Rear Conversion for Easy Van Entry: 5 Things to Know
Are you thinking of converting a van for wheelchair access? There are some things you really need to think about.
A rear conversion is an excellent way to improve a wheelchair user’s mobility, allowing easier movement over longer distances without the need for paid transport. This is why they are on the rise.
But rear entry wheelchair van conversions are not all the same. Depending on your needs, there are a few things you need to know.
So, let’s have a look at the things you need to think about before starting a rear entry van conversion.
1. Will You Need a Ramp or Power Lift?
This is the first question you need to ask since it can make or break the value of your rear entry conversion. There are different reasons why you may choose between a ramp or a power lift.
The main factors that will determine your choice are:
- Wheelchair user’s disability
- Type of wheelchair
- Van model or typeYour individual preferences
- Rear conversion budget
There are some other questions worth asking, too.
2. Who Will Be Driving?
The next big thing to work out is whether you (the wheelchair user) will be driving, or whether someone else will be. It is possible for the wheelchair user to configure the van so they can drive it. But, usually, some extra steps are necessary for the conversion process.
A van conversion to rear entry may involve the installation of a transfer seat. This is a specially designed car seat that allows the wheelchair user to easily move from the wheelchair to the driving position.
If you will be driving, you should also consider the licensing requirements.
3. Using a Wheelchair Lockdown?
If you are not using a transfer seat, the other option is a wheelchair lockdown. This is a mechanism that locks the wheelchair into position so that it doesn’t move.
It can be used whether the wheelchair user is driving or is a passenger. If you are driving, the lockdown mechanism is going to need to be customized so that you are positioned correctly to operate the car.
4. Will Any Van Do?
With enough money, you could convert pretty well any van to a wheelchair accessible van. However, it is a better choice to choose a more adaptable van to begin with.
A rear conversion can be an expensive job, so you don’t want to waste too much money on an old van that may break down anyway.
5. Know Your Priorities
Before starting a rear conversion on a van, it’s a good idea to take the time to work out exactly what you want and need. You are likely going to have a budget that needs to be taken into consideration.
So, think about what your top priorities are and work from there. Do you need a power lift? Do you want a newer model van? Do you want to drive?
Scale your answers to these questions and you should have a good picture of the rear conversion you need and want, balanced against what you can afford.
A Van Rear Conversion Can Make All the Difference
Now you have a bit of an idea about what a van rear conversion is and what things to consider before doing one. But, just remember that a van conversion can make a huge difference to your life as a wheelchair user, or even as a carer.
The increased freedom and mobility are worth it. So, what are you waiting for?
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