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Thread: van verse car

  1. #1

    van verse car

    t-10 complete since 2001 been driving a car im starting to wonder if a ramp van would be easier on my shoulders and overall body as of now i transfr in break down chair stow chair in car and go
    to alcohol the cause of-and solution to-all of lifes problems [homer simpson]

  2. #2
    I love mine, I went from corvette to mini van, had 4 wheel drive jimmy also. I will never go back to tearing down my wheelchair again, I'm 28 years in chair, t-12, shoulders are getting bad. i love my roll in van, got all bells and whistles, rides nice, i'm in and out anywhere i go...never would even think of going back..

  3. #3
    i wish i would have switched 10 yrs sooner rep
    c4/5 inc funtioning c6. 28 yrs post.
    sponsored handcycle racer

  4. #4
    im also concerned about the ground clearance and bottoming out in some places i go i know the full size would eleminate that but i dont really want a big van
    to alcohol the cause of-and solution to-all of lifes problems [homer simpson]

  5. #5
    If shoulders are your concern, then consider a lift vs a ramp. The lift is also more convenient for loading and unloading items. Items in your lap will tend to spill on a ramp.

  6. #6
    Senior Member djrolling's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Salisbury NC
    I use a van but no ramp and very seldom have to break down the chair as most of the time I am driving my wife is going with me and she puts the chair in back no taking apart and putting back together. If the wife is not around I will most likely handcycle where I need to go. The few times I do drive alone and have to break down the chair it seems easier than when I did it in a car. I guess when I get a certain age I may have to go the ramp option. If I were not so tight with money I might would get one now because it would be super nice to roll in and go.

  7. #7
    I have a 2010 VMI Honda Odyssey. It bottoms out several times a year, typically in and out of parking lots or parking garages. It's unnerving and makes a lot of noise but I've yet to get stuck. In the past couple of years I've had several long-time chair using friends switch to ramp vans to save their joints. None have regretted it.

  8. #8
    Senior Member McDuff's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Dallas area, Tx
    I've got a '16 Sienna it is my 2nd van and have only bottomed out a few times, usually because I didn't see the bump/dip/etc in time to slow down. I have never bottomed out when going slow over speed bumps/humps or anything. My brother has a ranch in OK with gravel roads that are good and bad depending if he has refurb'ed them lately, and the van goes up the hills and over bumps with no problem.

    I have to add this; just earlier today I had this email convo with a very good friend, he was my best man at wedding, and he was asking why I didn't go for a truck(I loved my trucks prior to sci):

    (I edited out some @#$% words)
    I tried hard to want to go for a truck instead of a minivan again, believe me. Too many "what abouts"

    Those trucks you saw are meant to be driven from your wheelchair, even though they show seats in the spot, you roll onto that platform and it lifts you up. I want out of my chair for trips, plus my chair has no head restraint so if I get rear ended, I'm @#$%. Plus you have to add a 15lb bracket on the bottom of your chair that latches your chair down.

    There are seats that swivel out and down so that you can transfer from chair to seat and go back up and in, almost like OEM seat. Problem is, then you got to do something with your chair. My chair doesn't fold so it won't fit in the cab, not like I want to haul the thing in anyway, even though some people do.

    They make remote control hoists that mount in the corner of the bed that will swivel and come down, hook your chair on and it will load it into the bed.
    Shit, now chair is out of reach, forgot to get my wallet out of it. @#$%#
    Shit, now it's raining, chairs all wet. @#$%

    There is a special cab-height bed cover, it is hinged all along the passenger side and is remote controlled to lift up out of the way, then you use the hoist to put your chair in, then you close the cover.
    Shit, forgot my wallet again. @#$%

    Systems are slow as hell.
    Now have 3 special systems by 3 different companies, seat, hoist, cover. One of them stops working, I'm @#$% and stuck, maybe halfway up in the air.
    All told, that is as expensive as minivan mods done by one company.

    And, you still get wet or can't transfer in the rain. Or it's 105 outside while you're doing all this. My van, I can hit the fob button, time it so I hit the ramp as it hits the ground, and I'm inside high and dry, with a/c blowing while I transfer from my chair to the driver seat.

    Being the old comfort loving asshole I am, the minivan won again. :-)

    Whew, you think I didn't try for a truck? :-)

    "a T10, who'd Rather be ridin'; than rollin'"

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Suburb Near Chicago
    When I still had my 2003 E-250 high-top, not lowered floor, it suited me great. It was needed for our company, and my recreational needs.
    Having the ever so super slow lift was the worst. (it's not like a folding ramp, where you can deploy it, well before reaching the vehicle in a rainstorm to roll on in) If you live where snows are common, you'd need to carry a little shovel, shoveling only the area where the lift platform touches ground. Too much/deep snow and you're not getting on the platform.

    Was great having a motorized back bench seat. Folded flat for hauling bulk items, when I wouldn't take the bench completely out. The folded bench was great for a quick change of a snow-suit to hit the slopes for some downhill sit-skiing. Having the bench completely removed was also great for loading my handcycle inside and hitting several new areas to ride.
    The downside of the van... the height. It wouldn't fit in many parking structures, definitely not 90% of car washes, and it was pretty difficult driving on very windy days on the expressways. Fuel was another factor.... my van had, IIRC a 30-31 gallon tank. When we hit pretty substantial fuel per gallon costs, it wasn't uncommon for me to achieve $400-$500 fuel bills monthly.

    If you purchase a full-sized van, with a lift, do your homework extensively.... many lifts are very problematic, and can cost $1,000's to repair. The power-transfer base (driver) can be an issue also. Especially if the technician is clueless to actually wiring the harness correctly. When I went to p/u my van at (aaaa-hem, Mobility Crooks) as soon as I lowered the base to drive. Crunch, slice, right through the wire harness, in their lot.

    Under vehicle lifts are bad choice IMO. Terrible ground clearance, and they raise total height of vehicle to fit the lift properly.

    Another thing factored into the conversion..... the added rear leaf springs (1 each side) make it extremely bumpy ride from the mid van area to the rear. The spring is mandatory to keep a vehicle from rolling over, from a heavy powerchair inside of it.

  10. #10
    i agree with this......... im a quad and i cant get up the ramp, and if i could it would grind my shoulders, and mini is small. we love our full size. you may be able to go low top depending on how you sit in your chair. i like high tops.
    Quote Originally Posted by August West View Post
    If shoulders are your concern, then consider a lift vs a ramp. The lift is also more convenient for loading and unloading items. Items in your lap will tend to spill on a ramp. rep
    c4/5 inc funtioning c6. 28 yrs post.
    sponsored handcycle racer

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