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Thread: Lowered Floor Van Is Too Low To Drive

  1. #1
    Senior Member dnvrdave's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Denver, Colorado USA ---- C5/6 Complete 1985

    Lowered Floor Van Is Too Low To Drive

    I want to get a 2016 Toyota Sienna minivan and drive from my wheelchair. All the conversion places seem to lower the floor about 14 inches, which puts me too low in the driver's position. I probably need to be 2-3 inches taller to have good visibility. Any ideas for raising the floor?

  2. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    North Bend Oregon
    Are you in a manual chair. Most drive from your chair vans a designed to be driven from a power chair. If in a manual they usually drive from a modified van seat that slides back and rotates to allow an easy transfer. Then it raises and travels forward to put you in the right place to drive.
    Build a man a fire and you heat him for a day.
    Set hime on fire and you heat him for life.

  3. #3
    You are lucky that your problem is that you are too low. Most people, especially those in power chair, find that the floors are still too high and they do not have good visibility out of the windshield. I would go to a dealer who has the other models that are minivan convertible, such as the Dodge Caravan, or Honda Odyssey. I can drive from either my power chair or my power assisted chair and the visibility is much better out of my quickie chair with extender power assist wheels. The Honda gave me the deepest floor to accommodate the power chair without going to the special extra deep Dodge Caravan model meant for tall people in power chairs.

    Do not make any choice without getting into the drivers area in the chair and cushion system you will be driving from, especially if you're going from manual to power chair. If you transferred to a power seat, then the height can probably be accommodated. If you drive from a power chair in the chair has a vertical seat elevator then you can accommodate the height is well by raising the elevator.

    What they don't tell you when you get a power chair is that while the front seat to floor height may be the same as your old manual chair, the rear seat to floor height, for those of us that have a dump angle, is typically a few inches lower, which lowers the head and therefore the eyes looking out of the windshield. If I tilt back in my power chair to the same dump angle I have in my manual chair I could not drive properly. Therefore, I have to remove almost all tilt when I drive so I can see properly and be within reach of the dashboard. The downside of this is, as a quad, I am more posturally unstable and more weight falls on my elbows and hands to keep me upright which makes driving more uncomfortable and exacerbates problems I area have in my shoulder, and, and elbow.

  4. #4
    Most of the guys I speak with are going with wood type designs, but to me this is only a temp fix. What you need is a metal/fabricated structure that bolts into the floor and also allows you to lock your chair into or onto that panel.
    Although our shop is currently busy with projects, I do have an alternative shop you should contact for just this type of installation on your van.

    Although the name indicates this shop and the owner creates what is known as "Molle" panels.. this guy is not afraid to help you create something for your van, this might mean driving to and from his shop in North Carolina.. but contact him first. He is good people and willing to help any way he can.

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