Cheap And Effective Dune Buggy Wheel Chair

[masterfoo]’s mother-in-law suffers from a bad hip which would have sidelined her participation in the Fourth of July festivities. As a testament to the power of family and ingenuity, [masterfoo] built her a beach-capable wheel chair to give her some off-roading capability.

The frame is built out of 1.5″ PVC piping and the tires are 20×8-8″ inner tubes for ride-on lawnmowers. The lawnmower  wheel inner tubes were cost-effective and fit the purpose, saving the need for the more expensive purpose-built-for-the-beach Wheeleez tires. They also have a fluid inside that plugs small punctures which will come in handy against he beach’s small cacti and other flora. This video was their guide for the foam insulation and plywood wheel assembly, also employing the handy man’s secret weapon to protect the tube from the rim’s plywood edge. Check it out in action!

The canvas was secured to the PVC with E6000 multi-surface, fabric-and-plastic super glue and some needlework in a double-layered, reclined setup for comfort and redundancy. The final touches were a platform for a small cooler, a beach umbrella to keep the sun off, and cup holders for both passenger and pusher.

All in all a wonderful build from the heart, and it only cost $140! If you’re on the lookout for other low-cost beach vehicles, why not a motorized hammock?

[via /r/DIY]

15 thoughts on “Cheap And Effective Dune Buggy Wheel Chair

    1. I think balloon tires are standard for this. In “The Rolling Stones” by Robert Heinlein, he has prospectors on the moon riding bicycles with balloon tires, and that came before the space program.


  1. The moon buggy looked like this video because it was shot at much reduced gravity. AAAAbbbboooouutttttttt 3 sssseeecccoonnndddss ooooofffff “slomo” and I had to click back.
    I really wanted to see how the thing acted to bumps etc. but the video gimmick killed that.

    1. Umm, no, it’s not pressurized. So it’s not going to explode and create shard spears of doom. It may crack with someone that weighs a lot, but worst case it’s going to dump them into the sand.

      1. Pretty much this, though notably UV radiation does break down PVC over time, but that degradation does not tend to penetrate quickly or deeply. Might want to consider a schedule 80 (grey) for thicker walls and more stiffness? Depends on the geometry of the vehicle and expected loads. PVC is cheap and has it’s place as a material. Just not as a compressed gas container.

  2. I keep trying to ignore this article, but I can’t.

    I want to build one. I’ll tell the neighbors it’s for moving firewood and when they go away I’ll ride down a hill.

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