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Pop-Top Caravans/Pop-Top Campers

 

As the name suggests, the top or roof can pop up or be extended. The roof itself is a hard top with a gusset that fills the gap between the roof and the van body.  This gusset has zippered fly screened window sections that can be opened to improve air flow.

Pop-Top Caravan

 

 
Pop Top Lifter The roll out awning is usually mounted from the pop-top section of the roof of the caravan.  This means you would have to unclip the catches that secure the roof to the body and release the rollout awing prior to raising the roof.  Once inside, you would lift the roof and secure the brackets that hold it up.  Most pop-tops also have gas struts, scissor like canopy lifters or 'easy lift' bars that assist in this process. Scissor Type Canopy Lifter

Advantages –

  • It is reported that, as the van would have a lower profile, it has less wind resistance but some tests have revealed there is little difference overall.
  • Good ventilation.
  • They can be lighter to tow depending on how the van is accessorized.
  • Low centre of gravity which should assist stability on the road.
  • Due to its lower profile, it may fit more readily into a garage or carport.

 

Disadvantages –

  • Can take longer to set up.
  • If stopping for a rest and a ‘cuppa’ it is more likely you will have to stoop down whilst inside or go to the trouble to raise the pop-top’s roof.
  • The door height is lower and you may need to watch you don’t knock your head.
  • There will be no overhead cupboards but rather a row of cupboards that would be lower and these are likely to be smaller.
  • If there is a shower facility inside then the top section of it will most likely be vinyl and this may be more difficult to keep clean.
  • If you want to have solar panels on the roof there may be a weight limit or you may have to have stronger gas struts.
  • The air conditioner is likely to be a ‘split system’ as it is not common for it to be mounted on the roof due to its weight. 
  • Some maintenance is required to prevent mould and mildew in the gusset of the top-pop shower and lubrication of any gas struts.

Camper Style Pop-Top

For a number of reasons, such as pack down size, storage and affordability, the camper style pop-top is a favourite. Once the pop-top camper is set up it is almost as tall as a caravan and the style with expanded sleeping areas provide extra central cabin space.  Off-road models are also available. 

Some brand names are Coromal (Navigator), Goldstream (eg: Crown, Storm & Wing models); Jayco (Swift, Swan, Eagle, Hawk and their Outback range). Interestingly, Jayco's website states the Outback RV range is for 'limited unsealed road use' and their 'Terms & Conditions' do exclude some items from their warranty eg: to name a couple - stone damage to body, chassis or running gear and water damage due to water crossings.

Jayco Camper

Goldstream Camper

 

 

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