Choices To Consider When You Need A Wheelchair-Accessible Van For A Family Member

If someone in your family needs to be in a wheelchair all the time and can't stand long enough to transfer into a car, then the solution might be to buy a conversion van. A wheelchair accessible van allows your loved one to remain active and mobile, so it would definitely be worth the investment. If you currently own a family van, you might be able to convert it and not void the warranty. Otherwise, you can buy a handicap minivan or van already converted. Here are some options to think about:

Converting Your Van

If your van has a lot of miles left in it yet, then converting it could be less expensive than buying a van that has already been rebuilt. If your current van is getting near the end of its life, it probably isn't a good idea to invest a lot of money in the conversion process. If your budget is tight, you might find a used handicap van at a fairly affordable price that would still provide you with years of service. Converting a van is a complex procedure that costs a lot of money depending on what all you have done, so you want to make sure your van has plenty of years left in it before you decide to go ahead with the process.

Choosing Your Options

One good thing about converting your own van is that you get to decide which options are best. One thing you can choose is whether to place the ramp on the side or the back. The back is often more convenient since a wheelchair can still get in and out of the van when another car parks too close to the side. This gives you greater choices when it comes to parking spaces too since you won't always need the wide space that a side ramp requires. Another option is if you want the ramp or if you'd rather have a lift. A lift is sometimes a better choice if there is a concern over the safety of using a ramp to get in and out of the van.

A wheelchair accessible van has more head space than a traditional van. To allow for this, the floor has to be lowered in a minivan or if you have a full-size van, you can choose to lower the floor or raise the top. You can discuss this option with the shop. Raising the roof may be the most convenient, but you must consider the ability to maneuver the van into parking garages, which might be necessary when going to medical appointments and other public buildings. Ideally, your conversion van will operate just like it did before the changes were made meaning you can still park in the usual spaces. Therefore, lowering the floor might be best.

Before you decide to have your van converted, look at various handicap vans to get a feel for the options available so you know exactly what you want. Then compare prices of a conversion van with the cost of converting your own van to become wheelchair accessible taking into account the cost of altering the door, lowering the floor, and installing safety devices. Then, you'll be well informed on the best decision to make.

Contact a company that can help you with a van handicap conversion for more information and assistance.