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Thread: Need some advice re full size vans

  1. #1

    Need some advice re full size vans

    We have a Ford 150 full size van which we bought almost almost 2 yrs ago and had a lift installed out the rear. It's a 9 yr old van and now that our son has his power chair, realize we need to get something better. My husband is against a drop down floor but I feel by just raising the roof, my son still won't be able to see properly out a window unless constantly tilted. Now we're getting some info on the Dodge Sprinter as it may serve all our needs. Anyone have any opinions on this topic. My son is now 15 and man-size. This is still a learning process for us with sci.

  2. #2
    I have a Ford F-150 full size 20 years old with a drop floor about 4 to 6 inches & I cannot see very much so a raised roof would be less to see. I think a Dodge Sprinter could be better I've seen some with windows all the way around it. I think there is someone here ccc that has one?

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Does your son plan on driving?

    What is his level of function?

    A lowered floor is the optimum choice in my opinion when it comes to the Ford vans.

    Those Sprinter vans are nice but if your son plans on driving from his chair, it could be a problem. There are a ton of what looks to be electrical controls under the drivers seat. I'm not sure if they can be relocated. I'd check in to that. But if your son isn't going to drive, the Sprinter would be a great choice.

  4. #4
    A dropped floor works for me and I'm taller waist up. But if the drivers are going to be switching between disabled/regular driver...I can understand the husband's point of view. I drive this thing just fine.

    As a passenger only ... the roof adds nothing for visibility. My first van was a Dodge panel van. I sat behind the driver and saw nothing except through the windshield.

    I'd certainly like to get the mileage a diesel Sprinter gets, but parking decks are generally a no go. I've only seen a couple of parking decks my Ford can clear.

  5. #5
    Check the cost, is a raised roof much cheaper than a lowered floor? Cost would be the only benefit I see in a raised roof. With a lowered floor he not only can see, it is possible to park in a parking ramp if necessary, where a raised roof may not be able too.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    You might want to check out the new Ford Transit vehicle too.

  7. #7
    If your son will be driving from his chair get a Ford and drop the floor at time of purchase. Modifiers do not like to drop floors in used vehicles as the rust interferes with welding. Modifiers have not yet been able to install 6 way power seats in Sprinters due to the spaghetti nest of wires under the driver seat. If your son will be a passenger only you can buy a Sprinter and spare the expense of a dropped floor. If you are unsure about your son's ability to drive get a driver's evaluation from a company which specializes in evaluating and training disabled drivers. Your local voc rehab office should be able to identify a company. Their report will include all the recommended equipment/modifications needed.

  8. #8
    Senior Member reedyd's Avatar
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    I am 6'2'' and drive a 88 E150 it has the floor lowered 6 inches. I can see ok when driving but not if behind the driver seat riding.

    I would see a Van modification specialist for ideas

    David

  9. #9
    ford transit connect is only available as work truck in 2010 and is very small at that.

  10. #10
    I'm 6'2 and could never see much when in a full size van. My last full size was a Ford with a raised roof and a lowered floor (4 inches). I still couldn't see all I wanted, mainly because I sat behind the driver. Then, I switched to a Dodge Caravan (mini van), uses a ramp, no lift. This allowed me to sit beside the driver, which gives GREAT visibility. I currently have a Pontiac Montana and love it. Check out http://www.braunability.com/

    Chuck

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