Looking for a Wheelchair Van Alternative?

Introducing – VMI Honda Pilot Northstar E Access360 Handicap Accessible SUV

VMI Honda Pilot blog photo

Vantage Mobility International (VMI) has announced the release date for their ALL-NEW, Wheelchair Accessible SUV built on the Honda Pilot chassis. VMI and Honda, what a great combination! VMI will start shipping initial quantities of their new handicap SUV February 9th. Dealers should expect the first of these units to arrive at their locations late February through March 2018, initial quantities will be limited. In fact, rumors pinned initial model year quantities to 500 units nationwide for 2018 (Not confirmed).

Superior Van & Mobility will have several units arriving, however initially not all of our ten locations will have a unit on hand due to allocation limitations. We will be staging initial quantities regionally to provide a wider range of opportunities in allowing all of our customers a chance to test drive. If you are very interested in seeing and taking a test drive of this incredible vehicle, be sure to contact your local Superior location ASAP to inquire about availability. We will be taking deposits from those customers wishing to secure one of the first units.

(see chart below for available Honda Pilot chassis’ for conversion)

So What Sets Apart The VMI Honda Pilot From Its Competition?

VMI Honda Pilot open w_ramp

The all-new VMI Honda Pilot Northstar E with Access360 is the industries newest and largest handicap accessible SUV that features an amazing, unobstructed door opening width of 33.5 inches and a 32” wide manual, in-floor ramp system! This new offering from VMI is going to be a game changer in the wheelchair accessible SUV market as it’s designed to outperform its competitors in every way; More Floor Length; More Cargo Space; More Floor Width; More Overall Interior Space/Maneuverability (Access360); More Headroom; Wider Ramp; and Wider Door Opening. (See brief spec sheet below)

VMI Access360 – Designed for Comfort and Enough Maneuverability for Large Wheelchairs

Honda Pilot Access 360 interior

Who is the Target Customer?

The first edition of the 2018 VMI Honda Pilot wheelchair accessible SUV is initially designed with the caregiver in mind; a wheelchair user who travels with a dedicated caregiveHonda Main Photor full-time. Initially, the Honda Pilot from VMI will only be available with the same ramp system found in its other Northstar E vehicles; a (MANUAL) In-floor ramp and door operating system. This time tested ramp deploys and stows with unmatched ease by utilizing VMI’s exclusive ramp-on-the-stick technology; by far the easiest operating system of any manual ramp on the market today. In fact, if you are a caregiver, you owe it to yourself to try the ramp-on-a-stick ramp system from VMI. The difference and ease of operation is unmatched!

NOTE: Initial talks, while not yet confirmed, have discussed VMI adding a fully power in-floor ramp and door option in the near future for those who don’t travel with a caregiver.

Manual Door and Ramp Operation

The Honda Pilot Northstar-E conversion features a patented, ultra-low, manual in-floor ramp system with an astonishing 32 inch width that allows for safe entry and exit of much larger wheelchairs. The ramp easily and conveniently stows and deploys from underneath the floor, creating additional interior space and maneuverability for the wheelchair user and his/her passengers. The ramp is made from a high strength aluminum alloy, and can support loads up to 800 lbs.

Removable Front Seats

The obstacle free front seats allow for easy removal, creating multiple seating arrangements for the wheelchair user and passengers. The space is large enough to accommodate two wheelchairs side-by-side if needed.

Headroom and Lowered Floor

The floor from just behind the firewall to the third row seat in the VMI Honda Pilot SUV is dropped a maximum of 16 inches to create the industry’s largest available headroom of any handicap accessible SUV. This drop in the floor also creates a usable door opening height of 55.5 inches, which makes the VMI Honda Pilot Northstar-E Access360 a great alternative for even the tallest seated wheelchair user.

Towing Capacity

As an added option, the 2018 VMI Honda Pilot is available with an integrated towing capacity of 3500 lbs. This large towing capacity further enhances the usage and capabilities of owning an SUV over a traditional minivan.

Honda Pilot Spec Sheet

 

2018 Available Chassis’ For Conversion:

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Shopping For A Scooter Lift

Shopping for a Scooter Lift
Online VS. Brick and Mortar

online vs store

With online shopping becoming more of the rule rather than the exception these days, you may find yourself searching for a scooter lift for your vehicle online. There are numerous sources out there where you can do just that, but is that the best option for you? Most likely it is not. Here are just a few of the main reasons why you should buy your scooter lift from a, “brick and mortar” mobility dealership such as Superior Van & Mobility.

