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Common Questions


 

 

If my Jeep is white and I would like the camper to match the body, do I need to get both the shell and top painted to match?

  • The standard shell finish is a textured black.  The Color Paint Match - Shell Body option is required to match the white Jeep body.
  • The standard top is white, but it is not intended to be an exact match to the Jeep white colors.  It’s pretty close to the Bright White (2011 - 2014), but different from the Stone White (2007 - 2010) which is a more ivory or off white color.
  • If the Shell Body is painted Bright White, and the top is left the standard UMV white, one can see a difference in the two shades when the camper is not in bright sunshine.  The top and shell are separated by a black rubber seal, so unlike a door to body color mismatch, the contrast isn’t really super obvious, but it's there.

 

 

If my Jeep is black and I would like the camper to match the body, do I need to get both the shell and top painted to match?

  • The standard shell finish is a textured black.  The black is not intended to be an exact match to the Jeep Black but it's pretty close. The Color Paint Match - Shell Body option is required to exactly match the black Jeep body, and will be a gloss finish.
  • The standard top is white to help reflect the heat of the sun. If the Color Paint Match - Roof Top is elected for a black Jeep, the camper will be warmer to camp in, and will be hotter just driving around.  This can impact the life of the mattress and waterproofing over time.  We strongly recommend for customers residing or often camping in desert or high sunshine areas to avoid painting the top black.
  • If the Shell Body is the standard textured black, and the roof top is Color Paint Matched to the Jeep black, the difference in the two shades is almost invisible.  The top and shell are separated by a black rubber seal, so unlike a door to body color mismatch the slight difference in shade is minimized, but there is a difference in texture.
  • On request, the Color Paint Match - Roof Top can also be textured to match the standard textured shell finish

 

 

How tall is a Jeep with a J30 or J180 installed?  Can I get it into my garage or a parking structure?

The Jeep Wrangler with OEM Hard Top is 71” tall (1.8 m or 5’-11”.)   Mounting a J30 will increase the height by 10" depending on options selected:

  • A stock Jeep with either a J30 or J180 camper mounted will be 81” tall (6’-9”.)

With racks (J30 Only)

  • Thule & Yakima racks (bars/towers) are easily removed when not in use, but the mounts remain in place and are about 1” high, increasing total height of the camper to 82” (6’-10”.)
  • With Thule or Yakima rack towers and bars in place, the camper will be from 82" to 86” (6’-9”) tall depending on specific rack.

As there are a large number of attachments offered by Thule & Yakima, the best resource for total height of rack + attachments is the Thule or Yakima website.  For a rough idea,

  • Kayak Saddles or rollers add another 3"-6”
  • Bike Trays add 3”-6”
  • Kayak "J-Bars " add 24”
  • Ski Racks add 6” to 12”

Many modern suburban garages are 7’-6” or more, leaving sufficient room for a Jeep with camper, but you may need to remove the racks depending on your choice of accessories.  Total height can vary based on loading (passengers and gear) in addition to any changes dues to suspension or tire changes.  Measure garage and Jeep before pulling in full speed!

 

 

How much weight can be put on the racks? Can the camper be opened with gear (bike,kayak,etc) on the racks?

Note that we are unable to mount racks on the J180 (Habitat) due to the impact on the torsion spring and possible interference when opening. 

 

For the J30 with optional rack mounts and rack:

  • With the camper closed, you may carry gear on the racks subject to the load ratings specified by the rack manufacturer.  Both Thule and Yakima rate their racks at 75 lbs per bar, but that rating should be taken with caution.  Loading at capacity on a washboard road will likely result in issues or failures of the rack (not the camper)
  • The more gear strapped to the racks, the more effort is needed to open the camper.  We advise no more than 30lbs on the racks in order to easily raise the roof.  This limitation is fairly generous in the pop-top industry.
  • With 30 lbs or more on the racks, the opening of the camper will require increasingly more muscle power.  Closing the camper will also require coordinating with a colleague to get the canvas tucked in neatly.  In a practical sense, opening/closing with 2 bikes or 1 sea kayak is manageable, but 2 sea kayaks is really a struggle.
  • Adding weight high on any vehicle impacts the center of gravity, and stability.  We recommend carrying only things that won't fit in the camper on top - such as kayaks, surfboards, or bikes.  Heavy items such as tires, tools and liquids (water or fuel) should be carried inside or as low as possible on the vehicle

 

 

Adventure Trailers/AT Overland (AT) sells a Jeep camper top called the JK Habitat that is very similar to the Ursa Minor product.  How is the Ursa Minor J180 different from their camper?

