Foldawheel PW-1000XL review

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Re: Foldawheel PW-1000XL review

Postby Burgerman » 27 Oct 2015, 11:02

The batteries are the same as your laptop. They can blow up or burn, but generally they dont. They are quite small so its not as dangerous as you think. As for chinese clones, no idea.
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Re: Foldawheel PW-1000XL review

Postby MenCallMeGimpy » 27 Oct 2015, 18:45

Robert Pollock wrote:Hello all,

Great finding this forum. I live in London, UK and I am thinking of buying a Foldawheel PW-999UL. I see that it has had very positive reviews, however:

1 - The posts about false copies on Amaxon worry me, if I am going to spend £2,000 GBP I want to be sure I am not swindled.
2 - The post about the battery on that model plane blowing up worries me.
3 - Being in London, if anything went wrong with it I need to be sure that I can locate help.

I would appreciate your input very much.

Regards
Robert Pollock


1. If you buy from wheelchair88.com you'll get the genuine article. The chair is made by JUN Idea in Malaysia and they have been very responsive to my pre- and post-purchase questions.
2. John is right about the batteries essentially being laptop batteries and, therefore, at risk of fire/explosion. But, of course, millions of people carry laptops on planes, in cars and everywhere else without mishap every day. The batteries are also the same type as found in mobile phones and a lot of people seem very comfortable placing those devices in trouser pockets, very close to body parts that don't react well to fire. So, yes, there is a risk, but statistically it's fairly small. When I travel on a plane, I take two batteries in my carry-on luggage and just use one in the chair for getting around the airport. When I arrive at my destination, I reinstall the two batteries (it takes about five minutes).
3. The "service centers" Wheelchair88 list on their website seem to be little more than a customer service rep and a stock of replacement parts. There's no repair facility at the one in the US (and I suspect the same is true of the other locations). That said, my experience with Sally, the US customer rep, was excellent. She knew her stuff and sent me the correct part within a few days. I imagine most problems with the chair would be resolved the same way. While this may be an issue for people not comfortable with repairing things, the chair is really very simply made. The major electronic components are the joystick box (can be removed in 30 seconds without tools by anyone with reasonable finger/wrist strength); the controller (located beneath the seat, accessible from the back of the chair, held on by four bolts; the batteries (clipped into dedicated bays beneath the chair. connected to the controller and each other with easy-release connectors); and the motors (located inboard of the rear wheels, easily removable with the appropriate wrench - though this probably requires a bit more arm/hand strength.) The rest of the chair is just wheels, tires, frame and seat. If you aren't comfortable repairing the chair yourself, any competent chair repair shop should be able to do the job.

I hope this helps. My big worry when buying the chair was needing to ship it back to Malaysia every time something broke, but this doesn't seem like it would ever really need to happen. It's much cheaper and easier for Wheelchair88 to just send out replacement parts. Of course, this might not suit someone who prefers the security of a dedicated repair and maintenance network, such as those provided by the major chair manufacturers, so your mileage may vary.
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Re: Foldawheel PW-1000XL review

Postby MenCallMeGimpy » 27 Oct 2015, 20:53

Serendipitously, i just noticed this article:

http://gizmodo.com/faa-is-doing-nothing ... 1738751945

Seems the batteries in our wheelchairs, laptops and phones aren't necessarily the ones we should be worrying about. ;)
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Re: Foldawheel PW-1000XL review

Postby Burgerman » 27 Oct 2015, 23:59

http://gizmodo.com/boeing-787-dreamline ... 1665607348

These are lithium ion, not polymer (boom!) or safe LiFePO4 as I use, so they can burn like your Laptop. Worse there's a cheap generic BMS in there in charge of catching fire, no wait, I mean causing the batteries to catch fire, no wait, I mean to ruin the cells faster, no wait I mean... Oh I give up. What did they expect. I wouldn't put that in a powerchair never mind a passenger jet.
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Re: Foldawheel PW-1000XL review

Postby Burgerman » 12 Nov 2015, 13:51

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Re: Foldawheel PW-1000XL review

Postby Sportingmac » 31 Mar 2016, 11:04

FYI. Just had a chat with Shirley (Wheelchair88 Marketing lead) and she informs me that they do sell through Amazon in UK - VAT free if a Blue Badge number is supplied at time of order. (details available on Amazon links) Prices shown are VAT free prices btw.

