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Old 02-26-2017, 11:16 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles

Hello,
I've become completely wheelchair bound and have been driving a dodge minivan, while the minivan takes me around town it DOES NOT and CAN NOT take me where I used to go before becoming completely wheelchair bound. I've been looking for and thinking about other wheelchair accessible vehicle possibilities that aren't vans either minivans or cargo vans. Anyone have any ideas? I would like a 4x4 drivetrain in either a : bus, truck, suv, station wagon (lifted), or car (lifted). Thanks in advance for any thoughts, opinions, or answers.

Regards,
50AK
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Old 02-26-2017, 12:26 PM   #2
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Hello,
I've become completely wheelchair bound and have been driving a dodge minivan, while the minivan takes me around town it DOES NOT and CAN NOT take me where I used to go before becoming completely wheelchair bound. I've been looking for and thinking about other wheelchair accessible vehicle possibilities that aren't vans either minivans or cargo vans. Anyone have any ideas? I would like a 4x4 drivetrain in either a : bus, truck, suv, station wagon (lifted), or car (lifted). Thanks in advance for any thoughts, opinions, or answers.

Regards,
50AK

I just bought my second Handi Bus (Blue Bird Wheelchair Bus) that I use to load and carry my motorcycle. I know they make 4x4 buses, but I think they are rare (and expensive). Be glad to answer any questions you have about my experience, but I am not sure what exactly you are truing to do besides get in and out of it?
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Old 02-26-2017, 01:22 PM   #3
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dredman,
Basically I wanting a 4x4 wheelchair accessible vehicle or to possibly build a 4x4 wheelchair accessible vehicle that will take me anywhere that I want to go at any time without having to worry about the environmental conditions or if it's too muddy, snowy, or icy. I'd like it to have a diesel powerplant (been debating between a 12 valve Cummins engine for sheer simplicity and power, a Deutz Diesel for cold weather use, and one of the older 2-stroke Detroit Diesels because I love the sound they make) a lot of the Diesel engines will run or can be converted to run on waste vegetable oil, or waste motor oil for fuel (although I don't know how these fuels would work in the winter ?) if I was going to build the vehicle from the ground up I'd like to make it as small as possible for ease of parking and driving, and have approach angles of 35 degrees or better, breakover angles of 32 degrees or better, and departure angles of 47 degrees or better. I'd place overall reliability and robustness just behind wheelchair accessibility and the 4x4 drivetrain because I don't want to be constantly fixing it (another reason for wanting a diesel powerplant). Thanks in advance for any thoughts, opinions, or answers.

Regards,
50AK
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Old 02-26-2017, 04:31 PM   #4
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dredman,
Basically I wanting a 4x4 wheelchair accessible vehicle or to possibly build a 4x4 wheelchair accessible vehicle that will take me anywhere that I want to go at any time without having to worry about the environmental conditions or if it's too muddy, snowy, or icy. I'd like it to have a diesel powerplant (been debating between a 12 valve Cummins engine for sheer simplicity and power, a Deutz Diesel for cold weather use, and one of the older 2-stroke Detroit Diesels because I love the sound they make) a lot of the Diesel engines will run or can be converted to run on waste vegetable oil, or waste motor oil for fuel (although I don't know how these fuels would work in the winter ?) if I was going to build the vehicle from the ground up I'd like to make it as small as possible for ease of parking and driving, and have approach angles of 35 degrees or better, breakover angles of 32 degrees or better, and departure angles of 47 degrees or better. I'd place overall reliability and robustness just behind wheelchair accessibility and the 4x4 drivetrain because I don't want to be constantly fixing it (another reason for wanting a diesel powerplant). Thanks in advance for any thoughts, opinions, or answers.

Regards,
50AK
Wrong hobby for you. Skoolies are a constant maintenance type things. A custom one off vehicle will be a constant change this change that. etc etc etc. A 4x4 is going t set very tall and create a total rebuild of the chair lift due to the increased 4x4 height.
There plenty of us with the same desires and needs etc. Don't quit thinking or dreaming.
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Old 02-26-2017, 05:25 PM   #5
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Versatile,
I realize that I'm asking a lot out of any vehicle to do what I want it to do. It just seems like no one makes a decent vehicle for people that are wheelchair bound. I would be fine building a vehicle from the ground up if need be, but any time I mention that I'm wheelchair bound anyone that would help (even design one) they seem to get turned off for some reason. I just would think that cutting a school bus down to a lt least full size pickup length it wouldn't be overly difficult, but I'm propably mistaken.

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50AK
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Old 02-27-2017, 11:11 AM   #6
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maybe your best bet is to find a short bus that you can add 4x to it?
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Old 02-27-2017, 05:35 PM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Yes dredman, a short bus could actually work, can a wheelchair lift be placed behind the conventional bus double doors (?) could a 5.9L 6BT Cummins fit in the engine compartment (?) if these would work/fit I'm just about sure that I could get a 4x4 transfercase and an automatic transmission to work/fit. I would just need to talk to people who HAVE converted or worked with short busses first.

Regards,
50AK
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Old 02-27-2017, 05:56 PM   #8
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50AK
I'm pretty sure that there are 4x4 shorties out there. Rare as hens teeth, but every once in a while they pop up on auctions sites. I remember seeing 2 of them a year or so. (might have been 2 yrs ago). Are you planning to drive from your chair, or transfer to a bus driver seat? I have wondered if there is ample room to manage the latter. I'm sure with a little creativity, anything can be overcome.

Wishing you all the good.
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Old 02-27-2017, 06:07 PM   #9
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I know fords made E-350's amnd E-450's in 4x4.. there are wheelchair accessible busses made on those chassis... while finding an actual 4x4 bus is tough (though they do exist).. doing a retrofit to 4x4 on a van cutaway at least nets you the fact parts were manufactured for it and can be found for such a beast...

lift kits were / are also made for the E-series vans as well... most wheelchair lifts have quite a bit of agility in the fact the extra height due to the lift kit wouldnt be a problem for the lift ot extend lower...

many cutaway busses were equipped with chair lifts...

many E-series vans were built as wheelchair vans already so getting parts to set up hand controls can be done..

im not sure how much $$$ you'll have in finding the right bus and getting it set up properly.. but its not going to be cheap...

-Christopher
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Old 02-27-2017, 06:08 PM   #10
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1olfart,
Yes I plan to transfer to a custom rotating drivers seat, an I was also planning on using a custom transfercase, and axles.

Regards,
50AK
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