When we were considering how to turn our tin-top Vanagon Syncro into the ultimate road tripping machine, we spent a lot of time looking at different options that would give us more living space. In particular we required the ability to stand up in our kitchen. Because Chimera is one of the rarest of the Vanagon Syncros, a sunroof Syncro, it already contained the huge hole in the roof necessary to fulfill this requirement.
We, however, wanted more. We wanted protection from the elements and swarms of mosquitos that we will be sure to encounter on our journey south. For this, there are really only two options. The first is to put a hard top on the roof. As the name suggests, a hard top is a hard, usually fiberglass, shell that is glued to the roof to provide additional interior height along the length of the van. This option was dreamed about, but was dismissed due to the seemingly exorbitant cost from the only Vanagon hard top provider in North America. In hindsight, the prices are quite reasonable.