Thursday, August 30, 2012

New mobility scooter

I got my mobility scooter, and the one I was looking at (the Pride Victory), which has a weight limit of 400 lbs, isn't heavy-duty enough for me (I don't quite weigh 400 lbs). According to the salesman, you need to take your weight and the weight of the scooter into consideration when you're looking at weight capacities (not to mention the amount of weight you plan to carry in the front basket and the optional rear basket).
I ended up buying the Pride Maxima, which has a weight limit of 500 lbs, weighs 180 lbs fully assembled, can be taken apart without any tools, comes with a headlight, tail lights, turn signals, and one rear view mirror on the left handgrip. It also has a flag so I can be seen in traffic if I decide to drive it in town (like I need to do that, I have a minivan that I drive around town......lol). I suppose it would come in handy for parking lots, etc, when we're traveling.......
We didn't by the ramps from MedCity Mobility, they were an additional $300 (did I mention that the Maxima normally costs $3,375 and we got it for $2,868?). So we took it apart and put it in the back of my Kia Sedona minivan. Um, yeah, taken apart, it takes up most of the back of my minivan when the very last row of seats are folded into the floor (the Sedona has stow'n'go seating for the 3rd row seats). So I looked online and found ramps for less than $140 and bought them. Now the Maxima only takes up less than 2/3 of the back of the van, and the ramp folds in half length-wise to slide in next to it, leaving us room for luggage or groceries, etc (I also found out that the middle row of seats in the van fold up against the front seats for more cargo room in the back, and for access to the back row of seats when you're using them - who knew? Pays to read the manual that comes with your vehicle, folks.....). So my 7-passenger minivan is down to 3 passengers when we're traveling - one of the middle seats has to be folded up against the front seats so the ramp will fit in the back of the van. The length from the back of the middle seats to the back liftgate is only 54" and the ramp is 69" long. The ramp folded in half is too tall to go under the seat, and it won't fit diagonally between the seats to the liftgate either. There's nothing in the Sedona's manual about how to take the middle seats out completely, but I'm going to ask our mechanic if he can figure out how it's done (if we remove one seat completely, that gives us more room when we're traveling for a cooler behind the front seat, plus luggage and the ramp).
So for anyone considering buying a mobility scooter, these are all things you need to consider :
1- What weight capacity do I need?
2- How will I get it in and out of my vehicle?
3- If I use a ramp, will the ramp and the scooter both fit in my vehicle?
4- Can I do the loading/unloading of the scooter alone?
5- Do I have room for it in my house or is it going to spend the entire year in my vehicle (mine will, and can be charged there as well, by plugging the charger into a heavy-duty extension cord).
6- Can I afford to pay for it myself if insurance won't? (Craigslist/eBay is an alternative if you can't afford a new one, but when you're buying used, you don't know what you're getting or how long it's going to last - no warranty)
There are probably other things to consider, but these are the ones I think are the most important, once you've made the decision that a mobility scooter will improve your quality of life.

4 comments:

  1. Vesta, Congrats! Longtime luker, first time posting to say how delighted I am for you. You deserve to be able to get where you want to go without arriving exhausted and in pain. I look forward to hearing more about your adventures on your new wheels :))

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  2. Congrats on the new scooter. Picking out adaptive equipment while fat (and without proper insurance in my case) can be a difficult journey for so many reasons. My manual wheelchair won't fit in my hatchback, so it sits on one of my back seats...making me lose space for a passenger.

    I ended up buying my wheels on Ebay, which was a weird adventure in itself...I lucked out with the fit of my chair thankfully :-)

    Happy rolling!

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  3. People should also know that if they buy a new van (not used) from auto manufacturers, they can often get a rebate to help defray the cost of disability equipment installation. The paperwork is a witch, though. Contact the dealer when looking at a van.

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    Replies
    1. Linda - I have a 2008 Kia Sedona with a trailer hitch on it and we looked into one of those cargo carriers with a ramp that uses the hitch receiver. There are drawbacks to using one of those though - putting the weight on the back of the van instead of over the wheels like it is inside the van, the fact that it's outside in the weather, and that the cargo carrier sits so low that it drags on the ground when you go in and out of any sloped driveway or entrance/exit to a gas station/motel, etc.
      I looked into the cost of having a lift installed in the back of the Kia (yeah, not happening, not at over $5K). Since I won't be in the market for a new minivan for quite a few years, I can make do with the ramp (and after a bit of maneuvering, the ramp does fit in the back between the middle seats and the back of the van, next to the scooter, so we still have plenty of room for groceries, etc). The drawback to having a lift in the back of the van is that you lose the back seats in the van altogether. At least with the ramp, if I have to, I can get a cargo carrier or a small trailer for the scooter and luggage and still have room for 7 people in the van (and leave the ramp at home in the shed if the trailer has a ramp).

      Delete

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