1. Experience! Our mobility consultants are trained by the manufacturers to examine each application, ensuring you are choosing the right lift for your current and future needs. Finding the right lift is not always as easy as finding one that fits your vehicle. There are many additional factors we look at when determining what lift to recommend for your situation and need.

a. Is the lift rated at the proper amount of weight it will need to carry?
b. Is the lift the appropriate type for you current mobility device?
c. Does your vehicle have the correct specifications to handle a lift and its cargo?

i. Every vehicle has what’s called a “tongue weight rating” or TWR. The TWR is typically 10% of what the vehicle’s overall towing capacity is. Say for example your vehicle has a 1,500 pound towing capacity. That means the TWR is 150 pounds. If you add a 100 pound lift and a 200 pound scooter to that vehicle, you will exceed the TWR and serious damage can occur to both your vehicle and scooter. Plus, consider your safety. Exceeding the TWR is not only bad for your vehicle/equipment, but it also affects the handling of the vehicle which can jeopardize your safety and that of your passengers.

So, considering the investment you already made into your vehicle and scooter, does saving some money by purchasing a lift online seem like such a good deal after all? Yes? No? WeService Technicianll let me continue…

2. Trained Technicians! All of our technicians have been trained and certified to install and service every lift we install. This installation takes place in one of our ten service facilities. Not only will you have the peace-of-mind knowing that you are receiving the correct lift, but that it’s also being professionally installed and backed by a full warranty.

a. When you buy a lift online, who will do the installation?
b. Does your installer warranty their work?
c. How are you sure your installation was done correctly and it is safe?
d. Who will adjust it to make sure the platform angle is correct to handle the weight?
e. How do you know the correct hitch adapter is being used to ensure the lift is installed at the correct height?

These are all questions you must seriously consider as your safety and that of your equipment depends on it. However, by using a brick & mortar facility like Superior Van & Mobility, these are items you can rest assured are addressed and handled correctly as your safety and that of your equipment is our top priority.

3. Personal Service! When you call Superior Van & Mobility you will speak to a mobility consultant, not a sales person. Our mobility consultants are trained to ask the right questions as they intently listen to your needs, both current and future, before recommending any product. Our staff is not paid on commission, so you’ll find our approach is low pressure and understanding. You can rest assured that we will ask the right questions to ensure the wheelchair/scooter lift you need is the perfect fit, and that it addresses your current and future needs. When you shop online, all the research on the different types of lifts is up to you. You must know what questions to ask, your measurements, weights, etc. and hope the information you provide to and are provided by an online salesperson is correct and answered honestly, as most online retailers are simply looking to make a sale. Here is just a few of the questions you should ensure you are being asked, if you are not, you should avoid purchasing online. Your needs and safety are not being taken into consideration.

a. Would you prefer an interior or exterior lift?
b. Who will be operating the lift?
c. Can the person using the lift/scooter stand for several minutes while the lift is operating?
d. Do you have the dexterity to attach securement straps or would you prefer automatic securement?
e. Do you have more than one mobility device you use?

Again, these are just a few of the important questions that need to be asked and answered. The last thing you want to have to go through is to purchase a lift online only to find out it doesn’t work well for your needs!

Curb-Sider3_woman4. Quality Products! When buying a lift from a brick and mortar dealer you know you are getting a quality product. Before we sell any product, we do the research as our business depends on it. We will only sell products that we feel are of the utmost quality and that are backed by a full manufacturer warranty. There are many lift companies out there, but not all of them build their products with the same quality construction, or use quality components as others. If you purchase a lift online, how well will it hold up and do the job you rely on it providing? Who will you have service it if it malfunctions? What if you needs parts for it? At a brick and mortar dealer like Superior Van & Mobility, our goal is to ensure that your equipment is not only correct for your needs, but also is quality made and of good components. There’s nothing worse than being out and about, only to have your lift malfunction leaving you stranded! By the way, most brick & mortar dealers like Superior Van & Mobility are members of the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA). These dealers must uphold the highest in standards, and when they are also part of the NMEDA Quality Assurance Program (QAP) they must also provide 24/7 emergency service. We will never leave you stranded!

5. Trust! Superior Van & Mobility has been around for 35+ years serving clients. We have an A+ BBB rating in every state we have a facility, and as mentioned earlier, we are standing members of NMEDA. At Superior, we will always stand behind our work. We have a dedicated staff, each ready and willing to help you anyway possible in regaining your independence. In fact, we pride ourselves on having a staff that is passionate about helping others, it is our driving force. When you make a purchase from Superior Van & Mobility, you become part of our family, not just another order. Oh, one last thing… We have one of the highest customer satisfaction ratings in the business! Sorry, had to toot our horn just a little bit.