5 Reasons to Choose a HiLo Pop-top for Your Campervan
What is the best pop top roof?
If you have been looking for a Hilo PopTop Roof to go in your campervan, you might feel daunted about the vast selection on offer. Here at VisionTech Automotive we have been converting VW vans for over 10 years and are frequently asked ‘what is the best pop top roof?’. As you can imagine, we have fitted a variety of elevating pop top roofs and we have found our preferred solution to be the HiLo PopTop. This guide will provide you with all the information you need to know about the HiLo Roof and why we think it is the market leading PopTop. Read on to learn the top reasons why we install HiLo Roofs in our VW camper conversions.
What is a pop top roof?
Let’s start by answering the basic question – what is a pop top? A pop top roof is the ultimate feature of a Volkswagen T6 conversion. Essentially, it is an upgrade to your camper, also known as an elevating roof, that provides you with more space and flexibility onboard your T6. Whether you’re looking for usable open space, a panoramic canvas to enjoy the night’s sky or just the ability to add an elevating bed, a pop top roof gives you the freedom to customise your camper to your specific needs.
What is a Hi Lo Camper?
Hi Lo is the specific brand of pop top roofs that we favour here at VisionTech Automotive. Hi Lo have been creating elevating roofs for VW campers since 2012 and offer a wide range of designs, as described below. You can also see a HiLo pop top in action by checking out our Gallery page.
1. Lowest Sitting PopTop (Podless Look)
The HiLo Sport Roof has made quite the name for itself being the lowest sitting elevating roof when closed, this means no extra height restriction when doing things like going in to multi story car parks. Here at VisionTech Automotive we pride ourselves on design, therefore our campervan conversions have a very modern and sleek look to them. Using the HiLo Sport Roof allows us to maintain that sleek and modern design, but still get the practicality out of having a pop top. If you are interested in how far this roof actually sits above the standard factory roof, it is only 15mm, this allows you to have that podless look to your campervan, whilst other pop tops don’t. Another great thing is you don’t have any fixings or rubber seals visible, so to the untrained eye most people won’t even notice that you have an elevating roof installed.
Top Fact: Only 15mm higher than standard vehicle roof!
2. Highest Lifting
Now in complete contrast to our first point this PopTop Roof is also the highest lifting. This allows for maximum headroom throughout the van. Now if you are quite a tall person, like myself you will appreciate this feature more than any other as it allows you to walk the distance of the inside of the van without hitting your head or crouching about, this is all made possible by the fold up bed feature inside. So, if you are after a pop top roof with plenty of headroom this is the one for you.
Top Fact: 1350mm extra height at the front & 520mm at the rear when the bed board is up, this will give you standing height!
3. 2 Berth Bed
With the HiLo PopTop you get a 2 Berth Bi-fold bed. Now most people would question, how or can you even sleep 2 people in a pop top roof comfortably? This is where our previous point comes in, with the HiLo Roof Lifting so high it allows for so much extra room up top, which helps to eliminate that claustrophobic feel that some people experience. Over the years of installing pop tops we have tested the space in a selection of roofs , most of these being at VW Campervan shows and the space in the HiLo is second to none.
Top Fact: The bed can hold “over 50 stone” in weight!.
4. HiLo Scenic Zip out canvas
Over the years, there have been many different types of canvases used in pop top roofs. HiLo now use a performance marine grade canvas that minimises rips and tears in the canvas. With this material you can also be sure that it is 99.9% waterproof. The scenic canvas that allows you to open the canvas all the way out is an amazing addition we would recommend to anyone that chooses to go with this roof.
So why is it a must to spec the scenic canvas?
As HiLo themselves describe it “your very own roof terrace”. This adds so much more to the roof and campervan than you would originally think. The main goal of the scenic canvas is to open up the van and allow more light and fresh air into the campervan.
Imagine cooking inside the van, you can open out the entire canvas and allow any smoke or lingering smells straight out, which from our experience makes it a lot nicer to cook in the van knowing that you won’t have to worry about the smell lingering for days.
5. Fully TUV Approved & M1 Crash Tested
HiLo have been through the TUV approval process, this means all of their roof kits are fully approved and require no additional testing once fitted to your van. As well as being TUV approved the HiLo Roof is also M1 Simulated crash tested.
And it doesn’t stop there, DID YOU KNOW….
Triple zipped windows
As standard in the HiLo roofs you will get three windows, one on either side of the van and one at the front. This means you can park your van whichever way you prefer and still make use of all the windows up top. Not only does it come with three windows, the front one is triple zipped so you can choose from Open, Clear, Mesh or Black-out. As a standard with no extra cost this is a great thing to have on your campervan pop-top.
When the team at VisionTech have taken the vans down to shows in the past we will stay in them overnight. From first-hand experience we can say that the use of the mesh windows is great as they still allow the airflow through without having your windows all the way open. The black-out canvas comes in extra handy when we are feeling that little bit lazy and don’t quite want to get up yet, so you can just zip up that part of the window and grab a few more hours of sleep.
Removable Sliding Hatch
This removable sliding hatch allows you to easily gain access to your roof, but it also does just as good a job at hiding all the canvas when the roof is down. The fact that it is removable allows you to have all the extra head room you gain with the HiLo roof all the way through the campervan.
Replaces most Elevating roofs
Here at VisionTech we have taken out some older Elevating roofs and replaced them with the Hilo Sport Roof, we are able to do this to most aftermarket pop-tops. So if you have a van you love but are not too happy with the pop-top roof it has, then it can most likely be replaced with a HiLo roof. If you are wanting to do this then make sure to contact HiLo or a HiLo roof fitter before moving forward to make sure your roof is eligible for a change.
So with the HiLo roof being so great all around, are there any downsides to having one fitted?
There is really only one disadvantage to the HiLo, in order to achieve the stealth look and still be able to incorporate the gas struts and hinges, the rear of the top encroaches into the overall height inside the rear of the vehicle. As such, some of the well-known branded seat beds are too high and even a shorter adult would struggle to sit in the back.
The good news is however, is that we have manufactured our own rock-and-roll bed which is not only M1 Pull tested, but fully electric too, meaning that not only have we overcome the disadvantage others have not, its actually an upgrade to the standard other well known brands. As such you will see our beds in nearly every campervan conversion we do.
We hope this has helped some of you gather a bit more information on the HiLo Roof if you were unsure before about what is a hi lo camper or what is the best pop top.
If you wish to ask us any question please feel free to head on over to our contact page and fill out the form there and one of the VisionTech Automotive team will get back to you. Alternatively, we are always on social media if you wish to contact us there.