Anyone regret adding a UTE Tray and Canopy on their Truck? Longevity? Looking at Norweld Tray and canopy

Anyone regret adding a UTE Tray and Canopy on their Truck? Looking at Norweld Tray and canopy for F350.
Longevity?
I'd run 4 ARB 101 qt fridges two front and two back with solar panels on top of canopy with additional slide out panels on each side.
 

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ThePartyWagon

Active member
I can't speak to anyone's regrets but we've installed a handful of Norweld trays and they are top notch quality and even better customer service. I see the US market heading this direction and we'll start to see more and more of these conversions.

Never installed a canopy though. Would love to own one.
 

Peter_n_Margaret

Adventurer
Anyone regret adding a UTE to their Truck?
Well, I am confused :)
The "ute" (short for 'utility vehicle') was invented in Australia by 22 year old Ford engineer Lewis Bandt in 1933 at the request of a farmer's wife who wanted a car that could be used on the farm monday to saturday, but nice enough to take to church on sunday. So it was a 2 door hard top with a tub on the back. That had never been done before.
I reckon you blokes in the USofA call it a pick-up?
So what is a "ute" to you?
Cheers,
Peter
OKA196 motorhome
 

Paddler Ed

Adventurer
Well, I am confused :)
The "ute" (short for 'utility vehicle') was invented in Australia by 22 year old Ford engineer Lewis Bandt in 1933 at the request of a farmer's wife who wanted a car that could be used on the farm monday to saturday, but nice enough to take to church on sunday. So it was a 2 door hard top with a tub on the back. That had never been done before.
I reckon you blokes in the USofA call it a pick-up?
So what is a "ute" to you?
Cheers,
Peter
OKA196 motorhome
The red one on the end is the ute*; the 80 is a wagon and the other 2 are registered as TTF** (Tray Top with Fittings (meaning side boards)):
IMG_20210926_115556616 (3).jpg

*Holden VE SSV with the L98 6.0 V8 and a slushbox.
** Last tray I bought (the alloy one on the Land Cruiser) cost me $200 for the alloy tray (it's just a cheap TripleM tray) and $500 for the canvas canopy and frame. Sold the steel tray I had on it for $400...
 
Well, I am confused :)
The "ute" (short for 'utility vehicle') was invented in Australia by 22 year old Ford engineer Lewis Bandt in 1933 at the request of a farmer's wife who wanted a car that could be used on the farm monday to saturday, but nice enough to take to church on sunday. So it was a 2 door hard top with a tub on the back. That had never been done before.
I reckon you blokes in the USofA call it a pick-up?
So what is a "ute" to you?
Cheers,
Peter
OKA196 motorhome
NORWELD QUOTE.jpg

 

Toyaddict

Active member
Zero regrets here for swapping a factory bed to aluminum flatbed on my Tundra. Mine is a cheap semi mass produced bed so with tool boxes, fenders and mudguards I'm ~$2200 US into it, pre covid pricing.

I personally can't swallow the price of a Norweld or similar bed although I understand the quality is far better than what I have on my truck. If I had a newer truck I would have less of a problem dropping the coin on a Norweld if that makes any sense. I also mainly use my truck for hauling wood, junk, atvs, etc not really "overlanding" so my use case is different from what you're after.

As to the "ute" argument, I understand the origin of the word but I watch enough Aussie content where they refer to their own "trucks" as "utes" that arguing otherwise is silly imo.
 

NorthwestDriver

Active member
You're on a hiding to nothing saying the pick up wasn't invented in the USA.

Like it or lump it this is an American site. From what I've seen the vast majority of members, readership and subject matter are American.

'Tray' wouldn't make much sense to the readership, IMO.

'Ute' invokes a style of flatbed/flatdeck as seen in Australia. If there is missuse or confusion of the term I attribute the root of that to some importing into or selling that stye of product in the USA. eg UTE LTD.

If in doubt a picture should help.
Idk. I’ve only ever seen what the OP is referring to called a tray, even in America. But I was raised in the heartland and trays on pickups (with the bed removed) were common place on ranches and farms. Most of the domestic dealers stock their HD trucks without beds fitted specifically to allow for boxes and trays to be fitted immediately.

I’ve also understood Ute to mean something that is basically a sedan with a small truck bed in the back, like posted earlier. The Ford Falcon (from the 1950s), Ford Ranchero, and Chevy El Camino are all Utes. I think most Americans with the slightest interest in cars will know the old classics, and anyone interested in modern cars will know the Holden and others.

I take a canopy, topper, or camper shell to be something that goes over a pickup bed and provides a high capacity, enclosed area.

OP is asking about a tray, but let’s not split hairs over semantics and give them some proper feedback.
 

Rovertrader

Supporting Sponsor
Back to OP- I did a UTE bed -literally- on my ‘06 PW and loved it! Much more versatile- bed sides fold down or removable, totally flat, etc. Actually considered one for my current F-150 but already had a Leitner rack which I modified to fit.
 
I love my MITS Alloy tray and canopy setup. Even just having the tray is a game changer as far as having more capacity and ease of access to your load. The canopy is amazing, and the cool thing about MITS is the modular design, so you can add drawers, shelves, etc or remove them.

image0 (59).jpeg
 

ThePartyWagon

Active member
I love my MITS Alloy tray and canopy setup. Even just having the tray is a game changer as far as having more capacity and ease of access to your load. The canopy is amazing, and the cool thing about MITS is the modular design, so you can add drawers, shelves, etc or remove them.

View attachment 707328
Jon, other than the modularity, any other major differences between the Mits and Norweld trays? How do the Mits trays mount, vehicle specific brackets?

Thanks!
 
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