BraunAbility Rampvan Xi is the latest conversion wheelchair van of the Toyota Sienna minivan. The Braun Corporation has continuously endeavored in improving convenience and comfort for people with physical disabilities, and the new Xi seems quite promising. We shall discuss the main aspects of this vehicle that makes it stand apart from the rest.
The ramp forms the most important component in a wheelchair van for the disabled person to access the vehicle. In this aspect, BraunAbility Rampvan Xi provides one of the best ramp systems available in the market today. Firstly, the ramp slides out from under the floor, and smoothly stows neatly back automatically. Due to the low floor design of the vehicle, the ramp angle is only 8.8 degrees. This means there is no steep ascent for the person in the wheelchair, and a rollback will not cause any serious mishap. The boarding is made even easier with a "kneeling" system that electronically lowers the suspension at the rear to reduce the slope further.
The ramp is made of aluminum with a special powder coating that prevents skidding, and provides better traction. The surface is slotted to prevent any debris sticking to the wheels from being tracked into the van. The width of the ramp is 30 inches, which is quite spacious for any wheelchair or scooter, and there are side rails measuring 3/4 inches for added safety. The doorway of vehicle also has quite a good height measuring 54 and half inches, which makes entering and exiting easy, even for a tall person on the wheelchair. The ramp is also Schultz tested for bearing 800 pounds.
Another nice accessibility feature is the automatic sliding door of this Toyota wheelchair van, which can be activated along with the ramp, either from the control switches inside the van, or from the keychain remote.
BraunAbility Rampvan Xi comes with a securing system for the wheelchair, while in transit. The standard kit comprises of floor tracks and belts, while an optional system offers a retractable system as well. It is also possible to install automatic tie down system according to the model of the wheelchair.
The front seat can be easily removed and placed back with a dual pedal system. The left pedal will pop out the seat and right pedal will secure it back in place. For pulling in the ramp, there is additional lever under the back seat and an override system if there are problems with the main control box.
Braun has kept to the same bodylines of Toyota Sienna minivan; however, the company has also improvised on regular features for better comfort. For instance, the front seat can recline all the way back, and the rear seats have convenient fold-down footrests. The storage area is also quite massive, with a convenient recessed hatch for tier storage. In case of more storage requirements, the back row seats can be flipped and folded. Braun has also provided easy access from top, for servicing the ramp mechanism, by just unscrewing a few bolts on the car floor.
Most wheelchair users have been quite satisfied with the BraunAbility Rampvan Xi. Many people appreciated the ramp design and the roominess of the vehicle. Some people found the cost on the higher side, but that is to be expected in a wheelchair van with so many features.