Canopy reinforcement



I'm looking to modify my Leer 100r canopy for my 08 Tacoma to handle the weight of my roof tent. We have a wild coast tents big sky. My current setup is a Fiberglass tonneau cover with a custom aluminum rack bolted through it and the tent on top of that. With the tent on the tonneau is stupid heavy and doesn't allow easy access to the bed. I've got a leer 100r canopy that I scored for free a few years back with a busted back glass. I'm thinking of switching to the canopy to give me more interior roof.

I'm tossing around the idea of an internal aluminum cage that would bolt to my bed bolts and then build a platform with slide out drawer system.

Just did the Alexander Mackenzie trail early September and baja in June and the tonneau is cracking and the latches and mounts are breaking apart so i I need something decently strong.

Does anyone have any suggestions or examples?

Don't have a great pic on my iPad but this is the best I have of the current setup. Mine is the white dclb Tacoma



Are you totally opposed to an exoskeleton type rack? Doesn't give the clean install that an internal frame would, but it totally eliminates the fiberglass shell as a load bearing component, and doesn't cut into your interior space the way a sufficiently strong internal frame would.

Also, if you go internal, I would go with chromoly steel. It will allow you to maximize strength and minimize the space intrusion and quite probably weight.

Aluminum is great in theory, but any structural alloys like 6061—t6 require heat treating after welding or you end up with annealed mush at your weld joints. Even heat treated, aluminum requires the use of considerably thicker and larger material to achieve the same strength and stiffness, and aluminum has a very low elastic limit, causing stress cracking from repeated loading.


I'm not completely again an exoskeleton as I could probably make it so I could run rotopax cans and maybe an awning off the side. Just finding one to work with my canopy seems to be an issue. The sides of my canopy roll over the box side.


Expedition Leader
Just do something akin to an interior roll cage, but executed in smaller diameter tubing and sized to fit flush against the interior of the fiberglass canopy shell, so that it is load bearing.
Spread the feet of the cage far enough into the corners and they can serve as corner stanchions / attachments for your interior drawer / slider arrangement. Or run a fore-aft horizontal cage brace a the desired height of your slider and directly attach the rails to those braces. Would make for a minimal clean design.


There's a lot of threads on using RTT's on glass canopies. It may not require as much structure as you think. Your current setup looks like it feeds all the load from the rack into the tonneau, through four small feet. If you distribute the load over a larger area, stress is reduced greatly. That's why most rack setups for shells use tracks the full length of the shell. I have an RTT on my fiberglass ARE shell with two Yakima crossbars, four towers, attached to the approximately 4' long tracks on each side, with no sign of damage after about 15K miles. But if you want to beef it up, I think some slim (1-1.5" diameter) tube struts with large mounting plates to spread the load, extending from the inner shell roof top to the bed rail, one in each corner, would be sufficient. Tents don't weigh that much, the key is to distribute the load.