If you or your loved one uses a wheelchair, you know how important it is to have a vehicle that is fully wheelchair accessible. There are several types of cars on the market, and choosing the right one can be tricky. Here are a few things to consider when buying a new wheelchair-accessible van.
Side-entry fold-out ramps
Side-entry fold-out ramps on new wheelchair accessible vans are becoming increasingly popular. They provide the most maneuverability for a wheelchair user. These ramps can be powered or manual. It is essential to know the pros and cons of each so that you can choose the right one for your vehicle and your needs. A side-entry conversion is an affordable way to improve mobility. This conversion offers a lower price than an entire floor conversion. With a side-entry ramp, a wheelchair user can pivot 360 degrees. Most models feature side rails for easy navigation. Side-entry wheelchair-accessible vans are available with power or manual fold-out ramps. Both allow for easy access to the front passenger and driver seating areas. Some vehicles may even have a lift. Choosing between a fold-out or an in-floor ramp depends on your requirements. Depending on your travel length, an in-floor ramp can suit your needs. An in-floor ramp can also offer more space for storage. A fold-out ramp has the advantages of being easy to use and durable. But, it also has its disadvantages. For example, a fold-out ramp can be noisy. When it is in use, the doorway or the sliding door must be open. Besides, if the fold-out ramp is upright stowed, it can be difficult for ambulatory passengers to enter or exit the van.
Manually operated ramp designs
If you need a wheelchair-accessible van, you have a few options. You can get a ramp that is manually or automatically operated. Manually operated wheelchair ramps are simple to use. They are usually two-piece bi-fold designs that keep the ramp out of the way while driving. However, these are typically less expensive than automatic conversions. The manual version requires a caregiver to open and close the side door. A fold-out ramp is a popular option. This type of ramp is also easily deployed or retracted. Power fold-out wheelchair ramps are the most popular of the lot. These are often installed on side entry minivans. There are several advantages to having a power ramp. First, it allows you to get in and out of your vehicle more quickly and safely. Second, it helps reduce the angle of your wheelchair ramp. Finally, it provides excellent traction in all types of weather. While a power ramp is the most convenient, it is more costly. In addition, you will need to check your ramp for rust or corrosion regularly. And if you live in a humid climate, you may be concerned that your non-slip surface will break. Automatic and in-floor ramps are also available. While they are more challenging to install, they are also more convenient.
Power-operated ramp designs
The benefits of a wheelchair-accessible van with power-operated ramps are numerous. Not only are they easier to use and require less maintenance, but they save you money on gas. Depending on the wheelchair-accessible van you own, there are several types of ramps to choose from. For example, if you have a rear-entry van, you must consider a rear-entry or side-entry ramp. Side-entry ramps are great if you want extra room to maneuver your wheelchair. Power-operated ramps are the most popular of all of the options. These ramps are also the most convenient and functional. They can fold out of the way, making them easy to store. In-floor ramps are also a popular option. They are usually stored under the floor of the vehicle. However, these are the most expensive. Automatic fold-out ramps are also a standard option. A button can operate on the dash or with the help of a caregiver. Some of them even come with handrails. If you are a traveler who has to load and unload your van, you might be interested in a fold-out ramp to be stored upright on your door. These are the least likely to need maintenance. Alternatively, you might be interested in a power-operated slide-out ramp stowed underneath the floor. This one is more challenging to operate than the manual option.
Removable front seats
Removable front seats in a wheelchair-accessible van are a valuable option for those who need to be able to enter and exit the vehicle quickly. Many different types of wheelchair conversions provide this option. A certified mobility consultant can help you decide the best suits your needs. Most wheelchair-accessible vans have an L-Track system that provides straps that can be locked. This makes it easier to secure the ramp when the van is in use. It also helps to eliminate the stress that would be placed on the suspension. Having a side-entry conversion allows wheelchair users to ride up front in a comfortable, spacious interior. If you want additional seating, you can install fold-out seats or a seat that can be slid into the middle row. When you choose a wheelchair-accessible van, you will need to consider your child’s growth and condition. This is important because it is difficult to adjust a van that has yet to be fully adapted. Make sure you ask your mobility consultant about changes that may be made to your van in the future.