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What Can You Tell Me About The Terravan RV By TurtleTop

by Jerry Jasinski
(Milwaukee, Wi)

I recently saw a Terravan and really liked what I saw. It seems to be very well built, and just the right size.

The only problem is that I do not see very many of them, so therefore none for sale.

The one that I saw was built in the mid 1980's. Was it is very short run type of thing? Is there anything else that you can tell me about that RV?

I believe TurtleTop is still in business ... right?

ANSWER: Greetings Jerry thanks for submitting your question on our Ask An RV Question Page.

Let me start off by saying that Turtle Top Inc. is still in business, but they no longer manufacture Class B RVs. Here is a little history about Turtle Top directly from their website Turtletop.com.

The Turtle Top Story

"Cripe Lightning Rod Company, which later became known by its current name, Independent Protection Company (IPC), was founded in the 1920s by Henry Cripe and his sons in Goshen, Indiana. The company, which is still in business today, manufactures, installs, and services lightning rods. Nearly four decades after its opening, the son of the founder, Earnest Cripe, came up with a design for an expandable roof to give his installers more stand-up space in their vehicles. The expandable roof was so successful and innovative that Cripe had the idea to incorporate the design to fit other types of vehicles. He saw that the roof would be popular for recreational vans, which lead to the founding of —Turtle Top— in 1963. Cripe nicknamed the lift able top “turtle top,” which stuck and eventually became the name of the company.

Turtle Top initially targeted the RV market, and it did well for about a decade. “The RV market in the late 1970s went through hard times and that is when the company transitioned into the shuttle bus design.” Richard Cripe, the nephew of Earnest who never seemed to lack inspiration, was a leader in developing the company as a shuttle bus manufacturer. The progression was natural."

Although Turtle Top started transitioning out of the Class B RV market in the 1970s, they continued to build Turtle Top RVs up until 1998. Currently Turtle Top provides transportation solutions with people movers that carry up to 47 passengers as well as specialty vehicles available including Police and Security Transportation, Mobile Command Centers and Offices, Health Clinics or Labs.

In searching the internet I have found several listings of Turtle Top Class B RVs for sale. You are right in that they are not as plentiful as other brands of RVs, but there are still some available.

I hope that this information has been helpful to you.

Do you have any suggestions or comments on this topic? You can add them to this page by clicking on the "Click Here To Post Comments" link located near the bottom of this page.

Happy RVing

RVing Al

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1979 Turtle Top value
by: Anonymous

Where can I get book value on a Chevy Turtle Top weekender van?

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