You might want to check with Shirley directly if the same applies in the US and elswhere.
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Re: Foldawheel PW-1000XL review

Postby Irving » 31 Mar 2016, 14:45

Sportingmac wrote:FYI. Just had a chat with Shirley (Wheelchair88 Marketing lead) and she informs me that they do sell through Amazon in UK - VAT free if a Blue Badge number is supplied at time of order. (details available on Amazon links) Prices shown are VAT free prices btw.

You might want to check with Shirley directly if the same applies in the US and elswhere.


Blue Badge doesn't entitle VAT exemption tho similar criteria apply to get one as for VAT Exemption. You need recognised disability and proof of benefit level (e.g. DWP letter) for both.
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Re: Foldawheel PW-1000XL review

Postby thblues » 22 Apr 2016, 16:23

I to am considering a PW1000 chair. I was wondering if anyone can answer this question? I have two conventional motorized wheelchairs, both weighting 250+. When I lift myself out of these chair to a standing position, I use both of my arms and to get to an upright position the back of my legs will push against the chair, this allows me to become upright. My concern is the back of my legs pushing against the chair will cause the chair to slide backwards. I understand that the rear wheels on motorized chairs lock when you remove you hand from the controller, so I know the wheels don't turn. But because this chair weights only 55 lbs, can it slide backwards easily if it is being pushed. If anyone seeing this post has a PW999 and can comment that would be great as well.
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Re: Foldawheel PW-1000XL review

Postby Burgerman » 22 Apr 2016, 19:29

Reverse to a bed or wall first?
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Re: Foldawheel PW-1000XL review

Postby sad_vampire » 22 Apr 2016, 20:07

I have a PW-1000XL & a friend has the PW999, & I've never had the chairs move backwards whilst getting out of the chair, but that's perhaps down to method, riasing the footrest on the PW-1000XL & pushing the footrest back on the PW999 so your feet are closer to the chair when you try to stand.

Both chairs have very grippy tyres on the rear wheels & the brakes completely lock those wheels, but on a sufficiently slippery surface (wet tiles?) I'd think they would eventually lose traction the same as other wheelchair tyres do.

Burgerman's idea of reversing the chair against something before getting out should work, especially on the PW-1000XL that I don't bother using anti tips with because it's so stable.
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Re: Foldawheel PW-1000XL review

Postby thblues » 27 Apr 2016, 15:51

sad_vampire wrote:I have a PW-1000XL & a friend has the PW999, & I've never had the chairs move backwards whilst getting out of the chair, but that's perhaps down to method, riasing the footrest on the PW-1000XL & pushing the footrest back on the PW999 so your feet are closer to the chair when you try to stand.

Both chairs have very grippy tyres on the rear wheels & the brakes completely lock those wheels, but on a sufficiently slippery surface (wet tiles?) I'd think they would eventually lose traction the same as other wheelchair tyres do.

Burgerman's idea of reversing the chair against something before getting out should work, especially on the PW-1000XL that I don't bother using anti tips with because it's so stable.


Thank you very for taking the time to reply. I realize that backing the chair against a wall or any solid object would prevent the chair from sliding backwards, but sometimes that is not possible. However what you say about the tires being designed to have good gripping is very helpful. With that question out of the way, I have one more if you don't mind. My size allows me the option of either chair. My question is if someone could fit in either chair, is their any reason to buy the 1000 over the 999? Speed, battery life ect. does not matter. I wondered since the 1000 has larger rear tires, it might be more stable when one tries to get out of the chair, any opinion?
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Re: Foldawheel PW-1000XL review

Postby sad_vampire » 27 Apr 2016, 19:52

The PW-1000XL will take a heavier person & is probably a bit more comfortable, although I find the seat hard so use an additional cushion. Overall I find that the PW-1000XL feels more stable because it feels like you're sitting in it rather than on it, & it flexes much less than the PW999. The PW-1000XL is easier to unfold & fold up than the PW999.

Not sure where you are, if in the UK then CareCo now sell both these chairs & they have three showrooms where you could see them.

