If you’re like most people, the idea of a wheelchair accessible RV is probably new to you. But the truth is, for many people who use wheelchairs, an RV can be a great way to get around. Whether camping in a state park or traveling cross-country, there are now RVs on the market that make it easy for everyone to enjoy the experience.
Wheelchair-accessible RVs are recreational vehicles designed to accommodate wheelchair uses. They feature wider doorways and hallways, lower countertops and cabinets, and wheelchair-accessible bathrooms. Some also have ramps and lifts to make getting in and out of the RV easy.
Whether you’re a wheelchair user or have a loved one who is, finding an RV that’s accessible can be a real challenge. However, did you know there are several wheelchair-friendly RVs that can make it easy to get out and enjoy the great outdoors? Read on to learn about some of the best wheelchair-friendly RVs on the market.
Types of Wheelchair Accessible RVs
The types of wheelchair-accessible RVs include converted sprinter vans, modified motorhomes, and fifth-wheel trailers. Each type of RV has unique features and benefits that make it a good choice for wheelchair users.
To help you understand what each of these RV types, here’s a rundown of the features, benefits, and downsides of each:
Converted Sprinter Vans
When you think of an RV, the chances are you picture a giant motorhome with a kitchen, bedroom, and living area. But what if I told you some sprinter vans have features that make them wheelchair accessible and ideal for road trips?
Converted sprinter vans are one of the most popular types of wheelchair-accessible RVs. That’s because they offer many features that make them both comfortable and practical for people with disabilities.
For instance, many converted sprinter vans have lowered floors, ramps, and lifts that make it easy for wheelchair users to get in and out of the van. And, since they’re smaller than most RVs, they’re easy to maneuver around tight spaces.
Here’s a video that shows how a converted sprinter van can be used as a wheelchair-friendly RV:
Pros of Converted Sprinter Vans
- They offer a lot of features in a small package. When you have a conversion van, you can still take advantage of all the features you love about traveling in an RV. That means you can still cook your meals, enjoy the outdoors, and sleep in comfort.
- Converted vans offer privacy. If you are someone who likes to have their own space when they travel, then a conversion van is a great option. You can close the doors and curtains and have your little world inside the van.
- They’re maneuverable. If you are worried about maneuvering a large RV, then a conversion van may be a good option. They are easy to drive and park, and you won’t have to worry about taking up too much space.
- Affordable. Building or buying a full-sized wheelchair-friendly motorhome can be expensive. A conversion van may be a more affordable option if you are on a budget.
Cons of Converted Sprinter Vans
- Little room for storage. One of the drawbacks of having a conversion van is that there is not much room for storage. If you plan to take long trips, you may need to find a place to store your belongings.
- They don’t have the features of a full-sized RV. If you are looking for all the amenities of a full-sized RV, then a conversion van may not be the right option. However, if you are willing to sacrifice some of the features, then a conversion van may be a good option.
Note: Ensure you do some due diligence on companies that offer to convert your van. That way, you can be sure you’re getting a quality conversion.
A modified motorhome is a great option if you want all the features of a full-sized RV but need it to be wheelchair accessible. Like other wheelchair-accessible RVs, they have wider doorways and hallways, wheelchair lifts or ramps, and handrails throughout the RV.
Some models feature roll-under sinks, countertops, and lowered appliances and storage. In addition, many modified motorhomes have automatic doors and air-conditioned interiors to make life on the road more comfortable.
Pros of Modified Motorhomes
- They offer all the features and comforts of a full-sized RV. A modified motorhome is a great option if you want an RV with all the bells and whistles.
- They’re spacious. One of the best things about a modified motorhome is that they offer a lot of space. That means you can bring all the gear you need for a long trip. Besides, the extra room means you can tag along friends and family members.
Cons of Modified Motorhomes
- They’re expensive. One of the drawbacks of a modified motorhome is that it can be expensive. If you’re on a budget, consider another option.
- They’re not as maneuverable as other RVs. Because modified motorhomes are larger, they can be difficult to maneuver. If you are worried about maneuvering a large RV, consider another option.
Wheelchair Accessible Fifth-Wheel Trailers
A fifth-wheel trailer is a great option if you want the space of a modified motorhome but need it to be more maneuverable. Fifth-wheel trailers hitch to the bed of a truck, so they can be towed anywhere.
They offer decent mobility and flexibility. In addition, fifth-wheel trailers often have features like slide-outs and air conditioning to make life on the road more comfortable.
In the following video, Keystone RV Company provides insights into some of the things a wheelchair accessible RV offers:
Pros of Wheelchair Accessible Fifth Wheel Trailers
- They’re easy to tow. One of the best things about a fifth-wheel trailer is that they’re easy to tow. That means you can take them anywhere you want to go.
