Pop Top Roof for your Campervan Conversion
Probably the biggest investment into your campervan you’ll make is your pop top roof. Not entirely sure what to do when it comes to choosing a pop top roof for your VW Transporter Campervan Conversion? Well, you have come to the right place. We’ve put together this guide to the basics of choosing the best roof for your campervan.
What is a pop top roof?
However, when you are at your destination, all you have to do is pop it open, and you will be set up for camping (so much easier than a tent!) It’s also the element of the build that can add the most value to your vehicle if done properly. It will also include a pop camper bed or bed platform, you will need a bed for this.
How much are pop top roofs?
How much you’ll pay for your pop top roof depends on various factors. A pop top roof including fitting can range anywhere from £2,500 - £8,500. This will depend on the lots of factors including:
- The pop top roof brand
- Long wheel base or short wheel base
- The canvas options
- Is it colour coded?
- Hinge options
- Safety accreditation (TUV)
- Fastening mechanisms
- Installation quality
What pop top roof brand to choose?
Choosing the right pop top roof brand is hard, mainly because there are so many available on the market. We have fitted lots of different types over the years but the brands we stick with are:
Wildworx will fit pop top roofs onto lots of different base vehicles, for example:
- VW Transporter
- VW Caddy
- VW Crafter
- Mercedes Sprinter
- Ford Transit Custom
- Land Rover Defender
Fitting a pop top roof
What’s involved in installing a pop top roof? Installing a pop top roof to your campervan is a pretty big job. It includes cutting into the fabric of the panel van and then attaching the roof around new supports.
While it is possible to do this on a self build project it’s not something we recommend for novice converters. Only take on this job if you have good experience with tools:
- Angle grinder with cutting discs or jigsaw with long blades
- Electric drill with 3-10mm drill bits
- Gearbox jacks (2) or similar supports
- Pop rivet gun
- Sealant gun
Choosing a professional conversion company
Choosing a professional conversion company is very important. The most common problem when installing a pop top roof is cutting into the wiring harness, this is a very expensive problem to fix and can mean your van is unusable.
If you skip parts of the process or don’t do things properly it is a structural part of the van and could become dangerous. Finding a converter is something you should take pretty seriously. The following are the basic steps that are involved in fitting a pop top roof:
- Strip out vehicle interior
- Prep the vehicle
- Mark out and measure
- Cutting of roof
- Fit your support structure
- Electrical wiring added for later
- Roof installation secure the roof to van
- Adjustments and positioning
- Secure the canopy
- Sealing Canopy
- Interior trim
Pop Top Roof Safety
We recommend only choosing a pop top roof which has some sort of safety testing. We would only fit a roof from a TUV tested manufacturer. TUV testing is completed in Cologne and ensures that the roof or the roof fitting process does not alter the vehicle in a way that would make it unsafe. This is the only test available that stress tests the structural integrity of the van and is an absolute must.
Pop top Roof Profile
Something that most people are concerned about when choosing a roof is the profile of the outside of the vehicle. Some of the cheaper roof options can site very high and alter the look of the van.
Most of the modern roof manufacturers offer a low profile roof option which helps with the exterior aesthetics.
Pop top roof Colour Coding
You’ll more than likely want the pop top roof to be colour coded to the colour of your van. This can be done in a few different ways but the best option is Gel-Coat Colour Matching.
This can be done with any non-metallic colour as part of the manufacturing process. Meaning there can be no flaking or blistering in the paintwork.
Pop top Canvas Options
Most manufactures offer different canvas colours. Take care to consider what the canvas colour will do to the light inside the camper. We’ve seen a few bright blues that make the inside of the van feel pretty chilly!
Panoramic canvas options, were the front of the canvas opens are proving very popular. It’s usually only a few hundreds pounds more but well worth the investment!
Pop top roof Locking System
It’s pretty important to know that the roof is going to stay down when you’re driving! There are loads of different locking mechanisms which keep the roof down on the road. They range from simple pully straps to complex locking systems.
Generally the cheaper roofs use straps and the higher end of the market uses clasps etc. There are roofs on the market that use a key that locks the roof shut. Which is great for added safety in the van. For example the Skyline Aurora has a great locking mechanism.
Sometimes manufacturers can over complex the process, making the roof hard to open and close. Make sure you test out your roof in real life before ordering.
The pop top roof warranty
Check out the warranty length. They tend to be 3 years with the exception of Skyline who offer a very generous 5 year warranty. We’ve fitted 900+ roofs over the years, it’s not very often we have to use the warranty. But sometimes things happen and it’s great to know it’s built to last.
Wildworx Campervan Pop Top Roof Conversions
The roof we would choose changes every year as new products come on the market. We think the best and most reasonably priced roof on the market is the Skyline Aurora.
We like to keep things simple and this roof is fantastic quality without over complicating the situation! It offers a low profile, easy opening with panoramic canvas.
We're part of the Skyline Roof fitting network, so get in touch for your pop top roof installation quote. Get in touch with us to get more information on your pop top roof campervan conversion.
Wildworx also sells a variety of Campervan Accessories to take your van to the next level.
01789 700 029