Wheelchair88 sent me an e-mail yesterday saying that they'll be at NAIDEX, so I looked that show up & it ends tomorrow & is at the NEC Hall 7/B21.
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Re: Foldawheel PW-1000XL review

Postby thblues » 28 Apr 2016, 19:00

Thanks again your input is invaluable to me. I live in the US in the state of Oklahoma. I did visit you country back in like 1979, beautiful place. Believe it or not it is next to impossible to see either of these chairs prior to purchase. Since you have a 1000 and a friend of yours has a 999, I could not have found anyone better to communicate with. I sort of felt that the 1000 was a more solid chair, and even though I don't need it because of my size, I believe because of the larger rear tires it would be more stable if a person pushed against it when rising, would you agree?
I thought you might find this link interesting: http://www.melebu.com/

Steve
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Re: Foldawheel PW-1000XL review

Postby sad_vampire » 29 Apr 2016, 04:15

I'd agree that the PW-1000XL is the more stable of the two, but both are pretty stable anyway for travel chairs.

Your link to melebu shows chairs with 200w motors, the PW-1000XL has 250w motors, it makes a difference, my local town's high street (Guildford) has a rather steep slope & I rely on that extra bit of power to effortlessly climb the street, although the batteries take the hit & the motors would get pretty warm if I went up it in one go.

Another thing about my local high street, it has setts as a road surface, I'd recommend avoiding those in any of these travel wheelchairs, you'd be better off with a proper powerchair if you want to glide over those setts without jarring your spine.

Yesterday I spent time at the British Museum with my friend, him in the 999, me in the 1000, both were more than capable & left everyone else in a wheelchair looking silly. We had style & manoeverability on our side.
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Re: Foldawheel PW-1000XL review

Postby Burgerman » 29 Apr 2016, 09:25

Your link to melebu shows chairs with 200w motors, the PW-1000XL has 250w motors, it makes a difference, my local town's high street (Guildford) has a rather steep slope & I rely on that extra bit of power to effortlessly climb the street, although the batteries take the hit & the motors would get pretty warm if I went up it in one go.


Watts has nothing to do with how much torque or speed a motor has. Its just a measure of how much average power it can make before overheating.
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Re: Foldawheel PW-1000XL review

Postby sad_vampire » 29 Apr 2016, 11:06

If I was looking for a lightweight travel chair & I lived in the US, I'd be looking at one of the EZ Lite range rather than the Foldawheels simply because of the battery chemistry.

http://www.ezlitecruiser.com/products/e ... 4207296836

vs

http://www.ezlitecruiser.com/products/e ... =461906753
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Re: Foldawheel PW-1000XL review

Postby Burgerman » 29 Apr 2016, 11:11

If I was looking for a lightweight travel chair & I lived in the US, I'd be looking at one of the EZ Lite range rather than the Foldawheels simply because of the battery chemistry.


Must be missing it! :oops:
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Re: Foldawheel PW-1000XL review

Postby LROBBINS » 29 Apr 2016, 12:38

The EZLite is LiFePO4, the Foldawheel is Li ion pouch cells.
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Re: Foldawheel PW-1000XL review

Postby Burgerman » 29 Apr 2016, 13:06

I see. Trying to work from a laptop balanced on its edge turned on my side here!

So one = fires and 4 to 500 cycles, the other safe and 2000 cycles. No competition there!
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Re: Foldawheel PW-1000XL review

Postby Blunders » 20 Jul 2016, 16:00

Aware this is an older thread but I found it while searching for Foldawheel info, we're thinking of getting one for my wife to use on holiday.
For anyone in the UK, it may be useful to know that http://www.careco.co.uk sell the Foldwheel and Foldawheel Plus, which seem to be the PW-999UL and PW-1000XL as far as I can tell. We're planning a visit to their Birmingham showroom some time soon to hopefully get a look at the chairs and probably buy one if we like the look of them.
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Re: Foldawheel PW-1000XL review

Postby Burgerman » 20 Jul 2016, 16:16

Useful info!
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Re: Foldawheel PW-1000XL review

Postby Ross » 31 Aug 2016, 20:47

I have been researching suitable wheelchairs for my wife. This will be her first wheelchair. My wife is somewhat mobile in our house with a wheeled walker. The wheelchair would be for shopping, medical appointments, a possible vacation, and other out of home trips.

Although I think that could lift the 55-pound Foldawheel PW-1000XL into and out of my trunk when it is folded; I am sure that my wife would not be able to do it.

