Introducing the “NEW” Alu-Cab Canopy Camper

seatoskyexplorer

New member
@ccperkdog sorry just seeing this - yes I got the RakAttach 2.0 and its great. No, doesn't really get in the way of getting in and out and it actually kinda acts as a nice Step up into the camper (rated to carry 275 lbs).
Did you get the large size in the rakattach 2.0?
Do you have a high clearance bumper? Seems like it should work with a bumper that has an integrated hitch which would be ideal.
 

smbisig

Adventurer
Anyone heard any rumblings of AluCab offering a full pop up like the OVRLND (not a wedge)? Certainly they've thought of this, right?
I haven't anything out there. Doubt they will, nothing really wrong with the wedge design. I personally would still go with a wedge because it sheds water and snow better than a standard popup. And if you are camping in windy conditions, you can part the nose of the truck towards the wind and it helps a lot with wind noise and movement. If you look on YouTube, anyone who has a standard pop-up style camper usually has to lower one end if in the snow to help prevent the build-up. Obviously if you never camp in the snow, then this won't be an issue.
 

LunarErik

New member
Proof an install can be done by one person... and a forklift. Last Friday I arrived at OK4WD with a trailer in tow (a borrowed trailer since my personal one could not accommodate the 75" width of the crate the camper arrives in). After buying some accessories (thanks Chuck) and chatting a bit, I was on my way back home. The rainy weekend ahead seemed like the perfect time to take on this install knowing I would be doing it myself. Would I do it again? I would. Did I learn some things along the way? You bet! Simultaneously turning bolts from both inside and outside the camper was a fun puzzle to solve. Here are some other lessons I learned:
  • Read through the instructions, all of them. While the instructions are not entirely helpful and most was figured out as I went, they are crucial to coming up with a game plan.
  • Seal the inside edges of the filler panels BEFORE it is installed on the truck. Luckily I did Sikaflex the bottom piece that gets drilled and pop-rivited to the camper before installing but I did not do the side pieces. They bolt to the extruded frame of the camper so I would not assume water could enter there. Once I got it on and was sealing the rest of the camper, I noticed light coming through a small area up at the front of the bulkhead where that trim piece meets the camper/meets the bed rails. Investigating this, I could see how water could enter that rail and travel down into the bed eventually. My solution was to awkwardly Sikaflex the vertical inner edges of those filler panels as well as the outside seams where they bolt to the camper. This would have been much easier if I did it before getting it on the truck.
  • To lift the camper, I made lift hooks using mount points I bought at TSC and 2 M8x20mm bolts. M8 hardware is the size that fits the Canopy Camper rails.
  • Sikaflex is your best friend. It took me almost an entire day to adequately seal the camper.
One thing that caught me off guard was the build quality. While there is no doubt all the materials and design is top notch, the assembly of the camper done at Alu-Cab could be better. Lots of broken rivets in the channels and aluminum curlys and shavings from drilling holes. I suspect I will be finding more as time goes on. The countersunk areas are wonky, especially the hinges at the front of the camper. I will likely have to take them off and work them a bit to look nicer. It seems like a giant pain to remove/install those hinges. The rear door seal frame was way off and did not fit nice into the door frame. It has almost a 1/4" gap in one corner that was not able to be pulled in even with c-clamps before riveting. Lots of holes on things did not line up well and I found myself using punches to tweak bends and things to align holes, which is unnecessary strain on the aluminum. All of these "issues" are what you would expect however from an assembly line type product. All in all, I am still very satisfied with my camper.
The total install took me (and only me) about 26 hours to finish.
Thank you to the guys at OK4WD for the support and Jason at Mountain State Overland for help with some electrical questions. Electrical install coming next!

