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Pop Top Caravans vs Hard Top Caravans – Which is Right for You?

  • Written by Daily Bulletin

When it comes to purchasing a caravan, there's a lot you need to think about. One of the key decisions for many buyers is whether to choose pop top caravans vs hard top caravans.

I'm John from JAWA Campers and I’ve been selling and driving campers and caravans Sydney for decades. As an experienced caravanner, I understand the pros and cons of both. Here's some of my best advice to help you decide which is right for you. 

Who Does it Better? Pop Top or Hard Top?

  • Storage: Hard top caravans provide more storage as they are equipped with overhead cupboards that provide plenty of space. 
  • Storing: A pop top is easier to store because you can fold it down, so it fits easier in your carport or garage. 
  • Weight: Neither is better than the other when it comes to weight thanks to modern advancements in caravan design and materials making them similarly weighted. If you have concerns about weight and towing, discuss the tare weight with the sales team. 
  • Manoeuvrability: Pop tops are much easier to manoeuvre; hard top caravans can get caught in crosswinds and are more difficult to steer and park. 
  • Noise: Hard top caravans block noise more efficiently due to their solid construction. 
  • Heating and Cooling: Modern caravans typically feature air-conditioning, but hard top caravans are better insulated overall, making them easier and more economical to heat or cool.
  • Hydraulic and Gas Struts: This is something to speak to the sales team about. When it comes to pop top caravans, the hydraulics and gas struts are usually the first to go. It's costly and inconvenient, and it's particularly important to consider if you're buying a second-hand caravan.
  • Set-Up, Tear-Down: There is far less set-up involved with a hard top caravan, so if you're truly sold on a pop top caravan, choose one that's easy to set up and pull down. Always ask for a demonstration in the showroom!
  • Moisture and Ventilation: They're comparable, but pop top caravans are more likely to attract mould, particularly in the skirts and billows around the top. Ensuites can also be havens for bacteria.
  • Maintenance: With so many moving parts, there's more maintenance involved in a pop top caravan. 

Choose Your Caravan

Ultimately, whether you choose a hard top or pop top will depend on personal preferences and usage. If you're not sure which option is best for you, ask the seller for advice. The more knowledge you have about the different features, the more informed your decision will be. It will also keep the sales team on their toes.

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