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