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Smittybilt Trail Shade

Discussion in 'Product Reviews' started by colinb17, Nov 29, 2012.

  1. colinb17

    colinb17 [OP] If at first you don't succeed, don't try skydiving

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    Wheelers, campers, tailgaters, and general outdoorsmen alike........this thread is to give an overview of the Smittybilt "Trail Shade".

    My problem
    I usually carry a 10''x10'' easy up canopy on wheeling trips. It provides shade from the sin, and shelter from the rain, but is heavy, and even when collapsed, takes u a large amount of space.

    What i was looking for
    my criteria for a replacement for the bulky easy up was something that was small, compact, light weight, and versitile. The obvious solution was a rollout awning, like what ARB and other RTT manufacturers make like this
    I liked all of those awnings, however it would have taken up more space on my bed rack than i am able to give up. I will be mounting an ARB (or similar) awning on my off road trailer down the road for some larger scale shade.

    What i went with
    After looking into the different options, both for purchase, and making something myself from scratch, I wend with the Smittybilt Trail Shade.

    It is a trapazoidal shade, measuring 3' wide at one end, 6' wide at the other, and 10' long. It is designed to mount to a spare tire, but is easily attached tojust about anything. You could even attach it to some trees in the woods for some shade on a hike.

    It comes with what is a surprisingly nice little pack. it functions as both a backpack, and a unit that can strap onto your spare tire.
    the canopy itsself, the two collapsable poles, two stakes, and the adjustable cords all fite comfortably in the pack. it's not like a tent, where you break your wrists trying to roll everything up tight enough to fit.

    Overall I am very happy with the purchase. The only downside that i can see so far is that the plastic clips don't have the greatest holding strength. I'm going to try notching the teeth to see if i can get them a little more bite. In all reality, they will probably be just fine though.

    and finally, the price.......you can pick these up for about $65. I actually think that is very good price for all you get.


    Now for the pictures

    The backpack/truck mounted carrying case
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    pack mounted on the spare tire as specified by Smittybilt

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Canopy in action (attached to the spare tire as recomended by Smittybilt)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I tried attaching the outer straps to the bed rack instead of the spare tire to spread the canopy a little......maybe it made a difference. who knows.

    [​IMG]

    wooden blocks to tension the tie downs

    [​IMG]

    for more efieient deployment, what i will probably do on the trails is roll up the canopy without putting it completely away. turns out the straps double a great method of securing the canopy without detatching it from the truck to put back in the pack. you could di the same thing with a bungee as well.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    for those of you withough spare tires mounted in the proper position to use one of these, you could also use it off of a bed or roof rack. It will work just fine with a factory rack as well.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I don't have a picture of it, but this would also be nice to hang off the front of a roof rack to give you some shelter/shade while working under the hood.

    Once i packed it all back up, I tried one last thing. turns out the pack will strap perfectly around the tailgate as well :)

    [​IMG]

    and that's all i've got for now. I'll update this thread as a use the canopy.
     
  2. hard2kill

    hard2kill Well-Known Member

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    very nice bro!!! i like it off the roof rack...
     
  3. colinb17

    colinb17 [OP] If at first you don't succeed, don't try skydiving

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    deffinately gives you more height off the roof rack. tailgate would be nice with a cooler in the bed and some chairs though :cheers:
     
  4. Slimwood Shady

    Slimwood Shady I love your mom!

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  5. sytfu510

    sytfu510 INSTAGRAM: sytfu510

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    I've been using the same, works pretty well for the price.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Slimwood Shady

    Slimwood Shady I love your mom!

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  7. sytfu510

    sytfu510 INSTAGRAM: sytfu510

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    yea I submitted the picture lol. I reviewed it too.
     
  8. Slimwood Shady

    Slimwood Shady I love your mom!

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    lol, I was like, that truck looks a bit familiar....:laughing:
     
  9. Madjik_Man

    Madjik_Man The Rembrandt of Rattle Can

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    That's pretty slick.
     
  10. BAMFTACO

    BAMFTACO Pabst Blue Ribbon on ice

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    Lift- stock suspension with light racing uppers,tc coil bucket gusset, timbern bumps ,defined extended shackles with shackle brace. Armor- custom tube bumper, kr fab rear bumper,trail gear wiy 78 in sliders Performance-intake manifold spacer, vibrant resonator Random stuff- kenwood head unit,b&m t shifter, hood bug deflector.
    Op your rear bumper is sick and truck aswell
     
  11. Zombie Runner

    Zombie Runner Are these black helicopters for me?

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    Colin, your truck is ridiculous (in a good way) :laugh:

    Nice review :thumbsup:
     
  12. colinb17

    colinb17 [OP] If at first you don't succeed, don't try skydiving

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    definately a cool little system. i'm looking forward to using it on the trail in a few weeks.

    thanks man, just finished the bumper a couple months ago.

    gracias amigo :cheers:
     
  13. CohbsTaco

    CohbsTaco Keyboard commander

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    old thread but, any further review on these awnings? im about to purchase one and wondering how its holding up
     
  14. CanisLupus

    CanisLupus Previously "MGMTacoFF"

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  15. colinb17

    colinb17 [OP] If at first you don't succeed, don't try skydiving

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    still enjoying it. shot is from the top of a mountain at an off road park in kansas. made it to the top and decided it was time to break for lunch when it started to drizzle. took a minute to toss up the trail shade, and ate my lunch without getting wet.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. CohbsTaco

    CohbsTaco Keyboard commander

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    do you always leave it on?
     
  17. colinb17

    colinb17 [OP] If at first you don't succeed, don't try skydiving

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    No. after leaving it on for about a week (due to laziness), the bag for itfaded a little. so if you leave it on, the sun will fade the color, and i'm sure if it gets wet inside the bag and just sits there, that you'll develop some mildew. i usually just toss it on at camp, the first morning of each wheeling trip, and then take it off when i get home. it lives in my bed box when it's not on the tire.
     
  18. CohbsTaco

    CohbsTaco Keyboard commander

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    sweet man, i'm going to grab one, im also thinking of buying a tool box, alot of people dont run them on here do you like yours?with mine being an extended cab i could totally use the extra space.. sorry kind of a off topic question haha.
     
  19. colinb17

    colinb17 [OP] If at first you don't succeed, don't try skydiving

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    i really like mine. it's nice to have a waterproox means of storage that doesn't take up people room. I really don't use the bed to move large items either, so i was completely fine with the bedspace reduction.

    it's also nice to have a lockable space to put something if you don't want it in plain sight of a theif
     
  20. CohbsTaco

    CohbsTaco Keyboard commander

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    ya thats true, i think im genna grab a tool box too.. thanks for the info man!
     
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