I had my son’s wheelchair lift installed on a new hitch for my 2010 Honda Odyssey. The lift bar where it comes out of the hitch is so low to the ground that it hits the driveway and I have to slow down to get over large bumps in the road.
What would be the best and cheapest solution to raise the back of the van so I have more clearance. I certainly do not want to damage his chair.
Someone may post here about raising the back of your van is a good idea or not. I don’t think so myself. Have you talked to the place that installed the lift. Surely they have seen this problem before . If they don’t have a solution then I would look for a fabrication shop that might modify the lift .
VI’ll second modifying the lift. Raising the van will be expensive and cause handling issues that you probably don’t want to deal with.
Would this work?
manual or power chair? If it’s a power chair, you really need to modify the rear suspension. Those things weigh a lot, even if they’re kid-sized, and if it’s hanging off the back of the van that’s not only scraping on bumps, but pulling weight off of the front tires which you need to steer with.
It is a manual chair, thankfully!
I am not sure. I am meeting with the installers again on Monday and I will ask them.
I am taking the van back to the installers on Monday for a different issue. I am hoping they will have an answer. Do you think stiffer shocks in the back will make a difference at all?
Not unless they are air shocks.
The cheapest way to raise the van is bigger tires. You will have to figure out the speedometer difference and slow down accordingly. Expensiver is the Bruno Joey which goes inside the hatch at about $3,000 or so. You can never use the third row seats if you get one.
Yes, we have the Bruno Outsider with the swing away arm that just got installed. I have 4 kids and could not lose the third row of seating. I had not thought of bigger tires. I really need just a couple of inches of height to get into my driveway comfortably. I would think about the same for speed bumps. I am not sure how it will do when the road has been scraped down for new asphalt. It seems they are always ripping up road around here. (I copied this from my original reply)
I saw this video on installing the Bruno Outsider. If it’s the same model, there is a height adjustment for the center bracket at around 4:45 in the vid. Perhaps this could be raised.
You might measure the bumper height on yours with the chair installed, then compare to others. The Odyssey has fairly soft springs. It is possible the car is an inch or two lower than stock. If that is the case, a set of booster springs (or a kit like the Firestone Coil-Rite) to raise it back to factory height would be a good idea. This would restore your factory ride and maybe clear the driveway. Air shocks have the advantage of being adjustable, depending on the load being carried. The Coil-Rite kit with springs (or similar) might be the best choice. That should help reduce spring compression over bumps.
I would not go with bigger tires, except as a last resort. With the addition of 200+ pounds that far behind your rear wheels, you’ll still want to take it slow going in the drive. (I don’t have any affiliation with Firestone or Spring-rite; simply looked like they make a model for your car.)
Being as it’s a manual chair, I suspect the hitch level raiser that @TXdealer posted would work fine. Those chairs are light.
I like the higher hitch best of all the solutions. My Dodge Caravan has 225/65 R 17 tires. Those are standard size. Larger tires on the back only means strange rotation or no tire rotation and possible ABS or stability control warning lights or even TPMS warnings. Four larger tires won’t steer as tightly.
Thank you all very much for your advice! I will go over all this with my husband. A lot of good information here!