Portable Wheelchair ramps.

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Portable Wheelchair ramps.

Postby Scooterman » 24 Jun 2022, 13:59

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Why are they always so bloody heavy!

I have channel ramps which are lightweight, but no good for power chair cos rear and front wheels are not in line. Plus the castors can't swing in narrow channel. Channels ramps are okay for mob scooters.

I was given this suitcase ramp by Occupational Health, it's good but so bloody heavy! considering it's aluminium. I don't like asking people to use it for loading power chair into car/van.

I was wondering whether you can get lighter versions? I notice that fold down WAV ramps tend to be made of perforated/mesh aluminium. It would be good if suit case ramp could be made the same.

I wonder in a DIY ramp could be knocked up using aluminium channel and aluminium mesh?

Also what's the shortest length ramp could be used for average MPV or VAN?

Shorter means steeper, I stand with frame or crutches when loading powerchair. And I guess an empty power chair could climb a really steep slope as long as someone else was sat in chair and not me! :lol:

Humorous: https://metro.co.uk/2014/09/05/seven-ut ... s-4858613/

(Lots of pop ups and ignore trans/pride logo colours :roll:
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Re: Portable Wheelchair ramps.

Postby steves1977uk » 24 Jun 2022, 14:16

Yes I have the same problem as you SM. I have an aluminium foldable ramp but it's too heavy for my PA to lift! :fencing

A carbon fibre one would be ideal, but those are expensive... http://www.portableramps.co.uk/carbon-f ... olding.htm

My van ramp is lighter than the aluminium one I have and can take the same weight. czy

Steve
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Re: Portable Wheelchair ramps.

Postby slomobile » 05 Jul 2022, 16:40

Its hard to know what too heavy means for each of us.

I use a 35lb (15.8kg), 6ft (2 meter) long folding ramp that just barely fits in the back of a Honda Pilot next to my Permobil M3. https://www.harborfreight.com/automotiv ... 94057.html
It is near the edge of what I can handle. Some days I need help, mostly I do it myself.

For comparison, the one piece 3ft aluminum ramp at my front door weighs about the same 35lb, but I cannot move it alone because it is out of reach.

I can setup and use the 6ft ramp alone due to adding a strap to the lower end for gripping, pulling it out, and lowering to the ground and a 2nd strap attached between vehicle and ramp that prevents either pulling it out too far or falling off the bumper when loaded.

I open the hatch, grab the tail with left hand, reverse the chair with right hand. The ramp bangs to the ground and falls partly open near its final position.
I wheel up to the bumper and transfer myself onto it. Configure the chair for transport by removing backrest and laying on seat, lower armrests with turnbuckles.
Use removable attendant control on a long coiled cord to drive the chair up the ramp and into vehicle.
I've just made a quick disconnect for my main joystick so I can remove it and add a long R net extension cable instead of attendant control.
I make my way from bumper to driver seat by using legs as much as I can and hand walking along the gas struts, roof rails and interior handles.

The procedure works, but it sucks.
I have damaged the joystick several times by banging it into the roofline because I did not crank down the armrests far enough. I've driven the chair off the ramp partially and fully going in both directions, despite the substantial lip at the sides of ramp. Sometimes it gets stuck and high centered at the bottom of ramp. I've injured myself trying to push. A longer faster runup and low spring preload minimize being high centered but increase running over the lip. Once I have gone through this I need a minute to lower heart rate and BP to be ready to drive.

The solution is a proper WAV, but every one I like, my wife says no because there is something she doesn't like about it, but which she is unable to describe to me. Something about the way it looks, or something minor and easily fixed, but it soured her on the vehicle. It is taking a toll on the relationship because it is obvious the thing she doesn't like is that they all look like WAVs.

If I can find a light one piece 6ft ramp like those used in WAV, I would get that for the Pilot if I could afford it. Not sure what they weight. Maybe 20lbs.
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Re: Portable Wheelchair ramps.

Postby Burgerman » 05 Jul 2022, 19:49

Most just look like minivans...
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Re: Portable Wheelchair ramps.

Postby slomobile » 05 Jul 2022, 21:53

Neither of us want a minivan.
I just don't fit well. 59"(150cm) seated height and length.