Camper3.jpg
Camper2.jpg
Camper1.jpg
 

jerryv

New member
Proof an install can be done by one person... and a forklift. Last Friday I arrived at OK4WD with a trailer in tow (a borrowed trailer since my personal one could not accommodate the 75" width of the crate the camper arrives in). After buying some accessories (thanks Chuck) and chatting a bit, I was on my way back home. The rainy weekend ahead seemed like the perfect time to take on this install knowing I would be doing it myself. Would I do it again? I would. Did I learn some things along the way? You bet! Simultaneously turning bolts from both inside and outside the camper was a fun puzzle to solve. Here are some other lessons I learned:
  • Read through the instructions, all of them. While the instructions are not entirely helpful and most was figured out as I went, they are crucial to coming up with a game plan.
  • Seal the inside edges of the filler panels BEFORE it is installed on the truck. Luckily I did Sikaflex the bottom piece that gets drilled and pop-rivited to the camper before installing but I did not do the side pieces. They bolt to the extruded frame of the camper so I would not assume water could enter there. Once I got it on and was sealing the rest of the camper, I noticed light coming through a small area up at the front of the bulkhead where that trim piece meets the camper/meets the bed rails. Investigating this, I could see how water could enter that rail and travel down into the bed eventually. My solution was to awkwardly Sikaflex the vertical inner edges of those filler panels as well as the outside seams where they bolt to the camper. This would have been much easier if I did it before getting it on the truck.
  • To lift the camper, I made lift hooks using mount points I bought at TSC and 2 M8x20mm bolts. M8 hardware is the size that fits the Canopy Camper rails.
  • Sikaflex is your best friend. It took me almost an entire day to adequately seal the camper.
One thing that caught me off guard was the build quality. While there is no doubt all the materials and design is top notch, the assembly of the camper done at Alu-Cab could be better. Lots of broken rivets in the channels and aluminum curlys and shavings from drilling holes. I suspect I will be finding more as time goes on. The countersunk areas are wonky, especially the hinges at the front of the camper. I will likely have to take them off and work them a bit to look nicer. It seems like a giant pain to remove/install those hinges. The rear door seal frame was way off and did not fit nice into the door frame. It has almost a 1/4" gap in one corner that was not able to be pulled in even with c-clamps before riveting. Lots of holes on things did not line up well and I found myself using punches to tweak bends and things to align holes, which is unnecessary strain on the aluminum. All of these "issues" are what you would expect however from an assembly line type product. All in all, I am still very satisfied with my camper.
The total install took me (and only me) about 26 hours to finish.
Thank you to the guys at OK4WD for the support and Jason at Mountain State Overland for help with some electrical questions. Electrical install coming next!

View attachment 745690
View attachment 745691
View attachment 745692
Man I did my own install too, wasn't too hard. The door threw me for a loop as well - make sure you have it oriented right! Did you use windowweld sealer before putting it down on the bed rails?
 

siebermd

Adventurer
This Hurricane Ian weather (rain) has definitely led to some water intrusion. A lot of water came in along the forward bulkhead of the Truck bed (3rd Gen Tacoma). I assume its the corner joint areas that are the culprit. As soon as we get some better weather I'm going to have to address it.
 

LunarErik

New member
This Hurricane Ian weather (rain) has definitely led to some water intrusion. A lot of water came in along the forward bulkhead of the Truck bed (3rd Gen Tacoma). I assume its the corner joint areas that are the culprit. As soon as we get some better weather I'm going to have to address it.
Same. I did what I thought was a good job in sealing both before and during the install. I still have small water seepage in the bulkhead corners both driver and passenger. Tackling it as soon as it dries up a bit.
 

MR E30

Member
I was unaware this thread existed here on Expo, excited to see an active discussion about the best camper out there!

Here are my two cents about my experiences with my Canopy Camper:

ACCC #644 on a 2021 Tacoma TRDOR DCLB.

Install:

I did the install myself, after having the camper delivered to a friends work, as they had a forklift. They package it very well for shipping, so it came in unscathed. Even has a metal exoskeleton/frame to prevent damage

Install took ~24 hours total, by myself.

I have mine 'water/dustproof'. I use quotations because the Sikaflex tends to shrink as the temperature changes (even though I applied it in November), causing small holes to form, where dust can penetrate. Word of warning, Sikaflex is great, but it is super messy. As soon as it gets on you, or you have to wipe up excess with a rag, it will get everywhere if you are not careful. It's miserable to work with, and I dread every time I have to pull it out.

Waterproofing is as follows:
- Bed rail caps to fender
- Bed bolts to bed floor
- Bedside cubby doors fully glued shut.
- Bedside cubbies removed and sealed to composite bed
- Bedside mounting tracks removed, composite bed to metal fender sealed, and then track sealed to composite bed.
- The rear of the ACCC sealed to the end of the bed, both inside and outside.
- The front of the ACCC sealed to the front of the bed. Rubber pieces wedged into the two larger gaps, and Sikaflex around those. This is sealed from both the inside and the outside.
- The ACCC sealed to the bed rail caps, both inside and outside.
- All ACCC pieces sealed to one another (rear door, tailgate portion, etc.) both inside and outside.

I used 3 tubes total to seal the camper to the truck.

I have driven in 5+ vehicle convoys in really dusty environments, and while the inside of the truck is dusty as hell, the inside of the camper is always as clean as when we set off for the day.

I had zero fitment issues with my entire camper. I did notice some small curled pieces of aluminum throughout the camper, but I have zero broken rivets on my camper. My upper bed light was installed crooked though.

