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Welcome to UK Wheelchairs - the home of value and quality

Taking your powerchair overseas ?

Although the weather continues to be unseasonably wet and windy, some of you will be preparing for holidays for abroad. We have had a number of enquiries from users about taking their electric wheelchairs and powerchairs away with them and more specifically, questions about the electric wheelchair batteries and charging overseas.

Most electric wheelchair batteries supplied these days are gel filled or AGM types which are non spillable and approved for transportation both by air and by sea. These batteries rely on regular charging to ensure you maximise their usable life. If you do not charge the batteries frequently the batteries can suffer deterioration in performance and failure to hold a full charge. This can also lead to what is known as gassing and the emission of acid vapour.

It is good practice to check what type of batteries your electric wheelchair has. This is easily done by reading the sticker on the lid the next time you charge. Most are clearly stated as AGM on the label. If you cannot find this information then refer to the owner’s manual supplied when you bought the electric wheelchair.

Charging electric wheelchairs overseas

The next obstacle to overcome before you leave is the charging of the batteries overseas. If you are travelling to a country with 220 to 240 volts mains electricity then all you will need is a plug adapter to allow you to plug in. If the voltage is less than this like many European countries you need to find out if your charger will operate at 100 or 110 volts. The chargers supplied with electric wheelchairs by Sunrise Medical like the Salsa, will automatically sense the input voltage and adjust accordingly. This detail will be clearly marked on the Rating Label.

Finally if you're flying and planning on taking your electric wheelchair, you should consult the CAA web site where it lists the regulations and obligations for the preparation and loading of electric wheelchairs on board passenger aircraft, to ensure it is made safe prior to loading.

Many airlines will also insist on you providing information including the dimensions and weight of your electric wheelchair so be prepared !

Read more about travelling with electric wheelchairs and what you will need to let the airline know.

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