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Thread: Van users

  1. #21
    Senior Member wtf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nonoise View Post
    I just asked my wife about the difference between driving the car she usually drives, (any car actually) and the van. Actually now we happen to have two, a full size Express Chevy and a conversion Rollx Grand Caravan. She said there is no difference except she sits up higher and likes it. So then I asked her about the steering and brakes. No difference. She is no wrestler. I checked with her if I could type this, she can't get the lid off a peanut butter jar. So why the disparity in experiences here? John has long noted his brakes are inferior, and now you state steering is harder too. I think I have a theory. John's and my van are of the same mold, but very different. Mine is bare bones. It is what you would call a work cargo van, no insulation, no flooring, no back seats, no ceiling beyond the driver, and nothing on the side walls except where the doors are. Also it has not been converted except for hand controls. It has no power lift for what ever that would add to the weight. So the lighter weight than John's just might make it easier to drive.
    On the other hand, our mini van has eveything, two six way seats, power ramp, lowered floor and added weight of ground effects. She says the mini is also as easy to drive.

    That said, if it were me now that I've done this and could start over, I would get a new or slightly used full size cargo van with at least one power sliding door already installed and have it converted with two six way seats, hand controls and power lift.
    Of the bunch the hand controls is the hardest to select and get adjusted to suit IMO.
    Thanks for the insight - I plan on getting a used mini-van, I know I need the six way seat - driving from my wheelchair is appealing, but I don't feel secure and by that I mean my balance. I like my sure-grips and will stick with those.
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  2. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by wtf View Post
    Thanks for the insight - I plan on getting a used mini-van, I know I need the six way seat - driving from my wheelchair is appealing, but I don't feel secure and by that I mean my balance. I like my sure-grips and will stick with those.
    I bought a used mini from a private party off Craigslist. It needed some repairs which I have done from my wheelchair and some with my wife's help. I now know more than I ever wanted to know about Dodge sliding power doors.

    Once you get used to the extra height from a van, you will love it. I use an I-glide to get up the ramp. Actually I-Glide works a lot like a SmartDrive in that you push and it gives a boost for a few seconds and then you push again. My van also has the kneel function, but with the wheelchair's power wheels, I don't use kneel and have turned the kneel permanently off.
    I have had periodic paralysis all my life. I lost my ability to walk in 2011 beginning with a spinal block, which was used for a hip fracture caused by periodic paralysis.

  3. #23
    One thing that stopped me from a full sized van was the height restrictions it may pose driving into garages or underground parking.

    I have a 2000 Chrysler T&C with in floor ramp. I found the in floor is pretty noisy and with that year,if the ramp breaks; someone from the outside has to pull the ramp out manually. The never ones can be manually deployed from the inside. My next one will be another mini van but with the folding ramp. I'll add a couple inches to the bottom part of the fold out to help lessen the incline.

    It's really good seeing you back. We've missed you.

  4. #24
    its 4k I think and new eval........... be sure u have a way to get up that ramp. I'm strong and that was a problem
    Quote Originally Posted by wtf View Post
    Sensitized steering is an option, but I didn't get a quote for that, I'm sure it's an expensive option. I just wondered if certain makes (toyota, honda, chrysler, dodge) if one was easier to steer than another. But, it appears everyone here is driving a full-size.
    the high top adds a lot too. the lift is only 300lb I think. if we do another chevy conv we will get a 2500 for bigger brakes etc. I'm thinking sprinter next though about same price. I'm replacing brakes this spring to a set of the ones suggested here.
    Quote Originally Posted by nonoise View Post
    I just asked my wife about the difference between driving the car she usually drives, (any car actually) and the van. Actually now we happen to have two, a full size Express Chevy and a conversion Rollx Grand Caravan. She said there is no difference except she sits up higher and likes it. So then I asked her about the steering and brakes. No difference. She is no wrestler. I checked with her if I could type this, she can't get the lid off a peanut butter jar. So why the disparity in experiences here? John has long noted his brakes are inferior, and now you state steering is harder too. I think I have a theory. John's and my van are of the same mold, but very different. Mine is bare bones. It is what you would call a work cargo van, no insulation, no flooring, no back seats, no ceiling beyond the driver, and nothing on the side walls except where the doors are. Also it has not been converted except for hand controls. It has no power lift for what ever that would add to the weight. So the lighter weight than John's just might make it easier to drive.
    On the other hand, our mini van has eveything, two six way seats, power ramp, lowered floor and added weight of ground effects. She says the mini is also as easy to drive.

    That said, if it were me now that I've done this and could start over, I would get a new or slightly used full size cargo van with at least one power sliding door already installed and have it converted with two six way seats, hand controls and power lift.
    Of the bunch the hand controls is the hardest to select and get adjusted to suit IMO.
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  5. #25
    ^^^^Good point on wheeling up the ramp. I have a para friend that bought a new Oddesy and she struggles getting up that thing. When She comes to visit I have to give Her a shove getting up it because my driveway has a little taper to it.

  6. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Rustyjames View Post
    ^^^^Good point on wheeling up the ramp. I have a para friend that bought a new Oddesy and she struggles getting up that thing. When She comes to visit I have to give Her a shove getting up it because my driveway has a little taper to it.
    same here, good friend of ours is a t5 para, strong dude and he really has to lean into it to get up his ramp in a modded explorer.
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  7. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Madsen View Post
    One thing that stopped me from a full sized van was the height restrictions it may pose driving into garages or underground parking.

    I have a 2000 Chrysler T&C with in floor ramp. I found the in floor is pretty noisy and with that year,if the ramp breaks; someone from the outside has to pull the ramp out manually. The never ones can be manually deployed from the inside. My next one will be another mini van but with the folding ramp. I'll add a couple inches to the bottom part of the fold out to help lessen the incline.

    It's really good seeing you back. We've missed you.
    Yep, the height restrictions are a pain. One thing that bugs me more than garages is the inability to use a drive-thru car wash.
    "It is every man's obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of what he takes out of it. Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of value." - Albert Einstein

  8. #28
    I don't have the high top roofs on my Ford vans so never encountered any high problems.

  9. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by baldfatdad View Post
    Look at the Maxda 3. A pretty good cross, between a car and van.
    I think you mean Mazda 5. The 3 is a regular car. I have the 5. Love it. When I wear this one out, hopefully a few years from now, I'll look for another low mileage used one. Transfers into are easy cause the seat is so low. Chair easily loads behind you with the sliding door right there. Can manually load it, or get a chair loading device. Or make one like I did. This is mine: https://youtu.be/0KgyWxqC1Y0 I've made some improvements to it since then, but the general idea is the same.

    Best of all is the massive cost savings. 2nd best is the fuel economy compared to a full size or "regular" minivan.

  10. #30
    Senior Member
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    I bought that pick up and I love it but to diffcut for this quad to transfer to the turny seat and deal with boom and chair I love it even with the rust factor its for sale I love the van especially if we get lift fixed full size 6 way I trandfer to driver seat and drive

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