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Thread: Hitch wheelchair carrier safe or not?

  1. #1

    Hitch wheelchair carrier safe or not?

    Does anyone have any thoughts or experience with hitch-mounted wheelchair carriers? For example, something like Goplus Wheelchair Carrier Hitch Cargo and MaxxHaul Folding Ramp.

    I have a powerchair and we're thinking about getting this for our SUV. I've seen people use this but I have serious doubts about its safety and sturdiness, especially on the highway. I keep imagining it flying off and hitting the cars behind us. And I read it might affect braking and steering due to front-wheel lift? :|

  2. #2
    They have something like this at Harbor Freight. I think they have a 30 day no questions return policy (check this). Try one of theirs and see how it works.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    The negatives from my perspective;
    Keep in mind the weight capacity rating is static. Hit a 1 foot high speed bump too fast and your chair weight is at least doubled.
    On tilt types, one bolt breaks = chair gets destroyed. Can only hope that big mass doesn't collide with another vehicle.
    I turned down a free one because my big chairs weigh 350 to 400 lbs. Also my exhaust pipe exits from the rear, blowing corrosive and stinky stuff on chair which will smell forever.
    A chair cover, strapped well is almost a requirement.
    Chair is exposed to the elements (moiseture, dust, shock, vibration, ect).
    Some places will give you a ticket when lift/chair blocks sight of tag. You can see some that relocate tag to lift. This means they rarely, if at all remove lift from vehicle. You can be ticketed if relocated tag isn't lite (meaning more wires prone to damage/short).
    Positives;
    Reasonably easy to wire up. Fairly easy to attach/detach once you figure out a jacking method.
    Great for lighter power chairs if you have no other means of transporting.

    My neighbor used to use his occasionally but not this year due to him getting weaker. You will need a system and/or assistance to take on/off.
    His old one (he wanted to give me) had to be torched off due to receiver pin distortion. Pin had to be cut out of hole, washers welded over hole because it was distorted (ovaled) from use.

    Others may have better things to say about them. My world is not flat and smooth all the time.
    Attack life, it's going to kill you anyway
    Steve Mcqueen (Mr Cool)

  4. #4
    Like already posted about negative things.
    Plus, added weight looking at higher rated tires, especially if smaller SUV.
    Again, weight of chair and carrier, looking at heavier rated shocks.
    Do you have hitch? Is it rated high enough for weight?
    Do you have any incline, like driveway? Seen a neighbor's vistor dragging going up their driveway. Also, unable to unload their scooter due to incline. They ended up dragging/pushing as they backed out to park in street to unload scooter.
    Seen a older lady at Walmart give to much speed loading a powerchair on a carrier with ramp and ended up with front part of chair hanging off carrier. A couple guys re positioned it on carrier for her. She was lucky it didn't fall off and possible get hurt even though she was just joysticking chair up.

  5. #5
    Thank you so much for all your thoughtful replies!

    baldfatdad, I'd never heard of that store but good to know now. They only had one carrier and it sees to have gotten a lot of negative reviews from wheelchair owners, much of the complaints along the lines Gearhead and Mike mentioned.

    Mike, I was told by the owner of the vehicle concerned that it is able to carry the weight. There is a hitch. But there is a rather steep and narrow driveway. Like your neighbor, we'd have to attach the hitch and do the loading/unloading in the street... which happens to be rather tight. Sounds cumbersome on a good day--I don't want to imagine what it'd be like in poor weather or if something goes wrong. :|

    I'm glad I asked y'all. Everything considered, my doubts have been confirmed and doubled. Road/driving conditions here in NYC are definitely not ideal, plus the other points.

    Again, I really appreciate your help!

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