An Interview With Wai Lam Wong: Custom Wheelchair Designs That Empower

Wai Lam Wong's Lime Cycle WheelchairWheelchair vans are among the conversions we sell here at Classic Vans, and we have a great deal of respect for the designers who create the innovative wheelchairs our customers utilize. One of the most innovative designers we’ve heard about is Wai Lam Wong.

The Malaysian born product designer, who has a degree in Industrial Design, has merged an artist’s creativity with industrial design to produce innovative wheelchairs with features that reflect the user’s personality and needs.

We reached out to Wai Lam and asked if he’d be willing to answer a few questions about his designs, and what he sees as the future of wheelchair design. He graciously agreed, and has allowed us to print his responses here.

1. You designed two wheelchairs, the Big Foot and the Lime Cycle. Could you please explain the concept and features of each, and how they benefit the user?

The Big Foot wheelchair and the Lime Cycle were designed as product concepts to explore how a wheelchair can break away from a sterile and industrial aesthetic. The Big Foot injects humor and fun in the form of a pair of bubbly round legs wrapping around the users’ legs. The Lime Cycle experiments with how a wheelchair can be made modular so that by adding an extension, it can be converted into a hand cycle for further travel. The designs were done in 2003 and I believe there are already products similar to the Lime Cycle in the market.

2. What inspired you to design wheelchairs? How did you get started?

I was looking into areas where design is lacking and products for people with disabilities seemed like a good area to start. I had this vision that wheelchairs could one day be as personal as shoes, each reflecting the users’ personality instead of a purely functional object to enhance mobility.

The wheelchairs I designed are an attempt to liberate the form and structure of a wheelchair from the existing sterile outlook.

3. Can you tell us a little about your background and how your experiences set you on the path of inventing such things?

I was educated as an Industrial Designer. My work involves collaborating with clients and users to improve their products. This involves user research, concept generation, idea brainstorms, mechanical engineering and even prototype fabrications. I would really like develop the wheelchairs further with the help of real-world wheelchair users and medical professionals to take the wheelchairs concepts into the next stage and make functional prototypes.

Wai Lam Wong's Big Foot Wheelchair4. What do you enjoy most about the inventing and design process?

The most rewarding part about the design process is solving a problem in ways that no other person thought of.

5. What do you see as the future of wheelchair design?

I see the future of wheelchairs evolving into a very personal object with vast customization options to suit. The manual wheelchair will be around for a long time just like how the bicycle withstood the test of time even though we already have Segways, motorcycles and cars. New technology in materials such as carbon fiber, nano technology and smart materials will enable future wheelchairs to be lighter, more ergonomic and more efficient.

You can learn more about the Big Foot and Lime Cycle wheelchairs here.

Thanks so much for taking the time to speak with us, Wai Lam.

Top 5 Reasons Your Family Should Own a Conversion Van

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Lets face it, the parents in families with multiple children often take on a full time jobs as taxi drivers or chauffer. Since so much time is spent carting the kids off to school, extracurricular activities, birthday parties and everything else; making the right choice on which vehicle to drive can be overwhelming. With so many options out there conversion vans can offer a great alternative to the common minivan or SUV. Here’s why:

1. More space = more people = more fun!

Most conversion vans offer 7 passenger seating allowing room for extra friends and family. Mini vans and SUV’s may seat 7 as well but in a much more confined space. Conversion vans allow for all the great people in your life to come along for the ride and lets face it, car rides are more fun with more space!

2. Great for extracurricular activities

Conversion vans are great for all of the families sporting equipment, musical instruments and whatever else you need to bring along to your destination

3. Keeps kids entertained on long drives and commutes (keeps parents sane!)

I’m sure no parent can say they’ve never heard “Are we there yet?” while driving with the kiddos on a longer than normal trip. Conversion vans can be equipped with flat screen TV’s, video game consoles (optional of course) and I pod adapters. Cause let’s face it, a little distraction on the 3-hour trip to grandmas house for the kids is a peaceful ride for mom and dad.

4. Safety! A parents number one concern

Conversion vans have turning radius allowing for extremely easy handling. They are equipped with 4 wheel anti-lock braking system (ABS), driver and front passenger airbags, sensors and cameras allowing the driver to see exactly what’s behind the vehicle all help to get your family to your destination safely and securely.

