Off road powerchair

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Off road powerchair

Postby Megadishu » 05 Apr 2019, 11:14

I hope you can help. I currently have a Pride Jazzy powerchair that is great for indoors and on hard surfaces. However I now have a dog and want to be able to walk her in long grass, through woods and on muddy tracks without getting stuck. However I’m not looking to go up mountains. I have a VW Caddy with a ramp so can transport and don’t need anything that goes on the road.

I’m disabled with ME, fibromyalgia and a few other problems. A powerchair is 100% what I want as it gives me much needed support for my arms and body. Cobbles are disastrous for my body but a few bumps are ok. I only have about two hours of energy to be out and about so I’m planning on dog walks of about an hour.

I tried an Invacare powerchair yesterday and loved the elevating leg rests and seat tilt from the comfort point of view. However it was in a shop so I couldn’t take it off road.

Please can anyone give me guidance on some good powerchairs that could be suitable for me and my dog!!

Thank you.

Sally
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Re: Off road powerchair

Postby Burgerman » 05 Apr 2019, 11:19

Where are you?

In the US there are few options for anything that will go off road at all really. Other than the used X5 or new V6 chairs.
What do you weigh?

If in the UK and europe theres quite a few off road options as there are a lot of rear drive chairs.

Seat elevators, and tilt, recline, power legrests etc all add a LOT of weight making chairs too top heavy for off road type use. And also just plain heavy. And the mechanism allows the seating to flex about. So thats a big compromise.
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Re: Off road powerchair

Postby Scooterman » 05 Apr 2019, 11:56

Being a part time.powerchair user I'm not as.experienced as you guys. But i have gone over the woods in my chair. One thing i have noticed about going off road with a rearward COG seat postion, is that the anti tips won't save you. They sink in the soft ground and over you go backwards :ambulance I've not done itas I'm a bit more cautious in my old age, but easily done I would think?
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Re: Off road powerchair

Postby Burgerman » 05 Apr 2019, 12:06

A powerchair is a top haavy bar stool with a heavy seat and human sat on top. They are not stable. They can go on dirt tracks, or across feilds, etc with care if you have fat enough tyres that dont sink, and are aware that you are on a top heavy device.

The only way to improve on that situation is to make the powerchair either lower (low seat, cut off legs) or wider, and longer. Like an X5 or V6 chair. They are stable off road, but hopeless indoors or in a van and are like driving an oil tanker. So its all a compromise. Off road and USABLE powerchair dont really go together. Its like styletto heels and women in dresses are not much use off road either. Horses for courses.
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Re: Off road powerchair

Postby Megadishu » 05 Apr 2019, 15:23

Thank goodness I can get this advice here!!

What are the options that are out there. I’ve noted that leg elevators, seat incline add to weight so to avoid ... but are there some better than others ... my non off road at all power chair gets bunged up with grass and mud around the wheels ... I generally am not going into deep woods but rough ground and long grass capability plus light mud and light gravel would be a huge improvement on my current model

I’ve note about the frontier models but hoping there might be a few other options. Apart from brand new I could only find one second hand frontier from the US so shipping charges!!

Thx again ... I’m learning and it all helps

Sally
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Re: Off road powerchair

Postby Burgerman » 05 Apr 2019, 15:44

Wheel sizes. Outdoors you want 10 inch casters. And bigger and wider rear tyres so it works on soft stuff. But that means DIY work...

To buy just look for 4 pole motors, 10 inch casters. Pneumatic tyres. Etc.

And 100 to 120A controller, and so on. Its hard to recommend any chair because most come with a multitude of options. And all the cheapest options are the ones you dont want and those are the ones you see the most of...

All of this is why I resorted to building my own 18 years ago.

Such as these http://www.wheelchairdriver.com/Quickie ... e-f55s.htm

So I can walk my own dog! http://www.wheelchairdriver.com/gopro/dogwalk.mp4
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Re: Off road powerchair

Postby Megadishu » 05 Apr 2019, 17:26

I live west of Reading in Berkshire. I’m 5’5” and 9 st 6.

So many of the websites says their powerchairs cope off road which is obviously not the case.

Just having a powerchair and my car with ramp has been fantastic but if I can go on proper walks it would be amazing. I’m reading more on your website to learn!

Thx

Sally
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Re: Off road powerchair

Postby Megadishu » 05 Apr 2019, 17:30

I should have said that I do not use a powerchair all of the time as I can stand but only for a few minutes and walk several steps which helps make life easier.

