If you are installing a wheelchair lift on a van, you have two basic mounting options -- inside or outside. There are pros and cons to both of these options. Here's what to consider:
An outside mount wheelchair ramp typically consists of two large pieces of metal, a platform and a ramp connected by hinges. When driving, the ramp sits on the platform, and when you need to load the van, you pull down the ramp, allowing the person in the wheelchair to roll into it and into the van.
Pros of Outside Mounts
The key advantage of a wheelchair lift mounted outside your van is that it doesn't take up unnecessarily space inside your van. That allows room for more passengers. In addition, you can also use outside mounts to carry wheelchairs.
If the person with the wheelchair has limited mobility but can walk short distances, they can park the wheelchair on the platform, walk into the van (with or without assistance as needed) and sit in a chair. The ramp, then, folds up against the chair to hold it in place as you drive.
Cons of Outside Mounts
The disadvantage of an outside mount is that it is exposed to the weather. If you don't have an indoor space to park your van, this can especially take its toll on the metal ramp. Another disadvantage is that the outside mount increases the length of your vehicle, potentially creating challenges for parking.
As suggested by its name, an inside mount is a wheelchair ramp or lift mounted inside your van. It can be similar to the ramp described above, or it can feature motorised mechanisms that extend a platform out from the van, lower it so that someone can ride onto it and finally raise them into the van.
Pros of Inside Mounts
The advantage of an interior mount is that it is shielded from the elements. That has the potential of increasing its lifespan, but it also allows you to choose whether you want a wheelchair ramp or a motorised lift. If it were mounted outside, the motor might get wet and malfunction.
Cons of Inside Mounts
Although you have more options with inside mounts, they decrease the possibilities inside your van. Namely, they take up extra space and reduce the number of passengers you can carry easily in your van.
Want to learn more about inside and outside mounted wheelchair lifts? Contact a rep today to talk about which option is best for you.