Minivan or full-size? Consider this…


This page is to all who seek their best wheelchair van ‘fit’ and are not entirely clear where to begin, or are unsure which direction to go. From many stories I’ve heard, I can tell you that if you make the wrong decision on this important question, you will soon be wishing you could turn back time and buy a different van.

My observation as I interact with folks every day who are van shopping, has been that one particular question should be the first and most contemplated (but not complicated) of all.

Should I buy a minivan or a full-size?

There is much more I will write in the near future about this subject. At this time, I will briefly comment about some of the details that are most often discussed in my conversations with people.

About Full-Size:

  • They are certainly not all unattractive and unwieldy. Some are beautiful and easy to drive and handle.
  • When in use as a wheelchair van, in the typical activities and environments of such, they don’t get a great amount less MPG than a minivan.
  • For people in certain circumstances they can be more comfortable and useful than a minivan
  • They are generally less costly for repairs and care and due to their heavy-duty nature (compared to a minivan) tend to handle the daily workload imposed as a wheelchair van better.
  • There are generally more readily available accessories, modifications and add-ons available for full-size. In this point, I am referring not necessarily to adaptive equipment, but other items.
  • Due to having extra floor area, bigger door openings, more headroom, a full frame underneath and so forth: larger vans are usually easier to adapt to this special use and you have more choices when doing so.
  • This section of my website will grow and become much more detailed over the coming days and weeks, please visit again for more.

About Minivans:

  • Depending on the brand and design they don’t necessarily have a problem with limited ground clearance.
  • The fact that there are doors on both sides, rather than only the right side, is helpful for some people.
  • They don’t have an excess of power and depending on your load, intended use and terrain you may be disappointed.
  • Other than a very light load, you cannot tow or haul with a minivan, as you can with a full-size.
  • They are not as sturdy and capable as a full-size and don’t generally hold up as well over time.
  • Yes, I suppose they do have a nice ‘silhouette’, as an artist with MS commented to me at one time. If having a van that looks as little like a wheelchair van as possible is very important to you, this is often what you want…but not always. Take a look at my vans for sale and also those previously sold and you will see some very attractive full-size vans.
  • I will have more to come about this subject, please check back for an expanding and more detailed list of points to ponder.

My daily discussions with folks going through a process which may be very similar to yours has been a boon to my understanding about peoples needs, experiences, likes and dislikes. Of course, the specifics and circumstances of each person shopping for a wheelchair van varies greatly, just as what caused the need for such van is unique.

I hope these ideas are helpful to you and your shopping process. Please feel free to call or E-mail with any questions or comments. I look forward to being of service to you in any way I can.

Thank you,

Rick Bohr