I was in need of a way to easily get my mobility scooter into and out of our vehicle without it having to be lifted in and out. I looked into several different things including several types of lifts, but all were very pricey or required a hitch which would add significant cost to the lift and also make the lift only useable with vehicles with that type of hitch… sooo I ended up looking at ramps.
There are lots of types of ramps on the market. Hours and hours of research lead me to decide to go with a LiteRamp.
There are several reasons why I decided to go with the LiteRamp. The largest reason is that the ramp comes in many different lengths and are made to be heavy duty and light at the same time. The 8 foot long ramp that I decided on weighs 45 pounds total but comes in two pieces so that you only have to lift about 22 pounds at a time. Once assembled, the ramp holds up to 700 pounds! While I do not need the ramp to hold this much weight, having such a high weight capacity gives me a very good feeling about how durable this product is.
The ramp comes with handles for easy portability.
The 8 foot ramp is split in half (down the middle) and folded in half (lengthwise). In order to assemble the ramp, one half of the ramp is flipped open, the non skid lip is placed at the top step or bumper/van side entrance. Next the second half of the ramp slides over the connecting part of the first one, to make hinges, and this one flips open and the non skid lip of this half should end up lying even with the one of the first half. It might sound a little bit complicated but after setting it up and taking it apart a few times it is pretty easy to use. I say this as purely a spectator…as although it is my ramp that I purchased, I have someone do this for me.
We have used this ramp in both a Subaru Forester and a Dodge Caravan. While you could probably get away with a shorter ramp for the Forester, the 8 foot ramp works well and allows me to use it on the occasions that we rent a mini-van. In order to fit the ramp into the Forester for transport, one of the seats must be folded down due to the length of the ramp. We also fold down the back row of seats in the Dodge Caravan to transport the ramp and scooter.
When using a power scooter or wheelchair it seems to work easier to back the scooter into the vehicle and then have it go down forwards. It is a bit awkward to have it go down backwards and although there is a lip on both sides of the ramp, given enough power the chair could go over the edge.
What I found was that going up the ramp a mid speed makes it go up easily. When going down the ramp I turn the speed all the way down for a slower decent. Since I steer the scooter up and down the ramp from the side of the scooter (so that the scooter is empty, I do not ride it up or down the ramp) it can be a bit awkward to maneuver.
Since our steps to our home are very steep, we have not used the ramp for the steps, however it can be used this way. This use would be not only great for home, but also for visiting a relatives or friends home that is not wheelchair accessible.
Overall I am really happy with my portable ramp purchase. If I had to make the choice again I would make the same decision.
Made in the USA
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