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Driving from wheelchair - full size van

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    Driving from wheelchair - full size van

    We are both in wheelchairs and have a 10 year old full sized van in great condition and want to explore possible modifications to allow driving from wheelchair, not van driver's seat.
    Is an entire lowered floor required? Does anyone know if just the driver area can be dropped to allow the wheelchair to be situated? Can two different wheelers be accommodated, that is, two different chair sizes? Can front passenger area also accommodate a wheelchair while the other wheeler is driving?
    Any suggestions, or experience with this would be appreciated. Have already contacted a mobility dealer, and seeking personal experience.

    #2
    To drive from the chair the floor will need to lowered at least from the door entry to the dash area. That's a very big job and expensive work. I think buying a used one already done will be a lot cheaper.

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      #3
      Is your van not lowered? I'm guessing but if the drivers seat height is the same as your chair height, why wouldn't it work. Also if both chairs have the same type of locking mechanism then, why not. But not all chairs can use a locking mechanism. Good luck

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        #4
        I trust you won't be in a manual chair driving. You won't have the back/neck support needed in case of an accident. I know of one person who uses a manual chair to drive in; he has to change backs with one that is higher and has a neck support as well when he drives.

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          #5
          Thank you for the comments - very helpful in navigating this complicated issue.

          Comment


            #6
            I think it's called full length lowered floor conversion when front 2 seating area is lowered for wheelchairs. Other is when just middle section of fullsize van's floor is lowered. With either one the rear section in front of rear axle is still raised.
            Still alot bracing is needed due to doors stepdown so you won't roil off into it.
            If looking for factory flat floor for roll from front to back with headroom you might look at fullsize Transit and Sprinters. BTW: Promaster has raised floor for front 2 seats. Why they built it like that, who knows!

            Comment


            • triumph
              triumph commented
              Editing a comment
              Had thought Transit and Sprinters were not able to be modified - something about driver's seat not able to put in 8 way power, due to wiring issue below seat?

            • MikeP2020
              MikeP2020 commented
              Editing a comment
              Our 2003 Sprinter the uplifter said was no approved mods on driver's seat at that time. Not shopped any Sprinters this go around. But on Ford full size Transits they said can install a driver's power transfer seat. Saw one at AMS but they didn't give good pictures on it.
              https://www.amsvans.com/wheelchair-v...t-pwr-20070046
              Seen on YouTube that ProMaster has transfer powerbase but don't know if work unless your powerchair deat elevates?

            #7
            If you have a ramp you may need what they call a kneeling system. That's where the van lowers several inches to enable you to get in. Otherwise the ramp may be too steep to push up. But if you have a power chair the steepness of the ramp may not matter, which is great because a kneeling system can cost more than the van. Adding just a ramp and a lock for the chair would be far less expensive. You can remove both front seats and have locks for two wheelchairs. They don't have to be the same size.

            Another alternative is to add a lift. That's what I prefer because there's no ramp. Much easier and more economical but only for a full size van not a minivan.

            Comment


            • triumph
              triumph commented
              Editing a comment
              Yes, plan to stick with full size van with lift. Tried minivan with ramp several years ago and totally unable to wheel up ramp. I could use my zx1 to get up ramp, but just too small inside for two wheelers.
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