“If I had a ramp, I could get up there!” That’s what I’ve said many times when I find that there is no way to get somewhere that a wheelchair or scooter cannot get to due to there being steps. If you or a loved one uses a wheelchair or scooter, I’m sure you have said this or have heard them say this many times. Unfortunately, private homes do not need to be accessible like public businesses have to be according to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); however, there’s a way to get around this problem. Our Best Mobility Ramp Guide of 2017 will be of assistance in finding a portable mobility ramp as a solution “to get where you want to go” for you or your loved one.
What is a Mobility Ramp?
A mobility ramp is a portable flat surface that is usually made of aluminum that is designed to place on the ground or floor to reach the top of the steps to more easily allow access to a building by people using wheelchairs or scooters. There are many wheelchair ramps that are made to be permanent or semi-permanent according to the ADA; however, mobility ramps (aka threshold or door ramps) are made to be portable and fold up so that the person using a wheelchair or scooter can have access to a transport vehicle or a building, such as a home or older building that does not have permanent ramps provided.
To calculate what length of portable ramp is needed for a certain height and according to the ADA, you should measure how high the steps are and for each inch in height, you would need a half a foot in the length of a portable ramp to have the degree of slant to be safe in residential areas and in public areas, you need one foot for every inch high. If you are not sure of the length to get, you can find out by clicking this link to use a ramp length calculator.
There are several different types of portable mobility ramps that are made of different materials and come in different lengths. I will be reviewing five different models for you to choose according to you or your loved one’s situation. We will also let you know how to figure out how long of a ramp you will need. I hope the Best Mobility Ramp Guide of 2017 will be able to assist you in finding the best ramp for you or your loved one.
Prairie View Industries SFW330 Portable Single-fold Ramp
The SFW330 is a portable ramp that is 30 inches wide and comes in lengths of two, three, and four feet long. The SFW330 is manufactured at Prairie View Industries in Nebraska and is considered to be uniquely safe due to its being welded instead of using rivets to secure where needed. The welding done on these ramps were done with care, being strong with attention to detail. This ramp also has steel security pins included that can attach the top of the ramp so it does not slip when being used.
Another safety feature is that it has a lip on both sides to prevent wheels from slipping off the side of the ramp while moving up or down. Because of the tests done that has it rated as a 3x safety factor, it is listed by Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. and provides assurance that it will hold the capacity of up to 600 pounds. It will accommodate various wheel configurations of both scooters and wheelchairs. The surface of the SFW330 ramp has anti-slip traction tape that keeps wheelchairs and the persons pushing them, as well as scooters, from slipping even if wet when raining. This ramp is made of lightweight aluminum of only 11 pounds for the two foot length that folds in half and can be carried like a suitcase with the handle that is attached. Just for safe measure this ramp comes with written safety instructions and a video that gives instructions about ramp safety.
The Prairie View SFW330 has an average of 4.7 out of 5 stars, which says a lot for how satisfied customers are with this portable ramp. It’s surprising how many other uses this ramp has been used for by some customers, such as being a pet ramp for a dog that was afraid of regular pet ramps and a ramp to use while using crutches and a walker that made it much easier to ambulate than steps. There were some customers who had to return the ramp when they realized that it wasn’t long enough but others complained that they were told they could not return the ramp, which goes to show how important it is to measure first.
- Safety tested and listed by underwriters Laborarories Inc. for safety capacity rating.
- Welded fabrication rather than riveting
- Surface is covered with anti-slip skid resistant tape for maximum traction
- Full 30" wide platform design for maximum support and stability
- Has a handle for easy carrying. Carries like a suitcase.
Titan Ramps 6-foot Multifold Wheelchair/Scooter Mobility Ramp
The Titan 6-foot Multifold Wheelchair/Scooter Mobility Ramp is 72 inches long by 30 inches wide with a 2.5 inch lip on the sides that have holes to secure it in place. It can be used for people with wheelchairs and scooters to be able to go up and down steps, curbs, landings, or into vehicles. What is unique about this ramp is that it folds twice into the size of 40 inches by 15 inches by 8 inches or about the size of a 3-foot long suitcase and it has security pins that hold it closed when folded. There is a nylon handle that makes it easy to carry.
