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Is a Side Entry or Rear Entry Ramp Better for a Wheelchair Van?

ramp for a van

Before purchasing a wheelchair accessible van, there are several things that you must take into consideration. One is whether a side entry or rear entry ramp for a van would work better for you. Here are the pros and cons of each.

Side Entry Ramp

Side entry ramps are the most popular conversion option available. In fact, over 75% of non-commercial vehicles use side entry ramps. When installed, the floor of the vehicle is lowered, creating enough headspace for passengers. Additional benefits include:

  • Easy curbside access
  • Seats can be removed, allowing for wheelchair occupant to operate or sit in the passenger seat
  • Ramps can either be a foldout style or in-floor

The only drawback of side entry ramps is:

  • Less room for passengers as the middle row of seats is removed

Rear Entry

Rear entry ramps fold out from the rear of the vehicle, creating a smooth incline for the wheelchair to easily enter and exit the vehicle. Some of the benefits of rear entry ramps include:

  • Does not fold into the interior of the van, which creates more interior room
  • Side and middle seats stay in place, allowing more seating for passengers
  • Less customization required

Drawbacks of rear entry ramps include:

  • Because the ramp extends off the back of the vehicle, parking can be limited, especially in the busy city
  • Wheelchair occupant typically cannot access the passenger seat

Rear entry ramps are great if you need the extra interior space. But, they are not ideal if you plan on operating your wheelchair van yourself.

To learn more about the best ramp for your wheelchair accessible vehicle, contact a mobility specialist at Bussani Mobility.  

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