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Protecting & Storing an Accessible Van That Doesn’t Fit in the Garage

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tips for storing a wheelchair accessible van outside instead of the garage

It’s important that you protect your accessible van from the elements, but many accessible vans won’t fit in garages — especially if there isn’t room to extend the ramp or lift. You’ll have to park the van in the driveway, so it’s important you take extra measures when storing an accessible van outside to protect it from damage.

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Protection tips when storing an accessible van outside

Use a sunshade

To protect the van’s interior from the direct sunlight assailing it when parked outside, place a sunshade on the windshield. This will reflect the rays, reducing the damage from light exposure — and heat, too.

Watch where you park it

You might think that parking your van under the shade of a tree is a good idea, but dripping sap and falling objects can damage the van’s paint as well as clog up the ramp and lift mechanisms. Make sure you keep the area around the van clear to avoid this.

Take it through a car wash

Parking your van outside exposes it to contaminants (dirt, pollen, salt, bird poop, etc.) more often than it is in a garage, which can cause your vehicle to deteriorate faster. Protect it by washing and waxing it often (once a month) by driving it through an automated car wash and getting the full treatment. Just make sure you confirm with the facility operators that your van is compatible if it has a lowered floor or external enhancements.

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Pre-treat it

Snow and ice storms can bury your van, making it a chore to clear off and get into the next morning. Keep an eye on the weather; if a winter storm is coming through, spray the entry door and windshield with a pre-ice protectant that inhibits the adhesion of ice and show.

If you can install a remote starter in the van to let it warm up before you leave your house, that’s another way you clean it off.

Erect a car port

Even if you can’t park your van in the garage doesn’t mean it has to be directly subjected to the elements. Give it an “umbrella” by setting up a car port in your driveway or front yard. Sturdy metal units cost $1,000-$2,000, but you can buy temporary canvas ports for only a couple hundred dollars. It’s a small investment to get more years out of your van.