What Is a Conversion Van?

BraunAbility Engineers an Accessible Design on the Most Popular Vehicle Chassis.

A conversion van is the name given to a specially engineered adaptation of a vehicle to make it accessible for wheelchair users. While that may sound simple enough, converting a vehicle safely is an intensive, complex process and not all van conversion companies build their products to the same standards of quality and safety. Keep reading to learn more about the vehicle conversion process and how to ensure you’re placing your trust with a manufacturer with a proven history of quality and safety mobility products.

How is a Conversion Van Built?

At BraunAbility, every vehicle conversion is built using an assembly line method, designed to ensure quality for a best-in-class ownership experience for every customer. So how does a traditional vehicle become a BraunAbility accessible vehicle?

  1. The first step is to remove the existing seating from the vehicle, as well as the interior panels. Any exposed surfaces are completely covered for protection from scrapes and heat during the conversion process.
  2. Once the seats are removed, the vehicle’s floor is lowered and custom interior paneling is installed for a seamless blend between the chassis and conversion.
  3. A high-strength ramp is installed, either in the rear or the passenger slide door area. These ramps are available as either a foldout or infloor option on most models of vehicle.
  4. The rear bench seat is reinstalled, and in most models of conversion vehicle, the driver and front passenger seats are mounted on raised platforms. Both seats are easily removable by the vehicle owner, allowing for floor plan flexibility from one ride to another.
  5. To disguise the lowered floor extension on the exterior of the vehicle, custom-molded ground effect panels are added to both the driver and passenger sides, integrating the design.
  6. No matter what conversion van you select (Chrysler, Dodge, Ford, Toyota or Honda), your best-in-class BraunAbility product is manufactured to uncompromised standards to deliver the best customer experience in the industry.

What is a conversion van?

In a 2016 survey of mobility service technicians, BraunAbility was voted Most Trusted Brand in Mobility and the brand they were most likely to recommend to friends and family. Why? Because service technicians know conversion vans from the inside out, and they see firsthand that not all van conversions are built with a priority on quality and safety. When it comes to reliability, you deserve the best. 

Straight Talk About Wheelchair Vans

This video series takes an honest, under-the-hood look at what sets BraunAbility products apart from other van conversions.

An Introduction to Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles

You have a lot of options when you’re considering the purchase of a wheelchair accessible vehicle. Quality features mean the difference between a great driving experience and a stressful one. Making an informed decision on your purchase is one of the most important and responsible things you could do. 

Braking Systems

Even though most of our customers will never see what our brake systems look like, we make sure they’ll never wonder about their reliability after a conversion. See how BraunAbility’s brake lines are routed, suspended and secured compared to other mobility brands.

Exhaust System

Compare BraunAbility’s fully stainless steel, tier-one supplied system to other mobility brands, and you’ll see how far we go to secure and enforce our exhaust system.


Fuel Systems

It goes without saying, there is no room for compromise when it comes to your fuel system. See the measures BraunAbility takes to design, build, and secure a fuel system that goes the distance.

Sliding Doors

An accessible van doesn’t live up to its name if you don’t have a reliable way to get in and out of it! The design of BraunAbility’s sliding door system is another example of how we go the extra mile to ensure the greatest reliability and usability.

Suspension

Accessible vehicles need to be designed to manage a heavier weight capacity, especially the suspension system. We make sure our suspension not only handles extra weight, but makes the ride as smooth and enjoyable as possible.


Wiring

BraunAbility spends time and money up front to design an electrical system that is reliable and easy to service, saving you time, money, and frustration in the long run.

Underbody

Every accessible vehicle manufacturer must cut through the vehicle frame in order to lower the floor. The way each company chooses to join the new lowered floor to the main vehicle frame during the conversion process is how you measure quality in the conversion. 

Recap of Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles

Now, you are equipped with the information you need to make an informed purchase decision. Your mobility freedom is precious, and it's important to work with a company that believes this, too. Stop into your local dealer to ask questions and to see these vehicles in person.