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Thread: what mini van should I buy?

  1. #1

    what mini van should I buy?

    I know that it would be more cost effective to get an already converted van, but voc rehab won't pay for that. They have told me that if I buy a van, used or not, that they will convert it for me. My question is, what kind is best for a lift/ramp modification? I would like to get this process rolling, since I know that it will take some time to get finished.

    jOE

  2. #2
    My voc rehab counselor said the same thing, but I've talked to the manufacturers that make the modified vans and they say they've worked with voc rehab before. Try getting them to contact your VR counselor.

    Explain to them that it will cost you both less money to buy an already modified van.

    _____
    Learn from the mistakes of others, you won't live long enough to make all of them yourself.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Andy's Avatar
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    Well, there is quite a fleet of Dodge Caravans rolling around the Chicago area for the public transit program. I had an opportunity to inspectorize one of them and query the driver as to the reliablity of them. She said that she was happy with them, and that they had a few with 200K on them and running pretty good. Maybe work a deal where you are 'buying' one of those being drop shipped at one of the conversion manufacturers then having them cover the rest of the cost of conversion? My recommendation is buy new w/warranty for such an extensively modified vehicle unless you can get them to spring for a used already converted vehicle somehow.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Jeff B's Avatar
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    We are happy so far with our Pontiac Montana with a Braun Entervan conversion. The Montana or Chevy Venture conversions both have a 12" lowered floor, while most other minivans only have a 10" lowered floor. This gives a little extra headroom. It still looks pretty much like a normal van from the outside. The fold-out ramp has less to go wrong with it than an in-floor ramp and can be used manually if something does happen to the motor, so you won't get trapped in your van (closing is probably only possible by someone not in a chair).

  5. #5
    I have a black, 2003 Pontiac Montana and with the 12" lowered floor and ground effects, it looks like a hybrid Van/SUV..it's the butchest looking minivan around. You definetly will not look like a soccer mom!


    Joe

  6. #6
    Junior Member
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    I have a Dodge Caravan with 10" lowered floor. You've really got to watch for speed bumps, parking garage ramps, and driveway entrances that have a high crown (where the slanted part meets the flat part). I've winced and gritted my teeth as I drag the undercarriage over one. For some reason, it hurts me even more when it happens when my wife drives. If I were getting a 12" lowered floor, I would compare ground clearance first.

  7. #7
    Senior Member McDuff's Avatar
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    The newest van in the conversion world is the 2004 Toyota Sienna. I've looked them over and they are setup nice, only done by IMS vans. They are real proud of them though. They are shorter then the Dodge/Chryslers but 4" wider, haven't figured out which is more needed. Haven't looked at a Montana, have to check it out.

    McD

    "Rather be ridin' than rollin'"

  8. #8
    I have a Dodge Caravan with a 10" lowered floor. The van was already modified from IMS. I had to have the hand controls and seats installed separate, it took only two weeks from the time I purchased it until the time I drove it home. I also cringe when I go over speed bumps and thru a car wash, but so far no problems. I have a fold down ramp instead of an in floor ramp, I have two swivel seats so I can transfer into either one in case my wife wants to drive. I have good height clearance and room to move around to transfer into my seat. I've had no problems or complaints. It also gets good gas milege which is important these days. Good Luck!!

    Back to work finally

  9. #9
    Senior Member alan's Avatar
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    We have a 2001 Grand Caravan SE from Rollx (www.rollxvans.com is the url.)

    Alan

    "Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?"

  10. #10
    Senior Member krajaxa's Avatar
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    2003 Dodge Caravan - Entervan modifications from Braun. Happy with all the mods done to it, maybe just the e-z lock for hubby's chair seem to be a little bit awkward (they had to manufacture a hook up for his ti-lite - that makes his chair unhumanly heavy, he might think of something else to do with it). What kind of brake/hook up do you use for your w/c in your vans, so it doesn't fly thru the vehicle?

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