What to Consider: Wheelchair Van Conversion Styles

There are several wheelchair van conversion styles you’ll want to consider when choosing the right mobility solution for you. This section provides important information and considerations for each:

Side-Entry Vs. Rear-Entry Wheelchair Vans

One of the most important choices you’ll make in selecting a handicap accessible wheelchair van is side entry versus rear entry. Your choice will impact such things as the wheelchair seating positions, your ability to accommodate other passengers, and parking options. Side-entry wheelchair vans represent the majority of the market—over 75% for most personal use vehicles. However, rear-entry wheelchair vans are also gaining in popularity as more products become available. Take a look at some key points you’ll want to be aware of.

Side-entry wheelchair minivans
Braun Side-Entry Vehicle
Rear-entry wheelchair minivans
Viewpoint Rear-Entry Vehicle
Advantages • Enter and exit safely onto curbside away from traffic
• Drive from a wheelchair or sit in the front passenger position in a wheelchair or driver position
• More choices available
• More storage space
• Park in any parking space—no extra room required for ramp (excluding parallel parking)
• Side passenger doors aren’t blocked by a ramp
• Mid-passenger seats can be mounted next to the wheelchair position
• Great for long wheelchairs/leg rests
• Less expensive conversion
• More ground clearance
Important options • Power ramp and doors
• Power kneeling system
• In-floor or fold-up ramp (some ramps manual)
• Power ramp and doors
• Power kneeling system
• Driver swivel seats available
• Manual conversion available
Limitations • Requires handicap parking space/extra room for ramp deployment
• Some driveways aren’t wide enough to accommodate a van
• Must exit and enter from traffic area; driving from the wheelchair and/or having the wheelchair in the front passenger position isn’t possible
• Less storage space available
Conversion price $19,000-$25,000*
*Reflects cost of conversion only (vehicle cost additional).
$17,000-$22,000*
*Reflects cost of conversion only (vehicle cost additional).

In-Floor Vs. Fold-Up Wheelchair Ramps

Braun Entervan with Ramp Partially Deployed

Braun Entervan with Ramp Partially Deployed

VMI Northstar with an In-Floor Ramp

VMI Northstar with an In-Floor Ramp

Another important consideration to make is whether you’d prefer a fold-up or an in-floor wheelchair ramp in your handicap van. As their name implies, fold-up ramps fold in half and stow upright, next to the side passenger door. On the other hand, in-floor ramps slide into a pocket underneath the vehicle’s floor. People who opt for in-floor ramps prefer the ramp out of the way of the passenger entrance. Typically, fold-up ramps tend to be less expensive and easier to maintain, and they present a lower ramp angle. In-floor and fold-up wheelchair ramps are available in a wide range of handicap minivan conversions.

Power Wheelchair Ramps and Doors

Handicap van conversions with power wheelchair ramps and doors are the most popular because of their ease and convenience. However, manual conversions are also popular because they cost less both to purchase and to maintain. Power conversions also typically have a kneeling feature that reduces the angle or steepness of the wheelchair ramp. By compressing the suspension, the floor of the van lowers on the ramp side. We find that for most wheelchair users—especially those in manual wheelchairs—this angle reduction is very helpful, if not critical.

Automatic Wheelchair Docking Systems

The easier it is to secure a wheelchair for transport, the more you’ll look forward to using your wheelchair van. Automatic systems are more expensive and might require buying an additional bracket when you change wheelchairs. However, customers who chose them often say that they’d never go back to any kind of manual wheelchair tie-down system.

Garcinia Cambogia . http://xn--lnutensikkerhet-hlb.eu/ . cash house buyers