When you want to stand up, it's not quite that easy in a standard van. For most of them, you are lucky to get 4 feet of height and that is not enough to stand up straight. When you want to move easily inside your van, you need to turn to a conversion kit but even some of these are not as high as people want.
How tall is a conversion van? The outside height for a low top is between 81 inches and a high top measurement of 96 inches. Other models of vans may go a bit taller and start at 90 inches for a low top and 101 inches for the high.
To learn more about the different dimensions for low and high top conversions just continue to read our article. It has the information you need to see if this option is for you. It is always nice to have extra headroom inside your van when you are living in it.
This depends on the type of conversion you want done. The factory standard heights are usually a lot lower than the customized versions. For example, the Explorer starts at 83 inches for both the regular and extended wheelbase options.
For the high-top conversion, you are looking at 94 inches for the regular wheelbase and 96 for the extended wheelbase. Keep in mind that those figures are for overall height and not for interior headroom.
Other models can reach up to 101 inches tall for a high-top conversion and only 82 to 90 inches for the low. But those are for standard factory-built models. For the customized options, it is possible to go even higher especially if you are converting the interior of your van to accommodate someone in a wheelchair.
Some of those high-top conversions go an extra 2 or 3 feet higher than normal. When you choose the height of conversion you want, it then becomes possible to stand up without worrying about hitting your head.
That is if you are under 6 feet 2 inches tall and have not added any height to your van’s floor.
These figures will depend on which height you want to be added to your van. For example, a standard van may have 3 different interior heights depending on which part of the van you are measuring. The middle can be as low as 48 inches while the back can be as great as 50 inches.
Their width is fairly standard at 62 inches but you may lose some space between the wheels and the rear entrance. When you add a high top, the width won’t change at all. The only real change will be in the height of the vehicle.
To be considered a high-top conversion you are going to have to add 10 or more inches to the roof. For example, adding 10 inches to a 48-inch interior height will give you an overall height of 58 inches.
Even a person standing 5 feet tall cannot stand up straight in that converted van. To be able to stand up straight while inside the van, you would probably have to raise the roof a minimum of 24 inches, just to accommodate tall people.
It is possible to go 36 inches up to accommodate extra tall people but your aerodynamics will not be at their best.
There is no real comparison here. The low-top conversion is only going to provide a minimal amount of extra room. While 10 inches or less may help you add in some electronic devices or insulation, it does little for your headroom.
A standard 48-inch interior height is only going to get to 4’ 10 inches and that may only help with seating. That is not a lot when compared to a high-top conversion. The lowest qualifying high top measures about 10 to 11 inches tall and that will let a 5-foot person stand up straight, almost.
The tallest one we have seen so far has measured in at 36 inches added to the top of the roof. There are some drawbacks to going up too high. One of those is aerodynamics. You are going to lose out on fuel efficiency and performance because of the extra drag.
Even a 24-inch high top addition will affect the aerodynamics of the van and you should consider these drawbacks before making a final decision. There is no doubt going higher is better. You get more room for yourself as well as any additional equipment you want inside the back of the van.
Low is not good for those who suffer from claustrophobia.
The basic interior measurements before conversion are 48 by 62 inches approx. That is not taking into account the rear area, the wheels, or other obstacles. If the van doesn't come factory-ready with a low top you are not looking at very much height inside.
After the conversion, your interior dimensions will only change in the height. Then how much taller you go will depend on how much additional height you want to add to the van’s interior.
If you only add 6 more inches, then your top interior height will be 54 inches and not very good for standing. If you add 24 inches then you will have a total of 72 inches of room to work with. That will let the average person stand up straight inside the van.
Also, your interior dimensions may change from year to year depending on how Chevy wanted those vans to look. They may also change from model to model. Each one will give you different totals and how many inches you add to the height is all up to you and do the same thing. Give you a different total.
The basic exterior or overall dimensions for this van come in at roughly 84 by 79 inches, with height the first one. That is slightly taller than the Ford Transit but significantly shorter than the RAM Promaster. It is also a lot taller than the Mercedes Benz Metris.
Those figures are, again, overall numbers. The interior dimensions will be a lot smaller. The cargo area on this van is only measuring in at 54 inches approx. Much better than other vans but still in need of help if you want more room.
The actual amount of extra height you can get is up to you. You can choose to go with a low top and push the ceiling up a few inches more or add a high top and push the ceiling up quite a bit.
Your interior dimensions will depend on this decision. the width will not change though so you will be stuck with about 75 inches approx. You can boost that 84 inches to another 36 if you want or go lower with a 20, 24, or 30 inch high top.
How high you go will depend on your purpose for the van.
The overall exterior width and height come in at 79 1/2 by about 81 inches tall. You are going to lose a lot of interior height due to the height of the wheels and the space between the ground and the bottom of the van.
If you are lucky, you may only lose between 12 and 18 inches. That is not bad since many vans stop at 48 inches in the interior height department. The converted van versions will depend on different factors. They will be taller than this set of dimensions
We have seen some with a low-top conversion and a high top and depending on your purpose, your actual height may be different than what those options offer. These conversion vans can go up 6 inches, they can go up 10 inches but they are not going up much more than that.
Only the wheelchair purposed E150s will go higher than 12 inches. With that purpose, you may want to go higher but remember the issues with aerodynamics and fuel efficiency.
You do get a lot of freedom in selecting the height of the low or high top if you are not going to buy one premade. if you are going with a premade model, then your preference in height may not be found so easily.
If you are looking at a van to convert, then you have 4 models to choose from. The tallest is said to be the Mercedes Benz Sprinter. Its tall roof gives you 79.1 inches of standing room inside the cargo area.
Next up is the Nissan NV which is not that much smaller than the Mercedes Benz. Its interior height measures almost 77 inches. Not to be outdone the RAM Promaster just about equals the Nissan with its 76 inches of headroom.
Finally, the Ford transit offers only 72 inches of standing room. Now, those measurements are all for the tall top versions. The low-top options are much smaller and all of them range within 10 to 12 inches smaller than the high-top version.
Then the extra-long Ford Transit vans go even taller than the tallest heights mentioned earlier. They can reach up to 81 inches tall on the inside. The Nissan standard roof seems to be the smallest of the group as it only reaches 55 inches tall on the inside.
If you are not choosing one of the above 4 tallest conversion vans on the market, your best bet is to go custom. That way you can add the exact amount of height you need. That is probably the best way to go.
The drawback with going custom is the expense. This work is not going to be cheap. The decision will be up to you, of course, but you may want to consider adding between 24 and 36 inches of height to any van you currently own.
These words are more for those people who are under 6 feet 6 inches tall. If you are above that measurement, it may be extremely difficult to find a high top to meet your needs.
Even the tallest vans do not give much room for people over 6 feet 6 inches. The maximum a tall person could be would be 6 feet 8 inches tall. Then the bad news is that since the largest portion of the world’s population is under 6 feet, the demand is just not there to create taller high-top conversions.
This chart just supplies the information for the 3 car companies who make the largest vans height-wise.
|Dodge Ram ProMaster|
|high||136 to 159||76.0||75.6|
|High||143.3 to 170||77.8||70.1|
|Low||130 to 147.6||56.9||70.2|
|Medium||130 to 146.6||72.0||70.2|
height is important when you want to go camping. It is just no fun having to slouch or bend over when you are inside. But most vans do not come with the interior height most people need. That is why they start looking into conversion tops.
With the flexibility you get with these tops, you can add as much or as little height as you need. The key is to watch out for the change in aerodynamics and fuel efficiency.