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Thread: Travel with a hoyer lift

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Ishpeming, MI, USA

    Travel with a hoyer lift

    I'm a C5 partial quad (2 years post-injury) and use a hoyer lift to transfer between a hospital bed and a power chair. We have a van with a lift and get around our local area lots, but so far have never spent a night away from home. We would like to travel, but are intimidated about doing hoyer transfers away from home. Do any of you who are in similar circumstances ever travel? Can you use a hoyer in a motel/hotel room? Do you have any special tricks or techniques to make things easier? I know that board transfers would be our ideal solution, but I'm a big guy (220 lbs) and my wife is only 5'3" so this won't be practical until I get lots stronger.

  2. #2


    There are a couple options.

    You can arrange to rent a lift at your destination. Most companies will deliver to a hotel and pick up if arranged ahead of time.

    You can purchase a travel lift. Hoyer makes one called the Traveler. There is also one currently available through Rolli-Moden (Fall catalog)called the Flex-Lift that is lightweight and foldable:

    (unfortunately the only website is Italian, but you can at least see the photos: )

    We currently are using one called the TakeAlong Lift. You do have to be able to get into (or have someone help you into) a sitting position without the lift, but it only weighs 50 lbs., is easily wheeled through an airport (and gate checked) and has seen us on a number of cruises, car trips and airplane trips.


  3. #3


    Travel on......I carry my Hoyer everywhere I go! Never know if the Van's going to quit and you can't ride on a Tow truck! We usually call ahead and ask if the Bed in on legs or is on a pedistal,I got 4 pieces of 2x8x8" pieces of wood from Home Depot and they lift the Bed 3" if it needs it. Hotel Bible and Phone book are always there in a pinch We have Traveled all over and really never had a problem. I dont know what type of lift you have (mine is c shaped and comes apart) I have a Barrier Free lift in the house so like I said I carry the old Hoyer with me and a little First Aid Bag..(Cath,alcohol wipes,iodine wipes,night drainage bag,ky..etc) YA NEVER KNOW SH#T HAPPENS USUALLY NOT NEAR HOME.

    P.S. You might want to invest in an Eggcrate foam from K-mart or Walmart about $10.00.........Hotel Beds are hard!

    "It has been said that life is simple, it was never said that it would be easy."

  4. #4
    Hawk, we took our first overnight trip this last weekend to sea world in San Antonio. We stayed at the Embassy suites and the only problem we had was that the bed in the room was on a case and the lift could not roll under the bed. I did not even think about raising it up like you mentioned, but do you know of any national chains hotels which do not have the cases under the beds? How hard is it to raise the casings and put something under the edge of the bed?

  5. #5
    Senior Member KLD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001

    Platform beds

    These are very common in "accessible" rooms. Be sure to ask specifically about this when making reservations if you must use a lift. Only reserve in hotels that have a non-platform bed, or who will arrange to switch this out for a non-platform bed before you arrive.

    Depending on the brand of lift you use, you usually will need 4-5" inches of clearance under the bed. If you are stuck with a platform bed, you can use a block of 6X6 wood under each corner to lift the bed. You will need to have the hotel help you lift the bed to slide these underneath. Some people I know travel with these blocks all the time. They are heavy though.

  6. #6
    KLD, have you ever run into any problems with hotels who would not work with you to raise the bed? Or are most pretty cordial and helpful?

  7. #7

    One of the best uses for the hotel bible that I've ever heard of


    seriously, you can travel with a hoyer. I have lots of friends who do it. Just call in advance and make sure the hotel has open framed beds. Also, make sure you have airport transportation. Super Shuttle can accommodate a Hoyer in their accessible vans, but you have to call in advance and request them. (don't tel them you have hoyer though -- just a wheelchair)

    Open framed beds are very important, and Access Northern Califonia (I'm on the board) has included this item in their new "access inventory" so once the new website is up and running (a few weeks) you should be able to see northern california properties that have open framed beds at

    We weren't able to include that information in the new San Francisco access guide, but maybe next year.

    Still, it is VERY possible to travel with a hoyer.

    Candy Harrington
    Emerging Horizons

  8. #8
    As I understand it, the new Title 24 regs (california) will have "bed clearance" as a requirement for accessible rooms. I don't recall what the exact measurement is -- 5-6 inches i think. Something to look forward too.

    Candy Harrington
    Emerging Horizons

  9. #9
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Arlington, TN
    I know that these postings are a little old, but I just had to respond. My hubby and I are from Florida. And most hotel rooms here are boxed in and they will NOT do anything to accomodate you. We recently traveled to Tennesse to see his sister and ran accross the same mess. Georgia was terrible especially along the I-75 corridor. And not one hotel in Gatlinburg had a room for us.I didn't go to all of them, but for the majority, they weren't and they surely weren't in any mood to be helpful. It was disgusting. There was a wonderful hotel in Kingsport Tn that was totally accessible for us. Thank God that is where we were spending most of our time. But since we read this, we are going to get those 6x6 blocks and carry them with us. Because this was just rediculous and we really want to travel.

  10. #10
    Just have to tell a story about our last trip...last Christmas. We were staying at a Marriot Residence Inn with platform beds. We were just a mile from my sister's house, so when we got there my bro-in-law came over with the wooden blocks and we put them under the four corners of the bed. So far so good. We went to their house for dinner, then back to the hotel about 11:30PM. By the time I got my mother ready for bed it was well after midnight, and my dad was already in bed. Put her in the lift, lowered her onto the bed and heard a big "CRACK". The bed shifted down about 3 inches and the lift was trapped beneath. Fortunately I could still lift my mother up and get her back into her chair with my dad's help. The board on the side of the bed platform (particle board it turned out) had cracked in two and the bed was sagging from the blocks on the 4 corners. A quick call to my bro-in-law (who was already asleep in bed) and we got more wood blocks and blocked up the center of the platform on each side as well as the middle of the bed frame.

    This worked for the rest of the week, while my dad and bro-in-law figured out a way to repair the board (in the garage working on it for HOURS!!!).

    Take a close look at the construction of the frame if you are going to be blocking it up. They sure are a pain in the butt!


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