New Van Options

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Re: New Van Options

Postby segreen » 09 Jan 2018, 14:04

I am quite keen to see a Caravelle and see how it works with my chair. I'm coming to the conclusion that if a lowered floor Caravelle is not suitable then my only option is to have an import. Not sure who the best convertors are over there though, Braun, VMI, Rollex... From what I can make out and see, the Braun sounds and probably looks like a better thoughout conversion although I think you prefer Rollex John? Might need some imput from our Americans friends on the board to clarify that though! The new Chysler Pacifica is catching my eye but having never seen one I don't know if it is as good as it looks. I note what you say about the Honda and Toyota. I wouldn't rule them out either.

I note from my rough calculations that the difference in price if I was to buy the top of the range vehilce with current exchange rates it looks something like Chysler Pacifica for $70k that's around £51k plus shipping and hand controls say another £4k against a VW Caravelle at around £75-£80k. Big money. czy
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Re: New Van Options

Postby Burgerman » 09 Jan 2018, 17:26

From what I can make out and see, the Braun sounds and probably looks like a better thoughout conversion although I think you prefer Rollex John?


I think theres literally no difference. Although I saw a few braun with b pillar corrosion and not with rollx yet. Build and finish? Same.
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Re: New Van Options

Postby segreen » 10 Jan 2018, 12:23

My son's off to San Diago this week for a month so I've tasked him with visiting http://www.abilitycenter.com/ for an afternoon and checking the various convertors and different models out. Should be able to get a good feel for what's out there and what's suitable, including conversion quality etc... He's grown up with my vans and knows them inside out. I'll report his findings when he's back in February!
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Re: New Van Options

Postby segreen » 09 Feb 2018, 19:38

Had a demo for GM's VW Caravelle Colorado this week. Nice well built quality van and conversion. Don't like the underfloor cassette lift though. It works well, nice and quiet but it doesn't look right having a lift underneath the car.It also takes a lot longer to get in the van then using a ramp like in my Braun Entervan. Nice and roomy inside with plenty of room to turn around in but I found myself sitting off center from the steering wheel. I wouldn't mind but my chair is not a wide chair, its only 26 1/2 inches wide. The second problem I found with it is that the bulkhead for the lowered floor interferes with your foot plate and stops you getting close to the steering wheel. I found myself at arm's reach and although the steering wheel is telescopic, you still can't reach the dash controls without stretching. For me personally I think it was a nonstarter. You can't drive a vehicle where you do not sit directly behind the steering wheel and you also need to be able to comfortably reach things like the radio/satnav. It's a pity really because I really fancied a quality van. The only way I would be able to drive that vehicle would be to change chairs and have a chair that rises and lowers you. Looks like I am going to have to have a look at plan B. My son has just got back from San Diego and while out there visited Ability Center San Diego. The dealer/salesman went through all the different conversion companies and vehicles with him and we've come to the conclusion that our best bet is to buy a 12 month old Chrysler Voyager and ship it back to the UK. It will be half the price of a Caravelle and a lot cheaper than the new Chrysler Pacifica.

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Re: New Van Options

Postby Burgerman » 09 Feb 2018, 20:59

but I found myself sitting off center from the steering wheel. I wouldn't mind but my chair is not a wide chair, its only 26 1/2 inches wide. The second problem I found with it is that the bulkhead for the lowered floor interferes with your foot plate and stops you getting close to the steering wheel.


The exact things I found wrong. And I think mentioned. You would think they would fix those issues somehow. I and obviously others must have mentioned this. I told them the reason I wasnt buying one a decade back.

