Choosing a Wheelchair Van – Where to Begin
Once you've decided to purchase a wheelchair van, the hard part is figuring out what kind to get that will fit both your needs and your budget. Fortunately, there is a wide variety of choices available. If you do your research, you should be able to find one that meets your requirements. There are a few questions about how you will be using your wheelchair van that will help you choose the right one for you.
Who is Going to be Driving?
If the wheelchair user is going to be doing all of the driving, one option is to remove the driver side front seat. This allows the wheelchair to be pulled up into the driving position. The wheelchair user then drives while sitting in the wheelchair. If the wheelchair user will not be driving at all, the driver's seat should remain in place. You would then decide which seat or seats need to be removed to provide the most comfortable positioning for both the wheelchair user and the rest of the riders. If the wheelchair user will be driving sometimes, but not all the time, you should consider a lift positioned outside the driver-side door to allow the user to lift himself up onto the driver's seat. Otherwise, you will need to leave room inside the vehicle for the driver to transfer from the wheelchair to the driver's seat.
How Many People Will be Riding in the Vehicle?
A wheelchair van is usually configured by removing one or more of the seats in the vehicle to make room for the wheelchair. If you need space for more passengers, your configuration needs to provide seating for as many as you need and still allow room for stowing the wheelchair. You also need to consider how much cargo space you'll need for other things and account for it.
Side-Entry or Rear-Entry?
The wheelchair can enter the vehicle from either the side or the back of the wheelchair van. If you will be parking in tight spaces or driving in inclement weather, a rear-entry ramp might be your best option. If the wheelchair user is going to be doing most of the driving, side-entry ramps offer greater accessibility to the driver's seat.
While there are many other considerations to be made when making your choice, this is where you should start. Figure out your basic requirements in a wheelchair van. Make your list, then start your search. You can find lots of sources of information online before making your final decision on what and where to buy.
About the Author
MobilitySales.com is a premier provider of new and used wheelchair vans and mobility equipment. Visit MobilitySales.com today to find a wheelchair lift in your area.
(dead link removed)