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Discussion Starter #1
I've gotten the wife OK to move forward with an order, but I'm not sure on sizing.

As I understand, the trade-off for the length is that the long is easier to park in regular parking spots, where-as the long extended has more interior room. I read through a previous thread discussing the length and it seems the preference depends on where/how you're using it.

I primary drive up to my cabin and visit friends in New England.
My primary reason for preferring a van over a class C is that I like to be able to park at rest stops, gas stations and the like and be able to treat it mostly like a normal car/truck. My previous van was 20', so closest to the Long in size.
People with the long extended, have you run into difficulties parking?
Can you park at a normal rest-stop, or do you need to use the truck area?

Heightwise- I'm 6'1 and one of my biggest priorities is being able to standup.
In my previous van I couldn't quite do so, and it got old quickly.

With the standard MR, it doesn't look like it would be enough room.
I've been looking at a CCV poptop though, and it looks like I might be able standup in it with the poptop installed, even without it extended? The website seems to show 77" on the MR + pop, if the flooring is stacked/stored.

This would give a total height of around 10' (99" + 18" for the poptop)
That's pretty tall, and wouldn't be able to use parking garages/drive-thrus.
There's a few bridges it would fail for, but not many.

But if it's going to 10' anyway, is there much of a reason not to get the High Roof + poptop?
I think that should only add 9", which even with low profile solar is under 11 feet. (I'm not doing roof AC)

Looking at lists of low bridges (warning: pdf), it doesn't show all that many difference between 10 and 11 feet, but there are plenty of stories of people hitting unmarked bridges, particularly in New England :(

I'd like to get some actual experience though, has it made a difference to you?
Are there places you couldn't fit that made things more difficult?

If you have a CCV MR poptop, how much room do you have with it in the default position?

(I suppose I could stick with the HR without the pop, but it is a very nice option to be able to ventilate in the summer, and it's a good sleeping location)

Thanks for any insight
 

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High Roof, Not-Extended here. Primary use as a weekend warrior for 2 people and a pup. Never any issue parking, never an issue with a bridge (Upstate NY) (including maxx fan on top). I am 6'3" and with ceiling and floor finished I have 3 fingers of headroom -wouldn't trade this for anything.

II do not regret my van at all, however if I were to do it again I would get the extended. If you plan to sleep North-South the space needed for us tall folks takes a vast majority of the van.(I am assuming you plan this way)

Side note, loaded on a flatbed it is still under the federal height limit (barely)
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Welcome to the forum.

Head room inside a tall van-6’7”. MR with a pop top seems like an excessive expense when you can just have a tall roof. Tall vans may or may not fit through 9’ drive throughs at fast food establishments. I can park my LWB extended almost anywhere. Sometimes I back in and let the tail extend backwards over any barrier.
 

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I have a 148" WB not extended high roof. I an 5'-10" with across the van sleeping. Would not want an extended due to parking issue. High roof provides enough wall height inside for cabinets above the bed platform that I can sit up in bed without hitting my head on the bottom of the cabinets. High roof allows enough height for a inside van shower. High roof allows wall space above the slider door for storage shelf. Would buy the same roof height if I was to build another conversion.
 

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Ordering my third build. Build 1) Promaster - had the equivalent of a HR, Extended. Great size - easy to drive, stand up inside, park in the same size spot as a large pickup truck. Good amount of room inside. Able to maneuver in parking areas (pulling out, slated spots etc. Build 2) Transit - MR, Extended. I'm 5'8 and can only stand up straight (with running shoes) on in the center. Guys have to bend / slouch. Also, you lose a lot of storage and "roominess" with a MR. It always seems cramped - even with one person! Really cramped with two people (add a dog and well ....). Build 3) Just ordered a HR Extended for my daily driver and multi-day trips. I'll do flares on the sides so we can sleep sideways. If the flares give you enough room to sleep sideways, this could be the answer! A popup is inconvenient. Always. Difficult to pull over and make a cup of coffee - because you can't stand up unless you pop the top. Or stop to read / short nap / wait out the weather. They are significantly colder since they are made of canvas. I have many friends who have the Sprinter 170 (equiv of extended long. It's big. Often too much to deal with as a daily driver, approach angle is tougher, parking, I personally feel they don't do as well in the snow, off road, etc...
 

