Automotive

Knaus panoramic pop-top blows up big camper van views and space for 7

Knaus panoramic pop-top blows ...
The new pop-up roof from Knaus Tabbert offers bigger views and more ventilation than the average camper van pop-top
The new pop-up roof from Knaus Tabbert offers bigger views and more ventilation than the average camper van pop-top
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Knaus Boxstar 600 Street with new pop-up roof
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Knaus Boxstar 600 Street with new pop-up roof
Knaus' pop-up is designed to be easily opened and closed by hand
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Knaus' pop-up is designed to be easily opened and closed by hand
The large wraparound window and ambient lighting combine to make the new pop-top a comfortable and stylish place to spend the night
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The large wraparound window and ambient lighting combine to make the new pop-top a comfortable and stylish place to spend the night
A look up at the new pop-up option on the 2021 Knaus Boxstar 600 Street
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A look up at the new pop-up option on the 2021 Knaus Boxstar 600 Street
The sleeper roof includes a bed for two, ambient and direct lighting, storage trays with gadget charging and heat/ventilation
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The sleeper roof includes a bed for two, ambient and direct lighting, storage trays with gadget charging and heat/ventilation
Each of the two campers has his or her own dedicated storage tray complete with USB charging and available induction charging pad
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Each of the two campers has his or her own dedicated storage tray complete with USB charging and available induction charging pad
Knaus uses a front wind deflector and rear extension side rails to create a clean roofline
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Knaus uses a front wind deflector and rear extension side rails to create a clean roofline
The new pop-up roof from Knaus Tabbert offers bigger views and more ventilation than the average camper van pop-top
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The new pop-up roof from Knaus Tabbert offers bigger views and more ventilation than the average camper van pop-top
The pop-up is designed to be compact and aerodynamic when closed
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The pop-up is designed to be compact and aerodynamic when closed
The panoramic window design is sure to be a nice feature for those that enjoy looking at the scenery
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The panoramic window design is sure to be a nice feature for those that enjoy looking at the scenery
A better look at the two night trays
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A better look at the two night trays
Ladder access to the pop-up roof inside the Weinsberg CaraBus 540 MQ
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Ladder access to the pop-up roof inside the Weinsberg CaraBus 540 MQ
Knaus and Weinsberg already offer various high-roof options for their CUV camper vans, and the pop-up will give buyers yet another choice in configuring the vans for sleeping extra campers
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Knaus and Weinsberg already offer various high-roof options for their CUV camper vans, and the pop-up will give buyers yet another choice in configuring the vans for sleeping extra campers
On longer CUV models, the compact pop-up leaves space for a roof-mounted A/C or skylight in back
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On longer CUV models, the compact pop-up leaves space for a roof-mounted A/C or skylight in back
A good look at the LFI-constructed hardshell roof top and the extension rails that finish off the rear of the r
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A good look at the LFI-constructed hardshell roof top and the extension rails that finish off the rear of the roofline profile
Enjoy a panoramic view of the star-filled night sky
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Enjoy a panoramic view of the star-filled night sky
Knaus and Weinsberg will offer both pop-up and hard-roof floor plans starting with the 2021 model year
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Knaus and Weinsberg will offer both pop-up and hard-roof floor plans starting with the 2021 model year
View gallery - 17 images

Knaus Tabbert is adding some serious pop to its 202 "caravan utility vehicle" (CUV) camper vans. Its new pop-up roof combines clean ambient lighting, smart features like wireless induction charging and a panoramic window into the best room in the house. It's an Instagram-primed penthouse just itching to get backed in oceanside for the type of views usually reserved for eight-figure homes.

The 2020 Knaus and Weinsberg Fiat Ducato CUV family has a variety of different floor plans, all with hard roofs. The new 2021 pop-top adds an attractive option for those who prefer a higher vantage point and breezier night of sleep. It also gives the two camper brands another tool in creating versatile, space-optimizing floor plans that sleep up to seven people. Knaus will offer the pop-top on a number of Boxlife and Boxstar camper van floor plans, while Weinsberg will integrate it into its CaraBus and CaraTour lines.

The large wraparound window and ambient lighting combine to make the new pop-top a comfortable and stylish place to spend the night
The large wraparound window and ambient lighting combine to make the new pop-top a comfortable and stylish place to spend the night

Wedge-style pop-up camper van roofs usually have windows on all three broad fabric sides, and Knaus makes the windows an even more central part of its pop-top by eliminating the opaque canvas between them. The resulting three-sided picture window wraps clean around the two front corners, helping erase the divide between inside and out.

During the day, the panoramic front window offers a wide-open view of the horizon, and at night it helps bring in the tireless twinkle of the star-loaded sky. Campers can zip the blackout shade closed to darken the interior, leave the mosquito mesh open, or unzip the mesh and enjoy a complete open-air terrace.

Enjoy a panoramic view of the star-filled night sky
Enjoy a panoramic view of the star-filled night sky

Inside, the Skyroof houses a 200 x 135-cm (79 x 53-in) ventilated mattress. Wraparound ambient lighting integrated into the ceiling edge provides a warm glow in the dark with multiple color options, while reading lamps shine direct light down. Heat vents direct warm air into the sleeper roof during frosty nights, while a roof window adds more cool airflow when needed. Individual trays on each side of the hatch to the main van give the two campers a place to store pocket essentials like smartphones, keys and small flashlights, and Knaus adds in both USB ports and wireless induction charging.

A better look at the two night trays
A better look at the two night trays

The hard roof structure is made from a long fiber injection (LFI) process that Knaus says is new to this segment of the pop-up camper market. The process is meant to create a better optimized, sturdier fiber-reinforced-composite roof. On longer 600- and 630-cm (236 and 248-in) camper vans, the compact pop-up leaves open roof space behind it for a vent or roof-mounted A/C, which Knaus flanks with rails to create a continuous roofline when the pop-top is closed. The new pop-up roof lifts and closes easily by hand with help from the built-in struts and scissor lifts.

The impressive seven-sleeper Knaus Boxlife 630 ME is not currently listed as one of the MY2021 models slated for the pop-top option, but both the Knaus and Weinsberg websites mention sleeping for up to seven, so it looks like there will be at least two seven-person pop-up family camper van options in the CUV family. The extra ventilation from that big panoramic window should be particularly valuable when sleeping six or seven people inside a single van's walls!

A good look at the LFI-constructed hardshell roof top and the extension rails that finish off the rear of the r
A good look at the LFI-constructed hardshell roof top and the extension rails that finish off the rear of the roofline profile

Knaus has not yet listed pricing or standard equipment details about 2021 pop-up CUV models, but current 2020 Knaus and Weinsberg CUV models have starting prices that range from the high €30s to the low €50s in Germany, depending upon size and floor plan. It's unclear how the pop-top will affect that pricing, but we'll keep our eye out for more details starting when Knaus Tabbert holds its Düsseldorf Caravan Salon press conference on September 3.

Source: Knaus Tabbert

View gallery - 17 images
2 comments
guzmanchinky
I have an older Sportsmobile pop top camper, and I can tell you sleeping on top of the van with all the windows open (but flyscreens closed) is the most amazing thing ever. This looks even better.
mediabeing
I always laugh or curse when I see articles suggesting such vans are good for more than 2 adults.
In order for a van to be good for more than 2 adults, it would have to be at least 2 feet wider and 4 feet longer.
It would have to have silent fans to quickly remove expelled gut gas, and much more.