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Thread: Time for a new vehicle. Recommendations?

  1. #1

    Time for a new vehicle. Recommendations?

    I have been using full-size conversion vans for over 30 years now. I?m a C6 complete manual chair user and I prefer to transfer into a drivers seat for safety and comfort. It?s time to get a new vehicle but the Braun lift that I have been most comfortable using is no longer available. I weigh 160# including the chair. New lifts for full-size vans are made for 700# users (including chair) and remain unattractively bulky. I don?t plan to use a powered chair in the near future and rampvans can be challenging due to the slope and risk of slipping a quadgrip going up the ramp. Looking for creative ideas.

    What vehicle options are available that you?d recommend?

  2. #2

  3. #3
    Not really available but you asked for creative ideas...




  4. #4
    i think we will go sprinter next, i love the full size vans. currently have a chevy explorer van. the vmi fold away lifts look nice and you can have both transfer seats which i like for when i dont want to drive. mini vans are small and i cant consistently get up the ramp either. c5-6 here too.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dreamblvr View Post
    I have been using full-size conversion vans for over 30 years now. I?m a C6 complete manual chair user and I prefer to transfer into a drivers seat for safety and comfort. It?s time to get a new vehicle but the Braun lift that I have been most comfortable using is no longer available. I weigh 160# including the chair. New lifts for full-size vans are made for 700# users (including chair) and remain unattractively bulky. I don?t plan to use a powered chair in the near future and rampvans can be challenging due to the slope and risk of slipping a quadgrip going up the ramp. Looking for creative ideas.

    What vehicle options are available that you?d recommend?
    Bike-on.com rep
    John@bike-on.com
    c4/5 inc funtioning c6. 28 yrs post.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    I love the van full size I just wish I could get lift to work all the time gonna lookin to replacing it but I did transfer and drive truck today

  6. #6
    Senior Member landrover's Avatar
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    I have had a Braun Chrysler Pacifica for 5 months now. The interior space is the best of any minivan I've previously owned (Caravan, Sienna).

  7. #7
    I have a Mazda5 with XL Board and Speedi-Lift from Adapt Solutions. It's great. Trouble is, they stopped making the Mazda5 in 2015 so you'd need to find a used one. If I were to do it again, I'd try getting just the XL Board and lift the chair into the back myself - reduce my reliance on gear that could potentially break down, and save some space. I'd also consider having someone create a custom transfer board in lieu of the XL Board, one that would put my butt in the seat when pulling the chair into the back b/c I think it would be a bit more stable. Check out this thread for someone who did this. Previous to this I had a Toyota Sienna van with a ramp, one day I put the ramp down on a surface that I didn't notice wasn't level which meant the incline wasn't safe. My chair slipped on the ramp, I did a flip forward and tried to brace myself with my hands but ended up with a nice case of road rash on my forehead. That night I researched new vehicles and decided on the Mazda5. Since they no longer make the Mazda5 I'm always on the lookout for a similar vehicle. I'm hoping the Ford Transit Connect either becomes an option, or becomes successful enough that other companies think about marketing similar vehicles with sliding side doors that will accommodate easily loading a chair. Good luck with your search!

  8. #8
    Given the amount of time you have been injured, if you haven't suffered upper extremity problems you are lucky, but your luck may not last forever. Therefore, you may wish to consider a power assisted system which will allow you to use a minivan. If you go full-size, then you'll be able to use either a power chair or a manual chair. But given your level of injury, you will not be able to push up a minivan ramp. It's way too dangerous, as is coming down as well. I have the extender power assist system and not only does it help going up, but brakes you on the way coming down.

    Sounds like you may have had the Braun Rotary lift. I had one, and it was fantastic. 20+ years of service and never a problem, with the exception of a minor issue here and there. Simple and strong, not like the finicky and complicated, not to mention expensive systems on the market today.

    At C6 I can't believe you are transferring back and forth into a driver's seat. If you want to continue that, God bless you, but that is one thing you may wish to reconsider as well.

    I am C6/C7 and have a 2010 Honda Odyssey. I can drive from my power assisted chair, as well as my power chair, though, in the power chair I have much worse visibility of the dashboard, as well as out of the front windshield.

  9. #9
    What type of power assist chair are you driving from? I am currently changing my whole system as my shoulders are going after 33 yrs. I am a T-8 but 33 year as on any shoulders My rehab doc recently told me that at my age I should be keeping my transfers down to 2-4 per day. Some days i do 10 times that. Anyway got me thinking so i am going to power chair and leaning toward ATC conversion of full size SUV I am concerned about the height thing as well. My question how much headroom above the top of your head to vehicle headkiner should you have to have good vision thru the windshield?


    Quote Originally Posted by crags View Post
    Given the amount of time you have been injured, if you haven't suffered upper extremity problems you are lucky, but your luck may not last forever. Therefore, you may wish to consider a power assisted system which will allow you to use a minivan. If you go full-size, then you'll be able to use either a power chair or a manual chair. But given your level of injury, you will not be able to push up a minivan ramp. It's way too dangerous, as is coming down as well. I have the extender power assist system and not only does it help going up, but brakes you on the way coming down.

    Sounds like you may have had the Braun Rotary lift. I had one, and it was fantastic. 20+ years of service and never a problem, with the exception of a minor issue here and there. Simple and strong, not like the finicky and complicated, not to mention expensive systems on the market today.

    At C6 I can't believe you are transferring back and forth into a driver's seat. If you want to continue that, God bless you, but that is one thing you may wish to reconsider as well.

    I am C6/C7 and have a 2010 Honda Odyssey. I can drive from my power assisted chair, as well as my power chair, though, in the power chair I have much worse visibility of the dashboard, as well as out of the front windshield.

  10. #10

    Funny you should mention shoulders...

    Quote Originally Posted by crags View Post
    Given the amount of time you have been injured, if you haven't suffered upper extremity problems you are lucky, but your luck may not last forever. Therefore, you may wish to consider a power assisted system which will allow you to use a minivan. If you go full-size, then you'll be able to use either a power chair or a manual chair. But given your level of injury, you will not be able to push up a minivan ramp. It's way too dangerous, as is coming down as well. I have the extender power assist system and not only does it help going up, but brakes you on the way coming down.

    Sounds like you may have had the Braun Rotary lift. I had one, and it was fantastic. 20+ years of service and never a problem, with the exception of a minor issue here and there. Simple and strong, not like the finicky and complicated, not to mention expensive systems on the market today.

    At C6 I can't believe you are transferring back and forth into a driver's seat. If you want to continue that, God bless you, but that is one thing you may wish to reconsider as well.

    I am C6/C7 and have a 2010 Honda Odyssey. I can drive from my power assisted chair, as well as my power chair, though, in the power chair I have much worse visibility of the dashboard, as well as out of the front windshield.
    My luck ran out a couple of years ago with C3/4 disc pressure on the cord and fusion of the vertebrae. Nerve pain since has diminished my transfer strength but I?m still hanging in there. I make it work but it?s not pretty. I have been researching power assist units. I see you chose the Extender. Would you recommend that system or another system for overall functionality?

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