Thx

Sally
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Re: Off road powerchair

Postby greybeard » 05 Apr 2019, 17:53

The fact you can totter on your hind legs a bit opens up your options. Have you perhaps considered a decent sized scooter? Much more stable on rough ground than a chair. The fact you have handlebars to hold gives a sense of security too. I have had two TGA Breeze 4 scooter over a dozen years just for dog walking. I can go places I wouldn't dare go in my powerchair.

I realise the deciding factor might be whether one would fit in your van, but have a look at these on eBay. https://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_odkw ... 4&_sacat=0

They are rugged and have fibreglass bodies on a very solid steel frame, and also have reasonable ground clearance and loads of power and torque. For dog walking I wouldn't use anything else. Some of the ebay prices are good.
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Re: Off road powerchair

Postby Megadishu » 05 Apr 2019, 18:02

Unfortunately my arms quickly tire being held out and I need the armrest support. Otherwise I would have something like a TGA. I had one but became too tired . Great shame

Thx

Sally
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Re: Off road powerchair

Postby swalker » 05 Apr 2019, 19:24

I think it depends on whether you are content to stay on trails or if you want to do more cross country travel. If cross country travel, then you need to consider how rough the terrain is and the kinds of obstacles that you will encounter.

I do very little cross country travel, but do a lot of trail riding.

For smoother trails, my Permobil C500 works well, so well that I am in the process of upgrading to its replacement in the Permobil lineup, the F5. It is very large front wheel drive wheelchair, so has pros and cons. It is available with all the seating options needed to support your body.

I also like the Magic Mobility wheelchairs. I have a very old X4, which has been replaced in their lineup by the X8. I know of others in different Magic Mobility wheelchairs that are happy with them. My X4 can do mild cross country travel and is magnificent on trails. It is very large and uses a lot of power, so range is a bit limited. Be aware that it would difficult to use the X8 in many indoor settings.

Steve
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Re: Off road powerchair

Postby Megadishu » 05 Apr 2019, 20:42

I would be following trails and harder paths. My current powerchair gets stuck on small hills and in grass and just doesn’t work well for dog walking. I’ll have a look at the ones that you’ve recommended.

It looks like secondhand are mostly from the USA ... but I’ll keep searching.

Thank you

Sally
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Re: Off road powerchair

Postby iainsherriff » 05 Apr 2019, 23:37

Matt's TGA S4 doe all the dog walking we need. He did a lot of 'bike Trials riding and Horse competing before his MS so he understands what/where he will get stuck or tip............... BUT (as you) he is now finding steering and holding throttle for much more than 30 mins is becoming an issue.

i'm starting to look at the viability of electric power rack and a joystick conversion for the future.
Matt (son) is chair user.
MS fairly advanced
Invacare TDX SP2 NB
TGA S4 for dog/kid walking
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Re: Off road powerchair

Postby LROBBINS » 06 Apr 2019, 09:02

Way back near the beginning of this thread, Burgerman noted that:
If in the UK and europe theres quite a few off road options as there are a lot of rear drive chairs.
Given that Megadishu said
I live west of Reading in Berkshire. I’m 5’5” and 9 st 6.
How about some recommendations of RWD that he might consider?
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Re: Off road powerchair

Postby Burgerman » 06 Apr 2019, 10:11

You may note that he was called sally! :oops:
Well practically any of the outdoor ones. Any make. The devil is however in the details.
Take the salsa I just bought. That chair is typical in that it can be ordered in 101 different variations. And the details matter.

For stability, you would need to order it without the lift/tilt/footrest/recline etc. Because it makes it too top heavy and unstable and it lacks the required regidity. So that makes buying one hard, or requires that some modifications are done.

You dont want any of the 2 pole options, and the common eBay 4 mph ones are too slow with a dog. The 6mph 4 pole motors needed for torque outdoors are uncommon since it $$$costs, and likewise you will want the biggest 120A controller not the 70 or 90A versions. And again off road on grass and trails eats batteries so not the 60Ah options but the 80Ah one. Same with rear wheels and tyres, they offer thin rims and tyres and slightly heavier larger pneumatic tyres. And you want the largest front tyres at 10 inches as they are wider and more balloon like so dont sink as easily or get caught in the grass.


Then it really needs a centre footplate so you can move the seat back to get the weight off the front casters to aid their floatation when you find a soft patch of ground. This applies to almost every rear drive, and even to some front drive chairs. So you cant just like go on eBay and choose a salsa. Even theough theres loads. Details make all the difference. So with the CORRECT options!

As long as the correct options are available, and a little DIY with some spanners can be done to get the basic C.G and setup right, and programming, then there are options.

