Two Wheelchairs in a Wheelchair-Accessible Minivan?: Vantage Mobility International, Inc.
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Two Wheelchairs in a Wheelchair-Accessible Minivan?

Posted in: Community Resources

Yes, this is possible; getting two wheelchairs in an accessible minivan.   I always recommend however, that you get into many different wheelchair vans and see which will work for you and your family.  Not all side-entry lowered floor minivans are equal.  Each manufacturer and conversion is different, with different dimensions and features that may or may not benefit you.

VMI's Removable Front Seats

VMI’s Removable Front Seats

For example, all of the conversions at VMI (Vantage Mobility International)have the same standard features which are very conducive for transporting two wheelchairs.   You could have one wheelchair user in the driver’s position, or in the front passenger’s position and then another wheelchair user in the middle area behind the two front seats.  Another option, depending on the size of the chairs, could be to put both wheelchair users in the middle area behind the two front seats.

However, the ultimate deciding factor of whether you can get two wheelchairs into a wheelchair accessible minivan will be the size and weight of the wheelchairs + the weight of the people in the chairs.  One other thing to think about and discuss with your local mobility equipment dealer is who and what (in addition to the wheelchair users) will be transported in the vehicle.  Since most modifiers of wheelchair vans (like VMI, Braun, Vision) add weight to the vehicle during the conversion process, this slightly takes away the weight you can add to the vehicle in terms of payload.  Recommended payload capacity on wheelchair accessible minivans can be anywhere from 1000-1400lbs.  For example, if you have two people in wheelchairs (both the person + wheelchair) that equal 500lbs., you may only have 500lbs. left to put into the vehicle (people & cargo).

VMI Northstar In Floor Ramp

VMI Northstar In-Floor Ramp

Another thing to consider is the type of ramp system that would work best for the two wheelchairs and their positions.  There are two types of side-entry wheelchair vans;  in-floor and fold-out.  Above is the VMI Northstar in-floor ramp which “hides” under the vehicle so there is no ramp inside of the vehicle taking up space.  Below is the VMI Summit fold-out ramp which blocks the side passenger door.  The fold-out ramps also do take up some interior space in the vehicle so ensure you try out the desired positions of the wheelchairs if you choose to go with this option of ramp.

VMI Summit Fold Out Ramp in Wheelchair Van

VMI Summit Fold-Out Ramp

To locate mobility equipment dealers in your area, you can go to the VMI Web site and enter in your zip code in their dealer locator.  Contact the dealer, make an appointment and go and check out the many different options available to you.