Wheelchair Conversion Vans: 4 Items You'll Need to Transform Your Vehicle

January 27, 2012

Wheelchair conversion vans have become a popular mode of transport for the disabled community. It has proved to be an indispensable mode of transport that could be used daily to carry out normal day-to-day activities. The advent of modern technology has paved the way for a new generation of vans and conversion kits that have made the process less complicated yet offer more features than ever before. These include hydraulic lifts and advanced conversion techniques previously unheard of in the market. Car manufacturers have followed suit and have addressed the need for conversion vans by coming up with advanced design features for easy accommodation of any conversion kit.

Converting a normal van to a wheelchair van requires expertise and an extensive knowledge about conversion parts to properly accomplish. Disabled access vehicles would have to follow road worthiness rules and safety standards like any normal van on the road. It is best to leave the installation process to a certified professional to comply with state laws. The good thing about conversion kits of today is that every make and model imaginable is available in the market. The customer would have a chance to choose between a wide variety of conversion equipment to tailor to a specific need. It would be best to have an idea on the things you'll need if you want to have your van converted to a wheelchair lift car.

Items Required to Convert 

1. Van

Obviously this kind of intensive work would require a proper van, and by proper meaning a good, road worthy van that complies with safety and emission regulations. It is true that most vans from 1996 onwards are capable to be converted, but you have to understand that an older vehicle would usually require more intensive work. Conversion would involve lowering of floor panels and/or raising a part of the roof and rust may have accumulated on older vehicles, which will make the process more expensive. Cost should always be considered, but a second hand van less than 3 to 5 years old is a better bet. If you could afford it, a brand new van is the best place to start.

2. Conversion Units

The average consumer is literally swamped with a wide array of conversion products and would range from the simple to the extreme, both in feature and price. Simple devices such as foldable ramps can be easily installed by a knowledgeable do-it-yourself (DIY) consumer, needing only basic tools such as a screwdriver and pliers. Newer models of conversion units come in different packages that could be customized by the buyer. Choices are made easier as the dealer itself will perform the necessary modifications to properly fit the conversion unit. This is where professionalism comes to play as each part installed is guaranteed including modification to the floor panel and roof.

3. Vehicle and Conversion Warranty

If your van still has a warranty (standard on brand new vans) better keep it in place, as the dealer will still honor the existing vehicle warranty, provided that the conversion was done by an authorized and reputable professional. The conversion warranty serves the same purpose.

4. Basic Tools

It would never hurt to be prepared, but a basic set of tools would come in handy when an emergency arises. Conversion units and ramps all have moving parts that could deteriorate over repeated use and would require minor adjustments on your part. Having a can of spray lubricant and some basic tools like pliers, screwdrivers and basic wrenches is safe insurance against minor repairs.

When planning to convert your van for wheelchair use, it would be best to consult online to choose the right kind of conversion for your specific need and budget.     

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