Go with the Hard Top on a JK
If installing a J30 on a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited (JK Model 2007 to 2018), is it better to add the camper to a Hard Top or Soft Top Jeep?
The key thing is that installing a J30 does not require utilizing any parts or components from the OEM Hard or Soft Top, and it doesn’t matter how the Jeep came from the factory the J30 camper will bolt right on.
There are two things to consider in this choice:
The wiper / defrost is optional when ordering a JK J30. If this option is selected, the camper will come with the wiper, harness and tube to connect to the OEM connectors found in the left side rear corner.
- The OEM wiper connectors are installed at the factory if the Jeep was built with a hard top (or with the dual top package).
- If the Jeep was a soft top from the factory, it will not have the harness...but will also not have the pump for the washer spray, or a switch to operate the system.
The parts are available from Jeep to add the missing harness and controls to a soft top , along with instructions on how to retrofit these.
- The price of the parts can be quite expensive and are specific to the year of the Jeep.
- If the owner installs the parts, the Jeep still must go to a dealer to have the computer re-flashed to enable functionality.
- Most dealers will quote the full retrofit at $1000 or more depending on the year of the Jeep.
Resale of Original Top
Once the camper is installed, many owners will sell off the old top (or Ursa Minor can give you a credit for a hard top when the camper is installed)
- Used OEM hard tops go for $500 - $1000 on the used market assuming all the parts are there. If you have the bag for the Freedom Panels, even better.
- Soft tops can be hard to sell, especially as they age - typical prices might be $100 for even a brand new one with no missing parts.
In both cases, starting from a factory equipped Hard Top is an advantage, allowing full wiper function (if desired) and delivering a better resale value when sold.
This is why Ursa Minor recommends starting from a OEM Hard Top.