case, you will need rubber gaskets or moldings.
Cut a section of the siding into a reasonable door size. Reinforce the cut siding with the rubber gaskets and attach it to the frame of the truck canopy using door hinges. Don’t attach the door to the siding since this will not create a strong and durable door.
Connecting the door to the frame might be a challenge. You have a few techniques for installing the door. One way is by welding the hinge on the frame using a gas welder and filler bars. But you can also use screws drivers to install the hinges after drilling the holes on the frame.
You will also need the door lock and handle accessories in this step. You can visit a hardware store for these accessories. You also have the option of buying them from an online store.
You can always make a truck canopy for your truck. If you love DIY projects, you will appreciate making your truck topper. Besides, a truck canopy has more uses than most people might know. Besides sheltering your cargo during rainy seasons, you can use it to convert your truck into a recreational vehicle (RV).
Also, you could use your truck canopy as a compact workshop. You can use it as a chicken coop and playhouse for children among other uses. It all depends on your intentions.
A truck canopy has many uses. If you are a truck owner, fitting it with a truck canopy is an excellent idea. While you can buy a truck canopy, having a home-made one could save you a few bucks. And you will be developing your DIY skills by making a truck canopy by yourself.
A truck canopy is essential for making your truck a recreational vehicle. Even if you own a small truck and you’re a camper, you still need a truck canopy. Thankfully, we have shared a few tips for making your home-made truck canopy. Now, the only thing left is fitting a canopy on your truck to spend the night in camping sites without fearing the elements.