Cooking canopy

Posted by: GrumpyGord

Cooking canopy - 05/14/17 03:15 PM

This is really off topic for this group but someone may have an idea. I am looking for a cooking canopy or awning for the back of my pickup truck with a topper cap. I want a place to cook etc which would give a sheltered area of about 5 ft x 5 ft off the back of the truck. It could be just an awning of two or three sided. There are a lot of large full tents 10 x 10 etc but nothing simple. Anything available or am I in the do it yourself area, either fancy or rig a blue tarp. I would use the bed of the truck for sleeping at a base camp. This would be mostly a one night situation so I do not want to get into one hour setup.
Posted by: JustWalking

Re: Cooking canopy - 05/14/17 09:57 PM

Seems to me it should be pretty easy to just rig a tarp up with a couple of poles and guyline to provide a sheltered cooking area.
Posted by: PerryMK

Re: Cooking canopy - 05/15/17 07:42 AM

I had an awning something like what you are describing on a small camper I used to own but mine may have been a bit larger. I'm sure an RV store could set you up and or at least refer you to someone who could.

5.0 foot Truck Awning

Another option is a simple pop-up canopy.
Posted by: GrumpyGord

Re: Cooking canopy - 05/15/17 08:13 AM

Doing a search brings up all kinds of elaborate tents which fit on the back of a truck but they have pretty involved setup and are expensive. Actually a friend of mine has been trying to sell me one which his wife got with her Jeep but it is much more than than what I want.

The closest I have been able to find is not available in US and not designed for a truck with a cap:

I think that my options are to contact a canvas shop for something custom, sew my own which is far beyond my sewing ability or go the blue tarp bungee cord PVC pipe pole route. For the few times I will use it the blue tarp is probably the best.

This all started when I sold my camper because my wife did not really care to go along and I figured that if I am alone I can just sleep in the back of the truck. I have used the camper as a base camp on state forest land or campgrounds and do day hikes for a couple of days of laid back relaxing.
Posted by: Dryer

Re: Cooking canopy - 05/15/17 08:44 AM

Plain old plastic tarp. I drive a Toyota Tacoma with bed racks...for kayaks. A tarp, pretty much any size, can be a tent, a shade awning,
whatever. I attach it with big spring clamps and guy it out to two poles. Tailgate becomes my table or a seat. With a 12x12 tarp I cover the entire bed and have a shade awning as well.
I used to drive a full sized window van and attached a tarp to the rain gutter with tiny C-clamps, guyed out to two telescoping poles.

For your situation, you could attach a tarp any number of ways, similar to what I do with my kayak racks. Easy and cheap.
Posted by: GrumpyGord

Re: Cooking canopy - 05/15/17 12:03 PM

I guess that I am over thinking this. I think that you are right that the cheap easy solution is the right one. Not particularly elegant but cheap and easy. I have a Toyota Tacoma with a fiberglass cap so the only real problem is how to attach it to the smooth cap.
Posted by: wgiles

Re: Cooking canopy - 05/15/17 12:52 PM

There was a similar discussion here:

Granted, you may not have the canoes for the structure, but the reflective tarp might be worth considering. I don't know what material it is made of, but it does have a silvered side.
Posted by: Dryer

Re: Cooking canopy - 05/15/17 01:18 PM

Easy....use the wheels. grin I've got a friend with the same type of cap on his truck. He simply stretches the tarp over the top, and secures the corners to the wheels using truckers hitches. Works well enough with the right size tarp.
Posted by: Dryer

Re: Cooking canopy - 05/15/17 10:29 PM

Exactly like this, Grumpy... grin

Posted by: GrumpyGord

Re: Cooking canopy - 05/16/17 06:02 AM

Thanks for the input. I remembered that I have a Campmor nylon tarp which I never used because it was to heavy so I got that out and now I will do some experimenting in the back yard. Looks like I can make it work.
Posted by: billstephenson

Re: Cooking canopy - 06/01/17 12:01 AM

You can get some tie down anchors and use epoxy to attach them to your shell.

And you can get a grommet kit to add grommets to your tarp for a custom fit.

I've been thinking about making one of these too so I can camp out of the back of my little beater Chevy Tracker. It's not long enough to sleep in so I'd have to make a bench to extend it for that, but that's pretty easy to rig up.
Posted by: Dryer

Re: Cooking canopy - 06/01/17 07:57 AM

Just a note....adding grommets to tarps....try the pebble tie out trick or buy a pack of those commercial thingies that do the same thing. They don't tear out and you can move them around for a true custom fit. There are many versions out there....these come from Northern Tool.

