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Anybody who has a disability and relies on the use of a wheelchair will be familiar with how challenging it can sometimes be to get into a vehicle.
One of the best ways to do this is to purchase a larger car or van that allows the user to remain in their wheelchair for the duration of the journey. However, this will require the use of a wheelchair ramp and the biggest priorities with these pieces of equipment are safety and ease of use.
Wheelchair Ramps for Vans & SUVs Comparison Chart
EZ-Access Signature Series Suitcase Ramp
Prairie View Industries Rear Door Van Ramp
Roll-A-Ramp Manual Bi-Fold Ramp for Vehicles
EZ-Access Trifold Advantage Series Wheelchair Ramp
400, 800 lbs
Type of Ramp
2', 3, 4', 5', 6', 7', 8'
6', 7', 8'
5', 6', 7', 8', 10'
26", 30", 36"
11 – 47 lbs
72, 77 lbs
50 – 70 lbs
32 – 60 lbs
11 – 47 lbs
72, 77 lbs
50 – 70 lbs
32 – 60 lbs
What are the Benefits of Using a Wheelchair Van Ramp?
Adding a wheelchair ramp to your van or SUV is an excellent way to get into the vehicle without having to leave your wheelchair. For users that find transfers difficult, this is an incredible solution. Alternatively, if you are able to sit in the vehicle or drive yourself, you may still find it tricky to load your wheelchair into the vehicle; in this situation, the task will be considerably easier.
Installing a wheelchair ramp will provide users with far greater independence. One of the most challenging things for many wheelchair users is having to rely on caregivers to complete certain day to day tasks. However, in many cases, special equipment, like a wheelchair ramp, gives the user a sense of freedom.
Even for those who are already able to load their mobility aids into the vehicle, there is the risk of physical strain since some of these pieces of equipment can be heavy. With a wheelchair ramp, you won’t be putting any strain on your body, making the job much safer and more manageable.
In addition to the above point, this lessened strain and ease of maneuvering means that there is a far lower risk of accidents. If you are a little unsteady on your feet, manually loading the wheelchair into your van or SUV could prove to be rather risky; using this equipment dramatically reduces the risk of trips and falls.
Types of Wheelchair Ramps for Vans and SUVs
When choosing which wheelchair ramp will work best for your vehicle, one of the first things that you will notice is that there are different types. It is important to understand how each one functions as well as its pros and cons before making a commitment to any particular model.
Users whose vehicle is not quite as high may benefit from a smaller, non-folding ramp. These are typically much shorter by design, and they are also incredibly easy to use. However, it is important to make sure that this type of ramp will be safe to use as the length of the ramp will determine how safe it is in relation to the rise on which it will be used.
The downside to the non-folding ramp is that since they do not fold, you will need to have a suitable amount of space to store them. While they are shorter, their size may be too large for a smaller vehicle.
If you are looking for something affordable and convenient then a folding ramp, which is sometimes called a suitcase ramp, may be the best option for you. These are lightweight and very easily portable as they come with a carry handle. Depending on your requirements, you may choose a ramp with a single fold or a multi-folding ramp.
What’s more, these ramps are much more compact and even when folded have a smaller footprint which means that they can be stored in your vehicle when not in use. They can be used in many situations, quickly and conveniently, and so have an excellent degree of versatility.
If you have multiple wheelchairs that will be using one vehicle then a track ramp is an excellent option. This is because, rather than having a single ramp, track ramps have two ramp channels that can be adjusted to suit the size and width of the wheelchair.
Each of the channels features an anti-slip surface for greater stability and security and also offer more than enough space to fully accommodate one wheelchair wheel.
Roll-a-ramp ramps are versatile and can be fitted to most vans and SUVs. They can be operated either manually or electrically which could make life easier for independent users. But one of the most excellent aspects of this type of ramp is that there is no need to alter or modify your vehicle in any way.
The roll-a-ramp will support a considerable amount of weight making it more suitable for larger wheelchair users. With a lack of hydraulics, these ramps are considered to be incredibly stable and secure.
Vehicle Wheelchair Ramp Buyer’s Guide
Aside from looking at the various types of ramp on offer, there are other factors that you must consider before purchasing. Looking at each of these will help you to ensure that you find a wheelchair ramp that is suitable for your needs, and above all, safe.
The length of your wheelchair ramp is one of the most important factors to consider. This is because the ramp length will determine how easy it is to use as well as how safe it is. If you are using a ramp that is not long enough, moving the chair up the ramp will prove much more difficult as the incline will be too steep. If you are using a heavier wheelchair such as a powered device, this can be very problematic.
Conversely, if the ramp is too long, it may not fit correctly. According to the American Disability Act (ADA), a slope of 2:12 is recommended. However, the only way to be sure that you are using the correct ramp length is to take measurements of the rise. The rise is the vertical distance that you wish to travel, from the ground into the vehicle. Once you have this measurement, there are many online calculators that will provide you with the correct length measurements for your needs.
If you do not have access to one of these calculators, the ramp length can be worked out without one. In order to do this, you should measure the rise and divide this number by two. For example, if the rise is 10 inches, half of that is 5 which would mean you will need a five foot ramp. This method will ensure that the slope meets the recommendations of the ADA.
Width of Ramp
While length is an important factor, the width of the wheelchair ramp is also an essential consideration. If it is too narrow, you will not be able to get your wheelchair onto it. While a track ramp may boast the ability to adjust, there are limits to this, so be sure to look at its widest and narrowest points.
In order to choose the correct width for a non-adjustable ramp, you should take the measurements of your wheelchair at its widest point before making a purchase.