- They’re flexible. Fifth-wheel trailers offer a lot of flexibility. You can set them up however you want and change things as needed.
- They’re spacious. Fifth-wheel trailers are typically more spacious than sprinter caravans. That means you’ll have plenty of room to move around and store things.
Cons of Wheelchair Accessible Fifth Wheel Trailers
- They can be difficult to set up. Fifth-wheel trailers can be difficult to set up, especially if it’s your first time.
- They can be expensive. Fifth-wheel trailers can be expensive, especially if you need to have one custom-made.
- Might not offer the features of a full-sized motorhome. If you’re looking for all the bells and whistles, a fifth-wheel trailer may not be the right choice.
Benefits of Owning a Wheelchair Accessible RV
The benefits of owning a wheelchair-accessible RV include the ability to travel freely, having more space, and enjoying the amenities of home while on the road. With these RVs, you’ll have no problem getting around. You can visit new places and see new things without worrying about how to get there.
If you have disabled friends or family members, owning a wheelchair-accessible RV will allow you to take them with you on trips. You’ll no longer have to worry about finding a place that is handicap friendly. With one of these RVs, everyone can enjoy the trip together.
Plus, a wheelchair-accessible RV comes with many of the same features as a regular RV. That means you’ll have access to kitchens, bathrooms, and bedrooms. You can also enjoy features like satellite TV and air conditioning.
So, if you’re looking for an RV that will offer you the freedom to travel without worry, then a wheelchair-accessible RV is a great option.
How To Choose the Right Wheelchair Accessible RV
To choose the right wheelchair accessible RV, you’ll need to consider the most accessible options. You must also consider your budget, the number of people you’ll be traveling with, and the type of features you want.
You also need to consider how easy the RV is to drive. If you’re not used to driving a large vehicle, then you may want to consider an RV that is easier to handle.
Here’s a rundown of a few other crucial factors to keep in mind when choosing a wheelchair-accessible RV:
- Accessibility: The first thing you need to consider is accessibility. You want to make sure the RV can accommodate your needs. That means it should have features like ramps, lifts, and wide doorways.
- The type of vehicle: There are many different types of RVs on the market. You need to decide what type of vehicle is best for you. Do you want a motorhome, a modified sprinter van, or a fifth-wheel trailer?
- Your budget: Wheelchair-accessible RVs can be expensive. You need to determine how much you will spend on an RV.
- The RV size: You need to ensure that the RV is large enough to accommodate your needs. If you have a family, then you’ll need a larger RV.
- The features: When choosing a wheelchair-accessible RV, you need to decide what features are important to you. Do you want an RV with a kitchen, a bathroom, or a bedroom?
Tips for Modifying an RV To Make It Accessible
Having looked at all the features of different types of wheelchair-accessible RVs and how to pick one, you may be interested in the guidelines to follow when modifying an existing RV to make it accessible. After all, you can cut costs by not having to buy a new RV.
Here are a few tips for modifying an existing RV to make it wheelchair accessible:
Get a Professional Assessment
The first step is to contact a professional who can assess your needs and recommend the best modifications for your RV. They will also give you an estimate of the cost of the modifications, which will help you determine if it’s something you can afford.
Besides, a professional will know what modifications need to be made to ensure that your RV is safe and accessible.
Have a Plan
Once a professional assesses your needs, you need to have a plan for the modifications. That includes deciding which features are most important to you and your budget. You also need to think about the timeline for the modifications. You don’t want to rush the process and end up with an RV that’s not safe or accessible.
Get the Right Materials
When you’re ready to start the modification process, you must ensure you have the right materials. For instance, you need high-quality ramps, lifts, and other materials that meet your needs.
You also need to ensure that the materials you choose are compatible with your RV. Otherwise, you could end up damaging your RV or voiding your warranty.
Let a Professional Handle the Modifications
Once you have the materials, it’s time to let a professional handle the modifications. They will know how to install your ramps, lifts, and other features properly. They will also be able to make sure that the RV is still up to code and safe to drive.
If you try to do the modifications yourself, you could void your warranty or even make the RV unsafe to drive. Because of that, it’s always best to let a professional handle it.
It’s important to note that there are some risks associated with modifying an RV for wheelchair accessibility. These include:
- You might damage the RV.
- The modification might not be done correctly. That could lead to safety issues and put you and your family at risk.
- Modifying an RV can void the warranty. So, if something goes wrong, you might not be covered.
Wheelchair-accessible RVs can be a great option for people with disabilities. They offer the same freedom and flexibility as a regular RV, but they’re designed to accommodate the needs of people with disabilities.
If you’re considering buying a wheelchair-friendly RV, do your research and choose the right one for you. And if you’re considering modifying an existing RV to make it accessible, contact a professional to assess your needs and get the job done right.