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Thread: Ricon VMI Slideaway lift

  1. #1

    Ricon VMI Slideaway lift

    Today I looked at and tried a VMI Slideaway lift. On the positive side it seems absolutely rock solid compared to the old Vanagator I tried. But once inside the van it took up a lot of space. Neither of those vans had 6 way seats so I could not test transfering, but I am positive it would not have been an issue in the Vanagator equipped van. The Slideaway, however took up what seemed like a lot of floor space and now I am having second thoughts if I can maneuver my chair into position to transfer into the passenger seat since the Slideaway lift sticks out so far into the cab.

    Does anyone have one of these Slideaways or experience with them? If I was using a smaller chair I might not be so worried, but this Iglide has fairly large presence.
    Here is a file photo of one:
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    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.

  2. #2
    i would never get one of these lifts.

    jim
    Jim, MA, MMET
    Bridgewater, MA

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Automotive Innovations View Post
    i would never get one of these lifts.

    jim
    its the only option for passenger transfer seat now since vangator is no longer made isnt it??
    Bike-on.com rep
    John@bike-on.com
    c4/5 inc funtioning c6. 28 yrs post.
    sponsored handcycle racer

  4. #4
    Ricon Uni-Lite is a double post lift but it's not too intrusive. It does prevent the passenger seat from reclining all the way. But there is room for the seat to travel back all the way and swivel. I suppose the size of the van also matters.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by fuentejps View Post
    its the only option for passenger transfer seat now since vangator is no longer made isnt it??
    it isn't a option i'd ever go with.

    vangaters are easily overhauled.

    Jim
    Jim, MA, MMET
    Bridgewater, MA

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by August West View Post
    Ricon Uni-Lite is a double post lift but it's not too intrusive. It does prevent the passenger seat from reclining all the way. But there is room for the seat to travel back all the way and swivel. I suppose the size of the van also matters.
    Ricon Uni-Lite is a great lift.

    especially for quads that can't roll up the endgate on a steel platform lift.

    jim
    Jim, MA, MMET
    Bridgewater, MA

  7. #7
    Ricon seems to make good stuff in general. My Ricon transfer seat looks clean and simple compared to the rat's nest under my friend's Braun transfer seat. The Ricon RDO2500 sliding door operator is the only part of the conversion that doesn't work flawlessly. It can't open the door when the van is parked facing downhill. No problem when parking uphill. I had the door checked out and it works fine. Maybe the motor is giving out. I guess that's still pretty impressive for a 26 years old motor.

  8. #8
    I've had a Slideaway lift in my Sprinter for 6 years (over 7000 cycles) now and I think it is a good lift. I've only had one issue with it when the wire bundle got loose and broke a couple of wires but it was easily fixed. I use a manual chair and I can completely turn around in the van so the size of the lift has never been a problem for me. I would hate to have a lift that blocked the doorway all the time.

    If only my sprinter was as reliable as the lift.....

  9. #9
    I hear what you are saying. Reliability is an important factor. I thought about replacing my Uni-Lite lift with a swing away lift in order to have access to the door for manual operation in case of failure. But this was more of an emotional response to feeling trapped. Rethinking it unemotionally I have to say that's a step in the wrong direction. Based on the number of moving parts and the complexity of the design, chances of door operator failures are less than chances of lift failures and chances of Uni-Lite lift failures are less than chances of swing away lift failures. Hence, replacing the Uni-Lite lift with a swing away lift does not decrease risk of failure. It only mitigates door operator failure by increasing lift failure, which increases overall failure risk. I conclude the best way to minimize overall failure risk is to stick with the most basic lift (Uni-Lite) and mitigate the door operator failure risk with preventive maintenance.

    Going back to the emotional aspect of the problem, I have to wonder why I read so much here about van conversion failures and hardly anything about car failures. What's the difference if you are stranded in a van or a car? I really think much of this worrying is excessive. After all, I hear more people reporting that they have had little to no problems than people reporting on-going problems. The problems I had were just start up issues.

    If you do have one failure in the door operator every ten years, so what? The chances of a flat tire are probably worse. I don't sweat a flat tire. I'm not going to sweat this.
    Last edited by August West; 05-31-2018 at 03:23 AM.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by STOLhorse View Post
    I've had a Slideaway lift in my Sprinter for 6 years (over 7000 cycles) now and I think it is a good lift. I've only had one issue with it when the wire bundle got loose and broke a couple of wires but it was easily fixed. I use a manual chair and I can completely turn around in the van so the size of the lift has never been a problem for me. I would hate to have a lift that blocked the doorway all the time.

    If only my sprinter was as reliable as the lift.....
    The Slideaway I tried was in a Dodge Promaster. It seemed like a tight fit. The specs say it protrudes 21 inches into the cab. Without having an actual passenger seat that swiveled I could not tell if there was enough room, there might have been, but it was a gamble. On the other hand when I checked out the van that had the Vanagater II there was no question in my mind that there was plenty of floor space.

    I guess there is more than that. I had mentally prepared myself to pay out of pocket $10k (no insurance) which is what he had told me a few months ago. But when he emailed me the quote, it was $12k. I felt more crowded.
    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.

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