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Vans vs Cars - which do you prefer

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    #16
    The reason I am considering a van is because of my shoulder. The transfer is just one issue. Of course, I could use a transfer board. But I still have to break down the wheelchair and move it. The wheelchair is only 20 lbs. But when you hang 20 lbs off a 2ft lever (extended arm), it acts like 40 lbs of torque. That adds up. Because of having to do this, I think twice before leaving the house. I am sure I would get out more if I didn't have to break down the wheelchair. Where I live, the van parking spots are located closest to the building. That means they are usually the first ones taken. Therefore, I am thinking of alternate solutions.

    Maybe I should increase my shoulder strength and stick with a car.

    I like the idea of a truck with minimum modifications, only a power door and removing the back seat. But are these for people with incomplete injuries who can hop up into it? Can someone elaborate on this solution, maybe a video? The Truck access videos I have seen on YouTube all have lifts.

    What do you think about a full size van with a lift rather than a mini van with a ramp? If it's less expensive and doesn't require the wider parking spot, that may be the way to go.
    Last edited by August West; 22 Nov 2016, 6:22 PM.

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      #17
      Go with the car as long as you can. Vans are a helluva lot less dependable and more expensive!
      Roses are red. Tacos are enjoyable. Don't blame immigrants, because you're unemployable.

      T-11 Flaccid Paraplegic due to TM July 1985 @ age 12

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        #18
        Originally posted by August West View Post
        . But I still have to break down the wheelchair and move it. The wheelchair is only 20 lbs. But when you hang 20 lbs off a 2ft lever (extended arm), it acts like 40 lbs of torque. That adds up.

        What do you think about a full size van with a lift rather than a mini van with a ramp? If it's less expensive and doesn't require the wider parking spot, that may be the way to go.
        What sort of car do you have now? I know my 4 door is a shoulder lift, and at times I feel it. My 2 door is a bicep arm curl, super easy.

        Re the van with lift...you still need room for the lift to deploy and get on it. Not a speedy setup either from what I watched, and the mentioned reliability aspects fall into play also. And about 8 to the gallon...

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          #19
          What is your injury level? Here is a C6/7 quad transferring to a truck. Two videos show the transfer in and transfer out. Looks like it takes about 11-1/2 minutes. What do you do if it is raining, snowing, just plain cold, if you are dressed up (wheels and casters get very dirty/wet and you're going to get very dirty/wet too), in the dark, etc.? I don't know about parking spaces where you live, but in N. Calif. most regular spaces don't allow you to open the truck/car door as wide as you need to get the chair in place, and compact spaces are taking over parking lots everywhere.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rG48lLrMe8M
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kRQbyhxqSKA

          All the best,
          GJ

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            #20
            exactly, I think hanging 1 armed out of my cars for all those years were as bad on my shoulders as the transfer, I used a board, no triceps.
            as for mini v full size- I found the ramp to be iffy for me to push up in perfect conditions let alone in rain/snow and to small for our needs. no mods in full size except lift either. do whatever works best for you, no one could have ever convinced me to give up driving car/station wagon. if I had did it 5 yrs sooner I likely wouldn't have a tore shoulder, but hey we all live and learn.

            BUT, I LOVE OUR VAN AND SO DOES MY WIFE.
            HERE is a vid I think from 2005 doing it in my intrepid 4 door. pre bicep tear and shoulder tear, no grey hair either. 2nd one is our van.





            Originally posted by August West View Post
            The reason I am considering a van is because of my shoulder. The transfer is just one issue. Of course, I could use a transfer board. But I still have to break down the wheelchair and move it. The wheelchair is only 20 lbs. But when you hang 20 lbs off a 2ft lever (extended arm), it acts like 40 lbs of torque. That adds up. Because of having to do this, I think twice before leaving the house. I am sure I would get out more if I didn't have to break down the wheelchair. Where I live, the van parking spots are located closest to the building. That means they are usually the first ones taken. Therefore, I am thinking of alternate solutions.

            Maybe I should increase my shoulder strength and stick with a car.

            I like the idea of a truck with minimum modifications, only a power door and removing the back seat. But are these for people with incomplete injuries who can hop up into it? Can someone elaborate on this solution, maybe a video? The Truck access videos I have seen on YouTube all have lifts.

            What do you think about a full size van with a lift rather than a mini van with a ramp? If it's less expensive and doesn't require the wider parking spot, that may be the way to go.
            Last edited by fuentejps; 22 Nov 2016, 8:16 PM.
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              #21
              van
              Bike-on.com rep
              John@bike-on.com
              c4/5 inc funtioning c6. 28 yrs post.
              sponsored handcycle racer

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                #22
                Originally posted by Andy View Post
                What sort of car do you have now? I know my 4 door is a shoulder lift, and at times I feel it. My 2 door is a bicep arm curl, super easy.

