When I was growing up I had an uncle who was a quadriplegic. He was paralyzed from the neck down, but it never stopped him. He, my aunt, and their daughter went on a vacation each year and saw every state in the continental U.S. Twice a year they would go to Gatlinburg, Tennessee. I never saw him as disabled.
They didn’t have an RV, but they did have an accessible car. In those days there wasn’t much in the way of accessible recreational vehicles, but that has changed. Many RV manufacturers are offering factory modifications before the rig is even delivered. This RV finder lists manufacturers that offer rigs that are accessible. In the RV Type menu, choose “RVs for Disabled.” Here are some ways that RVs can be outfitted to accommodate a disability.
Mobility issues are often the first thing that people think of when they think of accessibility. Ramps, lifts, and wider interior pathways to accommodate a wheelchair are common modifications. Kitchen cabinets and counters can be built lower and controls can be placed within easier reach. Roll in showers and roll under sinks are also available. However, mobility does not just mean wheelchair confined. It can also mean using a walker or even being unable to reach over your head.
Check out this blog to learn about special beach wheelchairs available many places: Boon docking at Jalama Beach-Northern Santa Barbara County, CA!
Sensory issues are common with some disabilities like autism and downs syndrome. I have Asperger’s Syndrome (high functioning autism) and sensory processing disorder is a big part of it. Sensory issues can make noises seem extremely loud, lights extra bright, and temperatures very uncomfortable. It is not something that most people would think about, but when you deal with sensory issues it can be debilitating.
Our travel trailer is outfitted to be very comfortable and my husband made some adjustments to our bedroom so that it is a very sensory friendly environment for me. He has black out material on all the windows and he has done as much as he can to block out noise. We keep it cool and relaxing. When I am overwhelmed or overstimulated, I can escape into my quiet, dark, cool environment and regroup.
Mental or Intellectual
Depending on the need, an RV can be outfitted for many different needs. For instance, doors can be outfitted with extra locks so if someone roams they can’t get out without supervision. You can also have alarms installed on the doors so if they are opened you can be alerted. You can also put guards or locks on cabinets and install other safety features.
When you are dealing with a disability you don’t have to forego the fun and freedom of an RV. Do a walk-through prior to purchase and bring along any equipment, if possible, to see what accommodations you need.
It is worth doing a thorough inspection and really taking your time to assess the layout and features of your rig and review all of your options. You can have an RV that is accessible for your needs and you can enjoy the fun and excitement of RV adventures.
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