Which Roof? A guide to picking the perfect roof for your converted camper
Which Roof? A guide to picking the perfect roof for your converted camper

Which Roof? A guide to picking the perfect roof for your converted camper

January 1, 2024

Converting a van into a cosy and functional camper is an exciting project that has been getting more and more popular in recent years. One of the most crucial decisions you’ll make during this process is selecting the right roof for your camper van. The roof not only affects the aesthetics but also determines the comfort, functionality, and overall travel experience. This guide will flag essential considerations that should shape your choice when buying a new roof for your converted camper van.

1. Roof Type

Before anything else, decide on the type of roof that suits your needs. The two most common types are pop-top roofs and high-top roofs. Pop-top roofs are popular for their ability to provide additional standing space and ventilation when elevated, while high-top roofs offer more headroom but without the collapsible feature. You must also consider the overall height of the camper once your roof has been fitted, over 2 metres and you will be restricted when it comes to access and parking at many locations.

2. Interior Space Requirements

Consider how you plan to utilise the interior space of your camper van. If you’re aiming for a minimalist setup, a lower-profile roof might suffice. However, if you plan to install a fully functional kitchen, a bathroom, and ample storage, a higher roof could make the layout more comfortable and spacious. Remember, space is a premium regardless of what sort of van model you are converting so considering the amount of people you will be catering to and the sort of adventures you will be taking your camper on will inform how much space you need to be comfortable. 

3. Standing Height

Evaluate the standing height offered by different roof options. Keep in mind that taller roofs can provide a more comfortable living experience, allowing you to stand up straight without constantly bending over. This aspect is especially important for long trips or extended stays in your camper.

4. Ventilation and Windows

Ventilation is key to preventing condensation and ensuring a comfortable environment should the temperatures climb in the summer. Look for roof options that provide built-in vents or windows that can be opened for airflow. Windows also contribute to natural light, making the interior feel more open and inviting but make sure you are able to cover these too for essential privacy. 

5. Installation Complexity

Consider your level of expertise when it comes to DIY projects and van conversions, some roof options might require more intricate installation processes, which could affect your timeline and budget. Removing the factory-tested structure of the van is fraught with hazards and it’s imperative that any work done is finished to the same safety standard the van was manufactured with. If you’re not confident in your skills, speak to us about installation and ensuring anyone you hire has the correct accreditations. Remember to always check the warranty too!

6. Weight and Aerodynamics

Adding a new roof will alter the weight distribution and aerodynamics of your camper van. These factors can impact fuel efficiency and overall driving experience. Ensure that the chosen roof doesn’t significantly compromise your van’s performance.

7. Insulation and Weather Resistance

Your campervan should be comfortable in various weather conditions, we all know how fickle the British weather can be! Opt for a roof that offers proper insulation to keep you warm in colder climates and cool in warmer ones, especially if you intend to go abroad. Additionally, choose materials that are durable and weather-resistant to ensure your investment lasts. Keep hold of that warranty information! 

8. Budget

Roof options vary widely in terms of cost. Establish a budget that aligns with your overall conversion project, factoring in not just the cost of the roof itself, but also any additional materials, tools, and installation fees.

9. Compatibility with Other Features

Consider how the chosen roof will interact with other features you plan to incorporate into your campervan, such as solar panels, roof racks and furniture. Ensure that the roof design accommodates these elements seamlessly and does not cause manoeuvring around the camper to become difficult. 

10. Aesthetics

Last but not least, aesthetics play a significant role. Your camper van is not just a functional space but also a reflection of your personal style. Choose a roof that complements the overall aesthetic you’re aiming for, both on the exterior and interior. Consider if you need to paint your roof before installation and building in the budget for this as well as researching other finishes that may lend itself better to your project.

Selecting the right roof for your converted camper van requires thoughtful consideration of factors ranging from practicality to aesthetics. Keep in mind your intended usage, comfort preferences, and budget constraints while exploring the various options available. A well-chosen roof will not only enhance the functionality of your camper but also contribute to memorable and enjoyable journeys on the road.

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