Most Toyota wheelchair vans use ramps to facilitate entry and exit to and from the vehicle. Ramps are used on all side-entry wheelchair vans and on many rear-entry modifications. In most cases, users opt for a side entry powered ramp that can be deployed and retracted with a single push of a button. These ramps stow under the vehicle, out of sight, when not in use.
Automatic Folding Ramp
Most Toyota wheelchair vans are side entry and use an auto ramp. Some rear-entry variations use a lift and some people opt for manual ramps, but the great majority of conversions feature an auto side entry ramp. These foldout wheelchair ramps deploy and retract with the push of a button and stow away under the vehicle when not in use.
Hitch Mounted Vehicle Ramp
Those who opt for a rear-entry conversion of a Toyota wheelchair van can either use a ramp or a lift for entry. Lifts can be cost-prohibitive and there are many ramp options to choose from. A hitch-mounted vehicle ramp is one option. They aren’t used as often as powered ramps that stow under the vehicle and are not easily accessible, but might make them interesting to some Toyota owners.
Access Entry Space
Space is a key consideration regarding wheelchair van accessibility. That’s why Toyota supplies more than enough cabin floor space and impressive vertical space, as well.
The lowered floor gives plenty of room to move around in a Toyota Sienna wheelchair van. Customer have two ramp options, they can choose a in-floor or folding ramp modification.
Many wheelchair vans are modified by raising the roof and/or the doors of the vehicle. That’s unnecessary when one is working with a Toyota. It’s possible to create the necessary space without taking those actions.
A power door can make a huge difference in the accessibility of a Toyota wheelchair van. Many wheelchair users struggle with manual doors and discover that their handles are placed in anticipation of use by standing drivers. Providing an automatic way to enter and exit the vehicle can really empower a wheelchair user. As such, power door modifications are a key part of many wheelchair van conversions.
Automatic doors are a common feature in Toyota. All but the entry-level models come standard with automatic power sliding doors and remote entry. That’s a nice feature to have when converting a vehicle for use as a wheelchair van. Manual doors can be a challenge for some wheelchair users and pushbutton use is a welcome relief.
Dual Sliding Doors
The Toyota comes standard with dual sliding doors. The doors are manually operated in the base trim package, but higher trim models have fully automatic sliding doors with remote entry. Sliding doors are integral to converting the Toyota for use as a side-entry wheelchair vehicle. The provide enough room to provide easy entrance and exit to and from the vehicle.
Power Seat Bases
You can use a power mobility seat base (6 way power seat) to make the transition from wheelchair to driver’s seat easier once you’re within your Toyota. These powered options allow for easy maneuvering with very little effort. They’re a popular adaptation and are not difficult to install.
Getting in and out of a Toyota wheelchair van isn’t that difficult. A good conversion will make it just as easy to move from your wheelchair to the driver’s seat once you’re within the vehicle. Transfer seats are designed to facilitate that maneuver with minimal efforts. Using them is much easier than trying to make the move from chair to driver’s seat without modification.
In order to convert a stock Toyota into a functional wheelchair van, the owner will need to reconfigure the base seating plan. Side entry wheelchair van users will want to change the center row of seating. Those who use the less common rear entry plan will need to eliminate the third row. Luckily, removable seating is part of Toyota’s design.
Removable Passenger Seat
If a wheelchair user plans to sit in the passenger are, he or she may want to remove the stock passenger seat. That’s also true if the driver of a Toyota knows that he or she will regular transport another wheelchair user. Removing the passenger seat is a relatively simple proposition and any reputable conversion company should be able to do the job.
Removable Driver’s Seat
Some wheelchair-bound drivers will use transfer seats to get from their chairs into the driver’s seat. Others will prefer to drive from their wheelchair. That’s made possible by removing the stock driver’s seat. It’s a simple modification that any conversion manufacturer should be able to perform quickly and easily.
Electric Tie Downs
Once a wheelchair is within a Toyota wheelchair van, it’s important to properly secure it. One way to do that is by using electric tie downs. These motorized options are easier to use and require less physical strength than do traditional, manual tie downs. They’re a nice compromise between the manual tie downs and the more expensive docking systems.
Manual Tie Down
Toyota wheelchair van drivers often use manual tie downs as a means of keeping their chair in place inside the vehicle. They’re not complicated and they’ve been used as a means of keeping wheelchairs safely in place for decades. They’re also the cheapest way to handle the situation.
Four-Point Tie Downs with Seat Belts
Four point tie downs with seat belts serve two important functions within many Toyota wheelchair vans. First, the serve to secure and immobilizes the wheelchair once it’s inside the vehicle. Second, they provide additional restraint for the wheelchair user. Safety conscious Toyota wheelchair van users may be interested in making them a part of their conversion processes.
The EZ Lock system is the most effective and simple way to anchor your wheelchair inside your Toyota. Instead of tying the wheelchair down, a bracket placed on its underside is directed into a high-strength docking mechanism that will lock the chair into place until it is intentionally released. These systems are more expensive than tie downs, but their convenience and power are unrivaled.
Auto kneel systems are an integral part of many wheelchair van conversions. They allow the vehicle to set low to the ground when not in use. That decreases the slope of the wheelchair ramp, providing easier access and reducing the risk of accident. Most Toyota wheelchair van conversions use an auto kneel system.
Are you worried about being able to successfully steer your Toyota wheelchair van? If so, you might want to consider any of the many steering devices available as adaptations. Hand controls are one popular choice. Low-effort and zero-effort steering are also available for those who can use the standard steering wheel with assistance.
Are you unable to use the standard pedals in a Toyota wheelchair van? If so, you do have a viable alternative. Hand controls can replace the “stock” pedals. You’ll be able to safely accelerate and brake using hand controls. They’re easy to use with a little training and practice and are a popular conversion.
Reduced Effort Steering
Toyota wheelchair vans are created with the unique needs of their owners in mind. Some wheelchair users can’t safely or effectively use traditional steering systems. In those cases, a reduced effort steering package may be in order. The power steering system of the Toyota is enhanced, allowing operation of the steering wheel with far less physical exertion.
Reduced Effort Braking
Some disabled drivers find it exceedingly difficult, if not impossible, to use the standard brakes of the Toyota. In many cases, this is because it requires too much force to depress the pedal. A reduced effort braking system solves the problem, making it possible to engage the antilock brakes with the application of very little pressure.