*After 8 months one of my USB charging blocks, in the side channel of the bed portion of the tent, died. Short lifespan, however, the camper is in Phoenix, AZ and in the summer (when it broke) the exterior of the camper gets so hot that I cannot touch it for more than a few seconds. So that little charging block is getting cooked. If only I had a 10 ft tall garage!

Driving Characteristics:

Applicable modifications to truck:
- Full steel armor + sliders
- Steel hybrid (plate and tube) front bumper with Warn winch
- 255/85/R16's (skinny 33's), 10-ply, 60 lb each
- Archive Hammer Hangers, shackles, and cross brace
- 2.5" Radflos, custom valved, 700 lb coils, at 2" lift, paired with custom Alcan leafs, with 2" lift, at 1,200 lb of extra weight
- No front swaybar due to gusseted spindles
- Can carry up to an additional 27 gallons of liquid (water and gas) in built-in systems.

Stop and go traffic around town, shorter trips (45 mph) = 12.5 mpg
Around town driving, longer drives (45 mph) = 17 mpg
Freeway driving at 65 mph = 17.5 mpg
Freeway driving at ~72 mph = 11.5 mpg
Freeway driving above 75 mph = 9.8 mpg

Fully loaded (as I was a couple of weeks ago for a 9-day trip to The Maze), you can feel the added weight, big time, on the 7.5 hour freeway/highway drive there. Clickers cranked full stiff, it is still a heavy beast that leans its way through the bends. It is stable and easy to drive on everything other than the moderately twisty bits.

On the trail, you honestly forget you are carrying an entire house back there. With my setup, the truck doesn't even care about the weight as it crawls over rocks and drops down ledges.

I will sometimes get the subtle vibrations another poster mentioned, though it only happens around ~50 mph plus or minus 2 or 3 mph. This only happens when the truck is really empty (no water on-board, bed empty, no bikes on the rack, etc.)

Other than that, I have no complaints. I did drive it around for two months while waiting for my suspension to be ready. Even with an empty camper, the OEM suspension was severely inadequate for the weight of the ACCC.

Why I Chose the Canopy Camper: (This will be my house on wheels, so I did my research with that in mind. It needs to be as easy to use as possible, day in, day out.)

- You can store a ton of bedding up in the tent. This was one of my heaviest weighted requirements.
- The tent is super easy to open. Just two latches. I prefer the wedge life as well.
- Lead time is non-existent. This was also one of my heaviest weighted requirements. My build process will probably take 1.5 years, I couldn't wait an additional 1.5 years just to get the thing.
- The tent fabric is secured to the lid inside of the outer edge. Makes it easier to put away and less rain gets on the fabric during normal rain events
- The actual frame of the camper itself gives you so many options for mounting things. You have more than just flat sheets of metal (GFC), no round tubes that are hard to mount to (GFC again)
- You have very easy side access with the side doors. This is crucial IMO. Climbing up and into the bed every time you need something gets old fast.
- The extra things you can buy, while pricey AF, are nice IMO. Well made and they work well together.
- The extra ~18" of tent space you get over the similar competitors. This makes it feel a lot more spacious up there. It's easy to spend all day inside of the tent.
- The fabric for the tent is very nice, and very thick, relative to the competitors. Full sun outside feels like pre-dawn inside. On my friends GFC's the fabric is almost see though. It block no sun light, and even the light from cell phone screens can be noticed at night.
- Both portions of the bedding flooring simply pivot up and out of the way, with struts to hold them in place. This is wayyyy better than the individual, movable, panels of the similar competitors.
- It isn't a slide in. Slide in's waste too much of the precious bed space IMO, and are too heavy.
- The rear door looks super cool. Plus it stores your spare effectively (OEM location is no longer viable due to Hammer Hangers (a must do mod IMO)). Also, the rear door is always vertical. Meaning you can permanently mount things to it. The other campers that leave the tailgate put you in a tricky spot. The tailgate has to be both horizontal and vertical, as does the rear door. This makes it hard to effectively use this space. Not to mention, everything in the bed of your truck is an additional ~18" away from you. Sliding drawers help you best this drawback, but sliding setups are heavy.

Photo Time:

LM - Day 2 - 40 by Michael Rickerd, on Flickr

LM - Day 3 - 03 by Michael Rickerd, on Flickr

LM - Day 3 - 18 by Michael Rickerd, on Flickr

LM - Day 5 - 07 by Michael Rickerd, on Flickr

LM - Day 8 - 10 by Michael Rickerd, on Flickr

7-23 weekend by Michael Rickerd, on Flickr

An outdated photo of some of the interior buildout. All custom. More custom storage is 50% done as of today.

