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Thread: Recommendations for new wheelchair van

  1. #1
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    Recommendations for new wheelchair van

    I totaled my Dodge Caravan 2002 wheelchair van the day before Thanksgiving. Snow, ice, lost control and crashed head on into oncoming vehicle. Luckily everyone going slow because of road conditions, so no serious injuries. That being said, I need a new vehicle ASAP. I would like a newer model. I am a paraplegic and use a manual wheelchair. I need both driver and passenger seats adjustable for transfers. Anyone have experience with in floor ramps? I need the lowest ramp grade possible. Any suggestions/ comments/ advice would be most appreciated. Thank you.

  2. #2
    I'm very satisfied with my 2010 Honda Odyssey, VMI conversion with in floor ramp. I think you'll find many used conversion packages will include the automatic kneel feature that provides a very low ramp grade. Also like the rubberized flooring instead of carpet. It is very easy to clean and mop up and I think the van will wear out before the floor.

    Glad no one was seriously injured. Only driven in snow and ice a few times. It can be very scary!

    All the best,
    GJ

  3. #3
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    Thank you for your prompt reply, GJ. It was very helpful. There is a Honda Odyssey conversion van similar to yours for sale at a local dealers. I will check it out.

  4. #4
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    have you considered a car? Less moving parts is always a plus.
    Rollin' since '89. Complete C8

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crappler View Post
    have you considered a car? Less moving parts is always a plus.
    Yes, I used to have a Saab that I loved, but now, with rods almost the entire length of my spine, I find that twisting, lifting, and bending, along with balance issues, make breaking the chair down and lifting it and wheels into the car problematic.

  6. #6
    Try them all out and see what you fit into best.

    I hope the ins co paid you for all your adaptive equipment.

    Sometimes its hard to get them to pay for everything.

    In the past we've gotten the ins co to pay more than double what was first offered.

    We've also had insurance companies pay us to repair wheelchair vans other body shops were unable to repair.



    Jim
    Jim, MA, MMET
    Bridgewater, MA

  7. #7
    I have a 2014 Honda Odyssey with a BraunAbility conversion. The fold out ramp is noticeably steeper than my 2005 Toyota Sienna with an IMS conversion and a fold out ramp. I could manage the Toyota ramp in a manual wheelchair but would not attempt it in my Honda. I now use a power chair that works okay getting in/out of the Honda.
    You will find a guide to preserving shoulder function @
    http://www.rstce.pitt.edu/RSTCE_Reso...imb_Injury.pdf

    See my personal webpage @
    http://cccforum55.freehostia.com/

  8. #8
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    The only problem I have with my in-floor ramp is the last 25 or 30 cm is steeper than the rest of the ramp, and if I have to park in a spot that the ground slopes away from the van, that last bit can be treacherous.
    Don - Grad Student Emeritus
    T3 ASIA A 26 years post injury

  9. #9
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    Thank you, Jim, for your suggestions regarding insurance coverage. I will look into that.

  10. #10
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    The steepness of the ramp is very important to me. Thanks for the heads up. The local dealer has a Sienna for me to try.

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