Re: pop top tension
I'd second the suggestion of the Home Depot cargo bar. Mine lasted about a year but just gave on me. It stows easily, and comes in handy to secure stuff in the van while traveling, as well as a makeshift tent pole. You just need to use it for a minute or less to get past the initial heft of the penthouse, and then the springs usually lift it up. I still haven't found anything more convenient, although I keep looking for a screw type or scissor that would work with a drill running it. But everything else is cumbersome.
2001 Ford E250 Sportsmobile with Salem-Kroger 4x4 conversion