5 Signs a Vehicle Can Be Made Wheelchair Accessible

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Who said vans are out of style? Vans and minivans have been denigrated as passé. Maybe the only demographic that can still drive minivans in a cool fashion are suburban soccer moms.

Spruce vans up and make them cool again by making vans wheelchair accessible. Not all vans are eligible for this upgrade though. Learn five signs a vehicle can be made wheelchair accessible by reading on.

1. Your Van's Profile

Certain vans lend themselves better to wheelchairs than others. The Dodge Grand Caravan, for example, and the Chrysler Town & Country are commonly converted vans.

You also need to consider your van's make, model, mileage, and year. Unmodified minivans are ideal for conversion.

2. Ability to Handle Side-Entry Conversion

A van should be able to feature side-entry conversion. With such a conversion, the wheelchair-user can ride in the front passenger seat. They can even drive the van themselves.

Side-entry conversion allows for seating configurations and options similar to those in standard vehicles. You can access the van as easily as standard vans by entering and exiting from the side of accessible parking spaces.

The wheelchair ramp is easy to operate. With powered models, you can add a kneeling system to lower the ramp angle.

3. Your Van's Used

If you don't already have a van, try buying used. Secondhand vans can be primed and ready for conversion. 

Mobility dealerships accept used vans as trade-ins for resale.

Dealerships sell rental vans that were retired after a year. Used vans are often a good value but check with a qualified mobility equipment dealer to ensure they're ripe for conversion.

4. Capacity for Rear-Entry Conversion

If you prefer a more affordable option than a side-entry conversion, consider rear-entry conversion. It's cheaper because workers remove the rear bench and replace it with a ramp mechanism.

In addition, you can use regular parking spaces. Rear-entry conversion means that wheelchair users often sit in the center of the van. That's the safest spot in an accident.

Last, rear-entry conversion allows for more ground clearance to adapt to uneven roadways.

5. The Price Is Right

Believe it or not, most people can afford to convert their vans.

In these challenging economic times, local organizations and chapters are ready and willing to help you fund a modified vehicle. If they don't provide funds directly, they can assist in coordinating fundraising activities or refer you to community resources.

Making Vans Wheelchair Accessible

Vans aren't as popular as they once were, but they're still a force to be reckoned with. These high-capacity, imposing people movers are the suburban soccer mom's army tank.

These lean, mean machines get a bit more powerful when you make vans wheelchair accessible. A modified vehicle is an inclusive, dynamic marvel of modern technology.

Shop for wheelchair accessible vehicles today in our site's Mobility Products section. 

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