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Thread: Advice?: Powerchair transportation

  1. #1

    Question 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. #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.

  3. #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 once you know what you need. Many dealers also offer used vehicles.


  4. #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.

  5. #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.

  6. #6

    Question 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 ( 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.

  7. #7
    Senior Member forestranger52's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    From a small cabin in the big woods of The Allegheny National Forest, PA
    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. has many different types. Click on wheelchair lifts / carriers.
    Last edited by forestranger52; 07-21-2012 at 07:00 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

  8. #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:

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

  9. #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.

  10. #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.

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