Outdoor Federation

6 Things to Consider When Choosing a Truck Canopy for Camping

Once you decide that camping in your truck is your summer getaway, one of the major decisions you’ll make is to get, the right truck camp to suit your needs. It will not be a simple decision as you will have to choose the best truck canopy for you.

truck canopies for camping

What Is a Truck Canopy?

A truck canopy is a type of vehicle cover that is designed to give people shelter when they are in an open trailer. It is typically set up with four corners so it is square, with one side being the tailgate.
There are many designs for truck canopies which are square or rectangular in shape. The material is often vinyl or plastic, and will have zippers for easy installation and removal.

It is also a great way to protect your goods, while providing shelter for your driver. They are designed to withstand the harshest of weathers to ensure that your goods are safe and dry. Truck canopies provide ample space for loading or unloading large amounts of cargo, while also accommodating the driver inside. This makes them perfect for construction sites, farms, factories – pretty much anywhere you’ll be loading and unloading heavy loads.

Factors You Need to Consider Before Investing in A Truck Canopy

Build Type

A good camper knows that the best choice for additional cargo in your truck is a truck cap. Truck caps are available in different configurations and styles. They are either made from aluminum, fiberglass, or wood as long as they meet the owner’s needs.


Most new truck canopies for camping are pricey. Nevertheless, you can get a used one at a fair price. The cost of a new truck topper camping is between $1200- $1800 when installed. So if you have disposable cash, it is a good investment. If you decide to buy one, you should keep in mind that the bed liner and the topper can be re-sold or re-used when you buy another truck.

The cost of a used truck can be from $50-$500 if you are lucky you can get if for free. But be ready to put in some cash in resealing windows, repainting, and replacing gas window struts. Also, before buying any used canopy, remember to get the measurement for the truck canopy camping to ensure it fits with your truck bed.

Fun Outdoor Quiz

Interior Height

When you are out camping, you want your pick-up canopy camping to enough headroom. Enough interior height guarantees enough room for storage, eating, changing clothes, or relaxing in your truck.

It also makes it easier for you to build a sleeping platform because you have more space vertically to work with. So, when buying a truck cap for camping, go for a taller topper than a cab.


Proper ventilation of truck canopies for camping can either break or make your camping experience. A sliding window or two will allow a cool breeze in your topper. If your truck topper camping has a side wing window, it will come in handy when you want to get things from the truckbed while outside the truck. You should also install dark ceramic tint to your windows to reduce heat, keep your camping gear away from prying eyes, and increase your privacy.


You can never do away with condensation when camping in cold weather. It becomes even harder when you have more people in your truck cap camping. A good headliner solves the condensation problem by preventing it from dripping on you when you are sleeping. If your truck canopy lacks a headliner, you can easily install one. The headliner acts as an insulation to your canopy.


Did you know that the color of your truck canopy aids in climate control when camping? A light-colored truck canopy like silver or white is cooler when hot while a dark-colored canopy like black is warmer in the cold nights.

Types of Truck Canopy

Fiberglass Truck Canopy

Source: pinterest.com


  • Easy to find one that will fit your truck topper for camping
  • Save gas as all fiberglass truck canopies are aerodynamic
  • Save money as hundreds of fiberglass truck canopy can be found in the second-hand market
  • Easy to repair as the spare parts are easily available in most hardware stores


  • They are susceptible to breaks, unlike an aluminum truck canopy
  • They are slightly costly, especially if you acquire a new one

Aluminum Truck Canopy

Source: pinterest.com


  • They are strong as they are meant for trade work like construction
  • They have built-in storage
  • You can easily acquire second-hand ones, but they are a bit pricey


  • They are less insulated, therefore a bit colder in winter and hotter in summer
  • It is not easy to customize them to fit your truck
  • Most of them are not ventilated and lack windows

DIY Truck Canopy(wooden)

Source: pinterest.com


  • They are completely customized. If your skills in DIY are perfect, you can build your wooden truck canopy for camping how you want it.


  • Most of them leak as it is not easy to seal all the seams, causing wood rot and mold.
  • They are heavy, therefore affect your truck’s gas mileage.
  • If you factor in time used to buy the materials, the cost of materials, and building time, it can be as expensive as the other type of canopies and sometimes more.

Composite/Plastic Truck Canopy

Source: pinterest.com

These are fairly new in the market than the other three. They are limited in the color choices but hold up their side on other options.


  • They are less expensive than fiberglass truck canopies.
  • When it is about their quality, they are in between the fiberglass and the aluminum.


  • They do not have options on color.
  • You spend slightly more to acquire one than an aluminum one.

Aluminum vs Fiberglass Truck Canopy

Truck canopies are a necessity for any truck driver on the road. With the constant threat of rain, wind, and snow, it is important to protect yourself from these elements. Aluminum canopies are now the most common choice due to their ability to withstand harsh weather conditions without sustaining damage.

These aluminum canopies are also made with high quality materials that will not rust which makes them more durable than fiberglass truck cab covers.

Aluminum truck canopies are typically lighter than fiberglass truck canopies, which means they are easier to move. Aluminum is also less expensive than fiberglass, which can help decrease the total cost of a purchase. However, aluminum truck canopies are prone to corrosion if not properly maintained.

Do Truck Canopies Affect Gas Mileage?

How can a truck canopy affect your mileage? Well, for starters, the extra weight may have you running the gas engine a few extra minutes a day. The heavier canopy might also cause more drag on the vehicle, which could reduce the fuel economy of the vehicle.

But there is good news too! Truck bed canopy are designed with specific energy-absorbing materials that make them lighter and easier on your gas mileage.

Furthermore, in some cases latest truck canopies are designed with more aerodynamic airflow which in turn leads to increased fuel efficiency.

How to Insulate a Truck Canopy

A truck canopy can be insulated to keep the heat out and the cold in. Insulating a truck canopy is essential because it will help you save on heating and cooling costs, as well as protect your cargo from extreme temperatures.

The summer heat can be overwhelming, and when you add on the heat of a truck canopy it almost becomes unbearable. Luckily, there are several means of making your truck canopy more bearable in the summer months.

One way is to remove and replace the material on your canopy or apply a sealant that will keep some of the heat out. Another option is to use an insulation kit that will help prevent heat from entering under your canopy.


Finding the best truck canopy for your truck is not an easy task. However, this article should ease the work for you and guide you in making an informed decision in your next investment.

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