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Thread: Purchasing new van

  1. #51
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    So. California
    Posts
    1,063
    I am sooooo sick of my son's Braun ramp!!! His van is a Chevy Uplander (really decent looking van that is no longer being made) it's a 2005 and he bought it new. He is in and out of the van several times a day, so I am guessing that has been part of the problem - the ramp and door are just worn out! Next time, which will be soon, we will look at the VMI set up. We need to put some serious $$$$ into the current set up, or just dump the whole thing and get a new van. Looking at the Honda Odyssey - super $$$$$$ tho.

  2. #52
    Quote Originally Posted by TJT View Post
    Thanks for paving the way with your discussion. I am only 20 months into this quadriplegic adventure and wasted a year looking for a van that doesn't exist. I'n my power chair I was too tall. Now I have to remove the lift (expensive) from my chair to get my head height under 57".
    The Dodge looks better because you can get the fancy options without having a sun roof (Honda). That sunroof adds 1 1/2". Now I have to choose vmi vs Braun. The XT sounds great and isn't available with vmi. I would like a floor ramp but it sounds like trouble. I've heard to stay away from Bauns in floor so I guess I need the side lifting unit.
    Any new comments?
    What is your current seated height?

    You can get a Amerivan mobility van done on a VW Routan or a Dodge Caravan. As i recall the Amerivan conversion has a little more headroom than the braun.

    Let me know if you want some real world measurements and or want to come to MA to get in one it's only a 3000mi drive.

    Seriously let me know if you need any measurements we have a VW (with a sunroof) getting a Amerivan conversion that we should have in the next week or two. We also have New Honda Northstars with and without sunroofs

    According to Amerivans specs for the Dodge they have 57.5" of head room at the driver or passengers position and 53.5 going through the door.

    The VMI Northstar (in-floor ramp) specs are 57.25" at the driver or passengers position and 55 going through the door.

    These measurements are without the factory sunroof.

    We have been doing VMI Norhstar conversions since they came out in the early 90's. imho: I don't think the In-flooor conversion has required any more service or parts replaced than a folding ramp conversion.

    Another option would be to put a aftermarket sunroof in a van.

    Before i started doing mobility vans (around 30 years ago) I did sunroofs & T-tops. Once we put a sunroof in off center in a car to give the customer more head room, while it looked funny from the outside the customer loved the extra 2-3" of room he got.

    You haven't mentioned full size vans at all. Depending on your seated height a Nor-Cal conversion in a full size for might work. I can get real world measurements for one of these too (we have one in the shop getting outfitted with high-Tech Quad driver equipment)
    Jim, MA, MMET
    Bridgewater, MA

  3. #53
    Quote Originally Posted by Mombo View Post
    I am sooooo sick of my son's Braun ramp!!! His van is a Chevy Uplander (really decent looking van that is no longer being made) it's a 2005 and he bought it new. He is in and out of the van several times a day, so I am guessing that has been part of the problem - the ramp and door are just worn out! Next time, which will be soon, we will look at the VMI set up. We need to put some serious $$$$ into the current set up, or just dump the whole thing and get a new van. Looking at the Honda Odyssey - super $$$$$$ tho.
    The Chevy Uplander was never all that popular on the east coast, but the few we sold have been holding up really well.

    Regular maintenance is always your best bet at keeping the whole system from becoming completely worn out. Iv'e seen this more times than i care to remember, little to no maintenance for 3-5 years then many of the components are worn out making for an expensive repair.

    imho: The Honda VMI Northstar is the best and safest mobility van ever built.

    Depending on how many miles are on your Chevy Uplander and the vans overall condition it should make for a nice down payment on a new or newer Mobility van.
    Jim, MA, MMET
    Bridgewater, MA

  4. #54
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    So. California
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    1,063
    We kept up on the maintenance of the van and all the bells and whistles. The van only has 67,000 miles on it. We've had issues with the door, ramp, Back Flip, EZ Lock, etc. The actual Uplander has been great NO issues at all.

  5. #55
    Quote Originally Posted by Mombo View Post
    We kept up on the maintenance of the van and all the bells and whistles. The van only has 67,000 miles on it. We've had issues with the door, ramp, Back Flip, EZ Lock, etc. The actual Uplander has been great NO issues at all.
    What is a back flip?

    What problems did you have with the Ez-lock?

    In the past 25 years and hundreds of installations i've seen very few problems with Ez-locks. I've seen customers wear them out in as little as 4-6 years, while others still look new at year 7 and we've had maybe 5-6 require replacement modules (a few of these were from someone putting a new battery in backwards)
    Jim, MA, MMET
    Bridgewater, MA

  6. #56
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    So. California
    Posts
    1,063
    The Bakk Flip is a piece of equipment (Sweden) that is installed behind the driver. It helps protect someone who drives from a wheelchair. The EZ Lock issues we have had is that the automatic release stops working (often) so he has to manually release it which isn't very easy since he is a quad. He usually always has a metal rod in the front seat area so that he can reach down under his chair and push the release lever. There have been times where he has been stuck and had to ask strangers to help him. We have replaced parts, re-wired the system, etc. SICK OF IT! SICK OF ALL OF IT!!

  7. #57
    Quote Originally Posted by Mombo View Post
    The Bakk Flip is a piece of equipment (Sweden) that is installed behind the driver. It helps protect someone who drives from a wheelchair. The EZ Lock issues we have had is that the automatic release stops working (often) so he has to manually release it which isn't very easy since he is a quad. He usually always has a metal rod in the front seat area so that he can reach down under his chair and push the release lever. There have been times where he has been stuck and had to ask strangers to help him. We have replaced parts, re-wired the system, etc. SICK OF IT! SICK OF ALL OF IT!!
    I should had googled Bakk Flip, someone sent me pictures of one of those a while ago.

    I get it you have a old worn out van and your sick of it.

    The Ez-Lock problem could be a few things.

    Does he have anti tip hardware?

    Did you know Ez-Lock makes a remote mounted manual override?

    What dose it do when it doesn't work? Does it click and not release or is there no click and it does nothing?

    If you want send me some close up pictures of the Ez-lock maybe i'll see something wrong with it.

    sales@bridgewatermobility.com
    Jim, MA, MMET
    Bridgewater, MA

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