The ultimate ute canopy setup for camping adventures

Whether you’re a seasoned outdoor enthusiast updating your rig or a newbie gearing up for your first 4WD off-road adventure, finding the perfect camping canopy setup is important.

With so many options to consider from the type of ute canopy itself to accessories and electrical wiring, an investment like this requires good research and expert guidance. Read on as we share key points to consider for your ultimate camping canopy setup.

Canopy buying guide

Key things to consider when exploring what’s important in your ute canopy.

  • Functionality: Before anything else, take a moment to envision your camping needs. Are you planning weekend getaways or embarking on longer treks to remote destinations like the Cape? Do you want a work ute Monday to Friday but a 4WD camping rig come the weekend? This will impact decisions around features like kitchens, fridge options, storage and drawer systems, the power system and sleeping arrangements.
  • Durability: Regardless of your camping needs, prioritise durability when researching canopies. Have a chat with canopy manufacturers about the materials used, closely inspect the welding and the quality of workmanship – and don’t forget to check the warranty on that workmanship too! A canopy with a 3 year warranty, simply isn’t built to last. Researching details like this will ensure you buy a canopy that will withstand the elements and not start rattling as soon as you’ve hit the dirt road. Additionally, you should prioritise features like dust and water resistance and a functional design that not only enhances your canopy but safeguards it.
  • Versatility: Another big consideration when choosing a ute canopy setup is whether you’re looking for a full-time or wind-off option.

Norweld Canopies

Exclusive designs for Norweld Trays & Canopy Bases. Options:

  • Wind-off Canopy: Matched with ute trays, the wind-off system lets you efficiently add and remove the canopy. Run a tray only option during the week and throw the canopy on, for weekend adventures (or vice versa if you are using your canopy for work).
  • Full-time Canopy: Matched with a canopy base, it retains all tray features, including an under tray poly water tank and toolboxes, without the headboard.


Ute canopy accessories

When deciding on your internal and external fit out of your canopy, there are a range of different accessories to choose from. The following are key considerations when choosing accessories for your ultimate camping experience.

Kitchen accessories

Sharing meals is an important part of the camping experience and as such there are a few things to consider with kitchen accessories:

  • Fridge options: Drop-down or upright fridge options. The beauty about Norweld Deluxe canopies is you have the flexibility to choose between upright fridges or Clearview Easy Slide for chest-style fridges up to 80L. If weight is a concern, opt for an upright fridge.
  • Meal preparation spaces: Look for integrated features like table drawers to ensure meal prep on the road is a breeze.
  • Cooking: Choosing the right wiring package will determine whether you’ll be able to power your cooking appliances like air fryers and coffee machines or you’ll need to use gas. Speak to an expert to ensure that you choose the right package to suit your needs.
  • Pantry: Transform your canopy into a mobile pantry stocked with all the essentials, ensuring you’re ready for a meal no matter where the adventure takes you.

Canopy storage

Whether you’re gearing up for the Birdsville Track or balancing work and camping, a ute canopy setup with a range of storage options will unlock your rig’s full potential. Consider canopy storage options such as:

  • Shelving
  • Heavy-duty drawers
  • Slide-out tables
  • Toolboxes
  • Pantry
  • Jerry can holders
  • Roof rack setup
  • Carry cases

Make sure they are dust and waterproof to ensure the elements stay on the outside.


Roof top tents

Tents are often seen as game-changers for travellers, but are they worth it? First, have a think about your current camping style. Are you happy with your trusty swag, tent or camper trailer? Do you like the convenience of a quick toilet stop during the night or are you happy to navigate a ladder in the middle of the night?

Here are points to consider when deciding if a rooftop tent is right for you.

  • Advantages of a roof top tent
    • Protection from wildlife
    • Quick set up and pack down
    • Home on wheels
    • Integrating awnings and wind protection
  • Disadvantages of a roof top tent
    • Lots of weight up high – vehicle handling
    • Payload considerations (approx 100-160 kg with the inclusion of an awning)
    • Limits use of canopy day to day
    • Height considerations limit parking options
    • Cost

Roof racks

As opposed to a roof top tent you might consider roof racks. Roof racks are great for maximising storage space in your canopy as they allow for storing bulky items like camping gear, tables, kayaks and bikes up top.

Additionally, roof racks provide added functionality such as mounting locations for awning brackets and tie-down points.

Jono from Sydney showcases one of the most capable and comfortable Hilux’s, featuring our Wind-off Deluxe Compact Canopy for the perfect camping setup.


It’s important to understand what you need in terms of power for your canopy set up. Do you need something for everyday use or more serious long distance travelling? From an affordable Norweld Weekender Lithium package to top of the line Platinum packages, we’ve outlined a guide of Norweld wiring packages for you below for comparison.

Weekender Wiring: Weekender wiring packages starting with a 100ah lithium battery. This entry level wiring package is great for short trips away and will power your:

  • 12v fridge
  • Lights
  • Travel Buddy oven
  • Central locking for your canopy

Tourer Wiring: For those extended trips, you might consider tourer wiring packages that feature a 1000W inverter and 125ah of lithium battery. With DC and AC charging options- topping up your battery with solar panels or shore power is a breeze. The addition of the inverter means you can run small 240v appliances such as battery chargers for drones and devices.

  • 12v fridge
  • Lights
  • Travel Buddy oven
  • Central locking for your canopy
  • Accessories

Extreme / Ultimate Wiring: When you need the best, you’ll consider one of our Extreme or Ultimate wiring packages. Featuring a 2000w inverter and 200ah of lithium battery- this powerhouse setup can handle larger current drawing appliances such as coffee machines, induction cooktops, air fryers and even a microwave. With ample 12v power for all your gear- this is the perfect setup for trouble free touring.

  • 12v fridge
  • Lights
  • Travel Buddy oven
  • Central locking for your canopy
  • Charging tools, drones and computers
  • Coffee machines
  • Induction Cooktops

If you are unsure of which package to go for we highly recommend speaking with an expert.


Setting up your canopy for camping requires careful consideration and investment to get it right. Whatever your needs, remember to take the time to understand your options and ask for expert advice.

We have Norweld-owned branches in Cairns, Townsville, Brisbane, Newcastle, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and various agents around the country. Get in touch with our team to organise a quote today, or simply have a chat about what canopy option is right for you.

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