Van Conversions

Written by Norene Anderson
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Van conversions for handicapped can have either a side entry or a rear entry. The straightforward rear entry is very popular. The conversion process is quite involved. The first step is to remove everything underneath the van. This includes the fuel tank. Next, the inside flooring behind the driver seat and front passenger seat is removed. The integrity of the main frame is not compromised.

Once the opening is made in the flooring for the ramp floor, the lowered floor is inserted. It is supported by frames made of steel. The flooring and ramp are centered in the rear portion of the van. The ramp is four feet and six inches in length. Some companies that do van conversions increase the stiffness of the rear suspension to compensate for the lower flooring.

Process of Van Conversions

After the new flooring is in place, all of the components underneath the van are reattached. One adjustment that is made is a different type of gas tank. Some replace the original tank with plastic or stainless steel. It is shaped to fit safely away from the possibility of road damage. Vehicle testing for van conversions is very stringent. They must pass front, rear, and side impact tests with no damage to the fuel system after the redesign.

The wide choices in van conversion options make it possible for anyone physically challenged to find accessibility to comfortable transportation. Gone are the days when the wheelchair was pushed up to the door of a car and someone had to help transfer the individual from the wheelchair to the car seat and store the chair in the trunk of the car. There is no need to leave the chair. It is simply a matter of pushing a button, riding up a ramp, and securing the wheelchair.

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