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Traveling With A Mobility Scooter or Power Wheelchair
Traveling With An Electric Mobility Product Can Be Difficult
A vacation with the family is something that everyone should be able to enjoy. Just because you rely on a power wheelchair or mobility product to get around doesn't mean you shouldn't be able to enjoy traveling. In my experience helping people with disabilities, I've often heard of the complications that can come with traveling with a mobility product. In most cases, electric wheelchairs or scooters weigh a lot, especially if they are not designed specifically for travel.
I tried to find an article online that explained what the most reliable folding power wheelchairs or mobility scooters are but I couldn't find anything other than online stores and ads everywhere so I wanted to write one myself. I have been dealing with mobility product repairs for over 6 years now so I've seen my fair share of these mobility products. With that being said, I am going to provide detailed information on what I consider to be the best mobility scooters and power wheelchairs for traveling are.
Folding Mobility Scooter By Pride
Light Weight, Folding & Compact
Just in case you disagree with my choice of recommended mobility products, I want to provide some general tips for choosing a power wheelchair or scooter that you intend on traveling with first
For starters, there are two types of these products generally speaking.
One is the dissasembling option and the other is the folding option.
In most cases, scooters or power wheelchairs that disassemble are able to carry more weight and usually still come at a manageable weight. On the other hand, folding scooters are generally designed to be very light weight and sometimes a bit more fragile too. To be perfectly honest, I've had to do twice as many repairs on the folding scooters as compared to the dissasembling scooters (the same goes for power wheelchairs that dissasemble, twice as many repairs).
Measure Your Storing Areas & Your Scooter or Power Wheelchair
The best tip I can give you here is related to planning ahead, try to get the measurements of the storage space if you're going to be using a car or plane. If you're going to be driving a lot while at your travel destination, maybe you want to consider a power wheelchair vehicle lift which will require you to measure your product too. After you take measurements, there are tons of great companies that you can find a product in their inventory that will best suit your needs. Make sure that the product you choose (or that you already have if you already own one) will fit according to the storage space requirements you've written down so that you don't run into head aches when you're on your vacation.
Traveling with Mobility Product
Where Would You Bring Your Folding Mobility Scooter or Power Wheelchair?
Durable Folding Mobility Scooters That Fit Into The Trunk of Most Cars
EV Rider Transport - 4-wheeled mobility scooter made by EV rider that has a 15 mile travel range which is a little above average for the typical folding mobility scooter. It has a weight capacity of 250 lbs and weighs a total of 53lbs without batteries. With batteries, the weight comes in at around 70lbs.
The tiller is height friendly, adjusting from 31"- 37.5" you can be sure you will be comfortable while riding the EV Rider Transport. Turning radius is a supreme at 32.3", which is considered tight for a folding mobility scooter. A tight turning radius makes this folding mobility scooter perfect for use inside of malls, homes, flea markets, and other places which require maneuverability.
To see this EV Rider Transport in action, feel free to view the video below which offers a comprehensive look at the benefits of this mobility scooter built for travel.
Mobie Folding Scooter by Solax - This is another 4 wheel mobility scooter that folds easily and that is lightweight. The scooter weighs 75 lbs and has a weight capacity of 300 lbs. A video of the Mobie can be found below. Travel range is a little shorter than that of the EV Rider Transport.
Unlike the EV Rider Transport, the Mobie Folding Scooter by Solax does not have an adjustable tiller. Therefore, this specific folding mobility scooter is not as height friendly as the previous scooter mentioned.
With a maximum speed of 3.75 miles per hour, your sure not to get a speeding ticket. However, most folding mobility scooters are not meant to go fast as they are typically used indoors and/or in an environment where people are around. A video below is an in-depth review of the Mobie Folding Scooter by Solax.
Ev Rider Transport Folding Mobility Scooter
Mobie Solax Folding Mobility Scooter
Merits P181 Folding Power Wheelchair
The Best Types of Folding Power Wheelchairs
A question I receive a lot is what is the main difference between folding mobility scooters & folding power wheelchairs.
Power wheelchairs are meant for those who are more confined to the mobility device, whereas mobility scooters are for those who just need assistance getting from point A to point B, but can get off the mobility scooter to walk around if need be.
In my experience there are 3 folding power wheelchairs that I consider to be the most practical for travel. I've taken the time to write a brief description of each and I also provide product videos below in the next section.
