BraunAbility Wheelchair Vehicles & Lifts
As the world leader in mobility with over 40 years of experience, BraunAbility understands what you’re looking for in wheelchair vehicles, wheelchair lifts and mobility products. Why? Because we were founded by a man who needed that mobility for himself. Ralph Braun built his company on a commitment to quality, safety, and innovation. He also believed in giving his customers the peace of mind that wherever their travels take them, there’s an experienced mobility professional close by. Put your trust in the BraunAbility name and our nationwide dealer network. We’re committed to get you where you want to go — today and tomorrow. Learn More
Personal mobility is a huge contributor to your quality of life – and it makes a tremendous impact on the lives of your friends and family too. If you’re overwhelmed by the choices ahead of you, don’t be. We’ve got the information you need to help narrow down your decision before you visit our showroom.
Side-Entry Vans vs. Rear-Entry Vans
A side-entry van gives extra room for maneuverability because either the entire floor of the vehicle is lowered or just a portion, depending on the type of vehicle.
A wheelchair user can typically drive or ride in the 1st row position (does not apply in the CompanionVan). Wheelchair users can also ride securely in the 2nd row position.
If you live in an area with plenty of handicap or parallel parking, the side-entry is a good fit because it requires extra space for the ramp to deploy.
Side-entry vehicles maintain the rear cargo storage space behind the third row seating.
In a rear-entry vehicle, the wheelchair user rides in a channel installed in the middle of the floor, from the 2nd row to the rear of the vehicle.
A rear-entry vehicle offers plenty of ground clearance because most of the van’s floor has not been modified, and the rear of the vehicle is slightly elevated.
If you live in an area that lacks handicap parking spaces or if your garage is too narrow for a side-entry van, you might need a rear entry van.
A rear-entry vehicle is typically less expensive to convert.
Standard vs. Extra Tall Vans
Standard Height Vans
A standard height wheelchair van typically offers between 52” – 55” of headroom at the ramp entrance doorway.
For smaller to average-sized wheelchair users who do not sit very high in their chairs, this option should work well.
Extra Tall (XT) Height Vans
An extra tall (XT) offers over 55” of doorway height at the van’s entrance.
Because some individuals sit a little higher in their wheelchairs, the XT vehicles may offer better visibility and a more comfortable ride for those individuals.
Foldout Ramp vs. Infloor Ramp
A foldout ramp allows you to drive next to a curb and deploy ramp over the curb for easy entry and exit.
In case of an emergency, a wheelchair user can always push a foldout ramp out until it deploys fully.
Because the ramp is stored upright, less debris is trapped and results in fewer ramp maintenance issues.
Keep in mind, in order to enter or exit on the ramp side of the vehicle, the ramp must be deployed.
With no ramp in the doorway, passengers who are not in wheelchairs can enter and exit the vehicle without having to deploy the ramp.
Out of sight, out of mind! An infloor ramp is completely concealed, so the interior looks closer than ever to that of a standard minivan.
Keep in mind, deploying an infloor ramp onto a high curb could be a problem.
Also, an infloor ramp may require more maintenance because the ramp tends to collect more debris.
Manual Ramp vs. Power Ramp
A manual ramp is offered on some BraunAbility wheelchair vans and is ideal for a wheelchair user who will always travel with a companion who can access and raise/lower the ramp easily.
Without any automated components, the manual ramp is a cost-effective mobility option.
Manual ramps are available on both side-entry and rear-entry vehicles.
A power ramp provides exceptional convenience as the door and ramp are each operated with a key fob remote control. Simply press a button and the door opens, the ramp deploys, and the van kneels.
Caretakers avoid repetitive – and sometimes painful – transfers with a power ramp vehicle.
Power ramps are more expensive than a manual ramp.