Vehicle must accommodate at least 3 regular seats, 1 wheelchair, and 2 dogs. 2 wheelchairs and no dogs occasionally.
I must be able to transfer from wheelchair to driver seat while inside the vehicle. This eliminates all Mopar minivans.
We both want something mild off road capable for family camping trips. Room for cooler, sleeping bags, etc.
94"(238cm) max overall height so it fits the garage.
71" (180cm) interior height would be nice so no one has to stoop.
This has me looking at odd vehicles like rescue ambulances, church busses, tool trucks, commercial wheelchair transport vehicles, 4x4 full size vans, delivery trucks, custom RVs, cybertruck, standard full size vans.
She is looking at Toyota 4 runners, and Ford Broncos no better than the Pilot.

I'm fine with a plain full size van and rear entry manual deploy ramp. She thinks they are all too expensive AND don't have enough extra stuff. That is why I am looking for hard to sell (cheap) vehicles that tick our boxes.
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Re: Portable Wheelchair ramps.

Postby Burgerman » 05 Jul 2022, 22:05

Stock minivans allow you to drive fro a chair, no need to mess about transfering. And you CAN do that too with a ricon seat base which rotates and moves back and adjusts height electrically. Called a 6 way base.

And they come with a 10 inch or 11 inch floor drop, which should be plenty. For super tall people they also come with a 14 inch fo 15 inch floor drop. An additional 4 inches over the normal dropped floor vans. Which you definitely would have no issues with even if you were a basketball player.

And side ramp means tons of rear luggage room without you driving through it, and space for 3 or 4 passengers, 3 powerchairs, and dogs too.

https://www.rollxvans.com/does-your-whe ... red-floor/
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Re: Portable Wheelchair ramps.

Postby swalker » 05 Jul 2022, 22:15

I have a a Chevrolet Express 1500 Explorer II conversion van, which is a full-size van with a raised roof and a few upgrades throughout.

I started with a list very similar to yours (substituting 2 cats for the 2 dogs).

For our van, the rear seat that folds down into a queen size bed was removed. The two captains chairs that were in the middle row were moved to the rear (third) row, and are removable.

Our van accommodates two wheelchairs (typically Magic Mobility X4 and Permobil F5 C500). We do this by removing the driver's side captain's chair from the third row. Any of my wheelchairs with fit in its place. The Magic Mobility X4 is tight, but does fit. After a bit of practice, it is not that hard to get it in there. The Permobil C500, C500s VS, C350, and F5 all fit there more easily.

Our van has a Braun Vangater II lift, which folds out of the way so folks can enter through the passenger side door it would block when deployed. It also has second row doors on the driver's side, which are really nice.

There is an EZ Lock base in the middle row for the primary wheelchair to engage with. I can readily transfer from that wheelchair to either the front driver or passenger seat.

There are tie downs for the other wheelchair when I am carrying two.

While our van is not off-road capable, it has been many places over rough, dirt roads (we live in the mountains of Colorado).

This van is available in AWD, though true 4WD is not an option. AWD is pretty scarce and the quit making them a few years ago. I have seen a couple and know there is one on the market right now (for a crazy price).

It is not a vehicle I ever thought I would buy, but it works great for us!

They key place where it falls down is that it is too tall to fit in our garage.

An option I have considered is a pickup converted by All Terrain Conversions (they only do GM conversions). A 2500 or 3500 crew cab would barely fit in our garage, but it would fit. If we did a passenger side conversion, I think my Permobil F5 would fit in it (but am not 100% sure). I know it will not fit in the driver's side of a ATC conversion.

You need a 2500 or 3500 to get the interior head height you need. Even then, it may not be enough.

I would plan on putting a hoist on the back to stow the second wheelchair in the bed under a shell.

When going through all of this, I quickly realized that I could not get everything I wanted. I worked hard to identify my absolute requirements versus my highly desired features. That approach allowed us to move forward.

For reference, we bought one from a private seller that was 11 years old with 82,000 miles on it in 2015. It had a lot of cosmetic issues and a few deferred maintenance items. We have since driven it another 135,000 miles, replacing a radiator, steering rack, and a rear axle seal. It has been a surprisingly reliable vehicle and has served our needs very well.

I am currently looking at what is available, just in case our current van decides it has reached end of practical life. After all my looking, I still come back to an Express conversion van or an ATC GM pickup conversion.

