Written by 9:17 pm Class B

The Best Pop-Top Camper Right Now: Our Top Six Picks

Do you want an adventure outside of the city?

Are you eyeing an experience provided by a full-size RV but DON’T have the budget or equipment to buy one?

Then POP TOP CAMPERS is the right choice for you! Here’s why you should consider a pop-top camper van AND our top six picks for you to choose from.

Let’s get you that adventure!

Take Your Pick… Here Are Our 6 BEST POP TOP CAMPERS

Sportsmobile Ford Transit Penthouse Camper: Best Overall Pop Top Camper

Sportsmobile is the go-to camper van conversion company. It has a rich history of converting luxury vans such as the Mercedes Sprinters and Dodge ProMasters.

The Sportsmobile Ford Transit Penthouse is no exception, making it our BEST OVERALL PICK.

Allow us to tell you why…

  • Upstairs pop-top loft for two
  • Ceiling height of 30 inches
  • Open feeling with large windows
  • Privacy with roll up and down opaque curtains
  • Ergonomic LED lights
  • Automatic raising of pop-top

There’s no denying that these features already SOUND AMAZING.

But to understand them better, it would help to discuss the features under the context of the conversion company AND the van model!

The Ford Advantage

This is almost straightforward… who doesn’t know Ford?

Really nothing much to say here other than to reinforce the QUALITY and DURABILITY that the brand guarantees:

  • Fully Galvanized Steel Panels
  • Tailgate/Rear Door Lock Included with Power Door Locks
  • Laminated Glass
  • Side Impact Beams

This is to be further customized with reinforced fiberglass for further weatherproofing.

The Sportsmobile Advantage

It’s just RIGHT to assume that the penthouse-style Ford Transit is already of BEST QUALITY. Why? Because it was customized by Sportsmobile, of course!

It would mostly be because of these two construction techniques UNIQUE to the company:

  • Duel-U-Tube Elevation
  • Full-Level Pop Up Roof Raising

The elevation technique uses DUAL COMPRESSION and TENSION SPRINGS with dual tubes to automatically elevate the pop tops. This makes the process MORE SEAMLESS than usual.

What’s more interesting is how this technology is actually PATENTED. It’s as unique as it gets!

Likewise, the full-level raising creates more area inside the van as it utilizes VERTICAL space rather than the HORIZONTAL area.

Seems trivial, right? Not until you realize the benefits that come with it:

  • Less troubles with surroundings
  • Wider window area for light entry
  • Higher window area for ventilation

You may also opt to install an exterior wet bath for the complete camping experience.

Overall, the Sportsmobile Ford Transit Penthouse Camper Van is perfect for a PRIVATE and MORE PERSONAL getaway. Just make sure you have the BUDGET for this conversion.

Pros

  • Wide variety of choices for customizability
  • Great brand reputation
  • Awesome user experience

Cons

  • Quite expensive
  • Limitations due to luxury campers

Volkswagen California: Best Value Pop Top Camper

The Volkswagen California is our BEST VALUE POP TOP CHOICE because of its guaranteed LUXURY.

It’s the most CLASSIC RETRO looking and feeling camper out of everything in this list. You get quality features with it, too!

  • Upstairs pop-top loft for two
  • Overhead bunk with a 47″ x 78″ bed size
  • A convertible sofa that transforms into a 45″x78″ bed
  • Automatic elevation and retraction of pop tops
  • Magnetically attached window blinds
  • Retractable awning, seats, and tables

Volkswagen has constantly been reimagining California.

Why? To provide their customers with a FULLY MODERNIZED VERSION of the classic vans they have always loved!

This modernization has urged the company to provide the following KEY FEATURES not present in their previous models:

  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • LED headlights
  • High-tech navigation system
  • Advanced cruise control panel

No doubt that you’ll enjoy the VW California among ALL modern camper vans out there. VALUE your features, VALUE your luxury, and VALUE your camper’s brand!

Pros

  • Complete modern upgrade
  • Great brand reputation

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Limitations due to luxury parts

Pleasure-Way Tofino: Best Budget Pop Top Camper

THIS is the affordable pop-top camper of your dreams… you can’t get any more features for pop tops after you see the Pleasure-Way Tofino!

These are just AMONG the basic features that make the Tofino the BEST BUDGET POP TOP CAMPER in the market right now:

  • Overhead bunk of 49” x 72”
  • A convertible sofa that transforms to a 54″x72″ bed
  • Storage of 70 cubic ft
  • Domestic furnace with 16,000 BTU
  • Cozy-feeling interior
  • Solar packages
  • Heavy-duty roof rack
  • Side door roll up screen

At its price point, it has ALL of the features you would expect to see for a camper van. And no, we’re not exaggerating when we say ALL OF THE FEATURES!

