No standing headroom: Deal breaker??


If you can't stand up in a van then you might as well just stick with the SUV. Much cheaper and more capable offroad. I love the Transit. Well, let's say I'm learning to love the way it looks, but I plan for that to be my next van. I'm 6'2" and can stand up fine in the mid height version. Keep this in mind. You're never going to be happy with the dinky stock wheels/tires on a Transit or Sprinter so it's going to get taller. If you don't have a few extra inches to spare on your garage height it probably won't work out. That said, I would move to a place where people don't tell me what or how to park. Sorry if that seems harsh. No way I could live with an HOA. Oh, I have one, come to think of it. Her name is Kristie. The basic requirement from my HOA is that I park my crap outside and leave her the garage.

Anyway, just thoughts. You might want to consider a Transit over a Sprinter because you have to tow a capable Mercedes dealership service facility behind you to take a Sprinter offroad and that can seriously limit the places you can go.

Good advice, I have a buddy at work that has a MB Sprinter he spent $140K for. The thing has been in the shop more than my old Westfalia.


Expedition Vehicle Engineer Guy
I have a standard low roof E-350 that is fine for weekends or a little more. No way would I want to do an extended trip in it. We are 4 months into our current trip, which is what we have the bigger standing room camper for.

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I have a regular AWD chevy express. We use it for long road trips and weekend trips. I made sure to make the bed area low enough for me to sit up straight in it. (Im 6'4")

I think its way more versatile then an SUV as someone else stated. We just spent 2 weeks down in baja in it and didnt mind the low ceiling clearance. Having said that, if I had the extra coin I think Id put either a pop-top or a high topper on it for some extra room in there. Unless you are living in it, its not a total deal breaker in my opinion.


I have a Westfalia Sprinter, with about the tallest roof ever put on a Sprinter. I gotta say, the copious amount of standing headroom (7 feet+!!) is one of the best features of my camper. The number of times that the height is a hassle pales next to the number of times no interior headroom would be a hassle...

A pop-top might be the best solution, although our hardshell roof is pretty nice in cold weather.


I looked at the Sportsmobile site today and see that they now offer their pop-top "penthouse" modification ($9k) for the Ford Transit.
Something like that would allow me to easily fit the rig in the garage and leave plenty to room for suspension/tire upgrades.

Since I will have 8.5 foot clearance, I will keep looking at "other" van include 4x4 vans.

First world problems....


Once you get used to the looks the Transit is phenomenal in every way. The Ecoboost is proven and amazing and, like it or not, looking at the competition (Sprinter) and lack thereof (Chevy, Dodge), it is the future. There are a few folks working on a 4x conversion for it as well as Quadvan and Quigley already doing them. Plus, the low roof with pop top looks pretty good, especially converted to 4x. I'm seeing some pretty good prices on the 2015 Transits with 50k or so if you don't have to have a new one. Thinking back through the years of the Econoline I never really liked the looks of them at all but they grew on me. Same for Chevy vans and Sprinters.
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We have a 1997 High-top Ford E350. We've been on the road since Memorial day and will go back home the end of this month. This is has been our house. I could not imagine living in a low-top or pop-top for this length of time. It is awesome to stand at the stove and cook, walk through the galley without bending over, and use a full-height shower. Plus the high-top gives you additional cabinet space that you wouldn't have in a low top. The only downside to it is it is tall (ours is 10'3) and top-heavy. We went with some heavy-duty springs to help counter-act this issue.


I've never measured my 2WD Turtle Top, but I don't think it is over 8.5....

I originally bought it to build a big sexy 4x4 Overlander, but then opted to go the Ambo route.
Until I sell it, it is my just beach cruiser when family and friends come to visit. #ArriveInStyle

I am 6'0'', and I just have to tilt my head a bit. I LOVE the room inside this thing!

IMG_20150514_204451.jpg IMG_20170220_105634.jpg

Again, I appreciate the responses.

No real "work-around" for the HOA and the home will not have a yard as it's located on the side of a hill.

I looked at the Sportsmobile site today and see that they now offer their pop-top "penthouse" modification ($9k) for the Ford Transit.
Something like that would allow me to easily fit the rig in the garage and leave plenty to room for suspension/tire upgrades.

Since I will have 8.5 foot clearance, I will keep looking at "other" van include 4x4 vans.

