If you’re short on space but still want a camper that you can use all year round, then this Pop-Top Truck Camper pod from Alu-Cab provides the perfect off-grid solution.
We’ve seen tonnes of pop up campers over the years. Luckily for us, we’ve also had the pleasure of spending a lot of time travelling around inside them.
Our first foray into the Pop Top Truck Camper world was with Four Wheel Campers back in 2018. Their signature elevating-roof camping modules have taken America by storm. Four Wheel are also the brains behind the spartan-designed Project M, a no-nonsense camper that is perfect for weekends away and reviving that traditional camping feel.
Alu-Cab have created their own spin on this minimalist way of travelling. They’ve produced a camping module with two rooms and an overall height of 136cm when folded down.
Now that’s what we call a compact camper van!
All images © Alu-Cab
Getting To Grips With The Alu-Cab Pop Up Truck Camper
Here it is, folks! Meet the Canopy Camper, the Pop Up Truck Camper module from Alu-Cab. It’s a one-stop-shop for all of your overlanding needs, with two separate rooms for your daytime adventures and nighttime snooze sessions.
Not everyone has space or money to invest in a monster camper. That’s especially when true when they might have a couple of vehicles on the driveway already.
The Canopy Camper eradicates the need for yet another vehicle by transforming a work pick-up truck into badass Pop Up Camper that’s ready for any occasion.
As you can imagine, we see A LOT of campers here at Van Clan. First impressions count for everything, and we can usually tell a lot about a product from the first couple of photos.
Let’s see if you think the same as us!
For starters, the Canopy Camper has been designed with off-road use in mind. It’s going to be fine in the campsite, but this Pop Up Truck Camper is made for getting out into the backcountry and roughing it with the bears.
Alu-Cab have gone for that quintessential Aluminium kick plate siding on the outer walls of the vehicle. It’s the same material used by the Project M, and to me, it symbolises the rugged American lifestyle.
I had that same plating on a Mesa Boogie guitar amplifier when I was in a touring band. If this truck camper can take as much of a beating as that amp did, then it should be able to withstand anything (including teenage angst).
Give Us Some Stats
This Pop Top Truck Camper is sleek and compact. It has a dry weight of 210KG (the basic shell) and a fully kitted-out weight of 250KG. That means you won’t be turning your truck into a gas-guzzling snail.
The Canopy Camper is currently available for a number of off road trucks including the Ford Ranger DC and the Toyota Tacoma.
With the roof popped, the camper measures just over 250cm high. It comes with a spacious roof bed (240cm x 134cm). That’s somewhere between a full and a queen (for any bed measurement enthusiasts).
One of the best bits about Pop Top Truck Camper pods is that they don’t add any extra length to your existing vehicle. Once slotted in, they come flush with the back of the truck.
At just over 3m with the wheel carrier attached, you won’t suddenly feel like you’re driving a bus!
What Other Features Does This Pop Up Truck Camper Have?
I’m glad you asked.
The side of the pod has space for MaxxTraxx recovery tracks, which are great for getting out of ditches, sand, and bogs. There’s also space for a spare tyre (up to 33″) and an outdoor gas ganister storage area.
I would have like to have seen this gas canister a little better protected, perhaps in its own cupboard. If you’re going through undergrowth or happen to get into a collision, then the last thing you want is get damage to your canister and/or erupt in flames.
The rear-entry vertical door has heavy-duty hinges and has been designed to eliminate dust entering in through the tailgate. The side panels also double up as windows. This allows air to flow all the way through the ‘ground floor’ room in the camping pod.
Tell Us More About The Pop Top!
One of the most exciting bits about the Alu-Cab Canopy Camper is the pop top set up itself. Made with dual-layer canvas for better thermal insulation, the bedroom sleeping area with its starfish-stretch bed is made for use in all four seasons.
The bed can be kept in place whether the roof is packed away or open, meaning you can get straight under the covers as soon as you park up.
What’s more, you can even fold it away to give you more headroom when you’re sitting in the room below.
The roof also has rails for storing bulky gear on top of the camper. It comes with a solar panel pre-installed, keeping you off the grid for longer and away from campsite hookups.
You’ve seen it on the various pictures so far, but the ‘ground floor flat’ part of this Pop Top Truck Camper is a super-charged storage area. It has lots of pockets and pouches for storing everything from tinned goods to tools.
This entry room has lots of uses. If you’re a travelling craftsperson, then it’s perfect for holding all of your equipment and materials. You can also just as easily kit this area out with seats for relaxing in. Plus, you could just throw in an ice chest and a couple of blow-up chairs for outdoor fun. Simple!
Why Is It Called The ‘Canopy Camper’?
Does that answer your question?
The pièce de résistance of this Pop Top Truck Camper is the batwing canopy. It can be pulled out in seconds and provides a shady area for escaping the sun or protection against the rain and snow.
This canopy awning is perfect for setting up an outdoor kitchen or just kicking back and relaxing under. The only thing you need now is a nice hammock, and you’re good to go!
If you’re looking for a slide in camping solution for your truck, then you can’t go wrong with the Canopy Camper. It might not feel as spacious as the Project M as only one side of the roof pops up. Still, the sleeping loft is perfect for catching z’s, and those mesh windows will keep you nice and breezy in the summer.
In terms of who would buy this product, we’re still leaning more towards the ‘hands-on’ craftsperson. It would be perfect for a forester or a perhaps an off-grid builder who needs to spend a lot of time on site.
That being said, this Pop Top Truck Camper has tonnes of potential as a couples-camping solution. It might feel a bit storage-heavy, but it could be easily adapted to meet your needs.
Head to the Alu-Cab website for more information and to make a purchase!