4 Features to Look For in Your Next Wheelchair Minivan

If you’re a first time buyer of a wheelchair minivan or in the market for a new one, you may have found that the process can be a little intimidating. There are countless options available, and wheelchair accessibility only adds more concerns to the decision-making process.

 

Having guided many individuals and families through the process ourselves, we’ve learned a thing or two about how to make these decisions a little easier. We’ve put together this quick blog to highlight some of the most desirable features in a wheelchair minivan. With these features in mind, you can keep your eyes peeled for what may (or may not) be deal-breakers with your next purchase.

 

      Rear-entry as opposed to side-entry. Side-entry minivan conversions are very common, but rear-entry conversions offer a plethora of benefits that side-entry does not. For starters, rear-entry is less expensive, and leaves the fuel tank in a safer location forward of the lowered floor. It also maintains the structural integrity of the OEM unity body frame rails, offers better ground clearance and a lower ramp angle. Practical benefits also include greater seating capacity (up to 7, rather than 5), and ease of use with parking. Rear-entry can be used with wider ramps, accommodating a broader range of wheelchairs. Lastly, rear-entry doesn’t necessitate any extra side-room, allowing for easy use in narrow garages or parking lots.

      A hand control feature. For drivers with limited leg function, a hand control feature is a must, as it allows the user to drive the vehicle with only their hands. Think about who’s going to be driving the vehicle most often and whether this feature is a priority or not.

      Power ramp. We offer a 34 inch wide power ramp that functions with all the functionality of OEM power lift gate including obstacle detection for safer operations. That can also be operated manually.

      Transfer seats. If the wheelchair user will frequently be driving, the transfer seat option is another feature to consider. These seats pivot 180 degrees, allowing the wheelchair user to shift directly from their wheelchair to the seat. These are commonly used in the driver’s seat, but can also be used with passenger seats.

 

If o you are still confused or curious about what to look for in your next wheelchair minivan? Call the experts at AutoAbility today for suggestions, tips, and answers to any questions you may have. Our mobility consultants are always happy to help out, so call today! 1-888-592-5995

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