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Thread: Purchasing new van

  1. #1

    Purchasing new van

    I'm in the process of picking out a new van to purchase. Based on looks alone I am thinking of getting a Chrysler Town & Country with a Braun fold out ramp. I was wondering what kind of experience others have had with Braun. For the past 7 years I have been driving a Dodge Caravan with VMI in floor ramp and it has been nothing but problems I'm hoping to have a little better luck with this new van. My local dealer sells Braun, VMI & I said before based on looks alone I choose Braun. I just want it to perform as well as it looks Any input or suggestions would be great in helping me make a decision!!
    Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get.

  2. #2
    Honestly i don't know the options but my Braun is a heap of headaches. I live a long way from a dealer so everything is exacerbated but stupid little problems like a broken wire causing the ramp to open inconsistently turns into 6 months of attempts. Winter in Colorado is not the time to be hanging with kids hoping it's going to work. Maybe they all do that but i'm a year into empty promises from Braun with no resolution and fewer call backs. Good luck and enjoy a new ride.
    "...the most reliable and useful courage was that which arises from the fair estimation of the encountered peril..." Herman Melville: Moby Dick

  3. #3
    Yikes! What year is your van?

    I guess one advantage is I'm only about 15 minutes to the dealer and they have rentals I could use in the meantime. Like I've said before tho my last 7 years have been nothing but problems...I'm used to it yes..but was really looking forward to getting something new & not having problems every other week!
    Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Whately, MA United States
    Blog Entries
    My newer VMI in-floor (in a 2008 Grand Caravan) had one small problem that took about 1 hour for the techs to diagnose and adjust in over 18 months of ownership. That includes a New England winter. I think that the Braun has gotten better, but the one I had in my 2002 Grand Caravan never closed the door completely, and the rattling of the folding ramp drove me nuts.
    Don - Grad Student Emeritus
    T3 ASIA A 26 years post injury

  5. #5
    mines been great, its vmi, it does do goofy stuff sometimes, but has never all out failed in any way, but braun bought out vmi.....they say it will get out of sync because of the electric door not being part of the system, its factory.......knock on wood!!!

  6. #6
    I deal with wheelchair vans as a side business, and all the ramps are a pain in the ass. My preference is the Braun fold-out style as I like to be able to visually assess the ramp - and have debris, etc removed. For anyone who rides as a passenger with someone else driving I'd recommend getting a side-entry manual ramp. The power option is way more trouble than it's worth.

  7. #7
    I have an older (1998) Plymouth Voyager with a Braun side entry power fold-old out and have had only one problem in all this time. The place who replaced my motor (they work on all conversions)said Braun is the best. They also say that every Braun conversion has a serial # and can be looked up in a directory and see all of the info on that conversion since it was installed. This helps them with part #'s etc. We bought ours used and it's not a problem wherever we need to go we can be assured they'd be able to get the info they need for repairs.

  8. #8
    My one year old van is a 2010 Honda Odyssey with a VMI in-floor ramp and factory power doors on both sides of the van (Ramp access is from the passenger side of the van). My previous van was a Ford Windstar with an IMS (Independent Mobility Systems-I don't think they are in business any longer?) with a fold out ramp. I had lots of problems with the fold out ramp cable system (I don't think the cables are used much any more) and it ALWAYS rattled.

    I am very pleased with the Honda and the conversion. There is good insulation from road noise and the equipment is quiet. I like not having the ramp in the way of the door, even though the fold out ramp I had could open out of the way if the ramp was not deployed. That part of the conversion was a nightmare if you didn't get the ramp docked just right before trying to deploy the ramp.

    All the best,

  9. #9
    Senior Member GJ2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Royal Palm Beach , FL
    i have a rollx van, its been great and there customer service is great. oh ya they come to your house to do service work which i think is the best part.... i have an in the floor ramp. but think id rather have the folder to visually inspect if i had any issues ....ive never had to wait more than 24 hrs to get a tech to my home .....

  10. #10
    Thank you everyone for replying!!! My first was a in-floor ramp & since that was a majority of my problems that is why I'm going for the fold-up kind. I really hope the rattling isn't too would think they would think of something for that by now!

    I love the feedback keep it coming!!!
    Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get.

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