Hi folks, I'm looking for opinions on the legal issues of DIY installing either a pop-top or a high roof onto a van. Do you have any worries about passing state/province vehicle safety inspections?
I've seen a number of DIY builds that have added a pop-top to their vans. I'm currently in the market for a van, and I'm thinking of going this route because I'm having trouble finding high-roof vans in my price range. As well, the shop installs for pop-tops are also too high of price for me (upwards of $5k-$15k I believe
)... and so I thought that a DIY addition would be a good option. (Also, my preference is pop-top over high-top for the low profile, reduced footprint, etc., but I'm pretty open to either option.)
A number of other posts (for example, here
) show pretty good DIY pop-top conversions. (Price-wise, I thought of contacting a local auto-wrecker to salvage an old top.) However, I haven't found any info about the legal/safety implications of the builds... I called my local (British Columbia) Vehicle Safety & Enforcement agency, and essentially they said: If you modify it, it'll need to pass a safety inspection; and the main criterion is structural integrity (*which is really vague though!).
Does anyone have experience with both the DIY conversion as well as the post-conversion insurance/safety bureaucracy? I don't want to cut the roof off my van, spend time installing a new roof, and then be told I need to take it to a mechanical engineer to spend huge cash $$$ to get it up to code.
If anyone has any thoughts or opinions, please do share!