Campervan Conversion Guide: The Campervan Roof

Considering a Campervan Roof Conversion?

If you’re considering converting your van into a campervan, one of the most important elements is the Campervan Roof. Otherwise known as a pop top, this turns your boring panel van into an adventure machine!

It’s one of the most expensive and dramatic parts of the conversion. It’s important to do your research before you begin. From the different types of pop tops to the manufacturers, to the installers, we’re here to guide you through the full process. 

Campervan Roof Conversion

What campervan roof options are available?

When it comes to choosing a campervan, there are many things to consider. One of the most important decisions is what type of roof to choose. There are two main types of roof available for campervans: hardtop and pop-up. 

Hardtop roofs are durable and a weather-resistant option, making them a good choice for full-time campers or those who frequently travel in inclement weather. Hard top roof conversions are becoming more popular. However they can have a fairly big impact on your fuel economy, which is a really important factor to consider - especially on longer trips. 

Raising campervan roofs provide the greatest amount of headroom and are ideal for taller campers or those who plan on spending a lot of time inside the van. When they’re pulled down there is only a limited change to the profile of the van. 

Who are the top manufacturers of campervan roofs?

While there are many companies across the UK that manufacture campervan roofs, there are a few that stand out from the rest. Their campervan roofs are available in a variety of colours and styles, making it easy to find one that matches your vehicle's style. 

The differences between the top companies are subtable. But as you start to shop around you will notice some stand out above the rest. 

Our top campervan roof manufacturers are: 

  • Skyline 
  • WestDubs 
  • Pop Top UK 
  • Storm Pop Tops
  • Austops
  • SCA 

You can find out more about the different suppliers of pop top roofs here.  

Swamper VW Campervan Conversion from Wildworx

What to look for when choosing a campervan roof brand?

Let’s not beat around the bush…your campervan roof is a huge purchase. It’s really important to pick the right manufacturer and installer for your conversion. Get on the forums, read reviews, accost people in car parks! Whatever it takes. 

When choosing a campervan roof brand, it is important to consider a few different factors. First, you’ll want to make sure that the brand offers a good warranty. This will give you peace of mind in knowing that your investment is protected. 

You need to spend some time reading online reviews to see what other customers have said about the brand. This will give you an idea of the quality of the products and the level of customer service. 

Money is always going to be one of the main deciding factors. Make sure you compare prices to get the best deal possible. 

Here are our most important things to look for when shopping for a campervan roof: 

  1. Material: Most companies use fibreglass. Some might use aluminium. Make sure you know what 
  2. Canvas Options: You’ll want to be able to choose your canvas colour and add a panoramic canvas 
  3. Warranty: They will range from 1 year to 5 years
  4. Profile: You’ll want to check out the profile the roof when it’s pulled down
  5. Colour Coded: What colour do you want the roof to be?
Panoramic Canvas Campervan Roof

What canvas options are available for my campervan roof?

When it comes to outfitting your campervan, one of the most important choices you'll make is what kind of canvas you want for your roof. There are a few different options to choose from. 

The canvas will come in a variety of different colours. Which means you can choose to colour code the canvas to your colour scheme. Keep in mind that this changes the feel of the light inside the van. I’ve seen blue canvases give a very cold appearance. A black canvas can make the inside of the camper dark, especially in the winter. 

You will need to choose whether you want the canvas to open or not. This is called a panoramic canvas. It adds a wow factor to the camper and is also great for ventilation.

No matter what kind of canvas you choose for your campervan roof, be sure to do your research. Head to any outdoor campervan shows you can find, they are up and down the UK. This will give you the opportunity to sit in the camper and get a feel for the different camper options. 

VW Campervan Pop top roof conversion

How much wind can a campervan roof withstand?

When it comes to campervan roofs, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. The amount of wind that a roof can withstand depends on the material, the thickness of the panels, and the number of reinforcement bars.

However, in general, a campervan roof should be able to withstand winds of up to 60 miles per hour. Of course, this is only a general guideline, and it is always best to check with the manufacturer before heading out in inclement weather. 

