My Broken Van Ramp

What I have.

I own an old used Chrysler Town & Country Mobility Van.  It is a 2006 van.  The exterior color is midnight blue (it looks like a navy blue).  Most of the mobility vans in the lot looked like handicap vehicles.  They looked like modified ambulances.

I bought it because it didn’t look like a handicap van

This van looked like a regular Chrysler Town & Country, and you would not know that it was a handicap vehicle unless you stopped to look at the license plate or you saw the ramp come out of the side of the vehicle.

Van almost cut in half

They use front wheel drive vans to make a handicap van.  In order to have the ramp come out automatically (you use a remote control key), they need to almost cut the van in half.  This is called a conversion.  They are converting a standard van to a handicap vehicle.

Careful for the drivetrain

Because they almost cut the vehicle in half, if the van had rear wheel drive, they would have to cut through the drive train.  Generally, this is not a good idea.  It is much easier, and less expensive, to use a front wheel drive van.  For the same reason, they don’t use four wheel drive vehicles, or all wheel drive vehicles.

Press the remote key twice

When you press the remote key twice, the side door opens and the ramp should automatically come out.  Then when my power wheelchair goes up the ramp and into the van, you can press the remote key twice and the ramp automatically comes back into the van, and the door closes.

Ramp works partially

Well, that’s the way it is supposed to work.  This week, I had a dental appointment.  I pressed the remote key button twice and the ramp only partially came out.  Then I did it again and the ramp receded partially into the van.  The door would barely close.

It was stuck.

This was big trouble.  After that the ramp would not come out or go fully into the van.  It was stuck.  This is a nightmare.  The only thing worse is if this happens when I’m at the dentist office.

Call to the dealer

I called the van dealership where I bought the van and they agreed to pick up the van the next day.    The next day they picked up the van and later that day I received a call from the dealership that they would need more time to look at the van.

Out of cycle

The next day I received a call from the dealership that the ramp worked all but one time at the shop.  Apparently,  it had gone out of cycle.  I don’t know exactly what that means, but I asked if there was anything that a handicapped person could do to get it back in cycle?

A manual release

At that point, I was told that there was a manual release that was yellow in color.  It take time for me to get to the van, when they came so I had my wife talk to them and show her the manual release.  When the ramp got stuck, we were pulling it every which way to no avail.  I had a picture taken of the yellow manual release control so I could see it.

Where is it?

It is by the door on the floor of the van.  This is in a position that is almost impossible for me to reach.  However, another, more capable person, could easily reach it.

They should tell you about this

This way the ramp could be manually moved in and out.  They should really tell you about this when you buy the van.  I’ve had a lot of headaches with the ramp in the past.  Fortunately, they did not charge me this time.

Time to reschedule

The dental appointment had to be cancelled.  I will reschedule the appointment shortly.

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