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Thread: New mercedes sprinter wheelchair van and experience

  1. #1

    New mercedes sprinter wheelchair van and experience

    I'm starting this thread to share my experience in purchasing a new wheelchair van. It will be a work in progress because I don't have the attention span to type a bunch at once and I have a lot to say. I'm an engineer and I researched this purchase for a couple of years, while raising money because when you say wheelchair you add zeros. My intention is to make this helpful for someone else.

    First, I didn't even consider a minivan. I currently have a minivan that I've nicknamed that I can't say here. Prior to my injury I was a truck guy for life.

    Needs and desires: Needed something that both my wife and I can drive so driving from my chair wasn't an issue (rant to follow). Wanted something to do some camping with, but also conscious of the mpg.

    I ended up purchasing a 2015 Mercedes Sprinter 4 cyl diesel with a 7 speed transmission cargo van. I'm having a Braun Vangater lift installed in the side door (rant to follow). I had Van Specialties in Portland add a bench seat that turns into a bed, windows all the way around, roof vent/fan, and rubberized flooring. The guys at VP are awesome. I plan to transfer on longer outings and ride in my chair on shorter ones.

    I've added a few pics pre-lift.

    I'll follow up later with some more pictures and more info about my experience. My experience with the mobility industry has been mostly negative...unfortunately.
    Attached Images Attached Images    

  2. #2
    I will be curious of your progress....
    C5-6 Complete - 8/13/1982

  3. #3
    Me too. Nice looking van.

  4. #4
    Suspended Andy's Avatar
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    +1. I'm not normally a van guy, but that restyled Sprinter I actually like. Really sharp looking

  5. #5
    sweet ride.
    Bike-on.com rep
    John@bike-on.com
    c4/5 inc funtioning c6. 28 yrs post.
    sponsored handcycle racer

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    Having outgrown my Chrysler Town & Country, I am reluctantly entering the market for a new accessible vehicle. The Mercedes Sprinter is on my short list. What kind of fuel mileage can be expected? My biggest complaint with a vehicle this size is the need for a lift. What is your opinion of using air bags to drop one to the ground for ramp access, feasible?

  7. #7
    This van has a sporty/plush look about it. I like the camping feature, bed... then... mini stove and a mini sink...then maybe a mini solar panel.
    Nice. Someday maybe, $'s is the only hold back.
    Would give a ball park figure of the cost up to now?

    I'm assuming that automatic car washes are out. If so <:-(

    I like it.
    Gary Is = L-1 Para for 34 years.....................
    ~~~~~~~~~~

  8. #8
    Thank you for the post and photos!!

  9. #9
    On the latest road trip that involved going over 7 different mountain passes we got 23 mpg without monitoring speed. I imagine we'll see better than that as the motor breaks in. I didn't even consider the airbag situation. I imagine it would be $$$. I don't mind the lift. However, the powers that be at Braun discontinued the lift I got, which is incredibly frustrating.

  10. #10
    So far the cost is 70k including the upfitting, lift and just about every option available. We custom ordered the van from Mercedes, had Van Specialties do the upfitting, and performance mobility in Portland install the lift. We are loving it and I'm glad I didn't let the mobility people talk me out of it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Garyis View Post
    This van has a sporty/plush look about it. I like the camping feature, bed... then... mini stove and a mini sink...then maybe a mini solar panel.
    Nice. Someday maybe, $'s is the only hold back.
    Would give a ball park figure of the cost up to now?

    I'm assuming that automatic car washes are out. If so <:-(

    I like it.

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