Adding a wheelchair carrier to your vehicle can truly allow you to go places. In this article, we review the best wheelchair carriers for you. If you are in a hurry, look at the table below for a quick snapshot of the top 5.
An accessible vehicle can open up a world of independence for people with mobility challenges. But due to budget constraints buying a new or even used vehicle that is wheelchair accessible isn’t a possibility for everyone. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t other solutions to enhance mobility for the wheelchair-bound.
Wheelchair carriers can be added to your existing vehicle at a fraction of the cost to buy an accessible vehicle to make it more accessible for a wheelchair user. And, if you can afford them, automatic wheelchair carriers can make it a breeze to load and unload your wheelchair or mobility scooter into your vehicle.
|Best Wheelchairs Carriers||Build|
|1||Lift-N-Go Power Wheelchair Carrier 210 Model||Automatic|
|2||Economy Mobility Scooter, Wheelchair Carrier Rack||Manual, Aluminium|
|3||Harmar Mobility Fully Automatic Power Wheelchair Lift AL500||Automatic|
|4||Silver Spring Folding Wheelchair Carrier with Ramp||Manual, Steel|
|5||Goplus Mobility Scooter and Wheelchair Carrier||Manual, Steel|
|6||Best Choice Mobility Scooter and Wheelchair Carrier||Manual, Steel|
|7||SUNCOO Foldable Wheelchair Carrier||Manual, Steel|
|8||Silver Spring Manual Wheelchair Carrier||Manual Wheelchair Only|
|9||Prohoists Wheelchair Carrier with Loading Ramp||Manual, Steel|
|10||Versa-Haul XL Wheelchair Carrier||Manual, Steel|
|11||HUSKY TOWING 88133 Wheelchair Carrier||Manual, Aluminium|
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Wheelchair carriers allow wheelchairs and mobility scooters to be stored and transported easily. They are an excellent – and comparatively less expensive – way to make most vehicles more accessible. Of course, deciding on which type of carrier may seem daunting. But with a little research, it is possible to simplify the process.
Before you begin to look at specific wheelchair carrier models, it is a good idea to think through what features you require. Also, the type of vehicle you drive and wheelchair you need to carry also impact which one will be the best for your situation. It is also important to consider your ability to fold and lift your wheelchair also matters, as some carriers require more effort from the user than others.
Kinds of Wheelchair Carriers
Wheelchair carriers come in 4 standard styles. Once you know the different kinds of wheelchair carriers available, you can fit them to your needs.
Wheelchair carriers mounted on a trailer hitch
Trailer hitch-mounted wheelchair carriers are the most common type that you must have seen. The carrier is mounted on the vehicle hitch and has a ramp to help load the wheelchair. Once loaded, you should secure the wheelchair or your mobility scooter with straps that mostly come with the carrier. Trailer-mounted wheelchair carriers do allow for space to access the trunk of your car.
Wheelchair carriers mounted to your vehicle’s bumper
Mostly used in the case of manual wheelchairs, bumper-mounted wheelchair carriers require you to fold the wheelchair by hand and load it. While they are simple to use and operate, they can be difficult to manage without a caregiver.
Automatic carriers on top of your car
Roof-mounted automatic wheelchair carriers are extremely convenient to use but they are meant for manual wheelchairs only. They can not lift heavier electric wheelchairs or mobility scooters. Car-top wheelchair carriers automatically lift and fold the wheelchair and stow them on top of the car. Be mindful though, not all cars can take the weight of the carrier and wheelchair on the top.
Carriers that operate in a pickup truck bed
As the name suggests, this type of wheelchair carrier operates on a pick-up truck. It uses an electric motor to lift the wheelchair and place it on the bed of the pick-up. The wheelchair, though, has to be manually folded so you will need caregiver assistance when using this type of wheelchair carrier.
Understanding those styles and how they operate will help you make an informed decision on which will work best with you and your vehicle. For the purpose of this article, we have covered trailer hitch-mounted wheelchair carriers.
Wheelchair Carriers by Price
If you are ok with the manual option, you can get a wheelchair carrier for as little as a couple of hundred dollars. These are robust products that come with a ramp. Of course, you will have to load and unload the wheelchair yourself. On the other hand, automatic wheelchair carriers can load or unload the wheelchair or mobility scooters. You just need to drive on to it and the motor literally does the “heavy lifting”. They can cost a bit though with the least expensive one on our list at almost one and a half thousand dollars.
For the purpose of our article on the best wheelchair carriers, we present you with both the options – automatic and manual.
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Top Wheelchair Carrier Reviews
Here are our top picks for wheelchair carriers and mobility scooter carriers:
#1 Lift-N-Go Power Wheelchair Carrier 210 Model
This wheelchair carrier can accommodate most power wheelchairs and mobility scooters. It automatically folds into a retractable position when there is no weight on it. With a 350 pound carrying capacity, it is suitable for almost all power wheelchairs.
Its lift is fairly easy to set up. This comes handy if you have a heavy-duty power chair and a wheelchair ramp is not an option. It has intuitive to use hold-down straps with spring tension so that you can maneuver them easily.
#2 Economy Mobility Scooter, Wheelchair Carrier Rack
This hitch mounted mobility scooter rack includes an integrated ramp which folds upright for safety, after the scooter is loaded.
It has a 500 pound carrying capacity, making sure that all almost all mobility scooters can be accommodated. Because it is built from aluminium, it is quite light weight and easy to maneuver. It fits 2 inch Class III or Class IV trailer hitch receivers.
