Custom Handicap Conversion Vans
Would a Full-Sized Wheelchair Conversion Van Fit Your Needs?
Wheelchair minivans are not for everyone. In the general new and used wheelchair conversions vans market, and even more so in the accessible market, minivans have become the most frequent choice of most people. However, after many years of minivans increasing market share, it appears that the market has stabilized and there has been a new resurgence in the demand for full-size wheelchair conversion vans.
One of the many full size wheelchair vans conversions may be right for you if:
- You have a large family
- You travel by car frequently
- You are particularly tall or large
- Or you travel with specialty equipment and accessories
If any of those profiles fit you, then one of our full-size custom conversion vans might very well be an option you want to consider. Let’s face it, the advantage that full size conversion vans for the disabled have over their smaller cousins is size. The more important that size and space are to you, the more likely a full-size handicap conversion van will be the right vehicle for you.
Understanding handicap conversion vans and the options that are available will take a little time and research. We have summarized below some of the items you’ll want to take into account when researching and considering a full-size van for the disabled.
The wheelchair accessible vehicle platform.
- Ford: E250 and E350, Chevrolet: Express 2500 and 3500, GMC: Savannah 2500 and 3500
- Chassis considerations include overall space available, drive system, and ease/expense to convert for your needs.
- Cost: $20,000 – $30,000
Customizing for comfort and practicality.
- Options include premium seating, leather, wood grain panels and accents, TV, DVD, VCR, stereo, sofa-beds and various travel comfort features.
- Mobility van conversions are available ranging from basic amenities to all-out luxury. The type of use, number of passengers, budget and other lifestyle considerations must be evaluated.
- Cost: $5,500 – $19,000
Accessible Van Conversion
Managing the disability.
- Options include lowered floor for the center, passenger or driver, raised roof, raised doors, lifts and adaptive driving aids.
- Considerations: Do you want to keep this vehicle in a garage? What size is the person in the wheelchair? Is this for an adaptive driver or are you transporting someone? Many other important decisions must be made in order to get the right solution.
- Cost: $5,500 – $20,000
Pre-Converted Vans vs. Custom Conversion Vans
Determining budget and quality.
- Pre-converted vans reduce the cost of interior removal and reinstallation.
- Custom wheelchair van conversions allow for just the modifications you want.
- If you are looking to fill a temporary mobility need, VCI Mobility also offers wheelchair conversion van rentals.
Space and dimensions are extremely important when trying to make wheelchair vans accessible, and there are several key dimensions to consider:
- Is the entrance tall enough for the person to enter while seated in his or her chair?
- What kind of headroom will the person have once inside the vehicle?
- How many and what kind of seats can be used while the wheelchair is secured in the vehicle?
- If the person is driving from the wheelchair, what is their field of vision while seated in their chair?
In many, if not most cases, structural modifications must be made to a van to make it work for the customer.
Three modifications are typically used on their own or together to optimize performance.
- Raised Roof: To raise the roof of a van, the original roof is first removed. A new fiberglass top and a steel support cage are then installed. The interior of the roof is finished to match the interior of the van and the outside is painted to match. A raised roof modification is also often done to custom conversion vans where there is no need to accommodate a disability, just a TV and/or perhaps some additional headroom. In the case of a person who is in a wheelchair, this space is often required to provide the bare minimum in headroom.
- Raised Doors: Doors are raised in conjunction with a roof to enable a person, while seated in a wheelchair, to enter the vehicle without having to bend over or tilt back in the wheelchair. A raised door provides additional clear entry height of 56”-64.
- Lowered Floor: Floors are lowered for the same reason as a roof and/or a door(s) are raised. By lowering the floor of a vehicle, you can often add the additional height/headroom necessary without having to raise the roof and/or doors. Lowered floors work great in situations where handicap conversion vans will be kept in a garage, as a raised roof would otherwise make the vehicle too high. Also, a lowered floor can be used in conjunction with a raised roof and doors to work for a very tall individual.
|Dimension*||Standard Roof||Raised Roof||Raised Roof with Raised Doors||Standard Roof with Lowered Floor||Raised Roof with Lowered Floor||Raised Roof with Raised Doors and Lowered Floor|
|Door Opening Height||48″||48″||56″ – 64″||52″ – 54″||52″ – 57″||58″ – 70″|
|Interior Headroom (Center, drivers area)||52″||60″ – 65″||60″ – 65″||65″ – 58″||64″ – 66″||64″ – 66″|
|Overall Height of Vehicle||81″ – 84″||95″ – 101″||95″ – 101″||81″ – 84″||95″ – 101″||95″ – 101″|
|Price of Modification||$0||$2,500 – $3,500||$3,500 – $6,500||$4,995 – $14,000||$7,500 – $17,000||$10,500 – $20,000|
*All dimensions are for a Ford E-Series.
Are you looking for handicap conversion van parts? Visit our wheelchair van equipment section to find what you are looking for.