Chinese brand LDV has shaken up the ute market in recent years with its T60 offering a hell of a lot of bang for the buck compared to established gamers.
This means that the vehicle has been on the shortlists of many potential customers who recognize the value for money.
In turn, this means that many T60s were used primarily as workhorses, which created a demand for a range of awnings to extend the skills of the vehicle.
However, it should be remembered that the lower sales volumes of the LDV product, not to mention the narrower range of body options, have excluded some (but not all) of the larger awning manufacturers, allowing companies to have the flexibility to design and manufacture on a smaller scale to participate in the LDV glass roof act.
Speaking of body options, if you buy a brand new T60 today, you are only really going to be offered one body; a double cabin with a styled tray.
Prior to October 2020, you could purchase a T60 as a chassis cab with a single cab setup. Obviously, these are two very different utes and the awnings designed for each are also very specific.
So let’s start with the old single cab chassis. As a work vehicle, many of these chassis cab T60s were fitted with an aluminum skin service body style awning.
With hinged sides and a rear door, these are preferred by those who work from their vehicle on construction sites and in the fields.
They offer great safety for tools and other equipment and they can also be adapted to meet a specific job requirement.
Typical options for these awnings include ladder racks, roof racks, LED lighting and even central locking.
A simpler, cheaper, but still very effective alternative awning for the T60 Chassis Cab is the traditional steel frame canvas awning.
These are not only cost effective, but very versatile as they can be slid forward or removed completely quickly and usually by one person. Couriers who have no idea what loads they will be moving each day love this ability to easily and quickly remove the canopy for really large loads.
The options tend to be a bit more limited in terms of accessories, but you can really think about the layout of the canopy and what materials it’s made from.
In addition to canvas awnings from established retailers, motor or boat tailors can often produce a unique awning especially for your purpose.
For the vast majority of T60s sold (and all current model examples) with a double cab body, the popular canopy choice is the hard-shell fiberglass or thermoplastic variety.
These are available in a range of configurations, including sliding or tilting side windows and with a huge range of options ranging from LED lighting, central locking, color matching, tailgate operation to a single handle and many variations of roof racks.
A roof vent is a good multi-level option; it allows you to carry animals in the back and pressurize the tub at high speed to keep dust out.
You can also, in some cases, specify a full vinyl interior liner, premium brake lights, a roof basket, and even an extended warranty.
Like other types of awning, the hard shell is available in many places, including large and small all-terrain and ute stores, direct from the manufacturer.
Trademarks include (but are not limited to) Awnings of Oz and 4X4, Razorback, Flexiglass and Carryboy. It should be noted that if you order your new T60 with a hard shell canopy from your LDV dealer, the canopy will be the Carryboy version as it is the official supplier of LDV.
Interestingly, some of the bigger manufacturers including ARA, do not list an awning for the relatively specialized T60 model. For the predecessor model T60, you will either have to stick with aftermarket brands or buy used items.
The opportunity is actually a good solution because it can save you a lot of money while still providing a solid product. Make sure all latches, handles, and struts work on a used awning and that all options work as they should.
Many awnings end up in the used market after the vehicle has been put in the front and cushioned without damage to the rear, or the previous owner decides to sell the awning separately to the vehicle when it is traded in. .
Either way, the for sale ads are worth reading and prove that the opportunity isn’t necessarily the second best.
The price of the LDV T60 awning that you will be given in most cases will have a lot to do with its origin, maker and options, as well as the style of awning you choose.
You can DIY your own canvas awning at home for a few hundred dollars, but even a professionally made canvas unit can be purchased for as little as $ 1,500, or so.
An alloy or metal canopy will be more expensive and a service body custom built for a specific case can cost literally thousands of dollars.
The higher end of the standard T60 awning price bracket is around $ 5,000, so you get a truly premium awning with plenty of options and a factory warranty.
Again, you are a bit more limited in the case of LDV compared to the more popular ute brands, so there is a little less competition in the market that could impact the prices.
No matter which canopy you choose for your T60, there is one thing you need to do once it’s installed. And that’s to tell your insurance company that you’ve made the addition. Both the replacement value of the vehicle and the cost of the insurance premium could be affected.
But basically if your insurer doesn’t know about the canopy and the vehicle is a total loss, the cost of the canopy may not be included in the payment.
In the meantime, a vehicle equipped with a secure awning can represent a reduction in insurance coverage for your work tools and camping gear.