The Titan 6-foot Multifold Wheelchair/Scooter Mobility Ramp is made of lightweight aluminum and weighs 40 pounds. The surface is covered with anti-slip adhesive and the weight capacity is 600 pounds. This would allow for a person weighing about 300 pounds to be pushed by a person weighing about 200 pounds, plus the weight of a wheelchair.
The overall rating on this ramp is 4.3 out of 5 stars so there were some satisfied customers but there were more than ten unsatisfied customers that complained that the ramp’s hinges that holds it together in the middle were broken, bent, or missing. Returning the ramp was costly as Titan wouldn’t pay for FedEx to pick it up. More than one customer had this happen twice and after returning two sets of ramps and needing to pay FedEx twice, they were understandably upset and not going to get another one or do any kind of business with Titan again.
Some customers received ramps that had obviously been returned for broken hinges but not repaired by Titan but sent out again. There were also complaints that it was not well made because it wasn’t very stable or the hinges didn’t hold securely. A 270-pound person said it would bend down in the middle when using a wheelchair on it and it’s supposed to hold up to 600 pounds. Others thought it was too heavy and hard to handle.
My opinion is that Titan doesn’t seem to care about their reputation for customer service and I would not blame anyone that avoided buying this particular brand of ramp or any other item.
- Capacity: 600 lbs - Includes 1 ramp - Slip resistant grip surface
- 2.5" angled lip with holes to secure ramps in place - Soft nylon handle for easy carrying
- Weight: 40 lbs - Size: 72" L x 30" W
- Folds: 40" x 15" x 8" - Material: Aluminum - Recommended for use with a scooter or wheelchair and not intended for walking
TMS Folding Strong Electric Wheelchair Hitch Carrier
The TMS Folding Hitch Carrier is a strong, heavy duty, and easy loading carrier that is also the perfect ramp for transporting wheelchairs, scooters, and even lawn mowers. This carrier is an all-in-one platform and the ramp can easily be put onto a Class III or IV receiver hitch of any vehicle that has a towing package on the rear of the vehicle.
The TMS Hitch Carrier has three difference positions that make it very useful. While not in use, it is folded flat and leans up flat against the vehicle secured with a pull pin spring. When ready to load, you unlock it from the folded position and bring it down using the handles conveniently located so it is sitting horizontal to the vehicle. Then you would bring the open side down to the ground to use as a ramp so that a scooter or other mobility device can be pushed or driven to load onto the carrier. Once loaded, the ramp that was used would be lifted to be vertical with the vehicle and the scooter or other device is secured with tie down straps that can be used to hook into the tie down holes on the sides of the ramp.
The TMS Hitch Carrier is made with heavy duty steel and black powder coated with a total weight of the carrier being 71 pounds. Because of how heavy the whole carrier is, it may be better to leave it installed on the vehicle instead of trying to remove when not using. The ramp that you need to manually lift is only 16 pounds and 42 inches long. The weight capacity is 400 pounds and the platform dimensions are 28 inches by 48 inches with a 3-inch safety rail and the ramp is 42 inches long. The carrier is not meant to transport anyone sitting on a mobility device.
This type of ramp is a great alternative to the more expensive type that acts as a lift by moving the platform up and down so that you can drive your scooter or wheelchair onto it, walk off the platform, and then electronically raise the platform to be ready to transport. With that in mind, this type would not work well for someone who cannot either roll the scooter or wheelchair up the ramp or drive it up and then get off and walk to the vehicle unless accompanied by a helper. One customer said she loved how she could load two wheelchairs and a scooter on this carrier and still be able to open the rear end of her SUV.
- This wheelchair carrier is made for easy loading and transporting of your wheelchair, mobility scooter, or other similar items. Tie down straps can be hooked onto any of the tie down holes featured on the ramp sides for a secure lock. This wheelchair carrier is designed to allow easy loading and transporting of your wheelchair, scooter or similar items.
