Ursa Minor Pop-Top Jeep JK

that_dude

Member
Question about adding solar to the Ursa Minor: What have you all used (or are thinking of using) to run solar to a charge controller located inside the jeep?

Where would you locate a gland (assuming you are using one)? (Top of the roof or vertical along the rear edge maybe?)

Cheers,

Dan
I’d use a Blue Sea Systems cable clam on top of the camper, outside of the tent fabric. They make a side entry cable clam that should keep it pretty low profile.
 

dmulk

Member
I’d use a Blue Sea Systems cable clam on top of the camper, outside of the tent fabric. They make a side entry cable clam that should keep it pretty low profile.
Just checked it out. Looks nifty...but....don't think two 10ga wires from the panel will fit through the single notch. Love the low profile though....if they have one with two notches or maybe modifying it....
 

that_dude

Member
Here’s something I found interesting—sharing this because I’m pretty sure I had never come across this before (and I think I read this whole thread twice) and in fact I’m quite certain I’d read/heard the exact opposite—I was told when I picked up my Ursa that their official position was that you should not store anything in the camper when it’s closed…and yes, they specifically said, blankets, sleeping bags, pillows. I was told that storing anything in the camper prevents the tent material from properly folding, often leading to the tent fabric getting caught in the hinges and causing damage. I was also told to have one hatch open when closing the tent to allow air to escape the the folding tent material. This made sense, but I was surprised to hear nothing should be stored inside. They said they know lots of people do store stuff up top, but their official recommendation was not to.

I thought this was especially interesting given recent discussions about the issue of the tent material getting caught in the closing hinges.

Again, I’m just sharing what I was told…not arguing whether it’s right or wrong…I’m a rookie here. 😆

That said, storing a blanket/sleeping bag and pillows up top was a selling point for me lol!
 

dmulk

Member
Here’s something I found interesting—sharing this because I’m pretty sure I had never come across this before (and I think I read this whole thread twice) and in fact I’m quite certain I’d read/heard the exact opposite—I was told when I picked up my Ursa that their official position was that you should not store anything in the camper when it’s closed…and yes, they specifically said, blankets, sleeping bags, pillows. I was told that storing anything in the camper prevents the tent material from properly folding, often leading to the tent fabric getting caught in the hinges and causing damage. I was also told to have one hatch open when closing the tent to allow air to escape the the folding tent material. This made sense, but I was surprised to hear nothing should be stored inside. They said they know lots of people do store stuff up top, but their official recommendation was not to.

I thought this was especially interesting given recent discussions about the issue of the tent material getting caught in the closing hinges.

Again, I’m just sharing what I was told…not arguing whether it’s right or wrong…I’m a rookie here. 😆

That said, storing a blanket/sleeping bag and pillows up top was a selling point for me lol!
Yeah, Kris mentioned as much when I was chatting with him prior to purchase. That said, I've noticed that people that do store stuff up there (Chris and Dan G.) Tend to vent the top of the rear windows instead of doing the hatch method. (just saw this in one of Venture4x4's older videos a few days ago).

I also dropped off a set of John's hinge tamers with the roof tracks this week to get them installed with the top. Figured we will give them a shot. Since I'm local I'm sure Kris and Zack will be interested in how well they work. (And hopefully bring you more business @shays4me )

-D
 

Rydacycle

New member
I also leave the hatch in place when closing,you have to leave the rear windows unziped.i unzip it at the top and just a inch or so around the coner.i keep 2 house(full size) pillows bed sheets a rumpled blanket and a real thick blanket..also have a inch foam pad under mattress..o and keep bed cloths up there also... it all closes just fine..I just lay most of the stuff down the middle and keep it away from the sides as much as possible... close it slow to get the air out before I push the sides in.... seems to work just fine.. ursa says that to keep the reasonability for them as low as possible.
 

KellyM

Adventurer
Here’s something I found interesting—sharing this because I’m pretty sure I had never come across this before (and I think I read this whole thread twice) and in fact I’m quite certain I’d read/heard the exact opposite—I was told when I picked up my Ursa that their official position was that you should not store anything in the camper when it’s closed…and yes, they specifically said, blankets, sleeping bags, pillows. I was told that storing anything in the camper prevents the tent material from properly folding, often leading to the tent fabric getting caught in the hinges and causing damage. I was also told to have one hatch open when closing the tent to allow air to escape the the folding tent material. This made sense, but I was surprised to hear nothing should be stored inside. They said they know lots of people do store stuff up top, but their official recommendation was not to.

I thought this was especially interesting given recent discussions about the issue of the tent material getting caught in the closing hinges.

Again, I’m just sharing what I was told…not arguing whether it’s right or wrong…I’m a rookie here. 😆

That said, storing a blanket/sleeping bag and pillows up top was a selling point for me lol!
I will have had my J30 for 8 years next month. We have stored two sleeping bags and a down comforter in the closed top nearly that entire time. I also leave the hatches in place when closing the top and vent via both the front window (which we rarely close) and the two back windows. In fact, I leave the fabric on the back windows fully unzipped and neatly rolled/folded out of the way but with the screen portion zipped in place when closing the top.

