Is a High Top Van Conversion Best for Van Life?

High top van conversion Ford Transit camper 4x4 on mud track with blue sky

Is a High Top Van Conversion Best for Van Life?

Buy or Sell Campers

Buy or Sell Campers

19 July 2023

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Why Choose a High Top Conversion Van for Van Life? 🚐

What is a Conversion Van? 🤔

Before we dive deeper into the subject, let’s start by understanding what exactly a conversion van is.

In essence, a conversion van is a vehicle that has been modified or “converted” from its original state to accommodate the needs and desires of its owners. These modifications often involve transforming the van into a comfortable living space, complete with essential amenities such as sleeping quarters, kitchen facilities, and storage options.

Conversion vans offer a unique blend of mobility, versatility, and the freedom to embrace the open road.

Reasons We Love Conversion Vans ❤️

Now that we have a grasp of the basic concept, let’s explore the reasons why the high top van conversion has captured the hearts of many van lifers.

These remarkable vehicles have several advantages that make them an attractive choice for those seeking the nomadic lifestyle. Let’s delve into the allure of conversion vans, highlighting their affordability, spaciousness, and adaptability…


They’re Affordable Compared to Other Vans 💰

One of the primary reasons people are drawn to high top conversion vans is their affordability. When compared to other types of vans, such as recreational vehicles (RVs), conversion vans tend to be more budget-friendly.

This accessibility allows more individuals to embark on their van life journey without breaking the bank.


Low(er)-Mileage Vehicles in Good Condition are Easier to Find 🚗💨

Another enticing aspect of conversion vans is the relatively higher availability of low-mileage vehicles in good condition. As these vans are typically used for personal transportation rather than heavy-duty hauling, they tend to have lower mileage on their odometers.

This factor increases the likelihood of finding a conversion van that is not only mechanically sound but also capable of providing reliable transportation for your adventures.


Extra Headroom Makes the Interior Feel Very Spacious 🙌


One of the standout features of a high top van conversion is their impressive headroom. Unlike standard vans, which often have limited vertical space, high top conversions provide ample headroom that allows you to comfortably move about within the interior.

This additional height creates an open and airy ambiance, making the van feel more like a cozy home on wheels rather than a cramped vehicle.


So Many Storage Options! 📦

One can never have too much storage space, especially when living in a van. The high top van conversion excels in this area, offering a plethora of storage options to keep your belongings organized and easily accessible.

From cleverly designed cabinets and overhead compartments to built-in closets and under-bed storage, these vans provide ample space to stow away your essentials, outdoor gear, and cherished memories.


Move-In Ready (if you’re not picky) 🛋️

For those seeking a hassle-free transition into van life, the high top van conversion can be a fantastic choice. Many used conversion vans on the market come pre-equipped with various amenities, making them move-in ready for individuals who prioritize convenience.

These vans often feature essentials like beds, kitchenettes, and even basic plumbing systems, allowing you to hit the road without investing significant time or effort in customizing the van’s interior.


Awesome Base for Custom Conversions ✨

On the flip side, if you have a creative streak and yearn to personalize your living space, high top conversion vans provide an excellent canvas for customization.

The basic structure and layout of conversion vans offer endless possibilities for crafting a unique and tailored living space. From designing your dream kitchen to incorporating innovative seating arrangements or installing a cozy sleeping nook, the only limits are your imagination and skill set.



Pros and Cons of High Top Conversion Vans 📊

While a high top van conversion boasts numerous advantages, it’s essential to consider both sides of the coin. Let’s explore some of the pros and cons associated with these vehicles, giving you a well-rounded perspective before embarking on your van life adventure.


Pros of buying a high top van conversion:

  • Enhanced living space and headroom compared to standard vans
  • Affordable entry point into van life compared to other options
  • Availability of low-mileage vehicles in good condition
  • Versatile storage options for keeping belongings organized
  • Move-in ready options for a quick start to van life
  • A customizable platform for expressing your unique style and preferences

Cons of buying a high top van conversion:

  • Challenges associated with adding a fiberglass topper during the van build process
  • Need for gutting the interior of the van for extensive customization
  • Limited stealth capabilities compared to more inconspicuous van models
  • Height restrictions that may not accommodate taller individuals
  • Gas mileage that may not be as efficient as smaller or more modern vehicles


Things We’re Not the Craziest About 😕

While buying a high top van conversion has many advantages, it’s important to address some aspects that may not be as desirable for certain individuals. Let’s take a closer look at the factors that might make you think twice about opting for a high top van conversion.


