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REMINDER: During the shut downs for COVD-19 we are staying open and doing increased home deliveries to ensure our community has the equipment they need.
REMINDER: During the shut downs for COVD-19 we are staying open and doing increased home deliveries to ensure our community has the equipment they need.

Wheelchair Ramps For Vans

There are many types of wheelchair ramps, including portable ones and permanent options you can have built directly into your van. We will go over the most popular ramps to give you a better idea of which will work best for you and your needs. Once you know what to look for in a ramp van, you can decide which product you should buy. If you are already familiar with the different varieties, you can scroll down to the bottom of the page to see some online deals for a few high-quality portable wheelchair van ramps.

You can get wheelchair ramps for the side or back door of your van, and they come in several styles and sizes. Which type of ramp you get will depend on your finances, whether you are the passenger or driver, and your vehicle dimensions. You can even get a permanent ramp designed and installed in most vans.

Permanent Ramps

You can buy vans that already have ramps built into the design, or you can have a permanent ramp installed into your own vehicle. This is an expensive option but makes for a safe and secure way to exit and enter the van without needing assistance setting up a ramp. Most permanent ramps are installed into mini-vans with a lower ground clearance which necessitates less ramp length to reach the proper degree of incline.

Portable Ramps

Portable wheelchair ramps can be removed from the vehicle and transported easily during travel. These usually come in the form of single-fold or multi-fold ramps and are typically made of lighter materials like aluminum. Portable ramps are flexible and can also be used for overcoming obstacles like curbs and stairs. They have safety features the same as permanent ramps, including non-slip surfaces and handrails or lips for added safety.

Portable Ramp Options

The main draw of portable ramps is their adaptability and affordability. You can get them in a number of designs and styles. The majority of portable ramps are made from aluminum or a combination of aluminum and strong plastic to cut down on the weight and make them easier to maneuver. Below are the most common types of portable wheelchair van ramps.

Single-Fold Ramps

These are non-slip ramps that usually have a lip or guard for safety and ergonomic handles to make it more comfortable to move to and from the vehicle. They fold over once, usually vertically, and are solid and secure.

Multi-Fold Ramps

These are similar to single-fold ramps, except they can frequently be disassembled and reassembled to make them smaller. They usually fold both vertically and horizontally. Multi-fold ramps are great for when you need a longer ramp for getting into higher vehicles or the back of a van. The extra folds allow for you to add more length while still keeping the size manageable for storage.

Telescoping Track Ramps

Telescoping ramps come in two separate track pieces, one for each set of wheels. The main benefits include the following.
• The tracks can be easily placed to accommodate any width of wheelchair or van door
• They are telescoping, which means you can extend them out as far as you need to create a safe degree of incline
• They take up less space than the other options

Roll-Up Ramps

Roll-up ramps started as specialized items sold by only a few select companies, but the technology has been evolving, and there are more roll-up ramps on the market each year. These portable ramps have sections that are rolled up for space-saving and transport convenience. Roll-up ramps can be made from a variety of materials.

Professionally Installed Permanent Ramps

You can get your vehicle outfitted with a permanent ramp. This is usually an expensive process, and many permanent ramps cost between $10,000 and $30,000, depending on the make, model, and style you want. Most of the time, permanent ramps are installed in vehicles like mini-vans. Some brands have accessible vans that come standard with built-in ramps or lifts.

Fold-Out

These permanent ramps are easier to install, which can translate to less cost. The ramp folds inside against the door, and then when they need to be used, the door is opened, and the ramp extends down. They can be moved manually or with a control button. The main downside of fold-out ramps is that they can take up quite a bit of space inside the van and make it impossible for the passenger seat to lean back.

In-Floor

These permanent ramps are easier to install, which can translate to less cost. The ramp folds inside against the door, and then when they need to be used, the door is opened, and the ramp extends down. They can be moved manually or with a control button. The main downside of fold-out ramps is that they can take up quite a bit of space inside the van and make it impossible for the passenger seat to lean back.

Permanent Van Ramps

Now you have an idea of the two primary types of permanent wheelchair van ramps. To help you figure out whether it would be better to get a permanent or portable ramp, we have broken down the pros and cons of permanent van ramps.

Pros:

  • Most have buttons for automatic ramp deployment, so there is no need to have extra hands or assistance
  • The ramp will be customized to work perfectly for your van dimensions
  • The ramps are secure and designed to handle heavy loads in all types of weather

Cons:

  • It can cost tens of thousands of dollars for the installation alone
  • Some permanent ramps do not work well for steep inclines or high curbs
  • Certain ramps can take up a lot of room inside the vehicle, making it difficult for other passengers to move around and get in and out of the vehicle
  • If you change vehicles, you cannot bring the ramp with you, and the ramp cannot be used to overcome obstacles like curbs and stairs that might be between you and nearby structures

What to Look For in a Portable Van Ramp

When looking for a portable van ramp, you will need to consider the following areas to determine if the ramp you are looking at will function properly with your vehicle, weight, and space limitations. You will need to do some measurements and math to make sure you have accurate numbers that you can use to guide your buying decisions. Below are the four primary things to consider when shopping around for a portable van ramp.

Safety Features

There are a few safety features that every van ramp should have to ensure you can exit and enter the vehicle safely. At the bare minimum, the ramp should feature some kind of barrier to ensure the chair does not fall off when you begin to move up the ramp. These can come in the form of a lip, rails, or a side guard. The surface should also be non-slip. Other safety features might be included, but a ramp should have at least those two.

Adequate Width

There are two width measurements you need to take into account before you begin searching for a ramp-the width of the van door and the width of your wheelchair or other mobility devices. Whatever portable ramp you get is going to need to be capable of accommodating them both. Make sure you take accurate measurements and check the manufacturer guidelines for your wheelchair to find out if they have any recommendations or limitations regarding ramp width.

Weight Capacity

Some wheelchairs can be pretty heavy, so you need to make sure the ramp weight capacity can carry it without bowing or cracking. The manufacturer of your wheelchair can provide you with instructions on minimum ramp weight capacity to handle the machine safely. Do not forget to add your own weight when you are doing calculations.

Incline Angle

For a van ramp, you want to follow the 2:12 ratio for length and rise, which means that you will have a foot of ramp extension for every two inches of height. Doing this will give you a safer incline angle. Ideally, you do not want to go over a 9.5 degree of incline.

Portable Ramps Option Available for Sale Online

There are some fantastic sale items available for anyone looking for a quality van ramp. There are two varieties, and they are both excellent for heavier-weighted wheelchairs. They are made of lightweight, sturdy materials, and the designs are compact.

Single-Fold Safety Ramp

This Harmar van ramp can be used to move over obstacles while traveling, including curbs, steps, and other barriers. The single-fold style makes it easy to store and use.

Important Features:

  • Available in 2' to 5' lengths
  • Meant to be used for travel
  • Ergonomic, non-breaking handles
  • Weight capacity 800-pounds

Multi-Fold Safety Ramp

The Harmar multi-fold ramp can be disassembled for more convenient transport. It folds horizontally and vertically to take up less space. This product is ideal for accommodating heavy-duty wheelchairs.

Important Features:

  • Available in 6' to 8' lengths
  • You can get it with a bariatric carry weight
  • Ergonomic, non-breaking handles
  • Self-adjusting bottom transition plates make moving from any surface to the ramp effortless
  • Ramp weights approximately 40-pounds
  • Carry weight capacity 800-pounds