Monday, November 2, 2009

Can we help Dianne find Happy Trails?

From Dianne:

OK, everyone has such wonderful things to say about the, it's up to me to bring realism to this "party". So, I'm headed to work for a meeting (usually, I work from home, YEAH!); which is 75 miles away. It's raining; so that means it takes almost two hours to get there. But, I'm excited to use my Travelscoot for the first time. I haul this puppy out of my car (it's pretty high up there), but mostly it isn't too hard to unload. I bring the handlebars up, and the seat. I put the back on--easy right? I have had the baskets installed earlier; so my "brief case" goes in the back and my purse in the front. I hop on turn it on and....nothing happens! No lights; which means no power, so I hop off...juggle the battery wires and still...nothing. Did I mention it's raining?! I guess this means I'm not going into the building--can't walk that far these days. So, I load the scoot back into the car (REALLY heavy--(have you girls done this yourselves--or has hubby dear been there?) and the wheels don't slide; so pushing it in to clear the door is hard work, oh, I've also had to lower the handlebars and remove the seat back. The seat is fine where it is. I re-load myself; call into to work and advise them I won't be able to make the meeting and I head home. What else could I do; I was depending on the travelscoot. So one warning out of all this. MAKE SURE YOUR BATTERY IS CHARGED before you start out. AND, each time you use your travelscoot; make sure the power is turned off. (I think that's what happened to me--when hubby dear re-loaded it the switch got bumped or was left on and that drained the battery.) So, maybe NEXT time I'll have happier news to report.. Happy trails to all of you who have had successful runs.


I'm sorry to hear you had a problem on your first run. That must have been upsetting. Hopefully you've already figured out the problem, or contacted Hardy to get some assistance from him.

Had you ever ridden your TravelScoot before this trip? What several of us have suggested to new users is that they take their scoot out on the sidewalk in front of their house, or up and down the hallways of their apartment building, or on a quiet neighborhood street and spend time getting to know how it operates. As with any battery-powered mobility aid, there are some things you have to familiarize yourself with in order to operate it successfully. Of course before you do this you should read any manuals that came with it.

It's also important to plug the battery in correctly to charge it. With the lithium ion battery you plug the charger into the wall and then plug the charger into the battery. With the SLA battery you plug the charger into the battery first, and then into the wall. If you don't do it in this specific order, the battery will not charge. The manual tells you which lights should light up when.

With my scoot, and I'm assuming yours is just like mine, if I forget and leave it turned on it will shut itself off within a couple of minutes. I don't think it's possible to leave it turned on and run the battery down with it not being in motion.

It is also helpful to spend time just putting it together and breaking it down. Some of us have to take ours almost completely apart to put them in our cars, and others can load them fully assembled, depending on the vehicle. It was important for me to be able to fully handle my scoot by myself, so yes, I do lift mine in and out of the car. Without the battery it's only 29 lbs.

Educate yourself, practice, practice, practice, and you'll get familiar enough with your TravelScoot to understand how to get rolling again when something unexpected happens.

Keep us updated on how things are going. I hope everyone will post their most helpful tips for you. Also, would you please send me an email ( and let me know where you live? Thanks!


  1. Another thing to remember (and we learned this the hard way) is even when the TravelScoot is turned off, it still continues to slowly drain the battery. (The book warns you about that, but we did not remember.) My Scoot sat for a week with the Li-Ion battery plugged in and then it would not start. Fortunately, the good people at TravelScoot were able to revive it and we only had to pay for shipping. (Luckily I had a 2nd battery to use while that one was off to Hardy's team.)

  2. Hello Dianne! Welcome to the gang. I've had my Scoot Jr. for a month now. Since I have a Rav, I don't break it down except to lower the handle bars so they don't interfere with the rear view. I also leave the battery (some times both of them) on the Scoot before lefting it down to ride. Yes, it can be a litte intimitating at first, but after the first few times, it gets easier. Also, I have decided to ride it backless. It makes it a little easier for me. (Being an old bike rider probably has something to do with it too.) As for the wheels not moving - make sure the brake lock isn't set. I've forgotten several times when loading/unloading and it does make a difference. It sounds like you have a van/rv type vehicle, if you are not breaking it down all the way. Until you get the lifting down pat, you may want to consider a small ramp to slide it up. Yes, I considered swiping my dog's ramp for a few moments, but decided to see if I really needed it. After the first week of twice a day, I don't think anything about it. If you are only going to use it a few times a week, you may want to also practice picking it up as well as riding.

    Hope this helps. Please don't give up on the Scoot. It can be very librating.

  3. Dianne's experience is a reminder to all owners of new equipment, whether it be a scooter, a car, a computer printer, a weather-band emergency radio, or whatever: Always use it enough times in trial runs that you are familiar with (and comfortable with) its operation, as well as the manual. Using it on trial runs when you first acquire it will allow you to develop a certain confidence level that it can be relied on when you REALLY need it--like when your life or livelihood depends on it!

    No man-made equipment or item is perfect. You can't buy a new car or a new camera and expect that everything will work, from day one, or that you can "figure out" how to use it.

    The tips that people give on this site are great!

  4. Dianne, I hope you'll take the time to work this problem out. My life has been transformed by the mobility I get from my Travelscoot. I've had my scooter for several years and I have had 3 batteries in that time. I still use one of the 20 lb SLAs for a back-up but my primary battery is the Li-on 4 lb. It is light enough that I "dead lift" my whole assembled scooter in and out of my Honda Element. (I am a 65 yr old lady!) I do disconnect the harness and cover the scooter to prevent sun from overheating it here in Texas when I leave it in the car. I bought a small backpack to store my manual and chargers so that I can take them with me whenever I go someplace that would require me to make sure I could recharge if something were to go wrong. Let us know if you've been able to get mobile with your Travelscoot.