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Should I Convert My Minivan For Rear Entry Accessibility?

Convert my minivan for rear entry

Great question! Besides the obvious difference between rear entry and side entry wheelchair vans, a couple of other notable distinctions set apart the two conversion styles and may have influence, one way or the other, in your final choice.

It's wise to work with a mobility consultant, easily contacted at a dealership that has wheelchair vans for sale and manufactures the conversions. They'll help you be absolutely sure the conversion style you choose will work best for your disability and lifestyle.

Choosing your entry and exit point is a critical decision that affects price, passenger space, and your maneuverability inside the cabin. We'll look first at how a rear entry conversion affects the price.

Money Matters

You can save money if the rear entry conversion adequately accommodates your requirements. Thanks to a less-complex manufacturing process, rear entry modification simply costs less. There's more space at the rear for installation of the lowered floor pan, so this easier modification for wheelchair vans is completed in less time than the side entry style.

And this accessibility conversion requires fewer changes to the body of the vehicle, again not only saving time and money, but allowing your vehicle to look more like an unmodified minivan (until, of course, the ramp is deployed). With that said, your personal requirements should govern your decision. It's unwise to save money at the expense of your comfort and convenience.

Size Matters

Large interior of AMS Van's Edge 2

Especially if you have a larger-than-average power chair or mobility scooter. The rear entry modification features a wider opening, which allows for a wider, longer ramp, safer entry as you navigate the ramp, and an easier climb.

Parking is also less of a challenge, because--unlike a side entry--you won't require vehicle side clearance to extend the ramp. When you pull into a parking lot and all the handicap-designated spaces are occupied, you can use a standard, marked parking space and deploy the ramp with no problem.

Size comes into play again with standard and long-channel options for rear entry conversion. The standard rear entry handicap van transports one passenger in a wheelchair, while the long channel rear entry minivan conversion with strategically placed docking systems is capable of transporting two passengers in wheelchairs. Long channel, rear entry vans are ideal for an accessible taxi company or a non-emergency medical transport business.

Ground Clearance Matters

With a side-entry conversion, vehicle ground clearance is three to four inches. A rear-entry modification, however, allows seven to eight inches of clearance, even better for avoiding scrapes and scratches to the undercarriage on uneven terrain, and helping preserve the clean look and integrity of the vehicle.

It's now time to compare the pros and cons of the rear entry and side entry conversion, while also applying your specific needs in the process. So, speak with a mobility consultant at a conversion company to help you decide on the perfect ride!

Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles

2016 Used 2016 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT Wheelchair Van

USED Dodge Grand Caravan SXT
NEW AMS Legend Conversion

$35,690 $36,690


  • Stock #: 181492T
  • Mileage: 41,688 Miles
  • Ramp/Lift: Side Entry Bi-Fold Pwr
  • Features: 3YR/36K Conv Wrty
2012 Used 2012 Volkswagen Routan SE Wheelchair Van

USED Volkswagen Routan SE
NEW AMS Legend Conversion

$29,995 $31,495


  • Stock #: 293753
  • Mileage: 92,295 Miles
  • Ramp/Lift: Side Entry Bi-Fold Pwr
  • Features: 3YR/36K Conv Wrty
2011 Used 2011 Volkswagen Routan SE Wheelchair Van

USED Volkswagen Routan SE
NEW AMS Legend Conversion

$29,995 $30,690


  • Stock #: 766798T
  • Mileage: 85,285 Miles
  • Ramp/Lift: Side Entry Bi-Fold Pwr
  • Features: Backup Camera, DVD Player, 3YR/36K Conv Wrty, Driver Pwr. Seat Base

Vehicle Exterior


Exterior Appearance Inspection

  • Panel alignment/fit
  • Headlamp, taillamp/lens condition
  • Windshield/glass condition
  • Paint chips and scratches
  • Body damage/dents/dings
  • Trim and moldings

Vehicle Identification

  • In place and matching
  • Inspect certification label (federal requirement)
  • Check VIN label to paperwork
  • Check for non-completed recalls

Exterior Lights Function Properly and Illuminate as Designed

  • Headlights hi/low (including aim)
  • Parking lights/fog lights
  • License plate lights
  • Side marker lights
  • Tail lights / backup lights
  • Turn signal and cornering lights
  • Brake and high-mount stoplights
  • Emergency Flashers

Keys

  • Vehicle has 2 master key with remote entry (if applicable) and 2 valet key, flat key
  • Programmed to immobilizer

Door Lock System

  • Door opens/closes smoothly using interior and exterior door handles
  • Doors cannot be opened when lock button is in lock position
  • 2-turn unlock feature functions properly
  • Remote entry system operates properly
  • Theft-deterrent system functions properly
  • Child safety locks
  • Wireless door lock operation

Vehicle Interior


Interior Appearance Inspection

  • Seats: front/rear
  • Steering wheel/airbags
  • Armrests/door handles
  • Lower door and sill plates
  • Gearshift selection handle
  • Radio/AC control markings
  • Headliners/sun visors

Seat Belts

  • Extend/retract smoothly
  • Free of twists, cuts or signs of wear
  • Buckles lock securely

Seat Operation

  • Lumbar support operation
  • Memory control operates properly*
  • Headrest functions properly
  • Heaters function properly*
  • Seat cushion angle and height adjustment
  • Seatback angle adjustment

