Conversion vans are full-sized cargo vans that are sent to third-party companies to be outfitted with various features and amenities.
The term “conversion van” can be really broad. Conversion vans have a multitude of uses in different personal and commercial settings.
Full-sized passenger vans can have the seating rearranged in order to serve industrial work (house tools and supplies), taxi or shuttle services, camping vans or everyday family vehicles. People living with disabilities also find that conversion vans are perfect for handicap accessible vehicles. They provide the space and safety to carefully fit passengers requiring wheelchairs.
History of Conversion Vans
In the 1970’s and 80’s, conversion vans first arrived on the market. They served the need for people seeking additional space beyond sedans, trucks and station wagons. Somewhere around the mid 1980’s, a conversion van industry was created.
Conversion van manufacturers saw that luxury amenities could be added such as leather, wood grain trim, luxury lighting and even televisions. Eventually, manufacturers caught onto the idea that conversion vans were fantastic for camping too. The class B motorhome was created. People enjoyed the more compact van with plenty of camping features as opposed to the bulky, hard to drive RV.
The 1990’s and early 2000’s witnessed a dip in the conversion van industry. Sport utility vehicles (SUVs) became increasingly popular and expensive gas prices scared many van customers away. However, recently the conversion van has experienced a comeback.
New technology has allowed conversion vans to become increasingly more fuel-efficient. Small business owners, those who work in the ride-sharing industry, travel enthusiasts, people with disabilities and large families seeking a vehicle that serves a multitude of purposes are seeing why conversion vans are the way to go! There is no other vehicle that can serve so many different people with different needs on the market, anywhere.
Different Types of Conversion Vans
There are several types of conversion vans. The major categories are:
- Mobility Vans/Wheelchair Buses
- Family Vans
- Class B Motorhomes
- Commercial Vans
- Shuttle Vans
Read more about each below.
1. Mobility Vans/Wheelchair Buses
These are vans with structural modifications to allow passengers in a wheelchair or with other mobility equipment safe passage, entrance and exit into the van. Usually, these vans have been modified with either raised roofs or lowered floors in order to accommodate sufficient head clearance of handicap passengers.
Mobility vans typically come equipped with either rear-entry lifts or side entry ramps. These lifts and ramps are deployed manually or mechanically. Depending on your specific needs, you can customize a new full-sized disability van, a wheelchair equipped minivan, or find a quality used van with the proper equipment for your wheelchair.
Who is this type of conversion van ideal for?
Those young and old living with disabilities that require wheelchairs. Mobility vans and wheelchair buses increase the independence and quality of thousands of people with physical and mental impairments lives.
2016 Dodge Grand Caravan
A mini wheelchair van is ideal for a larger family in which one of the members requires a wheelchair. For instance, this Dodge Grand Caravan comes equipped with:
- Rear access wheelchair van.
- ADA approved with manual lift gate
- Tie downs for two wheelchairs
- Seating available for up to 7 passengers
There are various additional options available upon request.
2. Family Van
Conversion vans are extremely practical as safe, spacious and reliable family vehicles. Most conversion vans come in seating configurations for seven to nine passengers. Family vans can be both high-top models (vans that have a portion of the original factory roof cut away and a fiberglass “high-top” added, allowing passengers to stand up inside the cabin) and low top models (low-top vans retain the factory roof on the van, making them more aerodynamic but less spacious on the inside).
These conversion vans are great for busy families because they offer plenty of seating and storage space. They are also easy to get kids in and out of, and often come with entertainment systems for longer car trips.
2017 Chevrolet Express 2500 Explorer Van
Explorer vans combines luxury, style, space, entertainment and safety! The 2017 Chevrolet Express 2500 Explorer Van has leather interior, a Samsung flat screen TV, DVD Player, a rear bed sofa and seating available for 7. Large interior space is perfect for backpacks, athletic gear or packing up for your next trip to an amusement park. Parents will love how easy the Express handles and kids will be entertained no matter how long their trip may be.
3. Class B Motorhomes
Class B motorhomes are cargo vans that have been hauled out in order to fit features such as kitchen appliances, beds, bathrooms, small living areas and showers. Lengths of class B motorhomes vary from 17 to 20 feet.
2012 Pleasure Way Basis Camper
Pleasure Way camper vans are perfect for the traveling couple. In many models, the rear sofa pulls out to make a good size bed. Vans regularly come equipped with lots of cabinet space, a microwave, refrigerator, a stove, flat screen TV, dishwasher, a convenient toilet and shower. These class B motorhomes have all of the features of a larger RV, yet are much easier to handle and park.
4. Commercial Vans
Commercial vans serve a multitude of purposes. The term “commercial van” usually refers to a cargo van that has been converted in order to maximize cabin space in order to suit the needs of a particular business.
From service vehicles that hold tools, to mobile businesses such as catering companies, dog groomers, etc.… there are all sorts of reasons why your company might benefit from a commercial van.
2016 Ford Transit
Ford has come up with the perfect van for any commercial business. The Ford Transit is available in three roof heights, three lengths and two wheelbases. The Transit’s vast cargo space, easy drivability and sleek exterior is sure to take your growing business to the next level.
5. Shuttle Vans
Shuttle vans refer to any type of conversion van that can be used for taking passengers to and from various destinations. Schools, non-profit organizations, assisted living facilities, airport shuttle services, ride-sharing companies, law enforcement and luxury transportation companies all use conversion van shuttles.
Ford E450 Super Duty Shuttle Bus
A full-sized 13-passenger shuttle van is perfect for airport shuttle services, church groups, hotels or any other organization that needs to transport large groups.
Finding the Right Conversion Van
As you can see there are so many uses for conversion vans. Whether you’re looking for a large vehicle for your family, work, sports team or handicap transportation, the right conversion van is waiting for you.
Classic Vans has the largest variety of new and used conversion vans nationwide. Browse our online inventory or call (866) 370-8222 to find your perfect van today!