Yes the US or often cheaper canadian vans are a good way to go.
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Re: New Van Options

Postby segreen » 10 Feb 2018, 18:10

John, with your van an import does your SatNav work over here?
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Re: New Van Options

Postby Burgerman » 10 Feb 2018, 19:43

I bought my satnav here. So not sure. I think you just need the correct map area data. Or world data.
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Re: New Van Options

Postby Cal » 19 Feb 2018, 21:26

Sirus Automotive Ford LiNK website now up and running:

https://sirusautomotive.co.uk/vehicles/ford-link/

It looks an interesting choice .... have a look at the gallery images - it just looks too small inside for manoeuvring? :thumbdown:

Also, prices starting from £39,995 :?
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Re: New Van Options

Postby Burgerman » 19 Feb 2018, 21:32

It may not be. Would need to test. But it is ugly and tiny.
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Re: New Van Options

Postby Mr.Math » 20 Feb 2018, 02:19

I know you are all talking about vans, but does the UK have anything like the BraunAbility MXV (a modified Ford Explorer SUV) here in the USA? Are SUVs a thing in the UK like her in the States?

https://www.braunability.com/wheelchair-accessible-suv/
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Re: New Van Options

Postby Burgerman » 20 Feb 2018, 07:17

I like. No never saw one. But may import one! Since you guys are about 60% of the cost of UK vehicles.
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Re: New Van Options

Postby Mr.Math » 20 Feb 2018, 14:30

We have one. I like it. My wife, not myself, is the one in a chair (and from a stroke, not SCI). She is able to ride shotgun with me driving. Both front seats are removable so it can be used either way (with control modifications if you plan to drive).
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Re: New Van Options

Postby segreen » 22 Feb 2018, 14:49

Cal re the Ford Link
It looks an interesting choice .... have a look at the gallery images - it just looks too small inside for manoeuvring?


I saw the prototype at the Mobility show last year. It was a well built and well thought out conversion. I really liked it but as usual with rear wheeled drive chairs, I struggled to get into the drivers position. It would be ideal for a manual wheelchair. The designer said it was designed for a mid-wheel/front wheel power chair because of the limited space. Never tried reversing in. Maybe I would of got in if I had. Well worth a look though.

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Re: New Van Options

Postby segreen » 25 Mar 2018, 18:39

Can anyone recommend a IVA (Individual Vehicle Approval) & Light convesion company for me. I want to get an American import through it's IVA test? Last time I did this was fourteen years ago and the guys are no longer there. I'm looking for a company situated in the northwest and not down south where they all seem to be in an abundance.

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Re: New Van Options

Postby segreen » 08 Apr 2018, 14:15

Once again I've struggled to find a suitable drive from the wheelchair vehicle. After checking out the competition over here and finding nothing suitable (I need side entry for the back bench seating, lowered floor because of my height and a boot for my assistance dog), I've opted for another import and bought myself a Chrysler Town and Country Limited Platinum with a BraunAbility XT conversion. At the moment I'm in the process of shipping it over here and hopefully I'll have it ready to use by the end of May or June. Here's a few photos...
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Re: New Van Options

Postby Burgerman » 08 Apr 2018, 20:43

That one has a bigger floor drop, 12 or 14 inches? Compared to your previous vans?

How much?
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Re: New Van Options

Postby segreen » 09 Apr 2018, 12:18

Hi John

I think there's an extra 4 inches so that would be 14 inches. Not 100% sure though. My current van is the same as yours and I catch my head every now and again when I forget to duck. See video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hlioast02CI

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Re: New Van Options

Postby segreen » 09 Apr 2018, 17:34

If your a short arse like Burnie...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bxq0ARvE_OA
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Re: New Van Options

Postby Burgerman » 09 Apr 2018, 22:00

I catch mine less now my hair went all wavy. :wave:

Bit a 4 inch lower floor is too much for me. Its about spot on where it is for me. The guy in that vid has a very high seat on that chair.
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Re: New Van Options

Postby segreen » 10 Apr 2018, 10:24

John

The cost was $49,000 but there's shipping from the east cost, light and IVA approval plus new Q'Straint docking station and hand controls to add to the cost. End cost will probably be around £43k ish. Dollar $1.39 to the £ so still not cheap but cheaper then a VW Caravelle at £65-75k that's not really suitable. Got to say it looks much better quality then my current 2005 Dodge.

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