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    Advice?: Powerchair transportation

    I am new to the forum and I'm seeking advice. My wife has MS and is about to get a powerchair. Our provider is recommending a Q6 Edge. She can drive and walk short distances. But she's not able to get to places by herself because of that walking limitation. Our cars are small and about 10 years old, so we're open to getting the best vehicle to move around the powerchair. Our goal is for my wife to be able to drive the powerchair up to the vehicle, have the powerchair loaded into the vehicle by pressing a switch, and then walk with her cane around to the driver's side and drive off. Or, is it possible for her to drive the powerchair to the driving position in a minivan? The goal is really her independence. Does anyone have any experience in this or recommendations of vehicle types, lift types, or brands?

    If this is not the best forum for this, do you have any forum recommendations?

    #2
    There are conversion companies you can demo before buying anything. Please do. You don't say where you are located which would make it easier.
    Get involved in politics as if your life depended on it, because it does. -- Justin Dart

    I shall not tolerate ignorance or hate speech on this site.

    Comment


      #3
      With the MS as a progressive condition, you would probably be better served to invest in transportation that will still meet her needs if she looses the ability to ambulate. A bumper lift on a car will only work for independent transportation while she can walk.

      You could go with a mini-van. Options include getting one with a ramp and a sliding driver's seat that would make transfers from a wheelchair to the seat easier, or removing the driver's seat completely and installing a wheelchair dock/lock like the EZ-Lock. The latter is more expensive, but would allow her to drive from the power chair. Hand controls would allow driving without good leg control or leg paralysis, but come in a variety of set-ups depending on her arm strength and control.

      I would agree doing some shopping at local adaptive van companies, or attending an Abilities Expo would be a great way to look at options. When you are ready to buy, don't rule out getting something used if you can find the proper configuration. Check out both eBay (wheelchair van) and www.disableddealer.com once you know what you need. Many dealers also offer used vehicles.

      (KLD)
      The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

      Comment


        #4
        Agree on the ramp mini van. Look for used from private sellers. There are some very nice low mileage vans out there, and you can save money buying private. Use dealer to determine your needs, buy privately and service at dealer. That's the most cost effective way of buying IMHO.

        Comment


          #5
          If you are willing to consider a full sized van it could serve your wife well. Try used inventory at a dealer like Mobility Works. You would need to add tiedowns so your wife's pwr chair can be safely secured while she drives. The Braun Trifold lifts are very reliable. You would probably want pwr doors usually already there on used vans. The used vans also often have 6 way pwr driver seats and hand controls sdhould she need these options down the road.

          Comment


            #6
            Vpg mv-1?

            I was doing some web surfing off some of the links on this forum. Would those of you who have experience mind commenting on my thoughts?:

            • I wonder if any of those on the forum are owners of the VPG MV-1 (vpgautos.com)? Their sales pitch is interesting to me:
              • Built from the ground up to be accessible.
              • Built in America.
              • Ford V6 power-train, 17/24 EPA mpg
              • The down side to me is that I can't get a bead on the reliability of the vehicle. If I do a conversion of a Toyota Sienna, I can get an AWD version (we live in southeast Michigan, so 90% of the year, the weather sucks) or a Honda Odyssey. The Toyota and Honda vans are rated highly by Consumer Reports for reliability, ride and about everything but fuel economy.

            • I'm not clear on what happens to the vehicle warranty. E.g., do the van converters like Mobility Works or BraunAbility cover the transmission if that blows up?

            There's an MV-1 dealership about an hour from here and we'll be looking at the vehicle in a week or so. My wife and I will try remembering to post our comments once we actually see the vehicle.

            Comment


              #7
              Do not, never, let anyone order any Pride Mobility powerchair for you or your loved ones. They are junk and are always broken. The dealer makes a lot of money selling them because they are a cheap piece of crap.

              Try Permobil, Quickie or invacare. The Quickie P222SE can be broken down and put in a trunk. The Quickie S636 Power wheelchair is a good choice for a lot of folks. If you could demo a few different ones you would understand what you like better.

              Powerchairs can be carried on the back of vehicles on a scooter or power wheelchair rack that inserts into a class 1 reciever hitch.

              www.discountramps.com has many different types. Click on wheelchair lifts / carriers.
              Last edited by forestranger52; 21 Jul 2012, 7:00 PM.
              C 5/6 Comp.
              No Tri's or hand function.

              Far better it is to try mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure. Than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much or suffer much, because they live in the grey twilight that knows neither victory or defeat.

