Rear Entry vs Side Entry Wheelchair Vans in PA or MD

When searching for a wheelchair accessible minivan in  there are a ton of options to take into consideration, one of the most important being:  Do you want a rear or side entry ramp? Our goal at Total Mobility Services in Pennsylvania and Maryland is to equip individuals with the information they need. Here are a few pieces of information to help you come to an informed decision to answer that question.

Obviously the most important piece to any accessible van is the Ramp, and what style you choose can either lead to you loving or hating your van. Where one assure ease of boarding and leaving, but restrict your access, and positioning options once in the vehicle. The other can make loading difficult, while increasing your riding enjoyment. Along with the position of the ramp you must also consider if you would prefer having a manual or power ramp. The power ramp is definitely the most convenient option, the automated system will cost more and require a higher level of maintenance. While the manual option is cheaper and doesn't need such a high level of maintenance, it also means you might have to sit in the rain or snow an extra few seconds while it is being deployed, and if you don't have a companion, you likely won't be able to use your vehicle.  Our hope is that you are able to find an option that takes the best combination and applies it to your unique position. Learn more about the different side and rear entry wheelchair van conversions we carry at Total Mobility Services.

Rear Entry Ramp Vans

  • Offer the widest ramp options
  • No need to turn or adjust the wheelchair, enter straight on and back straight out
  • Most manufacturers offer space for 1-2 wheelchairs.
  • Only allow for wheelchairs to be positioned in mid section or rear of the vehicle.
  • Not usually an option for an independent user
  • Less space to secure manual tie downs
  • Not limited to handicapped parking, but cannot parallel park.
  • Good option for users with a longer wheelchair, or a disabled child
  • Most meet ADA requirements for commercial use
  • Ideal for transportation companies due to its flexible seating for a variety of clients.

Side Entry Ramp Vans

  • Most allow for three wheelchair users to be in the minivan at a time
  • Allow a wheelchair user to use a six-way transfer seat in the driver or passenger position
  • Door openings and ramp widths work for the majority of mobility devices, but not all
  • Has room to maneuver into a desired position.
  • Offers more room to secure tiedowns.
  • Limited to handicapped or parallel parking.
  • Has seating for at least five ambulatory passengers and a wheelchair user.

The size of the interiors, door openings and heights will all differ, depending on the make model and year of both the vehicle and conversion. Contact one of our knowlegeable mobility consultants will be able to provide specific measurements to help you find hte best fit. Call or head on over to one of our Pennsylvania or Maryland locations for more assistance.