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Thread: Driver seat too tall in new vans!

  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Driver seat too tall in new vans!

    I looked at several wheelchair vans and was dismayed at the new driver seats! My old Dodge Caraven 2002 had seats that lowered so I could make easy transfers; the new seats' lowest position is higher than my wheelchair seat. This may not be a problem for you tall people, but what's a smaller person(5'5") supposed to do now? The Honda Odyssey seems to have a driver's seat that is about the height of my wheelchair seat, but the dealer did not have a power seat for me to try to transfer onto.

    Regarding ramps, I found the in floor ramp was easy until you get to "the bump", then I couldn't find a way to push/pull myself into the van. The easiest was then the VMI Summit conversion which I tried on a New Dodge Caravan. I use a manual chair. So now I need to try a Honda Odyssey with the Summit conversion to see if indeed that will work.

    Any advice/input/ suggestions?

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    What brand transfer seat is in your old Dodge Caravan?

    What brand transfer seat was in the new van you tried?

    How much higher was it?

    Jim


    Jim, MA, MMET
    Bridgewater, MA

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Hi Jim,

    Hi Jim,
    Thank you for responding. I am trying to get the info. Unfortunately I totaled my 2002 van so I don't know what brand transfer seat it had.

    From brochures it appears that the Braun conversion on the Honda Odyssey has a lower ramp angle than the VMI Summit. Do you know this to be the case?

    THanks again,
    LMG

  4. #4
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    My 2008 Caravan has an 8 way power seat mounted on the power base, and I am able to use the controls for the power seat to lower the seat that works for transfer, and then use the power base to rotate me and raise me up to driving height.
    Don - Grad Student Emeritus
    T3 ASIA A 26 years post injury

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by LMG View Post
    Hi Jim,

    Hi Jim,
    Thank you for responding. I am trying to get the info. Unfortunately I totaled my 2002 van so I don't know what brand transfer seat it had.

    From brochures it appears that the Braun conversion on the Honda Odyssey has a lower ramp angle than the VMI Summit. Do you know this to be the case?

    THanks again,
    LMG
    I'm not sure.

    From what people tell me the VMI was easier to get into than the Braun.

    Your more than welcome to come try them all first hand.

    Do you have any pictures of your old van? I can more than likely tell what kind of transfer seat you had in your old van.

    The newer style power transfer seats seem to be taller in some of the newer vans.

    We have a few options when it comes to making them lower.

    Was your old van a Braun? They got a little lower as they get older.

    I hope you got paid for the lowered floor conversion and mobility equipment in your old van.

    A lot of times the insurance company doesn't want to pay what they should.

    We've also seen insurance companies talk about totaling vans that are easily repaired (we have a body shop specializing in repairing lowered floor mini vans)

    Let me know if you have any other questions and or if there is anything we can do to help.

    Jim
    Jim, MA, MMET
    Bridgewater, MA

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Donno View Post
    My 2008 Caravan has an 8 way power seat mounted on the power base, and I am able to use the controls for the power seat to lower the seat that works for transfer, and then use the power base to rotate me and raise me up to driving height.
    The newer vans and seats seem to be a little taller and not go as low.

    Some of the seats (Honda's) are higher on the sides making it a little harder to transfer into and out of.

    Jim
    Jim, MA, MMET
    Bridgewater, MA

  7. #7
    they also go to a 14 in lowered floor, I believe it was, with the kneel, I couldn't tell I was going up a ramp, but I'm t-12 also.......

  8. #8
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    Jim, does your company have a Honda Braun and Honda VMI Summit I could try with driver transfer seats?
    LMG

  9. #9
    Hi,

    Sorry all the VMI Honda's are Northstars

    We don't usually stock Honda's with folding ramps.

    We do have Braun & VMI Toyota's with folding ramps.

    None of the new vans have transfer seats installed.

    We have a few used vans with transfer seats (the newest one is a 2010 Dodge).

    I you already tried transfer seats in Hondas and there too tall we can modify them to go lower.

    We did this on both Honda's and Toyotas recently.

    Jim
    Jim, MA, MMET
    Bridgewater, MA

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    Hi Jim,
    I did not try a Honda transfer seat, the dealer didn't have one either. It is great to know you could lower it, though, if it was too high!
    I am coming to the Lahey clinic in Burlington on Monday. Perhaps I can come to your workplace that day. Would that be a possibility? How far are you from Burlington?
    Thank you.
    LMG

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