Front drive isnt my choice but you cant fall out of the rear as easily and the climb well. https://www.sunrisemedical.co.uk/powere ... sedeo-ergo

Mid drive wont do. Tiny casters, and less traction means you get hung up in long grass as already mentioned. https://www.sunrisemedical.co.uk/powere ... irs/q700-m

This replaces the salsa that you will find used all over. And my chair. https://www.sunrisemedical.co.uk/powere ... sedeo-ergo its basically the same thing, with front suspension. You would have to deselect all the seating options, and select all the correct power/wheel options.

This is a cheaper version. https://www.sunrisemedical.co.uk/powere ... -sedeo-pro BUT NOT SURE if the correct options are available, you may need a custom build. Like centre footrest etc.

https://www.sunrisemedical.co.uk/powere ... -sedeo-pro Again check options!!

https://www.sunrisemedical.co.uk/powere ... hairs/alex not the short wheelbase one, and again select correct options. Also come up used.

Thats just the sunrise med site.

https://www.invacare.co.uk/invacare-kit ... ma-50kiten not sure what ooptions this has or allows but if you want to reprogram it avoid the linx control system, and 2 pole motors.

But for OUTDOOR use I would buy an X5/V6 either their rear drive or mid because their bigger longer platform means stability.
Even used ifyou have some mechanical setup/configuration ability. https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/MAGIC-MOBILI ... Swd2Zb0iR-

Then theres this: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=5624
The point being that its not really about any specific chair. But the options, and configuration and programming.
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Re: Off road powerchair

Postby Burgerman » 06 Apr 2019, 10:23

For E.G.

Scooterman took an ebay salsa, threw away all the heavy seating, added a centre footplate, moved seat lower and rearwards. Fitted pneumatic tyres etc.
Now he has a ebay salsa that will work better off road, since its around 120lb lighter than a stock one with the lift/tilt etc. And because the CG is moved back. His salsa looks like this viewtopic.php?f=2&t=1813&start=4560#p136150

My salsa looks and works differently and is way heavier at a massive 190kg empty. And so top heavy and wont work off road, and too flexi, and seating wobbles about. But even that is hugely better tha the stock one I ordered with the CORRECT options and seating moved back by 3 inches. Detail changes make all the difference.

See: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=7455&start=600#p122818
READ the first page because te details are what changes one chair into another.

These two salsa chairs would not recognise each other. Its all about configuration for a purpose. Not actual chair base - which is the same. Both are Salsas.
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Re: Off road powerchair

Postby Mechniki » 10 Apr 2019, 01:31

http://www.hmsmobility.co.uk/meyra-optimus-2-rs.html
I do not endorse the above link

From my viewpoint it is not well thought out, too few options, and a really poorly design seat mechanism ( a garden recliner would be more comfortable )
there are too many 'off road' wheelchairs, that aren't or cannot be used anywhere else.

http://www.trackchairextreme.com/

also not endorsed - especially as it
see news story
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/articl ... hiefs.html

there used to be tons of so called all terrain wheelchairs, most of which have stopped production. There isn't really a market for them.
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Re: Off road powerchair

Postby Scooterman » 10 Apr 2019, 17:02

Megadishu wrote:Unfortunately my arms quickly tire being held out and I need the armrest support. Otherwise I would have something like a TGA. I had one but became too tired . Great shame

Thx

Sally

I'm EXACTLY the same as you, in that I can't hold my arms out straight for any length of time either. So with both my scooters I increased the height of the armrests by buying a slab of 2"-3" firm foam, cutting to size and gaffer taping it to the top of the armrests using black gaffer tape. Then I can ride and hold the handlebars with my forearms resting on the armrests, just like a powerchair.

A lot of disabled/partially disabled people don't like or look at scooters because of having to hold your arms out, but I tell them, it doesn't has to be that way! banghead Also the tiller has infinite angle adjustment and the seat moves backwards and forward and reclines, at least it does on large scooters. I'm not saying buy one, or a scooter is right for you. But a correctly adjusted large scooter is really comfortable and rides the bumps well. Fix the armrest height, move the seat forward, pull the tiller (handlebars) towards you, and bobs your uncle :dance

I have a large scooter, outdoor powerchair, and manual chair, and wouldn't be without either as they all have their own unique uses.
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Re: Off road powerchair

Postby Scooterman » 10 Apr 2019, 17:21

Plus if you can stand, large scooters are easier to get on and off of, as the seat tends to be higher, And there’s more bits to hang onto. Plus you can easily adjust the height of the seat, and swivel it 360 degrees.

