What to do ?

Discussion in 'Motorhomes for the Disabled' started by geordie graham, Jun 29, 2014.

  1. geordie graham

    geordie graham Read Only Funster

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    Hi everyone I am a power chair user who is looking to get a motorhome to get me out and about.Although I need to use the power chair to get around I won't really need to get around the motorhome and am wondering is there a lift of some kind that could be fitted to the back of the motorhome to transport the chair.

    Graham
     
  2. simply

    simply Read Only Funster

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    Have a look at the Callisto on Wildaxmotorhomes.com
     
  3. TheCaller

    TheCaller Funster

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    On the back, outside doesn't work terribly well. That's a lot of weight just where you don't want it.

    We have a panel van conversion & carry ours inside, underneath a high bed, with an Autochair hoist to lift it in. In a larger 'proper' motorhome, you can use ramps or a hoist to get the chair into a 'garage' at the back - usually through a side door. There is usually more height in these than we have in ours. What works will depend on whether you can fold the chair back down.

    Finally, you can get 'close-coupled' mini-trailers that have castor wheels to take most of the weight, putting very little weight on the rear of the main vehicle. They are effectively what you ask for - a lift at the back, but the castor wheels support most of the weight.

    What works best for you will depend on two considerations -
    1. If you can load it yourself & then get back to the door & get into the vehicle, or if you will always have someone with you to load it, then any of the options will work.
    2. Are you restricted to the size of vehicle you want? If you want to stay below 7m long, the side-loading rear garage might be ruled out.
     
  4. geordie graham

    geordie graham Read Only Funster

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    The chair I use has 2 large batteries so picking it up is not an option. We were of the opinion that if you were registered disabled, you could buy a van from a dealer and if you had modifications done to the van, you would get the VAT off. We went to a dealer last week and asked about how the modifications were done and was told we would have to buy the van off them then we would have to take it to someone else to get the modifications ( door widened and possibly a lift fitted ) done.

    Graham
     
  5. Puddleduck

    Puddleduck Funster

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    VAT and disabled vehicles is a minefield and if you get it wrong can hit you hard in the pocket. You need an expert in that particular field of VAT before you commit to such a large spend.
     
  6. TheCaller

    TheCaller Funster

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    So has ours. 120kg. We have an Autochair 150kg electric hoist to pick it up & swing it in under the bed. See adaptations below. You don't need strength to load it yourself, but you do need to be able to get from outside the rear of the vehicle, round to & then into the side door unaided, unless you always travel with someone who can do the loading for you.

    My wife uses the chair & doesn't drive any more, so she transfers from the chair either into the front passenger seat or into the habitation area through the sliding door on the side of the van. I take the chair round the back & load it with the hoist.

    You are more or less correct.
    Being registered disabled is not enough in itself. You must need to use a wheelchair (or stretcher) for mobility. The vehicle must then be adapted to enable the wheelchair user to use the vehicle. The adaptations must be necessary, substantial & permanent.

    If the vehicle is sold to you ready adapted, the dealer may zero rate the whole vehicle, including the adaptations. This is a substantial saving when buying new, but if second hand, the vat is only on the dealer's margin & on the adaptations.

    If you have the vehicle adapted after buying it, then only the cost of the adaptations is zero rated. So although you may need to do the leg work in finding, specifying & arranging the required modifications, they should be billed to the dealer, who can then sell you the complete, converted vehicle zero rated. Your dealer may consider this isn't worth while with a second hand vehicle, as the only saving to you is the vat on his margin. Sounds like you need to find another dealer!
     
  7. ourcampersbeentrashed

    ourcampersbeentrashed Funster

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    Hi George - how about the Harmar AL100 scooter lift



    http://www.harmar.com/products/AL100

    There was a funster about 2 years ago had one for sale. The company themselves are extremely helpful but unfortunately it did not fit our motorhome.

    They are expensive but I know a few people who have had them and think they are great.

