What to consider when choosing a disability friendly motorhome
There are a variety of motorhomes that are available for people with disabilities. Models with features that are specifically designed with mobility and accessibility in mind, as well as the opportunity to modify and tailor an existing traditional motorhome to meet your needs or requirements. Owning, making memories and exploring the roads in your motorhome is a joy that all can experience, and in this article, we aim to inform you of some of the best potential motorhome options available with disabled access. Some of the topics discussed in this post are:
Existing second hand motorhomes that have been adapted to support disabilities or specific needs, often include alterations such as easy wheelchair access, including electric tail lifts or ramps to make entering and exiting the motorhome easily accessible and simple. Other simple, yet beneficial additions that can be made to your motorhome to aid any disabled passengers, are features such as specialised seats, bars to hold in the washroom, various furnishing modifications and improved bed access.
These additions can help to provide comfortable, enjoyable travel, whatever the distance. Specialised alterations, tailored for individual passengers can offer some reassurance and confidence for disabled passengers, avoiding concerns that their needs or health care requirements may not be met whilst they are away from home.
When deciding on a potential motorhome, it is important that you take the viewing time as an opportunity to test out the features that are provided, specifically the ones that are most important to you or a disabled passenger. Don’t feel pressured to rush this process, the seller of a motorhome should be understanding of your need to test these things out thoroughly before you are able to come to a final decision.
It is of the utmost importance that you will be able to maneuver your way throughout the motorhome, even on a hard day, so familiarizing yourself with this space during your viewings will bring you confidence and reassurance that the motorhome you are viewing will suit your needs and necessary requirements. This will be a big deciding factor when it comes to your purchase decision.
It would be wise for you to create a list of any expectations, essential requirements or features that you want within your motorhome. These should be key features that are necessary in supporting either yourself or a disabled passenger's needs. It can be helpful to separate this list of your written expectations or requirements into subheadings such as driving and living, as well as any other subheadings you feel would be beneficial to explore more closely. Doing so will offer you the ability to pinpoint any important tasks or routines that you may face day to day, as well as pick out potential parts of these routines that you may struggle with carrying out, on a regular day, and a bad day.
Making a list such as this will give you a better idea of what you are specifically looking for in a potential motorhome, encouraging further testing of the features offered, to ensure that the motorhome as a whole will meet your capabilities and offer you a hassle free, positive experience. This list is something you can easily refer back to during visits to potential motorhomes, and will aid you in confidently picking the right motorhome.
If you can't find a motorhome that meets your essential requirements, then you are always able to convert an existing model to suit your needs more accurately. Motorhomes that have been converted from panel vans are typically the easiest to adapt to your desired specifications, due to the doors usually being wider than a standard motorhome. This design feature can therefore make it easier to fit ramps and lifts, as well as provide more room to comfortably maneuver your way inside and outside of the vehicle.
Ideally, if you are in a wheelchair, or have a wheelchair bound passenger, the features you will want to look for in a motorhome will be
- Wider pathways/space to comfortably accommodate walker or wheelchair use.
- Accessible kitchen appliances and cupboards as well as a table for dining or resting upon that includes an accessible via wheelchair side.
- An accessible sink that a wheelchair can easily roll under, an easy to access bathroom with space to roll a wheelchair in, as well as sturdy bars to grab onto if needed within this wash space. This should include a Privacy screen, allowing the washroom to be screened off from the lounge or leisure area of the motorhome.
- You should also carefully consider features such as switches, ensuring they are easy and safe to reach generally, or in an emergency.
- Points throughout the motorhome that allow you to anchor a wheelchair or walker, to avoid any accidents or unexpected movement.
Most Caravan parks are required to offer disabled access/pitches to make setting up camp inclusive, comfortable and easy to manage. These dedicated pitches should also allow for extended space between vehicles, necessary for tasks such as using your motorhome's electric lift or ramp to enter or exit the vehicle via wheelchair, scooter or walker. Space is definitely something to keep in mind when visiting various campsites, ensuring you are mindful of how you position your vehicle, so that others can access the site too. It can be a good idea to contact a campsite you are considering visiting before you begin travelling, to avoid any disappointment and ensure that they offer dedicated disabled pitches if you feel it is necessary for your visit.
So, whether you have previously familiarised yourself with carrying out this research, or have just started to look into the potential purchasing an adapted, disabled motorhome, we hope that this blog post offered you some useful advice and has given you some guidance in what to look out for and prioritise when looking for a motorhome to purchase.
Best of luck with your search and happy travelling!