It’s COMPACT, SIMPLE, and FUNCTIONAL. It’s quite perfect for a family trip to explore the outdoors.

But Why This Talk About All of Its Features and Amenities?

Simple: a camper van is nothing without the EXPERIENCE it offers. With the Tofino, you can make it as you will essentially BECAUSE you CAN!

Once you manually set up your pop up, you can enjoy:

  • The spacious and comfortable OPEN-AIR INTERIOR will make you appreciate your stay more
  • The privacy provided by the roll-up screens
  • The ample area for two people that can EASILY fit up to four people

The Pleasure-Way Tofino may be one of the smaller pop-up campers out there, but you JUST won’t be sacrificing security and experience by even a little bit.

This is definitely one of the best affordable Class B RV.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Compact and lightweight camper for easy travel
  • Complete amenities

Cons

  • Less movable area

Mercedes Metris Weekender

  • Overhead bunk with a 42″ x 75″ bed size
  • A convertible sofa that transforms to a 2″ foam mattress double bed
  • Pop top 4 USB outlets for device charging
  • Automatic elevation and retraction of pop tops
  • Viewing deck

This is another luxury pop-up camper van on our list, this time from Mercedes-Benz.

Off the top, the Metris Weekender boasts a sleeping space for 4 people. Moreover, it comes with the usual amenities that come with almost all campers:

  • Refrigerator
  • Sink
  • Stove
  • Retractable seat
  • LED lighting

It provides all these with the guarantee from the luxury brand! And you wouldn’t be the first to notice that the overall design is SIMPLE as it is CHIC.

Likewise, you may still opt to custom build the Weekender for an extra cost… most campers would prefer the addition of an awning, solar panels, and a pull-out kitchen.

This serves as a great reminder that you can EASILY maximize the outside area once the adventure gets started.

Pros

  • Great customization
  • Great brand reputation

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Limitations due to luxury parts

Ursa Minor ECamper Conversion

The Ursa Minor Conversion is a COMPACT SIZED POP TOP CAMPER VAN.

  • Overhead bunk with a 42″ x 84″ bed size
  • Automatic elevation and retraction of pop tops
  • Tent material called Sunbrella

What’s interesting about this ECamper is that its conversion methods were designed for the Honda Element. Unfortunately, the model has since been out of production!

Ursa Minor acknowledged the demand for their seamless technology, so they have adapted this to convert ANY MINI OR FULL-SIZE VAN. These include:

  • J30 Jeep
  • Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
  • Ford Transit Connect

Great! Now Tell Us More About the Features…

Okay, so here’s NOT what to expect from the ECamper Conversion:

  • Sink
  • Toilet
  • Wet bath shower
  • Queen size bed

The size the conversion accommodates CANNOT squeeze in these amenities.

However, you CAN have a few more add-ons like solar panels, roof racks, mini fridge installations, etc.

This permanent conversion also features a tent fabric that is MORE DURABLE and MORE WATER RESISTANT than most other tent fabrics.

Pros

  • Durable material and fabric construction

Cons

  • Limited customization
  • Need for add-ons

Winnebago Solis

The Solis is among the most affordable pop-top campervans from Winnebago.

  • Overhead bunk with a 52″ x 79″ bed size
  • Automatic elevation and retraction of pop tops
  • Three large windows on each side and forward face
  • Blackout zippered curtains
  • Murphy convertible sofa bed
  • Two USB connections

To begin, the Solis boasts a relatively WIDE pop-top roof that comfortably sleeps two.

Its window placements also help in giving you a VIEW OF THE SITE. What’s even BETTER is that its blackout curtains are zippered into place, meaning that it’s MORE SECURED and A LOT QUIETER.

BUT perhaps the standout feature of this vehicle is its convertible sofa bed.

  • It saves area in the van interior
  • It addresses the need to sleep more people
  • It creates more seating and table space

For a pop-top van of this size, having such a bed is GODSEND.

A pop-up camper van always comes with specific tradeoffs, BUT the pros still outweigh the cons. The Solis does this by PERFECTLY UTILIZING THE VAN’S INTERIOR.

Such features allow for EASY ACCESS and MOVEMENT within the van.

Pros

  • More storage
  • Convertible bed
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Lack of air conditioning
  • Lack of 4-wheel drive capability

What Is a Pop Top Camper Van?

The simple answer is that a pop-top camper van addresses the LIVING SPACE LIMITATIONS of typical camper vans.

Essentially, camper vans are smaller RVs. They can also be referred to as a CLASS B RV.

So while smaller, having a POP-TOP feature allows these vans to MAXIMIZE THE VERTICAL OVERHEAD ROOM of their vehicles.

  • They come in various shapes and sizes.
  • You can make it a flexible convertible or a permanent conversion.
  • This allows you to have your DREAM recreational vehicle at a more affordable price.

