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Thread: Driving

  1. #1

    Driving

    Hi everyone! I'm trying to get back to driving and looking for vehicle recommendations. I am a C7 incomplete quad. I have limited hand function. I have an invacare a4 wheelchair that weighs around 35 pounds. I'd love to get a truck with a conversion but I've been hearing bad things about them. I know vans are popular but I really hate the idea of driving a van. I've been in a truck growing up and I've always driven a truck since I got my license (prior to my injury). I'm a guy so obviously I want something that reflects that like most guys do. I always said I'd get a muscle car like a camaro if I ever got a car but I don't know how realistic that is with a wheelchair. So I'm just curious what others are driving and if anyone has suggestions. Thanks ahead of time for any replies.

  2. #2
    Vans are popular for people with heavy electric chairs. A lot depends on your ability. If you can transfer in and out of the vehicle, fold or break down your chair and haul it in behind you then get whatever you like. My best advice would be sure and try before you buy. You may be better off with permanently mounted controls but if you have enough hand function these portable controls allow use of different vehicles.

    "Never turn your back on fear. It should always be in front of you, like a thing that might have to be killed." - Hunter Thompson
    T5/6 complete

  3. #3
    You options are going to depend on your level of mobility. I'm a C6 incomplete and I have a pickup with a Bruno Lift that sets my chair in the bed of the pickup and when you want to get out it sets the chair by the drivers seat. It does take some work hooking the lift to the chair, it called the Out Rider. Here's a link http://www.bruno.com/store/scooter-a...pickup-trucks/
    I don't have the electric seat but I'm able to stand and lean against the seat long enough to hookup the chair and get in the truck.

  4. #4
    I was driving a Toyota Tundra when I got back from rehab and it was way too big to transfer. I swapped it out for a GMC Canyon (2010 model I think). It was a very easy transfer, seat heights were very close to my chair and I used the handle on the A-frame to use when getting in. I had that until 2013 when I was strong enough to hop into a Nissan Frontier. I think the Frontier is about as high as I want to go for transfer purposes. I bought it new with crew cab and the 6 ft bed, then put an ARE shell on the back. If I'm driving alone I'll break the chair down. If someone is with me then they can put it in the truck bed and it's safe from the elements and no break down necessary. You just need to figure out what height is an easy transfer. I'm C6/C7 but I have decent hand strength.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    If you want a Camaro, go for a Camaro, your wheelchair will fit just fine. I drive a Mustang GT and my chair fits just fine.
    If you need some pointers, let us know.
    And a word of advice, please don't get a van just because that's what people say or think you're supposed to get.
    Rollin' since '89. Complete C8

  6. #6
    I would just add that you need to consider long term wear and tear on your shoulders for car/truck transfers, and whether or not you can breakdown and load your own wheelchair when using a car vs. a van. As someone fairly newly injured, you may not think these are issues you need to worry about, but some of those who have been injured longer may be able to tell you about how these issues can be a problem, esp. over many years.

    (KLD)

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Crappler View Post
    If you want a Camaro, go for a Camaro, your wheelchair will fit just fine. I drive a Mustang GT and my chair fits just fine.
    If you need some pointers, let us know.
    And a word of advice, please don't get a van just because that's what people say or think you're supposed to get.
    I went out with a friend in his camaro and he had trouble getting it in. He was also trying to get it in the back seat. Also my chair doesn't fold.

  8. #8
    Your chair is heavy. Does the back not fold down? It does for most rigid chairs.

    Here is a video you might want to look at for car transfers and manual chair loading:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AaxcAOWMzks

    (KLD)

  9. #9
    Senior Member Andy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ethant91 View Post
    I went out with a friend in his camaro and he had trouble getting it in. He was also trying to get it in the back seat. Also my chair doesn't fold.
    Yeah, Camaros are real small. I remember bashing my head into the roof of one checking it out. Not sure how the current gen is in regards to hand control installation, but I can say the previous gen (up to 2015?) has real issues with that if you want a clean installation. Might have to stick with portables in that thing unless you go with floor mounted controls (and are missing your right leg so you can use them, lol).

    Now at C7, I think you might be just fine with a 2 door car still. If you are looking for a dude-mobile, may I suggest a Dodge Challenger. Much larger vehicle, still 2 doors, and lots of room inside. I can recommend it! Non-folding rigid chairs fit fine
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ethant91 View Post
    I went out with a friend in his camaro and he had trouble getting it in. He was also trying to get it in the back seat. Also my chair doesn't fold.
    if your by yourself, you could put the chair in the passenger seat, and the wheels in the back seat. I rarely put the frame in the back seat and it is a pain to do so when I do.

    And a rigid frame is what you want, that's what I use, too.

    I remember a member here that had a new gen Camaro and it looked like it converted well. You'd have to research that part if you have your heart set on one.
    Rollin' since '89. Complete C8

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