When shopping for a wheelchair accessible vehicle, you will notice that there are several conversion options available, ranging from the ramp’s location to how it deploys. For example, you will encounter two main types of vehicle ramps, referred to as either an “in-floor” or “fold-out” ramp. Both are designed to help wheelchair users comfortably enter and exit their vehicle. In-floor ramps are stored in the van’s floor, while fold-out ramps are stored upright alongside the vehicle’s sliding door. Here are some key differences between the two to help you determine which type is right for you.
In-floor ramps maintain open access from either side of the sliding doors. This can be useful when traveling with non-wheelchair users or pets, as it opens up space in the back seat. They are available in both manual and power options, meaning you can opt to deploy the ramp by hand, or deploy it mechanically by hitting a button.
Fold-out ramps are found on both side-entry and rear-entry conversions. They rest upright inside the vehicle, next to the sliding door. Because they fold out from a higher angle, they are ideal when dealing with taller curbs or sidewalks. These types of ramps are also available in both manual and power styles.
Which Wheelchair Accessible Ramp is Right for You?
The type of ramp you choose will depend on your mobility and lifestyle needs. The fold-out ramp is easy to use, whether operated manually or by power. They also generally allow for a lower ramp angle when deployed, which makes wheeling up the ramp in either a power or manual wheelchair more comfortable for some wheelchair users and caregivers.
However, if you travel with several passengers who do not use a wheelchair, an in-floor ramp may be better suited to your needs. With the ramp tucked away in the floor of the vehicle, you would not have to deploy the ramp each time to allow people to enter or exit the vehicle from the passenger’s side.
In-floor and fold-out wheelchair accessible vehicle ramps are the two types of wheelchair ramps you’ll find when shopping for an adaptive van. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, but they also serve different purposes and depend greatly on your individual needs. Stop in at a MobilityWorks location near you to try both styles for yourself and find the right solution!