Winnebago Introduces A New Wheelchair Accessible RV
As RVs become more and more popular across all demographics, accessibility has become a major priority for some manufacturers. Winnebago is one brand that has made great strides toward making their RVs comfortable and accessible for everyone who loves to travel. This commitment is showcased in their newest wheelchair accessible RV: The Winnebago Roam.
Overview of the Winnebago Roam
The Winnebago Roam is a Class B Motorhome (aka camper van) that hosts all the amenities and comforts that anyone could want. There is currently only one floor plan available right now, which is the 59RA. If this model sells well, it’s possible that this product line will be expanded and improved even further.
This wheelchair accessible RV has all the amenities that you need from a home on the road. There’s a wet bath, a flip-up dinette with extension, and a small kitchen complete with a microwave, sink, and refrigerator. There’s a bed at the rear of the unit, as well as a pop-top that can be expanded to add an extra sleeping space.
- Length: 19 feet, 9 inches
- Interior height: 6 feet, 3 inches
- Interior width: 6 feet, 2 inches
- Freshwater tank capacity: 10 gallons
- Gross Vehicle Weight Rating: 8,900 lbs.
- Sleeping capacity: 4 people
What sets the Winnebago Roam apart?
The Roam is the newest addition to Winnebago’s lineup of handicap-accessible vehicles. It’s also the first Class B RV that they’ve made for this purpose. Generally, only very large and pricey models are designed to accommodate wheelchairs. It’s quite unusual to see a compact camper van that can do the job just as well as a larger model.
Winnebago already offers a couple of large Class A models that are handicap-accessible, but the Roam is much smaller, cheaper, and easier to drive. This will be a major perk for anyone who wants to travel without spending their life savings on a massive motorhome.
Plus, it doesn’t even need to use any slide-outs to expand the floor space. It’s designed to be easy to navigate without any help.
The Winnebago Roam has several accessibility features that make it easy for everyone to use. First off, there’s the wheelchair lift. This lift is designed to fit neatly under the vehicle, making it easy to use when it’s time to lift, and easy to stow when it’s time to drive.
Inside the RV, there are several sets of wheelchair tie-downs as well, so you won’t have to worry about installing your own. No rocky rides or unexpected rolling will happen in this motorhome!
Next up, there’s an easy-access wet bath. You can roll a wheelchair right into this room, plus all the controls are designed to be easy to reach. The rest of the furnishings in this motorhome are fairly standard but are still designed with comfort and a navigable layout in mind.
For instance, there’s a motorized sofa bed at the rear of the unit that can be automatically expanded. Many of the features and furniture installations are designed to be reachable from the height of a wheelchair as well.
Other wheelchair accessible Winnebago models
Although the Roam is the first wheelchair-accessible Class B motorhome from Winnebago, they’ve been making breakthroughs in this area for a while. Prior to the release of this new model, they created 2 Class A motorhomes that were designed to be comfortable and easy for wheelchair users to navigate. These 2 RVs were the Adventurer AE and the Inspire AE. Each of them currently only offers a single floor plan, but there may be more to come in the future.
If space and comfort are your priorities, these RV models may be perfect for you. They can fit more passengers and storage and may even be suitable for full-time living if that’s your goal.
The Adventurer is built to provide a ton of empty floor space. Wheelchairs can be a bit bulky and difficult to turn, so this extra amount of space is very nice.
There’s a massive master bedroom at the rear and every element is designed to be easy to use and access from a wheelchair. The sink has an opening on the bottom to allow wheelchair users to roll their legs under it and the bathroom is easy to wheel in and out of. There are also furniture pieces that can be folded down or removed entirely. So even if you’re feeling a bit cramped to begin with, the interior can be adjusted to suit your needs! You can check out more details about the Adventurer AE here.
The Inspire floor plan has many of the same great qualities as the Adventurer AE, but their layouts are quite different. For instance, the Inspire also has a good amount of floor space to make navigation easier, but it doesn’t offer some of the fold-down or removable furniture options.
On the other hand, it does have a good separation of space so every area has its own function. There is still a rear bedroom where there is a lot of room to pull up alongside the bed. The bathroom isn’t directly attached to the bedroom, but it sits right outside so it can be accessible for everyone in the RV. Of course, this model also includes a wheelchair lift and a wheel-in bathroom. Explore more details about the Inspire AE here.
The future of RV accessibility
The release of the Winnebago Roam is a great step forward for the RV industry. It proves that even compact models like Class B motorhomes can be designed for everyone to enjoy. As the options become more popular and widely available, it’s likely that we’ll see other brands follow in Winnebago’s footsteps. It’s likely that even more wheelchair accessible RVs will be showing up in the future.
The Winnebago Roam will be available starting Fall of 2021. For more specifications and floor plan details, visit the Winnebago product page.
Youtuber RV Miles shares a closer look at the Roam in their recent video below:
RVers looking for valuable how-to information have learned to go to the experts. Forums such as iRV2.com and blog sites like RV LIFE, Do It Yourself RV, and Camper Report provide all the information you need to enjoy your RV. You’ll also find brand-specific information on additional forums like Air Forums, Forest River Forums, and Winnie Owners Forum.