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SUV Drivers - Is it Possible For A Para?

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    SUV Drivers - Is it Possible For A Para?

    Im considering buying a new vehicle and have been looking at SUV's .... specifically the Mazda CX-7. Presently I have a folding chair and use a chairtopper on a Nissan Altima. However, I want to start using a Quickie rigid frame chair with the SUV. I can get in and out of the SUV by myself but I'm concerned with the dismanteling and assembling of the rigid frame chair and the hieght of the SUV. I'm a complete T6/T7 para. I can use the seat belt in the locked position to hold me in while leaning out to take apart the chair and reasemble it.

    I'd like to hear from others like me that are driving an SUV with a rigid chair.

    Thanks
    JMD

    #2
    I think you would always be looking back to the days of the chair topper and folder and kicking yourself for not sticking with it. Everywhere you go will be much harder getting in and out and you will tend to limit your trips and it will effect your life negitively. If I were you, I'd stick to the chair topper and maybe put it on one of these and have a blast driving. This will put a smile on your face, does everytime I get in mine. 1997 Cadillac Eldorado, picked it up last feb for 5 grand and drives like a charm. Only thing I would worry about with a chair topper on this car is it'll do 145 mph and the chair topper might blow off.
    "Life is about how you
    respond to not only the
    challenges you're dealt but
    the challenges you seek...If
    you have no goals, no
    mountains to climb, your
    soul dies".~Liz Fordred

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      #3
      I drive a Honda Element, and while I'm not sure if it's technically considered an SUV, it's at least very similar. I use a rigid chair, the Quickie Ti. I use a transfer board to get into it as it's higher off the ground than a car. When I got my hand controls installed I had them secure the "Oh shit handle" with bolts to assist with transfers. So I recline the seat, and hold onto the handle to take my chair apart. Then I pull the frame in behind me since the Element has the little suicide door for the back. I just started driving again fairly recently, but it's gotten pretty easy.
      De Omnibus Dubitandum

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        #4
        What is the "oh shit handle"? Do you mean the handle on the headliner?

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          #5
          My main ride is a Honda CR-V and I use a A-4 rigid frame chair. I have strong upper body and some legs (can pull myself upright and stand if I have something to hold onto). The transfer up is easy, down a little harder. It's a little tricky reaching down to assemble/disassemble the chair. Pretty easy to put the driver's seat back and pass the chair body between me and the wheel. The chair, wheels, etc. are often dirty and wet, no fun when it gets on your clothes or car upholstery.

          Curt's comments are on point. I find myself driving less because of the hassle. I've seen the rooftops, ugly - but slick in function. So slick that I considered going that route. I don't think a folder would last long the way I beat a chair.

          I'm looking at a Sprinter with a lift as a possible next vehicle.
          Foolish

          "We have met the enemy and he is us."-POGO.

          "I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it."~Edgar Allan Poe

          "Dream big, you might never wake up!"- Snoop Dogg

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            #6
            Originally posted by JMD
            What is the "oh shit handle"? Do you mean the handle on the headliner?
            Um, probably. It's the handle above the door inside the car, y'know when it hits the fan you yell "oh shit!" and grab it. Of course whenever my mom is in the car she keeps a deathgrip on it reguardless.
            De Omnibus Dubitandum

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              #7
              I also drive an element and I'm a C6/7 quad with pretty good hand/arm function. I take my chair apart and pull it across me. Here's a pic so you can get an idea on the height....
              "Your love is just the antidote when nothing else will cure me" ~Sarah McLachlan

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                #8
                I've looked at the elements, nice vehicle, a little too much on the high side for me though.

                Even though a lot of us are able to deal with these type of vehicles it does not mean they are the best vehicles for us to drive long term. Long term by grabbing onto overhead bars, pulling wheelchair frames over our bodies and wheels, doing high transfers, will unnecessarily beat up on our shoulders, elbows and wrists. Even me getting into my cadillac eldorado I have to pull the frame of the chair over myself and put it on the passenger seat. A chair topper lift would solve this problem and save my body, especially as I grow older, so its definately something I am considering, as ya I can do what I do easy enough for now, but what about the future? It does hold me back a little as I am not crazy about the idea of big white box on the roof of my sporty eldorado. I borrowed a car that had a chair toppper a while back and it was a very cool device, it made it so easy taking short trips, plus I understand they are very reliable long term.
                "Life is about how you
                respond to not only the
                challenges you're dealt but
                the challenges you seek...If
                you have no goals, no
                mountains to climb, your
                soul dies".~Liz Fordred

                Comment


                  #9
                  I don't have room to pull it over me past myself and the steering wheel and the hand controls. I'm not sure how you guys do it, but I'm happy with pulling it in behind the seat, as you can see in JDR's pic there's room. Well I suppose I could recline and pull it over me, but I like my method. And the Element is a little high, that's why I use the transfer board as a ramp and pull myself in with one hand by the "Oh shit handle" and one pushing on the seat, it's gotten to be pretty routine and really isn't any problem. Oh yeah, and I think it's in my profile but just for reference I'm a T6/7 complete para.
                  De Omnibus Dubitandum

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                    #10
                    Thanks everyone for the input .... Now...what to do? ..... hmmmm

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                      #11
                      both the honda element and the toyota scion are available as conversion vehicles with ramps and can be driven from your chair.
                      Last edited by antiquity; 5 Nov 2006, 11:36 PM.

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                        #12
                        JMD,
                        Unless you're extremely overweight or very weak, you should have no problems. I'm a T-2 complete para and can transfer into almost anything. The hardest thing is pulling the chair into the vehicle w/o scratching the door jam.

                        Where are you in PA? I'm btwn Harrisburg and Lancaster.

                        Dave
                        Dave

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                          #13
                          My wife has a Ford Explorer and I drive that sometimes I just put the wheels in the back and the chair in the front very easy to transfer to and from I think. When she is with me she just puts in in the cargo area all together which is great fits in there no problem.

                          Mike
                          Tough Times Don't Last...Tough People Do!

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                            #14
                            If I'm going somewhere with someone else and were in a hurry, they just put the chair in the back all together.
                            De Omnibus Dubitandum

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                              #15
                              Seems like a lot of PPL are driving SUV's with rigid chairs. Ill have to watch the transfer videos to get an idea about how to do it. Yeah scratching the paint is a big concern of mine. Thats why I like the Mazda CX-7 the door covers everyting so if you so scratch it you will just be scrathcing the inside jam which wont be noticabel when the door is closed.

                              Im near Allentown PA

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