Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Your opinion on the Braunability conversion or other con. recent years

  1. #1

    Your opinion on the Braunability conversion or other con. recent years

    Looking at Braun fold out conversion on a 2018 or 19 Toyota Sienna. I've read quite a few complaints on door and ramp issues. Any one with Braun conversion opinion.

    Rollx had a scathing review on structural issues so a little concerned about them.

    VMI don't want to go with them as they were just bought out by a venture capitalist group and first thing they did was raise prices and discontinue the fold out version.

    El Dorado conversion I know nothing about.

    Any review, complaints or praise would be appreciated on your fairly recdent conversion

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Southern Maryland
    Posts
    114
    I have had both a fold out and in-floor conversion by Braun. I'm sure you have your reasons for wanting a fold out, but it was one of my best decisions to got from a fold out to in-floor. I had a 2014 Chrysler with the fold-out. I'll focus just on the conversion part since the only issue I ever had with the van were Chrysler related. I think they did a good job on the conversion. The fit and finish was good. Their body work made the conversion look fairly natural. Braun thankfully doesn't have the ridiculous lift that allows enough space for a toddler to stand up between the rear wheel and the wheel well. For the 4 years I had the van, I really only ever had one issue. Toward year four, when the ramp would fold out, it would not fully extend. It would come out still bent at the joint until I pushed it down. I took it in and my mobility dealer was able to re-calibrate the arm and it fully extended after that.
    I ended up trading it in for a 2018 Sienna with the Braun in-floor ramp and absolutely love it. Again, the body work looks great and the inside is very well done. The mobility company I bought it from damaged it before I received it, so I've had a few issues there, but I don't fault Braun for that. I've heard concerns of the in-floor not extending, which did happen to me once. Thankfully I keep a golf umbrella in my car and was able to push the manually extend button from outside the vehicle. The ramp had failed to extend on its own because it was really cold and my car had been sitting at the airport for a week. Anytime it is really cold (20F or less), I just plan ahead and put the golf umbrella somewhere easily accessible.
    One of the main things I like about in-floor over fold out was the extra floor space to maneuver. I don't know if it is something specific to Braun or all the fold-out conversions, but it seems the mechanism and ramp took up a ton of space of the interior. I was worried going from the Town and Country to a Sienna because the Sienna is several inches shorter, but it turned out to have much more space on the inside. My wife really likes that she can use the passenger side door when getting my son in and out of the car. Passengers also can now get out on the sidewalk side of the vehicle since the fold-out ramp blocked the door if not extended.
    In summary, I personally have had good luck with Braun for the past 5 years I've owned a van. Both the fold-out and in-floor conversions have been done well. I'm sure with any van you get there will be issues since nothing in our lives can be easy, but Braun has done a good job to limit them. Feel free to ask any questions you may have.

  3. #3
    I have a BraunAbility fold out ramp on a 2014 Honda Odyssey. There have not been any problems with the Braun conversion, but we have had problems with the sliding doors. This is a Honda problem. They appear to have designed the door track so it is guaranteed to fail. The door has some plastic rollers that that do not hold up under the heavy load. We had to get them replaced in January when both the ramp and driver's side door would not completely close. Nearly $400!

  4. #4
    Thanks guys, that helped bigtime. The main reason I wanted to go with a foldout was because of the challenges I had with an in -floor VMI on my 2000 T&C Limited. Back then, the only way the ramp could be manually deployed was being pulled from the outside of the van. Now, there's a manual crank that can deploy. I found there was a lot of noise going down a somewhat bumpy highway. Also, if I need less angle on the ramp, with a fold out, That could be lessened by extending the lower section of the ramp. The downside is it would take more room to deploy.

    I rarely have more than one passenger so the rear left door being blocked is not a challenge. I'm surprised Honda would work on your van doors. With my T&C, they wouldn't work on them because of the conversion. Good to know there is that possibility.
    Will have to check it out.

