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Using a Power Outside Vehicle Lift
This type of lift is a great mid-priced option to take your mobility device along for the ride! They require very little effort on your part to load and unload, and almost all of them fold automatically against the back of your vehicle when they are empty. The power comes either from having the lift direct wired to your car’s battery, or some models can be ordered with their own battery pack so they will run on rechargeable batteries. There are two basic parts to these lifts- a vertical post that includes the hitch receiver and a platform that carries your scooter up and down on the post. There will be a key switch on the post that you turn to operate the platform up and down. The platforms are built with different ways to tie down your scooter and some of them (scooter or power chair hold-down arms) are completely automatic.
Since they mount into a trailer hitch, the same hitch rules apply: They work best on a Class 3 trailer hitch (Class 3 hitches have a 2 inch square opening). You’ll need to check the tongue weight of the class 3 hitch for your vehicle. Some power carriers can be used with a Class 2 trailer hitch (Class 2 hitches have a 1 ¼ inch square opening) but you’ll find that a class 2 hitch will have a lower tongue weight, so they won’t be able to carry a very heavy scooter or power chair. There are a few very small carriers that can even be used on a Class 1 (1 ¼ inch) hitch. If you have a very small car and a travel-sized scooter or power chair they may also be an option for you.
Since Power outside lifts have a vertical post mounted to the hitch behind your vehicle, they may block the access to the hatchback of some wagons or SUVs, or the tailgate access on pick-up trucks. Many of them can be ordered with an optional swing away attachment that solves that problem.That option lets you swing the whole unoccupied lift out away from the back of your vehicle when you need to- kind of like opening a refrigerator door.
Our Product Experts would love to help you decide if a power outside lift will work for you. Give us a call at 1-800-850-0335, Option #3.