Merits Health P181
The Merits P181 is an excellent choice. This folding electric wheelchair provides a weight capacity of 450lbs and has a travel range 15 miles per charge.
Easily customized, the seat can be ordered in 22", 24" or 26" inches. The solid tires and great tread provide a wheel that is suitable for long rides outside. This makes the Merits Health P181 stand out from the competition if you intend on using this folding power wheelchair off-road. The last thing you need is a flat tire while out and about off-road!
This folding travel power wheelchair is suitable for indoors as well. The 23" turning radius provides excellent precision and commendable performance. This makes the Merits Health P181 perfect for in-home use, shopping mall use, or at a theme park where there are many pedestrians.
Standard the battery powered wheelchair is quipped with swing away footrests, but they can be upgraded with elevating leg rests. For those who intend on using their power wheelchair for hours on end, elevating leg rests are recommended for a more enjoyable experience.
Folding Power Wheelchairs
Drive Medical Cirrus Plus Power Wheelchair
Aside from it's light weight, ability to fold and fit into compact spaces and a weight capacity of 300lbs the Cirrus Plus power wheelchair is just down right beautiful. It's like the Ferrari of power wheelchairs with the sleek design, look and feel. the product itself is pretty light weight for a power wheelchair that is considered a heavy duty folding scooter, it comes in at 146lbs.
Custom configuration is available and recommended. For those with wider lower halves, you will be glad to know this Drive Medical folding power wheelchair offers 3 different seating options. The width's available for seating are: 16” 18” and 20.
The Cirrus Plus has a travel range of up to 15 miles which makes it a great option if you're going on a trip to the park or to go shopping. Not to mention it has tires that can handle going off road just in case you come across a parking lot without ramps.
Drive Medical left nothing out on this engineering marvel, as an added option, users can opt for comfortable leg rests. Arm rests are also height adjustable, so whether you are on the taller side or shorter side, you will not be uncomfortable in this folding power wheelchair by Drive Medical.
Merits EZ Go P3211
Merits EZ Go P3211
Seen by some as an upgrade to Merits Health P181, this folding power wheelchair appears more solid with its well-defined body. The maximum speed comes in at 3.5 miles per hour and a travel range of 8.6 miles. Clearly, this is not meant for long off road travels. However, many users report that they greatly enjoy this folding power wheelchair for indoor use.
The weight capacity comes in at a light 250lbs, so this is not a heavy duty folding power wheelchair like some of the other options we've reviewed. One clear benefit of the Merits EZ Go P3211 is the ease of folding.
You may be thinking, why was this folding power wheelchair included? The size dimensions of this power wheelchair make it fit into most trunks of cars! Therefore, they had to reduce the reinforcements, make a smaller battery, smaller seat, etc. For the average person looking for a power wheelchair that fits into most trunks, folds with ease, and wants to be stylish; this may be the ideal fit for you.
The Take Away & Some Closing Tips
So now that you've been informed on how to plan successfully for a trip with your mobility product, it's time to go on that vacation with confidence knowing that you won't have to deal with any surprises that might leave you immobile temporarily. I'd really love to hear your feedback or experieneces with traveling with a mobility product in case I missed any important things to consider or if there are other mobility products designed for travel that I didn't cover. Below I have included a commnents secfion and I encourage you to leavea commment!
Lastly, I thought I would compile a list of website that you can turn to which contain helpful resources and descriptions of the links I provide which you can find below. I provide really helpful stuff such as a compatability tool which will allow you to know which vehicle lift to choose based on the type of vehicle you are going to use. I also provide a link to a site which is really modern and that has very helpful product brochures, manuals and basically every single scooter and power wheelchair available in inventory. Also have a great customer support team to help you with any quetsions that you might have, I personally have used them for help with parts.
Thank you for reading and havea great day!
- Pride Vehicle Ramp Compatibility Calculator
Pride Lifts And Ramps - Determine which SilverStar Lifts are compatible with your current vehicle and mobility device.
- Folding Power Wheelchairs
Here is a page that contains all of the power wheelchairs available on the market and each product page contains several resources including product brochures, user manuals and detailed specifications.
- Harmar - Calculator
Find out which lift would work with the vehicle you plan on traveling with should you consider using a vehicle lift to carry your power wheelchair or scooter.