Questions to Ask When Purchasing a Wheelchair Van

wheelchair van purchase questions

Purchasing a vehicle is a big decision for most people regardless of their circumstances. When it comes to purchasing a wheelchair van either for the first or the next time, we understand that there will be some additional questions. Even with that in mind, some people just aren’t sure how to get the process started. So, we put together a list of the questions we recommend asking when you’re planning to purchase a wheelchair van. These will not only help you to learn about your options, but also vet the companies you’re looking into along the way.

What vehicle models can be converted into a wheelchair van?

While each company is different, at Rollx Vans we offer conversions on new minivan models including the Chrysler Pacifica and the Dodge Grand Caravan. Previously owned minivan conversions also include the Chrysler Town & Country, the Volkswagen Routan, Toyota Sienna, Honda Odyssey and more. Our new full-size van conversion models include the Ford Transit, Dodge Promaster, and the GMC Savana/Chevy Express. Used full-size van models also include the Ford E-Series vans.

Can my friends and family still ride in the vehicle?

Of course! There are many different interior layout possibilities depending on the minivan or full-size van option that you choose. Each of the various layouts allow for a wheelchair user to either drive from their wheelchair, drive from a transfer seat, or ride in either the interior cabin or passenger seat position. Once you’ve selected where the wheelchair user’s possible positions will be within the vehicle, this will help determine how many additional riders the vehicle will be able to hold at any given moment.

What conversion options are available?

There are a large variety of conversion options available on the market. Conversion options can include anything from ramp or lift type to features that allow a wheelchair user to drive the vehicle. The most common conversion features that wheelchair users select include a transfer seat, hand controls and the type of securement device they want to use. Transfer seats, like our Rollx Vans six way transfer seat, allow wheelchair users to transfer out of their wheelchair and into the driver or front passenger seat. Hand controls allow a wheelchair user to operate the van’s ability to accelerate and slow down without using their feet. Securement devices are a feature that keep a wheelchair locked into place within a moving vehicle. There are various securement device types available based on how a wheelchair user intends to use their vehicle and where they will position their wheelchair within said vehicle.

How do I know which of these conversion options are right for me?

It’s possible you have worked with a driver evaluator to determine which conversion options you may need for your vehicle. But, if you haven’t, you can work with our experienced team of sales professionals who will talk you through the selection from start to finish, ensuring you get exactly what you need to make getting from point A to point B all that much easier, without all the unnecessary extras that you don’t need.

Does my wheelchair van really need a lowered floor?

Most adult wheelchair users will sit between 52 and 56 inches in their manual or power operated wheelchair. When we refer to a minivan, typically the floor would be lowered around 12 inches to achieve 58 inches of interior cabin height. This will accommodate the majority of wheelchair users and gives adequate door clearance, interior headroom and visibility through the windows. Some companies push 14 inch or more floor drops which in many cases is excessive and adversely affects the handling of the vehicle. If additional door clearance or headroom is necessary, the 14 inch drop may be the only solution. Another option for additional door clearance only is adding an eyebrow. This increasing the door clearance only without having to extend the floor to an extended 14 inch drop.

When it comes to full size vans like the GMC Savana, Chevy Express and the Ford E-Series vehicles, a 6 inch drop is typically required to lower the floor and achieve 58 inches of interior headroom. The Ram Promaster and Ford Transit Van come from the OEM manufacturer with enough door and interior head clearance that in most cases would not require a lowered floor. These two manufacturers offer different interior heights by offering various roof heights. Even though raising the roof increases the interior headroom, it does not increase visibility to allow someone sitting in a wheelchair to see through the windows.

Is it possible to increase the door width of the vehicle?

While some companies tell customers that they need to increase the width of a vehicle’s door, that’s not something that our team does at Rollx Vans. The factory side door opening on a minivan will accommodate a 30 inch wide ramp. Most power and manual wheelchairs measure about 25 inches wide at the wheels. That is the width we need to be concerned about when going up or down the ramp or lift. That means that a 30 inch wide ramp will easily accommodate most wheelchairs. Some manufacturers will say you need a 32 inch wide ramp, which is not practical. In order to install a 32 inch wide ramp, the door opening must be reworked extensively and it compromises the integrity of the vehicle.

Our experienced engineering team strives to keep the vehicle’s original integrity intact and finds that unnecessarily altering the door opening no longer retains the factory warranty, greatly increases the failure rate and increases the noise inside the vehicle’s cabin. Widening the side door to install a wider ramp may sound like something you need but in reality, wider is definitely not better.

I don’t live in Minnesota, can my wheelchair van be delivered upon completion?

Yes! When you purchase a custom wheelchair van from Rollx Vans, we do whatever it takes to get your completed van into your hands. If you are local to our facility in Minnesota, you can pick up your vehicle and drive it home. If you aren’t, we will either fly you to our facility so you can drive it home, or we will have one of our technicians deliver your van right to your driveway. Better yet, they will even show you how everything works before officially handing over the keys to ensure you are comfortable with your new vehicle.

What warranties are available for a wheelchair van?

Much like standard vehicles from a sales lot have warranties, a wheelchair van from Rollx Vans will have a warranty, as well. We warranty all of our vehicles whether they are new or used, and offer extended warranties that our customers can add to their wheelchair van purchase, as well. You can learn more about our warranty options here.

What are the financing options?

Financing will vary based on the wheelchair van dealer you are working with. At Rollx Vans, you can choose to have your van financed through a third party lender or you can work with our in-house finance department, as well. When using our lender, wheelchair users have the advantage that they are already familiar with our product and lending for conversion features above and beyond the standard vehicle cost. You can learn more about our financing options here.

What sets Rollx Vans apart from other wheelchair van companies?

When you work with our team at Rollx Vans you are working with a family owned company with nearly 50 years in the business to showcase our track record. Not only are we ISO Certified and have a A+ rating with the BBB, when customers work with our team they are working direct with the manufacturer and eliminating the middle man. At Rollx Vans we pride ourselves on serving our customers and not our bottom line. That’s why our sales team isn’t paid on upselling our customers products that they don’t need. That’s why we offer vehicle delivery and in-the-field technicians that can fix our customer’s vehicles should anything go wrong. At Rollx Vans we guarantee that we put our customers first, because without our customers we wouldn’t be the company we are today.

How do I get started?

Ready to start the process for selecting your next wheelchair van? Contact our team today. We promise you won’t regret that you did.

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