Posted by: billstephenson

Re: Cooking canopy - 06/01/17 11:14 PM

Those are pretty cool!!

Thanks for sharing this!
Posted by: GrumpyGord

Re: Cooking canopy - 06/06/17 02:11 PM

This is what I finally came up with. Pretty simple as compared to my A Frame camper.

Posted by: Dryer

Re: Cooking canopy - 06/06/17 02:55 PM

Very cool! Almost exactly what I do as well. The slick thing is, you can use an even wider tarp and have a bit of a wind break if you want. Kinda creates a "tunnel" where it attaches to the truck shell.
Posted by: OregonMouse

Re: Cooking canopy - 06/13/17 05:30 PM

I'm planning a similar setup with my mini-station wagon (Toyota Matrix). I have the tarp, guylines, and stakes, but what do you use for poles? Because of the small car, I need something that telescopes or folds up to about 3 feet and extends to between 6 and 7 feet. I don't want to spend a lot of money! The cheap poles (not so cheap at $40/pair) are far too long when telescoped, and the ones that do fold up (like the Kelty Noah's Tarp poles) are hideously expensive (about $50 apiece).
Posted by: BZH

Re: Cooking canopy - 06/13/17 06:36 PM

I found some stuff on Amazon by searching for Aluminum Poles:

Posted by: GrumpyGord

Re: Cooking canopy - 06/13/17 08:01 PM

I used Walmart #: 552126019 but they were too long and the end would not fit in the tarp grommet so I ended up cutting a foot off from each section and machining a new end. Probably not an option for folks who do not own a machine shop.As it ended up it worked out well because I attached the new end with a small eye bolt which permitted me to run the guy lines through the eye bolt and over the top of the tarp so that it could not blow off.

At this point I will not even be able to field test it because my daughter, son in law and grandkids borrowed my truck mattress, my two burner stove, water jug, coffee pot etc so that they could go camping on an extended trip out west. Maybe they thought that we are even because they parked their 20 ft trailer in my yard but my four cylinder Toyota cannot even move it.
Posted by: JustWalking

Re: Cooking canopy - 06/13/17 11:11 PM

"I have the tarp, guylines, and stakes, but what do you use for poles?"

I used two different sizes of PVC pipe from Home Depot, sliding one into the other. Drilled a few holes so that I could use a pin to adjust the height to multiple heights. Very cheap and quite sturdy!
Posted by: Dryer

Re: Cooking canopy - 06/14/17 01:38 PM

Telescoping poles! Do it the ham radio way....we make our own telescoping masts all the time. For something like a tarp support you'll need two sections of electrical conduit pipe called "EMT". These are 8ft long. Get a 1/2" diameter and a 3/4" diameter pipe. You'll note, after you cut them each in half, giving you 4, 4ft sections, that they slide into each other (check at Home Depot before buying to make sure). Radiator hose clamps are used as stops....slide your upper pipe to the height you want and tighten the clamp. Buy the clamps with the plastic wing nut thingies so you won't need any tools.
You'll need to put a stick or something in the end to go through the tarp grommet, and tie your guy rope to that so it can't blow off. I've used screw drivers jammed in the ends for that, in a pinch.
Posted by: PerryMK

Re: Cooking canopy - 06/15/17 07:55 AM

I recently bought a $4 extension pole from Walmart. I had a different purpose but it might meet your needs also.
Posted by: OregonMouse

Re: Cooking canopy - 06/19/17 06:49 PM

Thank you all for the ideas! While I am the original klutz with tools (and, as a result, have very few), I'm at least going to look at Dryer's electrical conduit pipe. However, 4 feet per section is longer than I want, and will work only if I don't have a back seat passenger.

A second possibility is at Cabela's. $20 for two poles; $25 if I have them shipped. Since their store is way the other side of Portland for me, through lots of stop-and-go traffic, I suspect that the $5 for shipping is worth it. These poles fold down to exactly the length I want!
Posted by: Dryer

Re: Cooking canopy - 06/19/17 08:20 PM

4 feet is just a guess. If you need only 5-6 feet of pole height, then cut them at 3 feet. The Home Depot guys/gals will probably cut them for you.
Posted by: connor45

Re: Cooking canopy - 06/29/17 11:49 PM

Originally Posted By GrumpyGord
This is what I finally came up with. Pretty simple as compared to my A Frame camper.

That is simple yet pretty good set up. That wider set up even better especially when it rains. We will just finish installing new tires and some LED lights on the truck and will do the same canopy.