Investing in a Universal Handicap Van Ramp

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A universal van ramp is an incredibly flexible mobility aid. You can move these from one vehicle to the next without much difficulty, expanding your accessibility options.  Universal ramps are usually flat, single plane units that are highly durable and rather easy to use.

Universal ramps will work with a variety of vehicles.  However, there are a variety of available models and not all options provide the same level of function and durability.

Accessible Van Ramp Options

One of the biggest decisions you will need to make in regards to a universal van ramp is the positioning of the ramp itself.

Side door van ramps allow the ramp to exit out one of the side doors of the van or other vehicle. If the wheelchair or scooter will enter this way, a side ramp can be a great choice.

Rear door van ramps allow the vehicle to be entered and exited through the rear doors.  Depending upon your usage patterns and parking preferences, these can be an ideal solution.

Hitch mounted van ramps are mostly for SUVs and minivans. Because these vehicles have a hatch style door, the ramp works to accommodate the height and style of the door latching.

 

Special Wheelchair Van Ramp Features

When purchasing a universal van ramp, it’s important to consider the added features and accessories that may be available.

Determine the necessary length, based on the height of the van. Universal ramps are available as five, 6.5 and 7 foot long ramps.  Some are even longer.

Look at the width of the ramp as well. The standard measurement is 26 inches.  However, wider versions are available for wider wheelchairs and scooters.

Determine how you install the ramp. Some of the easiest options involve little more than bolting it into place and require no specialized conversion. Others require professional installation.

Note the durability of the ramp. Select a ramp able to withstand the weight that will be placed upon it.   Also look for a ramp made of a strong material to allow for a long life span, such as aluminum buttressed by the inclusion of additional hardening alloys. Durable construction justifies paying more.

Safety features may be necessary.  Nonskid treading and guides for wheels are two examples of popular safety features for universal wheelchair ramps.

Although calling them “universal” ramps may make it sound like you’re dealing with a one-size-fits-all solution, it’s important to look at multiple factors when making a purchase.  You want to be sure to get a ramp that will work perfectly with your wheelchair or scooter.