Has there been any experience with car carriers that would be appropriate for this wheelchair?
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Re: Foldawheel PW-1000XL review

Postby hobie1dog » 01 Sep 2016, 03:10

This looks to be one of the only chairs that is airline friendly and taking on vacations. It would also work great for going in and out of the hotel rooms at the Hi-Fi shows or trade shows that don't offer rentals. Thanks for sharing this with us.
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Re: Foldawheel PW-1000XL review

Postby MenCallMeGimpy » 01 Sep 2016, 19:34

hobie1dog wrote:This looks to be one of the only chairs that is airline friendly and taking on vacations. It would also work great for going in and out of the hotel rooms at the Hi-Fi shows or trade shows that don't offer rentals. Thanks for sharing this with us.


It's very plane-friendly and I've even been allowed to stow it in the cabin on a few occasions.

It's nicely narrow, so it's very easy to maneuver around restaurants and hotels. While you sit lower than in a full-sized power chair, I find the height to be perfect for restaurant tables (although I'm 6'1", so shorter people may need a booster cushion.
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Re: Foldawheel PW-1000XL review

Postby MenCallMeGimpy » 01 Sep 2016, 19:41

Ross wrote:Has there been any experience with car carriers that would be appropriate for this wheelchair?


I use the Backpacker Plus lift from Pride Mobility (http://www.pridemobility.com/pridelifts ... erplus.asp) in my Dodge Grand Caravan van. It works very well with the chair (and also handles my much larger Magic Mobility Frontier V6). There are also swing-arm lifts like those from Harmar (http://harmar.com/groups/7) that will fit in 4x4s. Finally, you can get external lifts that attach to a towing hitch (http://harmar.com/groups/6). Each of these solutions will work fine with the Foldawheel. It really just depends on what car you have and how much you are willing to pay (suffice to say that, in common with most medical and medical-adjacent products, these are not cheap.)
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Re: Foldawheel PW-1000XL review

Postby hobie1dog » 02 Sep 2016, 13:33

For those you that travel by airline, do car rental places offer power chairs and ramps for them? Before this chair came out, how did you arrange to get a chair upon arrival at the airport? My last trip I got pushed around in a manual chair till we got to the rental car place and my son drove me around. But now I would need a power chair for future vacations.
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Re: Foldawheel PW-1000XL review

Postby hobie1dog » 03 Sep 2016, 21:40

sad_vampire wrote:If I was looking for a lightweight travel chair & I lived in the US, I'd be looking at one of the EZ Lite range rather than the Foldawheels simply because of the battery chemistry.

http://www.ezlitecruiser.com/products/e ... 4207296836

vs

http://www.ezlitecruiser.com/products/e ... =461906753


I skipped right over this one. Looks to be about the same specs except for having the different type of batteries than the Foldawheel. Thanks for the link.
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Re: Foldawheel PW-1000XL review

Postby ex-Gooserider » 06 Sep 2016, 04:44

hobie1dog wrote:For those you that travel by airline, do car rental places offer power chairs and ramps for them? Before this chair came out, how did you arrange to get a chair upon arrival at the airport? My last trip I got pushed around in a manual chair till we got to the rental car place and my son drove me around. But now I would need a power chair for future vacations.


NO.... There are places that rent adapted vans, but the current trend (Discussed on the United Spinal Assoc. website) is that those places will only rent as passenger vans, not anything that could be driven by an actual handicapped person....

OTOH, at least in the US, if you CAN do the manual chair drill, you can show up at your favorite AB car rental place with your 'adaptive equipment required' drivers license, and a set of those 'universal' controls and rent anything they have that you can get into....

Yet another way the industry that supposedly is there to 'help' us, screws us over instead.....

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Re: Foldawheel PW-1000XL review

Postby hobie1dog » 07 Sep 2016, 03:05

The EZlite cruiser seems to be easy for that guy in the video to pick up and load into the trunk of the car, so 60 lbs must not be that heavy to lift to a healthy adult. I would likely always be going with my wife or someone when I would be using this one.
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Re: Foldawheel PW-1000XL review

Postby MenCallMeGimpy » 07 Sep 2016, 23:04

hobie1dog wrote:The EZlite cruiser seems to be easy for that guy in the video to pick up and load into the trunk of the car, so 60 lbs must not be that heavy to lift to a healthy adult. I would likely always be going with my wife or someone when I would be using this one.


Remember, you can put one end of the folded chair against the edge of your trunk and lift the other. This reduces the effective weight of the chair further. Both the EZlite and Foldawheel are manageable by an average able-bodied person.
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