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Thread: From a Van to a Small Car

  1. #1

    From a Van to a Small Car

    So I went fulltime rigid chair this year after being told for so many years I belonged in a power chair. It's been a challenge, but I haven't looked back..Anyways, the issue at hand is we have a Dodge Grand Caravan with a Rear Entry pullout ramp and now we would like to go for a more economy car. Something that's reliable, not problematic, and good with gas. Can anyone recommend anything of this sort that would fit my chair? My zra is 16x16 w/short tabs 4 deg camber.

  2. #2
    Are you looking for a car that will enable you to drive and put the chair in-out by yourself or are you just concerned with transporting it?
    You will find a guide to preserving shoulder function @

    See my personal webpage @

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Orlando, FL
    What's your injury level? And are you looking buy new? And how much?

    Plus, go American, they all seem to have good programs to help with conversions.
    Rollin' since '89. Complete C8

  4. #4
    Sorry, I should have added that. I don't drive (just turned 20, soon though) the van that we have is my moms car that was modified. We are just looking for a smaller car that we can put my zra in the back.

  5. #5
    Senior Member ~Lin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Indianapolis, IN
    I own a station wagon, ford escort. I love that my chair fits in the back without needing to be broken down. Just remove the cushion and fold the back and it fits with the wheels on. I only have to break it down if I'm alone without someone to load it for me. And it's nice unloading the chair from the back and not having to worry about space next to the car like when it's broken down in the passenger seat.
    Board Member of Assistance Dog Advocacy Project working in Education. Feel free to ask me any service dog questions!

    I am not paralyzed. I have a genetic connective tissue disorder with neuro complications and a movement disorder.

  6. #6
    If that ZRA has a folding back and pop off wheels, it will fit into a lot of cars either on the back seat or trunk. However, your transfers are likely to be the bigger problem. How do you transfer? Small cars often have smaller doors. Getting in position and close to the car are the problem.
    You will find a guide to preserving shoulder function @

    See my personal webpage @

  7. #7
    I would consider something like a Scion or a Nissan Cube which allows the chair to be put in back without dis-assembly - these are the same price as a car but easier for transport -
    make sure that
    1) You can transfer in
    2) your mom can put the chair in back

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Icarus - is the Cube actually big enough? I looked at one at a car show, but it didn't seem quite big enough (I didn't actually try putting my chair in). Very comfy seats!

    The Honda Element fits a chair in the back - they're out of production but are available used.

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