Shopping for the right wheelchair van for sale is a process that requires a lot of effort and consideration. A wheelchair van isn’t a one-size-fits-all mobility product and finding a van that can safely hold more than one chair can be a little tricky. It’s a good idea to start your search by looking at full-size wheelchair-accessible vehicles.
Whether you own two wheelchairs or have two wheelchair users in your household, finding the perfect fit is important to ensuring a fully mobile lifestyle. Full-sized vans are specially designed to comfortably fit more than one wheelchair at a time and offer more space than a wheelchair-accessible minivan or SUV. We break down the benefits of full-sized wheelchair vans and what to consider before you shop.
What To Know Before You Shop
Before you go shopping or begin browsing the internet for wheelchair vans for sale, be sure to take plenty of time to consider each wheelchair’s individual dimensions and features. This includes:
- Weight – of the wheelchair user, the chair itself, and other passengers
- Preferred positioning
- Maneuverability of chair – rear wheel, mid-wheel, or manual. Some chairs can only move from front to back, making maneuverability difficult.
- Future needs – Will anybody be getting a new chair in the future? Will there be any new passengers?
When you’re shopping for a van that can fit two different (or even similar) types of chairs, you will need to consider how much space you’ll need and the specific accessories each individual chair requires. Keep in mind that wheelchair vans have a weight capacity, so you’ll need to think carefully about how many passengers you’ll generally need to be carrying at one time. Our Mobility Specialists can help you find the best wheelchair van for sale based on your needs and vehicle preferences.
The more completely you can speak to your specific needs and preferences, the more efficient your search for the right van will be.
Benefits of Full-Sized Wheelchair Vans
A full-sized van offers many benefits for those looking for a van that can fit more than one wheelchair. These vans can also offer more room for ambulatory passengers.
Here at Ability Center, we offer two models of full-sized vans: the Ram ProMaster and the Nor-Cal Ford Transit.
These vans can be customized in many ways to fit your specific needs, including the option for side or rear-mounted lifts.
The ProMaster Tempest X is available in two lengths and two roof heights. Features include hundreds of seating configurations for enhanced maneuverability, up to 76″ of interior height, and a rear-entry ramp with a lowering system that offers an alternative to a wheelchair lift.
The ProMaster Revability offers an L-track flooring system, rear kneeling suspension, and a 1,000-pound ADA-compliant ramp.
Nor-Cal Ford Transit
This van offers double the weight-carrying capacity of most modified minivans and side or rear-entry wheelchair lifts. Other standard features include an L-track flooring system, a B&D transfer seat base for drivers, and remote entry.
Can I Fit Two Wheelchairs Into a Standard Wheelchair-Accessible Minivan?
Yes, many wheelchair vans can accommodate two wheelchairs. However, it largely depends on the type and dimensions of each chair as well as the specific conversions. But it’s certainly not impossible to find both rear- and side-entry vans that can comfortably and safely accommodate two different wheelchairs.
Many side-entry minivans have removable front seats, so two wheelchair users could sit in the driver’s and passenger’s seats, respectively. These types of vans also have an open middle area to safely position a wheelchair user (if an ambulatory passenger is driving, for instance).
If you prefer a rear-entry van, you may be able to find one with a long channel cut that could potentially accommodate two wheelchairs.
Ultimately, your ability to safely fit two wheelchair users in a van depends on the weight, maneuverability, positioning, and size of each chair. It also depends on any structural modifications made to the vehicle’s exterior, interior, or control areas. You may think you can easily fit two chairs based on their dimensions alone, but that’s not always the case. For instance, some power wheelchairs may have a very limited turning radius that impacts the ability to maneuver easily.
Having a solid idea of each wheelchair’s specific dimensions and conversions is key to finding the perfect wheelchair van. Our sales experts are here to help you find the right fit that will serve you well for years to come.
Are you looking for a wheelchair van for sale that can accommodate more than one chair? Reach out to your local Ability Center dealer! Our team of Mobility Specialists is available in all 15 of our locations across the country and ready to help you find your perfect vehicle.