Any tricks for keep the dust of the canopy?


I have a pick up with a bed and canopy. After driving over dusty dirt roads, I always end up with a thin layer of dust over everything in the back of the canopy, which isn't so pleasant to sleep in after a long day exploring.

I've tried to seal up everything as best I can. The hardest part is the tailgate, which isn't air tight from the factory, but I think I've gotten pretty close. Still the dust is getting in.

I've heard and seen about air intake vents that mount up high and apparently keep positive pressure inside the canopy and help keep the dust out. My only concern is that having a vent on the roof can still ingest dust and perhaps moreso. Do those things really work? Thanks

Scenic WonderRunner


I saw on one of the 4x4 tv channels today, regarding looking for leaks like you have mentioned.

One of their secrets was that they had a "leak test machine" that blows a white smoke out of a hose. This hose was dragged all along every seam....along on the INSIDE. (with the Air Conditioner on for positive pressure)

As this white smoke passed by a leaky rubber door could see the smoke flowing Outside.

Their cure was to put some rubber filler inside of the factory rubber door trim.

You just need to be creative and try to figure out a "test proceedure" like mentioned above.

I have a 1st generation 4Runner with a tailgate. I would think that I should be getting dust inside.........but it's sealed pretty good and I don't get dust!....whew! I bet your leak is coming from your tailgate somehow......because the window seals pretty good.

Good Luck!

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Expedition Leader
Make sure the seal between your top and the bed is in good shape and the top is snug.

Make sure the side windows seal correctly.

Go to Lowe's or to your FLAPs and pick up some drain hole plugs in the appropriate sizes and close the drain holes in the bed.

Most importantly, get a tailgate seal. You'll be amazed how much of your dust comes in that way. Yes, it's expensive for foam, but it does fit better.

I also keep an old Mexican style blanket in the back that I throw over everything then take it out when I stop for the night. etc. Shake it out good before putting it back in.


I have been using Trail Seal for years and it works great at keeping dust from entering around the tailgate. It is available through many after market truck suppliers.


Brian, you may also want to check the underside of your bed rails. I know on the Tacomas, there are oval holes stamped in the sheetmetal where the inner and outer skins of the bedsides are seamed together. This occurs on the underside of the bed rails. Dust will get in through these holes if they are not covered. I just used some foam weather stripping and silicone to make it stick well. I'm not sure if your year has this or not, but it would be worth checking.


Spamicus Eliminatus
I have the same problem as you and have been fiddling with it for years. The first thing I did was to install a tailgate gasket. It made a huge difference - probably reduced duct by at least 70%.

Next I tightened the glass on my canopy. I have T handles on the rear glass of my canopy and I was able to tighten the seal just a bit more. This probably reduced the dust by another 15%.

Now I have a bit of a routine before I go on really dusty roads. I first wet down the tailgate and canopy rear glass seals with some water and then close everything up. The little bit of water traps the dust behind the seal really well. It does make the outside of the tailgate a bit dirtier, but I'm OK with that if it leaves what's on the inside clean. If it's really bad, I will also put a cheap 4x6 blue tarp in the back and just use it as a barrier between the cargo and the tailgate.



Expedition Leader
I will admit I haven't read every line of this thread, but what about adding a filtered fan that would positively pressurize the canopy area?

You are all trying to create the perfect seal. That is very helpful, but the ultimate form of protection from contaminants is to create a positively pressured atmosphere. Then the leaks will purge the voids.

I could see a simple filtered boxed fan piped to an intake port that would receive relatively clean air. This might serve a dual purpose as a cooling system too.

This is how the cabin of my truck is set up to seal out dust and dirt. The same concept should be applicable to the canopy area.

Just another idea.


Expedition Poseur
I was going to mention Steve's system as well KC. It is certainly one of his favorite modifications. A couple years ago he described it as going from thinking:

"What do we want to keep in the cab so it stays clean"


"What do we want to keep out of the cab (and inside the camper shell) so it stays clean".


New member
I'm a little late to the game here, but the positive pressure idea seems to be a good one. Here's a link to an Australian truck cap that has a positive pressure vent built into the cap. I'm sure one could retrofit one into an existing cap without too much trouble, as mentioned earlier, or better yet, maybe North American truck cap manufacturer's could start making caps that have this feature built in from the factory.


Expedition Leader
Positive pressure for cap

I have has the same problem with mine. My truck and cap have sliding windows between the cab and cap. I made a light (thin) plywood insert for each slider. I then put some 4" flexible duct between the two windows and sealed them off. I run the air switch on low and that has gotten rid of 95% of the dust as compared to cap all closed up.



New member
Here is a cheap but very effective solution. Assuming the foam seal to the truck box is good.

Go to the hardware store and purchase 2" painters tape.

I tape the inside of the tailgate and then close the canopy door and tape the gap on the outside. Guaranteed to keep all dust out from gravel roads. Once you arrive pull the tape off and all is clean on the inside. Repeat as necessary.