Canopy Tray Vehicles
Tray/canopy mounting surfaces offer the most versatile mounting platform for Hard shell rooftop tents.
Things to consider:
Is your canopy wide and high enough to mount the tent you want?
Measure the space available across between the doors when opened. Some canopy designs have 'Gullwing' doors which will take up some of the available room on top - width is always the issue. You just can't fit a 1350mm wide tent to a canopy with Gullwing doors that is only 1250 wide across the top. (So a rack would have to have to be fitted).
If you do have the width available on the canopy top?
Is there enough width to also put awning support brackets or legs? If you are intending to go poleless - the rear bracket is typically triangulated up to 600mm inwards to stiffen up the arm pivot point. Can the tent sit forward from this, and would any sprung steel poles etc foul on the awning brackets? In many cases, the best option is to mount awnings directly to the side of the tent to get the height you need whilst keeping the tent as low as possible.
Be aware that the tent or awning plus solar is going to add at least 110kg to the roof load of the vehicle whilst it is driving.
Getting this weight balanced between the front and rear wheels will not only improve the vehicle's handling and climbing abilities on and off-road, but it will also give you some space at the rear side of the vehicle to turn around before negotiating the ladder. (A really BIG PLUS with all rooftop camping). If you can mount the tent forward. Do it. This is the best option. See pics of the Hilux below.
This Hilux above has a Bundutop by Bundutec mid-mounted on its canopy - allowing for the best possible vehicle balance and some welcome space at the rear for turn around access to the tent. The 79 series Single cab also has the tent forward 400mm - just enough space for a row of Jerrycans and a turnaround.
Awning Fitting to Canopy:
For awning mounting options and bracket systems that work in with the Canopy roof tent camping set up - see information on Awnings. More information on poleless awning fitting kits can be found at Awning to tent brackets.
Whenever possible, forward mounting your roof tent over the cab provides the best weight balance for the vehicle, as well as offering easy step in access to the tent.
We love this set up on the 79 series here. There is space left for firewood, there is a box for storage of the fridge and for keeping gear out of the weather. The tent has also been pushed forward for vehicle load balance and climbing...
Absolutely the way to go!!