Should we get a hard top van or a pop top van?
This was a hard decision to make because there was so many defining factors.
We have had discussions with lots of people about this and this is what we have discovered.
The pop top has less wind resistance due to being not as tall and this can save a bit on petrol apparently. We did get told that one of the reasons we should steer away from pop tops is that they leak, and this wasn't just one person this was about five different people saying this so I am assuming that they have had some wet times in the van they will never forget. A good friend of mine from Melbourne Tristan Garland said that when the winds are high the pop top arms that make a cross can sometimes bend and in bad cases snap. We were told that it is harder to put solar panels on a pop top roof but this has proven not to be true as there are Solar panels on Perspex that can be glued on if you wish that aren't heavy and don't take up too much room. So that comment got debunked.
So this is left us to think… what are the pros and cons of a hardtop… well there is a sense of security knowing that there is something solid above your head that is strong and won’t leak. (Keeping this in mind we did get a leak from some work that had been done inside the van where the last guy that we bought the van off had attached curtain rails but this was nothing to do with the roof it was coming through the back door). A benefit is that you can use the front and the back for storage that can stay there all the time. This is handy as living in a van, you are forever taking things out and putting them back. It is a constant Conversation of “where is this” and “where should this go” and “where did you put that” and who put what where and “why it should be there not here”. It is easy to waste away days talking about this crap when you could be looking at the beautiful view out your back door. So back to hard tops, a negative is that because you are tall you can't get into underground car parks which means you are sometimes limited, but not by much. I feel like the hardtop creates a better insulated area for when you sleep and you can maintain the temperature quite well. It feels like you are less in a tent and more in a caravan which can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on the person, some people like to camp and others like to be in a cozy house. These two types of people are completely different and you have to figure out which one you are and also just as importantly, which one your partner or
I would love to hear if anyone else has cool information on this so I can share it on the blog. Please leave a comment below so we can make this the best post on this topic.