                Re the van with lift...you still need room for the lift to deploy and get on it. Not a speedy setup either from what I watched, and the mentioned reliability aspects fall into play also. And about 8 to the gallon...
                I have a Chevy Monte Carlo. Super big, maybe too big. Because the transfer is longer and the reach for the wheelchair is also longer.

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                  #23
                  Mazda5 for easy transfer height, and no need to take chair apart, and no need for a slow lift either, and still driving from standard seat.

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                    #24
                    Originally posted by August West View Post
                    I have a Chevy Monte Carlo. Super big, maybe too big. Because the transfer is longer and the reach for the wheelchair is also longer.
                    I had one of those. If I recall, it did have wide rocker to seat relationship making for a long reach. I'm built like a gorilla, so it didn't seem too bad, but I know smaller people thought it rather wide. For some reason (clearance issues I think), I had the frame upside down on my passenger seat. In my Challengers, I have the frame with the casters on the floor doing a twirl of sorts getting it in...which I think is actually easier. Seat to rocker panel is narrower on that car in comparison.

                    Some video that might help fine tune the wheelchair stowage technique: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkH...QFbYdlgwLoGbTw

                    If the video seems borked on the red car, let me know. My computer is showing the video frozen at the relevant part, but I don't know if it cached goofy and I cant clear it, or the upload went bad. I still have the video so I could re-upload it if need be.

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                      #25
                      Has anyone found a way to transfer in/out of a vehicle with a smart drive attached. If possible i would like to leave it attached I have a folder chair so is a real pain to put smart drive on and off. I too would never consider driving from a manual. Looking for options now. Currently I have suv with braun topper but basically have ask someone to attach smart drive just no way I can reach down that low and depress both springs to attach. I can take it off but cannot put it on. maybe belongs in mx2 thread but issue is vehicle related. anybody got any good ideas

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                        #26
                        Originally posted by Tsquared View Post
                        Mazda5 for easy transfer height, and no need to take chair apart, and no need for a slow lift either, and still driving from standard seat.
                        My girlfriend has a Mazda 3. Super easy to get in/out. But how do you get the chair in without taking it apart? Either someone else does it for you or you walk?

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                          #27
                          Some video that might help fine tune the wheelchair stowage technique: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkH...QFbYdlgwLoGbTw

                          If the video seems borked on the red car, let me know. My computer is showing the video frozen at the relevant part, but I don't know if it cached goofy and I cant clear it, or the upload went bad. I still have the video so I could re-upload it if need be.[/QUOTE]

                          Yes, the video froze up. One thing I want to avoid at all cost is reaching behind me to the rear seat because my right shoulder is shot, probably from doing this for too long. These days, everything goes in front. I put the cushion on the floor leaned against the front of the passenger seat, then I put the wheels on the passenger seat. Then I put the folded frame upside down on top of the wheels.

                          I am considering a transfer board.

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                            #28
                            We use a full sized van with 2 pwr seats. We exclusively do gravity transfers to and from driver and passenger seats. This means van seat is lower when we transfer from wheelchair, van seat is higher when we transfer to wheelchair. We do the same thing while using our Transfermaster beds in the home. Believe it or not, as strong as your shoulders seem they will give out after extended overuse. Both my wife and I can attest to that - we are in our 70's and were once very active playing wheelchair basketball about 5 years, race chairs for 15 years followed by handcycles maybe 5 years. If you can afford it get a van with pwr seats especially if you plan to go the distance. I am in a chair for 46 years, my wife for 68 years.

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                              #29
                              I've been using a full size van with a transfer set for 15 years and it's worked well for me. I also have a VW Eurovan which is between the size of a mini and full size. That one has a better ride but I prefer the full size for the extra room.

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                                #30
                                A lot depends on how big you are. I'm 6'3" (well, used to be) and 200 lbs. Dragging that much dead weight around for 27 years has taken a toll on my shoulders. I started out with a full size van with a Braun lift, went to a Dodge IMS minivan with folding ramp, and now have a VMI Honda with an in-floor ramp. I don't think I would have made it this far if I had to transfer in and out of a car all these years. With my size, wadding my legs up and just getting situated in a car or truck is no fun, and I'm a strong para. Yes, vans have a lot of moving parts, but they are much better than they used to be. It's a plus if you live in an urban area with access to a dealer. I live in the boonies and have to drive 7 hours to a dealer, so I've learned to take care of small problems myself. My friends and I have repaired wiring, ramp cables, and door pulleys over the years. And, yes, I cheat death and drive from a manual chair. Good luck with whatever you decide.

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