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Old 03-15-2017, 07:38 AM   #1
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Remove and Replace top

I've got a 1994 Dodge short van with penthouse. There is about 28 inches of clearance from bed to roof. Does any one know if someone makes a hard top that is at least 28" high that runs the full length of the van? Fiber line makes one that is split level that drops to about 16" in the back of the van. Not enough room to stand up in the rear half of the van. Are any of you using a 20" high top for sleeping upstairs? Also, has anyone been through this process and have any advice?

Terry
Yes, will sell penthouse top if I can find a top that works.
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Old 03-23-2017, 12:30 PM   #2
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Colorado Camper Van sells a pop tops that run full length of van.
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Old 03-23-2017, 01:50 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by TexomaPowerboater View Post
Colorado Camper Van sells a pop tops that run full length of van.
Even for a Dodge?
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Old 03-23-2017, 02:04 PM   #4
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Their website say's they can do custom tops, but cost a little more. Less for a van that already had a top. Worth a call for sure.

Curious what's wrong with existing pop top or why would OP want to convert to a hard top? For the money would probably be better off selling and buying an old class B van with high top. Seems like they can be found for cheap. There is a 95 Dodge SMB on Austin craigslist.
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Old 03-27-2017, 07:02 PM   #5
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Very good question Texoma. Both penthouse and hardtop have their plus and minus covered in many postings. For me there are a few reasons.

1. The 1994 has had a lot of TLC to get it into good and reliable running shape.
2. I am second owner and was lucky to find VERY clean good condition unit.
3. One of my shoulders has issues that is painful lifting top even using cargo jack.
4. More storage space above driving cab and cabinets above.
5. More room to pass each other in isle because penthouse bed rails restrict width.
6. A small ac/heat can be mounted on roof.
7. The Dodge 318 motor is touted for reliability, long life and ease to work on.
8. Selling penthouse will cover some of the cost of the hard top.

There are 30 inch high full length high tops for Fords and EB units but so far haven't found one for the older Dodges.

Thanks for the tip about custom top, I didn't see that.

Terry
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Old 03-28-2017, 07:55 AM   #6
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Seems like a hard top from a salvage yard wouldn't be too hard to find. It might cost you all of $100 bucks.

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Old 03-28-2017, 09:04 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by soaringhawk View Post
Very good question Texoma. Both penthouse and hardtop have their plus and minus covered in many postings. For me there are a few reasons.

1. The 1994 has had a lot of TLC to get it into good and reliable running shape.
2. I am second owner and was lucky to find VERY clean good condition unit.
3. One of my shoulders has issues that is painful lifting top even using cargo jack.
4. More storage space above driving cab and cabinets above.
5. More room to pass each other in isle because penthouse bed rails restrict width.
6. A small ac/heat can be mounted on roof.
7. The Dodge 318 motor is touted for reliability, long life and ease to work on.
8. Selling penthouse will cover some of the cost of the hard top.

There are 30 inch high full length high tops for Fords and EB units but so far haven't found one for the older Dodges.

Thanks for the tip about custom top, I didn't see that.

Terry
Given your complaints I think money would be better spent by starting over with a different van that fits your needs because your going to spend a lot modifying van, but nobody is going to pay for it if you resell. Starting over may cost more, but the van will be worth more; will be a much better investment to value ratio. Most would probably pay less for hard top vs pop top because it won't fit in most garages. These tops are all fiberglass if I'm not mistaken. Any good fiberglass shop should be able to modify a hard top to make it fit. I see your in Florida - they have some of the best glass guy's in the world, but they charge top dollar so I really think it will be cost prohibitive.
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Old 03-28-2017, 09:21 AM   #8
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Old airport shuttle bus. Will be beat, but will have the top. Some handicap buses too. Even church buses.


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