Power Windows / Locks

  • Function Properly

Trunk/Fuel Lid Release

  • Functions Properly (interior)

Glove Compartment

  • Contains portfolio, owner's manual, supplement

Steering Wheel

  • Tilt/telescopic functionability
  • Horn functions properly
  • Steering wheel controls
  • Steering wheel locks
  • Warning chime (key in -- door open)

Windshield Wiper

  • Functions in hi/low/intermittent
  • Wiper blades clean properly
  • Rain sensing wipers*

Dashboard Lights Illuminate as Designed

  • Turn signal: left/right
  • High beam indicator
  • Emergency flashers
  • Instrument panel control knob
  • Waring lights: oil pressure, brake, fuel, charge, seatbelt, open door, engine check, rear light failure, ABS, SRS
  • Check operation of guages

Rear Defogger

  • Functions properly

Air Conditioner / Heater

  • Climate control system functions properly for both heating and cooling

Interior Lights

  • Dome/map/vanity mirror/courtesy lamps/foot function properly

Audio/Navigation System

  • Power/volume switch functions properly
  • Preset station indicator
  • Cassette/CD function (scan, seek, rewind, fast forward) operates properly
  • Navigation system operates properly*
  • Speakers sound clear
  • CD cartridge (if applicable)

Sunroof

  • Tilt/slide operates properly

Clock/Cigarette Lighters/Ashtray/Cupholders

  • Function properly

Outside/Inside Rearview Mirrors

  • Power controls function properly

Luggage Compartment


Luggage Compartment

  • Spare tire size, sidewall condition, tread depth and air pressure
  • Spare tire and attaching hardware, cover, jack, jack tools and wheel lock (if applicable) are present, properly installed and secure
  • Manual fuel lid release operates

Under The Hood


Engine Hood Release

  • Interior release operates properly

The Following Fluid Levels Meet Industry Standard

  • Engine oil replaced and proper level
  • Automatic transmission fluid level
  • Brake fluid level
  • Power steering fluid level
  • Engine coolant fluid level
  • Washer fluid level

Engine Mechanical

  • Excessive fuel pump noise
  • Cooling system (radiator, overflow tank, hoses, coolant level)
  • Water pump (noise/leaks)
  • Air filter (replace as necessary)
  • Inspect oil for contaminants
  • Engine noise (knocks, rattles)
  • Transmission noise (whines, clunks)
  • Belts (wear or damage)
  • Check engine diagnostics

Battery

  • No damage or leakage and proper group size/amp rating
  • Tests to standards

Engine Fans

  • Function properly

Under the Vehicle

Tires (Minimum tread depth 5/32")

  • FL: _______/32"
  • RL: _______/32"
  • FR: _______/32"
  • RR: _______/32"
  • Sidewall condition
  • Proper size, type and match
  • Tire pressure

Wheels

  • Condition/size/fit
  • Check wheel lug-nut torque

Brake Inspection (Minimum 6mm of pad material required)

  • FL: _______mm
  • RL: _______mm
  • FR: _______mm
  • RR: _______mm
  • Rotors show no signs of excessive wear, warpage or heat damage
  • Calipers, lines, and hoses show no sign of excessive wear or leakage
  • Parking brake assemblies, cables, and attaching hardware show no sign of excessive wear or damage

Chassis Inspection (No sign of damage or excessive wear)

  • Frame rails and floor pan
  • Subframe
  • Engine mounts and oil pan for leaks
  • Brake lines and couplings
  • Transmission case/pan for leaks
  • Drive shaft boots and CV joints
  • Fuel lines, fuel tank, hoses and protectors
  • Steering rack, linkage, bushings, control arms and dust boots
  • Differential assembly, drive shaft and related components
  • Exhaust system (including leakage)
  • Transmission mounts
  • Tie rods, ball joints, idler arm
  • Catalytic converter
  • Struts/shocks for operation/leaks

Under Vehicle Fluid Levels

  • Differential lubricant level -- check for contaminants

Road Test (Vehicle Operation)


Engine

  • Start-up
  • Idles normally
  • While driving, engine performs normally
  • Starter system operates normally
  • Shift Lock

Brakes

  • Brake and parking brake function normally
  • Brake and clutch pedal height, free play and travel meet specs.

Indicator Lights

  • No warning lights illuminate during road test

Transmission

  • T/M shifts properly (both power/normal mode)
  • TRAC/VSC and ECT control functions and indicator lights function properly

Steering/Suspension

  • Steering operation is normal
  • Off-center psecifications meet standards
  • Handling, straight-line operations

Cruise Control

  • Functions properly

Noise or Vibration

  • None present

Squeaks or Rattles

  • None present

* -- If Applicable

Service Guarantee

AMS Vans promises to deliver the best wheelchair accessible van available on the market today..... simply put if you are not fully satisfied with your wheelchair accessible van upon delivery---you can refuse it at no cost to you.

With nearly two decades of experience; manufacturing, selling, and delivering over 12,000 vans nationwide, our dedicated team of certified technicians will not allow your van to leave our Atlanta facility until its right!

Please contact one of our experienced Mobility Specialists today and ask about our three step quality control process.

AMS Vans looks forward to serving your family by providing you with a van that is worthy of our own.

Contact AMS Vans



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