There are two major wheelchair van manufacturers and we often get asked, “What is the difference” and “Which is right for me”? When we say “major manufacturers” we talk about companies that have safety certifications from NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) which ensure the safety of the wheelchair conversions performed. Both BraunAbility and VMI are members of NMEDA, the National Mobility Equipment Dealer Association which hold mobility manufacturers and its dealers to certain safety and quality standards.
Started by Ralph Braun 45 years ago out of the desire to regain his independence and get back to work after being diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy, BraunAbility is a leader in the industry. Read more about the BraunAbility story here.
BraunAbility wheelchair vans are manufactured in Winamac, IN and are shipped all over the United States and Canada. They make many vehicles wheelchair accessible; Dodge Grand Caravan, Chrysler Pacifica, Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna. Whether you are in the market for a manual rear-entry or a fully powered, fully loaded accessible van with options galore, BraunAbility has a wheelchair accessible van for you. Certified Pre-Owned wheelchair vehicles are available from $29,995, which are factory certified and go through a rigorous inspection.
VMI (Vantage Mobility International)
Since 1987, VMI has been manufacturing wheelchair accessible vans in Phoenix, AZ. VMI was the first company to introduce in-floor ramp technology, Northstar, on wheelchair vans. Before 1987, most accessible vans consisted of big bulky wheelchair lifts on full-size vans. Over the next 30+ years, they have introduced other industry firsts like Sure-Deploy, a back-up system for powered wheelchair van conversions. They also were the first to introduce a wheelchair conversion on the Honda Pilot SUV.
Vehicles including the Dodge Grand Caravan, Chrysler Pacifica, Toyota Sienna, Honda Odyssey and Honda Pilot, VMI has a wheelchair ramp solution for your needs. The wheelchair ramp system on the Honda Pilot SUV was built specifically for caregivers who want an option other than driving a wheelchair accessible minivan.
Which manufacturer is right for me?
The good news is, no matter which manufacturer you choose, VMI or BraunAbility, you are purchasing a quality product. Which manufacturer you choose really depends on what fits you and your family the best, or which you like better. While both VMI and BraunAbility make wheelchair ramp conversions on the same minivans, they look different. You may like the looks of one manufacturer over another. You may like one ramp system more than another.
We always recommend you try a couple of different vans and see which one will work best for you and your needs. Important factors like headroom, ramp width, door opening height, wheelchair positioning, etc. are more important than who makes the conversion. At Ability Center, we only sell products that have passed all industry safety standards so rest assured you will be getting a quality product.
You are in good hands with Ability Center’s team of Certified Mobility Consultants who are trained to fit you with the best product.