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The extended has the same wheelbase as the long, so the ability to maneuver is similar, you just need a little more room. I've got the tall long dually, and the only real issues I've encountered is that I sometimes have to find a parking spot further away so I can let the back overhang a little, it doesn't fit through most fast food drive throughs, and the back end can drag on a steep driveway entrance.

There is also the issue that the mid roof probably has as well in that it won't fit in an underground or multi level covered parking. In large cities this type of parking structure is more common and its hard to find on street parking.
 

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I've gotten the wife OK to move forward with an order, but I'm not sure on sizing.

As I understand, the trade-off for the length is that the long is easier to park in regular parking spots, where-as the long extended has more interior room. I read through a previous thread discussing the length and it seems the preference depends on where/how you're using it.
For your situation, I'd go with the biggest van (extended HR) and adjust my driving habits to accommodate it. You'll be able to stand up, there's room for more junk; I mean "gear". But, you'll have to get used to not using drive-throughs, parking further away from store and restaurant front doors, and maybe even a few blocks away in downtown urban areas. Trying to park ANY vehicle in downtown San Francisco near where you want to be is an exercise in futility, and anything over 6' tall compounds the problem, because you (I) have to find street parking. About 15 years ago in my Tacoma, I went over to SF for a company holiday dinner, drove in concentric circles up to 20 blocks away from the House Of Prime Rib for two hours, gave up and drove back over to the East Bay and home. 3+ hour drive without getting out of the truck, never more than 15 miles from home. I could have RUN over there and back in that amount of time.

If this is going to be your daily driver and not just a weekender, you'll be doing more walking.

Seriously, you have bridge clearances that are only near 10'?!
 

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I'd love the extra 2' or so the extended would provide, but I would almost certainly have more difficulty finding parking every night. If I were permanently retired and traveling between fixed locations, I'd go for more length - maybe even a trailer or prefab RV.

I'm 6'2" and have 1-1/2" insulation in the floor with 3/8 plywood, and 1" polyiso below the ceiling ribs plus Thinsulate between and inside them. I still have about a "fist" of clearance above my head standing. Like a previous commenter, I wouldn't give this up for anything.

Drive throughs and parking garages were out since day one. You're actually more likely to get faster service walking in since the line ups are around the corner and down the street (for a hamburger or cup of coffee easily made inside your custom Transit High Roof RV for a fraction of the cost).
 
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There have been quite a few threads about this topic if you want more answers.



 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Great points, thanks for the experiences - Hearing how it's worked for other people is helpful.
I can measure things out to do my layouts/etc, but it's the on-the-road issues that are difficult to predict.

Pop top in New England does not sound like any fun to me.
I agree, it would be nice in the summer or when traveling south to be able to pop the top, but I wouldn't want to have to pop it in order to stand up.
That's why I was hoping the MR + unraised poptop might give enough room to standup, if I stashed the bedding.
If not, I could go to the HR + unraised poptop, but then I worry it's getting stupid-high :/

If this is going to be your daily driver and not just a weekender, you'll be doing more walking.
For sure. I have another vehicle I use most of the time, so it'd only be when I'm out for a trip.
In those cases, it's mostly rural areas, sometimes suburbs, so cities aren't a huge concern.
I'm mostly worried about stopping at a 7-11 on the road, or other places that aren't grocery-store level parking lots.

Seriously, you have bridge clearances that are only near 10'?!
Here's a list of bridges in Boston, some of which are only 9'! :(

There have been quite a few threads about this topic if you want more answers.
Thanks! I had seen the third one from searching, but not the other two.
I think my height question is a bit different, since I'm trying to compare the MR+pop to the HR+pop, which I haven't seen discussed as much as the non-poptop versions.
 

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I spent a lot of time planning to get a poptop. But eventually, a few things nixed it for me:
1. it's fabric. it will degrade. If it's windy or rainy I won't want to pop it, and that's exactly the time you end up hanging out in your van
2. I probably won't pop it. Most likely, if we pull over for a snack, are we going to pop the top? probably not. At which point, you're better off just buying a rooftop tent if all you're going to do is sleep up there.

Neither the MR+pop or the HR will let you go under a 9' bridge. And MR won't let you stand with an unraised poptop. So, if standing is a must, then you have to give up on the bridge issue. I don't see much point in doing HR + pop (or, at a minimum, don't do the pop top right away, use it, see how much you want it, and add the pop top later).

