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jimth

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I am looking into buying a wheelchair accessible van and would like some in put into the pros and cons for the different ramps. The Norstar ramp slides under the vehicle so if the side door is open and the ramp is not needed it stays out of the way. The other is the fold up ramp.

Please let me know your thoughts.

Jim
 

tomby

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We have the slide out in a modified minivan and it is great. We just took a vacation and had an opportunity to rent a full size van with a fold out lift in the side. It seated more people, but I felt I had more room in the minivan. Much more convenient and versatile.
 

BarryG

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I would say if you arent concerned about snow and dirt gumming up the ramp then get the under the floor kind of ramp. I have a fold up side ramp and it prevents the passenger seat from reclining. It would be better out of the way under the floor but I imagine that type is more expensive.
 

Miss

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I have the 2010 Honda Odyssey with the Northstar conversion. Fantastic vehicle. The only mistake we made was getting a light colored interior. If I had the chance to do it again, I would get dark to hide the track marks from the wheelchair.
 

tomby

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Expense is the issue. We got ours used, but even used, minions with the north star conversion seem to run two to three times the cost of a comparable conversion van with a fold up ramp. One of the selling points made to me was that you can't get the conversion vans in some parking garages or into your garage. But this year, we never got our garage cleaned out enough to get any cars in. Looking back, I think we should have looked more closely at the conversion vans - our little van is great, but I'm not happy that we are stuck with a big 5 yr payment on a ten year old vehicle that I'll be lucky to use a couple years.
 

abbas child

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Do you go out in your van much now, Tom? I ask because I only go out for the Clinic.
 

tomby

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Hi Ann!
Once a week at least to church and weather permitting at least onevor two other times. Body is going, but I still have my voice- I'm still on my local planning board and we go to a couple support group meetings a month. So we are getting the use of it now. I'm also really looking forward to going to some parks when winter is over, but, as I lok out, the snow has started again.:sad::sad:
 

abbas child

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Phooy on snow. You've had a lot.
 

tomby

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Ann! Such strong language, I'm shocked! :p
 

Al

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I'm looking forward to getting out more when the snow is gone. Winter sucks.

AL.
 

rose

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Here is a thread, which has been closed. (all the threads that go on and on and ON. and we can only hope they will be shut down, then something like this helpful one here, sinks down to obscurity because the author did lock it. go figure) Both it, and this current conversation have been quite helpful to me in answers to some questions I've had.

https://www.alsforums.com/forum/als-caregiver-support/11955-wheelchair-van-conversion-questions.html

Has anyone converted a SUV? I've noticed some sites show the Honda Element, which would not be my first choice for this type of vehicle (but its starting to look better lol) It has doors that open apart, (back seat door hinged toward rear of vehicle instead of the front)

I ran across a classified ad for a Cadillac Escalade that was converted for wheelchair use, but, is another SUV I'm not that interested in.

Also, has anyone applied for, and received reimbursement from any of the car manufacturers that offer "mobility rebates"? Apparently Ford, GM, and Honda (to name a few) all offer varying amounts. I think Ford was the most generous.

Another company that does conversions for atypical vehicles looked interesting. The name of the company is Further Options Inc (locomotion extraordinaire) . The website was interesting. I hesitate to start contacting any sort of business, because I'm not to the place where I'm needing to move forward with getting a vehicle, but I'd sure like to know more about it ahead of time.

Barry, thank you for explaining about the ramp that folds inside, versus under the floor (which sounds better to me)
 
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Al

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I just unlocked 25 threads on van information.

AL.
 

BarryG

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The other thing about the under floor type ramp is that it's not in the way for able bodied passengers. When my van right sliding door opens there is the ramp as another gate that either has to be deployed or swung out of the way (not easy).
 
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Al

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I have the rear door manual ramp in a 2004 Ford Freestar. While you don't ride as far forward as with a side entry it works pretty good.


AL.
 

913mommyof3

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Wheelchair ramps for minivan?

We are not to the point of needing these yet, but I like to have a plan for when things progress to the time when we need a different vehicle. We have a minivan currently. Does anyone know if it's possible to add ramps to the van and not need to lower the floor? I've found ramps online that fold up and look safe. I can't find out if we have to lower the floor though. I figure if we have to make structural changes to the van, we might as well shop for a used one. Money is going to be really tight and I'm hoping we can just add ramps and a device to secure a wheelchair/powerchair to the floor. I'm a little lost in this area, but I'd like to be knowledgable when that time arrises. Thanks in advance!
 
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