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Thread: What do you do when your van lift breaks down?

  1. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by August West View Post
    Then it's not a 1-person system.
    Sorry, didn't mean to just state the obvious.

    It could be depending on your abilities.

    If you are inside the Odyssey when the failure occurs, and need to deploy the ramp, and if you can position close enough to the cover, get the cover off, and crank the ramp out,,,you can get out of the van. One person.

    If you need to crank the ramp back in (or crank it out) when you are out of the van, and you can open the driver's side van door, a person with enough ability could access the cover from outside the van and use the crank from outside the van. One person. I'm a c6 complete quad and couldn't do it. Someone with a lower is possible.

  2. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by August West View Post
    Then it's not a 1-person system.
    well not braun lifts. round 2006 dot mandated that braun install all these sensors. what a mess. the 2007 mil-LEMON-ian lift is an albatross. 11 years later it gets stuck because of of the senors. you will need someone to manually pump the lift to go up or turn release pressure relief valve. the past year i had use other wc transportation and new and old braun lifts doing what i described. as far as getting stuck? vehicle and lift should be maintained like a jet. i take my lift to a hydraulic specialist. its closer and half the cost of braunibility.

    have fun lol
    Last edited by tvot; 03-30-2018 at 05:29 PM.
    Wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then.
    Bob Seger

  3. #33
    So in the VMI Odyssey, the port in the floor is about middle of the door opening, maybe a little further back. Most vans have a fob that has switches to open doors and deploy/retract ramp.

    A bigger problem may be if you have a van with kneel. If the converter used the air shocks (Honda equipment on the Odyssey), there is probably little problem. But, if there are any converters still using air bags, it can be a huge headache. We had one of the air bags rupture on a Dodge Caravan, 25+ years ago. When that happened we either had to be towed or drive very slowly and avoid bumps at all costs. We had no suspension.
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  4. #34
    We have driven full size vans with lifts for the past 40 years. Yes, breakdowns happen, but overall vans have worked well for us. I try not to focus on it anymore as we've always handled the problems. Several times called mobility dealer from cell phone inside the van to get instructions to manually "deploy" lift. Once drove down our road and stopped a neighbor to reach inside door, I think it was to release door-opener arm that was stuck. The two of us had been trying to get door open for a half hour when returning home, parked in our garage, unable to get out, unable to reach the arm as folded lift was in the way.

    I better stop there, don't want to dissuade someone from getting a van. In the big scheme of things, equipment breakdowns have been short-term, fixable, annoyances.

  5. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by triumph View Post
    In the big scheme of things, equipment breakdowns have been short-term, fixable, annoyances.
    I think you are right. Actually, there is probably a much greater risk of the typical mechanical failures on a vehicle that are not at all associated with the handicapped conversion package., flat tires, dead batteries, radiators, sensor failures, and check engine error codes etc.

  6. #36
    Probably true. But many of those failures can be fixed on the spot or quickly at a local garage. You can always rent another car and move your portable hand controls into it if necessary. But once you're committed to a van, those options go away.

  7. #37
    Senior Member Oddity's Avatar
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    That's what I was thinking, too. I use run-flat tires because that seems to be the most probable issue I'll run into. Has happened twice in the past 12 years.
    "If you only know your side of an issue, you know nothing." -John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

    "Even what those with the greatest reputation for knowing it all claim to understand and defend are but opinions..." -Heraclitus, Fragments

  8. #38
    Banned Andy's Avatar
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    Jun 2003
    Chicago IL
    I'd re-think that van idea. A car is soooo much more flexible when parking. Heck, I seldom use the handicapped spaces in the parking garage I park in now, too lazy to put up the rear view mirror card. Cant do that with a van. (And a transfer board works wonders too, you should really consider that option, make things real easy)

  9. #39
    I do use a transfer board. That has helped out my shoulders while transferring my butt into the car. That's 1/3 of the battle. Another 1/3 of the battle is getting my legs in and out. The final 1/3 is breaking down the chair and moving it in/out of the car. The first part is the roughest on the shoulders. But the other 2 parts also wear them down. What I need is new shoulders.

  10. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by August West View Post
    What I need is new shoulders.
    Good luck with that.

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