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Thread: Advice on hand controls for vehicle

  1. #1

    Advice on hand controls for vehicle

    Does anyone have an opinion on installing hand controls in my van? I have full use of arms and hands. I see kits that can be installed, which my husband would do. Are these worth it, they run $300 on up? Or is it better to get professionally done (looks like at least $1000)?

  2. #2
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    Definitely better to get permanent mount hand controls instead of some of the temporary units that are being sold, if for no other reason than crash worthiness. Even though you have good use of arms and hands, the temporary controls take more effort to use too, which could be tiring on long rides.

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    Senior Member beecee's Avatar
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    if your hubby knows his way around a toolbox, get a used set off ebay and have him install them
    my brother has put a couple sets in for me

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Eileen View Post
    Definitely better to get permanent mount hand controls instead of some of the temporary units that are being sold, if for no other reason than crash worthiness. Even though you have good use of arms and hands, the temporary controls take more effort to use too, which could be tiring on long rides.
    That's probably the best argument against temporary hand controls, and one that I haven't really thought of before. If you get in a wreck, you are going to get a pair of aluminum rods jammed in your midsection.

    Other than that, I only have temporary hand controls, and it works fine for me. Plus I can pop them off in about 2 minutes, so I don't have to rely on car rental companies to have a set ready to go (god knows they arent going to do it ahead of time even if you tell them to).

    So long as you have cruise control, temporary hand controls aren't really that tiring after you've used them for a while.

  5. #5
    Senior Member jschism's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beth123 View Post
    Does anyone have an opinion on installing hand controls in my van? I have full use of arms and hands. I see kits that can be installed, which my husband would do. Are these worth it, they run $300 on up? Or is it better to get professionally done (looks like at least $1000)?

    I have some travel controls, they are strictly temporary and require more effort and thinking to use. They are a pain if driving in heavy traffic or around town. If it is a car you drive all the time definitely want regular hand controls. they can be taken off and reused if ever trading off vehicles, just might need different brackets. plus travel controls make it so the vehicle can only be driven with hand controls, installed controls still let pedals work for able bodied people.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jschism View Post
    I have some travel controls, they are strictly temporary and require more effort and thinking to use. They are a pain if driving in heavy traffic or around town. If it is a car you drive all the time definitely want regular hand controls. they can be taken off and reused if ever trading off vehicles, just might need different brackets. plus travel controls make it so the vehicle can only be driven with hand controls, installed controls still let pedals work for able bodied people.
    That's pretty much my take as well. My primary vehicle has permanent controls, but we didn't want to spend the $$ to get them installed in my wifes minivan. Bought a set of these for a few hundred bucks off ebay. They're functional enough, but not nearly as smooth as permanents, and I have to uninstall them before she can use the vehicle. I really love having the option of driving other vehicles, though. Huge plus if you do any travelling and need rental cars!

    In short, get a permanent set installed in your main vehicle...pick up a set of portables if you have the extra cash, as they're extremely useful when you need 'em.

  7. #7
    Thanks for the suggestions! Trying to work with Voc Rehab to help with costs, but they have a waiting list going back to February so not sure what route I'll go just yet.

  8. #8
    Senior Member fishin'guy's Avatar
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    Best to go on e-bay and get the Mark IV usually about 200-250 bucks, new are $1,000. Installing a case of adapting, Ive had mine for 2 yrs now, no problems and a joy to use.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by fishin'guy View Post
    Best to go on e-bay and get the Mark IV usually about 200-250 bucks, new are $1,000. Installing a case of adapting, Ive had mine for 2 yrs now, no problems and a joy to use.
    Good advice...just make sure you get a set with 'strap mount' mounting hardware. Looks like a dryer hose clamp, and is the most versatile so it works with most vehicles. I had an old set off my s-10 that had L-bracket mounts. It just wouldn't fit on our Caravan, no matter what I did. Strap-mount would have been a breeze to install, as it clamps over the steering column.

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