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Thread: vans- new or used

  1. #11
    Senior Member webfoot's Avatar
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    My first 15 years of quad-life I bought new full size vans and converted them like ancientgimp. Vehicle history: 75-78 - Chevrolet camper w/pop-top. Not set up for me to drive and tranny probems and poptop leaked and it limited where I could park (like in my garage). Got into wheelchair sports in '78 so I needed room for the gear - So in 1978 bought a new bare-bones panel sided Ford Econoline 150 set up so I could drive from power seat - Standard hight so I had to duck abit unless I was in chair with alot of dump or driving. 1990: A couple accidents forced me to quite driving. Always loved VWs so I got a new Volkswagen Vanagon with a basic fold out ramp. Same interior space as Econoline. 2006 - sold the Vanogon and bought a used 2003 VW Eurovan. Loved having the V6 and the room and handling. It died this summer and I needed a new van with the same room as the previous ones - tried Toyota Sienna kneeler (not enough inside space), Dodge Caravan dropped floor with powered fold out ramp (too small inside and just not my thing), Honda Odyssey kneeler w/infloor ramp - Not bad - loved the luxury interior and iPhone friendly Nav system - But like the other three I could NOT fit two full size coolers, two racing chairs and a golden retriever in it - PLUS the ground clearance on all three sucked. Constantly scraping bottom on all 3. Ended up taking a chance with a new MV-1 LX. As a coach I love the hose out interior and most of the gear fits. Excellent ground clearance and okay mileage for a truck (It has a Ford F150 V8 and 20" wheels. Nav system is not as good as Honda but that can be changed. Hate the fact that it currently does not come with a removable passenger seat. I am considering fabricating a mount myself and lobbying for the company to make one available next year. So far the biggest downside is explaining what it is every time we get gas or park it. Sorry this was so long - ginseng tea was strong today.

  2. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by webfoot View Post
    My first 15 years of quad-life I bought new full size vans and converted them like ancientgimp. Vehicle history: 75-78 - Chevrolet camper w/pop-top. Not set up for me to drive and tranny probems and poptop leaked and it limited where I could park (like in my garage). Got into wheelchair sports in '78 so I needed room for the gear - So in 1978 bought a new bare-bones panel sided Ford Econoline 150 set up so I could drive from power seat - Standard hight so I had to duck abit unless I was in chair with alot of dump or driving. 1990: A couple accidents forced me to quite driving. Always loved VWs so I got a new Volkswagen Vanagon with a basic fold out ramp. Same interior space as Econoline. 2006 - sold the Vanogon and bought a used 2003 VW Eurovan. Loved having the V6 and the room and handling. It died this summer and I needed a new van with the same room as the previous ones - tried Toyota Sienna kneeler (not enough inside space), Dodge Caravan dropped floor with powered fold out ramp (too small inside and just not my thing), Honda Odyssey kneeler w/infloor ramp - Not bad - loved the luxury interior and iPhone friendly Nav system - But like the other three I could NOT fit two full size coolers, two racing chairs and a golden retriever in it - PLUS the ground clearance on all three sucked. Constantly scraping bottom on all 3. Ended up taking a chance with a new MV-1 LX. As a coach I love the hose out interior and most of the gear fits. Excellent ground clearance and okay mileage for a truck (It has a Ford F150 V8 and 20" wheels. Nav system is not as good as Honda but that can be changed. Hate the fact that it currently does not come with a removable passenger seat. I am considering fabricating a mount myself and lobbying for the company to make one available next year. So far the biggest downside is explaining what it is every time we get gas or park it. Sorry this was so long - ginseng tea was strong today.
    I like the roominess but that ramp angle looks like a quad nightmare.
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  3. #13
    for the quads, preferable with no tri's.. how is the ramp angle on the various vans. the transfer to drivers seat etc?
    Bike-on.com rep
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  4. #14
    We have a braun side ramp and its a little bit of a challenge to roll into. I have already had an issue with rolling out of the van. I lean forward to clear the roofline and when I hit the end of the ramp I fell forward out of my chair. Having no core muscles I need to push myself up and I was already rolling forward. It was a bad combo that ended bad. Since that time I roll backwards out of the van. My van does have the kneel feature but the angle is still pretty good.

    As far as the van goes I'm not to impressed with the way they convert them. I have a caravan and its really cheaply done in my opinion. When they charge us as much as they do for the conversion I would expect better.

  5. #15
    Senior Member Flatiron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fuentejps View Post
    for the quads, preferable with no tri's.. how is the ramp angle on the various vans. the transfer to drivers seat etc?
    My first Dodge Caravan had the VMI conversion. In floor ramp. The angle isn't to bad after it kneels. In power chair, I back up & go down forward on the ramp.

    The Dodge I have now has the Braun ramp. Fold out ramp. The actuator is broke so no kneeling. I back up & go down forward very carefully.

    I drive from my power chair. Ground clearance isn't very good on a Dodge.

  6. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Flatiron View Post
    My first Dodge Caravan had the VMI conversion. In floor ramp. The angle isn't to bad after it kneels. In power chair, I back up & go down forward on the ramp.

    The Dodge I have now has the Braun ramp. Fold out ramp. The actuator is broke so no kneeling. I back up & go down forward very carefully.

    I drive from my power chair. Ground clearance isn't very good on a Dodge.
    I use a manual.
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    c4/5 inc funtioning c6. 28 yrs post.
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  7. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by cfx View Post
    We have a braun side ramp...

    As far as the van goes I'm not to impressed with the way they convert them. I have a caravan and its really cheaply done in my opinion. When they charge us as much as they do for the conversion I would expect better.
    not Braun, but VMI seems to do it well...



    http://www.vantagemobility.com/how-is-a-vmi-van-built/

  8. #18
    im not a quad but the ramp van i tried was ok rolling into it was a fold out ramp on a dodge and had a 6 way transfer seat in it that would come around pretty far and go up and down super easy transfer john
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  9. #19
    Senior Member webfoot's Avatar
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    Regarding the MV-1 ramp - It deploys at two selectable lengths - short (steep) or long - doable for many quads.

  10. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by webfoot View Post
    Regarding the MV-1 ramp - It deploys at two selectable lengths - short (steep) or long - doable for many quads.
    had to google it... good grief... that looks too long for van-accessible parking spaces.


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