Simply put… imagine having a double bed on top of your vehicle! That’s basically a pop-top camper van for you.

Pros of Owning a Pop Top Camper Van

#1 Affordability

This is, of course, compared to full-sized campers!

Camper vans are always going to be expensive… some could even cost you as much as a decent-sized house already. That said, POP UP camper vans offer a great alternative to such campers.

Brand new vehicles could still cost you A LOT at around $60,000, but you could always consider converting old vans instead for a lower price.

#2 Easier Travel

Camper vans are generally EASIER to travel in than a full-size RV:

  • A pop-up camper van is SMALLER and LIGHTER to drive around
  • Pop-up camper vans can fit into STANDARD PARKING SPACES (of course, ignoring vertical clearance)

Let’s get one thing straight… a pop-up camper van DOES contribute additional HEIGHT AND WEIGHT to your van, but the drive will STILL very much feel the same.

Pop-top camper vans really provide nothing much BUT extra headroom! For so long as it can drive, you’ll still be okay.

#3 Privacy and Personal Space

Pop tops provide you with EXTRA SPACE and added privacy in your camper van.

When camping, these pop tops can serve as simple viewing decks or comfortable sleeping spaces.

That is essentially one of the MOST SOUGHT FOR ADVANTAGES when camping out on a pop-top: you’ll be able to have a ROOM all to yourself on top of your camper for the night!

This is especially great if you score yourself a pop-top that provides enough extra headroom height for added comfort. You’re still guaranteed a good time!

Cons of Owning a Pop Top Camper Van

#1 Limited Amenities

As pop-top camper vans are SMALLER than regular fifth wheelers, you only have limited room for amenities and storage.

Of course, you’ll still have your essentials like the bed, kitchen, fridge, and toilet.

But expecting a LARGE walk room and other amenities like sleeping space, wet bath showers, and TVs can be considered luxuries already.

Just don’t expect so much from your pop tops! After all, they are just the alternatives.

#2 Time to Setup

Your pop-tops NEED time to be set up.

Most of the camper vans we presented offer automatic elevations and retractions that save you time… but you’ll DEFINITELY have to set aside some time for manual setups.

  • You have to set up your camper onsite
  • You need to stow away your seats
  • You need to convert your sofas to beds
  • You need to FINALLY set up the pop-top

Arguably, this won’t take that much time because setting these up should be intuitive at best.

However, unlike regular fifth wheelers that do NOT need anymore setting up to do, this will pale over time.

#3 Limited Party

Yet again, another disadvantage brought about by the SIZE OF THE CAMPER VAN.

The usual number would be to have two people sleep COMFORTABLY in the pop-up… while some of them CAN sleep a total of four at night, the experience wouldn’t be as nice.

The extra headroom in the van may prove useful IF the deck below offers a pull-out double bed.

Regardless, cramping people beyond the recommended capacity of the vans can also cause problems related to privacy.

How to Choose the Best Pop Top Camper Van?

Decide on the KEY FEATURES that you would want to have in your camper van.

  • How much do you value your sleeping area on your pop-up roof?
  • How much do you value your interior space in the camper van?

Your choice of pop-top camper vans should value these considerations highly.

Do the presence of a stainless steel sink, rear doors, outdoor shower, cassette toilet, LED lighting, or even USB charging ports matter to you? Look for these next time as accessory amenities.

A Recap of the Top Picks

When choosing the right pop-top vehicle for you, you ALWAYS have to consider your needs, budget, and limitations.

That said, our top picks are as follows:

Best Budget Pop Top Van Pick: PLEASURE-WAY TOFINO

You don’t have to SPEND more to GAIN more. The Tofino proves this by offering all the standard features at a lower price.

Experience all the amenities and open-air interior pop-top by NOT sacrificing quality and security!

Best Value Pop Top Van Pick: VOLKSWAGEN CALIFORNIA

The CLASSIC has gone MODERN. Despite being expensive and limited due to its luxury parts, Volkswagen offers ALL the standard pop-top features and makes it CLASSY.

Eyeing for simplicity, modernity, AND luxury? This should be a no-brainer.

Best Overall Pop Top Van Pick: SPORTSMOBILE FORD TRANSIT PENTHOUSE CAMPER

Why look anywhere else when you can have both the Sportsmobile advantage AND the Ford advantage?

With a wide variety of choices for customizability and awesome user experience, we can EASILY overlook its higher price point.

Sportsmobile offers everything you want in a van… and MORE.

Conclusion

We have carefully chosen these accordingly because of their industry reputation and guaranteed quality features.

Regardless of whether you’re looking for a permanent vehicle conversion or just simple customization, you’ll definitely find the right van for you!

Have you tried any of these van campers? Let us know in the comments section below!

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