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The Jeep Wrangler blows its lid with Ursa Minor pop-top camper


June 30, 2012

The J30 allows campers to sleep up top while keeping the cabin interior intact

The J30 allows campers to sleep up top while keeping the cabin interior intact

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Ursa Minor Vehicles hit the scene several years ago when it unveiled the E-Camper, a converted Honda Element inspired by classic Westfalia Volkswagen van-campers. Given that the VW Microbus was no longer available in the US, the E-Camper was conceived as a sort of modern-day alternative. Now that the Element has gone the way of the Microbus, Ursa Minor is focusing attention on its all new Jeep Camper line.

The Jeep Wrangler may not have Element conveniences like the flat, rubberized floor or hatchback, but it does have a few advantages over the Element - specifically, the ability to travel virtually anywhere on Earth. It's certainly a versatile choice for exploring (and camping in) all kinds of environments.

One of two distinct Jeep Wrangler Unlimited kits that Ursa Minor offers, the J30 is a pop-up hard-top conversion that includes a bed for two adults. Unlike other Jeep-based pop-up campers, this one doesn't rely on a separate shell, and it doesn't require changing all that much of the Wrangler. Instead, it displaces the stock roof and blends in naturally with the Jeep. It adds just 6 inches (15 cm) to the vehicle's stock height when closed.

Ursa Minor's John Gish told us that the cabin interior of the Wrangler Unlimited remains stock during the conversion, with the exception of a new headliner. He said that Ursa isn't able to do custom Jeep interiors yet, but customers and distributors are known to pursue their own visions.

The soft-sided pop-up camper is made from durable, breathable, water-resistant canvas. It includes a 7 x 4 foot (2.1 x 1.2 m) mattress and interior LED lighting. Zippered screen windows on all sides increase ventilation.

Unlike the Action Camper we covered a few months ago (which was put on hold in the US because of its high price), the Ursa Minor J30 camper is accessible to jeepers of more modest means. Ursa lists the base price at US$5,250. It began deliveries in May, and Gish estimates a six- to eight-week lead time between ordering and shipping.

Ursa Minor's second Wrangler camper is the J180, which uses a fold-out roof tent. Pricing has yet to be listed for that model.

Source: Ursa Minor Vehicles

About the Author
C.C. Weiss Upon graduating college with a poli sci degree, Chris toiled in the political world for several years. Realizing he was better off making cynical comments from afar than actually getting involved in all that mess, he turned away from matters of government and news to cover the things that really matter: outdoor recreation, cool cars, technology, wild gadgets and all forms of other toys. He's happily following the wisdom of his father who told him that if you find something you love to do, it won't really be work. All articles by C.C. Weiss

It is like - IMO - a modern version of the VW Microbus Camper but with off road capabilities. :)


You can buy a good used camping trailer for the price. Save cash. Buy a tent.

Guy Macher

Guys like Guy really miss the point. Who wants to tow around a (used) camping trailer (especially in off road Wrangler country) when they can have a built in camper with no extra footprint? Tent camping is great, but a camper like this is useful for situations where you don't want to or can't put a tent down.

Joe F
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