Low Roof vs Medium Roof - Ford Transit USA Forum
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-23-2014, 02:35:AM Thread Starter
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Low Roof vs Medium Roof

Wife wanted a minivan but I just don't see myself in one ... so here comes Transit to the rescue. Going for the all black looks, tuxedo black color, privacy glass and will replace factory with black wheels. Also, MWB. That's set ... but I just can't decide on the roof. I like the idea of parking the low roof van in my garage (handy during those Chicago winters), but from the pictures I've seen so far I don't like the looks at all. Also head room seems almost lower than in my SUV. I like the medium roof although it might look awkward with the MWB and also won't fit in the garage. Any other pros and cons?
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-23-2014, 02:45:AM
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I like the medium roof because I can stand up in it. I could put the low roof short wheel base in my garage but a 148" medium roof just has so many other uses that it can't be ignored. I also like the black on black look. Todd

I'm a van guy.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-23-2014, 07:24:AM
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Ditto to Todd in general. Hard to anticipate everyone's needs in a brief post, but here goes . . .

Low roof pros: better access to parking garages, drive-throughs, country roads and especially rural driveways with low overhanging tree limbs and branches; will not "stick out" visually as being taller than most cars/SUVs; stealthier for short-term urban overnight camping in parking lots etc.; better MPG.

Low roof cons: ditto re: headroom; difficult to put bed in back for short-term stealth camping and be able to stand to dress. Been there and done that in old Econoline with a more flexible back. Hard not being able to stand up, stretch and straighten out the spine.

Medium roof pros: Todd -- too many uses to ignore. Will support owner-built-in-stages mini RV, while still being OK as around town everyday vehicle with one bench seat behind driver/passenger; better visibility for Wagon passengers looking out while driving on a sight-seeing tour, cross-country drive, etc..

Medium roof cons: sticks out visually; looks like a delivery truck; harder to stealth urban camp; may preclude certain drive-throughs, trestles, overpasses, garages and roads/driveways with low overhanging limbs/branches; lower MPG.


I am aiming to pull a small RV trailer, so the low roof is attractive, but I will need to drive and sit in one with seats and windows to feel comfortable making any decision.

Good luck to all!
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-23-2014, 10:58:AM
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I have the same feeling. Would like the ability to go thru a car wash and parking garage if needed. But being able to stand up and walk around is nice. I am only 5'5" but still think the low would be uncomfortable.

I also pull a small travel trailer,a Casita, and I think the med would help with the aerodynamics. Just have to decide on what drive train I want.

Dean
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-23-2014, 11:30:AM
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Dean do you like the Casita? Also considering Airstream 19' Flying Cloud, as it is a compacted 25' Excella rear corner bed. Thx
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-23-2014, 12:22:PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steaua1986 View Post
Wife wanted a minivan but I just don't see myself in one ... so here comes Transit to the rescue. Going for the all black looks, tuxedo black color, privacy glass and will replace factory with black wheels. Also, MWB. That's set ... but I just can't decide on the roof. I like the idea of parking the low roof van in my garage (handy during those Chicago winters), but from the pictures I've seen so far I don't like the looks at all. Also head room seems almost lower than in my SUV. I like the medium roof although it might look awkward with the MWB and also won't fit in the garage. Any other pros and cons?
Black steel wheels are option # 64H for $29.00 invoice/$35.00 retail. Spare tire is standard tire on a black wheel without the tire pressure sending unit. Standard tires are 27 1/2" diameter. Spare tire storage on 148" WB looks like it limits the maximum tire to about 30".
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-23-2014, 12:29:PM
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Dean do you like the Casita? Also considering Airstream 19' Flying Cloud, as it is a compacted 25' Excella rear corner bed. Thx
Casita is nice for the money, and being all fiber glass is easy to maintain. Light weight and easy to tow. Probably a lot less $$$ than an airstream. You can get a loaded new one for around $20k. I found mine a couple years ago, a 2006 model and got it for about half that.

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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-23-2014, 01:51:PM
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Originally Posted by steaua1986 View Post
Wife wanted a minivan but I just don't see myself in one ... so here comes Transit to the rescue. Going for the all black looks, tuxedo black color, privacy glass and will replace factory with black wheels. Also, MWB. That's set ... but I just can't decide on the roof. I like the idea of parking the low roof van in my garage (handy during those Chicago winters), but from the pictures I've seen so far I don't like the looks at all. Also head room seems almost lower than in my SUV. I like the medium roof although it might look awkward with the MWB and also won't fit in the garage. Any other pros and cons?
Transit didn't quite come to the rescue in this segment. I really think the US could use a modern 82" tall van. If Ford had brought us the European Mk7 fwd platform we could have had 6" more door height and 4" more interior height with better winter traction and handling. The handicap community would be all over it, basically pricing all the expensive floor and roof hack conversions out of business. And, I think a large segment of the regular population such as yourself would go for it. According to Wiki, the conversion van market was almost 200,000/yr in 1994. Now folks here would be cheering about Transit sales in the low 1,000s/month. Even for tradesmen, the lower load floor and extra interior height in the low roof would make a huge difference and might help get them out of their E-Series.

If Ram Promaster came in a standard roof "wagon" I'd be all over that. With a 90" roof height compared to the 101" high Transit Mid-roof it still has 65" interior height. Ram chose to ignore the wagon market and only offers cargo versions.
The Transit Mk7 fwd was perfect. Overall height 93" (fits well in 8' garage door) with 68" interior height. I am so disappointed in what we got instead. I see little benefit over the E-series other than a 6spd trans and better front suspension.

Last edited by carnut; 08-23-2014 at 01:59:PM.
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-23-2014, 03:47:PM
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I remember seeing photos of the Transit's roof, and it looked like it had segmented panels of sheet metal with round details at the corners. Any chance that in Job B (2?) of this buildout, there will be options like skylights, raised roof panels, etc.? I will try to find these photos when back home. The low roof van would have more flexibility if we could pop open a screened skylight and stand up in the opening. Details TBD for sure.
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-24-2014, 01:16:PM
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OK I found that aerial photo of the roof in the dealer's Transit brochure, on the first page before the centerfold [why didn't they number the pages?]. Hopefully this photo of it will reproduce OK here.

Looks like the roof paneling is being made in pieces of differing lengths which are butted over the main structural cross-members, and which can be mixed and matched to different van lengths. Are those raised mounting pads for roof racks etc.? Looks like it.

This photo was in the cargo van section of the brochure, so not sure if the Wagons have the same roof panels, but why not? Wagons use roof racks also.

It would be pretty simple to make sections of the roof transform into skylights, opening screened vents etc.. Why not a raised "observation dome" possibility by after-market suppliers?

An opening roof section for telescoping mast/tower with TV/radio transmission and photography capabilities? With the weight and hydraulics centered in the van body, this capacity would add TONS of functionality instead of all the after-market add-ons you see for the light duty Telco, CATV, etc. work trucks.

Transit aerial view.jpg
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