How to Install a Wheelchair Car Carrier on the Back of Your Car

January 26, 2012
wheelchair car carrier

A wheelchair car carrier is a mechanical device that safely stores a wheelchair onto the roof, or the back, of a vehicle. They are used when the car does not contain wheelchair lifts or ramps. People who tend to have a wheelchair car carrier are those who are passengers and can not legally drive a vehicle. Having a wheelchair car carrier mounted onto your vehicle gives a disabled person a lot of freedom to be able to go anywhere without having to leave behind their wheelchair. Installation of a car carrier to the back of your car is a very simple operation. You can use a carrier on any car that has a Class 1 receiver hitch.

What You Need

  • Car Carrier
  • Philips Screwdriver
  • Socket Wrench
  • 3/4 Inch Socket
  • Tape Measure

Step 1: Determine Correct Wheelchair Car Carrier

Look to see if the wheelchair you currently own is going to be compatible with the car carrier you want to purchase. Some wheelchair car carriers will not work with certain types of wheelchairs. You will have to talk with the sales representative beforehand to find this out.

Step 2: Remove Ball on Hitch

The best way to install your wheelchair car carrier is onto the receiver hitch at the back of your car. If you have a ball hitch on the draw bar, then you will have to remove it.

Step 3: Measure for Clearance

The wheelchair car carrier can be mounted on either the top or the bottom of the draw bar. As long as the measurement from the ground to the car carrier mount is 9 to 11 inches, then you will be fine. If not, then you will need to purchase a drop extension to make sure you are close enough to the ground. This will also work the other way around.

Step 4: Install Anti-Sway Bar

Place the anti-sway bar on the draw bar and make sure the holes line up. The anti-sway bar should lay flat on the draw bar. You can place this on either side.

Step 5: Connect Carrier Body to Bar

Place the car carrier's hitch body to the anti-sway bar on the same side that it is located. Insert the 3/4 inch bolt and secure it with a locking washer and nut. Tighten it with the socket wrench.

Step 6: Attach Extension Post

Once the carrier hitch body is installed and the anti-sway bar is secure, you can add the extension post to the hitch body. Using a Phillips head screwdriver, attach the post with four screws that are provided.

Step 7: Attach Locking Arm

This arm is going to hold the folded wheelchair so it can be transported. Make sure that it connects easily by lining up both the upper and lower portions. Install the locking mechanism.

Step 8: Test Carrier Pivot

Once the carrier has been installed onto the rear hitch, you should take some time to make sure the locking arm pivots correctly. You should be able to press onto the tilt arm and the whole assembly will fold up close to the rear bumper. Keep the unit greased and clean to that there will not any problems.