Campervans: Hightop or pop-up roof?

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  • Campervans: Hightop or pop-up roof?
  • Premier Icon Blackhound

    Mrs B and myself went to the camping show at the NEC the other day to have a potential conversions with a view to buying somthing s/h at a later date. We are a very cautious couple and yet ended up putting a deposit down on a new T5 conversion! Still not sure how that happened.

    We have a couple of options to make one of which is the roof. We can have either a hi-top or or a pop-up roof. Pro’s and con’s of the hi-top are storage space versus lower fuel economy. The pop up would be potentially able to get under lower barriers but possibly be a weak spot leak-wise longer term as made of a fabric. Tempted by the hi-top for the storage.

    Any thoughts or advice?

    And while I am thinking about it what about wheels. Options on standard or 18″ ‘clown’ 🙂 wheels for instance. Worth it or not for getting into fields. Alloys better fuel economy?


    High top in high winds yikes.
    Height barriers to shops and sea front car parks.

    Badly done pop top can lead to the bottom rusting out of your van but those days are long past.
    Extra maintainance of the pop top packing away dry and clean so it doesn’t rot perish or crack.

    Wheels standard Steele for cheaper tyres.

    If I had to choose I’d get a pop top.

    Premier Icon db

    High top – warmer, less hassle
    Pop top – as you say gets in more car parks including multi story and I can store van in standard garage

    For me the ability to store the van in my garage won, but my wife doesn’t do camping in winter/cold so the extra insulation a high top offers would have been wasted

    Premier Icon white101

    if you have put down a deposit with a company, you should already have an idea about the quality of there work so worrying about leaks with pop tops shouldnt really be a concern that isnt addressed by a warranty.
    If youve already been a camper in the past then you know how much you can pack in your car and how much you ‘stuff’ you need and how much is a waste of time bringing with. Plan the same way when packing the van.

    Ive not helped at all but good luck and enjoy, wish I had the balls to put up the money

    Mr B, it has to be the Pop Top, they take seconds to put up save a fortune on fuel, and are very easy to maintain, with the modern fabrics they don’t soak the water beads straight off so no problem drying.
    If you do get a Pop Top make sure it has a cowl at the front for aerodynamics as I have seen them fold back on themselves on the motorway when the air gets under them. Mine is a Drive Lodge on my T5 SWB and is fantastic! Just have to save for the inner doing now! But when done will have saved thousands!

    Premier Icon Blackhound

    Thanks all. There is a good warranty on either roof but we are likely to be keeping it a long time hence concern over fabric.

    My driveway is a little narrow to get the van down with the wing mirrors. It would squeeze in the garage but would need work on the door required first as my Berlingo will not quite fit height wise under the door. Sufficient headroom for a Pop Top.

    Space is always at a premium in these vans and any little extra helps

    Probably take a coin down with us!

    Premier Icon white101

    What about a mid top? Still get the stand up space for cooking and a bit extra storage, and its still keeping the heat in.

    Premier Icon Stoner

    Pop top for us.

    Although a hi-top is handy for ease of use, we can pop the roof on ours in <10seconds, fold it away again in less than 20s and sneak through beachside carpark barriers at evening time and camp all on our own 🙂

    Insulated hi-top will be warmer, but if you plan on doing any winter camping you could spec an insulated shield for your pop top when you order it. Also probably a smidge more efficient on the motorway too, oh and a bit easier to wash the roof.

    Premier Icon Blackhound

    Cheers Stoner. Doubt Mrs B will be camping mid winter but I may do so, I do off my bike as it is (every month in 2012) so insulated Pop Top may be a good option if available.

    It’s a complete non question. Pop top clearly, unless you’re getting a shower put in of course.

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