ACCC Interior by Michael Rickerd, on Flickr

Long story short, I love this thing. If you're on the fence, get one. If you're on the fence about which brand to get, and you can afford the ACCC, get it. All my friends with GFC's agree that the ACCC is the better product for the more serious adventurer, though the extra cost over the GFC's is what ultimately turned them away. If they could have afforded it, they would have got it.
 
Last edited:

Aleja_333

Member
I was unaware this thread existed here on Expo, excited to see an active discussion about the best camper out there!

Here are my two cents about my experiences with my Canopy Camper:

ACCC #644 on a 2021 Tacoma TRDOR DCLB.

Install:

I did the install myself, after having the camper delivered to a friends work, as they had a forklift. They package it very well for shipping, so it came in unscathed. Even has a metal exoskeleton/frame to prevent damage

Install took ~24 hours total, by myself.

I have mine 'water/dustproof'. I use quotations because the Sikaflex tends to shrink as the temperature changes (even though I applied it in November), causing small holes to form, where dust can penetrate. Word of warning, Sikaflex is great, but it is super messy. As soon as it gets on you, or you have to wipe up excess with a rag, it will get everywhere if you are not careful. It's miserable to work with, and I dread every time I have to pull it out.

Waterproofing is as follows:
- Bed rail caps to fender
- Bed bolts to bed floor
- Bedside cubby doors fully glued shut.
- Bedside cubbies removed and sealed to composite bed
- Bedside mounting tracks removed, composite bed to metal fender sealed, and then track sealed to composite bed.
- The rear of the ACCC sealed to the end of the bed, both inside and outside.
- The front of the ACCC sealed to the front of the bed. Rubber pieces wedged into the two larger gaps, and Sikaflex around those. This is sealed from both the inside and the outside.
- The ACCC sealed to the bed rail caps, both inside and outside.
- All ACCC pieces sealed to one another (rear door, tailgate portion, etc.) both inside and outside.

I used 3 tubes total to seal the camper to the truck.

I have driven in 5+ vehicle convoys in really dusty environments, and while the inside of the truck is dusty as hell, the inside of the camper is always as clean as when we set off for the day.

I had zero fitment issues with my entire camper. I did notice some small curled pieces of aluminum throughout the camper, but I have zero broken rivets on my camper. My upper bed light was installed crooked though.

*After 8 months one of my USB charging blocks, in the side channel of the bed portion of the tent, died. Short lifespan, however, the camper is in Phoenix, AZ and in the summer (when it broke) the exterior of the camper gets so hot that I cannot touch it for more than a few seconds. So that little charging block is getting cooked. If only I had a 10 ft tall garage!

Driving Characteristics:

Applicable modifications to truck:
- Full steel armor + sliders
- Steel hybrid (plate and tube) front bumper with Warn winch
- 255/85/R16's (skinny 33's), 10-ply, 60 lb each
- Archive Hammer Hangers, shackles, and cross brace
- 2.5" Radflos, custom valved, 700 lb coils, at 2" lift, paired with custom Alcan leafs, with 2" lift, at 1,200 lb of extra weight
- No front swaybar due to gusseted spindles
- Can carry up to an additional 27 gallons of liquid (water and gas) in built-in systems.

Stop and go traffic around town, shorter trips (45 mph) = 12.5 mpg
Around town driving, longer drives (45 mph) = 17 mpg
Freeway driving at 65 mph = 17.5 mpg
Freeway driving at ~72 mph = 11.5 mpg
Freeway driving above 75 mph = 9.8 mpg

Fully loaded (as I was a couple of weeks ago for a 9-day trip to The Maze), you can feel the added weight, big time, on the 7.5 hour freeway/highway drive there. Clickers cranked full stiff, it is still a heavy beast that leans its way through the bends. It is stable and easy to drive on everything other than the moderately twisty bits.

On the trail, you honestly forget you are carrying an entire house back there. With my setup, the truck doesn't even care about the weight as it crawls over rocks and drops down ledges.

I will sometimes get the subtle vibrations another poster mentioned, though it only happens around ~50 mph plus or minus 2 or 3 mph. This only happens when the truck is really empty (no water on-board, bed empty, no bikes on the rack, etc.)

Other than that, I have no complaints. I did drive the around for two months while waiting for my suspension to be ready. Even with an empty camper, the OEM suspension was severely inadequate for the weight of the ACCC.

Why I Chose the Canopy Camper: (This will be my house on wheels, so I did my research with that in mind. It needs to be as easy to use as possible, day in, day out.)