Ursa Minor designs and manufactures composite campers, including the ECamper, the J30 and the J180 products.  Our expertise is in engineering, design and production of vehicle based campers.  We do conversions and installations of our products in San Diego, CA and ship worldwide to dealers and retail customers.  AT Overland was a Ursa Minor dealer from 2011 to 2015.

The JK Habitat was AT's name for the Ursa Minor J180.   AT Overland now sells a completelyy diffferent camper called a JK Habitat.  This camper is not made by Ursa Minor, and does not allow access from inside the vehicle. It is a permanentl mounted roof top tent, not an integrated camper, though the tent is similar.

What models or years do your campers fit? Do you have one for a 2 door?

The J30 and J180 fit:

  • Jeep Wrangler Unlimited (JK Series)
  • 2007 through 2018
  • X, Sport, Sahara, Rubicon and any other special edition trim levels (Anniversary, Altitude, etc)
  • Soft top or hard top versions
  • Right or left hand drive versions
  • Any engine (Gas/Diesel)
  • Any transmission (Manual/Automatic)
  • J8 Four-Door - Military Specification Wrangler

The J30 and J180 will NOT fit:

  • 2004-2006 Wrangler Unlimited (LJ series)
  • 2 Door Jeep Wranglers
  • 2 Door J8 long bed Military Spec Wrangler

We evaluated the potential to design a camper top for a 2 door jeep, and do not at this time expect it to be feasible.   The LJ had a very limited production run, and the 2007 to 2014 JK 2 Door is just short enough that we don't have a good way of adding standing room or an access way, and the bed would be quite short.  If you have a 2 door, the best choice for vehicle based camping is a external rack with a roof top tent.

 

 

Do I need a Jeep with a hard top or soft top to install one of your campers?

Installing a J30 or J180 does not require utilizing any parts or components from the OEM Hard or Soft tops.

 

If you are buying a new Jeep, the base Jeep will come with a soft top. You can upgrade to a hard top at purchase for $995, but a new one from Jeep is about $2500 plus shipping.  This difference in price means an OEM top could be sold for $1500 - $1750, which nets $500 - $750 to apply to an Ursa Minor top.    Soft tops are a bit harder to sell, but you still might get $300 - $500 for a brand new one.  Check ebay, or your local craigslist to see what prices are for used tops in your area.

 

 

Where can I see one of your campers?

The easiest place to see a camper is our facility in Chula Vista, CA where we build and install them.  For those outside Southern California, that can be challenging.   Alternate opportunities are:

  • Trade shows and events UMV will attend, as posted on the home page
  • Visiting a UMV retailer/installer, list being added soon
  • Contact UMV via email, including your phone number, city and state and we will refer you to any local owners

 

 

Can I install or remove the camper easily?

It's straightforward to remove the camper, but calling it easy relies on having the team, skills and equipment needed on hand.  While the steps are similar to removing an OEM hard top, the weight and awkward size of the camper tops makes installing or removal a task that involves preparation. 

  • The J180 is much heavier than the OEM top.  It is typically installed with a forklift or hoist by trained installation shops, and is intended to remain on the vehicle for the long term.  It can be removed for servicing, customizing or for transfer to another Jeep, preferrably by the shop that installed it originally.
  • The J30 is heavier than the OEM top, but can be removed/installed by hand with 3 or more people.  The challenge is not the weight, which is about 250 pounds, but balancing and lifting it over the roll cage and past the rear tire carrier.  If the Jeep suspension is lifted, or if larger tires are mounted, the ergonomics become difficult and we would recommend using a hoist.

 

 

Can you convert other vans or SUVs?

We convert Honda Elements into pop-up campers - but that's the only other vehicle we are working with at this time.  As we develop other pop-up camper conversions, don't worry - it'll be big news on our website!

 

 

The campers all have gray canvas, can I special order an alternate color tent?

We elected to go with gray as a neutral color that hides the dirt & grime that seems to accompany outdoor adventures. 