I have only once caught the fabric in the hinges. That was when we first got our J30 and I was relying on the open hatch to allow the air to escape. Once I switched to venting using the windows, keeping the fabric out the hinges has not been an issue. It is probably helped by the fact that I initiate the closing by using my arms to bring the side fabric toward the middle rather than pulling down on the top or strap. I recognize that others may have different experiences, but I thought I would share our experience over the years. BTW, in 8 years, the only fix I had to do was to replace the interior support pole as it was getting difficult to lock in place. The replacement is a better design than what came with my unit and took about 3 minutes to install. In my opinion, these are great campers. I hope you enjoy yours.
 

shays4me

Adventurer
I too am guilty of leaving my bedding, pillows and a 5" mattress upstairs. I have far too much stuff to haul downstairs to keep it anywhere else. I like keeping it up there full time because it can be used in a pinch if I'm visiting family or a pass is closed and I need a bed for the night. I prefer the leave the widows open a foot or so method and push the tent sides in with my arms. Another thing I've found that helps is some lightweight bungee cord material and aluminum d rings hooked to the fabric loops in the tent. They don't need to be very strong to provide some extra pull when closing the top.
As for the Hinge Tamers, I'm down to six left and I have seven watchers. I'm thinking by the time they're gone that will probably be it for me. Unless there's some growing interest twenty two sets will be my total. It was a fun project but I don't have a local outlet for materials. When I order kydex I have to buy sheets that will build eleven sets to get the length I need so unless there's enough interest it's a losing proposition. It has been fun though and I learned a lot about producing something and the work involved. I have a lot more respect for the prices of the manufactured goods I buy now that's for sure! I have seen some items in the past and thought "that would be easy to build" but now I have a fuller understanding of trial and error, material loss and above all the time it takes to develop a product.
 

dmulk

Member
I too am guilty of leaving my bedding, pillows and a 5" mattress upstairs. I have far too much stuff to haul downstairs to keep it anywhere else. I like keeping it up there full time because it can be used in a pinch if I'm visiting family or a pass is closed and I need a bed for the night. I prefer the leave the widows open a foot or so method and push the tent sides in with my arms. Another thing I've found that helps is some lightweight bungee cord material and aluminum d rings hooked to the fabric loops in the tent. They don't need to be very strong to provide some extra pull when closing the top.
As for the Hinge Tamers, I'm down to six left and I have seven watchers. I'm thinking by the time they're gone that will probably be it for me. Unless there's some growing interest twenty two sets will be my total. It was a fun project but I don't have a local outlet for materials. When I order kydex I have to buy sheets that will build eleven sets to get the length I need so unless there's enough interest it's a losing proposition. It has been fun though and I learned a lot about producing something and the work involved. I have a lot more respect for the prices of the manufactured goods I buy now that's for sure! I have seen some items in the past and thought "that would be easy to build" but now I have a fuller understanding of trial and error, material loss and above all the time it takes to develop a product.
Thanks for the efforts, John! I'm sure glad I got a set. 👊🏻😎
 

that_dude

Member
I tried out the vented windows method today and I’d agree with what others are saying—it’s better than the hatch method. I do plan to keep minimal things up there. I’m thinking a blanket, a quilt, and a couple of pillows.
 

rustypayne

Active member
I tried out the vented windows method today and I’d agree with what others are saying—it’s better than the hatch method. I do plan to keep minimal things up there. I’m thinking a blanket, a quilt, and a couple of pillows.
This is exactly what I do. Stock mattress, bottom sheet, sleeping bag that I spread as this as possible for closing, 3 flatish pillows that I line down the center, and vent the windows. At least a couple hundred nights sleeping in it and have never had the slightest problem with getting canvas caught in the hinges. I was told when I picked it up not to store anything up there and how to point the canvas in neatly before closing. Keeping it thin and following instructions works perfectly. Sometimes when camping in cold weather we'll have two sleeping bags and you can definitely tell that it's almost too much but I'm very careful in spreading them out flat. Also because there are two of us sleeping up there we find it easier to use a ladder and the ladder also is a big help in spreading things out flat before you close it.
 

campertramper

Active member
As for the Hinge Tamers, I'm down to six left and I have seven watchers. I'm thinking by the time they're gone that will probably be it for me. Unless there's some growing interest twenty two sets will be my total.
I have a feeling that there are two reasons that they didn't sell out immediately and neither has to do with the quality/utility of the product: 1. The price point - I think that if they had been $100 they would have sold out instantly. 2. I just don't think that every ursa minor owner receives notifications for this thread on this forum. My guess, based upon the comments that we see, often from the same people is that around 50-100 owners (or 20%-ish?) follow this forum and the rest are infrequently visitors or just tuned out. Therefore (if my hypothesis is true), you may just have an awareness problem. What if you (or one of us) reached out to John at Ursa Minor to see if he would be interested in including it as an option on the campers when new and as an aftermarket product on the ursaminorparts.com website?
 

campertramper

Active member
I tried out the vented windows method today and I’d agree with what others are saying—it’s better than the hatch method. I do plan to keep minimal things up there. I’m thinking a blanket, a quilt, and a couple of pillows.
The seller of my used UM was using the top window venting method and showed me how to do it. When I was visiting John at Ursa Minor in December 2021 he explicitly told me that venting through the top windows was 'doing it wrong' and recommended the hatch venting method. I've been using the hatch method ever since like a good student, but your point is a good one - as long as the air is being vented and the fabric isn't getting pinched/stuck, does it really matter how the air is displaced? Still, John has more experience with this than anyone alive and so I tend to subscribe to his gospel.
 

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