If a recent event in your life has left you with a disability of any kind, you may find yourself in the midst of a search for a new handicap accessible vehicle. If you head straight to the dealerships in your area without some pre-planning on your part, you’re going to get very overwhelmed.
Save yourself the misery by taking the time to plot out exactly what you need in your handicap van. You need to be able to anticipate your individual needs in terms of what equipment you’ll need, the amount of space the van should have, as well as the usability.
Here are some great pre-planning strategies to use. Think over these items and you’ll be able to visit those dealerships with a much better idea of the type of van you need. At
- Consider your own size and shape first. You may want to go as far as having someone measure how tall you are as you sit in your wheelchair. This information will come in handy when your van is being converted as there will be no question as to how much space you’ll need. At The Mobility Resource, I’ve heard countless horror stories from people who have been burned from online dealers after dropping $30,000 or more on a new van and not being able to drive it because their chair was too wide for the ramp. Don’t be that person.
- Similarly, be sure to get all of the dimensions of your wheelchair. This will come in handy when the time comes to choose your lifts or ramps. You want plenty of room for your wheelchair to enter the van and your ramp and/or lift is the first and most important step of this task. This also helps to understand how much room you need inside the van to move around easily.
- Do you plan on driving the van or will you likely be just a passenger? This answer can play a huge part in the sort of entry method you choose. On top of that, do you expect to have many passengers? Questions like these can lead you to a more accurate estimate as to how much room you will need in the van—which, in turn, helps decide the sort of conversion equipment would work best.
Yes, there are many other deciding factors in addition to these, but a trained and qualified wheelchair van conversion expert can help along the way. So if you are on the hunt for wheelchair vans for sale, always remember that some initial research on your part will help place you on the right track to finding a van that meets your every need.