How to Decide Whether a Rear Entry or Side Entry Van Is Right
Choosing an entry method for your wheelchair van requires some thought and consideration. There are several questions to be answered to find the right fit. In the end, taking the time to answer these questions will make choosing the right wheelchair van easy and give you the peace of mind that you chose the right vehicle.
#1 – Do you have a preference for side or rear entry?
You may have a preference on the type of entry method you like to use. It may have been from a past wheelchair accessible vehicle you have ridden in or it may be because it is what you drive now. This can save a lot of time if you have already made a decision on which wheelchair van conversion is best for you and your family.
#2 – How many people will be in the van?
Wheelchair accessible seating is a bit different than your regular vehicle as special benches or seats are required to be able to fit everyone in. Knowing who will be in the van helps us determine if a regular conversion is right for you or if additional seating is required.
#3 – Will you require securements for more than one wheelchair?
If you are looking at transporting more than one wheelchair in your van, it is important to know this ahead of time as it will allow us to see if extra securements are required to keep everyone safe.
#4 – Is the wheelchair manual or power? If manual, is the occupant assistant or self-propelled?
Ramp angle is an important factor to consider when purchasing a wheelchair van. Some van and entry methods have different heights and angles. It is important to be able to get in and out with relative ease.
#5 – What is the size and weight of the wheelchair?
Depending on how the person in the wheelchair gets around, some ramps are easier to get up than others. Knowing this information helps in determining which ramp angle is right for you.
#6 – What is the height of the person when they are seated in the wheelchair?
Each wheelchair van has a slightly different amount of clearance and one inch can make all the difference. Knowing the height of the person when they are seated in their wheelchair will help us determine if a certain vehicle or entry method is required.
#7 – What is more important to you, lowest overall cost, or having power ramp and sliding door?
This question can get a bit tricky to answer as there are a lot of different variables to consider. For example, will the person who is in the wheelchair be driving the van or will somebody else? Do they want to have the ability to sit in the front row or is it okay to ride in the middle row? Do they want the ease of power or is manual okay? The challenge is different ramps and entry methods vary in price. Some cost more than others and are only available with certain models of vans.
#8 – How often do you go on long road trips?
Just like any other non-wheelchair accessible vehicle, it is important to be comfortable in the vehicle for extended periods of time. Some vans ride nicer than others or offer other amenities.
#9 – How much equipment do you usually carry?
Cargo space can vary depending on the type of conversion you have done to your wheelchair van. Some entry methods take up more space than others. If you find yourself carrying everything in the van including the kitchen sink, cargo space needs to be evaluated so you can maintain full use of your vehicle.
Depending on how you answered these questions, will help you in determining the right wheelchair van entry method for you. The answer may be very clear or it may be fuzzy. If you want help in figuring our which wheelchair van conversion is right for you, please click here and we can help find the right option.