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Thread: Accessible vehicle options

  1. #1
    Senior Member singin_intherain's Avatar
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    Accessible vehicle options

    Would anybody mind giving me the basics, an outline of what options are if I want to drive my chair into my vehicle? Is a van my only option? What’s the smallest vehicle I could use? Side ramps/back ramps/lifts? It's all new to me.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Broknwing's Avatar
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    Singin-
    first of all, check out Kristi's threads about her truck. She drives from her chair in her Nissan Titan...Ryno Mobility does the conversion and they do it on a number of pickup trucks. They also just introduced a ramp option instead of the UVL option. There's another company that converts only GM trucks and SUVs called the Elaine Anne system, it's quite nice as well. In addition to these, both the Honda Element and the Toyota Scion have ramp conversions that you can have done and drive from your chair. You are not limited to a van, there are lots of options, but the biggest factor would be what you can afford or if you have someone like Voc Rehab helping to pay for it.
    'Chelle
    L-1 inc 11/24/03

    "My Give-a-Damn's Busted"......

  3. #3
    Yeah, links on where to read about this would be awesome. Can someone start with where to find "Kristie's threads about her truck?"

    Thanks.

  4. #4
    Senior Member NetoAnAstro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by singin_intherain
    Would anybody mind giving me the basics, an outline of what options are if I want to drive my chair into my vehicle? Is a van my only option? What’s the smallest vehicle I could use? Side ramps/back ramps/lifts? It's all new to me.
    I have a 1999 Caravan that seems smaller than a regular van. It came like that from the dealer, infact its called a Rampvan. They modified the floor of the minivan to where you have more head room. In similar minivans the floor is about 3 or 4 inches higher than the bottom of the sliding doors. On mine they are flushed to the floor. But although mini, its still a van.

  5. #5
    How big of a person are you? How tall? Power wheelchair or manual?

    Some people have modified PT Cruisers (a small van, I think), as well as Honda Elements. Both are VERY tight to maneuver. Most often you will find Dodge Caravans or Toyota Sienas as commonly used for ramp vans.

    Full sized pick up trucks can also sometimes be modified with a lift, but they are expensive (of course none of this is cheap!).

    Regardless, you should look into the EZ-Lock tie-down system so you truely have a drive-in and drive set up.

    You can find many previous posts about rear entry vs. side entry vans and people are pretty polarized into one school or the other. Personally, because we are often in cities where we need to parallel park, we prefer to side entry. I don't like them because in a parallel parking situation, or angled on-street parking (or even in a parking lot) you are loading and unloading where you can be in the path of on-coming traffic, and you may end up in the steet having to travel a ways to a curb cut. If you only park in garages or off-street, then rear entry may work for you.

    PS: here is Kristi's post on her truck.

    (KLD)
    Last edited by SCI-Nurse; 06-13-2006 at 09:32 PM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member singin_intherain's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone. I'm 5'4", 100 or so pounds, use both a manual and small portable power chair, though transporting the power chair is more important. I can still transfer, am not sure I'd want to drive from my chair, at least for now.

    Does anyone know of an affordable source for an accessible rental until I figure out what to do?

  7. #7
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    There is another thread with pictures here:

    http://sci.rutgers.edu/forum/showthr...t=kristi+truck

    I found this using the search option. Click on the blue bar above where it says search. Type Kristi truck is the search box. It will bring up a lot of other threads that may be helpful as well (plus some that won't be I am sure ....)

  8. #8
    Senior Member singin_intherain's Avatar
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    I also meant to ask where to start, whom to contact. Is there usually a
    state agency or specialty vendor to help me navigate the options?

  9. #9
    I don't know about Alaska, but in CA there is no state agency who either funds or screens adapted vehicles, except VERY rarely the Dept. of Voc Rehab. Most people have to purchase a van out of their own funds, unless you have worker's comp or a big settlement.

    (KLD)

  10. #10
    I recently purchased a Chrysler Town & Country here: www.amsvans.com. I worked with the salesperson Diana who was very helpful.

    Good luck,
    Millard
    ''Life's tough... it's even tougher if you're stupid!'' -- John Wayne


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