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Permobil F5 Corpus 3G
Permobil C500s VS
Permobil C500 Corpus 3G
Permobil C350 Corpus 3G
Magic Mobility X4 with 176 Ah LiFePO4
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Re: Portable Wheelchair ramps.

Postby Burgerman » 05 Jul 2022, 22:21

Doesent bidens green fuel price nonsense scare you with a full sized van?
If he keeps up the same green bollox it will only get worse. Its almost £10 a gallon here! And showing signs of continuing higher still.

I also might add that a used car with moe than say 30k miles is a lot here. And most cars do around 10k miles per year average. Some less, some more. The mileages you are talking about are much higher than we see here. The breakers yards are full of cars with under 100k. Your idea of "used" is our idea of worn out junk. Yes your country is bigger! But you pay huge amounts for used high mileage cars. Here used is cheap. Relatively. And low mileage.
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Re: Portable Wheelchair ramps.

Postby swalker » 06 Jul 2022, 00:50

The difference between used cars in the UK and the US is amazing.

I have driven cars to 240,000 miles, 260,000 miles, 210,000 miles, 160,000 miles, etc. I would have kept all those cars longer, but exceptional circumstances caused me to sell them (totaled in an accident, could not drive a clutch anymore, etc.). I like buying used cars for reasons of economy.

I expect the cars I buy to have a reasonable potential of reaching 300,000 miles. I am prepared to spend money to keep them running, knowing that in the long term it is much cheaper than buying new or lower-mileage used cars.

Of course, the price of new and especially used cars in the US has gone crazy since COVID. There is a current listing for a 2013 Chevrolet Express 1500 conversion van very similar to mine. It has 89,105 miles on it and they are asking $42,750 for it. it is listed in the Dallas, Texas area. Absolutely insane. I paid $11,000 for my 2004 Express in 2015.

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Permobil C500s VS
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Re: Portable Wheelchair ramps.

Postby slomobile » 11 Jul 2022, 22:18

I finally realized that all her objections were basically vanity related and she just wouldn't agree to something she fundamentally doesn't want, but I do. So I shortcut the process and just put a deposit on a Promaster 2500 159"WB high roof with smartfloor reconfigurable seating w/100k+ miles with rear manual ramp. Former medical transport. It put her in the position of having to actively refuse rather than passively waffle. It worked. Will have it soon.

Was looking at a Ford E transit to save on gas, but they cut production again and no 3rd seat available. AWD transit would also be great, but again not being delivered. I'm just sick of waiting so picked a big front wheel drive van with heavy duty alternator, 2 batteries, great AC, and 4 seats I can put almost anywhere. Considering one of these https://www.americanpowerinc.com/bi-dir ... onverters/ to charge the chair enroute and use chair batteries to start the van in a pinch.

Its 101" tall, has a 6" rear kneel, and my garage door is 96" but plenty of ceiling height once past the door. Considering hiring a guy with a jackhammer to lower the threshold.

Since this thread is about ramps this is it https://www.amfbrunsamerica.com/product ... mart-ramp/
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Re: Portable Wheelchair ramps.

Postby Burgerman » 11 Jul 2022, 23:12

I have been starting my van, and charging as I drive for 15 years. With nothing more than an anderson cable.

https://www.wheelchairdriver.com/faster ... arging.htm

Works and puts power back fast. I also plug in the PL8 hobby charger into the dashboard to charge lithium chairs and hobby stuff as I drive.
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Re: Portable Wheelchair ramps.

Postby ex-Gooserider » 12 Jul 2022, 00:42

I'd be nervous about doing much off-road stuff w/ a lowered floor van like the Braun Mini-van conversions - you lose a good bit of ground clearance when they lower the floor, and it doesn't take much of a hit to do MAJOR (i.e. expensive) damage....

That said, I had a major argument with a fire truck (it won...) in my old van, and had to purchase a replacement - got really lucky, and got a 2015 Dodge Grand Caravan w/ Braun side entry conversion, with only 8K miles - about as close to new as you can get even if it is an old year...

The Bidenflation gas prices suck (although I've only had to pay more than US$5.00 / Gallon once) but I found that driving like an old fart makes a BIG difference - I used to run 70-75mph on the highway, which put me in the top 1/4 speed wise, and ran 22-23mpg... Slowing down to 60 puts me in the slow range, but gets me 25-27 mpg, works out to about an extra 50 miles a tank....