IMO seems like the choice is obvious :) go HR. Use it for a bit, and add the pop top later if you decide you want it.
 

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If you are over 6 ft, sleeping sideways is unlikely, so that drives the bed to be front to back.

If you try to do this without the extended length, then the interior will essentially be a couch with stuff underneath and maybe a closet on the other wall. At least that is what I keep finding when I do a layout.
 

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HR vs MR was a no brainer for me as I'm 6' 1". Wld never consider a MR w/ a pop top, all the bad none of the good.

EL vs not EL is a diff story. If you are 2 tall ppl, the EL wld seem to be in order due to the extra 2' and since you'll almost certainly have a north-south bed. As Harryn said, without the EL, your non-bed area is tiny if you have a N-S bed. If you are 1 person, then a non-EL can work out even sleeping N-S as you likely wont need a full-width bed and can use the extra area for more storage, cabinets, countertop, etc.

All very personal decisions w/ tradeofs only you can make. Get teh van measurements and plan a few layouts to see the reality of what is possible for you.
 

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Sketch your concept and try to fit in a 148. If you can't make it work then try it with the extended. We made a few compromises but it is nice to fit in regular parking spaces.
 

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I'm personally gonna suck it up and get the extended length. I can probably improve my parking skills and choices easier than making things fit in a shorter length van.
 

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Here is my reasoning for our 148" non-extended MR, when I started - and what we found

a) its the same length as an F150, so outside of a multi-story, you can park it anywhere - yup totally confirmed, its often my daily driver

b) at <20ft it falls under the National Park's 20ft length limit before they can technically classify you as an "RV", so you can roam unrestricted and park anywhere in National Parks - yup also confirmed.

c) fits on a standard 20ft NFS "not RV" camping pad - true also, much to the consternation of a particularly officious NFS camp host. This is important because the "RV Sites" often fill up fast

d) retains a short rear overhang, which is important off-road - many of our best finds would have been inaccessible in an extended van

e) I'm 5'9" and have good head clearance throughout and can sleep sideways - note we didn't waste several inches of head room with a sub floor and a super thick ceiling

If I was doing it again, I may switch to a 148 non-extended HR. We added a rack to our MR which makes it as tall as a HR with more weight up top. It has never felt top heavy or nervous in cross-winds. So I'm sure a HR would be about the same and would give us a few more options inside.
 

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Do you need to seat/sleep 3 or more adults? Are you bringing bulky cargo (e.g. motorcycles) that will eat up the prime real estate? Do you need a dedicated indoor shower? Those are good reasons to select the high/extended. If not, the high/long works great for most campers. I would only consider the CCV poptop if I needed to sleep 4. It's an expensive way to garner headroom that is included with a high roof.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Neither the MR+pop or the HR will let you go under a 9' bridge. And MR won't let you stand with an unraised poptop.
...
IMO seems like the choice is obvious :) go HR. Use it for a bit, and add the pop top later if you decide you want it.
Thanks, you've convinced me.
Since I want to stand, I need at least a MR + pop, and since that won't fit under most bridges anyway, there's not a lot of downside to just doing a HR and adding a pop later.

Unless you do flares. with flares the bed is ~ 6'10" (according to the flarespace site)
These look are a great option, and surprisingly reasonably priced.
I hadn't known about them, but I found a local place which can install them, and that's the new plan.
Thanks!

All very personal decisions w/ tradeofs only you can make. Get the van measurements and plan a few layouts to see the reality of what is possible for you.
For sure, thanks. I've marked it out, and I'm fairly confident I could work reasonably well even in 130" if I really had to, but that'd be tight. But I can't easily get experience with how hard it's been to park without traveling around the country with a measuring tape :)

b) at <20ft it falls under the National Park's 20ft length limit before they can technically classify you as an "RV", so you can roam unrestricted and park anywhere in National Parks - yup also confirmed.
You make several really great points, particularly that one. I'm convinced.
I think the 148" non-extended HR is the best fit for me.
Thanks.

I would only consider the CCV poptop if I needed to sleep 4. It's an expensive way to garner headroom that is included with a high roof.
For sure it isn't cheap, and we only have the two of us. For me it'd be less about extra sleeping room, and more as an integrated RTT. I was hoping that with the MR, the headroom it provided when un-popped would be enough to stand in but it sounds like that's not the right way to go.
 
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