Volkswagen Transporter van adapted to become a Wheelchair Accessible Van with a rear ramp.
Source of WAV:
Motability Via GM Mobility
This WAV has a rear ramp. I have it set up so I drive my wheelchair in and park it behind the front passenger seat, I then transfer into the driver’s seat which turns electronically into the driving position.
A seatbelt-style strap holds my powerchair in position whilst not in use, meaning my wheelchair is back to back with the front passenger seat.
There are two back seats which are stored in a folded position against the sides of the van, and can easily be unlocked and put into place as needed. This is because I cannot get my wheelchair passed, meaning I have any passengers, I have to remember to get them to fold the seats away after use so I don’t get stuck in the van as I cannot lock and unlock the seats myself.
The major issue I have with this vehicle is the ramp and boot. When I first got the van the ramp was very slippery, so much so that I was told to ensure my wheelchair seatbelt was on when coming down. A few months after getting the WAV, despite having safety sides on the ramp my wheelchair slid off making me go head-first onto the road with my powerchair on top of me. The adaption company then installed grip strips to give more traction which worked perfectly. I was told the grips aren’t fitted as standard as people don’t like the look of them, but they look fine to me plus I’d rather be safe!
Another issue with the ramp and boot is that they are remote controlled, but I have ongoing issues with the ramp going up and then the tailgate not shutting, meaning I have to press the button anywhere from 3 – 20+ times to get it to shut. I’ve reported these but it never seems to be fixed, despite this being a safety concern when I’m on my own. Obviously, if I’m with someone they can reach up and manually close it, but I just have to wait until it eventually closes.
The van is nice to drive, has a rear camera, and great parking sensors, two needed features as it’s a large van. I’m pleased to have a vehicle I can use independently, but the initial issue with the slippery ramp and boot means I wouldn’t recommend it, as there are so many other WAVs without these issues.