Adding a high top

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mothercoder

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How would I go about finding a high top to add to a van and someone to do the work?  Would $3000 be a fair estimate for the top and labor?  Note: I haven't purchased the van yet so I can't tell you a model.
 

mothercoder

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Thanks. I've been searching some of the threads here but most of the suppliers I've come across are not in my area. I'm hoping someone can tell me how to find a supplier/installer in my area (DC/MD/VA).
 

TWIH

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Like was stated, look (search) the threads, also search Google, call junkyards.

I googled "van hi tops dealers" and got this: (not too distant and they could probably ship to a dealer near you), and yes, $3000 should be close.

[font=Arial, Helvetica, Geneva, Swiss, SunSans-Regular]Fiberglass Molding and Engineering
2702 Old Highway 29
Thomasville NC 27360
336 475-5956[/font]
 

Dgorila1

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Google TCI mobility. One of the users on here had a high top installed on the Chevy for $3700 complete. It included a steel roll cage inside the high top.
 

Dgorila1

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Lost in the world said:

That's the post, I stand corrected! $3200 dollars which is an even better deal! I'm strongly leaning towards them after reading up on the company and seeing the robust top they installed in this van. I was originally focused on a Ford Transit High Top so I can stand up but hesitate at the high cost to purchase. Finding a quality high top installer like this for a very reasonable price has made me rethink and start looking at Chevy vans, which I can buy for much cheaper than a transit. When I'm ready to purchase I will contact TCI Mobility to find out exactly what types of tops they offer. Also helps they are only a few states away.
 

TWIH

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Well nice that someone was able to help you out. As far as Ford Transit high roof vs a less expensive Chevy van with a hi top put on, that's what Bob Wells suggested doing in his newer video blog.
 

mothercoder

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There's really nothing on TCI Mobility's site about adding high tops. I would willingly go to PA to get one installed for that price.
 

introverting

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@mothercoder:  There used to be a place in NJ, but they've closed up.  The only place I know of is Fiberine in CA.  You might try looking up van customization shops.  I came across something during my search for high top installers and most of them supposedly have stopped marketing to individuals; i.e., they only do commercial work.
 

Dgorila1

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mothercoder said:
There's really nothing on TCI Mobility's site about adding high tops.  I would willingly go to PA to get one installed for that price.

Call them and ask if they still do high top installs.
 

vtwinkicker

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Dgorila1 said:
Call them and ask if they still do high top installs.

TCI Mobility has 2 locations I'm aware of. I believe their main office is in FL and the one I used is in PA. Their business is converting vans into wheelchair vehicles. They use a fiberglass top maker out of Ohio and have their own truck to pick them up in quantity. I have the 24" top and they also have other sizes that you typically see, I believe 18" and 30" are two other sizes and probably a lower height as well. It appears they come in 6" increments. They do hitop installs fulltime and had about a dozen vans on site in various stages of conversion when I was there.
 

closeanuf

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Mothercoder what happened to the Suburban?  Or am I having a senior moment?
 

frater secessus

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Dgorila1 said:
I was originally focused on a Ford Transit High Top so I can stand up but hesitate at the high cost to purchase. Finding a quality high top installer like this for a very reasonable price has made me rethink and start looking at Chevy vans, which I can buy for much cheaper than a transit. 

I was crunching 5 yr total cost of ownership numbers on Eurovans a while back and included an Express van in part of it.
The TCO of stock Express is slightly lower (~$1500) than the LWB High Roof Transit 250 over 5 yrs.  Adding a $3k high roof to the Express would make it slightly more expensive over 5 yrs than the Transit.  

5ytco.png


The numbers for all of these are really pretty close; might as well get what speaks to you.
Sprinter wasn't included because I couldn't find easy gasser numbers then.  I also did the numbers for invoice price and the same order emerged.

For folks interested in dorky-looking Eurovans (me! me! me!), I've started collecting info as a platform for vandwellers.
 

PineyCruisin

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This past April when we were considering purchasing a standard van and adding a high top at a later date, I had found and called this company  http://www.fiberglassme.com/pages/handicap.html. I spoke with James, who I believe is the owner. He told me you can either travel to them in NC and have the install done or he said he had recently added the service to do onsite installs where ever the customer requested. The install in NC seemed reasonable--somewhere around $2000 for the standard high top with no headliner, but I didn't ask him what the cost was for onsite services.

Another option to consider.
 

PineyCruisin

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It was for the cheapest top + install.

I also remember James saying that it was, at the very most, a 48 hr. turn around time if they don't have a top already in inventory. He said they usually do have the tops premade and stocked, however. 

If we were going that route, we definitely would have made the trip to NC from NJ to do it, especially since I couldn't find anyone else who installs that was closer (TCI Mobility hadn't come up at all during my search).
 

accrete

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i'll add a thought i didn't see mentioned on fiberglass tops on chevy (or ford) vans...

IF you are anything like my wife and i when it comes to our rig we keep it meticulously maintained. That includes a once-a-year cleaning/re-application of a product called Poli Glow (link for interested parties: poliglow-int.com and i have a write-up on our use of it at my blog in _this post_) It takes the two of us about three hours one afternoon in the dryer summer months to get the top back to a shine. The one thing with an all metal fab like a Transit high top is you can just take care of it as you would your car, but the fiberglass gel coat takes a bit more work to maintain properly. My background in this area includes years of maintenance on our family (fiberglass) sailboat and also maintaining our little (now sold) fiberglass camp-trailer _image link_.

The post Poli-Glow shine on our van's top:

AWD-polyglow.jpg


Pretty, pretty :)

Thom
 

MikeRuth

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MotherCoder, I don't know where your located but in Southern California there is a business in Loas Angeles that does these conversions, Sorry I don't have the name handy.

When I investigated having one put on a Ford E-150(very common Van) it was going to be about $3000.00 and a couple days in there shop.

At 6'0" I'm seriously considering it. I had an old Dodge B250 70's vintage with a high top that extended to the windshield. I tell ya it seemed like an amazing amount of extra room in the Van.
I liked being able to store goods in the overhead above the cab. Not so sure if that type of top is still available.

MIke R

Found them,,, Fiberine
 

Doneta

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217frater secessus said:
Was that install + top, or just the install?  $2000 for both would be worth a trip to NC.

I just now called Jamie, and he quoted me $1800.00 for the top, install, and will put in the frame for a maxx fan//fantastic fan.  Says he can have it done in about 3 hours.   Since I will be going to Va. Beach next week, once I get done with my business there, I  will be  driving the 271 miles to  Thomasville NC and get er done.
 

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