Canopy camping-a good use for scrap wood


Active Member
Here are some pics of what I have been camping out of since I sold my 5th wheel. The wood is whatever was laying around the shop at the time. The table and bench on the driver's side is two pieces that bolt together with just 2 wingnuts. Both of those units and the bed platform were built to go around the wheel arches and both provide a significant amount of storage underneath. The bed unit is 78'' long by 24'' wide. The mattress is one piece of 2'' urethane foam topped by another 2'' of memory foam. That leaves an 18'' walkway down the middle-enough to semi stand up in to get dressed and wide enough to accomodate my Super Fat Cat.

The food box at the left rear is a unit I built over 20 years ago and has seen a ton of use. It houses all of my cookware plus a good amount of food. An overhead rack at the front of the canopy-hard to see here-holds all of my wading clothes and nighttime warmies. Lights front and rear are controlled by switches at the rear and on the units themselves. An old flourescent lantern provides more light and some new LED lights front and rear supplant the older lights. A spotlight on an extendable cord resides in a rack on the left rear.

The tall canopy is a vast improvement over the cab high model I had on a previous truck. Cab highs are like spiked heel shoes the ladies wear-stylish maybe but an absolute pain in the ass to deal with. Screened windows on both sides provide ventilation and I have built a mosquito net frame for the sliding front window that keeps me insect free at night.

In the last picture the truck is ready to go, I just need to add ice and a plastic milk crate with some of the softer food items. As shown it has all the cooking gear, stove, water, 3 sleeping bags, 2 pair of waders and boots, 5 fly rods and 5 reels and 7 lines, flies, vest, wading staff, enough clothes for 5 days, 2 raincoats, camera, monocular, a chair, fold-up table, a pisaroonie for nightime use, propane and all the other paraphenalia and detritus that finds it way along on fishing trips. It doesn't appear or feel crowded at all. The old Ram single cab truck came with a lot of room behind the seats that includes a full width tray, snap in trays up the back of the cab and a storage net. A mountain of stuff can be stored back there out of sight and out of the way but easily accessable.

If you have a skil saw and a sabre saw you can knock someting similar out pretty easily. A table saw and a router will make it even easier. It was a fun project but more importantly it has served me well for several years while holding clutter and chaos to a minimum.
Love it. I had one of those old insulated canopies, with the wood paneling inside. had it done up in a similar fashion.

Mine even had a furnace of sortes. I took a old speaker box, fit a duct in it that vented outside. Gutted out a old coleman stove burner in the bottom, a heat exchanger in the top with a little 12v fan. The stove section vented outside, the fan drew fresh air in through the exchanger. I could even fit the coffeepot on the burner. I remember it was 16 outside and 45 in there.

Man I miss that old thing sometimes. Now the wife has me spoiled into a 31' motorhome.

Billy McFly

Active Member
Very nice Ive - I have an F150 that I set up for winter camping this year. Mine has the 6' bed and the cab height canopy. I have the same rubber floor mat and I put down a carpet. I insulated the sides with a hot water tank insulation blanket and the head and tailgate ends with those rubber fatigue mats. I have a 6' cot. I had enough space to put a three shelf unit beside the cot against the front of the bed. It held a microwave, coffee pot, desk lights and speakers for my i phone. I have a little heater and although a bit tight quite cozy. The lot at Stevens has a 24hr bathroom but to make myself legal i picked up one of those little portable toilets. It was me in the RV lot surrounded by massive RV's. Most folks were pretty cool but a couple went to management and tried to get me removed. $30 per night to plug into their power pole......

I'll be using it this summer a lot I hope.....
Ive, that is one fine piece of work - love it. Without the wife this would be just the ticket and even add to a fishing trip with ease of moving camp. But the little lady needs a bit more comfort and the travel trailer gets her outdoors more. Also, love that you have room for "5 fly rods and 5 reels and 7 lines".

Rick Todd

Active Member
I was checking out your unit at the Highland Fling Ive and you are one great craftsman! I'm thinking of getting rid of my big (101/2' 3800 lbs) camper, getting a travel trailer for when Patty and I are traveling, and do a similar conversion of a canopy for camping by myself. On my next truck I will definitely look at a taller canopy. Rick

Rick Todd

Active Member
Another point Ive, is that you have an aluminum canopy vs a fiberglass one. I have the same thing but cab height. They may not look as cool, but it is easy to take mine on and off with a frame at the right height in my pole barn. Just back it up and slide it off. Another great plus of an aluminum model is the full height doors on the sides. I use those all the time to load and unload the front part of the bed without having to climb in, and usually the back of the canopy is occupied with 2 or 3 hunting dogs in crates. Rick

Jay C

Active Member
I like it. I have a F-250 and have done some road trips using a cot and rubbermaid totes. I just need to retire so I have time to build something like you have.

Jim Darden

Active Member
Looks great!! There were about 10 of us here in town that built similar units for 4wheeling in BC. Mine had the bed crossways with a 24 gallon water tank, electric pump to the sink, cook stove, curtains, light for reading and tying. I have a travel trailer now but still miss the independence it gave me. you could just throw your clothes in and go!


Geriatric Skagit Swinger
That's cool!
In an effort to get the wife a little more involved in the outdoors we've decided that I'm going to build a "Teardrop Trailer" Google that if you're unfamiliar with them...
Nice setup. I sleep in my truck with a canopy and use an air mattress. If you're like me and sometimes want to sleep in, I used sticky back velcro and put little pieces around the window frame every couple of feet. Felt will stick to the hook side of velcro and makes a great window covering so you don't have to get up with the sun. Just a tad warmer in the winter as well.