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what mini van should I buy?

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  • what mini van should I buy?

    I know that it would be more cost effective to get an already converted van, but voc rehab won't pay for that. They have told me that if I buy a van, used or not, that they will convert it for me. My question is, what kind is best for a lift/ramp modification? I would like to get this process rolling, since I know that it will take some time to get finished.

    jOE
    jOE
    www.nwiscig.blogspot.com

  • #2
    My voc rehab counselor said the same thing, but I've talked to the manufacturers that make the modified vans and they say they've worked with voc rehab before. Try getting them to contact your VR counselor.

    Explain to them that it will cost you both less money to buy an already modified van.

    _____
    Learn from the mistakes of others, you won't live long enough to make all of them yourself.
    Learn from the mistakes of others. You won't live long enough to make all of them yourself.

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    • #3
      Well, there is quite a fleet of Dodge Caravans rolling around the Chicago area for the public transit program. I had an opportunity to inspectorize one of them and query the driver as to the reliablity of them. She said that she was happy with them, and that they had a few with 200K on them and running pretty good. Maybe work a deal where you are 'buying' one of those being drop shipped at one of the conversion manufacturers then having them cover the rest of the cost of conversion? My recommendation is buy new w/warranty for such an extensively modified vehicle unless you can get them to spring for a used already converted vehicle somehow.

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      • #4
        We are happy so far with our Pontiac Montana with a Braun Entervan conversion. The Montana or Chevy Venture conversions both have a 12" lowered floor, while most other minivans only have a 10" lowered floor. This gives a little extra headroom. It still looks pretty much like a normal van from the outside. The fold-out ramp has less to go wrong with it than an in-floor ramp and can be used manually if something does happen to the motor, so you won't get trapped in your van (closing is probably only possible by someone not in a chair).

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        • #5
          I have a black, 2003 Pontiac Montana and with the 12" lowered floor and ground effects, it looks like a hybrid Van/SUV..it's the butchest looking minivan around. You definetly will not look like a soccer mom!


          Joe
          And the truth shall set you free.

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          • #6
            I have a Dodge Caravan with 10" lowered floor. You've really got to watch for speed bumps, parking garage ramps, and driveway entrances that have a high crown (where the slanted part meets the flat part). I've winced and gritted my teeth as I drag the undercarriage over one. For some reason, it hurts me even more when it happens when my wife drives. If I were getting a 12" lowered floor, I would compare ground clearance first.

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            • #7
              The newest van in the conversion world is the 2004 Toyota Sienna. I've looked them over and they are setup nice, only done by IMS vans. They are real proud of them though. They are shorter then the Dodge/Chryslers but 4" wider, haven't figured out which is more needed. Haven't looked at a Montana, have to check it out.

              McD

              "Rather be ridin' than rollin'"
              "a T10, who'd Rather be ridin'; than rollin'"

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              • #8
                I have a Dodge Caravan with a 10" lowered floor. The van was already modified from IMS. I had to have the hand controls and seats installed separate, it took only two weeks from the time I purchased it until the time I drove it home. I also cringe when I go over speed bumps and thru a car wash, but so far no problems. I have a fold down ramp instead of an in floor ramp, I have two swivel seats so I can transfer into either one in case my wife wants to drive. I have good height clearance and room to move around to transfer into my seat. I've had no problems or complaints. It also gets good gas milege which is important these days. Good Luck!!

                Back to work finally

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                • #9
                  We have a 2001 Grand Caravan SE from Rollx (www.rollxvans.com is the url.)

                  Alan

                  "Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?"
                  Alan

                  Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.

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                  • #10
                    2003 Dodge Caravan - Entervan modifications from Braun. Happy with all the mods done to it, maybe just the e-z lock for hubby's chair seem to be a little bit awkward (they had to manufacture a hook up for his ti-lite - that makes his chair unhumanly heavy, he might think of something else to do with it). What kind of brake/hook up do you use for your w/c in your vans, so it doesn't fly thru the vehicle?
                    http://www.tickercentral.com/view/2qot/2.png

                    http://www.geocities.com/krajaxa/fair05copy.jpg

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                    • #11
                      Krajaxa,

                      Haven't seen or heard anything about this but I like the writeup they give it. The ez lock is way over the top for weight, I'm sure it is all liabiility related. Just passin' it on...

                      Safety-Lok

                      McD

                      "Rather be ridin' than rollin'"
                      "a T10, who'd Rather be ridin'; than rollin'"

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                      • #12
                        Have you tried a full size van? You may like the room and ground clearance.

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                        • #13
                          A full sized van can be a problem if you park in either a garage at home or use a lot of public garages to park. You need to think about where you are going to be driving.

                          (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.

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                          • #14
                            Just purchased a 2004 Chrysler Town & Country with a Braun Entervan conversion. I love it. It replaced my 1995 Ford Windstar with an IMS conversion. Here's what I can tell you:

                            - The newer Braun and IMS conversions have increased ground clearance. By "newer" I mean two or three years. I have not scraped the bottom once.

                            - The Toyota Sienna has substantially less interior room and it is more expensive than anything on the market. They also are not in abundant supply.

                            - IMS was recently acquired by Braun, so their products most likely will become even more similar. My new Braun conversion makes my old IMS system looks like a relic. Braun utilizes existing buttons for the doors, whereas IMS does not. This makes the whole conversion look better.

                            - The fold-out ramp conversions have two distinct advantages: manual operation in case of an electrical failure and fewer maintenance issues. Even at C5/6, I am able to simply push or pull the ramp to extend it manually.

                            - We drove a Dodge for a few days and noted few interior differences. We simply liked the Chrysler more.

                            - Ask about rebates. The 2004 model we selected had about $8,000 in rebates. Another 2004 model with a different package (fewer options) had a minimal rebate. We went with the upgrade and actually saved money.

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                            • #15
                              Converted mini-vans - which are the most reliable - Dodge, Chrysler, Honda, Toyota? which are the best ramp types - fold-up or infloor?

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