Fiberglass Topper Adds Challenges to a Van Build 🛠️

One aspect that can add complexity to the van conversion process is the addition of a fiberglass topper – this doesn’t apply to every high top van conversion, but it does to some.

While this feature provides increased vertical space and headroom, installing and integrating it into the overall van build can be more challenging compared to other conversion options. It may require additional planning, skill, and resources to ensure a seamless and secure installation.


Not the Stealthiest (but stealthier than Westies) 🕵️‍♀️

Stealth camping can be an appealing aspect of van life, allowing you to park and sleep in urban or residential areas without drawing attention. However, high top van conversion vehicles might not be as stealthy as other van options, such as low top vans or smaller stealth camper models.

The taller profile of high top conversions can make them more noticeable, potentially limiting your options for overnight stays in certain areas.


NOT Standing Height (if you’re tall) 📏

While a high top van conversion does offer increased headroom, it’s essential to note that they might not provide standing height for really tall individuals.

While the extra vertical space allows for more comfortable movement within the van, those above average height may still find themselves needing to stoop or crouch. If standing height is a priority, it’s worth considering alternative van options or exploring customizations that cater to your specific needs.


Gas Mileage Isn’t the Best (but also not the worst) ⛽

Another factor to consider when contemplating a high top van conversion is the gas mileage.

Compared to smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles, high top conversions tend to have slightly lower gas mileage. However, it’s worth noting that the gas mileage is generally better than that of larger RVs or motorhomes.

While it may not be the most economical option, it’s also not the worst, striking a balance between comfort and efficiency.

By understanding the potential drawbacks of buying a high top van conversion, you can make an informed decision about whether this type of van is the best choice for your van life journey.

It’s important to weigh these factors against the benefits and advantages that high top conversions offer. Ultimately, finding the perfect van for van life is a personal decision that depends on your individual preferences, needs, and priorities.


Reasons and Benefits of Choosing a Sprinter Van for Van Life 🚐✨

While we have been focusing primarily on high top conversion vans, it’s worth talking about the most popular option: the Mercedes Sprinter camper van.

Sprinter camper vans have gained a loyal following among van lifers for several reasons. In this section, we’ll explore the unique advantages and benefits that Sprinter vans bring to the table, providing you with a well-rounded understanding of the available options in the van life realm.

Search for a Sprinter camper van >

Find out what it’s like to live full-time in a Sprinter camper >


Summary 💭

In conclusion, the high top van conversion provide an incredible platform for individuals seeking the freedom and adventure of van life.

From their affordability and spaciousness to the myriad of storage options and customization potential, these vans offer a gateway to unforgettable experiences.

While they may have their drawbacks, the benefits far outweigh the challenges for many van lifers, when it comes to the high top van conversion.

Whether you choose a high top van conversion or not, what truly matters is embracing the essence of van life – the freedom of the open road and the unparalleled sense of discovery that awaits.

Ram Promaster camper van in grey with palm trees behind

Key Takeaways 📚

  • High top conversion vans offer affordability, spaciousness, and customization potential.

  • They provide ample storage options and can be move-in ready for a hassle-free transition.

  • However, challenges such as fiberglass toppers, gutting the interior, limited stealth capabilities, height restrictions, and gas mileage need to be considered.

  • Sprinter vans offer unique advantages, and short bus conversions showcase creativity and charm.

  • Ultimately, van life is about embracing freedom, adventure, and the endless possibilities of the open road.


Frequently Asked Questions About The High Top Van Conversion 🙋‍♀️

Quite the opposite! High top conversion vans are often more affordable compared to RVs.

Absolutely! The high top conversion van provides an excellent base for campervan customization, allowing you to tailor the interior to your preferences and lifestyle.

Yes, high top conversion vans may have height restrictions that can limit standing room, especially for taller individuals.

Gas mileage in high top conversion vans varies, but it typically falls between the efficiency of smaller vehicles and larger RVs.

Sprinter vans offer unique advantages such as spaciousness, reliability, and fuel efficiency, making them a popular choice among van lifers.

There are countless impressive short bus conversions out there, showcasing innovative layouts, design elements,

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