              Teddy Roosevelt

              Comment


                #8
                I'm guessing you're not finding reliability info on the MV-1 because it is pretty new. Here are a couple of threads about it:

                /forum/showthread.php?t=182470
                /forum/showthread.php?t=161290
                /forum/showthread.php?t=137235

                Note that this vehicle was designed for transport of a wheelchair user by an able bodied person.

                Comment


                  #9
                  The review by ancientgimp is very good. Thank you for pointing it out. It is about a year old, so I'm still going to take a look at it next week. Perhaps they've solved the driver seat problem. I explained to the sales guy what we're trying to do and he didn't balk... but he is a salesman and his lips are moving.

                  He did say that they have improved things but we'll see.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Beware both Toyota And Honda make the conversion Company the 1st purchaser so you are second meaning NO FACTORY WARRANTY also as of last year when i was shopping the all wheel and or 4 wheel models are not convertible and if you buy a new Toyota or Honda converted van be prepared the starting prices are North of 80K if you want a nice one the Chrysler/Dodge is a little North of 60K and i did not look at ford because everyone i know who has a ford conversion has troubles with it and also skipped the Hyundai that is like a foot and a half less wheelchair space then all other vans but its cheaply made , repair takes along time parts are expensive and slow to get ,so i really did not consider it to hard. you and i share a climate Michigan and Erie Pa pretty much have lousy weather like you said 9 months out of the year.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by fulltree View Post
                      Beware both Toyota And Honda make the conversion Company the 1st purchaser so you are second meaning NO FACTORY WARRANTY also as of last year when i was shopping the all wheel and or 4 wheel models are not convertible and if you buy a new Toyota or Honda converted van be prepared the starting prices are North of 80K if you want a nice one the Chrysler/Dodge is a little North of 60K and i did not look at ford because everyone i know who has a ford conversion has troubles with it and also skipped the Hyundai that is like a foot and a half less wheelchair space then all other vans but its cheaply made , repair takes along time parts are expensive and slow to get ,so i really did not consider it to hard. you and i share a climate Michigan and Erie Pa pretty much have lousy weather like you said 9 months out of the year.
                      When dealing with a quality lowered floor conversion (like VMI) the factory warranty is still in place. Anyone who told you there was no factory warranty was either wrong or it was a low quality conversion (there are more and more of these popping up every year)

                      A full size Ford van is a solid and reliable choice (also the best choice imho if you want 4 wheel drive)
                      Jim, MA, MMET
                      Bridgewater, MA

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Went to the MV-1 Dealer today

                        Well, we drove an hour and saw it. I would say that the vehicle is very much as ancientgimp described it. Here is what I would add to that description:

                        • The salesman did not know the car well at all, nor did he grok accessibility issues. So I don't have the benefit of experience at the dealer.
                        • I was pleased in that, as ancientgimp says, the transfer from the wheelchair to the driver's seat was doable by my wife. Quoting her, "it wasn't pretty." You have to be pretty ambulatory to do it. There's no console, so very little storage, but the absence of the console is what made the transfer possible.
                        • ancientgimp describes the car as having a lift. I suspect this didn't confuse anyone, but it really doesn't have a lift. I does have a ramp that comes out from underneath the floor. Not trying to be picky. Just trying to be helpful.
                        • There's no glove compartment.
                        • There's no passenger air bag.
                        • There is a remote ("fob") available now that allows the door to be opened and the ramp to be extended from outside the car.
                        • The tailgate is manual, and I don't think there's a push-button option for this.
                        • The salesman knew nothing about the Q-Straint chair-restraining and seat-belt system. It looks awful to use and looks like it will tangle easily. Our hope, if we decide on this car, is to get an EZ-Lock (www.ezlock.net).
                        • It rides like a truck; not like a van. You can feel the road through the stiff suspension.
                        • It handles like a truck; not like a van. It's very large; hard to see the edges of the car. It feels high, though it's pretty easy to step into. Turning the car at slow speeds takes practice. Turning the car at higher speed felt like my pickup truck, meaning don't do it.
                        • It's pretty peppy.
                        • The rear window visibility is smaller than what I'm used to in our Forrester. The side mirrors were pretty good, though.

                        This is the first accessible vehicle my wife and I have looked at closely. As we look at others, we'll post what we see. Hopefully others will find these descriptions helpful.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Thanks for posting this! Very helpful. Too bad about the dealership not knowing anything about accessibility - how are they hoping to sell these things?

                          Comment


                            #14
                            power chair

                            As stated above do not let any sales people try to sell you any Pride product. The company cares more about stock price then putting out a decent, durable product. They are junkpride customer service

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                              #15
                              Jim This was per MOBILITY WORKS As of last year on Toyota's and Honda's at the office in Mentor ohio when I was Looking to purchase s minima.

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