Indoor/Outdoor Mobility Scooters
The indoor/outdoor mobility scooter is a little larger than the indoor scooters and much larger than the travel/portable scooters. They are more comfortable for longer term sitting and better suited for outdoor use on less than perfect terrains and surfaces. These scooters will also have a greater range of travel, more power, faster speeds, more standard features and additional options.
Indoor/outdoor scooters are available in both three wheel and four wheel configurations however the four wheeled models are much better suited to outdoor use rather than indoor use because of their larger turning radius and overall larger size.
There are two 12 volt batteries in these scooters which are wired in series to give a total voltage of 24 volts to run the motor and any electric accessories installed. Scooters in this category may offer the option of different sized batteries with the larger sized batteries offering more mileage between charges. Scooter batteries are deep cycle batteries which are designed to provide a low amperage for a long period of time as opposed to a car battery which is designed to put out a lot of amperage for a short period of time. Every once in a while someone will try to save a few bucks by putting a car battery into a scooter. The car battery will be ruined in a few weeks, the warantee will be voided and they will still have to buy the proper batteries in the end.
As with any scooter or power wheelchair these scooters are charged with automatic battery chargers which simply plug into the machine. Depending on how depleted the batteries are, it may take 5 to 8 hours to fully recharge and most people plug them in at night to be ready for the next morning.
The scooter frames are made of round or square tubular steel and the weight capacity of indoor/outdoor scooters is usually between 250lbs. and 350lbs. Depending on the model chosen the frame may be adjustable in length but one has to keep in mind that the longer the frame the poorer the turning radius and the less suitable it is for indoor use. Indoor/outdoor scooters often can be disassembled for transporting but the components are heavier than the portable scooters and disassembly isn't usually quite as easy.
The tires on these scooters are normally 10" in diameter and about 3" wide filled with either air or foam. Air gives a bit better ride than foam filled tires and are less expensive to replace but they have to be inflated properly for the scooter to perform properly. Just like the tires on a car will lower gas mileage if under inflated, soft tires on a scooter will cause the batteries to need recharging sooner and range of travel will be limited.
These scooters will have a flat tread pattern with lots of contact with the floor on the rear tires and the front will be a rounded tire with less contact on the floor to make turning the tiller easier. The size of the tires on this category of scooter make outdoor use on moderately rough terrain fairly comfortable and reliable.
The seats on indoor scooters are usually fairly well padded and intended to be fairly comfortable for sitting over a longer period of time. They may have an adjustable angle back for added comfort and will likely have padding on the arms. To ease transferring on and off the scooter, the arms will flip back or up out of the way and the whole seat will swivel. The class of scooter may also offer a headrest and taller backrest on some models.
The tiller of a scooter is where the controls are housed. There will be a lever of some sort which has to be pushed to release the brakes and send power to the electric motor that propels the scooter. When the lever is released the motor stops and the brakes automatically reengage. The scooter key or switch which powers up the scooter is located on the tiller also. For comfort most tillers can be adjusted forward or back to best accommodate the reach of the user. The indoor/outdoor scooters also may have lights and/or mirrors installed on the tiller or available as optional equipment.