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Best Car To Travel In Long Distance...

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Well, we're getting ready to make the 7 hour sojourn to NY at the end of September to see my Lyme doctor.

I am wondering if anyone here has found the 'perfect' car (or close to perfect) to travel in long distances.

When I go short distances I just put my feet up on the dashboard. I know...not safe. And recline as far back as possible.

My mom has a Subaru Legacy wagon which is pretty good, but if you recline all the way you are not quite flat and your legs can't be elevated very far.

My Dad's Buick Rendevous--BLACH!--and he thinks it's the best car ever! LOL. And my stepmom's Subaru Forester...pbth on that one too.

I can't really lie on my side or curl up in the back seat of a car very well b/c of my neck. So usually I need to sit in the front seat, recline as far back as possible and prop my feet up.

Does anyone have a car that they do this in? Or one that they really like to travel in?

We are going to have to rent a car probably, unless we just go with my mom's car, which is what we usually do, but it's not ideal.

I loved it when my dad had a Buick LeSabre. We also test drove our neighbors Toyota Avalon and that was pretty good.

Anyways, any suggestions for finding a car that you can lie as flat as possible on your back would be GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



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I have to lie flat because of my back-- not pots. We rent a minivan, take out or collapse the back seats, and I then lie on a camping mat, with pillows to prop up my legs. It's not entirely safe, as I'm not secured or belted in, but it's allowed us to drive MUCH further. I can also do this in some SUVs, but then need a step-stool to climb up.

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I agree that it sounds like your best option will be a van. I know others who have had to travel after surgery and it has always been via some sort of van. The trick is how to make this as safe as possible. I wonder if any car rental agency deals with this question. I hope you are able to have a comfortable and very safe trip to PA.

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Ooh. That's a tough one, Em. I, too, recline my seat and put my feet up when I go out in the car; but I've never had a vehicle with a chair that reclines all the way.

We used to have a 94 Buick Regal GranSport. The passenger seat reclined pretty well, but not all the way. Now we have a Dodge Grand Caravan. The seat reclines less, but the dash is higher, so my legs are elevated more. Usually this works okay for me, but if I'm having a particulary difficult day with blood pooling in my abdomen then it's not good because I'm kind of in a "V" shape. All in all, the Buick was easier for me. But it had over 210,000 miles on it, so we had to let it go and get a more reliable vehicle.

I don't know of a vehicle with a seat that completely reclines. I'm not even sure if car manufacturers make them like that anymore since it isn't safe for driving. Of course, it isn't all that safe for us to have our feet on the dash either, but it's that or go nowhere.

As others have said, it would probably be eaisest if you had a van and could lay down on a mat in the back as you travel. There is a "stow-and-go" seating option in some vans, which is much easier than heaving out heavy benches. Seatbelt laws vary from state to state, though, so that might not be an option. But perhaps you could recline as much as possible in the front seat. Then if you get too tired and need to lie completely flat, you could pull into a parking lot and rest in the back of the van on a cot for a while.

I hope you can find a suitable vehicle to ride in so that you can make it to your appointment. Let us know how it turns out.


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I have a PT Cruiser and love, love, love it.

Furthermore, the passenger seat folds pretty close to flat and if you put the seat all the way back I can put my feet up on the dash.

I'm 5'10" so it is hard for me to stretch out in most vehicles, but this works for me.

Plus there is lots of cargo space which would be good for travel.

AND, often PT's are on the lowest rental price category!

Happy Trails!

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Hi Emily,

being in the UK I don't know if the BMW (german) brand of cars is available in the US? I have a BMW 3 series and my Dad has the Tourer (estate car) version. The seats don't go totally flat but if you pull the seat forwards a little and raise the seat height the back will recline so it is almost flat (like lying down with 1-2 pillows).

As everyone has said feet on the dash isn't safe but if you have to put them there, please make sure that the front passenger air-bag it deactivated, you wouldn't want that going off right under your legs if the worst were to happen. Often you can turn them off to allow you to put baby car cots on the front seat.

This might sound daft but would it be possible for you to hire an ambulance or a van with the fittings to secure an ambulance cot in the back? A lot of mini-busses have the same seat fixings that allow ambulance cots to be fitted properly. That would be the ideal way to travel - lying flat / with the foot of the trolley cot elevated and proper seat belts to hold you safely.

In the UK we have 2 ambulance charities "The British Red Cross" and "St John Ambulance". They both do "patient transport" where they take people who need either wheelchairs or trolley cots to travel safely. Often they will arrange special long-distance journeys to take people to hospital appointments or to be nearer to their families. If you have that sort of charity in the US it would probably be a lot cheaper than a private ambulance company but that would be another option (please note I have no idea of US prices for these things so if I am suggesting something that would cost half a house please don't laugh).

