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Take Your Wheels with You: Traveling with Your Wheelchair

Take Your Wheels with You: Traveling with Your Wheelchair
Kevin Cleary

Many people feel that due to their injury or handicap that this lack of mobility means that they cannot travel. There are those that believe that since you may be reliant on a wheelchair to get around that actually they tether you to your home. This could not be further from the truth. Getting out and about is no longer a pipe dream to anyone who may be of limited mobility. With just a little bit of planning and understanding of what’s available to wheelchair patients, experiencing all that this wonderful world has to offer is within our grasp.

How to transport Wheelchair Safely?

Of course the first step in traveling with your wheelchair is finding a way to haul your ride to where you need it to be. Conversion vans are convenient, but are extremely expensive. One way to get around this expense is to use a lift designed to transport a wheelchair safely. Manufacturer Harmar Mobility makes wheelchair lifts that attach to your vehicles tow hitch. The Harmar AL003 Tilt n Tote Wheelchair Lift is a lightweight carrier that features an innovative tilting joint for quick and easy wheelchair mounting. Its compact size allows it to fold down for simple access to tail/lift gates. A power option is available in the Harmar AL030 Power Tote Wheelchair Lift. It also features a tilting joint for rolling the wheelchair on and off easily, while offering a one switch operation for ease-of-use. Both of these lifts offer an adjustable arm to secure almost any standard manual wheelchair. While the ball mounts are standard, there are hitch upgrades available. For those that may use the Invacare Pronto M41, M51, or the M61 power wheelchairs, Harmar offers the Harmar Vehicle Lift for Invacare Power Wheelchairs. This outside the vehicle platform securely lifts and transports these Pronto Power Wheelchairs. It allows users to quickly transport their chariots without expensive modifications to your vehicle and offers a manual crank as a backup.

How to Protect your Wheelchair?

Once you have secured your wheelchair for your trip, it’s important to protect it from any kind of road debris. If your ride is secured outside of your vehicle, your best bet is to use a wheelchair cover such as the Harmar Universal Manual Wheelchair Cover. It can be used with all manual wheelchairs and used in conjunction with Harmar wheelchair lifts. Another way to protect your wheelchair during transportation is to use a Mabis DMI Wheelchair Transport Bag. It’s made of heavy clear plastic that is easily removed to keep your wheelchair fresh and appearing new. If you are transporting your sporty new power chair, one way to protect it is using the EZ-Access Power Chair Cover. Its durable nylon cover features grommets along the bottom edge so bungee cords can be used to keep it in place during travel.

Joining the Jet Set

For those that need to use a wheelchair, it may seem daunting getting on or off an airplane. The seats on the plane are cramped together and the aisle is quite narrow, so what is one to do? If you enjoy traveling by airline, Columbia Medical offers airline transfer chairs. These are narrow, easy to maneuver chairs that allow the user a simple transfer into their seat on the airplane. The Columbia Aisle Master Airline Transfer Chair is perfect for those that travel often via the airlines. Its compact mid-wheel turning design combines safety and functionality making travel simpler. The Columbia Aisle Master Folding Airline Transfer Chair adds the convenience of folding up for storage as well as an ABS plastic back and seat to meet FAR fire requirements. These chairs will allow patients the freedom to hop on a plane and see the world.

When to use Wheelchair Ramp?

For those that are seeking another option, other than a wheelchair lift or an expensive conversion van, portable ramps may be for you. Roll-A-Ramp offers a line of portable ramps that are extremely versatile. For example, the Roll-A- Ramp 26 Inch Wide Portable Ramp can be used in place of a permanent ramp and is designed for a smooth entry/exit of all wheelchair types. You can also change the length to customize it to your needs with simple tools that are provided. They are available from 26 inches up to 36 inches wide. One easy way to get access to your existing minivan without expensive modifications is to use the Roll-A-Ramp Powered Mini Fold Electric Mini Van Ramp System. It easily installs in your existing vehicle and can be removed for use on location. It saves you from costly van modifications that can cost tens of thousands of dollars by simply being an add-on. One of the biggest obstacles to those in wheelchairs is curbs and steps. To overcome these pesky obstacles use the Rose Healthcare Portable Curb Ramp. They are made of durable plastic, yet they can handle up to 500 lbs. This will allow you unfettered access to just about any restaurant, bar, or other establishments that may not be completely handicap accessible.

How do I take my Oxygen Cylinder with me?

Many people confined to a wheelchair may need supplemental oxygen to go with them. Some of these tanks are not what you would say easy to carry. EZ-Access offers wheelchair patients a couple of options. EZ-Access Scooter Single Oxygen D and E Cylinder Carrier is made of nylon (black) and has extra long straps and a buckle adjustment to fit most power scooters. For those that use manual wheelchairs, the EZ-Access Wheelchair Oxygen Carrier can hold both D and E cylinders. Its extra long straps allow for offset mounting to avoid discomfort. Another option is the Adjustable Oxygen Tank Holder for Wheelchair which can also hold D and E size cylinders. With four adjustable buckles, it can be fitted to most wheelchairs up to 26 inches in width. For an easy, mountable solution the Sammons Preston Oxygen Tank Holder for Wheelchair is made of durable steel and can hold both D and E size tanks. You can breathe easily, knowing that you can safely transport oxygen tanks so you can, well, breathe easy!! No matter your need there are plenty of adaptive equipment to get you out and about and travelling.

Protecting Yourself in the Rain

Holding an umbrella or wearing a raincoat while using a wheelchair can be a tedious task. Using an accessory such as the CareActive Wheelchair Rain Poncho is the perfect solution when you need to face unpleasant weather conditions while in your wheelchair and avoiding the hassle of struggling with a regular poncho or coat. Easy to slip on and off, a convenient and easy way to protect yourself and your wheelchair, and with its short back design, it won't interfere with the wheels during movement. It features a single front zipper makes wearing and removing entirely easy and effortless. An attached oversized hood works better than an umbrella to protect the user from rains and enable the caregivers to dress the user in a more comfortable manner.


Disclaimer: All content found on our website, including images, videos, infographics and text were created solely for informational purposes. Our content should never be used for the purpose of diagnosis or treatment of any medical conditions. Content shared on our websites is not meant to be used as a substitute for advice from a certified medical professional. Reliance on the information provided on our website as a basis for patient treatment is solely at your own risk. We urge all our customers to always consult a physician or a certified medical professional before trying or using a new medical product.


HPFY Kevin Cleary

Kevin Cleary

Kevin Cleary has been a Health Products For You contributor for many years and has a degree in marketing. His health and wellness journey has a very personal meaning and has guided him in his content writing for HPFY.

In 2006, ...

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