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Thread: SUV Drivers - Is it Possible For A Para?

  1. #1
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    SUV Drivers - Is it Possible For A Para?

    Im considering buying a new vehicle and have been looking at SUV's .... specifically the Mazda CX-7. Presently I have a folding chair and use a chairtopper on a Nissan Altima. However, I want to start using a Quickie rigid frame chair with the SUV. I can get in and out of the SUV by myself but I'm concerned with the dismanteling and assembling of the rigid frame chair and the hieght of the SUV. I'm a complete T6/T7 para. I can use the seat belt in the locked position to hold me in while leaning out to take apart the chair and reasemble it.

    I'd like to hear from others like me that are driving an SUV with a rigid chair.

    Thanks
    JMD

  2. #2
    I think you would always be looking back to the days of the chair topper and folder and kicking yourself for not sticking with it. Everywhere you go will be much harder getting in and out and you will tend to limit your trips and it will effect your life negitively. If I were you, I'd stick to the chair topper and maybe put it on one of these and have a blast driving. This will put a smile on your face, does everytime I get in mine. 1997 Cadillac Eldorado, picked it up last feb for 5 grand and drives like a charm. Only thing I would worry about with a chair topper on this car is it'll do 145 mph and the chair topper might blow off.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Myc0's Avatar
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    I drive a Honda Element, and while I'm not sure if it's technically considered an SUV, it's at least very similar. I use a rigid chair, the Quickie Ti. I use a transfer board to get into it as it's higher off the ground than a car. When I got my hand controls installed I had them secure the "Oh shit handle" with bolts to assist with transfers. So I recline the seat, and hold onto the handle to take my chair apart. Then I pull the frame in behind me since the Element has the little suicide door for the back. I just started driving again fairly recently, but it's gotten pretty easy.
    De Omnibus Dubitandum

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    What is the "oh shit handle"? Do you mean the handle on the headliner?

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    Senior Member Foolish Old's Avatar
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    My main ride is a Honda CR-V and I use a A-4 rigid frame chair. I have strong upper body and some legs (can pull myself upright and stand if I have something to hold onto). The transfer up is easy, down a little harder. It's a little tricky reaching down to assemble/disassemble the chair. Pretty easy to put the driver's seat back and pass the chair body between me and the wheel. The chair, wheels, etc. are often dirty and wet, no fun when it gets on your clothes or car upholstery.

    Curt's comments are on point. I find myself driving less because of the hassle. I've seen the rooftops, ugly - but slick in function. So slick that I considered going that route. I don't think a folder would last long the way I beat a chair.

    I'm looking at a Sprinter with a lift as a possible next vehicle.
    Foolish

    "We have met the enemy and he is us."-POGO.

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  6. #6
    Senior Member Myc0's Avatar
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    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by JMD
    What is the "oh shit handle"? Do you mean the handle on the headliner?
    Um, probably. It's the handle above the door inside the car, y'know when it hits the fan you yell "oh shit!" and grab it. Of course whenever my mom is in the car she keeps a deathgrip on it reguardless.
    De Omnibus Dubitandum

  7. #7
    I also drive an element and I'm a C6/7 quad with pretty good hand/arm function. I take my chair apart and pull it across me. Here's a pic so you can get an idea on the height....
    "Your love is just the antidote when nothing else will cure me" ~Sarah McLachlan

  8. #8
    I've looked at the elements, nice vehicle, a little too much on the high side for me though.

    Even though a lot of us are able to deal with these type of vehicles it does not mean they are the best vehicles for us to drive long term. Long term by grabbing onto overhead bars, pulling wheelchair frames over our bodies and wheels, doing high transfers, will unnecessarily beat up on our shoulders, elbows and wrists. Even me getting into my cadillac eldorado I have to pull the frame of the chair over myself and put it on the passenger seat. A chair topper lift would solve this problem and save my body, especially as I grow older, so its definately something I am considering, as ya I can do what I do easy enough for now, but what about the future? It does hold me back a little as I am not crazy about the idea of big white box on the roof of my sporty eldorado. I borrowed a car that had a chair toppper a while back and it was a very cool device, it made it so easy taking short trips, plus I understand they are very reliable long term.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Myc0's Avatar
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    I don't have room to pull it over me past myself and the steering wheel and the hand controls. I'm not sure how you guys do it, but I'm happy with pulling it in behind the seat, as you can see in JDR's pic there's room. Well I suppose I could recline and pull it over me, but I like my method. And the Element is a little high, that's why I use the transfer board as a ramp and pull myself in with one hand by the "Oh shit handle" and one pushing on the seat, it's gotten to be pretty routine and really isn't any problem. Oh yeah, and I think it's in my profile but just for reference I'm a T6/7 complete para.
    De Omnibus Dubitandum

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    Thanks everyone for the input .... Now...what to do? ..... hmmmm

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