5. Great memories are made!

Whether it is a road trip or carpool to school, conversion vans are the perfect vehicles your family can make wonderful memories in. The luxury and space will make you want to travel together more often and allow you more relaxation on those special trips.

Interested in learning more about how conversion vans can enhance your family’s traveling experience? Continue browsing our blog, or click here to learn more about our inventory of conversion vans.

And of course, please feel free to contact us with any questions…

 

4 Ways Conversion Vans Make Summer Better and More FUN

conversion van, summer travelIt may still be chilly outside but nothing warms you up faster than thinking about spring and summer road trips. Your conversion van is the key to getting you where you want to be this summer in comfort and style. Conversion vans offer so many amenities for a variety of trips and adventures.

Here are 4 warm weather trips made so much better, and more fun, with a conversion van:

1.   Day at the Beach

Conversion vans are great for one of summer’s best pastimes, venturing to the beach. Whether it is the ocean or your favorite lake, your van will have plenty of room for all of your family friends and beach gear. Load up on sunscreen and flip flops, set your Ipod to your favorite Beach Boys tune and cruise to the sand in comfort in a conversion van.

2.   Fishing

Conversion vans are a great way to add more ease and relaxation to your spring and summer fishing trips. With plenty of space for an angler’s favorite gear and a cozy place to sleep versus a hard ground and a cold tent, you’re bound to have a bountiful catch.

3.   Tailgating

Nothing says it’s almost summer like baseball season! Your conversion van is a true fans best friend for your pre-game tailgate. Grab your cooler, grill and group of best buddies and you‘re ready for a winning season.

4.   Camping

Enjoy one of your favorite summer pastimes with a little more comfort and ease. Conversion vans are the most convenient way to make that outdoor getaway memorable. Let sleeping on the ground and getting soaking wet in an overnight storm be a thing of the past. Pack up your gear and enjoy your next camping adventure with getting a good nights rest.

Whatever it may be, make that spring and summer adventure memorable, and more comfortable, with a conversion van.

We invite you to continue browsing our blog and general site for more information on conversion vans, including features and amenities designed to maximize comfort and save you money on hotels.

Best Places to Camp in California

Best Places to Camp in California 

As you all know, the price of travel is quite costly. But who doesn’t enjoy a nice getaway? I’m sure many of you love to take your family on vacation, but have a hard time taking the time off and paying the cost of travel expenses. Have you ever considered traveling in a class b motorhome? This may be the solution for you and your family! Traveling in a class b motorhome, allows you to have your getaway, while saving a ton of money on travel expenses such as, air fare and hotel stays. Plus, there are tons of advantages to this form of travel. Traveling in a class b motorhome allows you to take your family where you want and when you want. On top of that, you don’t have to stay in just one place! If any of the above sound good to you, then how about considering the lovely state of California for your next family vacation? California has many well-known RV campgrounds that can suite your accommodations. Continue reading and learn about the best places to stay in California! 

1. Big Basin Redwoods State Park, North of Boulder Creek

Your pick of four waterfalls is the payoff for tackling the roller-coaster trails that fan out under gargantuan old-growth trees in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Consider the easy-to-get-to hike-in sites if you want more space and privacy. $25; (831)338-8860; book at reserveamerica.com

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2. Camp Edison, Shaver Lake, Northeast of Fresno

Shaver is one of the Sierra lakes created as part of a Southern California Edison hydroelectric project, and Camp Edison’s 252 campsites have electricity and cable TV. Half even have Internet. But power down: This camp has great lake access and mountain views. Campsites 119 and 121 have the best views but cost the most ($60). From $25; (559)841-3134; sce.com/campedison

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3. Cold Springs Campground, Sequoia National Park, East of Three Rivers

A glacial-cut valley, Mineral King is surrounded by 12,000-foot granite and shale peaks. Pick a site alongside the Kaweah River or in the shade of aspens. For homemade pie and a shower ($5; bring your own towel), head to nearby Silver City Mountain Resort. $12 (plus $20 park entrance fee per vehicle); no reservations; (559)565-3341.

