JPF: One of the new products AT has recently announced is the JK Topper, a camper-style top that incorporates a retractable tent system on the JK Wrangler.
How does this system work, and how do you foresee it impacting the ever-growing overland market?
AT: Martyn: The JK Topper is a direct replacement for the factory hard top. It attaches to the JK using factory hardware, uses the factory rear glass and wiper, and has a single window at the back on the passenger side.
The lid rotates open out over the hood as it rotates a tent the full length of the vehicle deploys. There is a bed built into the topper and you sleep above the hood area. It’s very slick, quick to deploy, and folds away in a minute. The finished top is only six inches higher than that of the stock top. It’s a fully integrated unit.
JPF: How does the new JK Topper compare, in terms of benefit and cost, to a traditional roof rack & roof top tent setup?
AT: Martyn: A good roof rack and roof top tent would cost you in the region of $3000.00. The JK Topper is going to be in the $4400.00 range. The roof top tent rack set up sits apart from the vehicle as an accessory. The JK Topper is a fully integrated unit.
Access to the topper will be from inside the vehicle, as opposed to a roof top tent where access is via an external ladder. The area in the rear of the JK can be custom fitted with storage fittings either by our Vehicle Conversion Department, or the DIY enthusiast.
You’ll be able to stand upright in the back of the JK, with the tent extending from the rear door all the way forward to the front bumper. That’s something like a 12-foot long tent.
A tent and roof rack is going to sit at least 18 inches above the roofline of the vehicle and cause increased drag resulting in lower mpg. With the topper the roofline is only increased by 6 inches.
The quality of the canvas being used for the JK Topper is on par with the material used to make Eezi Awn tents. We‘ll be using an Australian made canvas that’s breathable, highly water resistant, and will compress into a small space. The canvas meets California fire resistant standards.
The topper is going to look like a slightly higher stock factory roof when folded away. Essentially, a stealth overland vehicle.