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Cars for obese people

on 12/2/10 7:28 pm - Meadville, PA
Hello! I have just started the weight loss surgery journey. I have met with a surgeon and am in the process of setting up all of my appointments. But I have a question. I need to get a car. I really don't know how to phrase this question but I am in dire need of a new car (not brand new). But due to my size I am having trouble finding one that I can fit into and drive comfortably. I am very short and I carry most of my wieght in my tummy. Because of this my legs are too short to reach the pedals because I have to put the seat back so far. It is so embarrassing to go to look for cars and not being able to fit. Has anyone else had this problem? I would just like to get some suggestions on vehicles that might work for me. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I know I can drive some of the older Ford Focuses because they have tilt steering and telescopic steering columns, however the new Focuses have built in center consoles and it's not very comfortable. Plus it only has tilt steering, not telescopic steering column so it is very uncomfortable. Has anyone used pedal extenders? 

Luck 'o the Irish
*37 lbs were lost pre-op

on 12/2/10 8:10 pm
I have no idea of the cost, but the little people I know all have extenders that attach to the pedals so they can reach them.  That might help to increase your options.

ok I looked up pedal extensions and there are tons of says $130.    Many versions are portable so you can switch them when you use a different car.
on 12/2/10 8:42 pm - Meadville, PA
Thanks Emily!

Luck 'o the Irish
*37 lbs were lost pre-op

Jackie McGee
on 12/2/10 10:34 pm - PA
An SUV would work. I highly recommend anything by Honda or Kia.

 Proud mama of Mischa and Gabriel, both born post-op.

on 12/3/10 4:49 am
My Father has this problem so I've been kinda keeping an eye out for him.  A good car - but looks like it could be a bit of a gas guzzler - is the Chrysler 300.  They are really cool looking too.  :)

on 12/3/10 5:28 am - Wallis & Futuna
DS on 09/23/10 with
I don't know what to suggest, aside from telling you not to buy a Toyota Rav4. My husband and I have squished ourselves into that since 2005, and will continue to do so until I can afford something comfortable.
Less concerned about fitting into the world - your world, that is, 'cause it doesn't really matter any more. None of it really matters any more. Yes, I am alone, but then again I always was as far back as I can tell. I think maybe it's because you were never really real to begin with. I just made you up to hurt myself... and it worked.  Yes, it did! - Only, NIN
on 12/3/10 5:57 am - Arlington, TX
I had the most success with the ford pick-up trucks or any Ford for that matter, they seem to have a larger interior.  I know the Chevy avalanche has adjustable pedals that move forward and backwards.
on 12/3/10 7:14 am
Love love love my Chrysler Town and Country.  My husband had a Cadillac and it had the telescope steering wheel.
My sister had a Honda CRV...way too small!  My MIL has a Jeep Gr. Cherokee.  The front was OK but the back seat is SMALL!

Hope this helps!
on 12/3/10 7:42 am - Celina, OH
At 618 I drive a Lincoln Town Car. I have a 1995 and a 1997. They are the same body style, but the 1995 has more room behind the wheel than the 1997. My parents had a 1994 and again same body style but TONS more room inside. These being older have high miles, but if you look on you may find on with fewer miles. Do not be afraid of one with 100,000 miles on it. My 1995 has 180,000 and still running strong.
I wish you luck. I am not short, so do not have that problem. I sure know the felling of not fitting behind the wheel.
I did have a Buick Park Avenue that was a 1985. I am not sure of the newer ones. None of the cars I mentioned have a center console and the Town Cars have bench seats.
Jim from Celina   328 Pounds...GONE !!!!!      
Miss Redd
on 12/3/10 8:25 am - Lancashire, United Kingdom

Take a look at my before pictures-you will see that I know what you mean. I got my car for many reasons-but the MAIN was that it fit me! Not a tall girl, and at the time was wide in the middle and hips.

Hyuandai Sonata 2004.  Even the seat belt FIT!!! Legs reached pedals..etc!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Pre Surgery 383 Surgery 359 Current 180



Cherish F.
on 12/3/10 8:38 am - Philadelphia, PA
I was going to suggets the Sonata too. My 2004 was always comfortable before and especially after surgery.
Consult Weight/ Surgery Weight/Current Weight/  Goal Weight, Reached 4/7/11!!
     294                     286.5                     165.5                     164

Full abdominoplasty & Breast Reduction/Lift - 4/9/12!

