Ivan Nelson

Wheelchair Lift Entry Options for Dodge Caravan and Sprinter Handicap Vans

Written by Ivan Nelson. Filed in Disability Access Features

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How does one get in and out of a Dodge wheelchair van? There are several different options. Two stand out as the most common and popular options, however. Dodge wheelchair vans can provide access via wheelchair ramps or lifts.

There are two different Dodge wheelchair van options in production at this time. The Grand Caravan is an extended wheelbase minivan with a lineage that traces back to the very invention of the class. The Sprinter is a functional and flexible full-sized van offering tremendous space and the sturdiness to manage almost any task.

Let us look at the issue of van lift entry for both wheelchair van options.

Lift Options Dodge Caravan Wheelchair Vans

Most Grand Caravans used as wheelchair vehicles undergo conversions that feature ramp access on the side of the vehicle. This is actually the most popular form of minivan conversion across all makes and models. Side entry offers the efficiency of allowing the wheelchair user to enter the vehicle close to the driving area and it takes advantage of a roomy point of entry.

Dodge Grand Caravan with side ramp entry

Dodge Grand Caravan with typical automatic side ramp entry

Ramps are used for side-entry due to space constraints. Although the Grand Caravan is a long wheelchair minivan, it is not big enough to handle the demands of a large wheelchair lift used at the vehicle’s side. Storage would be impractical. Plus, ramps do offer a noticeable cost advantage, as lifts can be expensive.

Dodge Caravan with side lift enty is rare due to space issues

Rare Dodge Caravan with side lift enty are impractical compared to ramp options

We should note that this limitation is not unique to the Grand Caravan. There are very few minivans with side lift capability and all of the top-sellers in the class including the Toyota Sienna and the Honda Odyssey use wheelchair ramps when modified for use as side-entry wheelchair vans. The combination of space and price concerns basically rules out the idea of a side-entry lift minivan, regardless of the manufacturer.

Rear ramp access Dodge Caravan wheelchair van

Rear ramp access Dodge Caravan wheelchair van

That does not rule out lift entry with a Grand Caravan. One can still accomplish that by investing in a conversion that features a lift and rear entry. That is feasible because the lift can fold up for exterior storage against the rear of the vehicle. Those who are committed to buying a Dodge minivan with a lift or who prefer rear-entry vehicles in the first place, should consider this option.

VMI Wheelchair lift in rear of Dodge Caravan

VMI Wheelchair lift in rear of Dodge Caravan

Lift Options For Dodge Sprinter Wheelchair Vans

The Sprinter offers more flexibility in terms of lift use. That is because it is a full-sized van. In fact, it is actually quite spacious for its class and the high roof option is nearly cavernous. Thus, one can use a side entry lift. There is more than enough room for storage when the vehicle is parked or on the road.

2007 Dodge Sprinter with side entry wheelchair lift

2007 Dodge Sprinter with side entry wheelchair lift

Of course, one can also convert the Sprinter for use as a lift-based rear-entry model. The vehicle is more than capable of handling a lift at its rear doors.

Dodge Sprinter wheelchair van with rear entry wheelchair lift

Dodge Sprinter wheelchair van with rear entry wheelchair lift

If you are interested in accessing your wheelchair van via a lift, Dodge has two good vehicles for the job. The Grand Caravan minivan can serve as a rear-entry wheelchair van with a lift and the Sprinter can offer lift access in both side-entry and rear-entry configurations.

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About Ivan Nelson

Ivan Nelson

Ivan is a true hero to countless men and women with disabilities who have been asking Ivan for years on ways and methods to overcome their disabilities and propelling their way to a new and fulfilled life. Ivan's expertise in disability rehabilitation for over 15 years is solid and his knowledge is always fresh from a different perspective.

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