    I really detest we have to go to a dealer in our area rather than being able to go elsewhere to buy. Ours has a terrible reputation and 110 miles away. So would be over a 200 mile round trip for service done. The closet dealer for me is 28 miles away but is in Vancouver. BC, Canada. My insurance pays for the conversion, I pay for the van. So not only do I have to buy the conversion, but was told I have to buy the van thru them; something I'm going to check with Braun about.

    Will check reliability of fold-out vs. in-floor Braun again. I may just restore my 2000 as it is still in good shape other than the door dragging a bit. May be just a matter of changing out the rollers on the door. Thanks again for your info.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Madsen View Post

    I may just restore my 2000 as it is still in good shape other than the door dragging a bit. May be just a matter of changing out the rollers on the door. Thanks again for your info.
    I can tell you one thing. If your 2000 had a fold out, working on the slider door would be very, very difficult with the ramp in the way. I somehow managed to get done what I needed, but the instructions say to remove ramp bolts and pivot ramp out of the way. Dropping the ramp does not work, because then the door is open and mostly not accessible.
    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.

  6. #6
    Thanks for the tips. I called Braun and Alliance Mobility in Richmond B.C. Canada. I'll be having the maintenance done there. He said either in-floor or folding are good but thinks the folding is more popular and eaiser to work on if necessary. Also if it quits working I can still manually use it. The fold out rests between the pillars in the rear so doesn't interfere with the passenger front seat. My agent, wife, and I will go up next week and take a good look at both versions of the Braun.

    Braun didn't think there'd be any hassle taking it across the border for work and should be covered. He's going to check it out with the big guys and let me know. Even if I have to pay to maintain it, it'd be worth it as Alliance has worked on my current van for years. I trust them over Absolute Mobility in Seattle and is 90 miles closer.. Wish I could buy the van from Alliance. Am going to check out the restrictions on bringing one across. I know they have to be at least a year old.

  7. #7
    Senior Member McDuff's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Dallas area, Tx
    Posts
    3,484
    The buying restrictions you talk about is confusing to me. At one time when I was shopping, I was talking to our local shop about buying a van myself and have it converted by Braun. I told them that I was gonna buy the van thru the Costco buyer network and showed them the price, he said there was no way they could match that price, but there was no talk about having to buy thru them. It would cost me $1k shipping charges to get the van to Braun, but that was it as far as providing my own van to get converted.

    Circumstances put me out of the market for awhile. Then I found out that Costco now has a handicapped vehicle buyer assistance program, but unfortunately had not been rolled out in TX at the time. I found a dealer in AZ that had the exact van I wanted, a 2016 Sienna Limited, and wheeled and dealed with them. I got the Costco discount, plus a Costco gift card, and these guys even delivered the van to my door for me with my transfer seat and hand controls installed.

    I have only had to take the van in once to the local shop, but they did the work on it with no problem.

    This is my 2nd Braun van and the only thing they can't seem to get right is; the "wall plug" for the driver seat doesn't work well with a transfer base, as with my old van, I am getting intermittent times where the airbag light stays on after starting. Then I wiggle the plug and restart, and waalaa, the light goes off. In my old van I eventually had to get the base hardwired to the wall after it failed constantly, hope that is not the case again.
    "a T10, who'd Rather be ridin'; than rollin'"

  8. #8
    Thanks McDuff, One of the hindrances is I'm buying the van part and workers Comp. is buying the conversion part. The restrictions is mostly misinformation from the mobility dealer in Woodinville, Wa. One of the reasons I don't want to deal with them; no trust and 110 miles away.

    Good idea on the Costco program, will check it out.

Similar Threads

  1. Braunability minivan conversion cost
    By SCIfor55+yrs. in forum Equipment
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 08-14-2014, 04:14 PM
  2. Braunability Entervan XT conversion & Remote Start
    By stuck1 in forum Equipment & Services
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 12-22-2012, 06:03 PM
  3. Recent MRI Comparison: Your Opinion?
    By This Sucks in forum Care
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 05-06-2011, 08:35 PM
  4. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 03-09-2005, 11:01 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •