Here is one advantage to having a low top van. I was able to park it in a friends parking garage in LA when we were visiting California this spring (2018). Unfortunately, most parking garages are still too short especially now that the van has been lifted and has solar on the roof.
There is a saying in the #vanlife world. “You can live in your van or out of your van.” My original intent was that we would be living out of the van and mostly just spend time in it when sleeping. That didn’t exactly work out how I had intended. We spend much more time than I had expected cooking inside, working there, and hanging out inside to escape bugs. Still, besides having to put my pants on bent in half, I haven’t missed having a hightop. The way the van is set up on the inside almost everything can be done from the sitting position including cooking.
Some nice advantages to having a low top van are that it is more stealthy. That is, it looks more like a contractor’s panel van than a camper. This is handy if you are sleeping somewhere that you aren’t supposed to. The low top also allows for more square footage on the roof. This means that more solar can be fit on the roof than some other vans.
For now the low top van works great, but I wonder about 15 years from now. Will I still be flexible enough to get my pants on?