North American High Tops

This section is provided not to preclude you contacting me, I'd like to hear from you, but rather to give you some insights into they type of questions - and answers to those questions - that other people have asked.  If you have other questions, I'd like to have them and answer them, perhaps, with your permission, posting the responses here.


Thanks, and I apologize if my questions are a bit basic.
Hey - I'm a retired educator - High School Principal - and the only dumb questions are those that are left unasked.


How will the top affect my fuel consumption?

Anecdotally, those who have the tops on, both in the U.K. and here in North America, report no discernable difference in their fuel consumption. The explanation for why this is so lies in the shape of the top. It fits quite nicely into the aerodynamic "bubble" frmed as a vanagon moves at speed. The brochure below is from another conversion van - the Dehler Profi. The shape of the hightop shown is pretty close to the shape of our top. Certainly it is close enough to demonstrate how the hightop pictured is actually better aerodynamicaly than the pop top.



What is involved in the installation process?

It will take a skilled experienced installer about 40 hours to do a typical install of an NAHT top on a van. There are time differences obviously between hightopping a westy and a tintop.  A typical install (and I don't think that there has ever been a typical install - everyone has their own vision to be implemented) would involve trimming the top to fit exactly, installing window spacers, wiring for the power vent, insulating and lining the top, prepping the top and van for adhesion, adhering the top to the van, installing the windows and power vent. 10 year ago the materials for an install cost about $400, in 2022 they cost close to $1000

It will take a reasonably skilled DIYourselfer about 2 1/2 - 3 times as long to do their first install. 

I am very interested in a high topped vanagon, The scarcity of supply has me considering  buying a tintop vanagon and adding a high top or buying a westy and replacing the pop top with a high top,

Buying a tintop vanagon and adding a high top to it is a VERY cost effective way to achieve  a very comfortable touring / camping vehicle.  Looking at Samba ads, I constantly see a differential in selling price between tintop vanagons and pop top westys of $8000-$10,000 - looking at  approximately the same year for each, So - buying a tintop vanagon and addimg a hightop and doing a custom interior would result in you buying a better vehicle - age, condition, engine etc than spending the same amount to buy a westy.  Check the Samba classifieds for values and prices and you'll see what I mean