Most people like to travel. It is something that makes us happy, brings us new experiences, and much more. That is why there are very few who do not like it. And all the others who can’t wait for the day when they will start packing for a new trip to come, only differ in what they prefer, more precisely what kind of trip. Some people like luxury resorts where they will just rest for 10 days, while many others like sightseeing and different active types of vacation. Also, there are those who love independence and therefore choose recreational vehicles that give them complete freedom to go wherever they want, spend there as much time as they want, and feel almost like at home. Some even decide to live in recreational vehicles.
There are many different types of RVs, from very small to those that can accommodate 10 people and cost several million dollars. However, today we will focus on two, the most popular and most affordable types, and those are pop-top and van conversion motorhomes. We will tell you everything you need to know about them, as well as which one is better in our opinion. Therefore, reading this article will be very useful if you are planning to buy one of these two types soon.
If you haven’t seen a pop-top by now, you may not be sure what it looks like. The primary difference is that it has an adjustable height because you can raise and lower the roof. When you need more space, then elevate the roof, and when you drive, then flatten it and you can hardly see that it is a pop-top at all. It looks like a regular van. When you elevate the roof, there are usually 4 windows on it, so you get extra light, an amazing view and of course a lot of extra space which is the main reason why you want it after all.
It is most often the choice of people who need a vehicle for every day and a recreation vehicle in one. Since it does not take up much space and has the size of an ordinary vehicle when the root is flattened, it can be used for commute or even city driving. And when you want to travel, you will have a motorhome.
A conversion van is a cargo van that is customized by specialized third-party companies like Consort Motorhomes to be RV. It is also known as High Top or high roof because it has a new high roof installed in the place where the original roof used to be. This permanently increases the available space and also permanently increases the height of the vehicle. While the pop-top usually provides up to 500mm of newly available space, the high top provides up to 800mm.
There is an additional division that divides Class B vans and conversion vans. Class B always has everything like a much larger RV while conversion vans can also have a bathroom and everything else, but they don’t have to. It depends on you and the company that customizes it. They can have running water and a bathroom if you want to, and they don’t have to if you think public toilets are more than enough. As for the kitchen and the bedroom, it’s mostly the same.
Pop Top vs Van Conversion – which one is better?
We will start with the type of roof itself. There are only two advantages to pop-top and the first is that parking is generally easier because you have access everywhere. The second is that the aerodynamics is the same as with ordinary vehicles, while the high top is less fuel-efficient. Still, in all other situations, he is a high-top clear winner. Firstly because it provides much more space constantly, so driving and staying inside is much more comfortable. Also, there are no moving parts that in the case of a pop-top have to be changed every couple of years. Leaking won’t happen either, because everything is made up of one part. Therefore, the insulation is better, so you will be able to heat or cool the interior more easily, depending on the time of year. Setting up a pop-top requires time every time you want it, and also canvas is prone to decay and certainly provides less protection.
Here, the winner is the same. Since you have permanent space, you can plan storage much better and easier. The pop-top doesn’t provide the space you can always count on, so you can pack a lot less stuff. Rooftop storage is not a solution either, as it can withstand very little weight. While the high top can withstand the heavyweight of rooftop storage and also inside there is much more storage space.
It is probably clear to you that the high top also won in this category, making it three times in a row. With a pop-top, you have to assemble the whole sleeping area every night or every time you want to sleep. And then before you go disassemble it. So you will either have to have a very simple option, which is not comfortable or you will spend a lot of time every day on the whole process. When we talk about the high top, you will be able to make yourself comfortable just like at home and get a real motorhome. This is especially important if you plan to live there or travel longer. Then the whole assembly process will be very easy for you.
We have also reached the category where the pop-top wins. Although the high top is not impractical, it is not ideal for commute or city driving for several reasons. The pop-top on the other hand is ideal for all those who generally need a regular vehicle, and only occasionally want to use a motorhome.
Again, the high top is a winner by a big difference. The pop-top is practically a tent, so it cannot be considered safe at all.
The high top wins in some more categories, such as noise, structural integrity and so on, so all that makes it a winner in our head-to-head comparison. Of course, both have their advantages and disadvantages, so the choice will depend on your personal needs also.