How To: Will a Side Door Mounted Wheelchair Ramp Fit my Mini-Van

Will a side door mounted wheelchair ramp fit in my mini-van?

I am interested in purchasing a side door mounted ramp for my mini van. I am specifically interested in a Handi-Ramp AV78. Will this work for my minivan?

Handi-Ramp makes several models that can be installed permanently to the floor of your van. It is important to make sure that a several requirements are met to make sure you purchase the correct model.

The first question should be what is the height and width of the door opening of your van?

Model AV78 requires a minimum door opening height of 43 ½" and a minimum width of 31”. The height is measured from the floor to the narrowest point of the door opening.

Model AV84 requires a minimum door opening height of 48 ½" and minimum width of 31"

The second question is does your van have a power sliding side door? The power door has a screw mechanism in the floor near the door. This would not allow the mounting plate to be installed to the floor.

The third question is does your van have stow and go seating? If the van has stow and go seating the lift can not be mounted to the floor unless a large metal plate is secured to the floor, to strengthen the floor. The floor for the stow and go is hollow to accommodate the seat. By being hollow there is not enough support to secure the ramp. If the floor is modified with the large plate the stow and go seating will no longer be functional.

Other considerations:

What is the width and height of the chair? The useable width is 26" and the height can not be any taller than the door opening. Measure the width of your chair or refer to your owner's manual in the specifications section.

Which length of ramp will work with your van and chair? Several factors must be investigated in order to determine whether a given length of ramp will work for you. Measure the distance from the ground to the floor of the van where you will install the ramp. This measurement is called the rise. For an unoccupied chair or scooter, divide the rise by 3. The result is the minimum number of feet of ramp you should consider.

Example: Rise is 18" 18/3 = 6. For an unoccupied chair and a van with an 18" rise you should consider a ramp length of 6’ or longer.