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Unread 05-15-2013, 11:15 AM   #1
PirateSHU1
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Join Date: Apr 2011
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Wheelchairs and Bike Racks

Help! I have a 2011 Jeep Patriot that does not have a hitch. I am planning a road trip and my mom would like to bring her wheelchair (she also uses a walker) instead of renting one at our destination. She wants it for on the way "just in case".

Here's the problem...There are five of us going (me, my mom and three nieces aged 11, 14 and 16) on the trip and we currently use a rooftop carrier in addition to the cargo room. The wheelchair would take up at least half of the cargo room. As an added bonus, I travel with pack rats who like to bring everything with my mom being one of the top two offenders. The wheelchair would either have to be put on the bottom of all of the luggage necessitating unpacking the entire thing to get at it "just in case" or require me lifting in to put in on top of all of the luggage which will have us losing precious cargo room not to mention crushing the luggage. No way in hell I could ever get it into the rooftop carrier. Oh, and did I mention that I'm 5'2" and about 120 lbs.? Yeah, this isn't sounding like fun for me.

So here's my idea...can I get a bike rack and put the wheelchair on there? Has anyone done that, successfully? What sort of bike rack would I need?

I really do not want my mom to back out of going on the trip (she suggested staying home and looked absolutely miserable at the thought of it because this is an annual trip with her granddaughters that we have done for about nine years now).

Can anyone offer any help or suggestions so my mom will feel more comfortable and I won't lose my mind (or get seriously injured)?

Thanks!

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Unread 05-15-2013, 01:58 PM   #2
FujativeOCR
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Get a cargo basket. Then you can strap anything to it. Yakima and Thule surely make them. You'll need the roof rail cross bars likely. Mopar, Thule or Yakima.
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Unread 05-15-2013, 02:00 PM   #3
FujativeOCR
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Yakima Loadwarrior or MegaWarrior.
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Unread 05-15-2013, 02:12 PM   #4
PirateSHU1
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It seems those both go on the roof, right? I'm 5'2" and cleaning the snow off my roof is enough of a challenge (I live in New Jersey where you have to clean every flake of snow from the vehicle or risk getting a ticket). There is no way I could flip a wheelchair over my head and onto the roof, not without giving myself a concussion or busting a window. I'm just too short. Plus I have one of those rooftop carriers to hold the luggage that does not fit in the cargo area. This is why I was thinking of going the bike rack route. We have five people, a ton of luggage and now a wheelchair.

Ever see that movie 'Vacation' with Chevy Chase? I'm the real life version minus Aunt Edna strapped to the roof. LOL!
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Unread 05-15-2013, 03:52 PM   #5
jacko15
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You really ought to consider having a hitch installed. They're not extremely expensive, and they would greatly increase your options for carrying cargo. At least call around and get a few prices, you might be surprised. If you're not actually towing anything heavy, you won't need extras like tranny cooler or brake wiring. I've been carrying bikes on the back of my vehicles for over thirty years, and I can tell you, strap on bike racks suck. I have a hitch just for my hitch mounted bike rack. Google hitch mounted cargo carriers, there's bunches. I even found dedicated wheelchair carriers. Maybe you can talk mom into helping with the cost. Good luck, and I hope you don't have to strap anyone to the roof!
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Unread 05-15-2013, 05:08 PM   #6
FujativeOCR
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Yeah. Bike racks go on the roof too. A basket seems more useful.
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Unread 05-15-2013, 08:01 PM   #7
aroundincircles
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Go to a bike shop with the wheel chair, ask them. They sell a lot of different kinds/models, It seems like you should be able to. and if they are a good shop the'll help you test a few out. (if you use their time buy it from them if it works.)

My last bike rack was not a hitch one, just grabbed on to the back with hooks and straps, and it was adjustable to fit lots of different cars and different sizes of bikes. Never tried a wheel chair though...
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