Will a Wheelchair Van Fit in My Garage?
If you recently purchased a wheelchair van, you may be anxious to find out if the new vehicle fits in your garage. Luckily, with multiple wheelchair accessible vehicles on the market today, you’re likely to find a vehicle that fits your needs, and your storage space.
Handicap Van Size
If you’re thinking a handicap van won’t fit in your garage, think again. Most handicap vans and SUV’s today will fit in a standard garage. Before purchasing a handicap van, you’ll want to consider a few details that may affect vehicle size:
Number of Passengers: A traditional van typically holds up to seven people. Due to the space needed for wheelchairs and other mobility aids, handicap vans are made without a middle row of seats, making the vans capable of transporting 5 able-bodied passengers, and 1-2 wheelchair users depending on the size of mobility aids.
Wheelchair size: The size of your wheelchair or other mobility aid will determine how wide the doorways and ramp of your vehicle must be. Standard handicap van ramps are between 30-34 inches wide. If your wheelchair is wider than 34 inches, you should consider a full-size accessible vehicle.
Vehicle make and model: For those who don’t want to drive an accessible van, wheelchair accessible SUV’s are available. Although both accessible vans and SUV’s will fit in a standard garage, accessible SUV’s are slightly smaller. Different brands of wheelchair accessible vehicles will also have slightly different dimensions. To find a vehicle that works for you, view our dimensions guide, or contact a product specialist.
How Do You Store a Wheelchair Van?
Storing a handicap van in your garage is a good idea, as it helps keep the vehicle, and all its accessible equipment in good shape. Storing a handicap van in a clean, dry area is ideal to help maintain vehicle parts. Keeping up with vehicle maintenance will also allow you to get the most out of your accessible vehicle.
How to Protect a Wheelchair Van From Outdoor Elements and Weather
Because handicap vehicles are used in outdoor environments and are fitted with wheelchair ramps, they will naturally take in debris like rocks or dirt from time to time. Significant amounts of debris in a vehicle ramp or door track can cause wheelchair van parts to break down, as can weather elements. If you live in a rainy or snowy climate, store your accessible vehicle in a garage, and follow our tips to winterize your vehicle and prevent flood damage.
Storing a Wheelchair Van Without a Garage
If you don’t have a garage to store your wheelchair van, or your wheelchair van doesn’t fit in your garage, don’t worry, there are a few options to keep your vehicle and its accessible equipment protected:
Purchase a portable carport: For those who do not have a garage to store an accessible vehicle, a portable carport can be purchased. These carports are similar to a tent and protect your vehicle from outdoor elements like rain or snow.
Clean your vehicle: Be sure to clean your vehicle at least once a month. Pay special attention to the ramp and door tracks in accessible vehicles, as these can take in debris and water. Keeping ramp and door tracks clean and dry will prevent accessible vehicle equipment from breaking down.
What is the Height of a Handicap Van?
People often wonder if a handicap van will be too tall to fit in their garage, or if it will have enough headroom. If you are purchasing a wheelchair van from a certified mobility dealer, they will ask questions about your residence and garage, if applicable, to make sure you have both enough height to drive the van into your garage and space to deploy a ramp. Lowered floor vehicles typically allow proper headroom for wheelchair users without adding significant height to the vehicle.
Full-Size Wheelchair Accessible Vans
Unlike handicap vans, full size wheelchair vans are fitted with wheelchair lifts rather than ramps. Full-size accessible vehicles are typically larger than handicap accessible vans or SUVs, but they should still fit in most garages. BraunAbility manufactures full-size accessible vehicles like the Ram ProMaster and Ford Transit van. These vehicles feature lifts with greater weight capacity and typically offer more seating positions than a minivan. Full-size wheelchair vans may be ideal for those who prefer to use a vehicle lift rather than a ramp, or those who would like to transport multiple passengers or extra gear.
Deploying a Wheelchair Ramp or Lift
It is recommended that you properly stow your wheelchair ramp or lift when it is not in use. Accessible vehicles should fit in a garage when the ramp or lift is stowed. Deploying a wheelchair ramp or lift while the vehicle is parked in your garage is possible, but it will require more garage space. All wheelchair accessible vehicles should fit in a standard garage, however, not all vehicle ramps or lifts can be deployed in a garage.
Rent a Handicap Van
Not sure if a handicap van will fit in your garage? You can rent a handicap van to try it out for yourself. If the vehicle doesn’t work for you, don’t worry; your local mobility dealer, and our BraunAbility products specialists are here to help with any questions you may have about wheelchair accessible vehicles.