You have a mobility scooter, and you want to keep active. Do you want to use your scooter other than just at home? If you answered, yes, then a scooter carrier would come in handy. So what is a scooter carrier?
A scooter carrier is a device that is attached to a vehicle that transports a mobility scooter. It is a platform or a hoist/crane device. A scooter carrier enables you to carry a scooter in or on a vehicle. A carrier is needed to transport scooters safely.
One type of scooter carrier is a metal platform that attaches to a vehicle, usually by way of a trailer hitch. A lift style carrier lifts a scooter off the ground and the ramp style enables a scooter to be driven upon it.
Other types of carriers would be a hoist or crane style that lifts a scooter upon a strap and then the scooter is swung into the vehicle and lowered to the floor to stay stable while the vehicle is in motion.
Other options would be a trailer that is pulled behind a vehicle with the scooter on top. This trailer would usually have a ramp on which the scooter would be driven up. You would need a hitch device on your car, which would include a hitch receiver and a hitch to attach such a trailer.
What Size Scooter Carrier Do I Need For A Car?
Smaller cars can not handle bigger scooter carriers. It is not possible if you want to be safe and not cause damage to your equipment. There are scooter carriers that are made for smaller vehicles like cars, which would be a better choice. The question now is, “is your scooter small enough to fit on a small scooter carrier”?
A lift carrier for a micro scooter (which is a 3 to 4 wheeled scooter that is smaller than an average scooter) can hold up to 135 lbs (61 kg). A carrier of this capacity can weigh itself around 75 to 100 lbs. (34 to 45 kg). This carrier could work for a smaller car.
Mobility scooter carriers for heavier scooters, that can fit on most vehicles, such as SUV’s and Vans have weight capacities at 350 lbs. (158.76 kg) to as high as 600 lbs. (272 kg). You want to make sure your vehicle can handle the extra weight plus the weight of the scooter.
Having a carrier on your vehicle enables you to take your scooter wherever you go to continue your independence while shopping, going to activities, or visiting friends and family.
How To Transport A Scooter With A Car Carrier: 4 Options
- Hitch Platform would be one. This is the easiest way to transport with a car of the 4 ways. The hitch platform is attached to the back of the car, depending on the size of the car would determine the size of carrier you could put on it. You simply drive the scooter on the platform then either manually or automatically lift the platform for transport. Some models secure the scooter as it lifts so there is no need for extra strapping down.
- Another style of a platform would be similar but instead of the scooter being on the outside of the vehicle, the carrier would raise it and pull it into the back of a van or SUV. This way the scooter is secured inside your vehicle. This is sometimes called an Inside Scooter Lift.
- Hoist or crane operated carrier works best for vans or SUV’s. This device would lift your scooter with a strap by a hoist on a crane as high as the opening in the vehicle. Then the scooter would be swung around into the vehicle then the scooter would be lowered to the ground in the vehicle.
- If you have a scooter that folds up pretty small you can have a hoist installed in your trunk of a car to lift the scooter up into the trunk after the scooter is completely folded up.
- Truck bed lift (for pickup trucks) mobility scooter works in a similar fashion as the hoist, crane style. But this one enables the user to put the scooter in the back of the pickup truck bed and can be easily unloaded curbside.
- Trailers for mobility scooters are trailers that you drive your scooter up onto with a ramp and then secure it. You pull these behind your car. Again a small car could easily pull a load of this size because the scooter and trailer weight together would be under 1000 lbs. (454 kg).
- I ran across a really cool looking scooter trailer. This seems to be the safest way to pull a scooter with a car. Check out video below.
Mobility Scooter Trailer For Car: Can My Car Pull It?
You would need to check the specifications of your car to see how much extra weight it can hold and or tow. This tow weight would be all the weight including passengers cargo, etc. On average most smaller cars can tow about 1000 lbs. (454 kg) to 1500 lbs. (680 kg). A car could easily pull a mobility scooter trailer because the combined weight of the trailer and the scooter is less than 1000 lbs.
Pulling a trailer is a lot different than having a cargo hitch on the back of your car. Both options would add a bit more caution when driving and especially when backing up. Having all your mirrors properly adjusted is important to be able to see as best you can behind your car if you do not have a backup camera.
Hitch Carrier With Ramp: Will This Work For A Mobility Scooter?
A hitch carrier with a ramp will work for a mobility scooter. But you would have to consider some things. How much weight does the particular hitch carrier hold and how much does the scooter weigh?
Also, will the scooter itself have plenty of room to have all tires on the carrier securely? You want the carrier to be large enough to support all the tires on the scooter.
When using a hitch carrier not meant for scooters you would want to make sure the scooter is secured with some sort of strapping or rope, preferably straps. This is to ensure it does not move while in transit.
Scooter Carrier Lift For Van: Do I Need A Special Van?
If you’re looking to put a scooter carrier lift in your van to lift your mobility scooter, you will not need a special van. You will need special equipment, but not a special van. If you are looking for a scooter lift to transport your scooter on the outside of your van, then again, you do not need a special van, but you would need special equipment.
On the other hand, there are vans that you can purchase that are wheelchair accessible that may be suitable for a smaller mobility scooter, where you would drive the scooter up a ramp that automatically comes out of the van and then automatically retracts once loaded inside.
Scooter Carrier Lifts For SUVs: Are They All The Same?
Not all scooter carrier lifts are the same for SUVs. There are several different types. One type would be an attachment that goes on the back of an SUV (this is a hitch style). You would drive your mobility scooter onto a platform and then the platform lifts off the ground for transport.
The scooter would be secured somehow on the platform. Depending on the manufacturing, the lift could secure the scooter automatically as it lifts, but you may have to strap the scooter in manually if the lift does not offer this feature. You always want to make sure the scooter is secure before you start to drive.
Another type is the lift style that brings the scooter inside the vehicle. The benefit to this type is you would not have a cumbersome attachment on the back of your vehicle making your vehicle longer and a bit more challenging to maneuver.
A hoist/crane mechanism is installed in the vehicle usually in the back. With the back hatch opened the scooter is hoisted up with a strap, then the crane swivels when the scooter has gotten to the desired height. This swivel can be done manually or automatically. Once the scooter is in the desired location, lower the hoist enough for the scooter to be set on the floor of your vehicle. This is so the scooter does not swing around while driving.