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May 10, 2016

Small Space Gardening

small space gardening

Plants can add an amazing aesthetic anywhere, so consider small space gardening. Live plants have excellent benefits such as purifying the air we breathe, adding fragrance, and perhaps best of all providing us with food! Maybe you’ve downsized, or don’t get around quite as freely as you used to, but gardening can still be a fun and rewarding pastime.

It would be easy to assume you need large spaces to garden well. Not so! Here are some easy ways to fit the garden you love into the space you have.  garden 1

The Space:

The first thing you will need to consider is the space you have. Be creative! Use the space around your mailbox; line your walkway with beautiful, edible greens such as kale or Swiss chard; hang planting boxes from fences, windowsills, and porch railings.  No yard? No problem! You can plant on a balcony, patio, and even use the indoors for small space gardening.
small space gardening

The Plants:

You will need to decide what you are hoping to accomplish with your garden. Are you looking for a beautiful, fragrant, pop of color? Flowers such as African Violets, Marigolds, Peace Lillies, and Begonias all have what it takes to grow well indoors or out, and they work in small spaces provided they have enough access to sun.

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May 5, 2016

How to Maximize Power Wheelchair Performance? Lets ask Mark!

Dear SpinLife,

My new Spinlife Power Wheelchair was just delivered. In getting used to it, do you have any recommendations and tips on how I can maximize power wheelchair performance? I live in Detroit and plan on using it a lot around town. Thanks. -Motoring in the Motor City


 

Maximize power wheelchair performance

Hello Motoring in the Motor City,

Congratulations on your first power chair. There’s no doubt it’s going to get you out and about, giving you the mobility you need and deserve.

I know it may sound a bit basic, but the first tip toward maximizing your power wheelchair performance is to read the owner’s manual. It illustrates all of the features, including vital ones, such as how to operate the hand control (joystick), use the free-wheel levers (for manual pushing in an emergency), adjust aspects like the seat height, footplate, and so on. Some users simply sit in a new power chair and go, but it’s vital to read the owner’s manual, learning all of the functions and features of your power chair.

Now that you’ve read the owner’s manual, and are an expert on your power chair, let’s turn you into a pro….

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April 28, 2016

Are scooters allowed on airplanes? Let’s ask Mark!

Dear SpinLife,

We’re planning a family vacation for this summer, flying from Chicago to Florida, including my father-in-law who uses a power scooter. Are scooters allowed on airplanes, and if so, what do we need to know in advance to make the trip as practical as possible? -Michelle

Michelle,

The great news is that between advances in mobility technology and disability rights legislation like the Americans with Disabilities Act, air travel has never been more accessible than today. However, to make it as comfortable as possible when traveling with a power mobility device – such as a scooter or power chair — there are protocols to understand. Therefore, let’s take a look at what you should know from booking tickets to landing when flying with a power mobility device.

Travel by air

Airlines allow you to take your scooter along when you travel

Individually speaking, consumers may prefer one airline over another, and that’s fine, as they all domestically adhere to the same power mobility device regulations (carriers based outside of the U.S. may vary). So, as a traveler with a disability, remember, you’re also a consumer, so shop to your preferences and budget. However, whether you book through a travel agent, online discount site or the airline directly, all airlines request that you promptly notify them that you’ll be traveling with a power mobility device, as well as let them know of any physical assistance you may need. For example, if you’re non-ambulatory, the airlines will provide transfer assistance from your power mobility device onto an “aisle chair” that will escort you to your seat. Continue Reading

March 29, 2016

My scooter won’t start! My scooter batteries won’t charge!

How to maintain your Scooter Batteries.

It’s the first beautiful day of spring and you just can’t wait to dust off your scooter, get out in the sunshine and take her for a spin.  You climb aboard in anticipation, turn the key, and nothing.  How can this be? My scooter won’t start! Every spring, the Product Specialists at SpinLife hear the same scenario repeated over and over. Your scooter batteries are dead.

Many people do not realize that if your scooter is not being used, the batteries will slowly discharge. Even if you put it away for the winter with the batteries fully charged, it is likely they will not have enough power to run your scooter come springtime.

This is due to the fact that once the level of charge has fallen below a certain level, your charger is not capable of resurrecting the batteries to their former function. Often times people think their charger has gone bad, which is possible, but unlikely.

So what’s a person to do? Here are two easy steps to follow so this won’t happen to you.

Sealed Gel Scooter Batteries

U- 1 Battery

  1. If you have a travel scooter and the batteries are in a removable pack, go ahead and store your scooter, but bring your battery pack and charger inside with you. Place it somewhere you can get to it without a lot of hassle. Mark your calendar to plug in your battery charger every two weeks. Plug it in at night when you go to bed. Unplug it the next morning. If you follow through with this for the winter, come spring you will be good to go!

 

  1. If you have a larger scooter without a removable battery pack follow these instructions. Be sure your batteries are fully charged, and disconnect them from the scooter. Sealed batteries can hold their charge from 6 to 12 months if they are not hooked to the scooter battery terminals. Remember, if you have to store your scooter in an unheated area, it’s best if you move the fully charged batteries to an area where they will not freeze. Extremes of temperature (hot or cold) can harm sealed batteries and shorten their usable life.

 

If it’s time for a new set of batteries, shop today or call one of our Spinlife Product Specialists for help at 800-850-0335. Just tell us the make and model of your mobility device and we’ll do the rest. Orders placed before 2 pm ET often ship out the same day, and expedited delivery is available. Happy motoring!

March 21, 2016

Get a Vehicle Lift- carry that heavy scooter with ease!

Spring is in the air, and if your plans include a little travel with your new scooter, why not treat yourself to a new vehicle lift to match?

Selecting the right vehicle lift to fit your car, your scooter, your budget plus how much manual effort you can handle can be tricky.                            Outside Power Chair Vehicle Lift

That being said, figuring all that out is not as hard as it may seem if you take it one step at a time.

What kind of car you drive is all important when it comes to fitting a vehicle lift. If you drive a sporty sub-compact, carrying a mobility scooter may be out of the question. Since outside lifts hook on to a trailer hitch, your car has to be able to be fitted with a hitch that is rated for an appropriate tongue weight. Tongue weight is a measurement of the weight a trailer hitch can hold unsupported (there are no wheels underneath for support on a vehicle lift). This is usually 10% of the vehicles towing weight. So for example if your car has a towing weight of 5,000 lbs., the tongue weight would be 500 lbs, and easily accommodate a lift and scooter. On the other end of the spectrum if your car has a towing weight of 1500 lbs., the tongue weight would be only 150 lbs. and not enough for a lift and scooter at all.

Trailer hitches come in different sizes as well. Class 1 and Class 2 hitches have a 1.25 inch square receiver that extends out from the back of the vehicle. Even though they are the same size, the Class 1 hitch will not have the ability to bear as much weight as the Class 2. There is normally a sticker on the side of a hitch that says the class and how much weight it is rated for. Very few vehicle lifts can be used on a Class 1 hitch, they are just not strong enough. Class 2 hitches can sometimes carry 250 or even 300 lbs., so a lift will work on them as long as the scooter weight added to the weight of the lift itself does not meet or exceed the tongue weight. A Class 3 and above hitch will measure an inside diameter of 2 inches square. They are heavy duty, and will be rated to carry the heaviest scooters. Most trucks and SUV’s will be able to handle a class 3 hitch ( or even a Class 4 or 5), which means your vehicle will be compatible with most vehicle lifts.

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