Can you sleep in a pop-top camper?

In this article, we will answer the following question: Can you sleep in a pop-top camper? We will discuss the pros and cons of pop-top campers and give you a few essential tips on sleeping in a pop-top in summer and in winter. 

Can you sleep in a pop-top camper?

Yes, you can sleep comfortably in a pop-top camper no matter the weather. Pop-top campers are practical models with little consumption, in which the roof is raised in just over two minutes, and that allows you that functionality of having it parked at home and deciding to go out for a weekend without a problem. 

The biggest disadvantages would be if you travel as a family, the interior space may be scarce; they are not really “cheap” and the variety of brands to choose from is small. 

Let’s see what are the pros and cons of seeping in a pop-top camper:

Advantages of a pop-top camperDisadvantages of a pop-top camper
It is convenient and easy to useThey are independent of the vehicle, so they are only accessible from the outside 
A good alternative for those who are not lucky enough to have a motorhomeIt has limited space for a family, it is not designed to accommodate many people. If you want to do it, you should opt for a larger caravan.
An opportunity to create additional beds for your vehicleIt has the worst insulation, something that is very noticeable, both on the coldest days and on the hottest ones.
They can adapt to any roof so you can keep them even if you change vehiclesIncreases the vehicle’s wind resistance, roof tents can slightly impact your fuel consumption.

How to sleep in a pop-top camper in summer

You should know that sleeping in a pop-top camper in the summer is challenging. Even if you leave it open to let fresh air in (rear doors and sliding doors open) the walls are still warm! 

There are usually two windows (on the sides) and the one on the left does not have a mosquito net but a plastic cover, excellent for providing light in the winter without getting cold. However, you should understand that a single window does not allow sufficient air circulation in the summer!

For the summer it would be convenient if you could also open the window on the left, so as to be in the middle of the recirculation of air, but even so it is not bad!

How to keep cool in a pop-top camper in summer

To keep cool in a pop-top camper in summer make sure you open both the pop-up roof and the vents so that the hot air can escape (remember that hot air goes upwards!) and so that cooler breezes can enter.

Some other useful tips to keep cool:

  • Apply tinting films for windows: to attenuate the incoming warm sunlight as much as possible, use adhesive films and sparse sheets;
  • Keep the awning open: it serves for shade, just like an umbrella. Keep in mind, however, that if you are travelling in an area with many insects, it is best to consider installing mosquito nets to prevent them from entering.
  • Close the pop-top when it is too hot: when summers are serious it is better to close everything in the middle hours. By keeping the blinds and curtains down in the camper it is possible to keep the sun’s rays out and help keep the air cooler inside. It’s a simple trick, but it can make a big difference;
  • Turn on the air conditioner: first of all, you need to distinguish between the cabin air conditioner and the actual air conditioner. The first is the one that works with the vehicle in motion to cool the passenger compartment, while the other is the household appliance like the one at home. 

How to sleep in a pop-top camper in winter

In the winter season with sub-zero temperatures, you can safely use the pop-top camper, but some special attention is needed.

Using a hose connected to one of the dinette vents helps the air to rise but, being a curtain, the heat comes out quickly. For this reason, it is essential to use an insulating sheet to allow the heat to remain inside the vehicle. It is true that externally it would protect the original fabric from rain and snow but one thing is to place it on a T5 less than 2 meters high and another on a 2.70 m high Ducato! 

Furthermore, in this way you do not even have to go out into the storm, but can be installed comfortably from the inside with simple velcro that takes well on the inside of the roof!

Since there are several vents inside the camper, these can be opened and closed at will according to the temperature you want in each part of the vehicle. But if having the warm air on you in the evening is pleasant, in the morning it is annoying so our advice is to turn the pipe outwards so when the programming of the stove starts via the Multicontrol (so you wake up in the warmth!) you don’t have hot air shot in your face.

How to keep warm in a pop-top camper in winter

The insulation of the pop-top camper can be more or less valid and efficient, but it is still there. This means that the interior can be heated and the heat maintained, perhaps some models “hold better than others”, but this is not very important: your camper can face the cold. 

I don’t want to get involved in a dissertation on heating systems, gas, oil, air, radiators. It is not the goal of this article, everyone is fine, know that in any case, you will be able to obtain and maintain a comfortable temperature.

The important thing is to keep the camper heating always on, both day and night.

And not only because maintaining the temperature, in terms of consumption, certainly costs less than turning off and on several times, but also because the air distribution system runs alongside the water one, and keeping the stove always on prevents the water from freezing in the pipes, in the pump and in the ‘possible expansion tank.

You will adjust the temperature according to your needs, higher when you are on board, lower when you are out of the camper, at night you will avoid excessive heat, so as not to dry the air too much and maintain good comfort, but you will never turn off the stove. A couple of reference temperatures? 20 degrees during the day when inside, 15 at night.

Conclusions

In our opinion, pop-top caravans are ideal for single persons or couples who want to hit the road for a longer period. The size of this type of caravan allows you the functionality of having it parked at home and deciding to go out for a weekend without a problem. 

I hope you enjoyed this article and if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask!

FAQ on Can you sleep in a pop-top camper?

Can you sleep in a pop-top in winter?

Yes, you can most certainly sleep in a pop-top (also known as a pop-up camper) in winter, as long as you take all the necessary precautions to stay warm during those cold nights. Obviously, your first ally will be warm winter clothes, but you can also do some things to prepare your camper for wintertime travel. 

What is the best pop-top caravan to buy?

Among the best pop-top caravans to buy are the Coronet Series F S2; Goldstream RV 16FT FKST; Jayco Expanda OB 18.58-2 PT; Jurgens Jindabyne PT2210 and the Olympic Javelin.

Is insulating a pop-top a good idea?

The insulation of the pop-top camper can be more or less valid and efficient, but it is still there. This means that the interior can be heated and the heat maintained, perhaps some models “hold better than others”, but this is not very important: your camper can face the cold. 

Does AC work in a pop-top camper?

Yes, AC works in a pop-up camper. We recommend you invest in a portable AC, that is easy to install and a great long-term acquisition. 

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