Wheelchair Vans

I need a minivan with a ramp or a van with a lift that is all-wheel drive (AWD) or 4x4. Toyota Sienna is the only minivan that is AWD but the ground clearance is only 5.6 inches. That might be too low for the terrain in need to navigate. Does anyone have particular experience with this issue and vehicle? I am also considering a Ford Transit Van with a lift. Same question. Thanks in advance.


Most of the wheelchair accessible vans ride low to the ground because they kneel and the ramp slides out from underneath. Even traffic speed bumps can be tough to drive over.

I would suggest that you call Braun and VMI directly and ask them as they do the modifying and there are only a limited number of models they modify. Good luck and please post what you find.

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Hi. Yes, I have a Toyota Sienna Rampvan. The clearance is a huge problem. I do not have the AWD, but it sounds like the clearance is close to the same. It scrapes constantly on things like steep or poorly maintained driveways. I have a house in the mountains, so really wish I could do an SUV. Freedom Motors modifies several, but you have to be able to do a transfer seat. Chevy Traverse can be modified to drive from a wheelchair.

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I was at the Sbilities Expo in LA last weekend and saw a Jeep pickup with a sest that cantilevers out and back up from wheelchair level to drivers position, coupled with a lift in the back for the wheelchair

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This gives their schedule. Next one in New Jersy in May.

I own a couple of handicap vans. A 2012 Ford E250 with ramp in back of truck. And a 2015 Ford Transit 250 also ramp on back.
They ar excellent vans. Call me 3057428887

A big question is what do you want to do with the vehicle? All Wheel Drive is NOT as rugged as 4-Wheel Drive. They are built very differently. I have both a 2015 Chrysler Town and Country mini Van and a 2003 Chevy Escape Full Size van. My Chrysler is just fount wheel drive … and my Chevy has a Pickup style 4 wheel drive installed as an after market add on. Both have served me well in a variety of situations. I almost always buy used equipment rather than new. The Value is much better, but it can be a real challenge to find the right equipment to meet our needs is one is shopping new. So the next question is budget, since it always faster to get just what you need/want when you buy new.
Finally. what kind of assist you you need to enable entering the vehicle? Do you expect to be driving, will you be moving to the driving position in your chair or transitioning to the driver’s seat? All this impacts what vehicle will work the best for you.

Depending on all these things… Maybe a Quad Cab pickup might also be an option for you?

Good luck I’m sure you will find a solution that works the best for you.

I’m fairly new to conversion van ownership. I hsve a Honda Odyssey van. I did tons of online research and bodited a Mobility Works location right up the street from my apartment compkex but I didn’t care for the sales guy and the price for a new vsn was way above my budget. A friend and I spent hours on the internet looking at used vans but I happened to mention my search on my Facebook page and a friend who lives in High Point, NC hold me about a company there that she believed did these conversions. I fiund theur website and found they had multiple locations. I thought I found a Toyota dealership about an hour away abd I looked at tfrur wrbsite

I did not mean to finish my reply. Abyway this Toyota dealership advertised they did this and I called and explained what I needed and lady made an appointment for me to drive over for a visit to discuss such a deal. A friend drove me over and it was awful. They were just trying to aell a car. They wasted our time going and coming plus left us sitting in showroom fot over an hour. Finally sfter raising a bit of a fit the GM shows ip only to reply whrn I questioned him that they didn’t do that anymore. I told him that his website said otherwise and he said he wouldn’t know cause he never looked at it and had nothing to do with it. So, be careful because not all is true.
The comoany based in High Point has a location in Asheville, NC and that is the one I used. I cannot say enough good stuff about those folks. They were all super when I was going tgrough the process of buying my van. The office manager, sales and the actual guys doing the conversations were all top notch and I call them first if I have any issue. The local dealerships really don’t fulky understand conversions and quite frankly I would rather drive my 1 1/2 hours to Asheville than let them screw up something.
I had an accident back the end of August. The other car had $400 in damages; my van’s total ended up over $14,000 and no part of the convention was damaged. The company doing the body work contracted out the airbags to Mobility Works and they contracted out the resetting of the sensors to another company (they were never done correctly) and little odds and ends were not done correctly and the guy in charge whined seceral times because I found parts scattered all over my floorboard when van was returned. I just had the final item comoketed Friday of ladt week

Been fond of the Transit since 2014, but the first ones had drive train & engine issues. My electric wheelchair folds & tips/rolls over a low threshold/running board so a lift, while nice, is too expensive & during 2021/2 simply not available for installation or delivery anywhere!
Ended up buying a T&C and rely on others to perform that very last step of getting it into the car. I’m looking for something like a wide doggy ramp that I can deploy but nothing so far.
Agree that conversion vans are too expensive and too vulnerable to road conditions to warrant their use if one can move around at all to set up/break down their devices alone.
I won’t consider a scooter with a tiller bc accessibility to tables, buses, elevators is too difficult. My electric chair was bought used & has a small enough footprint to go everywhere I need except up the chorus risers!

What was the lift for the wheelchair? I am interested in something that will pull my wheelchair into the back of an SUV if I use a transfer seat and drive from the regular drivers seat. I have seen adaptations that puts the chair on the roof of a vehicle but have been told that there is something that will actually lift my chair into the vehicle separate from me. I can’t walk so I must be able to operate it remotely.
All the mobility places seem to want to sell you what they have, not what you may want.

You can always get a pickup truck. The driver’s seat is removable, the door slides out horizontally, a lift comes down… backup onto the lift… it raises you and slides you behind the wheel.

What is the name of the company with locations in High Point and Asheville, NC?

I own the Sienna van with Braunability side ramp. These are special build vans from Toyota with a lowered floor so as others have said, ground clearance is a concern. I travel over speed bumps very cautiously and slowly. Because of the lowered floor there is no way to power the rear wheels so these builds are not AWD.

Also, remember, although there are ‘plenty’ of other solutions for entry/egress to larger SUVs and trucks, these will all involve transferring outside in the weather. Where I live, it rains a lot (for Americans, think Seattle) so outdoors transfers are out of the question. For that matter, the Toyota ramp conversion still requires a transfer into the driver’s seat, so this is also not a solution if you can’t manage transfers.

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For off roading the only option available would be a truck conversion. Trucks are now being converted with lifts and locking systems to be able to drive from your wheelchair, if this is what is needed. If not, the lift can be installed on the passenger side and then a transfer seat could be installed in the driver seat for you to transfer over to. Other than that, I don’t know if you could get a full size van in 4 wheel drive, or AWD. If you can then a lift can be installed into them. This would be a custom modification as the major manufacturers, Braun, VMI etc., are no longer offering full size van conversions.

Good luck with your search.

Ilderton is the name of the company. Their home base is High Point, NC. They have other locations in North Charleston, SC , Charlotte, NC, and Asheville, NC. Their website is ildertonvans.com.