Picture of Convertible Roof for Hot-Rod Wheelchair
I like to spend a lot of time outside and particularly enjoy to take long rides in my wheelchair during the summer.  The summer sun, particularly on a wheelchair covered in black vinyl material,  can get very hot and cause severe sun burns.  People would often joke that I needed a convertible roof for my wheelchair so I could be shaded from the sun and protected from the rain.  There are things like umbrellas and sun shades that medical companies make for wheelchairs, but like many medical goods, they look like something for some elderly senior in a nursing home.   I wanted my wheelchair to look like a hot-rod rather than a mixed-mash of medical gear. Where I live, we also get some fairly strong winds, and nothing was made that would hold up for any length of time.

I got the idea of modifying my back-pack bag on the wheelchair to hold a roof canopy that could be quickly attached to my wheelchair, and when not in use, returned to the bag.   Before you begin this project, you must keep in mind that all wheelchairs are not built the same, and every individual in a wheelchair is a different height, and so you may have to modify my design to suit your own needs.

Parts required:
Material (Approximately 4 yards)
2 Dowel sticks or metal spreader bars
6 Eye Loops
4 Metal trigger clips
2 metal rods
drill gun
needle and thread

kharmon12 months ago

Have you thought about converting a tractor canopy and maybe attaching clear vinyl rolls on the sides to make an all weather canopy?

graydog1117 months ago

Great project. Great details in Instructable.

Great idea. If you make those flamed exhaust pipes you need material with flames too. REALLY jazz up that chair. Your explanation and drawings are terrific. Thanks.

DarkRubyMoon (author)  retirednurse7 months ago

Flaming exhaust pipes! I'll have to give that a try! :)

acaig7 months ago
DarkRubyMoon (author)  acaig7 months ago


This is a great idea! I have been looking for a canopy for my chair and it is hard to find something nice, not to mention reasonably priced. You know how it is add the word wheelchair to a product and at least one zero to the price.
DarkRubyMoon (author)  thewhitedogdad4 years ago
Yes indeed! If you need any help, just drop me an email ;)
AriedeB4 years ago
Love the rooftop idea man, also like the way you made it work ;-)
If you want to make it motorised, why not go to a local cardump and ask them if they have some old retractable covers with a motor from a porsche or other open roof type o'car.
Might be a lot of work getting it into the right size for your chair, but hey, why not?
DarkRubyMoon (author)  AriedeB4 years ago
That is an awesome idea! Thanks!
No problemo!
tukas5 years ago
If you could make it retractable that would be awesome!!!  Good job!!!
DarkRubyMoon (author)  tukas5 years ago
I had some ideas for making a power retractable roof... but as I would have needed some help in assembling it... I thought that might of been beyond my abilities.  In theory, if you made the mounting bracket motorized, you might be able to flip a switch and have it rotate to go behind the person.  It would take some work to get it to keep from blocking any back-pack though... so I put that off for a Version 2 :)
damabeth5 years ago
We camp alot and I always get hot in my chair, thanks for giving me a way to fix that!  I may be a granny but don't want my chair to look like one!  LOL
DarkRubyMoon (author)  damabeth5 years ago
Your only as old as you feel... and whose to say ya can't be a rockin' granny! :)  I hope this helps! Thanks!
algar325 years ago
I'm not going to lie... That thing is pretty sweet looking... I hope you entered it into that humana contest thing.
DarkRubyMoon (author)  algar325 years ago
I sure did!  I hope I get your vote for the Humana contest!  Thanks!
kitobor5 years ago
Good job, your chair is officially 'pimped'!
DarkRubyMoon (author)  kitobor5 years ago
Thanks!  Hahaha You ain't seen nothing yet.  Still working on flaming exhaust pipes hahahha
DarkRubyMoon (author) 5 years ago
When your finished doing this instructable... be sure to visit my store at http://www.cafepress.com/darkrubymoon   for my art on T-shirts, prints, and much much more!
 Very slick! It's kinda like old fashioned Wild West-ish canopy meets hot rod! :D
DarkRubyMoon (author)  jessyratfink5 years ago
Awesome... thank you! 
Ninzerbean5 years ago
You really should enter this into the Humana Health Design Contest here on Instructables! Look under contests on the home page.
DarkRubyMoon (author)  Ninzerbean5 years ago
Yes lol... I think I did enter it.  Is reason am posting this now... had planned to post it for some time, but didn't have complete set of instructions ready.
depotdevoid5 years ago
That is awesome, well done!
DarkRubyMoon (author)  depotdevoid5 years ago
Thank You!
kelseymh5 years ago
It would be great if you had some photos of the individual bars, the bracket before and after painting, and of the canopy fabrication process.  Those three steps with no pictures (where pictures would be helpful!) really do stand out.

This is a great project, and well written.  Thanks!
DarkRubyMoon (author)  kelseymh5 years ago
Thank you so much.  I'm working on adding some more photos... I just posted those I had already taken.
Thanks for the reply!  I very much liked the drawings you did.  Very clear.  And it's always a pleasure when someone discovered that math is actually useful for something ;->
kelseymh5 years ago
Added to the Assistive Technology group.