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4. D.L. Bliss State Park, Lake Tahoe

It isn’t easy (or cheap) to claim a spot along Tahoe’s glorious west shore. But here you can swim and sunbathe at Lester Beach, marvel at Balancing Rock, or simply ogle Tahoe’s famously blue waters. Reserve ahead to nab beachside ($35; sites 141–165). From $25; parks.ca.gov or (530)525-7232; book at reserveamerica.com

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5. Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, Northeast of Crescent City

Set beside emerald Smith River, this camp is lush with ferns and old-growth redwoods. Walk to the 340-foot-tall Stout Tree and its mammoth brethren. $20; parks.ca.gov or (707)458-3018; book at reserveamerica.com

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6. Kirk Creek Campground, Los Padres National Forest, Big Sur

Scattered across a bluff, the sites are open to the stars and the sea. Pack dress-up clothes and blow the money you saved on lodging with a prix fixe dinner at Post Ranch Inn’s Sierra Mar ($$$$; (831)667-2800).$22; campone.com or 805/434-1996; book at recreation.gov

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7. Minaret Falls Campground, Inyo National Forest, North of Devils Postpile National Monument

Riverfront sites overlook the Upper Middle Fork of the San Joaquin River; some have views of Minaret Falls. The short hike to the Devils Postpile lava formation is a must. $20 (plus $7 transit fee); no reservations; (760)924-5500.

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8. Russian Gulch State Park, North of Mendocino

On the rugged Northern California coast, this campground offers an up-close look at Mendocino’s natural beauty, like at Devil’s Punch Bowl, where the ocean surges through a huge hole in the headlands. Don’t miss the hike to Russian Gulch Falls. $25; parks.ca.gov or (707)937-5804; book at reserveamerica.com

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9. Sabrina Campground, Inyo National Forest, West of Bishop

Bishop Creek flows past, and 2 miles away is trout-filled Lake Sabrina. Trails lead into the John Muir Wilderness with access to mountain lakes and the Sierra crest. Dine alfresco on hamburgers and homemade pie on the patio of the Lake Sabrina Boat Landing Cafe ($; (760)873-7425). $21; no reservations; (760)873-2500.

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10. Saddlebag Lake Campground, Inyo National Forest, East of Yosemite National Park

At 10,000 feet, this is the highest drive-to campground in the state and has a dramatic, above-the-treeline feel. Insider tip: Just ¼ mile from the campground, you can hop a water taxi ($10 round-trip) across Saddlebag Lake for an easy hike into the stunning 20 Lakes Basin. $19; no reservations; (760)924-5500.

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Take your pick and head on over to California now!

Used 2012 Chevrolet Conversion Van Explorer Hi-Top Review

Used Conversion Van Review | 2012 Chevrolet Explorer Hi-Top Conversion Van

The 2012 Chevrolet Conversion Van Explorer Hi-Top is a spacious van that will accommodate all of your needs.
The exterior of this Chevrolet is black with a wrap-around ground effect. The front of this van has a mesh chrome grill, as well as 20 inch premium chrome wheels, giving it an elegant look. The high-top roof gives this van more space and the ability to stand in the vehicle. On each side of the van, there are passenger doors allowing a more comfortable way of exiting the vehicle.

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The interior of the Chevrolet Conversion Van Explorer Hi-Top is what you will enjoy the most! The van features a dark gray leather with reclining chairs in the front and middle, for extreme comfort. The front seats also include heating, for those cold trips. But the third row, is the best row! This three seater converts into a three section sofa, or bed. With easy power recliners, you are able to quickly convert this row into what you please. The interior of this van also has wooden accents, cup holders for every seat, spacious head room, and a huge rear cargo space where you can fit all of your families luggage.
Not only, will you be riding in comfort, but you will have the luxury of being able to watch a 26 inch flat screen TV with a DVD player and wireless headphones for the passengers. If you choose not to use there amazing headphones, you can enjoy the surround sound and subwoofer. This van also includes LED accent lighting, for the movie theater feel. No one will mind a long drive with so much entertainment! If you choose not to watch the TV, you have the ability to listen to the AM/FM radio, which also has a CD and USB input. Rear passengers also have the ability to control the climate, and access to USB charging stations for all of you passenger devices.

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The 2012 Chevrolet Conversion Van Explorer Hi-Top features a 5.3L Vortec V8, which supplies the power you need, without being wasteful. The transmission is a 4 speed automatic, and this rear-wheel vehicle also has Stabilitrak. Making your drives safer in all weather conditions.
Ride in style with this 2012 Chevrolet Conversion Van Explorer Hi-Top.
Come on over to Classic Vans in Hayward, California to find this and many other incredible conversion vans!