    You can contact the company giving them the make and model of your vehicle or your vehicle registration and they can check whether or not it is compatible.

    Hope this helps
     
  8. TheCaller

    TheCaller Funster

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    Those rear mounted lifts are great if you have a suitable vehicle. The lift & chair together will weigh at least 200kg. That may exceed the permitted loading of many vehicles without additional chassis modification. The effect on stability & axle weight transfer also needs to be considered for motorhomes with large rear overhangs.
     
  9. geordie graham

    geordie graham Read Only Funster

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    Thanks everyone for the great advice. It's awkward in that I have to have the chair outside the van but not inside. We are in the process off trying to make our life a little bit more simpler. As any disabled person knows just because somewhere says it is wheelchair friendly once you get there you find that the person who said that is not disabled. We are thinking that if we can get a decent van that is adequate for our needs then we can get out and about knowing that a huge majority of the bigger sites will have disabled facilities and we can get to see the wonderful countryside and get me out of the house. Seeing beautiful scenery and wildlife and just getting to talk to people can make such a massive difference to a disabled person.
     
  10. K8ELIZABETH

    K8ELIZABETH Read Only Funster

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    Hi..... I've looked at all the above with a need for this too, but then found Coachbuilt GB in the midlands.

    Looked at there website and visited them.... really helpful, knowledgable people. They adapt standard motorhomes with your 'wish list' to make it accessible by wheelchair, their expertise and knowledge was brilliant. I saw some of their existing conversion work... you honestly cannot tell where their adaptation work starts and the original finished.

    Definatley, recommend getting in touch just even to pick their brains about access, VAT, couldn't recommend them enough. They also mentioned about hiring wheelchair accessible motorhomes.... which may help too!

    Hope this helps.
     
  11. geordie graham

    geordie graham Read Only Funster

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    I have been in touch with Coachbuilt GB and they quoted £2600 to fit wider door. They also said they could fit a underneath cassette lift which would be good but also looks expensive. They do show long ramps to get into the motorhome but not quite sure if they would be strong enough to take a powerchair with two large 75 amp batteries and a 12 stone bloke, without bending in the middle
     
  12. Steveonley

    Steveonley

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    Hi Graham. Maybe a daft question but do you need a power chair or can you use a manual with a powered trike attachment ?
    Company called Team Hybrid can fix a docking pipe to a rigid frame manual wheelchair (not ones that fold in half) then get a 'Viper' battery powered trike wheel controlled by handle bars fitted. The version with two batteries has 20 mile distance and costs around £3,800. The whole thing only weighs about 12 kilos and has a top speed of 10 mph.
     
  13. geordie graham

    geordie graham Read Only Funster

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    Thanks for the info but unfortunately I have to have a power chair as my spinal problems means I am unable to use a manual

    Graham
     
  14. Steveonley

    Steveonley

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    Could be worth going back to Coachbuilt and asking their advice on which Motorhome to get for conversion. If you can get out the chair to get around the Motorhome then you will not have my problems of being in a wheelchair all the time but the cost of my new Swift Sundance six berth plus conversion was £80,000, £65k for the home and 15k on the conversion but they gutted the Motorhome completely and rebuilt it. If you are buying used Motorhome they do find the Swift range best to convert so 45k or less would get you a decent Motorhome plus conversion for the door widening and lift installation plus enough payload for your power chair and partner. We just travel with empty water tank with my Mybility all terrain chair then off load it at the site with a waterproof wheelchair cover over it, plus a good long, strong lock to secure it. For balance and safety it is best to have the chair travelling in the Motorhome with you. I guess I am fortunate in having a claim for medical negligence but the Swifts are good with most space for disability needs.
     
  15. ourcampersbeentrashed

    ourcampersbeentrashed Funster

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    There are a few wheelchair adapted motorhomes out there. I know Johns Cross occasionally gets one, and mentions it on fun when they do.

    Keep your eyes peeled on ebay too.
     

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