New Motor Home for the disabled

Discussion in 'Motorhomes for the Disabled' started by Gwynedd Wanderer, May 12, 2010.

  1. Gwynedd Wanderer

    Gwynedd Wanderer Read Only Funster

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    Hello,

    I hope you don't mind but I am conducting some market research into disabled motor homes to enable me to design and develop a motor home for the disabled. Prior to designing motor homes I designed patient handling equipment so I am very aware that disability comes in many forms so obviously one motor home does not suit all! Also my mother in law is registered disabled with sever arthritis and her needs are very different to say someone in a wheel chair.
    I would therefore like to rack your brains if you don’t mind and please tell me the types of options you would like to see in a mobility home. Is there a particular type of layout you would like to see? Would you prefer to have the door at the back? Would you like to start with a blank canvas or would you like to see a range of options? And of coarse how much would you pay?
    I would really appreciate any help with this task. I have already conducted a fair amount of research and found a lot of convertors of existing motor homes as well as after market add ons. What I would really like is to hear from people who are disabled and use motor homes to see what they would like from a motorhome. This is your chance now to be heard and I would really appreciate your input because I want to come up with a good solution.
     
  2. bazfergy

    bazfergy Read Only Funster

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    Space to move about in your chair,or frame or crutches without falling or breaking things,bench seats are better than the wrap round type seating,removable table,auto gearbox,low fixed bed,wide door to toilet/shower,rather than just a curtain,wide entry door,oven and cooker at a level where you don't have to reach up, and stand a chance of pouring something hot all over yourself.Price wise 30-35k would be a price that i would certainly take notice of.Best of luck and keep us informed how you get on,I'm a wheelchair user and am very interested in finding a van that suits me AND my better half,all the best barry
     
  3. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    the option to remove the drivers seat and drive from the wheelchair. Hand controls etc.
    the seat should be available should a non disabled person need to drive it. room for a wheelchair to turn around. without slides that would mean everything down one side of the van. The bathroom/wetroom full van width at the rear.remembering seating for ablebodied person
     
  4. rainbow chasers

    rainbow chasers Read Only Funster

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    I would say it is a good idea - though quite a balancing act!

    I have seen motorhomes which have widened doors and a slot to put a chair, a wide door to the shower/toilet but little room to move once in there.

    I have also seen a much more spacious model - though 80% of it was taken up by a huge disabled loo/shower. Though it had plenty of space inside, the kitchen was virtually inside the tiolet, and the poor disabled person had little privacy when using that facility as there was just a huge curtain. I dread to think of associated damp/condensation problems!

    Hardly dignified - especially if in use while the family are cooking dinner - as they would have to walk through the curtained off area to do anything.

    I think it will be a fine balancing act between getting a comfortable motorhome for both disabled and their family/carer - and having something which looks like a portable shower block with a bed in it.

    I think you could be on a winner if you get it right - good luck!:thumb:
     
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  5. ourcampersbeentrashed

    ourcampersbeentrashed Funster

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    In addition to bazfergy's excellent comments

    Remember not all adaptations suit one disability however here are some more suggestions and statements to ponder on.

    Many disabled travellers require specialist equipment e.g some require oxygen. So perhaps something to secure oxygen bottles but where they are used, eg living area and bed area without them being on the floor.

    Access to the low fixed bed needs to be wide enough to manouvre.

    All doors/drawers/cupboards need to remain shut whilst in transit but also need to be easily opened using little pressure or grip (eg people with arthritis and other hand problems). Again on this subject many gas cookers require 2 hands to operate, one to hold the button down and one to ignite it. Gas cookers should have an 12v ignition so that all items can be lit using just one hand.

    Items in the motorhome should be able to be operated using one hand only - not two.

    If you are creating one motorhome style I would suggest a full counter along one side of the motorhome that has two levels. This will accommodate e.g both the needs of a wheelchair user and any able bodied person accompanying them. You could then (on an individual basis, either put the sink in the lower area or the higher area dependent on each set of persons need.

