Canvas or PVC canopy for ute

Submitted: Monday, Nov 05, 2018 at 14:13
ThreadID: 137438 Views:962 Replies:7 FollowUps:4
We need to replace an old canvas canopy on a Hilux dual cab ute.
What are the advantages and disadvantages for theses materials as strength, UV resistance, breathing and life time?
The Hilux will be exposed over a long period of time to sun and rain.

May be you can help me to decide.

Andy
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Reply By: GarryR - Monday, Nov 05, 2018 at 16:12

Monday, Nov 05, 2018 at 16:12
canvas will breathe, whereas pvc will not. Expect a heavy pvc cover to cost at least 3 times more than canvas. Canvas will leak through the stiching until seasoned, but extra water proofing along the seam will help. Both are uv protective from a manufacturers point of view, and 5-10years gauantee of the product pending weight and the suppling manufacturer. Pvc will also be about 10yrs but remember there is a coating on the pvc that when it has aged a bit, it is not re-weldable. ( it will have to be sown, and when patched you could get a colour difference due to batches etc, hence if you go down this track, keep a piece of the original offcut for repair purposes). As to strength, both have their unique parts to play, and a lot will depend what you are doing at the time. eg, branches will still drag on the surfaces but you will always run the risk of a tear in such circumstances. I have a combination of canvas, heavy pvc and commercial 95 shade cloth tarps. They all serve a purpose pending on the job at the time. These are up to 15yrs old and still in good condition. Also remember that pvc will also be about 2.5 times the weight of a similar canvas cover.
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Follow Up By: andy - Monday, Nov 05, 2018 at 16:41

Monday, Nov 05, 2018 at 16:41
Garry, thanks for the extensive and precise information. We will have a canvas with a protection (double layer) along the seams in front of the canopy that are exposed during travelling in the bush.

Andy
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Reply By: Shaker - Monday, Nov 05, 2018 at 16:18

Monday, Nov 05, 2018 at 16:18
Depending on the quality, PVC can shrink & get brittle with age, that is one reason that it fell out of favour for boat dodgers, Biminis etc.
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Monday, Nov 05, 2018 at 23:06

Monday, Nov 05, 2018 at 23:06
There's a reinforced PVC material used for tarps, it's called Herculite 80, and I have never come across anything to match it, for durability and strength.

I have Herculite 80 tarps that are 30-plus years old, and they're still in good useable condition.

Nolans flog a wide range of materials for awnings, tarps, covers, and marine use, and they are the Herculite sellers.
However, their range also includes lighter materials and materials that breathe, unlike the Herculite PVC.

Cheers, Ron.
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Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Monday, Nov 05, 2018 at 16:29

Monday, Nov 05, 2018 at 16:29
I have chosen vinyl for the OKA pop top. It was 14 years old when I replaced it (again with vinyl) due to holes in the fly screens.
Each has its advantages and disadvantages.
I wanted white. You can not get white canvas.
Canvas blocks all the light. Vinyl lets some light in.
Cheers,
Peter
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Follow Up By: Member - Tony H (touring oz) - Monday, Nov 05, 2018 at 18:54

Monday, Nov 05, 2018 at 18:54
Depending on thickness......BUT your comments are very valid
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Reply By: Malcom M - Tuesday, Nov 06, 2018 at 12:37

Tuesday, Nov 06, 2018 at 12:37
Apart from the comments above,

I don't think there's much in it.
We have a Johnnos camper with a 3 x 2.5 mtr vinyl wall in the awning.
Its still bullet proof and supple after 6 years of fairly constant use when its in full sun.

vinyl usually soaks up the heat and can be hot to touch. Moreso than canvas.
If you want vinyl then maybe check out that which is used for camper trailer tent floors.
There's good stuff that fibreglass reinforced and it takes a hiding and its very UV proof. Thats whats on the Johnnos.

Vinyl is also heavier than canvas.

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Reply By: rumpig - Tuesday, Nov 06, 2018 at 12:58

Tuesday, Nov 06, 2018 at 12:58
I’m assuming you are not just talking tanneau covers here but actual whole canopies....If you don’t already have one, maybe look at some sort of solid roof on the canopy that the covering goes over, stops material from sagging and collecting water as it ages. I have had both just the covering and the solid roof underneath versions on previous vehicles, personally i would only go a solid roof option again if I went that type of canopy set up (which I wouldn’t as I prefer my all ally canopy now...lol).
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Follow Up By: Batt's - Thursday, Nov 08, 2018 at 04:21

Thursday, Nov 08, 2018 at 04:21
Totally agree with the solid roof if it suits you it gives you more options like.
- you can glue insulation foam under it to reduce heat
- fit a roof rack easier
- attach permanently mounted solar panels etc.

I've had both vinyl and canvas the vinyl attracts heat but is easy to wipe over to clean especially if it gets mould on it like we do in the tropics.

Canvas looks better in my eye it makes the vehicle look like a real off road venturer, It seems cooler in summer but hard to get mould out if it's a problem in your area you can treat it for that.

On my current vehicle I also have an all alloy canopy which suits my needs at this point in time. Fitted with 2 solar panel a solar exhaust vent and ladder racks which clear the solar panels so I can carry gear when needed and also supports an awning here's a rough pic I had to give you an idea what you can do with a solid roof if your interested.
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Reply By: garrycol - Tuesday, Nov 06, 2018 at 15:07

Tuesday, Nov 06, 2018 at 15:07
Hi - I cannot speak about vinyl as I have never used it but I do have two vehicles that make extensive use of hi quality canvas.

The first thing is that it does shrink but the maker should be able to take that into account when being made - just means that for a little while after being installed things will be a little loose.

It does allow a fair bit of heat in but probably not any more than any other material.

When in good condition - really keeps the light and water out in the heaviest weather. No leaks at the seams.

It is not UV stable and if left uncovered will slowly degrade and becomes thinner and less water proof. Recoating the canvas will slow this process down.

Parking it up to minimise UV exposure is important - parking in the shade for short term and parking under cover or putting a cover over for longer term is a must. I used to put a camper cover over mine but we aware of the wear spots between the two and provide something soft there.

Sharp things poke holes in it but it does not tend to rip.

Repairs are best done by sewing patches on both sides with natural thread. As my canvas was coming to the end of its life (8 years) it was easier to simply glue patches on with contact adhesive, particularly if away.

When it gets really old and thin you need to cover the outside with a blue tarp to keep the rain out which does not rush in - just oozes in. Is Ok when driving.

The cotton thread holding the lot together will go before the main canvas so if the canvas is a bit old have a repair ability - contact adhesive works and liquid nails works really good on old canvas until it can be replaced.

The old canvas on my truck has had it and I chose to go to a new canvas when the old one cannot be patched when retired.

Oh - do not get UK canvas or Chinese Canvas - both will rot quickly because they cannot handle UV at all well. Get good old Aussie made stuff - it handles the UV the best.
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Reply By: Greg J1 - Tuesday, Nov 06, 2018 at 18:19

Tuesday, Nov 06, 2018 at 18:19
Hi Andy. I have a canopy made from material I THINK is called boot lining. Some sort of marine stuff. It would have to be 15 years old. Been on 4 Toyota utes now. Google Bob Power canvas in Toowoomba qld. He made it for me. It,s still waterproof and still looks like new( apart from some red stain).


I can’t remember if it was outrageously expensive but it has stood the test of time.


He is Will Power’s father, the racing driver.


Cheers Greg

Edit. Phone number. 07 46301400
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