Caravan or Pop top?

Submitted: Monday, Jul 08, 2013 at 21:43
ThreadID: 103155 Views:4050 Replies:8 FollowUps:3
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Upgrading from Jayco Eagle camper van to either a pop top or caravan as the Eagle is quite cold when the temperature drops below 10c. Getting soft in old age :). Wondering if a Pop top would be similar to the Eagle as far as letting in the cold or is a full caravan the way to go. Trouble is when in the tropics find the airflow through the Eagle is fantastic and keeps the camper very comfortable. Are the added benefits of lower profile of pop top, easier storage and more accessibility to tight spots worth the compromise or are we better to go for a caravan?
Thanks in anticipation,
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Reply By: Notso - Monday, Jul 08, 2013 at 22:11

Monday, Jul 08, 2013 at 22:11
I think you've said it all there mate.

It depends what is most important for you.
AnswerID: 514498

Reply By: member - mazcan - Monday, Jul 08, 2013 at 22:55

Monday, Jul 08, 2013 at 22:55
hi makemyday
the pop-top section is vynl as you would already be aware of and it attracts the cold same as a camper because its very thin where-as a full caravan has an insulated wall bottom to top that is a very big difference when it comes to keeping the cold out and the warmth in from any heating device you may choose to use
the vynl also has a condensation problem to add to the cold scenario so yes pop-top and eagle simular but the the compromise is air flow in the tropics but the caravan will have windows you can open in most brands
personelly it really is your money and your choice
and if the van you chose rely's on air cond then if you want to free camp you will need to buy a gennie to power it that's about another a gennie friendly camps/park zone hope my comments have thrown a bit of reality on your question
AnswerID: 514499

Follow Up By: member - mazcan - Tuesday, Jul 09, 2013 at 12:40

Tuesday, Jul 09, 2013 at 12:40
sorry just found out part of my thread is missing eg:

you will need to buy a genie to power the air cond that's about another $2500 if you wish to free camp and you then have to take into consideration a gennie friendlyfree camp and /or parking zone some people hate gennies running near them
FollowupID: 793595

Reply By: Nomadic Navara - Monday, Jul 08, 2013 at 23:21

Monday, Jul 08, 2013 at 23:21
I think you have summed things up OK. It's much easier to heat a pop-top than cool a van down.I have stuck to a pop-top for the last van even though we no longer have the storage problems. If you are getting a pop-top make sure you get 6 vents in the top sleeve rather than the usual 4. The Webasto heater we have fitted keeps the van comfortable even with frost on the ground. An 1800 W heater will do the same when on powered sites.

For hot weather we carry a fan but only have to use it 6 - times a year.
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AnswerID: 514500

Reply By: Roughasguts - Tuesday, Jul 09, 2013 at 04:02

Tuesday, Jul 09, 2013 at 04:02
You just might want to see if you and the missus have no trouble lifting the Pop Top some I beleive can be a struggle.

AnswerID: 514503

Follow Up By: makemyday - Tuesday, Jul 09, 2013 at 22:07

Tuesday, Jul 09, 2013 at 22:07
Many thanks for your comments, several points I had not thought of. Still no closer to a decision will re look at the options including actually lifting and closing the poptop,
Thanks again Kerry
FollowupID: 793633

Reply By: Nutta - Tuesday, Jul 09, 2013 at 23:01

Tuesday, Jul 09, 2013 at 23:01
You could always pull the pop top down when its cold, only takes a minute!
AnswerID: 514545

Reply By: Member - John and Lynne - Wednesday, Jul 10, 2013 at 10:37

Wednesday, Jul 10, 2013 at 10:37
It is a real choice if you intend to spend a lot of time in the tropics free camping without a generator! Otherwise we decided a full van had advantages for us. Firstly we could have a bathroom with good ventilation and no vinyl to go slimy. We did not see a pop top with a satisfactory bathroom set up - this may have improved. Then the full van has better storage cupboards above the benches. With carefully placed 4seasons hatches and good windows our Sunland Patriot has been comfortable in hot weather. Check the windows on full height vans if you consider one - some have few windows and poor cross ventilation but others are excellent. We very rarely use our aircon and do not carry a generator - we have solar which meets all our needs. We do not have a 12 volt fan but if buying another van would have one fitted. We have gas heating which is marvellous as we like to bush camp away from CPs when possible. With a full height van it is always ready for a roadside cuppa or a quick toilet stop! We have been happy with our choice. Our Jayco Dove in Bendigo in winter cured us of vinyl for ever and you never know when circumstances might take you into cold conditions in future! Lynne
AnswerID: 514559

Reply By: Axle - Wednesday, Jul 10, 2013 at 16:55

Wednesday, Jul 10, 2013 at 16:55
G/Day Kerry, Another thing to think about, especially if in the tropics is the difference

in strength between the two, Imho the pop tops are like a cardboard box with no top, where as the full van is a complete structure , I know what I would prefer in a howling Gale,

Cheers Axle.
AnswerID: 514576

Follow Up By: makemyday - Wednesday, Jul 10, 2013 at 18:45

Wednesday, Jul 10, 2013 at 18:45
Hi, great responses, thanks very much. There are so many different points to think of and as these things are so expensive you don't want to make too many mistakes, especially when you have champagne tastes on a beer budget :) .
Cheers Kerry
FollowupID: 793681

Reply By: Daisy G - Thursday, Jul 11, 2013 at 15:40

Thursday, Jul 11, 2013 at 15:40
A pop-top and caravan are quite similar, as you can find the silimar fitting insides. But I recommend a caravan. A pop-tops should be lift by a 4X4 vehicle. As the inside space, a caravan is bigger than a pop-top.
AnswerID: 514613

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