A Husband Builds an Electric Wheelchair for His Wife to Adventure Off-Road

The Not-a-Wheelchair in the woods.

Zack wanted to provide his wife with the experience of the joy of free movement across any terrain. (Image: via notawheelchair.com)

A man has developed a specially designed electric wheelchair for his wife. The uniqueness of this customized wheelchair for his wife is that it can be used off-road.

Zack Nelson wanted to make his wife Cambry happy. She has paralysis, and her regular wheelchair can move only on smooth surfaces and pavements. He wanted to provide her with the experience of the joy of free movement across any terrain. Zack made use of his knowledge in engineering to accomplish the task.

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The first electric wheelchair was developed in 2018 when Zack used two electric bikes and then put a seat in the middle. The idea worked and gave Cambry a new way to enjoy life and move freely over almost any terrain. Early in its development, Zack continuously re-engineered the design of the electric wheelchair to enhance the ride experience for his wife.


The Not-a-Wheelchair is fully-electric, and it reaches a speed of 12 mph. With a single battery, it can cover a distance of 20 miles. With twin batteries, the range shoots up to 25-35 miles. This is ideal for urban and occasional rural usage. However, periodic maintenance will be necessary since it is essentially an electric bike.

The Not-a-Wheelchair is a fully-electric wheelchair.
The Not-a-Wheelchair is a fully-electric wheelchair, and it reaches a speed of 12 mph. (Image: via notawheelchair.com)

The fact is one can also buy specialized electric wheelchairs. However, these custom vehicles are usually slow, costing an excessive amount. Cambry and Zack eventually started mass production of the off-road capable electric wheelchair. Their electric wheelchair is light and capable of covering a long distance. It does not burn a hole in the pocket either.

Zack said, “The toughest challenge when developing ‘Not-A-Wheelchair’ is the price. We wanted to create something affordable for everyone. Finding quality components and a simple enough design at the lowest price possible took quite a time. But I think we have something now that everyone will be able to enjoy, at a fraction of the cost of other ‘off-road wheelchairs’ currently on the market.”

This model is, however, not meant for indoor usage. So Cambry still relies on her regular wheelchair at home. The off-road model helps her explore areas such as hiking trails with ease, and she likes the fact it is almost silent. 

Go almost anywhere

The couple has tested the model for long trips, and their experience has been good thus far. Zack says: “We have taken The Rig to Hawaii twice for testing. The bike has to be shipped with a freight company before we go, but we ship The Rig about a week before we fly out ourselves, and it’s waiting there for us when we arrive. All this travel was before COVID was a thing. Luckily, we also live near mountains and snow with long wide flat trails to try the bike out.”

The rear has a storage platform.
The model also has a handy rear rack mounting system. This can be used to store backpacks and small containers such as coolers. (Image: notawheelchair.com)

The custom electric wheelchair has a sturdy aluminum frame, off-road bike tires, and a detachable bumper. The unit can be fit into most short bed pickups and larger SUVs. The model also has a handy rear rack mounting system. This can be used to store backpacks and small containers such as coolers. It tackles most terrains well, barring snow and sand.

The electric wheelchair is ideal for people with mobility issues, but the ultimate experience will depend on several factors. The weight of the rider and accessories carried on the unit will impact the real-life mileage. Interested buyers can place orders at the website set up by Zack and the delivery time is approximately six weeks.

Despite a few limitations, the electric off-road wheelchair is an excellent innovation for mobility-impaired people. It liberates them from staying confined to rooms and pavements.

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