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Old 03-10-2020, 01:12 PM   #1
CG
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Canopy Topper Camper

Out here in the PNW Ive always known them as canopy. The metal "house" that covers the bed. And I know we have a really cool thread on this, but ...

I'm wondering if anyone has ever made a tube frame and covered it with canvas. Old military truck style. Can roll up the sides if you want. I think it might be a neat look on the right truck. Maybe a patina ride?

Im not talking about the modern versions you can buy. I really don't like those. They fit funny down the sides of the boxes. Almost like the top is a little too narrow.

Something like these but "tightened up" a little.
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Old 03-10-2020, 10:53 PM   #2
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Re: Canopy Topper Camper

https://www.softopper.com

https://youtu.be/W6JrfFd3J2g
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Old 03-10-2020, 11:49 PM   #3
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Re: Canopy Topper Camper

Soft toppers are the ones I was talking about that don't look good (to me). They are too narrow, they don't go to the outside edge of the box.
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Old 03-11-2020, 10:21 AM   #4
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Re: Canopy Topper Camper

We call them caps back east but I would call this a soft canopy. To me just soft top is an option in place of the original hard top. I have considered a soft canopy on a truck through the years all the way back to that blue '69 W200 I had. I think in JC Whitney, later-'70s, they had folding canopies, no side windows, that snapped to the cab (and bed). I changed to a Utiline bed, so never bought one. I was going to take the back window out.

I also remember ones like the military with several bows that could be slid to the cab. So you'd end up with about 2' behind the cab all bunched up. I think those were more crude, like they used cord and relied on cargo hooks on the bedside. I vaguely remember the one a guy I worked for had on his new Chevy back in '77

But I figure any trim shop (upholstery shop) could make a custom-fit folding frame soft canopy just like a K/5 top. They make that kind of stuff for boats all the time, where there are boats. I made a custom-fit tonneau cover for a utility body with my upholstery guy. He did all the upholstery and supplied me with the hardware. So I brought him the truck with a frame installed with the bows in place. We have talked about doing what you want the same way but I never have. I doubt it would cost any more than a Softopper and it could be made to order/custom-fit. Windows any way you want them
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Old 03-11-2020, 10:27 AM   #5
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Re: Canopy Topper Camper

Only problem with going over the outside bed rails is you would have to put snaps on it. No matter how tight you sinch it with rope or cables it will still flap and ruin the paint . But that's only a concern for a repaint truck not an everyday driver
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Old 03-12-2020, 10:09 AM   #6
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Re: Canopy Topper Camper

Found this in the vintage picture thread in another area of the board.
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Old 03-12-2020, 10:12 AM   #7
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Re: Canopy Topper Camper

There was one on eBay and Los Angeles Craigslist last year. I had never seen one before. Vw pickups call them hoops and canvas
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Old 03-25-2020, 05:02 PM   #8
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Re: Canopy Topper Camper

https://albuquerque.craigslist.org/c...098455133.html
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Old 03-25-2020, 05:19 PM   #9
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Re: Canopy Topper Camper

I think if they are done right, real tight along the bows and such its a pretty neat look.
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Old 03-25-2020, 09:42 PM   #10
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Re: Canopy Topper Camper

My Dad had a vinyl folding top cap on his 71 Ford long bed pick up back in the day. Sides and tailgate had clear plastic type windows. It really was not too different than the softopper I have for my Blazer except I believe the windows were fixed and didn't roll up. Actually looked good on the truck. Two of us kids rode in the back when we went on vacation camping and boating. We sat and laid on plywood benches in the bed with 6" foam on them. Most all of the camping gear was loaded in the boat. Amazingly, we survived without seat belts, only a vinyl canvass roof, and a good exhaust system to keep us from getting asphyxiated. Vacationed at Black Lake near the St. Lawrence or up in Peterborough Ontario Canada, so they weren't short rides.
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Old 03-26-2020, 09:16 AM   #11
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Re: Canopy Topper Camper

It looks like Bestop is now making pickup bed soft tops. Looked like it wasn't made to fit the bed, just like Softoppers. I think they are made that was because trucks are more about style than function now. The rounded edges and tapered bedsides go against traditional truck equipment upfitting. I think these soft tops sit in so far because they use "clamp-on" members for the mounting snaps rather than put snaps in the body.

Sometimes I feel like I'm the only guy who is not at all concerned with a series of 1/16" holes drilled in his bedside. That was the only way you got a tonneau cover back in the day when they were custom and that's what I did. I also used to braise them shut, if needed, with no problems way before these easy to use on light metal modern welders. I plan to have a custom tonneau made for my '67 project. I'm a stickler for period correct, so there will be snaps in the bedside for the authentic look.
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'67 C1500 Wideside Super Custom SWB: 327/M22/3.42 posi..........'The 67' (project)
'72 K2500 Wideside Sierra Custom Camper: 350/TH350/4.10 Power-Lok...'The 72' (rolling)
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Old 03-26-2020, 08:00 PM   #12
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Re: Canopy Topper Camper

If you have a Stepside, you only need an S-hook, or bunji end to grip under the rolled side rails on the outside.
On road trips, I sometimes make a poor-man's tonneau by taking a 5' x 7' blue tarp and rolling a 1 x 3 board onto the front end and stapling that on. About 52''.
Then I put tarp grippers [ plastic circle-in-a-pear ring type] on the 4 corners and the 2 middle sides. These rings I bunji under the side rails. For support I use Harbor Freight load dividers under the tarp -- fore and aft.
To keep the blue tarp flatter at freeway speeds, I run a couple of 1'' orange ratchet straps in the sections between the bunji points.
Usually rain resistant, and nobody's messed with it. Not even Border Patrol.
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