Pop-Top Caravan Beginners Guide
There are a number of different types of pop-top caravans, which can suit a range of budgets and accommodation needs, storage capacities and transport requirements.
Standard pop-top caravan
The standard style of pop-top caravan is the most popular, featuring a roof that can be raised for extra interior living space, and collapsed for easier storing and towing. Aside from the extendable roof section, standard pop-top caravans are very much the same as conventional solid-wall caravans, offering essentially the same features and amenities.
The roof of a pop-top caravan is usually constructed as one complete piece, made of aluminium or fibreglass to keep it lightweight.
Expandable pop-top caravan
As well as the standard extendable roof, expandable pop-top caravans include either single or double pop-out ends, allowing for significantly more interior space without adding to the caravan’s length when towing and storing. Expandable pop-tops are generally the same weight and height as their standard counterparts, but they have the added advantage of being able to offer extra – or more comfortable – accommodation.
Off-road pop-top caravan
Off-road pop-top caravans are built to be able to handle much rougher road conditions, incorporating specific off-road technology into the design of the body framework, suspension and chassis.
Some caravan experts question whether the pop-top caravan style is suited to off-road; one of the main concerns is that harsh conditions and bumpy roads will take their toll on the fabric, latches and gas struts that are part of the extendable roof. To combat this, the best off-road pop-top caravans have roof sections that are designed to be especially sturdy, with a waterproof skirt that is mildew and UV-resistant.
Campers are the most compact option for towing and storing, but once you extend the pop-top roof and slide out the bedding sections at either end, many models can accommodate as many occupants as a caravan. Pop-top campers feature a cable and winch system for especially easy roof-raising.