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    Permobil F3

    Any opinions on the F3 Permobil regarding performance, reliability and breakage? This will be my first power wheelchair. I was told this was a pretty indestructible power wheelchair. It is front wheel drive. Batteries are long standing?

    Appreciate any input.

    #2
    While I do not have a Permobil I had tested one back in 2019. It was the mid wheel drive. They are solid and reliable power wheelchairs. You cannot go wrong with it.

    I do not know your diagnosis, but if you are a quadriplegic I would recommend the mid wheel drive. They feel a lot safer especially when you go on bumpy roads.

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      #3
      Mid drive chairs are called indoor chairs for a reason. Outdoors they get stuck very easy and ride twice as harsh verses mid drive. I've had all 3 drive configurations and found front drive the best for me and my environment.

      Permobil is a good chair. Don't expect much from tech support. If it's not programmed like you want, stay on their ass. You have only 2 weeks (as I was told by sales rep) to refuse it and send it back.
      Attack life, it's going to kill you anyway
      Steve Mcqueen (Mr Cool)

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      • C5QuadGuy
        C5QuadGuy commented
        Editing a comment
        ............

      #4
      I have had an F3 for close to five years now. Pretty good reliability. I have it with an Invacare matrix elite deep back, which is good for quadriplegics who need lateral stability and also want more freedom of movement in the shoulders.

      It's never left me stranded. It sits higher than my old C 300, which is my old reliable backup chair. Definitely noticeable driving, tables, etc. I had an on-off switch fail. Tires needed to be replaced for wear, but that's normal.

      The F3 motors are very jumpy, more than the C 300. One has to be careful not to be too aggressive on the joystick.

      No major dependability issues.

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        #5
        The aggressive joystick issue is in the programming. I programmed mine myself and it's very easy to navigate tight spaces. Hard to get tech service to dial it in as it may require multiple adjustments and in home testing for a few days after each adjustment.

        Other than that, I like mine.
        Attack life, it's going to kill you anyway
        Steve Mcqueen (Mr Cool)

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          #6
          Originally posted by Gearhead View Post
          Mid drive chairs are called indoor chairs for a reason. Outdoors they get stuck very easy and ride twice as harsh verses mid drive. I've had all 3 drive configurations and found front drive the best for me and my environment.

          Permobil is a good chair. Don't expect much from tech support. If it's not programmed like you want, stay on their ass. You have only 2 weeks (as I was told by sales rep) to refuse it and send it back.

          From your experience, please... Which chair (FWD, MWD, or RWD) does better getting in an out of tight spaces? for example a side entry car...

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            #7
            Mid drive has a very slight tighter turn radius than front drive. The difference is so small, it's not really a factor. You'll need to learn you have a little more tail swing in a front drive verses a mid drive (again, the difference is minimal). I don't know of any car a full size chair weighing 400 lbs + passenger will fit in. A van with ramp or full size van with lift is all I know will work. My F3 will fit in a ramp mini van.

            I have tight spaces in my home. My Mid drive damaged 2 doors and scarred a few door jambs. They are jerky when the 4 casters change directions (forward then reverse). I got stuck so bad I had to call my daughter at work to help drag it out. I was stranded. I sold it cheap, bought a used C300 (FWD).

            A front drive can get stuck but not near as easy as MWD. If you like going in your yard or a grassy park, FWD will do it.

            A MWD is an indoor and/or smooth hard surface chair.
            A FWD will work indoors & outdoors well.
            A RWD has a bigger turn radius & casters can hang up on foot plates (some makes). Also navigating with feet out front, swinging side to side when making direction changes can damage home. Not for tight spaces.

            You can remove tipper wheels & brackets on an F3 especially if you get the heavier group 24 batteries (recommended). This reduces door jamb banging. I removed mine, went down my ramp (which is a little steeper than code) and I couldn't make it tip at all. Waiver: I'm not saying removing tippers works for everyone, just me. You'll see a lot of F3's w/o tippers.
            Attack life, it's going to kill you anyway
            Steve Mcqueen (Mr Cool)

            Comment

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