The search has FINALLY ended!
Fact of life: the spousal unit is partially disabled. Like most disabilities, his is an odd mix of what he can and cannot do. He can't stand up straight and walk, but he can sit and drive a car. It makes getting into and out of vehicles problematic. To that end, we sold his beloved Chevrolet Silverado and purchased a Chrysler Town & Country van.
If there is one type of vehicle I NEVER wanted to drive, it's a mini-van. I detest them. And yet, here we are.
This van is easy for him to get into. All he has to do is get up and turn around and his butt is on the seat. It's that low to the ground. He couldn't get into his Silverado any longer because of how high off the ground the seat was. He couldn't even get a foot up on the running boards and step up. A van, with the capability to haul his power chair or scooter, is the best option.
Finding this van wasn't easy, and it wasn't what he was shopping for. He was looking for a small cargo van with an open space with multi-use potential. The problem with that? Everything we looked at was beat to hell and back. Don't people believe in caring for their vehicles these days? Well, no. Autos have become as disposable as razors. Bust it up, trash it, and go get a new one. WE do not live like that.
I was pretty much at the end of my tolerance with van shopping when the universe set this one in front of us. We'd gone to the car lot to look at a newer van (which was trashed and filthy) and the young man told us he had a slightly older van with less mileage on it. We looked at it and brought it home.
We didn't want to go as far back as a 2015 model, but it has only 39,000 miles on it - a big plus. Another thing in its favor was that both rows of rear seats fold down flat into recessed compartments. There's plenty of room for his chair or scooter, and for Deuce. Yes, the dog matters.
I'm sorry to see him go back into debt on a vehicle, but he didn't have a choice. I do believe this is the vehicle he is supposed to have else we would not have come to it via the path we did. Now that I'm retired, we won't be driving every day. We don't need to. Our trips "to town" will be planned so that we can do all our shopping in one trip, for the most part. I'm sure there will be instances when we need materials for a project or want to go out to dinner, or I need to zip to the grocery because we need [fill in the blank]. Those days will happen.
And yes, we may actually be able to do some overnight trips with this van. With the seats down, all three of us could sleep back there if we can locate good campgrounds. It's a thought, going forward.
I'm relieved the search is over. If I had the energy, and the vindictiveness, I'd name a few auto dealerships to avoid. They are NOT friendly to the disabled. Oh, hell. Be honest. I'm going to Facebook and Yelp about them, but here's my warning. Don't trust the pretty pictures on their websites. Those vehicles WILL be "sold" when you get there if they were ever there at all. The fancier the website, the bigger the chance of a lie.
We found this van at a little place called Stakes Auto in Fayetteville, PA. We were treated like people by a very nice young man named Jordan. Once we made the deal, the paperwork was completed and we were on our way in no more than thirty minutes. It was stress-free! Will we go back there? Yes, we will.
The next search will be for a ramp to load his chair. I guess that means researching on Amazon and that is always costly. I need a new purse, too.
The Lady of Holly Tree Manor (The Hideaway)
Update June 16, 2022 - Jordan had to redo a piece of the paperwork due to a June 1 change he was unaware of it. He came to our house for the spousal unit to sign instead of running us back to Fayetteville. Service like that is unheard of these days! We'll definitely seek out this young man in the future.
Holly Tree Manor, The Hideaway, 2015 Chrysler Town & Country, simple country pleasures, buying a car, Stark Auto, honest dealings, disabled individuals, shady auto websites, power chairs, best choices, a writer's life