- Features integrated ramps which fold up and out into 3 different positions. The first position keeps the ramp folded flat to the carrier surface and held down with a spring pull pin. The folded flat position is to keep the ramp self stored and secured when the carrier is not in use. The second ramp position allows the ramp to stand up straight when a mobility device is on the carrier.
- The last position is the ramp unfolded. This position allows for scooters or power wheelchairs to be pushed or driven up the ramp. Handle on the ramp allows for easy folding and unfolding. This easy to assemble, heavy duty wheelchair carrier is ideal for wheelchairs, mobility scooters, lawn mowers, and much more.
- Condition: Brand New Quantity: 1 Weight Capacity: 400 lbs Heavy duty steel construction Durable black powder coated finish Platform dimension : 28 X 48 inch Total length of ramp when expended is 42 inch Total weight of carrier 71 Lbs.
- Weight of ramp (gate) 16 lbs .easy to lift Weight Capacity of Ramp: Up to 400 lbs Has a 3 inch safety rail Fits all 2 inch Receiver hitch class III or IV. Note: Mobility devices are not to be occupied when loading, unloading, or on the carrier! Never exceed the rated capacities of your hitch. Anti-Wobble is included. THIS IS THE PLATFORM & RAMP ALL IN ONE & IT JUST SLIDES INTO THE HITCH ON BACK OF THE CAR.
Rage Powersport SCG-6 Single Fold Mobility/Utility Ramp
This Rage Powersport SCG-6 is made by Discount Ramps out of rust-resistant and lightweight but sturdy aluminum that can give you dependable use for many years. This portable ramp has the ability to fold in half for easy transport or storage. This versatile ramp can be used to load a wheelchair or scooter into a vehicle or to get up steps. It can be ordered in five lengths of two feet for a four-inch rise, three feet for a six-inch rise, four feet for an eight-inch rise, five feet for a ten-inch rise, and six feet for a 12-inch rise. All lengths are 29 inches wide and have a rail height of 1-3/8 inch to protect from slipping off the ramp. The six foot ramp weighs 35 pounds and may be too heavy for some to lift without help. The attaching lip can be attached to most flat surfaces. It has holes that are pre-drilled and it has safety pins that secure it to the top of the step or landing.
The Rage has a high rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars that are well deserved as most customers are very pleased with this ramp that comes assembled and can be used straight out of the shipping box. I’m going to reemphasize what I said in an above review about measuring before ordering because there are a lot of people that get a ramp that isn’t long enough. To calculate what length of portable ramp is needed for a certain height and according to the ADA, you should measure how high the steps are and for each inch in height, you would need a half a foot in the length of a portable ramp to have a 9.6 degree of slant to be safe and in public areas you would need a foot ramp for every inch of rise. If you are not sure of the length to get, you can find out by clicking this link to use a ramp length calculator.
- Lightweight aluminum construction
- Folds in half for easy storage
- Carrying handle for easy transport
- Attaching lip works on almost any flat surface
- Pre-drilled holes and included safety pins allow mounting of the ramp
Drive Medical Single Fold Portable Wheelchair Scooter Ramp
Drive Medical’s Single Fold Portable Ramp is similar to others reviewed above but is unique due to the carry bag that you can transport the folded ramp in that should keep it looking good for years. Another feature that is unique is that it is designed with perforated slots on the surface so that when it rains, the water doesn’t collect on the ramp. This portable ramp has the ability to fold in half for easy transport or storage.
This versatile ramp can be used to load a wheelchair or scooter into a vehicle or to get up steps and is also made of lightweight but durable aluminum that has the weight capacity of 600 pounds. Drive Medical’s Single Fold Portable Ramp can be ordered in five lengths of two feet for a four inch rise, three feet for a six inch rise, four feet for an eight inch rise, five feet for a ten inch rise, and six feet for a 12 inch rise. It is 28.5 inches wide with the inside track being 26.5 inches.
