Old 06-14-2015, 02:10 PM #1 (permalink)
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Default Chair Hauler Suggestions

So I go in for chair measurements on June 29 and have to wonder what I'm going to use to get the thing from place to place.

I've seen posts recommending different vans but does anyone use one of those cranes in the bed of a pickup truck? Tucson does get some rain but we're pretty dry mostly...I don't think weather is much of an issue.

Secondly, does anyone have experiences with the MV-1 vehicle? For those not aware, it is purpose built specifically for wheelchair access.

I know typing is a pain (I'm tired of it right now) but any additional thoughs would be appreciated.

Mark
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Old 06-14-2015, 03:34 PM #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Chair Hauler Suggestions

The easiest thing is a handicap vehicle. You can get a used one for anywhere from$5000 up. Look on line for " mobility vans in the Tucson area". You'll be surprised at the availability.
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Old 06-14-2015, 03:48 PM #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Chair Hauler Suggestions

The problem with a pick up truck is that you would have to exit the chair and get into the cab of the truck. that may be possible right now, but down the road...not so easy for pals. with a van you drive in and drive out so it is easy for you and your cals.

Unless you are thinking about a truck like the Clampets...riding in your chair in the back like granny!
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Old 06-14-2015, 10:14 PM #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Chair Hauler Suggestions

I don't know much about this subject yet. But, Barbie...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barbie View Post
Unless you are thinking about a truck like the Clampets...riding in your chair in the back like granny!
You crack me up.
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Old 06-14-2015, 11:49 PM #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Chair Hauler Suggestions

I wanted a four wheel drive vehicle with high ground clearance. Either a truck or SUV would have worked for me. After discovering that my wheelchair would not fit in any truck or SUV conversion on the market, I carefully examined a variety of crane-like devices that would place the PWC in a pickup truck bed.

My conclusion was that unfortunately none would work with my size of wheelchair. Even if I could get one to work, it would leave the chair exposed to the elements. I investigated pickup truck shells that would raise up for loading the PWC and then lower down, all at the touch of a button. None would work in a garage and none provided enough space for my wheelchair. In the end I rejected this notion.

The best piece of advice I received was to get the wheelchair first and then find a vehicle that would fit the wheelchair. My wheelchair is too large to fit in many accessible vehicles.

I am still able to transfer and drive. This led us to get a full-sized van with a wheelchair lift that loads from the passenger side of the vehicle. We chose a Chevy Express conversion van because it is tall enough for me and available with side doors on both the passenger and driver's side. That makes transfering to the driver's seat so much easier for me. I consider it a necessity at this stage.

When I can no longer transfer/drive, we will replace it with a van that puts me and the wheelchair in the front passenger position (probably a Sprinter or Transit style van).

We bought a used, high-mileage, 11-year old van to keep the cost under control.

If I had to do it again, I would get a slightly different van. First, I would get a 3/4 ton (Express 2500) rather than the 1/2 ton (Express 1500) that we did. Second, I would get one with side doors that extend into the raised roof. Ours does not, and I must recline the PWC when I enter or exit the van. It is perfectly workable, but just one extra step to remember (or, in my case, occasionally forget).

Our van came with an EasyLock to lock the wheelchair into the van. It works fine, but I recommend against it. It requires a plate be installed on the bottom of the PWC with a bolt that sticks down giving about 1 inch of ground clearance. I manage to catch the bolt often while out and about on the wheelchair. I have not come up with any alternative I like better, but am actively looking.

Good luck with your search. For me, there was no perfect solution and I had to make substantial compromises. We are learning lessons on this van and will apply them to our next van purchase.

Steve
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Old 06-15-2015, 01:10 AM #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Chair Hauler Suggestions

> a bolt that sticks down giving about 1 inch of ground clearance.

Yep, got the same. I managed to high center my PWC right after I got the EadyLock.