First world problems....

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Rendezvous Conspirator
Remember, too that it isn't just about the roof.

Think long-term about whether you'll be adding a lift, etc. to the van. On the one hand, my GTRV pop-top would normally fit into a normal garage. (GTRV stands for Garagable Top RV, BTW), and is specifically built to be a low-profile pop-up top. But then I went and put a 4" lift, big tires, and a roof rack on top of the van, so I'm sitting right at about 8-1/2 feet with a low profile top! (On a "mini"-van, no less.)


New member
Coming from my perspective high tops are far superior in every way. I'm a surfer and spend a lot of time at the beach the ability to hide out from inclement weather in relative comfort is a must especially for extended trips. I've done cars, trucks with camper tops, low top vans and now a high top I'll never go back. Being able to stand in your van is a game changer.


Dont discount the bliss of being able to stand up straight. I am short (5'7) and have a low roof sprinter. I can stand in the front half of the van due to the pop top, however in the back (where my galley is) I have about 2 inches of interference. Its not a huge deal, I work around it. I dont like cooking in the van anyway and prefer to do those activities outside, but after ten minutes back there my neck is a bit stiff. Its the only time in my life I ever wish I was shorter. For our use, the van is perfect. We bought it to be outside and it being a van and not an RV kind of forces that.

I am just finishing building the van and only have 4 trips in it, but I am already planning my next one in my head and it will be a high roof. However this will be 15-18 years down the road so what that looks like with available vans and available 4x4 kit is wholly unknown. It will also be for just my wife and I once the kids are grown.


White Turtle Adventures & Photography
GREAT QUESTION!! I have been considering the same thing for 6 months or more. I have a great RV that I have everything in but I want a van to use daily and for shorter trips by myself when I am shooting. I thought a low roof would work then last weekend my son and I visited a dealer and I tried moving around in a standard cargo van, NO WAY!!!!!!!!! Now I am in my 50's so that may have something to do with it, but one of my biggest complaints when I camped in a tent or the back of my truck was not being able to stand up to stretch or get dressed. The standard roof cargo van was worse than a tent or truck in my opinion as I had to move around and not just in and out. After 5 minutes my neck and back hurt REALLY BAD!!!! I am short and I can do a lot with a little space but that was not fun. I know I could make it work but in my opinion the cost is way to much on my health. Now if I could find a raised roof to add to the van, even 6 inches I would probably buy the van today.

As for Transit, Promaster or Sprinter I don't like the high roof for driving in the wind but I LOVE the roof height.

I think I may have to buy a Class B and modify it to fit my needs. I can keep the smaller body size with the raised roof and have the best of both worlds.


headroom, no problem (for us)

Maybe it is just me but as a old guy 6' tall i do not have a problem with my vans height.
Van-2016 148"wb mid roof ford transit 150 converted to camper van.
As someone who has had a lot of camper vans i knew what i was in for with new ford.
My design has passenger seat swivel takes care of seating when parked for one, but since
their are 2 of use the other seat is the bed across the rear, setting on the bed my head clears the roof
with no problem.

The lay out of stove, sink is across from storage cabinets. I find that i can lean against cabinet while
cooking, washing ,etc and is not tiring or is it uncomfortable.
The trade off for ease of driving, etc is well worth it.

Even though we spend a lot of time traveling and camping with van we do not spend a lot of time in van standing
who does?

Yet i will agree that if you have health, weight, back problems disregard everything i wrote

yes i could of gone with a tall van as i have a tall attached rv garage at my home.

And yes the new Ford is a great platform to convert.



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If it's van vs no van, a low roof can work. My girlfriend and I have been in our standard height Express full time since April. We cook outside mostly, but have been in backwoods Canada most of the time (an awning helps with the rainy days). Why stink up your interior... Plus being outdoors is what this is all about for us.

We've cooked in the back a few times in parking lots but then again if we're stuck like that in a city we usually treat ourselves to dinner. I guess if you are wintering in the van it might be a slightly different story.

For full time van life a comfortable real mattress is a must... None of those convertible tables with 4 inches of foam pillows. Your back will thank you.

So in summary... Low roof can work even for two people. I've envied the high roof sprinter guys with super trick interiors a few times, but for long drives the smaller V8 van is quite nice so I'm not always jealous.

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