On the downside, its ramp is a little steep. With a wider gap between the slats than some other models, there is a risk of smaller wheeled power scooters getting stuck. Although, it is value for money at its price point, you may want to consider another model if your scooter has smaller wheels and you have a bigger budget 🙂
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#3 Harmar Mobility Fully Automatic Power Wheelchair Lift AL500
This fully automatic power wheelchair lift can be used with class II and III hitches. It is designed to carry a wide range of power wheelchairs. The motor cover comes with a key lock, license plate holder, toggle switch, and light.
For its price it is a good product and can be very convenient for power wheelchair and mobility scooter users.
The video below shows installation guide for Harmar AL500.
#4 Silver Spring Folding Wheelchair Carrier with Ramp
This is a fairly easy to install wheelchair carrier with ramp. It is possible for a couple of people to install it in half an hour with simple hand tools.
It is rather heavy and has a robust construction. With anti bounce bracket and locking bolts, it can be secured well in place so that it remains stable even at higher vehicle speeds.
On the downside, its weight means that it will need at least 2 people for the initial install. Also, its paint job is fairly thin for outdoor storage for some climates. But it can easily be rectified by a couple of cans of Rust-Oleum Automotive Spray Paint.
#5 Goplus Mobility Scooter and Wheelchair Carrier
This foldable wheelchair carrier with loading ramp can help easily load and transport wheelchairs and mobility scooters. This can be installed on cars, SUVs, vans, trucks or a variety of other vehicles. It is a robust product made out of steel and has a carrying capacity of 500 pounds.
The ramp can be folded into 3 position – flush with the carrier surface (held down by a spring), when not in use; upright position when the wheelchair is loaded and in the ramp position to load the wheelchair. It is fairly easy to assemble and mount.
It can tend to be a little heavy to maneuver for a few people. Also, this product can have a longer life in some climates with a couple of cans of Rust-Oleum Automotive Spray Paint sprayed on it.
#6 Best Choice Mobility Scooter and Wheelchair Carrier
It has a capacity of 500 pounds. A 3 inch safety rail and 11 tie down points give the safety that a user may want of a product like this.
With powder coated paint, it is more rust resistant than some of its counterparts on this list, although some users have complained that the paint chips off easily. If you do go for this model, you might want to use a can or two of Rust-Oleum Automotive Spray Paint to make sure that it has a long life.
Some users did find this product a bit clunky but it is good value for money. Do check its availability on Amazon as that has been on and off at times.
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#7 SUNCOO Foldable Wheelchair Carrier
With 10 tie-down points, this wheelchair carrier offers lot of security during transport. It has steel construction and can be used on a variety of vehicles including cars, trucks, vans and SUVs. It has reflectors built in for safety while driving.
It is not the most lightweight device on the market. The availability also tends to be an issue so do check its availability on Amazon.
#8. Silver Spring Manual Wheelchair Carrier
As the name suggests, Silver Spring Manual Wheelchair Carrier is fit for manual wheelchairs only. Since it is designed to carry manual wheelchairs only, its weight capacity is also lower as compared to other wheelchair carriers.
But at 100 pounds, it is more than enough for pretty much all manual wheelchairs. The adjustable clasps keep the wheelchair securely in position. If you are not using it, it can be folded into a compact upright position. It is priced right for the basic functionality that it offers.
On the downside, at 28 pounds of weight, some users found it heavier than expected. But if you can do the hefting, this is a device that does one job and does it well.
#9. Prohoists Wheelchair Carrier with Loading Ramp
Prohoists Wheelchair Carrier has a weight capacity of 500 pounds and is good for most power wheelchairs and mobility scooters. Its usable platform is a roomy 46.5″ (W) X 28″ (L). It has a 4-inch high railing for safety.
The 5-feet long loading ramp helps you load or unload your wheelchair easily. This wheelchair carrier can tilt up when not loaded for easy stowing. It is a well-designed carrier with large cut-outs for hands with rubber padding so that you can move it easily. The entire set up weighs 75 pounds.
In our opinion, while the manufacturer has advertised the weight capacity at 500 pounds, it is best to err on the side of caution. It is best to keep a margin of safety of 100-150 pounds.
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#10. Versa-Haul XL Wheelchair Carrier
Versa-Haul XL Wheelchair Carrier has a 500-pound carrying capacity and a usable space of 58″ (W) X 32.5″ (L). It can accommodate most electric wheelchairs and mobility scooters.
It works with 2-inch Class III and Class IV hitches. This wheelchair carrier has a 61-inch ramp to help easy loading and unloading. The product is made of steel and weighs 120 pounds.
#11. HUSKY TOWING 88133 Wheelchair Carrier
HUSKY TOWING 88133 Wheelchair Carrier is made from aluminum and weighs 70 pounds. This makes it about a third lighter than its steel counterparts. It has a carrying capacity of 500 pounds.
This wheelchair carrier has a usable space of 50.25″ (L) X 29.5″ (W) and a 4″ railing. On the downside, the ramp length, at 47 inches, is shorter than other wheelchair carriers. Thus its slope is steeper while loading and unloading.
This wheelchair ramp from Husky is a good lightweight option and can accommodate electric wheelchairs, mobility scooters, and even lawnmowers and snow blowers.
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Wheelchair Carrier Video
Here is a video showing the assembly of the Sky1700 Wheelchair Carrier:
Other Wheelchair Accessories
We have covered many other wheelchair accessories. You can read about the best wheelchair arm rest covers for added padding and insulation. Talking about insulation, you can also read about gloves for wheelchair users (whether you are using a manual or a power wheelchair). It will be especially relevant if you live in colder parts of the world.
If your power wheelchair batteries are coming to an end of their useful life, you can read about our article on the wheelchair batteries. You can install twin batteries to extend the range of your power wheelchair. For storage solutions, we have reviewed the best bags for wheelchair and walkers.
For additional safety, manual wheelchair users might consider getting wheelchair seat belts. Temporary wheelchair ramps provide convenient access to different levels when you are out and about.