  • For the J180, the only tent color available is the gray.  The tents are sewn in bulk by the supplier.
  • For the J30, we can custom sew a tent from an alternate Sunbrella color with these constraints:
    • The color must be available in the 60" roll size (sorry, no floral prints)
    • Order to ship time may increase while we wait for the one-off tent to be sewn
    • At time of ordering, the non-refundable down payment will be increased by $750
    • There is no guarantee that a Sunbrella color will match a vehicle body color in any way, even if it looks like it does on the computer
    • Exact price for a custom color will be quoted on request

 

 

How much room is there on top? How big is the bed?

You'd be surprised how much room we squeezed out of the Jeep.

 

For the J30 pop-up:

  • The sleeping area is 7 feet long and is 4 feet wide at the widest point. 
  • Due to the sloping roof, the height of the sleeping area changes over the length of the car.  At the front of the car where your feet go, the height is 12".  At the back of the car where your head goes, the height is 42". 
  • With the top raised, standing room in the access way is about 6’6”.

 

Will I collapse the roof when I climb up into the bed?

No

 

 

Is it possible for Ursa Minor to customize either the J30 or J180 with a sink, toilet, shower or table?

The Jeep as a camper base is fantastic for off road adventures, but it is not a van.  The camper has an access way to enable entry/exit from the bed and to provide standing room, but the size of this access way is limited by the OEM roll cage.  We do not modify the roll cage as part of the conversion.  

 

With limited space inside, one approach to add cooking capabilities is similar to a tear-drop trailer.  A stove, refrigerator,storage drawers and table are added at the rear to create a galley, and used while standing at the open tail gate.  While this is a fair-weather kitchen, it is also recommended that in bear country you cook some distance from the camper to avoid having an ursa major check out your Ursa Minor!

 

Installation of a rear galley can be quoted, sourced and installed on request.

 

 

How long does it take to make one of these Jeep hard tops? 

  • As one can imagine, the backlog changes based on the season, but typically ranges from 4 to 6 weeks.  In other words, we'll be able to install or ship your top about 4 to 6 weeks from the date the deposit is made.  In high season of spring/summer it can be an 8 week lead time
  • Once your installation appointment date arrives, we will need your car on-site for a few hours to install a J30.  The J180 typically takes 1 to 2 days.  If there is additional custom work being done, we will plan this out prior to installation.  If the Jeep has additional accessories that must be removed or that we will need to work around, there may be more time required.

 

 

How durable/waterproof is the tent?

  • The J30 tent fabric is a highly durable and water resistant marine canvas called Sunbrella®.   Much thicker than traditional tent fabric, it's mold and mildew resistant and does not shrink.  You may find much more information specific to Sunbrella® on the manufacturer's website

 

 

Will the conversion change how the inside of the Jeep ceiling looks?

Yes, the interior of the J30/J180 is fully lined with black carpet.  The area above the driver/navigator seats can also be customized with our Navigator map pockets and storage.

 

 

Can I drive with the top up?

No.  Though you can move the Jeep around in a camping spot if it's less than 50 feet of distance or so.

 

 

What sort of MPG can I expect from a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited with a camper installed?

Due to changes in the engine over the course of production, the mpg rating for the Jeep differs depending on year.  We can say that the addition of a J30 or 180 camper will not impact your mileage significantly, if at all.   Adding racks will cause a 1 - 2 mpg loss, and we recommend removing the cross bars if you will not be carrying a load for best mileage.

 

I live a long way from San Diego.  Can you ship the hard top to me?

Yes, we can ship domestically or worldwide.  There are two cost elements to shipping a hard top:

  • Crating
  • Transport

Typical crating charges run about $450, but you will have enough wood to build a workbench, tree-house or have a nice bonfire (after removing top!)  Transport cost varies widely, especially as the price of fuel goes up or down.  Recent examples:

  • Gainsville, FL - $750
  • Denver, CO - $650
  • Portland, OR - $400  (to Ursa Minor Portland shop)
  • Peoria, IL - $500

For international shipments, crating costs increase due to the need to use heat-treated lumber for the crate to meet regulations.  Crates can go by air or sea, and we are setting up distribution and retailers in Europe, Australia and South America. If we do not have an arrangement with a retailer or distributor, we can sell the camper direct to consumers.