    If space is a premium you could have a ready made up bed that folds up against the wall or raises and drops into place at the push of a button.

    Not everyone can reach the top cupboards. So a mechanism where items can be stored in the top cupboards but automatically open and drop down to a reachable height.

    The body of the motorhome should be such that handrails can be put in on an individual basis and the roof strong enough to take a hoist should someone need this for getting into and out of bed or alternatively a way of incorporating a metal hoist within a metal bed frame.

    Different surface textures for people who are losing or have lost their sight and metal labels in braille are also something to consider.

    You may find it helpful speaking to your local council's accessibility officer and social services/physiotherapists that specialise in putting adaptations into houses/flats etc.

    I am sure I will think of more things and hope Ive given you a little food for thought, however within your project if you remember these three things you wont go too far wrong:-

    Accessability, useability, manouvreability.

    Remember there is nothing stopping you experimenting yourself e.g sitting down and trying things out as if you were in a wheelchair, putting on a blindfold and trying things from a blind persons perspective, or putting on a boxing glove and using just one hand. Remember not everyone with disabilities has always been disabled.

    Best of luck xxxxx
     
  6. Gwynedd Wanderer

    Gwynedd Wanderer Read Only Funster

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    Wow thanks everyone for the comments it is really eye opening to get so many different peoples views. If you have any more comments to add please feel free:thumb:
     
  7. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    Hi Gwynedd Wanderer, although I like the idea :thumb: how / who exactly are you hoping to design the said M/H for ? and who will build such a vehicle ?
    I personally think that you will have to get one off designs to suit each individual and as such each would have to be made one off's by small company's who probably already incorporate such designs.
    If you are hoping a large manufacturer will do a design £60,000 plus is going to be a more realistic price :Eeek:
    terry
    Please do not think I am being negative or offensive :Wink:
    terry
     
  8. dazzer

    dazzer Read Only Funster

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    Got to agree with Terry here, each one will be custom made for each owner. I dont see how a standard setup will work. Surely a modular system of drop in components will be a much easier way of doing it?

    Not everyone needs a wheelchair lift which will give more room for other things for example.

    Also anything needing wheelchair access will need to be a pretty big unit before you start, this may well put people off as bigger motorhomes develop their own problems before you start to adapt them to individual users.

    I think you would be better designing individual modular systems (lifts/doors, bathroom, toilets, kitchens, beds etc etc etc)and then incorporating them into an existing empty shell. This method would be quick and easy to produce, design and build.

    Weight will be your biggest problem especially if using wheelchair lifts etc on European van chassis.
     
  9. weejohnw

    weejohnw Funster

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    steps to take

    Impossible task
    but, there's always a but!!!
    a low entry step and wider doors would be a great help.

    Also the comments earlier about appliances being operated by one hand and not two is a very sensible and doable option.

    A fold down shower seat would also be welcome

    Regarding price, everyones pockets are a different depth.
    Regards Weejohn
     
  10. bigfoot

    bigfoot Funster

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    When it comes to disability requirements some people think 'one size fits all'. This is not the case, hence generally a one off at high cost.
    Why don't manaufacturers design around modules which could be mixed and matched. Also a shower & toilet could be placed on opposite sides of the vehicle and a door concertina or sliding could then connect the 2 and make a larger wash room with space to move a wheel chair. Maybe look at an aircraft type wheelchair for use inside.
    For people driving who have limited neck movement multiple cameras front and rear.
    Extra power is a must for items like nebulisers.
    Good luck with the design and production.
     
  11. Gwynedd Wanderer

    Gwynedd Wanderer Read Only Funster

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    Hi everyone thanks for the comments. I probably should have explained that I work for the company that will be designing and manufacturing the disabled motor home. We are a small manufacturer of luxury bespoke motor homes but we are looking to expand our knowledge of motor homes into the disability market. As we are such a small company I am conducting the market research as well as designing the M/H! I think the idea to make the home modular is a good way forwards as it gives us a great deal of flexibility. Does anyone have a preference on where they would like the door to be? The door it seems is usually on the side of the motor home but does this not cause you problems when you are in car parks? Would it not be better to have it at the back?
     