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T-5, ASIA-B
Jazzy 1100
Jazzy Select 6
Quickie Q-7
Invacare Mariner
Want to make / get a better chair, ideally one that stands.
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Re: Portable Wheelchair ramps.

Postby Burgerman » 12 Jul 2022, 08:49

Well you are going to have to do 30mph soon. As biden ruins your economy further. Well whoever is driving him. :clap

Socialism. You gotta love it. Bigger government. More rules. Centrally controlled "green" nonsense, money printing and borrowing. And you get what you are begining to see. Its the start of the venuzuala effect.

Same with the new socialist leaning green consocialist party that we now have here. We are an oil/gas/coal rich country that is leaving all that in the ground. And buying the exact same thing from around the world at 4x the price to try and keep the lights on while wasting 450 BILLION on windmills that dont produce anything much for days, weeks at a time. While shutting down all our nuclear to please the green lobby. You couldnt make it up. Dim doesent begin to describe politicians.
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Re: Portable Wheelchair ramps.

Postby slomobile » 12 Jul 2022, 15:56

/soapbox: on

Socialism is just a reaction to people feeling threatened and feeling like they need to take action. So is libertarianism. One is happy to sacrifice freedom for peace, the other is willing to sacrifice peace for freedom. Both are perfectly happy to sacrifice each other. Whenever I try to point out how both approaches are screwed up, I universally get agreement from both sides. "Bothsiderism is not helpful to anyone." No debate, not the slightest bit of curiosity about my actual position, just automatic assumption that they know everything about me based on a single statement. Then ignored. Fine, maybe isolationism is the thing to do? Globalization didn't work, did it?

Maybe people act for their own reasons according to what is important to them and those things shift over time and circumstance. There is no big bad anything forcing anyone to do anything other than our own fear. That fear is destructive.

Libertarians feel less fear when they have weapons close and people far,
Socialists feel less fear when they have people close and weapons far.

The solution is to tolerate a certain amount of fear.

I've been both. I am neither. I'm happy to call anyone willing to work with me family, I hope no one thinks of me as enemy.

/soapbox: off
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Re: Portable Wheelchair ramps.

Postby Burgerman » 13 Jul 2022, 01:33

I am a libertarian. And a conservative. Weapons never enter my head nor anyone elses here. You are confusing american gun culture with politics. Likewise religion.

In my country the right neither have or show any interest in religion or guns. Any more than the left do. In america the right is confused with gun culture, religion, anti abortion and huge corruption. Like its all the same thing. That is not the case in other places. Thats a weird american culture thing not a politics thing.

The right here believe a government should protect its borders and its culture. And protect your rights and your stuff, and your safety from others. And give freedom to get on with your life as you feel fit. To employ and hire and fire as you need, to invest create and own property and the wealth you create, to help yourself and look after your own future and to look after your own interests without expecting the gov to behave like your parents. The right do not want a nanny state. I believe in free market capitalism. Not in cronyism, or corporatism, or in centralised control, or globalism. And certainly not in woke, green nonsense or anything else that was taken in taxes to support a "greater good" by the oversized socialist style governments.
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Re: Portable Wheelchair ramps.

Postby slomobile » 15 Jul 2022, 03:24

Burgerman wrote:Weapons never enter my head nor anyone elses here.

The right here believe a government should protect its borders and its culture. And protect your rights and your stuff, and your safety from others. And give freedom to

Protect, protect, safety, give freedom. Seems you want someone to be thinking about weapons, just not you.
You are surrounded by water, so less opportunity to see what actively protecting a land border really looks like. Lest you forget,
for a while here, it meant sending immigrant parents to seemingly random countries and putting kids in cages and not even bothering to write down who was sent where. A nanny at our Southern Border would have done better.

The caricature of America you describe is a mold which people (like me) are being squeezed into. I specifically tried to distance myself from that characterization and you put me right back in that pigeon hole. Assuming I am "confusing american gun culture with politics. Likewise religion." when I never mentioned those things.

I never said gun, I said weapon. Lets define that as whatever tool one uses to protect, protect, provide safety, give freedom.
Socialists and Libertarians are effectively politically inert in the US. Not politics, ideology.
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Re: Portable Wheelchair ramps.

Postby Burgerman » 15 Jul 2022, 08:57

'Weapon kept close' in the US doesent generally mean gun or guns?
What does it mean then?
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