Wheelchair Van / Conversion Questions

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Gordon Gekko

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My mom was diagnosed back in Fall 2008, but only recently has it become extremely necessary to pursue a different mode of with transportation. She has limited upper body strength at this point and the conventional entry/exit from a vehicle is either very time consuming and/or dangerous.

I have done a good amount of research on handicap-accessible vans and have already met with a higher-priced mobility vehicle dealership, however, am trying to go the smart (not cheap, but more cost-effective) route.

My questions for those in the know are these:

1) Are there any other companies (discluding one Georgia company) that specifically convert mainstream vans for handicap use?

2) I have been quoted wide-ranging amounts in the cost of a vehicle conversion. Generally, what have you run into pricewise?

Thanks in advance
 

Harold

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Apr 29, 2010
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There are several listed on the internet

We bought a Chrysler Town & Country from United Access here in the Kansas City metro region. They're really in Tempe, Arizona but have dealerships all across the country. (In spite of the fact that we're in Overland Park, Kansas, the van we purchased was on the lot in Springfield, Illinois.).

You WILL spend a LOT more for a converted van than a traditional van....At least $10,000 more than an off-the-lot new un-converted van.

We REALLY like our Chrysler and feel that we got a pretty good deal from United Access.
 

Al

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On
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I bought a low mileage rear entry Ford 2004 Freestar for 19K I found it on the bulletin board at my ALS CLINIC. A friend got a side mount power ramp and the conversion was $21k plus van price. If you Google handicapped vans there numerous places around.


AL.
 

COlisa

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Feb 21, 2006
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If you are interested in used conversion vans, check with your local MDA/ALS Division or ALS Association. The ones here keep lists of folks looking for them and can match up with those selling.

We got a 2003 Town &Country Chrysler mini-van (33K miles for 20K) from the wife of a friend who had ALS and died in Sept, just as we were starting to look for a van. They had bought it only 9 months earlier from another family here in town who had lost their father to ALS. A sad history of ownership.
 

pepsiman

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Keep in mind that a person with ALS, unless very early in the progression is going to need someone with them all the time. A van with a power ramp is really overkill. If there is another person, a manual slide out ramp is fine, and significantly cheaper (like $20,000 cheaper). I paid ~24000 for my wife's van and it was a 2007 with only 23000 miles, all because it had a manual ramp. The power stuff is way oversold, get what you really need, not what would be "nice to have". You can save a lot of money that way. I saved enough that when Liz passed away I didn't feel the need to get my money back so I gave the van to ALSGA so someone else could benefit from it. I feel a whole lot better that I could help someone else out than I would have felt about being able to push a button to save myself the effort of pulling the ramp out.
 
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