  12. dazzer

    dazzer Read Only Funster

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    I would say the door in the back will cause problems. Will the users of this vehicle not park in a disabled spot which has large areas each side to allow easy access anyway??

    You dont see many doors in the back as it interferes with the best usable space for the bathroom or bedroom areas.
     
  13. bigfoot

    bigfoot Funster

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    May I also suggest that you contact the Community Transport Association. They are the represenative body for accessible transport operators, thay have a wealth of knowledge regarding vehicle engineering and leglislation. The also have a vehicle exhibition every year.
     
  14. smudger

    smudger Funster

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    you obviously have knowlege of and experience in this field....the vehicle that you quoted,
    is already and available on the market......www.nirvanner.com:Doh::moon2::moon2:
     
  15. dylan

    dylan Read Only Funster

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    The link you gave to the web site appears broken
     
  16. GregM

    GregM Read Only Funster

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    I do agree with what has been said, it's imposible to design a one fits all unit, but there are some basic things you could incorporate into a 'basic' model with options for those that need them.

    Basic model would have wider doors, wider 'coridoor', easy ignite cooker and fridge, LPG tank, decent size battery bank etc.

    Options I would think could include :

    Electric ramp instead of step (not wheelchair user but assume this would benefit)
    Low fixed bed
    Other mods that have already been mention
     
  17. EzeeRider

    EzeeRider Read Only Funster

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    GregM is right, a basic model to meet the requirements of the majority of disabled motorhome users is the way to go. There will always be a minority who will have specialised needs and I think the only way forward for them will be a custom build.

    It is very rare to find a disabled person motorhoming alone, there is usually an able body partner to assist, so things like low lockers are not an abosolute necessity for the majority.

    To me the basics are:

    1. The ability to easily enter and leave the vehicle. This means a wide accommodation door, minimum width of 30 inches for wheelchair users with an option to fit a wheelchair lift.

    2. The ability to be able to move end to end. This means no change in levels and an end to end aisle with no obstructions and a minimum width of 30 inches to accommodate most wheelchair users. Aisle chairs are all very well but they are impractical for everyday use.

    3. Whether there is a fixed bed or one that has to be made up, it should not be so high that it is difficult to use. I would suggest a floor to matress top height of 20 inches.

    4. An accessible toilet and shower. This is perhaps the most difficult if you are designing for a wheelchair user and in this case there aren't many options for how it can be done. A wet room is much preferred and a shower seat. However it is done, for a wheelchair user there has to be adequate access. You might find inspiration by looking at Winnebago's ability equipped RVs at http://www.winnebagoind.com/products/commercial/ability/ Whilst these are large vehicles it can be done in a vehicle less than 28 feet long and only 7-1/2ft wide.

    5. A decent payload. Disabled people tend to need more everyday items which are often quite heavy. A lift for instance will weigh 120 to 150Kgms, a scooter 80Kgms

    I think the above are the basics. If you cannot accommodate the above then its not worth
    bothering.

    ezee
     
  18. jhorsf

    jhorsf Read Only Funster

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    I know very little about the needs of the disabled but do wish you well in this venture, as we all one day may need a van like that. I am sure you will get plenty of input from the Funsters on here
     
  19. USRVSALES

    USRVSALES Deleted User

    Motorhome for disabled here

    Very difficult to find. If you are looking for one I just happen to have a 2005 Itasca Suncruiser. Model is the 38J with 25874 miles. :spam:

    >>>>Link



     
  20. niggle

    niggle Banned - Rule 1

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    :Eek!: there is all ready a company in tilburg holland that will uild you one from the ground up ,,, it includes all of the fittings that have been listed plus more,,,, that have been listed,,the guy who owns the choc shops in yepes has one,,saw it in france boy it put a lot of new homes to shame ,, the finnish was fab,, hand built :thumb::thumb:
     
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