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BraunAbility Wheelchair Vans and Wheelchair Lifts
Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles
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Which Wheelchair Vans Are Right For Me?

Choosing the right wheel chair van can be a little overwhelming. While manufacturer preference, e.g., Dodge, Chrysler, Honda, or Toyota, will certainly play a role, keep in mind that there are several other important factors that you’ll want to consider. This guide will be a useful starting point in your search, but remember that the best way to determine which accessible vehicle best meets your needs is to visit your local BraunAbility dealer.

Is the Wheelchair or Scooter User Ambulatory?

If the Wheelchair or Scooter user is ambulatory, in other words, they can physically transfer from the wheelchair or scooter to another seat, a device, called a power seat base, can be installed in your existing vehicle by a BraunAbility dealer. If the Wheelchair or Scooter user is either not ambulatory or their disability might be progressive, a wheelchair accessible van might be the best choice.

BraunAbility Entervan XT - A Side Entry Wheelchair Minivan BraunAbility Rear Entry Wheelchair Minivan

Side or Rear Entry Wheelchair Van?

Most wheelchair vans are converted to become wheelchair or scooter accessible by lowering some or all of the vehicle’s floor. BraunAbility side-entry vans either have the entire floor lowered (Entervan or Rampvan) or a portion of the floor from the rear of the front seats to the back of the van (CompanionVan). Rear-entry vans (Vision) have a much smaller portion of the floor lowered. Several areas highlight the differences between side and rear entry vans.

  • Expense: A rear-entry wheelchair van typically has a lower price because it’s much less expensive to convert. Additionally, used vans back to 2004 or 2005 can be converted to provide further savings.
  • Ground Clearance: Rear entry wheelchair vans have better ground clearance because most of the van’s floor has not been modified and because the rear of the vehicle is slightly elevated.
  • Seating Flexibility: The seating flexibility for the wheelchair or scooter user varies greatly between the two types of wheelchair vans. In a rear-entry wheelchair van, the wheelchair or scooter user will ride in a channel that’s been installed in the middle of the floor, from the 2nd row to the rear of the vehicle. In a side-entry wheelchair van, the wheelchair or scooter user has much more flexibility. If the entire floor has been lowered, like the BraunAbility Entervan or Rampvan, the wheelchair user can drive (if the user has the physical capability and the vehicle has hand-controls), ride in the front passenger position, or ride in the 2nd row position.
  • Tight Parking: If the area where you park has parking limitations, you might need to consider one van type over the other. For example, if you live in an area that lacks handicap parking spaces or if your garage is too narrow for a side-entry van, you might need a rear entry van. Likewise, if you live in an area with limited parallel parking, a side-entry vehicle would be a much better choice.
The Infloor Ramp and the Foldout Ramp

Wheelchair Van Ramps – Fold-out or In-floor?

How you use your wheelchair accessible vehicle will determine which is best for you. The Infloor Ramp retracts into the floor itself, leaving the doorway open. This may be important if you frequently travel with ambulatory passengers. With the ramp stored below the floor you do lose a bit of headroom, which may be an issue for taller wheelchair users. The Foldout Ramp may be a good choice for taller individuals, or if you do not require ambulatory access through the sliding door. Simple manual operation is also a helpful feature of the Foldout Ramp. To determine which van ramps will work best for you, discuss the pros and cons of each system with your Ability Specialist. Please note that the Infloor ramp is only available on the Toyota Rampvan Xi.

What are the Physical Measurements of the Wheelchair or Scooter User?

Knowing the dimensions of your wheelchair or scooter is critical to the selection process. Before you visit your BraunAbility dealer, take a moment to measure:

HEIGHT: measure from the floor to the top of your head while sitting in your chair or scooter.

LENGTH: measure your wheelchair or scooter from front to back, taking into account your feet and footrests, baskets, medical equipment, and any other protrusions.

WIDTH: measure your wheelchair from side to side at the widest point, paying attention to arm rests or other protrusions above floor level.

Compare these dimensions with the chart below, and you will get a rough idea of which conversion and which chassis you should consider. Keep in mind, however, that the tape measure does not tell the whole story – there is no substitute for trying out a wheelchair vehicle at your local BraunAbility dealer.

BraunAbility Side Entry Wheelchair Vans

Wheelchair Minivan Dimensions

  2013 Models
  Dimension Key Dodge-Chrysler
Entervan XT
Dodge-Chrysler
Entervan
Dodge-Chrysler
CompanionVan SE
Honda Entervan Toyota
RampVan XT
Toyota
RampVan Xi
Door Opening Usable Width A 31.5 31.5 31 30.5 33 31
Usable Height B 56.5 52.5 52.5 55 56 54.25
Interior Height Center of Van C 61 57.25 57.25 60 60 58
Front Driver Position D 60 56.25 39.8 57.25 59 57.5
Interior Width At Rear of Driver's Seat J 62 62 62 60.5 61.5 60
Interior Length Behind Front Seats H 57 57 59.5 57 51 45
Overall (flat area) I 87.5 87.5 55 91.5 82.5 84
Ramp Length E 52 52 52 52 52 52
Width F 29.25 29.25 29.25 28.375 29.25 30.25
Angle (with kneel) G 7.5 degrees 9.2 degrees 9.2 degrees 8.4 degrees 7.3 degrees 8.8 degrees

Note: All dimensions in inches unless otherwise noted.

Vision Rear Entry Wheelchair Vans

Wheelchair Minivan Dimensions

  2005 to 2007 2008 to Current 2005 to 2010 2011 to Current 2005 to 2010 2011 to Current
  Dimension Key Dodge-Chrysler-VW Routan Honda Odyssey Toyota Sienna
Interior length Short cut A 58.5 58.5 59 61 59 61
Regular cut B 89 87 72 88 86 87
Interior width Lowered floor area C 31 31 31 33 31 33
Ramp Width D 30 30 30 32 30 32
Length E 40 or 52 45 52 52 40 or 52 40 or 52
Angle (with kneel) S 9 degrees 11 degrees 11 degrees 10 degrees 9 degrees 10 degrees
Rear Door opening Usable height K 54.5 or 56 54 or 56 54 54 54 or 56 54 or 56
Interior height Front wheel position J 58 57 56 57.5 57 57

Note: All dimensions in inches unless otherwise noted.

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eSSENTIAL Accessibility and the wheelchair/computer symbol are registered trade-marks of eSSENTIAL Accessibility Inc. in Canada and select locations.