If Drive Medical’s Single Fold Portable Ramp is needed just for when traveling and you do not wish to secure it to the top landing, it would be good for someone to stand at the bottom or top and hold it in place while being used to ensure it doesn’t move slightly. When the ramp is folded up it will be 16 inches wide by 4 inches high by whatever length it happens to be.
Drive Medical’s Single Fold Portable Ramp has a rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars and most customers were totally satisfied. One outstanding point was that this ramp is very weatherproof if it needs to be used for a permanent ramp. Another point brought out by one customer is that if this ramp is going to be used to go up to the threshold of a door that has a screen or storm door, it may conflict with the lip of the ramp but it can be modified by a handy person by reducing the size of the lip. Many customers loved the fact it had a bag to put the ramp in so the sharp points on the ends didn’t damage walls or anything else you may run into while carrying it.
- Designed to transition wheelchair or scooter from one surface to another
- Durable, lightweight construction
- Comes with carry bag
- Perforated slots keep water from collecting on ramp
- Overall Dimensions: 25"(L) x 28.5"(W) x 4"(H); Inside Track Width: 26.5"; Weight Capacity: 600 lbs
Why Do You Need One?
The mobility ramp is one way of helping people who use a wheelchair or a scooter to get up and down steps. Whatever their physical challenge may be, it is important that they have the same ability to access all facilities, as well as their own home and the homes of others they wish to visit. But since the ADA doesn’t require homes and other types of buildings to follow the same law as public buildings, mobility ramps are the next best thing. Many using wheelchairs or scooters do not choose to build a permanent ramp at their home due to the significantly higher cost rather than a portable ramp.
How Do You Get One?
Unfortunately, Medicare or Medicaid does not consider mobility ramps to be necessary medical equipment and do not cover any of the cost. If you have a Medicare Advantage insurance policy, they may be covered but you will need to call and find out for sure. Without the help of insurance, a mobility ramp can cost from about $70 for a short length of two feet to up to $500 for longer lengths and depending on the design and quality of the ramp. This cost is low compared to building a permanent ramp at your home that averages between $860 to $2,477, as per HomeAdvisors.com. And with a permanent ramp, you would need to wait until it is built, whereas with a portable one, you can buy one and use it as soon as it’s assembled.
How to Find the Right Mobility Ramp
With some of the above mobility ramps being similar, it may be confusing to decide which one would be the best for you or your loved one. Getting the advice from a loved one, a caregiver or a handyman may be a good idea in order to be certain about buying a certain ramp, especially if you don’t want to have to return it and run into difficulties as with the Titan brand above.
It is very important to calculate what length of portable ramp is needed for a certain height. According to the ADA, you should measure how high the steps are and for each inch in height, you would need a half a foot in the length of a portable ramp to have a 9.6 degree of slant to be safe and in public areas you would need one foot of ramp for each inch high. If you are not sure of the length to get, you can find out by clicking this link to use a ramp length calculator.
Questions to Consider
In reviewing the ones listed above, the following should help you in determining which ramp would be best for you or your loved one by asking:
- Do you want a ramp with sturdy support or are you more concerned about how heavy it is to carry? The longer the ramp and the more permanent it will be, the more sturdy it should be. Consider looking at those that are sturdy and lightweight to carry more easily.
- Do you really need a ramp that is foldable? If you are on the go a lot, it is handy to be able to fold it and put into your trunk. If so, determine how much weight you are able to carry if you will not have someone to help you.
- Will your insurance pay for part of the cost? Unfortunately, Medicare does not cover any of the cost of any type of wheelchair ramp; however, if you have a Medicare Advantage plan, you may be covered for part of the cost. If you’re not sure, make a call to your insurance company before you order anything.
- Is the cost within your budget? If you have insurance, calculate how much your co-pay will be and if you can afford it. If Insurance doesn’t cover any part, can you afford?
- Have you discussed the type to purchase with your loved ones? Sometimes those closest to you can see better what you need than you or your doctor. They can also help you do the measuring to be sure you get the correct size of ramp.