Safe travelling,


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Hi Emily,

I used to rent a lot (pre-POTS) and from what I remember, the rental agencies only offer limited brands/models of cars. You may want to check on their websites, which usually list the available models. Also, if you go to the rental office at an off-time, the agents are usually helpful... maybe they'd even suggest something for you or let you sit in the seat to see how you feel.


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as you might remember we had to sell our car (opel vectra, german brand) 2 years ago because iw asn't able to travel in it anymore. we bought a van, Opel Vivaro (german brand again), which in england is known as Vauxhall Vivaro. and it really works for me. in the front there are two seats (there are types with a seat and a bench in the front but the bench is very uncomfortable for us). the boys are in the back but the bench in the back (although formed as seats) is a bit narrow (but they NEVER complain).

i 'm usually in the front (passenger) seat, with the back reclined and my feet up (on the dashboard) and a pillow under my head i am VERY comfortable. when i am too bad to be in the front i can lie in the back (using a few pillows) and my feet up. i can even sleep when i need to.

also: i can take my scooter AND wheelchair wherever we're going which is sooooooo much better for me and my family. depending on how i'm doing i can be in my scooter (when i'm feeling well enough, this makes me so much more independent) or in my wheelchair. we can take EVERYTHING we need so this is a VERY good purchase!!!

i wish i could send you some photo's of me in the van (which would be soooo funny!!!), but unfortunately my digital camera has gone crazy, so i can't take any photo's right now. i hope to be able to buy a new one asap, when i do, i will definitely send you photos!!!

oh and as john told me: it is great to drive a van because you're seated higher and have much more view of the traffic.

i wish i could lent you mine em . . . (my van i mean ;):lol::lol: )

take care,

corina :)

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We bought a mini van specially because of my health issues, and it's an older chevy venture. The seats are removable and a air mattress/camping mattress fits in the back area to lay down in while driving if need be. Of course, things seem to be a little more bumpy when laying completely flat while the van is moving but maybe I'm just really sensative to the motion and all.

- Tammy

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flop and Corina--

BMW is available here in the states but is a rather expensive vehicle. Opel isn't sold here in the US, although I am familiar with the brand having seen many of them in Europe--Germany, Switzerland and Croatia.

Ambulances here do have transport available, but again, it's a rather expensive endeavor not covered by health insurance in most cases.

Sounds like renting a van might be one of your better, more economical choices. Nina

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This thread is really helping me! Thank you. My mom may make a trip to AAA to see what they have to say.

Specific Van types and models are helpful to those of you who are mentioning vans.

I do think a big 'ol Buick might do the trick too! Anyone ridden in the new Lucerne yet???

I'm glad to know I'm not the only one riding in the front seat with my feet on the dashboard! YIKES. I KNOW it is dangerous...it's so hard!

I really appreciate all of the help!

Later alligators!


P.S. Lois!!! So glad you are seeing my blog! I've missed you! So, yes, the wheatens get lighter as they grow...some are lighter than others though--there are Irish and American Wheatens and their coats are somewhat different. They are even darker when they are first born. It's fascinating to watch the transformation over the first year of life. I don't really think they are considered 'white'--not like a Westie gets--the name Wheaten really describes the color that they are. Although some of the Irish Wheatens are lighter and I think almost white (in my opinion) and have a very shiny coat. Oh, those puppies were so cute. (If you're reading this and are totally confused--someone other than Lois--she's referring to pictures on my blog of Wheaten puppies. (www.adancinglight.blogspot.com)

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Hey Em--

I like your skillful use of "pbth" ;) Haha!

Anyway, I was thinking that you could also get a long 2-door car like a Toyota Solara or a Chrysler Sebring. Because they are 2-door, the seats recline further back and there is more leg room up front. I do the dashboard thing too. Yikes! :D



PS-- The recliner you are in with the Weaten pups looks like the one i told you about for my birthday!

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I know you can't rent one BUT....

In 2004, one of the church Deacons handed me a set of car keys. It was my birthday and it took me a while to realize he was giving me a CAR!!!

It is a 1986 Lincoln Town Car - a land yacht! But the back seat is so big I can completely lie down on it. On my back or on my side.... Plus, the front seats recline all the way back if I want to ride up front. It's great! Needless to say, Hubby loves to drive it.

22 MPG by the way.... not too bad!

We also have a Suziki Swift. It is a tiny economy car - but - the way the dash is made, and with the reclining seat, it is very easy for me to ride in too. I can put my feet on the dash, adjust the amount of "recline" I need, and away we go!

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