You might gather, I’m a fan of mob scooters :dirtbike
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Re: Off road powerchair

Postby Mechniki » 10 Apr 2019, 19:33

so you could in theory move the tiller of a scooter closer to your own body. Would the scooter body be strong enough to hold the additional weight of a moved tiller? Assuming the steering arm could also be lengthened. Then find a place to put the dog lead that wouldn't foul the steering (thinking of water skiing lessons from when I was a teen) some farm in Reading. Anyhoo before digressing further, a centre pole like a swing ball.
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Re: Off road powerchair

Postby Scooterman » 10 Apr 2019, 20:33

Scooter tillers have infinite angle adjustment, usually from vertical to horizontal. So roughly any angle between 0 and 90 degrees.
I've seen plenty of people walking dogs while riding a scooter
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Re: Off road powerchair

Postby greybeard » 10 Apr 2019, 22:49

Yep. My dogs' leashes are secured via a carabiner to one of the head rest support bars. The leashes then pass under the left side armrest so they can't run rings round the scooter. Works great.
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Re: Off road powerchair

Postby Burgerman » 10 Apr 2019, 23:28

My dog (was) trained to walk in the correct position in relation to the chair. Some days I removed the leash. He stays in the same exact spot next to the chair regardless.

http://www.wheelchairdriver.com/gopro/rc2.mp4
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Re: Off road powerchair

Postby greybeard » 11 Apr 2019, 01:30

You had the advantage of a dog that actually had a brain between its ears. Mine have solid bone. One's a Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Need I say more?

Actually they are pretty good at walking to heel until another dog approaches. That's when the armrest comes into its own as they wind each other up. I suspect they think they're protecting me from the other dog.

Funnily enough this only happens when I have both of them out. When I'm walking either one on its own, it's usually friendly towards other dogs.
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Re: Off road powerchair

Postby Burgerman » 11 Apr 2019, 10:27

When too cold to go out, I used to put an old laptop on the seat, with its cam /screen pointing forwards all connected via a phone card (mobile internet). And so I could see to drive and I could talk to people. I drove it in my street and out of the end for 500 yards ither way from my deskop PC via RC and via skype...

So up and down my street, about 250 yards each way a couple of times, so the dog could do its thing... He was also trained to prefer drain covers/gutter. So nothing to pick up. MOST of the time. I get to keep warm. Dog doesent seem to care I wasnt there. Only that he can stop at every lamp post and gateway etc for 2 to 3 mins while he investigates them.
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Re: Off road powerchair

Postby Mechniki » 11 Apr 2019, 19:43

Yup 'Rise of the Machines'
I expect one day, you would have a drone walking your dog, and another drone cleaning after it.

Half the point of owning a dog is for the comfort it gives you.

Though walking someone else's dog is just as enjoyable, but with the advantage you can give it back
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Re: Off road powerchair

Postby Scooterman » 12 Apr 2019, 08:31

I was over here yesterday. I like off-road being away from cars houses and people, but only the smooth bits. Don't like bumpy bits as it hurts and not pleasurable getting flung around, so i stay on smooth stuff. Plus scooter not really an off-roader.

Anyhow i was on a tarmac section and this golden retriever/spaniel type thing started running alongside barking at me. :cussing Some snobby woman was shouting Toby! Toby! What to do? stop, i couldn't stop it might have bit me. Maybe it wouldn't i don't know?

it chased me for ages and i was at full throttle, just under 10mph.

Dogs owners will probably think i was in the wrong not stopping but dogs are scary to people who don't have one, especially when they're chasing you barking aggressively. I have heard doggy people say it's the scooter wheels they don't like.Imageand

I think the dog ran back to the woman but we must have gone 1/4 mile and over the brow of the hill. I thought he was going to chase me all the way home. But i didn't like him barking at me he was only a couple of feet away
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Re: Off road powerchair

Postby Burgerman » 12 Apr 2019, 09:51

Womans fault. She is responsible. She must know her dog is going to do that, and it should be trained not to or kept on leash under control.
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Re: Off road powerchair

Postby Scooterman » 12 Apr 2019, 11:16

It was two women with two dogs. We were approaching from opposite directions. So i slows right up and gives them as wide a berth as possible, then once clear on them give it some throttle. That's when the dog started chasing me running alongside barking at me. I just wanted to get away from the dog but he could run faster than the scooter. And was darting round either side barking at me. I needed one of these :ak47 :D
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Re: Off road powerchair

Postby LROBBINS » 12 Apr 2019, 14:34

A water pistol works wonders on dogs who chase bicycles (or wheelchairs, but I only had to deal with them from a bike). Some people say to load the pistol with diluted ammonia, but to me that seems cruel and perhaps dangerous.
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