Top Five Benefits To Choosing a Rear Entry Wheelchair VanRear Entry Wheelchair Van vs Side Entry Wheelchair Van
Thinking About A Rear Entry Wheelchair Van?
Choosing the right wheelchair van can be a challenge. If you have been debating between a side entry or rear entry wheelchair van for sometime, I wanted to help provide some reasons why people choose this type of conversion. Based on our years of providing vehicle solutions, here are the top five reasons to choose a rear entry wheelchair van.
Reason #1 – More Affordable than a Side Entry
Buying a wheelchair accessible van is not a cheap expense. Even with financing and lease options, the wheelchair vans do cost more than your standard vehicle. You can learn more about wheelchair van financing and leasing options in my post 3 Important Things to Know About Van Financing & Leasing.
Costs can vary greatly depending on the style of conversion you choose. A side entry van has two main options available, manual or powered entry. As well, you can choose the type of ramp that comes out of the vehicle. Lastly, additional seat modifications may need to be made. Factoring all of these items in, a side entry wheelchair van will run anywhere from $15,000 to $20,000 more than a rear entry wheelchair van.
Depending on the style of rear entry conversion you are considering, you do have the choice of a short or long cut conversion. The type of rear entry conversion can affect the price in your favour depending on the model of vehicle and conversion. You can learn more about our vehicle options on this page.
Reason #2 – Better Ground Clearance than a Side Entry
Rear entry wheelchair vans are raised in the back for the ramp which gives them additional ground clearance. Side entry models tend to ride lower which can lead to scraping of the bottom. If you would like to learn about side entry options, check out our conversion partner Vantage Mobility for more information.
Reason #3 – Easy Entrance
One of the biggest advantages with the rear entry wheelchair vans is the ease of getting into the vehicle. The person in the wheelchair simply needs to drive forward to enter. The MoveMobility rear entry option for the Dodge Grand Caravan, for example, uses a long cut conversion. The ramp provides 56″ of height clearance, 91″ length in the ramp, 31″ ramp width and 23.5″ of clearance between the two mid row captain seats.
In a side entry option, the individual needs to make several maneuvers to get into position. If their chair is quite large or the users feet stick out past their chair, there is a greater chance of them bumping into parts of the interior.
Reason #4 – More Options for Parking
One of the biggest challenges people face with a side entry wheelchair van is the ability to park. You need to have a space large enough to deploy the ramp and for easy entrance and exit. In the winter months, it is difficult to find a spot that is clear to deploy the ramp.
In a rear entry wheelchair van, you can park almost anywhere and get in and out of the vehicle easily. One of the drawbacks is when it comes to parallel parking and this is where the side entry wins over the rear entry for access. There may not be enough space to deploy the ramp if there is not enough clearance. As well, a side entry wheelchair van most likely requires a double garage to get in and out of the vehicle. This is assuming the person doesn’t want to be outside when entering or leaving the van. A rear entry wheelchair van will work in both single and double garages.
Reason #5 – Canadian Made
There are a lot of options available for both rear entry and side entry wheelchair vans. If you are considering a side entry, there is a chance the van that has been converted in the United States. This doesn’t affect the quality of the conversion for the most part (there are good and not so good manufacturers on both sides of the border) but you are at the mercy of the exchange rate. Right now, with the Canadian dollar trading poorly (view current rates here), this increases the conversion cost.
The MoveMobility rear entry wheelchair van conversion is made in Winnipeg that means it is centrally made and you are paying Canadian prices. As well, turn around times for the van are faster as it spends less time in transit or being held up at the border.
The rear entry wheelchair van conversion offers a more affordable price when compared to a side entry option, better ground clearance, easy entrance to get in and out of the van, more options for parking and a reliable, affordable Canadian made option.
Would you like to learn more about a rear entry wheelchair van? Get a quote now by filling in the form below.