The Best Handicap Accessible Motorhomes
Once upon a time, it was almost impossible to find a handicap accessible motorhome unless you or a manufacturer made the necessary modifications. Even with the passing of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990, the requirements of accessibility only applied to buildings and facilities, not RVs.
Life is not over when you have a disability. Nor is it over if you are advancing in age with limited mobility. You should be able to feel comfortable and safe while taking the road trip of a lifetime.
Even with ADA, a hotel could have all their handicap-accessible rooms booked when you need one. Having your own traveling “hotel” alleviates the need to be at the mercy of others. It also provides you all the comforts of home.
Handicap accessible motorhome must-haves
The average RV shopper doesn’t think about accessibility when touring hundreds of motorhomes at an RV show. For someone who is confined to a wheelchair, the experience is much different.
Furthermore, not all motorhomes are designed with handicap access in mind. It’s not standard to have ramps or lifts. For instance, many smaller units are not big enough to widen the pathways to accommodate a wheelchair. For a motorhome to make an impact on handicapped RVers, these features should be available and accessible:
- Powered wheelchair lift controlled by a remote.
- Wider pathways to accommodate a wheelchair or walker.
- Kitchen appliances accessible from a seated position.
- A dining table with one side accessible by wheelchair.
- Roll under sink is usually located in the bedroom.
- An adjustable headrest bed is easily raised by a remote control.
- Grab bars in key areas such as the bathroom.
- Tie-downs to secure the wheelchair.
- Switches accessible from a seated position.
- Bathrooms accessible with roll-in shower.
Wheelchair-friendly motorhomes on the market now
At this time, there are two major RV manufacturers with standard handicap accessible Class A motorhomes. These manufacturers are Newmar and Winnebago. Outside of these companies, you can find a mobility dealer to make necessary modifications to an existing motorhome.
Let’s explore the standard handicap accessible motorhomes currently on the market.
Newmar claims to have “the world’s first and largest wheelchair-accessible Class A motor coaches.” Their three available coaches were designed after years of research and testing. In addition, they were designed with the direction and oversight from wheelchair users.
First, the diesel-powered Ventana includes a remote-control BraunAbility wheelchair lift. The lift comes with a power-opening door and retracts into a luggage compartment; therefore, it increases interior space.
In addition, the Ventana has extra-wide aisles, a deep roll-in shower, and a dinette with a power-adjustable table (shown in the photo below). Lastly, switches, fixtures, and appliances were lowered throughout the coach for ease of access.
Next, you will find the luxuriously appointed diesel-powered Dutch Star motorhome. Equipped with many of the same amenities as the Ventana, the Dutch Star also includes a Sleep Number adjustable mattress. In addition, it comes with a height-adjusted dishwasher.
Lastly, there is the industry’s first non-retrofit handicap accessible motorhome, the Canyon Star. This founding member of their fleet boasts extra-wide aisles that are even accessible with the slides in.
Winnebago also has 3 different models as part of their Accessibility Enhanced Line. There are two gas and one diesel option. Prices range from $200,000 to $350,000.
The Adventurer is a mid-range 31-foot gas coach. The only missing handicap accessible feature on this motorhome is the adjustable headrest on the bed.
However, all other necessary features are available. This smaller model gives you increased flexibility. In other words, you are able to stay in most all US National Parks.
Next, Winnebago’s Intent model is also a 31 foot gas motorhome. This option has a Murphy bed, therefore, it has more floor space for increased mobility.
Finally, there is the largest of the three handicap accessible motorhomes. The Forza is a 36-foot diesel coach with a smooth ride thanks to a 340-hp Freightliner chassis.
If you are not ready to buy or are unsure if RV life in a wheelchair is for you, renting first is a great option. For example, RVshare gives you the ability to do a stress-free search online to find what you need to be comfortable.
If you are experiencing life in a wheelchair for the first time, you are not alone. You don’t have to give up on a life full of freedom, adventure, and comfort. There are resources available to support you. Check out Wheel Chair Traveling to find support and more access to your world!
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