Pop top Caravans

Submitted: Thursday, Jun 04, 2009 at 20:33
ThreadID: 69514 Views:3941 Replies:7 FollowUps:5
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Can anyone tell me approximately what fuel saving one could expect towing a 16 or 17 foot pop top compared to towing a full height 16 or 17 foot van under the same or similar conditions such as speed vehicle etc. The used market in 16 and 17 foot vans is dominated by Pop top caravans so I suppose there are good reasons for their popularity. The full height van appeals to me, I figure with a independent suspension fitted it should be able to cope with some corrugation's. I am thinking of moving up from a tent to some accommodation that can better stand the inevitable winds or and rain. Having never owned a caravan I would be interested to know why the Pop Tops appear to be more popular in that 16 to 17 foot size range as I feel I must be missing some point as at the moment I would probably choose a full height caravan.
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Reply By: Brian B (Brisbane) - Thursday, Jun 04, 2009 at 20:41

Thursday, Jun 04, 2009 at 20:41

From my own experience I think you may get a small saving in fuel costs due to better aerodynamics, lower towing height and slightly reduced weight etc with a poptop but I don't see the difference as earth bleep tering.

A lot of people also go for a pop top because a lot of them fit under existing carports etc without having to modify roof height. A hard top van with a roof air conditioner gets quite high. Having said that our new Avan pop top has a roof mounted air con and we had to raise the roof to fit it in a car port we have so it's a bit of a no brainer there.

In the end it will come down to what suits you so enjoy having a look around and I am sure you will get something that works for you.
AnswerID: 368448

Follow Up By: kwk56pt - Thursday, Jun 04, 2009 at 21:11

Thursday, Jun 04, 2009 at 21:11
Thanks Brian, yes I figure the fuel saving would not be that great guessing about 2L/100k on a diesel vehicle but it would be interesting to know. I can see the lower profile would allow it to go through a carport. I would be interested to also hear from people that have owned both. I figured the ventilation would be probably better in the Pop Tops but I notice aircond is still a popular option in these too.
FollowupID: 636020

Reply By: Members Paul and Melissa (VIC) - Thursday, Jun 04, 2009 at 20:45

Thursday, Jun 04, 2009 at 20:45
i cant give exact figures as i towed the 22'er full van with a petrol 80 on gas and our now 19' pop top with a T/D 100 so no apples for apples. but i can tell you the pop does not feel like it is following when in cross winds or trucks going the other way, our last big trip from melbourne to the gold coast sitting on 110 with cruise i averaged a 14 to the 100. cant complain about that.
AnswerID: 368449

Follow Up By: Jedo_03 - Thursday, Jun 04, 2009 at 21:02

Thursday, Jun 04, 2009 at 21:02
110 on cruise..!!
Pulling a pop top..!!!
With cross-winds and trucks..!!!
FollowupID: 636017

Follow Up By: gary - Thursday, Jun 04, 2009 at 21:11

Thursday, Jun 04, 2009 at 21:11
You must of only went down the hills..
FollowupID: 636019

Follow Up By: Member - Axle - Thursday, Jun 04, 2009 at 21:32

Thursday, Jun 04, 2009 at 21:32
On idle, in Angel Gear!!

FollowupID: 636024

Follow Up By: Members Paul and Melissa (VIC) - Thursday, Jun 04, 2009 at 21:44

Thursday, Jun 04, 2009 at 21:44
You first 2 obviously dont own a toyota!! and you Axle, i am surprised!!! my av speed was 100 to 110 but the later on all good flat areas
FollowupID: 636026

Reply By: Foxhound (WA) - Friday, Jun 05, 2009 at 10:39

Friday, Jun 05, 2009 at 10:39
We started off with a pop top 17 Ft van, was talked into it by a pop top owner. We owned it for 4 years and were never really happy with it, reason was having to pop the top when you stop for morning and afternoon teas, the condensation build up on the inside of the skirt during the night, dust through the skirt vents when it was up, very narrow overhead cupboards, all furniture lower than a full van particularly the door. We now own a full van with toilet and shower (20ft) and have never looked back. Of course you have to take into account the towing vehicle required to tow this size van. However, that will depend on the size van you choose. With regard to the fuel consumption there is very little difference. I read an article some years ago that RAC did and on a round Australia trip, the fuel difference was one tank of fuel. This of course was with same size vans and vehicles. Our van lives outside in the weather and providing the exterior is kept clean and polished once a year, including the roof I haven't noticied any deterioration at all.
AnswerID: 368520

Reply By: Member - Scoof (SA) - Friday, Jun 05, 2009 at 17:00

Friday, Jun 05, 2009 at 17:00
I use to tow a car trailer with a race car on it and after a couple years made a fully enclosed trailer about the size of a 18' caravan and didn't notice any real difference in fuel consumption. But we did notice a cross wind more with the enclosed car trailer.
AnswerID: 368568

Reply By: deserter - Friday, Jun 05, 2009 at 17:11

Friday, Jun 05, 2009 at 17:11
I looked into it before I bought my full height van a few years back. Popular opinion then was that there is virtually no difference. The pop top is heavier than the equivalent full height. Towing the heavy weight equals out the difference in wind resistance.
AnswerID: 368569

Reply By: Member - AJB (VIC) - Friday, Jun 05, 2009 at 22:35

Friday, Jun 05, 2009 at 22:35
No difference in fuel consumption. They are popular because they fit in garages/carports etc.
AnswerID: 368648

Reply By: deserter - Saturday, Jun 06, 2009 at 14:45

Saturday, Jun 06, 2009 at 14:45
We love having the ability to stop for lunch or a cuppa when we are travelling and have ample room with the full size van. If you get a poptop, get one high enough to make a cuppa without having to put the top up.
AnswerID: 368705

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