- If you have any questions that are not answered in this guide, you may find answers on the manufacturer’s website by searching for it on the Internet or by calling them.
Other Mobility Ramps Brands
I’ve found two different types of mobility ramps that may be of interest to you. The first one may be of interest to anyone that needs to push an occupied wheelchair into a travel trailer. This was one I had the opportunity to use when my husband was in a wheelchair. We were traveling the country with a travel trailer that had three steps and so high I had to get a ten foot ramp so I elected to get the telescoping kind because the other portable ramps were too wide to fit the small doorway of the trailer. The telescoping ramp worked perfectly.
The second ramp that I discovered is a DIY (do it yourself) ramp that you can make yourself for a fairly reasonable cost. It’s not foldable but a four foot length would be light enough to transport in the back of a pick-up or SUV so it would be considered a portable mobility ramp.
DMI Portable Telescoping Wheelchair Ramp
The DMI Portable Telescoping ramp is made up of two ramps that are to be used side-by-side and are adjustable from 3 to 5 feet long with the use of a push-button locking mechanism. This type of portable ramp works great for wider built wheelchairs or other devices since you can place the two ramps whatever distance apart that is needed, which is something that the usual portable ramp cannot do. Each ramp has a clearance of four inches on the inner tracks so it is important that the wheels of wheelchair or other device not more than about 3-1/2 inches.
Each ramp is covered with non-skid material and is made of durable, rust-resistant, and lightweight aluminum. Each ramp supports 300 pounds for a total weight capacity of 600 pounds. They weigh only six pounds each and can be easily carried in its nylon carrying bag to take with you when traveling to the store or on a trip or to store away. They can be assembled without tools. Before ordering, be sure to measure the inches of the rise you will be going up most often so that the same guidelines from the ADA are applied. Since the longest that these ramps will go is five feet, the rise should not be more ten inches for in residential areas.
- NON-SKID PORTABLE WHEELCHAIR RAMP is perfect for steps, curbs, vehicles and more with non-skid u-shaped tracks for added safety and stability.
- EASILY ADJUSTABLE, TELESCOPING, AND RETRACTABLE for easy and convenient storage at home, in vehicles, and more. Adjusts from 3 to 5 feet with simple push-button lock mechanism.
- RUST RESISTANT, DURABLE, AND LIGHTWEIGHT ALUMINUM construction as each wheelchair ramp can support up to 300 pounds, totaling 600 pounds between them, but only weighs 6 pounds each.
- NO TOOL EASY ASSEMBLY AND INCLUDES NYLON STORAGE BAG making it great for travel, transporting, and storing. Inner track sized at 4 inches wide with track rails 2.25 inches high.
- WARRANTY AND GUARANTEE: Amazon Exclusive Limited warranty may apply. Please see product for additional details. Note: we can only guarantee the quality of this product when sold through Amazon.com or Brazos Walking Sticks.
West Build-Your-Own Ramp Kit
For all you do-it-yourself people, this ramp kit is designed for loading anything that has wheels, which would include wheelchairs and scooters for a way to get up one or two steps or from 12 to 24 inches. It is a kit that you would supply the 3/4 inch thick plywood that would be four feet long and up to 48 inches wide. I’ve been told by a carpenter friend who knows how the cost of wood has gone up that the ramp would still be safe with a thickness of 3/8 inch plywood. All you need to do is to attach the side guide rails from the kit and the two rubber-coated support fingers that help it to stay in place. If you want it to be lesser in width, you can cut it down. The weight capacity is 600 pounds. The kit comes with instructions on how to build the ramp and also gives instructions on how to make it foldable. West also makes kits for an 8-foot and a 12-foot ramp.
- Ideal for loading/unloading scooters, wheelchairs, strollers, cargo
- 4ft. length
- 600-lb. load capacity
- 12in.-24in. maximum lift (one or two steps)
- Requires tone piece of plywood, 24in. long, cut to desired width