Using a Manual Outside Carrier
The simplest and lowest price carriers for your scooter or power wheelchair are stationary racks that mount to the trailer hitch on your vehicle by sliding in to the receiver. There are no electrical hook ups to worry about and there are reflectors on the racks for night visibility. On the right side of the rack, a ramp is attached with a hinge that lets you lower the ramp, angling it down to the ground to load and unload your scooter. It’s important to know you don’t ride your scooter up the ramp, you guide it up or down. You will need to fasten your scooter to the rack using tie-down or ratchet straps. Once it’s secure, you lift the ramp section up so it’s vertical, and insert a pin to keep it there while you drive. When you get where you are going, just do that process in reverse, and then most manual carriers will fold flat against the back of your vehicle when they are empty.
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 manual 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. Measure the hitch height to the bottom of your hitch also, so you know how high off the ground the rack will be. Manual carriers come with several different ramp lengths, so the higher your hitch is, the longer the ramp will need to be so your scooter will climb up the ramp without a problem.
The manual part of these carriers means that there is definitely some labor involved in using them. You are lifting and lowering a ramp that may weigh 25 to 40 lbs, and strapping your scooter to the rack by hand to secure it. If you want to fold the lift up vertically when it’s empty, you are pushing the whole carrier up to vertical and inserting a pin, and the carriers weigh between 75 and 90 lbs.
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