Furthermore, it is important to note that even the strongest roofs can be damaged by flying debris or tree limbs. For this reason, it is always best to exercise caution and avoid camping in areas where high winds are forecast. 

We always suggest keeping your roof down in even the smallest of gusts. By taking these precautions, you can help ensure that your campervan roof stays intact no matter what Mother Nature throws your way.

Can you fit roof rails to a lifting campervan roof?

We get asked this question a lot. Many campervan owners also choose to install roof rails, which provide a convenient way to carry extra gear, like bikes or kayaks. Obviously roof rails are intended to be installed on the factory roof of a panel van. 

Roof rails can be fitted to a pop top roof. However you need to know what the load rating of your campervan roof is. For example the Skyline campervan roof can still be put up with up to 75 kg of weight on the roof, but for other manufacturers the limit is 0 kg. 

At the end of the day, campervan roofs are made out of fibreglass and are not manufactured with the intention of withstanding weight. 

You also need to consider the roof rails themselves. Most roof rails have feet that are shaped to fit the groove in the steel roof. 

There’s a lot to think about here. It’s best to talk to your pop top roof installer and explain what you’re planning on using the roof rails for. They will then be able to advise further. 

You might also be considering an Awning Rail or wind out awing. Most awning rails can be fitted to a raining roof. Our preference is the Vamoose Multi Rail

Campervan Panoramic Canvas

Do you have to close the campervan roof when you leave the van?

It really depends! Sometimes we will shut the roof of our campervan. Other times we will leave it open while we explore. Security is a big issue. We have heard of people cutting the canvas to break into the camper.

Heat is another. During the summer months we might leave the roof up to allow air into the campervan. In the winter we tend to pull the pop top roof down 

How to clean the fabric canvas of a campervan roof?

There are a few different methods you can use to clean the fabric canvas of a campervan roof, depending on the severity of the stains. For light stains, such as those from tree sap or bird droppings, simply wiping the area with a damp cloth should be enough to remove the mark. 

If the stain is more stubborn, you can try using a gentle laundry detergent or upholstery cleaner. Just be sure to test the cleaner on a small hidden area of the fabric first to make sure it won't damage or fade the fabric. 

For tough stains, such as mildew or grease, you may need to use a stronger cleaning solution. White vinegar or rubbing alcohol can be effective in removing these kinds of stains. Just be sure to rinse the area well afterwards to avoid damaging the fabric. 

Try and avoid letting mould infiltrate your campervan. Read our guide on winterising your camper. However if you do find yourself with a mouldy canvas, use a powerful mould spray which you will be able to find online. Make sure you’re not planning on using the van for a few days, you don’t want to breathe this stuff in. 

With a little care and regular cleaning, you can keep your campervan's roof looking like new for years to come. 

If you purchase an older vehicle it is possible to change the canvas completely. This costs around £300 for a new canvas and approx £300 in labour. It can give your campervan a new lease of life. Wildworx can offer canvas changes - get in touch

Campervan Roof Conversion

Can I fit flexible solar panels to a raising campervan roof?

As more and more people look for ways to reduce their carbon footprint, solar energy has become increasingly popular. Solar panels can be used to power everything from homes to businesses, and they are also a great option for people who travel frequently in campervans. 

While campervans vary in size and design, most can accommodate a solar panel kit on the roof. They are glued into place using a special adhesive. A small hole is made in your pop top to enable the wiring to reach your leisure battery. 

Solar panels convert sunlight into electric power, and they are relatively easy to install. In most cases, you will need to purchase a special mount or bracket to attach the panels to your campervan roof. You will also need to wire the panels to your campervan's existing electrical system. 

Skyline Campervan Roof Conversion

Wildworx Campervan Roof Fitting

If you are looking for a campervan roof fitting, then look no further than Wildworx. We offer a wide range of services to make sure that your campervan is fitted with the best roof possible. We’ve completed thousands of campervan roof conversions over the years from loads of different manufacturers. 

We’re happy to talk through your next build and help you plan your project. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you enjoy your next camping adventure.