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Old 10-02-2020, 05:53 PM   #1
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How tall is your van?

How tall is your van? Is it a garage queen?

We're looking to build a garage and our bubble top Econoline is ~9'5". Factoring in that I might forget to lower the Maxxfan I'll need at least a 9'9" door. But no van is forever so I want to make sure our next van, whatever it might be, fits too. What's your build and how tall is it?

I'd love to just go with a 12' door and not worry, but we've got city bylaws to contend with. Haha.
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Old 10-02-2020, 06:16 PM   #2
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Like you mentioned, keep a roof vent in mind, but don't forget about possible roof mounted solar, or roof racks.


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Old 10-02-2020, 06:44 PM   #3
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2006 4x4 Sportsmobile West production (Electric pop-top) - with the lift, 35" tires, Aluminess roof rack, and Thule pod on top I sit right at 9'3" (that goes up or down by an inch or so depending on what pressure I have the rear air bags set).
I'd go as tall as allowed on the doors.

Little hesitant to share this...BUT (Years ago when we lived in Texas) I had a co-worker who was faced with similar restrictions when building an enclosure for his RV. He built the structure as he initially wanted, then installed a pair of either 2x12 or 2x10's (bolted together) across the top of the door opening, with a post at each end holding them up - whole thing just looked like a frame around the doorway. He hung a set of barn style doors on the front, the type that roll on a track (one to the left and the other to the right). Everything passed inspection.
A couple weeks later (while he had the doors closed) I helped him remove the 2x12's and posts. He eventually moved out of state, but for 6 or 7 years he never had any issues.
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Old 10-03-2020, 01:21 PM   #4
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The highest thing on my roof is definitely the Maxx fan, even above solar panels and roof rack. I would also say that the height depends so much on the lift you’ll have.

My advice is to build it as high as you’re allowed and then keep Twoxentrix’ story in mind for later.
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Old 10-03-2020, 01:38 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Twoxentrix View Post
... He built the structure as he initially wanted, then installed a pair of either 2x12 or 2x10's (bolted together) across the top of the door opening, with a post at each end holding them up - whole thing just looked like a frame around the doorway. He hung a set of barn style doors on the front, the type that roll on a track (one to the left and the other to the right). Everything passed inspection.
A couple weeks later (while he had the doors closed) I helped him remove the 2x12's and posts. He eventually moved out of state, but for 6 or 7 years he never had any issues.
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Old 10-03-2020, 05:10 PM   #6
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My Dodge is about 9' but our garage door header is at 7'. Our VW Westy just squeaks under to fit inside but not the Dodge. There is sufficient headroom inside for a high roof but the door wall of the garage would need surgery for a taller door.
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Old 10-08-2020, 10:46 AM   #7
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You will need 14’ wall height to get a 12’ roll up door.
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Old 10-08-2020, 12:11 PM   #8
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I say go as high as you can. 12' is where I would go. A little side story here:
I work in Yellowstone in the summers. Our ranger station has a historical building that cannot be changed without a LOT of bureaucracy. The building houses our ambulance. The old ambulance that barely fit finally wore out and was no longer dependable as an emergency vehicle.
Newer model ambulances were too tall. The end result was that they had to special order a Ford Transit based rig, have it converted to 4x4 and spend a heck of a lot of money just to accommodate a building that had sufficient interior ceilings, just a too-short garage door.
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Old 10-08-2020, 12:54 PM   #9
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I say go as high as you can. 12' is where I would go. A little side story here:
I work in Yellowstone in the summers. Our ranger station has a historical building that cannot be changed without a LOT of bureaucracy. The building houses our ambulance. The old ambulance that barely fit finally wore out and was no longer dependable as an emergency vehicle.
Newer model ambulances were too tall. The end result was that they had to special order a Ford Transit based rig, have it converted to 4x4 and spend a heck of a lot of money just to accommodate a building that had sufficient interior ceilings, just a too-short garage door.
Lol, that sounds like here in California. Now I understand the historical benefit of a building but unless it's something absolutely special and it is just a minor thing of keeping the original look intact but utilizing a larger door it makes sense I mean that is if it's like an outbuilding/ fire house...
On the flip side if it is a truly awesome building let him just buy a car instead of retrofitting I suppose it makes sense it does depend on the structure though and historical significance.
They seriously don't build anything like they used to...
Chinese manufactured wood in every single Big box store in America, finger joint crap ...MDF...UGgggggggg So Sad
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Old 10-08-2020, 12:57 PM   #10
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Yes we raised the header on our garage door 3 feet to fit our 10' 2" Sporty inside (we have a silly [larger than we thought from picture,lol] sat dome on top)...It was an easy re-do since header was already there AND we had the room to increase height. Garage door folks came out and installed. hooked up old door opener...The ONLY thing we sweated, was the LENGTH of the van, which we forgot b/c height was our 'only' concern....we pulled up to garage (after picking it up in Indy) and ONLY THEN thought about length...with the added Aluminess bumpers, box on back etc....We had 4 inches to spare! Sooooo, measure length too!!!!! And yes, Sporty is a Garage Queen!
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