What is a Conversion Van?
A conversion van is a passenger van that has been outfitted with specific features by a third party customization business. Conversion vans can be customized to accommodate passengers with special needs, create extra room and luxury while traveling, haul office/business equipment, etc.
The term “Conversion Van” encompasses a wide array of custom automobiles, uses, and specific features. This can make shopping for the perfect conversion van and selecting the very best features for your needs a bit confusing at times.
However, buying a new or used conversion van doesn’t have to be a hassle! At Classic Vans, we’ve been helping our customers make informed decisions regarding their transportation needs for 30 years, and we’ve used this knowledge to build a conversion van buying guide to help you find the perfect van with the features you need most in an automobile.
Why are You Shopping for a Conversion Van?
I am in a wheelchair or need to transport someone else who is in a wheelchair.
Think about where you would park your conversion van most often. This will help you determine whether you need your van’s wheelchair ramp placed on the side or rear of the vehicle. Wider handicap parking spots can allow for side-ramps, whereas tighter spots may not be able to accommodate. Keep in mind that, if the wheelchair occupant intends to drive the conversion van at any time, placing the ramp on the side may be the most convenient option.
Custom handicap vans provide people with disabilities a wide range of comfortable, affordable transportation alternatives – from full-size to mini to commercial handicapped accessible vans. Explore our Wheelchair Van Buying Guide.
I’m looking for a conversion van or camper for travel purposes.
Campervan amenities can include anything from refrigerators and toilets to showers and even water-heaters, depending on the model you choose and the cargo space it provides. Be sure to discuss the capabilities of the van you choose with your customizing company to get the most out of your space. The possibilities are endless!
Mini-Vans vs. Full-sized Conversion Vans
You are definitely in need of a van, but how to decide between a conversion van and the common minivan? Here’s what to consider:
Conversion vans are available in a variety of sizes and shapes to fit your needs, whereas minivans are most often only available in their standard size.
The standard minivan will typically run much cheaper than a completely customized conversion van. Obviously, the more accessories you desire, the more the price will increase.
Minivans seat around seven to eight passengers comfortably, whereas conversion vans can be outfitted with even more seats if a larger seating capacity is one of your requirements.
Minivans and conversion vans are often the highest rated vehicles on the market, making them ideal for families or transporting large amounts of people in general.
Families that have small children are often looking for a vehicle that maximizes rear-seat accessibility for taking care of the kids. Both minivans and conversion vans are relatively easily accessed. In many cases, seats can be removed or stowed for easier access in both types of vehicles.
Minivans have removable or fold-away seats in the rear cargo area, which can translate to increased cargo space for travel and transportation needs. Conversion vans can be customized to include this option and can even be outfitted with built-in storage units if your primary need is transporting items securely and as efficiently as possible.
Both minivans and conversion vans have easily accessible rear seats. Both vehicles can also be outfitted with family features that can make traveling easier. Onboard WiFi, heated seats, built-in DVD players, and Bluetooth connectivity are only some of the options available with certain minivans and conversion vans.
Should You Buy a New or Used Conversion Van?
Should you take advantage of the new technologies and luxuries of a brand-new conversion van, or save some money on a used option? When making this choice, there are several major factors to consider to make sure your experience is as satisfying as possible. They include:
Brand new conversion vans are obviously going to be much higher than used conversion vans. If cost is an issue in choosing your van, used vans can often be just as functional and are worth pursuing. However, maintenance costs may increase if you decide to purchase a used vehicle, so inquire about its history.
New conversion vans are going to be outfitted with the modern technologies and features that many desire with a purchase as large as a conversion van. These technologies may come with a used conversion van, but can potentially be added if your funds allow.
If you decide that a used conversion van is right for you, mileage should definitely be a factor when choosing your perfect van. Used conversion vans with lower mileage will cost less, but maintenance requirements and expenses are likely to increase.
When buying a used conversion van, be sure to check the vehicle’s warranty to ensure it is certified and still in effect. New conversion vans most often come with the manufacturer’s standard warranty.
The Ability to Choose
For many customers, being able to completely customize a conversion van from the start of the van’s production is a desirable possibility. Everything from the seat color to the specific inner workings; it’s all your choice if you choose to buy your conversion van new. Used vans can often be customized, as well. However, keep in mind that the cost will rise with customization.