If you are concerned about the safety of the wheelchair as it moves up and down the ramp, there is an option to purchase one with side guards. This feature will eliminate the risk of the wheelchair falling while it is being moved. This may be a suitable feature for users who are unsteady on their feet but who still wish to load their own wheelchair into the vehicle.
Since you are going to be using your wheelchair ramp with your vehicle, it stands to reason that you will want something easy to transport. This means that you should look at the various portability features of each ramp. One of the most important is that the ramp is lightweight making it easier to carry and lift into the vehicle. However, being lightweight should never compromise the integrity of the ramp.
You should consider whether you would like a permanent fixed ramp which is installed specifically to your vehicle or something that can be moved from van to van. If you use more than one vehicle, then this might be an option worth considering.
If you are choosing a portable ramp, you may wish to think about the space in your vehicle or other place that the ramp may be stored. If space is limited, a folding ramp is potentially a better option as it will have a smaller footprint.
When we think about weight capacity, a lot of us might only consider the weight of the user, however, it is also important to factor in the weight of the wheelchair. If you use a powered wheelchair or mobility scooter, these are considerably heavier than their manual counterparts and their weight should be factored in.
If you are a larger person, it is important to source a wheelchair ramp that will provide you with the correct support and security as you use the ramp. While this may be a delicate subject, failing to use a compatible ramp could result in the accident or serious injury.
We cannot stress enough that using a wheelchair ramp safely is crucial. One of the most overlooked details is a non-slip surface, which may also be called an anti-skid or anti-slip surface. These are typically adhered to the ramp or alternatively, can be painted on. They use a rubberized texture that allows the wheels a better grip and provides the user with a greater degree of security.
Best Van Ramps for Wheelchairs & Mobility Scooters
Having considered all of the above factors, we have assessed several wheelchair and mobility scooter ramps and have determined that the following products offer everything you would expect from this type of equipment.
1. EZ-Access Signature Series Suitcase Ramp
One of the things that can feel daunting about purchasing a wheelchair or mobility scooter ramp is that some of them can be expensive. However, this affordable solution from EZ-Access provides wheelchair users with a safe and convenient way to access the vehicles without breaking the bank.
The ramp comes in a variety of sizes ranging from 2ft to 8ft giving you incredible options. What’s more, with a width of 2.5ft, this ramp is suitable for most wheelchairs; in addition, it has a weight capacity of 800 lbs so is suitable for bariatric users.
The EZ-Access wheelchair ramp is made from durable aluminum but is also extremely lightweight with the largest option weighing just 47 lbs. It is easy to use with a single folding design and carry handles. This ramp comes with a transition plate which makes mounting much smoother.
- Weight capacity: 800 lbs
- Ramp length: 2′ – 8′
- Ramp width: 30″
- Product weight: 11 – 47 lbs
- Warranty: Lifetime limited
2. Prairie View Industries Rear Door Van Ramp
The Prairie View Industries ramp is ideal for those who want a no-fuss wheelchair ramp that is easy to install. It comes in two length choices of either 7ft or 8ft, suitable for 14 or 16 inch rises respectively and also features a generous weight capacity of up to 800 lbs making it suitable for most users.
It also boasts a non-slip surface in the form of tape, however, this may need replacing over time depending on how heavily the ramp is used. The ramp has a width of 27 inches.
This is an easy to transport ramp that features a quick fold design and can be stored vertically inside the vehicle, making it incredibly convenient. However, we should point out that at a maximum of 77 lbs, for the larger length, this is not the most lightweight solution.
- Weight capacity: 400, 800 lbs
- Ramp length: 7′ – 8′
- Ramp width: 27″
- Product weight: 72, 77 lbs
- Warranty: 1-year limited
3. Roll-A-Ramp Manual Bi-Fold Ramp for Vehicles
The roll-a-ramp is an incredibly versatile piece of mobility equipment that can be used with your vehicle as well as for accessing buildings and getting up steps. It is simple and quick to install but if you prefer, there is an option to purchase mounts and install the ramp in your vehicle on a semi-permanent basis. Doing this will not require any vehicle modifications and can take as little as 2-4 hours for the powered version.
If you are going to be using this as a portable ramp, your options are limitless and once you’re done, the ramp rolls into an easy to store compact size which will fit in the trunk of most vehicles. This is thanks to the flexible design, however, there is also the option to tighten the links in order that the ramp folds.
The roll-a-ramp offers a very handsome weight limit of 1000 lbs so is suitable for a much wider range of users. It boasts a 26-inch width and comes with a 10 year warranty.
- Weight capacity: 1000 lbs
- Ramp length: 6′ – 8′
- Ramp width: 26″ – 36″
- Product weight: 50 – 70 lbs
- Warranty: 10-year
4. EZ-Access Trifold Advantage Series Wheelchair Ramp
This easy to use ramp folds down into three sections for much easier storage. If this is still too large, there is also the option to separate the ramp into sections for even greater convenience. It comes in sizes between 5ft and 10ft and boasts a width of 29 inches.
The EZ-Access tri folding ramp has a folding design with durable central hinges which reduce pinch points and make it much more user friendly. It is compact and lightweight yet features an 800 lbs weight capacity.
This wheelchair and mobility scooter ramp comes with a bottom transfer plate to make getting on the ramp much simpler. There is also the option to purchase a top lip extension which is ideal for rear door entry to SUVs and trailers.
- Weight capacity: 800 lbs
- Ramp length: 5′ – 10′
- Ramp width: 29.4″
- Product weight: 32 – 60 lbs
- Warranty: Lifetime limited