From the design geniuses who brought us IKEA, the Saab Toppola camper proved to be another winning creation from the country that also spawned ABBA. Although it looks like a concept design, the Saab Toppola camper is a real RV that came to fruition in the early 1980s.
Yes, this Saab Toppola Camper is for real.
With a Saab Toppola Camper mounted on top, this iconic vehicle can transform from a sophisticated city car into an all-weather, cross-country expedition vehicle with full RV facilities like:
- a queen-sized bed
- stand-up kitchenette
- 2-burner kerosene stove / heater
- on-board freshwater supply
Stand up inside and live in it year-round.
Saab Toppola Camper Gains a Following
A group of three crafty Sweedes – inventor Arwo Pullola and his sea-faring friends Peter Malmberg and Matts Mollestam, teamed up to make “the largest and most expensive original part for SAAB,” according to Malmberg. Designed to reflect the streamlined, nautical appearance of an ocean vessel, the new company known as SCAANDO manufactured the Saab Toppola camper which quickly gained popularity with Saab owners for its rugged construction yet lightweight fiberglass body.
Swedish practicality meets the great outdoors.
The entire module can be hoisted onto a Saab’s hatchback area and ready for adventure in less than 30 minutes. Once the adventure ends, the Toppola can be removed and the hatchback door returned for everyday use.
The Saab Toppola Camper was designed for the Saab 99 but later worked with the Saab 900, 9000 and 9-3. Two other European vehicles, the Ford Sierra and Scorpio could also accommodate the hatchback camper.
Even Tall Sweedes Could Fit Inside
The Saab Toppola camper is big enough for any kind of adventure, even an around-the-world excursion. The basic fiberglass design dimensions:
- Exterior length: 10.8′
- Interior height: 6.5′
- Roof height when mounted: 8.2′
- Weight: 330 lbs (once the hatchback was removed from the Saab, it only added 253 lbs to the vehicle’s weight).
The camper only adds 253 pounds to the Saab.
The Saab Toppola camper runs on 12 volt power and features a solar-ready rooftop surface. It even includes “a sink with running water connected to a drainage system with a water tank and electric stove with two burners. In the roof above the pantry there’s an air vent,” as described by SaabCentral.com.
From the early 1980s until 2006, the Saab Toppola grew a huge fan base of loyal followers:
There are many parameters that make the TC a success. Quality, the very detailed work and all the gadgets are some of them. Even in the standard version the TC is very well equipped. – SaabCentral.com
Unfortunately the only way you can buy a Saab Toppola camper now is to seek out a used one. Since Saab no longer builds hatchback models, the Toppola has faded away into RVing history. Today it remains a classic icon of Swedish practicality, a solid and aesthetically pleasing camper design.