POP TOP CAMPERVAN
Sorry, but this
is the design of vehicle I just don’t get. If they were as cheap as chips to buy then maybe, but they’re not, costing from around £35,000 up to an astonishing £48,000. They do offer some facilities within a confined space and are easy
to drive and park up anywhere, and I assume they must be economical, but for me they’re far too much of a compromise between a family car and comfortable accommodation when touring.
All the internal layouts are pretty much the same, there being insufficient space to be creative. Basically in the back you get a run of cupboards and kitchen space along the offside and not very deep at all, and a two-seater sofa
facing forward which are travelling seats for two passengers when on the move, and converts to a bed during the night, usually with the aid of the two cab seats which have to be spun round to become part of the bed. If you’re trying to squeeze four in
for a night’s sleep then the roof pops up and the two lucky people get to sleep in a glorified tent on the roof. Life can get complicated if the wind is blowing a gale as then it becomes prudent to drop the roof extension for fear of damaging the rising
and lowering mechanism. This happened when we spent two very wet and windy days on the Gower Penninsular last year. In order to avoid damaging the roof mechanism the roofs were lowered. Luckily on this occasion all the vehicles only had couples in them. But
if any of them had also contained children, who presumably would have slept up in the roof/tent space. When it had to be lowered, where would they have then slept?
to that the lack of even the most basic of portable toilet on most models due to the lack of space, then surely you have to question the wisdom of splashing out that kind of money. Some models do have a small chemical toilet in a cupboard located under the
kitchen unit – nice, but to use it you’d have to pull it out, then close the curtains for privacy. Come night time of course that luxury is not available to you as the loo is trapped in the cupboard by the unfolded sofa-cum-bed leaving you to walk
to the campsite toilet block during the night, and on a wet night be careful not to get the bedding wet as you open the door.
So here’s a tip to other motorhomers
– don’t park next to one of these campervans on a campsite, especially if it’s occupied by somebody with a weak bladder.
Woooosh BOOM, as the
side sliding door opens and the occupant alights, Woooosh BOOM, as they close the door behind them (these two movements are completed in double quick time when it's raining, to avoid getting the bedding by the door wet). After returning from the toilet block,
Woooosh BOOM, as they open the door to climb back in. Woooosh BOOM, as they close the door behind them.
They could reduce the need to slam the door as heavily
by opening a window so that the air pressure can be equalised between the interior and outside before closing the door, but that isn’t in the manual.
if you think that spending that kind of money to sleep in a tent on the roof just so that you can still use the toilet under the sink during the night is good value for money, then good luck to you and happy camping.