If you’re in the market for a new wheelchair van, you may be a bit overwhelmed with all the options available. You’ve got a lot of choices to consider, and rightly so! No two wheelchair-users (or their chairs) are completely the same, and you’ve all got different needs and preferences.
One of the decisions you’ll face: whether to go with an in-floor wheelchair ramp or a foldout ramp. Today’s blog will help you understand the pros and cons of each.
The In-Floor Wheelchair Ramp
First off, meet the in-floor ramp. As the name suggests, the ramp is stored in the floor (under the vehicle, more accurately). This option was just made available by BraunAbility in 2012 and is currently offered on the Toyota Rampvan only.
First, the pros:
A) With no ramp in the doorway, passengers who are not in wheelchairs can enter and exit the vehicle without having to deploy the ramp.
B) If you’d been bothered by the foldout ramp interfering with the front passenger seat reclining, that issue is eliminated with an in-floor ramp.
C) Out of sight, out of mind! An in-floor ramp is completely concealed, so the interior looks closer than ever to that of a standard Toyota Sienna.
Now, the cons:
A) The in-floor ramp has a slightly higher ramp angle compared to the foldout.
B) Deploying an in-floor ramp onto a high curb could be a problem.
C) An in-floor ramp may require more maintenance because the ramp tends to collect more debris.
The Foldout Wheelchair Ramp
Next, we take a look at the classic foldout wheelchair ramp. As you’d guess, this version folds out when it is deployed and folds back up to rest alongside the closed sliding door when not in use. The foldout is the tried-and-tested flagship of BraunAbility ramps and is available on each conversion Toyota, Honda, and Chrysler.
Let’s take a closer look. Up first, the pros list:
A) If you pull alongside a curb, it’s very easy to deploy a foldout ramp onto the sidewalk.
B) In the case of an emergency, a wheelchair user can always push a foldout ramp until it deploys.
C) Because the ramp is stored upright, less debris is able to get trapped and result in maintenance issues.
D) Compared to the in-floor option, the foldout conversions have a lower ramp angle
Now, the cons:
A) Because the foldout ramp is housed in the doorway when stored, it takes up a small amount of interior space.
B) The ramp can limit the front passenger seat from fully extending in a reclined position.
C) In order to enter or exit on the ramp side of the vehicle, the ramp must be deployed.
Of course, this overview can in no way compare to experiencing each option in person and reviewing it up close with the help of a BraunAbility dealer. Click here to find your local BraunAbility dealer and receive a free, no-obligation mobility consultation. Mobility isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution, and we want to make sure you have the options you deserve! More questions? Let us know!