Even miracles take a little time. ~ Cinderella

on 12/3/10 1:50 pm - Meadville, PA
Thank you for the info. I will certainly check it out. I was a little leary of Honda because I heard that they do not have seat belt extenders available. By the way, congrats on the weight loss, you look great!

Luck 'o the Irish
*37 lbs were lost pre-op

on 12/3/10 10:03 am - NY
DS on 07/13/10 with
I got an escalade due to weight and height.
Steering wheel moves and gas pedals go forwards and backwards too. It's a nice ride.

on 12/3/10 11:03 am
My 2004 suburban has adjustable pedals too.
on 12/3/10 1:53 pm - Meadville, PA
Thank you all sooo much. I appreciate all of your suggestions. I will definitely try to check out some of the vehicles you all mentioned. Hopefully I will have my surgery within the next couple of months and this won't be an issue anymore.
on 12/3/10 2:35 pm
Been there, done that! Just before I had surgery, I was seriously talking to a guy about welding me some extensions onto the pedals of my VW Fox. Now I'm glad I didn't---in less than three months after my DS, I was moving the seat waaaaay up.

What form of WLS are you planning on having? I hope you're researching the DS---it has the very best long-term, maintained weight loss, especially for those of us with a starting BMI greater than 50. (Mine was 75.) And it also has the best stats for resolving or preventing co-morbs like diabetes and high cholesterol.
on 12/3/10 3:27 pm - Meadville, PA

My surgeon only does lap band, RNY or the sleeve. I was planning on going with the RNY. I have heard that the DS has the most risk of complications. Don't know that much about it. When I started looking into WLS I was about 50 lbs lighter than I am now. At that time my insurance had an exclusion for WLS. I now have a different insurance that does cover WLS. My BMI is around 73 I think. Luckily they only require a 2 mos supervised diet for anyone with a BMI higher than 55. But because of that my surgeon wants me to do  a 1 month liquid diet before surgery to shrink my liver. Don't know how in the world I am gonna get through that month...LOL But it will be worth the torture to finally have WLS. Thanks for your response!

Luck 'o the Irish
*37 lbs were lost pre-op

on 12/4/10 11:44 am
The surgical risks are about the same for the RNY and the DS---IF you have a qualified surgeon. The DS DOES require more surgical skill and takes longer to do, so it's not the 'money maker' for the surgeon that the RNY is.

I can't imagine a mont-long liquid diet---and frankly, there's no real evidence that a liguid diet has any benefits over a solid-food diet. The 'shrink the liver' business isn't really accurate---what the diet is for is to deplete the glycogen stored in the liver, which changes its texture---makes it less slippery. And ANY high-protien, low-carb diet will do that.

Good luck---and really, you SHOULD research the DS, even if your current surgeon doesn't do it. You can always change surgeons...(*grin*) Also read the Revision board, and see how many people are trading in other procedures for a DS. (A revision from the RNY to the DS is the most complicated---Sleeve to DS the easiest.)
on 12/3/10 3:33 pm - Meadville, PA
I thought I saw a reply to my original post that said they didn't recommend any SUV. However I can't find it now. If that person is reading this, can you please tell me why you don't recommend any SUV's? I am just curious. I've never driven one but I heard that they flip easily. I do live in a very snowy area (Lake effect snow from Lake Erie) so I thought an SUV would be good. Although I don't think I can drive (or afford) a large SUV so I was looking at at the Toyota Rav4 because it is smaller. Any suggestions would be welcomed. Thanks!

Luck 'o the Irish
*37 lbs were lost pre-op

Jim Parker
on 12/3/10 6:28 pm - TX
RNY on 11/02/10 with
Check out the Nissan Murano.  It's got a very roomy interior, tilt / telescoping steering wheel, and adjustable pedals.  Also has the most comfortable back seat I've ever sat in (including limos).  Gas mileage isn't great, but you can't have everything, right?


"Experience is that marvelous thing that enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again." — Franklin P. Jones