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    ? for van owners

    question is how do you like your van do they break down a lot whatkind do you have any recemendations or preferences im getting one and will drive from a transfer seat i dont see the need for all leather interior maybe yall could give me some advice on your likes and dislikes thanks
    to alcohol the cause of-and solution to-all of lifes problems [homer simpson]

    #2
    I use a 2005 Grand Caravan. I like the better mileage over a full sized van, but ground clearance can be a problem. If you've got a power chair, you might want to do some math on the weight of what you typically drive with. Push a mini too near its weight limit and the ground clearance can get marginal.

    Rust has been an issue. I'd like to get at least five more years out of this. I had about a thousand in body work done last year and some more spots could use work now.

    Pretty good mechanical record. I had a wiring harness fail during the warranty period which took a couple days to sort out. That would have been expensive otherwise.

    Overall I'm reasonably satisfied
    Tom

    "Blessed are the pessimists, for they hath made backups." Exasperated 20:12

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      #3
      if you're not using a powerchair and want to save some money check this out....
      http://www.adapt-solutions.ca/products/index.php?prd=5

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        #4
        I use full sized Ford vans and do not drop the floor or raise the roof. I was 6"2" prior to accident and sit in a manual chair 18 1/2" at front of seat (3.5" higher with seat cushion). I duck my head to get through door but can sit upright in interior. Not dropping floor/raising roof saves a ton. I use B&D 8 way power seat bases in both driver and passenger seats. I get the standard passenger van E150 and have all seats (other than driver and passenger) removed, have the windows tinted, get hand controls, power doors with rear magnet plus console controls, remote start, auxiliary battery, passenger tie downs and smooth, non-slip floor installed. All this costs about 17,000 above cost of van - you have a comfortable vehicle, capable of carrying everything you want to travel with and easy enough to get in and out that you can run errands all day.

        I am currently selling a 2000 van outfitted this way if anyone is interested, replacing it with 2010 van similarly set up.

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          #5
          Originally posted by TomRL View Post
          I use a 2005 Grand Caravan. I like the better mileage over a full sized van, but ground clearance can be a problem. If you've got a power chair, you might want to do some math on the weight of what you typically drive with. Push a mini too near its weight limit and the ground clearance can get marginal.

          Rust has been an issue. I'd like to get at least five more years out of this. I had about a thousand in body work done last year and some more spots could use work now.

          Pretty good mechanical record. I had a wiring harness fail during the warranty period which took a couple days to sort out. That would have been expensive otherwise.

          Overall I'm reasonably satisfied
          I have a 2004 Grand Caravan. We added heavier Leaf springs to the rear and it helped. It raised mine about 3 inches more I would not recommend this unless you use power chair only. We did not remove the original , we just added the new ones next to them

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            #6
            My mother has a 1997 Dodge Grand Caravan (IMS conversion). Puts in limited milage (currently has 30,000 on it). Have had no breakdowns except once in the high desert when it got vapor lock.

            Has a power ramp and kneeling function, no raised roof (she is only 5'5"). Don't use it in snow or ice (lives in SoCal) so rust has not been a problem. Uses an EZ-Lock and rides in power wheelchair (she does not drive). Have had to have the ramp worked on several times, including replacing the solenoid that runs the ramp up and down. Overall, we have been very happy with this van.

            You might still want to consider leather for the driver's seat if you will be transferring to drive. It provides the least friction (good for your skin and the effort of the transfer) over cloth or Naugahyde, and also breathes better so less problems with sweat, which can increase the risk for skin breakdown.

            (KLD)
            The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by TomRL View Post
              I use a 2005 Grand Caravan. I like the better mileage over a full sized van, but ground clearance can be a problem. If you've got a power chair, you might want to do some math on the weight of what you typically drive with. Push a mini too near its weight limit and the ground clearance can get marginal.

              Rust has been an issue. I'd like to get at least five more years out of this. I had about a thousand in body work done last year and some more spots could use work now.

              Pretty good mechanical record. I had a wiring harness fail during the warranty period which took a couple days to sort out. That would have been expensive otherwise.

              Overall I'm reasonably satisfied
              Wow, only about 6 years young on that van and rust issues. More than likely the rust is eating at structural members, too. That's because the floor gets hacked up and re-welded, but not properly sealed and the necessary preperations done to ensure that no rust develops. The real sad part is that the mini vans cost almost double for the mods and they typically ride harsh. I'll always stick with the full sized and no lowered floor.

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                #8
                hey guys and gals whats the life spand usually on these vans do they go 10 yearsor better id sure hope so
                Last edited by wheelin 48; 18 Jun 2010, 8:47 PM.
                to alcohol the cause of-and solution to-all of lifes problems [homer simpson]

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                  #9
                  oh ya how about parking do ya get blocked in a lot
                  to alcohol the cause of-and solution to-all of lifes problems [homer simpson]

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I hated my minivan because I was constantly breaking the shock brackets off the rear axel from driving down my own driveway. Also, I didn't like the constant rattling and noise of my lift inside my IMS Town n' Country. I've gotta have something with a fair amount of ground clearance or at least more than 4 inches worth of clearance to get around where I live. I also couldn't leave my house when it snowed with the minivan because I live outside of the city limits.

                    I'm thinking about replacing my truck in a few years with a full size van. I want something that will keep my chair dry and still be able to pull a trailer/boat/whatever with my vehicle.

                    Good luck in your search!