It doesn't do much but there are higher plates that will give another inch or two.
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Old 06-15-2015, 09:48 PM #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Chair Hauler Suggestions

We don't have the easy lock system in ours--we bought used and took what we were given. The alternative is what we have--husband drives in and positions himself, I then lock him in with straps that are bolted to the floor. kind of a pain in the neck but really not that bad.
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Old 06-15-2015, 11:16 PM #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Chair Hauler Suggestions

There is someone in our East Phoenix support group that has the MV-1. I tested one but it was the 2014 model and did not have a passenger side seat. I heard they were going to have a few changes for 2015. I ended up getting a van at The Ability Center in Phoenix (because I could trade our old vehicle in), they have one in Tucson. You can tell them Doug referred you. Chip, the Phoenix GM has become a good friend and he is a big supporter of ALS and the local ALS community. He still goes down there often.

My sister used to live down there on N. Tucson Blvd near Speedway. I enjoyed visiting her. My wife & I used to enjoy going down there for a weekend every once in a while.

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Old 06-16-2015, 12:32 PM #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Chair Hauler Suggestions

Thanks Doug. I'll definitely check out the ability center
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Old 06-16-2015, 12:33 PM #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Chair Hauler Suggestions

And thanks everyone else for the responses!
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Old 07-07-2015, 04:43 PM #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Chair Hauler Suggestions

Hi AZWXMAN,
I also live in Tucson and found the wheelchair van companies here a little expensive. I tried to look for a private party van but miss one every time one came up or did feel good about the shape of the van. So, in my research I found Scottsdale Motor Company up in Scottsdale and was able to purchase one last week - Yeah! Now I can get out to shop and go to Dr. appts. I have clinic tomorrow and feel so much better about going than before cause I know I wont have to sit in an uncomfortable regular wheelchair for hours.

My van has an auto ramp and good wheelchair strap system. My caretaker is my 82 year old mother and she can navigate i
the van around fine and secure me in as well. I bought a Chrysler Town and Country 2007. Imissed the less expensive one by a couple hours so when you find one try to jump on it cause they go fast!

I hope you find the right one for you.

Rhondsa
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Old 07-07-2015, 09:35 PM #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Chair Hauler Suggestions

I found that reasonably priced used wheelchair vans go very quickly in Colorado. We had cash ready and reviewed craigslists, autotrader, etc. daily. When I a suitable van became available we moved on it immediately. It took over a month of looking to find our van.

As for the pesky easy lock bolt...I finally got tired enough of it to do something about it. I examined how it engaged with the locking mechanism and found that it could be shorter and still work fine. I found that removing the bolt is very easy. The bolt is a 5/8" x 2.25" coarse thread. I could not tell the grade because the grade markings were worn off from scraping on concrete, asphalt, etc. I purchased grade 8 bolts in a variety of lengths for around $2.00 each. I found the one that is 2" long works fine.

It does not sound like 1/4" would make that much difference, but it really does. I will eventually try even shorter bolts.

Replacing the bolt was pretty easy. Getting on the ground and then getting back up were the hardest parts A 10" crescent wrench was all it took to release the locking nut and then back out the bolt. It was awkward, but even my weak arms I was able to do it without assistance.

It is so easy to do, that I will consider removing the bolt for some of my more adventurous rides and then reinstalling it before I lock the wheelchair back down.

Steve
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Old 07-08-2015, 10:32 AM #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Chair Hauler Suggestions

Please see attached information about a handicapped accessible van for sale.
Contact Angela Collins @ 713-553-1234

We are selling a 2005 Toyota Sienna converted minivan, with only 57,380 miles. It has a ramp for the passenger-side sliding door. The van also "kneels" so that it's not a really steep incline. It is equipped with an EZ lock system for a wheelchair to drive up an lock in place, or, tie downs may also be used.
Navy blue exterior, gray interior. Asking $15,000.

Paulette Bennett LVN
Care Services Manager
Houston Regional Office
ALS Association-Texas Chapter
26119 I-45N Suite 202, Spring TX 77380
Toll Free 877-714-0088
Fax 713 456-2976
Cell - 713 412-9196 p.bennett@alsa-texas.org
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