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Living in a Pop-Top Class B
If you have ever spent much time in a van, you know they are not very tall. Moving around inside one is uncomfortable at best. So one of the first things you have to decide before buying a vehicle is, can you live with a standard low top, or do you need the comfort of a high top? We are all different. I know people who live in an empty cargo van with virtually nothing in it and love it, and I know others who would be miserable with such a spartan life, but love their Class B RV. In this article we are going to look at a PleasureWay Class B which is a great compromise and offers lots of comfort, but not too much. It is fairly unique in that it is a pop-top meaning that the top goes up for camping, and down for driving. With the price of gas skyrocketing, most of us want to get the best gas mileage we can and having a low top improves gas mileage quite a bit. This van averages about 16 mpg.
In these pictures you see the van in camping mode, with the top popped up. The black PVC tubes on the rack carry fishing poles for the owner of the van who is an avid fisherman. On the back of the van you can see the large storage box for extra storage.
In these pictures you can see the box open. It holds an amazing amount of stuff! On the roof you see the Kyocera 135 watt solar panel. When he is camping he parks with the rear of the van pointing south so that when he pops the roof, the solar panel has a nice angle, giving him more power.
In this picture above we are standing at the side door looking in at the kitchen. On the counter below the window are the sink and the stove. Below it from the right are a microwave oven, under-sink storage and the refrigerator (it’s 2-way: 12volt and 110 volt).
The following pictures show the under-sink storage, the sink, and stove. The splatter screen around the stove folds down and covers the burners for traveling, very cool! All-in-all, it is a very nice, practical and usable kitchen
I took these two pictures standing in the high top. The owner of this van is 6’4″ and has no problem standing upright in it. You can see the strut that assists in lifting the roof on the far left of the picture. It is quite easy to open, no one would have a problem doing it.
You might think that not having a tall roof in the back would be a problem, but since the bed is in back, it isn’t a problem at all.
You can stand upright in front of the kitchen to cook. That area is also where the owner bathes, changes clothes, and goes the bathroom. When he goes to bed, he has to crawl over it, but that is no sacrifice.
In these pictures we are looking down the wall behind the kitchen and at the bed. You see lots of good storage on the wall.
This van has a folding rear bed and a fold-down seat in the middle. Because the owner is 6’4′ he needs a very long bed, so he just folds down both seats and uses the whole thing as his bed.
In this picture we see the bed and storage. Because the bed is too wide for one person, he uses one side of the bed for storage. It mostly holds duffel bags that are easy to move around and are soft. You can see he also used the area under the bed for storage. When everything you own in the world is in the van with you, storage is very important!
This picture is one of the cabinets and its contents.
In these pictures we see the Thetford Porta-Potti he uses to go to the bathroom. It works really well and lasts him about 14 days of use.
There are different kinds of porta-pottis, but you want to be sure to buy the two-part kind. The top part holds the sink, and the bottom part is the holding tank.
To empty it, he takes it apart and the bottom unit is carried to a bathroom or dump station and dumped. It isn’t as luxurious as having a bathroom in a house, but he only uses 3 gallons of water every 2 weeks as opposed to the typical home that uses 3 gallons of water per flush!
In the picture above we see the two parts separated. The gray part is the tank that is carried to be dumped. The white, round object is the hose that attaches to the tank and allows you to pour the tank down any toilet without fear of spilling and making a horrible mess.