Snowbirds who use an electric wheelchair don’t always opt to bring it along with them. Sometimes, ambulatory wheelchair users prefer to rent a motorized wheelchair when they travel. Other times, they may have a mobility device that they leave at home and they choose to buy an electric wheelchair when they get to their second home. If you’re going to travel south for the winter and you aren’t traveling with your mobility device, check out these electric wheelchair winter storage tips.
Tip 1. Preparing Your Power Wheelchair for Storage
When it comes to storing your electric wheelchair, preparation is key for maintaining its integrity. The first thing you should do, when at all possible, is make sure that the batteries are fully charged before storing.
Tip 2. Where to Store Your Motorized Wheelchair
Ideally, your wheelchair’s batteries should be stored in a climate above 32 degrees to help prevent them from freezing while you’re away. They also should be disconnected from the device to help slow down the rate of discharge.
Tip 3. Maintaining Your Power Wheelchair
How often you need to charge the batteries for your electric wheelchair is determined by how often you use it. If you use your product less frequently, we recommend charging the batteries 8-14 hours twice a week for a maintenance charge. When it comes to longer periods without using your power wheelchair, we recommend keeping a charging schedule of one charge every 2-3 weeks.
Since you aren’t home during this time, we recommend that you ask someone you trust to do it for you. We do not recommend charging the batteries for longer than 14 hours. Refer to the manual supplied with the battery charger for charging instructions.
Tip 4. Getting Your Motorized Wheelchair Ready for Use
Once you’re back and ready to use your motorized wheelchair, there are some things you need to do first. Before you can use your electric wheelchair, make sure that the batteries are charged. In the event that batteries were stored in an environment below 32 degrees for a long period of time, they need to be brought into a warmer environment for a day before charging to prevent any damage.
If you read through these tips and decide to change your mind about traveling with your power wheelchair, we have some tips for traveling with your motorized wheelchair safely.