- You can store a ton of bedding up in the tent.
- The tent is super easy to open. Just two latches. I prefer the wedge life as well.
- Lead time as non-existent
- The tent fabric is secured to the lid inside of the outer edge. Makes it easier to put away and less rain gets on the fabric during normal rain events
- The actual frame of the camper itself gives you so many options for mounting things. You have more than just flat sheets of metal (GFC), no round tubes that are hard to mount to (GFC again)
- You have very easy side access with the side doors. This is crucial IMO. Climbing up and into the bed every time you need something gets old fast.
- The extra things you can buy, while pricey AF, are nice IMO. Well made and they work well together.
- The extra ~18" of tent space you get over the similar competitors. This makes it feel a lot more spacious up there. It's easy to spend all day inside of the tent.
- The fabric for the tent is very nice, and very thick, relative to the competitors. Full sun outside feels like pre-dawn inside. On my friends GFC's the fabric is almost see though. It block no sun light, and even the light from cell phone screens can be noticed at night.
- Both portions of the bedding flooring simply pivot up and out of the way, with struts to hold them in place. This is wayyyy better than the individual, movable, panels of the similar competitors.
- It isn't a slide in. Slide in's waste too much of the precious bed space IMO, and are too heavy.
- The rear door looks super cool. Plus it stores your spare effectively (OEM location is no longer viable due to Hammer Hangers (a must do mod IMO)). Also, the rear door is always vertical. Meaning you can permanently mount things to it. The other campers that leave the tailgate put you in a tricky spot. The tailgate has to be both horizontal and vertical, as does the rear door. This makes it hard to effectively use this space. Not to mention, everything in the bed of your truck is an additional ~18" away from you. Sliding drawers help you best this drawback, but sliding setups are heavy.

Photo Time:

LM - Day 2 - 40 by Michael Rickerd, on Flickr

LM - Day 3 - 03 by Michael Rickerd, on Flickr

LM - Day 3 - 18 by Michael Rickerd, on Flickr

LM - Day 5 - 07 by Michael Rickerd, on Flickr

LM - Day 8 - 10 by Michael Rickerd, on Flickr

7-23 weekend by Michael Rickerd, on Flickr

An outdated photo of some of the interior buildout. All custom. More custom storage is 50% done as of today.

ACCC Interior by Michael Rickerd, on Flickr

Long story short, I love this thing. If you're on the fence, get one. If you're on the fence about which brand to get, and you can afford the ACCC, get it. All my friends with GFC's agree that the ACCC is the better product for the more serious adventurer, though the extra cost over the GFC's is what ultimately turned them away. If they could have afforded it, they would have got it.
Totally agree with you. Previous GFC owner and there's really no comparison. Yes GFC is more economical, but for a reason. Materials and quality is not in the same and that is quickly noticeable on a mild windy day/night.

Question for you, how do you like your custom Alcan leafs? How do they ride? Would you do it again or get something different?
 

MR E30

Member
Exactly. I just spent a bunch of time with both a V1 GFC and a V2 GFC. They are less expensive (which can be a big factor) and lighter (though that's way less of a factor to me, it's basically irrelevant in the larger picture), but they lack a feeling of being truly solid or being quality.

As far as the Alcan's go, I would buy them every time, over every other option. I told them exactly what I wanted (handle added weight, truck will climb and drop off ledges, and my favorite: fast offroad driving on decent roads) and they gave me exactly that. They are fantastic. They make the added weight all but disappear. They do great on road. They droop and flex and do all the things you want when offroad (the truck sees a lot more than just FR roads). I fully unloaded the suspension at speed (~55 mph) out in the Mojave, and it recompressed effortlessly, never felt shady. They eat up whoops too. It's kind of unbelievable how well they perform.
 

Aleja_333

Member
Exactly. I just spent a bunch of time with both a V1 GFC and a V2 GFC. They are less expensive (which can be a big factor) and lighter (though that's way less of a factor to me, it's basically irrelevant in the larger picture), but they lack a feeling of being truly solid or being quality.

As far as the Alcan's go, I would buy them every time, over every other option. I told them exactly what I wanted (handle added weight, truck will climb and drop off ledges, and my favorite: fast offroad driving on decent roads) and they gave me exactly that. They are fantastic. They make the added weight all but disappear. They do great on road. They droop and flex and do all the things you want when offroad (the truck sees a lot more than just FR roads). I fully unloaded the suspension at speed (~55 mph) out in the Mojave, and it recompressed effortlessly, never felt shady. They eat up whoops too. It's kind of unbelievable how well they perform.
That is really promising. I think I'm at that position now where I need a custom pack so I've been looking around for feedback. I might have to give them a call and understand more their process. Thanks for the feedback.
 

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