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Thread: Any inside scoop on accessible vans by a recent purchaser? Braun v. VMI, Pacifica v.

  1. #11
    totally agree. love the versatility of the full size. we took our power back seat couch out.
    Quote Originally Posted by August West View Post
    Don't limit yourself to minivans. Minivans are an inferior product in terms of safety, room, features, reliability, and cost.

    Full size vans are a more substantial vehicle and will do better in a crash. Minivans don't have a good track record with safety.

    Full size vans may have a pullout back seat that let's you lay down and stretch. You can take more luggage plus a cooler and still have room for a dog bed.

    Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town and Country are the most frequently resold minivans because they are junk. Ask a mechanic about their transmissions and overall build quality.

    The minivan conversion costs much more to buy, and you will take a larger loss on it when you get rid of the van. That's because minivans typically have modified floors and suspensions that are part of the vehicle. A full size van conversion doesn't have to be part of the vehicle. It costs less and you can take it with you to the next van. You may never have to buy another one. In the mini van you have to keep buying new conversion packages. No wonder the dealers want to sell them.

    The drawback to a full size van is that it takes more gas, costs more to insure, harder to back up, and you can't park it everywhere you can park a minivan.
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    c4/5 inc funtioning c6. 28 yrs post.
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  2. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by August West View Post
    Don't limit yourself to minivans. Minivans are an inferior product in terms of safety, room, features, reliability, and cost.

    Full size vans are a more substantial vehicle and will do better in a crash. Minivans don't have a good track record with safety.

    Full size vans may have a pullout back seat that let's you lay down and stretch. You can take more luggage plus a cooler and still have room for a dog bed.

    Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town and Country are the most frequently resold minivans because they are junk. Ask a mechanic about their transmissions and overall build quality.

    The minivan conversion costs much more to buy, and you will take a larger loss on it when you get rid of the van. That's because minivans typically have modified floors and suspensions that are part of the vehicle. A full size van conversion doesn't have to be part of the vehicle. It costs less and you can take it with you to the next van. You may never have to buy another one. In the mini van you have to keep buying new conversion packages. No wonder the dealers want to sell them.

    The drawback to a full size van is that it takes more gas, costs more to insure, harder to back up, and you can't park it everywhere you can park a minivan.
    Big vans are probably safer, and have more room than mini's. But differences in handicap features probably favors the mini's (Turny seats etc) except for those that require space. Reliability should be equal, more on that later. And from what I've seen of fully decked out both types, full size are more expensive. Why not? They are worth it.

    I've taken out the rear seat on our mini just because there is so little space to store anything. Space is the major reason I prefer a large van.

    Dodge and Chrysler outsold the rest of the market combined, that fact is probably why you see more of them in the aftermarket sales. http://www.goodcarbadcar.net/2018/03...february-2018/
    The first Dodge/Plymouth trannys had issues way back 1984-90, generation one. They are on generation five now. I asked my mechanic neighbor about my '02 with 160k if it was something I could drive from Seattle to Los Angeles. He said absolutely. He might be biased, owning one.

    They typically either modify the floor or raise the roof. Raising the roof can introduce leaks and increase wind resistance, especially side winds. The simple fold out ramp in a mini doesn't need to be transferred to another van. But since there is so little of anything to wear out with a fold out, you will feel the hurt when you replace it with an expensive platform lift.

    Other than that I completely agree with you and am anxious to get my full size van back to where I can drive it again.
    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. #13
    Sure seems hard to find full size vans, that aren't paratransit. I'm wanting a Transit, or Sprinter, cuz I'm into dog sports, and road trips. Probably will need to get a van, then buy a lift and get it put in. Anyone have a Sprinter? Or researched it? I'm still not sure how much to convert it, what all the options are these days.

  4. #14
    I just took delivery of my new van a week and a half ago. I went from a 2014 Chrysler T&C with the Braun fold-out ramp to a 2018 Toyota Sienna with the Braun in-floor. One of the biggest features that pushed me toward the Seinna over a new Pacifica is the trunk space. I travel quite a bit and now that I have a family, I found that my big suitcase (which I need to fit my commode chair) just fit very poorly in the trunk and limited space for anything else. The Sienna has easily double the trunk space and it seems to have more interior space to turn around as well. I am very happy with my purchase so far.

    As far as moving from the fold-out to the in-floor, my wife and I were always irritated that with the ramp folded, in a fold-out, you cannot use the door on the passenger side. It meant that if I needed to pick someone up at the curb, they had to come out to the traffic flow side just to get in the van. It also bugged us that no matter how many times we told people to go to the driver side, they would forget the next time and open the passenger slider first to be greeted by a blocked path. The in-floor allows you to load people much safer, which i appreciate now that I'll soon be picking my son up from school.

    I don't know if it is just a Toyota vs. Chrysler think or a fold-out vs. in-floor, but the new van is much quieter than the old one. I hate road noise, so I greatly appreciate the reduced noise of the new one.

    I hope this helps your decision.

  5. #15
    just purchase the van then get 3 quotes on lift, transfer seat, door openers and hand controls. any big van dealer will ship anywhere. these guys have a local mobility outfit they work with to if you wanted to roll everything together.
    https://www.gmcconversionvans.com/

    Quote Originally Posted by heartdog View Post
    Sure seems hard to find full size vans, that aren't paratransit. I'm wanting a Transit, or Sprinter, cuz I'm into dog sports, and road trips. Probably will need to get a van, then buy a lift and get it put in. Anyone have a Sprinter? Or researched it? I'm still not sure how much to convert it, what all the options are these days.
    Bike-on.com rep
    John@bike-on.com
    c4/5 inc funtioning c6. 28 yrs post.
    sponsored handcycle racer

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