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From High Top to Long Wheelbase: Van Dimensions, Explained

In addition to fuel efficiency and manoeuvrability, the size of a van is an important consideration, especially if you operate in congested urban areas or need to transport a lot of products. The size you choose ultimately comes down to your profession, so it helps to know what you’re getting into.

With so many different options available on the market and plenty of jargon to sift through, selecting the ideal van for you and your company is crucial.

There’re a lot of different codes and terms when it comes to van dimensions that can be hard to understand if you’re not part of the van industry. But, we’re here to help.

We’ve complied all the most common van dimension codes and terms with a simple description to help you expand your van knowledge.

Common Van Dimension Queries

What Does L1, L2, L3 and L4 Mean?

The van’s length is indicated using L codes. It simply informs us of the van’s relative length for that particular brand. Depending on the manufacturer, the actual length varies. The codes typically stand for short length (L1), medium length (L2), long length (L3), and extra-long or maximum length (L4).

What Are H1, H2, and H3 Codes?

The letters represent regular roof (H1), high roof (H2), and super-high roof (H3). These codes are almost universally used by brands. However, each brand uses a different set of dimensions for each code.

Think of the Fiat Ducato (pictured), Citroen Relay and MAN TGE for example. Each one is available in a combination of lengths and heights depending on your needs.

What is a High Top?

The most common van heights are H1, H2, and H3, with a typical roof measured as H1. An H3 is regarded as a super high top, whereas an H2 is regarded as a high top. A high top (thus the H2) typically stands about 190 cm tall, or 75″ on the inside.

What is a Bulkhead in a Van?

In a van, the bulkhead is the wall separating the cargo compartment from the seats for the driver and passenger. Sometimes known as ‘a partition’, a bulkhead is a solid, form-fitting wall. It should be made to fit snugly against the van’s bottom, sides, and top.

A van bulkhead mirrors the interior of the vehicle to provide a tight fit. It is stiff and extremely sturdy. Steel or wire mesh are just two examples of the materials used to construct a van bulkhead.

What Does Wheelbase Mean?

The distance between the front and rear wheel centres is determined by a vehicle’s wheelbase. As a result, it is less than the length of the car when measured from front to back.

Most of the time, van designers employ a long wheelbase to make the interior of the vehicle feel like one giant box, free of any obstacles such as wheel arches. The designers can then make the most of the space available for both people and goods.

What is Maximum Floor Surface?

The estimated maximum floor area of the van is another great measurement to take into account because it will show you how much you can build, fit, or transfer inside the vehicle.

This space is measured as maximum floor surface and, as its name implies, accounts for the total usable floor space in the van. This measurement is especially important to those looking to fit their vans with racking, as you’ll need to be mindful of how much space is free for tools, equipment, goods, etc.

Find the Perfect Van for You With Vanzone

Here at Vanzone, we have a wide range of vans of all sizes to fit you and your needs. Each member of our staff is a van expert who can offer you personalised guidance on your upcoming van purchase.

Explore our website to browse our variety of vans and finance options today, or get in touch for some personalised advice.

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