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DIY: Land Cruiser Pop-Top Camper


The trouble all began when I read the May 2015 issue of SA4X4, which contained an article about a Defender called ‘Boris’.

Peter Middleton had Boris constructed in the UK for a cold trip he was planning to South America, for which he needed insulation, security, cab access, strength, easy rigging, water- and wind-proofing.

I had been wanting to replace my (Howling Moon) Rooftop Tent and Annex for some time, but every new idea seemed not a lot better than what I already had… until I saw Boris.

We had been at a bush camp called Witgat on the Nossob Eco Trail, where five lions had kept us in our vehicles for over two hours before we’d managed to sneak into our tents. The next morning, they were still there, preventing us from using the long drop and the shower, but we managed to pack up camp and move on.

This incident, the ladder, wet tents, wind sensitivity and no cab access made me start planning my next rig. This is what slowly grew on my computer and, later, in my farm workshop in Knysna.

Layout Issues

The camper body is removable by undoing four bolts when one uses the bakkie normally. This means that I do not have to license it as a special vehicle.

There are no chassis extensions, winches, bull bars, or rear bumpers, which means that there is no need for an after-market suspension.

Off-road trailers are very popular. However, they do limit where you can go, and give your kit a harsher ride.