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Life span all depends on how often you use it and whether you abuse it, of course there's some kind of repair that pops up now and then that needs taken care of I have a 96 Ford Windstar unfortunately I had to replace the engine last summer at a cost of $3800 but that's chump change compared to the prices these companies want that convert them. Who in their right mind has forty or fifty thousand dollars to plop down on a converted van And that price range doesn't necessarily mean a new one. I've always seemed to find if it has anything to do with disability the price goes up!!
                      Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway. .(John Wayne)

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Volkswagen Eurovan

                        My first van post injury was a 1991 Volkswagen Vanagon and I got a 175,000 miles out of it! It drove so good in the winter snow. The 92 hp Porsche engine was in the rear. Checking fluids was simple. You pull down on the rear license plate and you can check anti-freeze, oil, transmission fluid and power steering. Major problem with this van were the water pumps. It has its eighth one in it. I still have it on my drive way. Many teenagers come to the house and want to buy it! Great vehicle but Volkswagen no longer makes it.

                        After the Vanagon, Volkswagen brought out the Eurovan; mid-size van, in 1993 with a 5 cylinder Audi engine. Still under powered for the weight of the vehicle. I drive a 1999 (V6-14 1hp engine, 103k miles on it)/2002 (
                        V6, 201 hp engine) Volkswagen Eurovan. They are no longer on the market but you can find a low mileage one and put the Braun lift in it for wheelchair or scooter platform, the camper swivel seat base for the driver's seat, and hand controls and you're ready to drive! There are several Eurovans for sale on eBay now or contact your local Volkswagen dealership. Parts are still available for the Eurovan. The Eurovan is the black sheep of the family. When it's in the shop sometimes you have to get parts from Canada.

                        Major problem with the Eurovan is the coil pack. My 1999 has it fifth one in it. A coil pack is like the old Apple power supply. It has six coils in it and filled with resin, When one coil goes bad you have to replace all of them, no matter what! Coil pack from Volkswagen are about $475.00. Now you can buy them from AutoZone for $260.00. When the engine light comes on I call it the "Thousand dollar light." It takes about a $1000.00 to tear the engine apart to get the coil pack in. Since you have it torn apart you might as well get the spark plugs, plug wires, belts, oil and filter change.

                        Volkswagen has a recall on the coil packs now for models 2002 or newer.

                        There is plenty floor to head room inside. You don't have to worry about destroying the structural integrity of the vehicle by lowering the floor or adding a high top on it.

                        It is bigger than a min-van and smaller than a full-size van.

                        This is my ride I drive, with the lift in and out.

                        Also attached is a brochure, Opening new horizons by Invatravel Conversions that I found on the Internet featuring the 2007 Volkswagen Caravelle (aka Eurovan) modified for 'chair users.

                        If I had to buy a new van today I'd go with the Dodge Sprinter which is a Mercedes-Benz vehicle with Dodge badging. Base price is about $38K, then add about $10k for a lift, swivel seat, hand controls and spinner ball but if you have State Farm Insurance they'll pick up the charge for the modifications or Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation, BVR, will too if you are gainfully employed. You should be able get +300,000 miles on a Mercedes-Benz engine. You see a lot of these van on the road from FedX and UPS with the extended tops. I have seen this Sprinter modified for mobility access at our Cleveland Auto Show. I have heard only good words about this Sprinter van.


                        titanium4motion
                        Credit: Invatravel Conversions Limited, 97 Lythan Road, Southport, Merseyside, PR9 9UG, Tel: 01704 506608. www.invatravel.com
                        "We must overcome difficulties rather than being overcome by difficulties."

                        Comment


                          #13
                          i lucked out and fell in to a 2002 chevy venture that already had hand controls in it for $5,000. we removed the middle seats and i get in, pull the chair in, and use a baseball bat i made in shop class 20 years ago to pull the door shut. It is not spectacular by any means, but it is what we can afford. It is surprising how little we can make that van with twin girls and a wheelchair and kid paraphernalia, but all in all it has served it's purpose and not all that bad. Thanks to Big 3 "quality" I have had to replace the front end bearings $1,000 , intake gasket $1,000 brakes and rotors and have drawn the line at not replacing the condenser ($1,250) so no air....still have not hit 75,000 miles. Luckily there are so many of these things on the road if you just ask your local mechanic what he thinks they can tell you what is going to fail and within how many miles. It starts though and I do not have 20,000 invested in modifications.

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                            #14
                            I am not sure if anyone is putting an 8 way power seat in a Sprinter, apparently there is a rat's nest of wiring under the driver seat making this difficult.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Power seat base vs manual seat base

                              Originally posted by ancientgimp View Post
                              I am not sure if anyone is putting an 8 way power seat in a Sprinter, apparently there is a rat's nest of wiring under the driver seat making this difficult.
                              Good point!

                              My 1991 Volkswagen Vanagon had a 4-way power seat base installed. Headache from day 1. Always a problem with it. Either wires broke off the connector pins or the motor burning up or the clutch would wear out too soon. Or the moon gear would break teeth. Constant problems with a power seat base. I don't know why they didn't install the Volkswagen camper manual base in it? It's a very simple set up.


                              When I purchased the Eurovan I also purchase the camper swivel base ($300.00). It installed very easily with four bolts. The threaded holes were already built in the floor. All you had to do was remove the fixed seat base with the four bolts and put the manual swivel right on top. The bolt hole pattern matched. Removed the seat from the fix base to the swivel base.
                              It took about one hour to do.

                              Over the eleven years I've had he manual swivel base all I had to do was spray it with silicon spray twice a year. Zero problems with it.

                              Many automotive manufactures offer some sort of mobility rebate to get their vehicle modified but read the warranty first. Some modifications may void the warranty. For example if you need to raise the roof of the vehicle. You void your warranty. If you have to cut into the vehicle to modified it for mobility there is a good chance that you will void the warranty.

                              Ti
                              Last edited by titanium4motion; 19 Jun 2010, 1:24 PM. Reason: grammar
                              "We must overcome difficulties rather than being overcome by difficulties."

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