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Thread: Full Size to Mini Van?

  1. #1

    Question Full Size to Mini Van?

    I drive a 98 Ford Econoline with Braun swing away lift, ez lock

    I'll be purchasing a new vehicle and am not thrilled with ramp access as living in an urban area there is limited sidewalk space to deploy and get out.
    I'd like to hear from those that have gone from full size to smaller, pro's cons's and photos if you have. Thanks in advance.
    Get involved in politics as if your life depended on it, because it does. -- Justin Dart

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  2. #2
    pros are they are easy to manage on road..

    they fit into more garages

    less gas

    and they can fold down onto a side walk if there is not enough space to park in designated spot with access aisle

    Cons are and this is a biggie--they are, even with kneel down..harder to get into..I have to go in backwards..and sometimes I still get a little spooked..this is only in MANUAL chair obv.

    the floor is lowered..so you have to be careful when going over bumps and hills..so as not to damage the underbelly.

    don;t get a sunroof..they leak like crazy!

    All around I am happier though.
    "The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same.” ~Carlos Castaneda

  3. #3
    Senior Member brucec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sherocksandsherolls View Post
    pros are they are easy to manage on road..

    they fit into more garages

    less gas

    and they can fold down onto a side walk if there is not enough space to park in designated spot with access aisle

    Cons are and this is a biggie--they are, even with kneel down..harder to get into..I have to go in backwards..and sometimes I still get a little spooked..this is only in MANUAL chair obv.

    the floor is lowered..so you have to be careful when going over bumps and hills..so as not to damage the underbelly.

    don;t get a sunroof..they leak like crazy!

    All around I am happier though.
    yep, i'm in the same boat as liz, i've had a 1978 e150, 1990 e150, 1997 e150 and now a 2005 e150 with vangater.

    tired of the gas mileage with the big van, those ramps scare me when i think of all the uneven places i park, etc, and the low underneath scares me also.
    since the floor is lowered i assume the drivers seat area is not, so would i need a up/down type drivers seat? now i just have a manual swivel seat i hop into.

    anything anyone else could add to this discussion would be great
    bruce
    We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.
    Ronald Reagan

  4. #4
    Senior Member brucec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brucec View Post
    yep, i'm in the same boat as liz, i've had a 1978 e150, 1990 e150, 1997 e150 and now a 2005 e150 with vangater.

    tired of the gas mileage with the big van, those ramps scare me when i think of all the uneven places i park, etc, and the low underneath scares me also.
    since the floor is lowered i assume the drivers seat area is not, so would i need a up/down type drivers seat? now i just have a manual swivel seat i hop into.

    anything anyone else could add to this discussion would be great
    bruce
    and seems like most of the minivans I see have a big compartment area between the two front seats, how do you swing your legs between the front seats?
    We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.
    Ronald Reagan

  5. #5
    I'd be driving from my chair too...and maybe want the option of being a passenger once in awhile?
    Get involved in politics as if your life depended on it, because it does. -- Justin Dart

    I shall not tolerate ignorance or hate speech on this site.

  6. #6
    If the van is on any type of slope; you'll have to literally grab the back of the passenger seat or seat belt and pull yourself up. If the van kneeled on both sides the ramp angle would not be near so drastic. I've pulled my wrist really bad pulling myself up the ramp when parked on any slope.

    If you have the fold down ramp rather than the under floor one, a person can get the lower portion of the fold out extended and that makes less of an angle to go up. Several quads in my area have done it and makes all the difference for them.

    I'd really like to see a mini van with lowered floor and a small lift of somekind. Would be ideal.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Madsen View Post
    If the van is on any type of slope; you'll have to literally grab the back of the passenger seat or seat belt and pull yourself up. If the van kneeled on both sides the ramp angle would not be near so drastic. I've pulled my wrist really bad pulling myself up the ramp when parked on any slope.

    If you have the fold down ramp rather than the under floor one, a person can get the lower portion of the fold out extended and that makes less of an angle to go up. Several quads in my area have done it and makes all the difference for them.

    I'd really like to see a mini van with lowered floor and a small lift of somekind. Would be ideal.
    I need to look into that extension..as if it rains for example...and wheels are wet..it is hard to roll backward into van without hydrosliding..but the extra room needed to exit..with extended ramp would be an issue.

    mine has up and down seat and swivel..just go to dealer and try them out and see if you can deal..the space between the seat is removed so legs can swing around with you.
    Last edited by sherocksandsherolls; 02-27-2012 at 12:00 PM.
    "The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same.” ~Carlos Castaneda

  8. #8

    mini is better

    I've had both types and the mini van kills the big van. The gas is obvious now days. I had a swing lift on my big van and it was nice in tight spaces but it was inoperable all the time. The cylinders and switches were always not working and I would get stuck in or out all the time. With the mini one motor folds the ramp out and if that stops working I can do it manually myself or ask somebody walking by. It allows you to get into parking garages. The ramp also acts like a bridge to reach a sidewalk when parking along the street. The driver and passenger seat is removable and all the normal controls are there for somebody else to drive. The new trucks are really neat by GoShichi if you want the entry to be like the swing lift.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by brucec View Post
    yep, i'm in the same boat as liz, i've had a 1978 e150, 1990 e150, 1997 e150 and now a 2005 e150 with vangater.

    tired of the gas mileage with the big van, those ramps scare me when i think of all the uneven places i park, etc, and the low underneath scares me also.
    since the floor is lowered i assume the drivers seat area is not, so would i need a up/down type drivers seat? now i just have a manual swivel seat i hop into.

    anything anyone else could add to this discussion would be great
    bruce
    bruce its been a while since i looked at them but im pretty sure the ones i looked at had the hole floor cut out from the back seat forward and it had a transfer seat in it that came back and swiveled and went up or down it was real easy getting onto the seat getting up the ramp was kinda tricky as pat said but if i was to get one id get the mini unless u have a lot of towing and stuff but even from looking at the pics of the interior at on there website it looks all cut heres the place near me that i went to

    unitedaccess.com

    im realclose to getting one myself but like the rest of yall im worried about the lowered floor dragging and the arking
    to alcohol the cause of-and solution to-all of lifes problems [homer simpson]

  10. #10
    I have never owned a mini van but I see a comments here about a mini van being able to park on a curb as the lift extends out; I do this with my full size van also, it simply lands on the curb. Maybe the comments were from those using the old swing out lifts, which that could be an issue if they didn't land flat.
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