The Roof

Yes, our van came with a high top roof already, but unfortunately, the floor was higher than normal (since it was a wheel chair van) so neither of us could fully stand. This is something we debated a while before coming to the conclusion that we wanted to be able to stand. We researched a lot of ways to do this and decided on making our own roof (buying a custom one was out of our budget).

Originally, we were going to make a pop top camper roof for the van (so we bought a bunch a materials) and ended up changing our minds. We figured since Ryan is so handy, he will just throw a roof together on his own (like it’s so easy right..). NOT. It took a very long time.

We took all of the screws off on the inside and started to take the roof off. Here is where we ran into problems. We assumed the roof was in one piece.. it was not.. it was in 3. The bottom shell, the top shell, and a welded metal cage in between to support the roof.

This was super frustrating and it took us a few days of brainstorming before Ryan came up with our plan going forward. We weren’t going to compromise on standing in our van. Therefore, he had to cut the welded bars off of the van.

Once Ryan cut the welded cage off, we spent an entire weekend trying to cut the top off. Of course, we had to do this on the hottest weekend ever.. ugh! But, we finally got the entire roof off. We used some glue softening spray and little by little using a knife and a crowbar we were able to peel the glue off. Our convertible van sat in the backyard for a while and I’m sure our neighbors were wondering what was going on but that’s okay 🙂

The next step was for Ryan to start welding new metal beams to be the support for our new roof. This took a while, and with the new metal cage being very tall, we couldn’t fit the van inside anywhere. Therefore, every time it rained (or we thought it was going to rain), we had to cover it with a tarp. After that, he was able to cut and place metal sheets to make them fit into the open spots. Thank goodness he is handy (and a welder), so he welded all the metal sheets together to make our new roof (keep reading.. it will look better at the end I promise).

After putting the roof all together, the next steps were cutting holes for the sky light window and the vent fan. After installing those, we had to make sure the whole roof was leak proof. We used caulk to seal all the bolts and spots that weren’t welded. After a few days of hard rain and no leaks, we decided we were finally done with the roof. Below is a pricing list of the things we used.


Metal Sheets and Metal Framing$663.57
Metal RV Roof Prime$37.24
Metal RV Roof Coating$42.66
Coating Ready Cover Tape$42.06
Maxx Air 00-07500K MaxxFan Deluxe with Remote – Smoke$347.98
SIBE-R Plastic Supply 24″ x 48″ x 1/4″ (6 mm) Polycarbonate Clear Plastic Sheet$66.35

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