What do you want from a disabled Motorhome / campervan?

Discussion in 'Motorhomes for the Disabled' started by guyd, Apr 11, 2013.

  1. guyd

    guyd Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2013
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    somerset
    Hi

    long time lurker, first post.

    Im looking to try to build a few motorhomes for disabled people - as my wife is disabled (T6 complete paraplegic) - now I know her requirements (nag nag nag...) but thats not necessarily what any one else wants.

    I hope this isnt considered spam, as I'm not 'selling' anything, just doing some market research.

    Can you tell me what YOU want as a disabled owner? My mrs is insistent on being able to drive, and turn around in the living area for example.

    thanks

    Guy
     
  2. scousebird

    scousebird Funster

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2012
    Messages:
    13,600
    Likes Received:
    20,632
    Location:
    South East Kent
    Wider door and possibly a fold out ramp of some kind?
     
  3. rainbow chasers

    rainbow chasers Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2009
    Messages:
    3,747
    Likes Received:
    1,720
    Location:
    Mid Cornwall
    Very fine balancing act that many have tried before with varying results.

    I viewed one at a dealer out of curiosity, at the time toying with the idea of adding one to the hire fleet as I had received a few requests from people with mobility problems.

    The one I saw put me right off the idea to be honest. Whilst it had room, and was built for 4 occupants - the shower/toilet was largely dominent in the centre of the van with everything else squeezed in around it. The only dignity offered was a shower curtain - and if you had others with you, their legs would be in the shower with the person using it. I would also imagine any oblusions would permeate around the van quickly, so privacy was not even considered.

    Therefore, I would say - If you are going to do it, do it with dignity! Offer al;l the privacy you would wish for, and try to keep it as 'normal' as possible for the users sake. Just because they are having mobility problems, doesn't make them an animal.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  4. bigfoot

    bigfoot Funster

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2007
    Messages:
    3,992
    Likes Received:
    5,049
    Location:
    Wirral
    It may be of benefit if you make contact with your local Community Transport operator or the Community Transport Association http://www.ctauk.org/ or even blag a ticket to the annual Mobility roadshow http://www.mobilityroadshow.co.uk/news/item/0/26
    Or even your local disability group.
    When I was designing vehicles our aim was to make the passenger part of the rest of the vehicle passenger and not stuck in the back like a piece of luggage.
    I did see a lethal 'disabled' conversion where the tracking to secures the wheelchair was screwed into the floor with coach screws an not bolted through with spreader plates.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. guyd

    guyd Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2013
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    somerset
    Thanks - the common theme from bigfoot and rainbow chasers seems to be dignity / normality. I am very much of the opinion that disabled people should be able, within reason, to be able to do anything an able bodied person should.

    I live on a watermill / farm and swmbo is able to do 90% of the stuff round here - ok, she cant change light bulbs, but I cant cook.... :Doh:

    Im looking at a new Fiat Ducato at the moment, with possibly air suspension so that it can have a ramp instead of a lift (the ramp needs to be 1:20 (according to CAE) and a standard ducato floor is 500mm from the ground making the ramp 10 metres long!) Interestingly, transport for london states a 1:8 ramp for their buses which only means a 4 metre ramp..... :Eeek:

    Current design is bathroom at the back in its own enclosed room, then living / bedroom in the middle (so if necessary, can get from bathroom to bed as short as possible - my mrs gets dressed by flailing around on the bed like a beached fish....) then cooking etc at the front, leaving lots of turning space and transfer space to get onto the drivers and passenger seats.

    Only looking to sleep two at the moment, across the van (metal to metal is 1796mm or 70 3/4" or nearly 5'11" which will have to be adequate ;)

    thanks for the thoughts so far, its appreciated.
     
  6. Terry

    Terry Funster

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2007
    Messages:
    10,722
    Likes Received:
    6,224
    Location:
    South yorks
    On the new fiats stable they claim a 6 ft 4 ins width ??? yep theyare the widest vans around but adding lowering air sus isgoing to cost a lot :Eeek:On my oldambulance that job is already done inc ramp with a internal width of 6 ft 6 ins :Wink:-could well be a good donner van :thumb:
    terry
     
  7. FULL TIMER

    FULL TIMER Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    May 31, 2012
    Messages:
    796
    Likes Received:
    712
    Location:
    NORWICH
    Good luck with your project, we have built quite a few vehicles for disabled customers over the years some just requiring the odd hand grip fitted to ones with wheelchair access etc, we also built most of the patient transport vehicles for East of England NHS Trust, all the ambulances were based on Renault Masters / Vauxhall Movanos nice low floors but we also fitted air suspensions to them this enabled the rear to lower allowing shorter ramps to be used, most were only as high as the rear doors when stowed, but we did fit some that were folding ramps giving a gentler slope but I very much doubt if even these were longer than 3 metres in length when in use, One thing we did find with the exception of the ambulances that every one requires something different so working with the customer and getting them to try different set ups etc before finalising everything and completing the build is a must.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2013
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Cat53

    Cat53 Funster

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2014
    Messages:
    909
    Likes Received:
    4,890
    Location:
    Grantham
    Space

    For my wheelchair bound husband he wants room to move around in a wheelchair preferably without bashing into the cupboards etc. A roomy wet room with shower chair. Now we feel if it's a four berth van then the shower room should be in the middle as you don't want everyone traipsing through the bedroom in the middle of the night to use the loo, so either two convertible seating areas either end, or a fixed bed at one end. It's a problem as we both want different things. I like sleeping with my man, but if we do that then the stowage of the wheelchair at night becomes a problem. I will have to access the loo at night and would prefer to keep my shins and toes intact. When the bed problem is solved we move on to the space problem. I do not want to be tripping over the wheelchair, or having to ask Steve to move, everytime I want to make a drink, or step outside, cook a meal, see to the dogs, so I want space in the living area. Steve wants a wheelchair lift not a ramp. He feels this enables him to take a coffee outside and come in independently if I am not around (dog walking or shopping etc. It's the discussion we are having at the moment. It's why I want a slide out, but he's not keen. I want to look at Winnebagos etc, he wants to stay British and short. I can see all the reasons for and against on both sides and it's giving me a headache! :Eeek:
     
  9. Viennese

    Viennese Funster

    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    Messages:
    2,346
    Likes Received:
    2,522
    Location:
    Oxford
  10. K8ELIZABETH

    K8ELIZABETH Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2014
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi New to Motorhome Fun..... getting excited about my new wheelchair frindly motorhome........Ive gone through the same deliberations.... my questions and requirements were answered by Coachbuilt GB.

    They adapt standard motorhomes to your requirements.... really helpful bunch couldn't recommend enough.
     
  11. Steveonley

    Steveonley

    Joined:
    May 14, 2014
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Bromsgrove
    I got my adapted Swift Sundance 636L from Coachbuilt in Warwickshire at a cost of £80,000. Worth looking at for ideas but they gut the Motorhome and build it around wheelchair users needs.
     
  12. ambulancekidd

    ambulancekidd Funster

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2014
    Messages:
    536
    Likes Received:
    1,305
    Location:
    Ayrshire Scotland
    My Campervan self build is being done with my disabled partner in mind, so room for her rough terrain mobility scooter is a major requirement but in answer to your question we feel that the ability to charge the scooter is a necessity. After all we'll be on holiday, wild camping or on sites like The Great Dorset Steam Fair where there is no mains charging available but the scooter is a must.

    Here's wishing you great success with your quest...Robert & Hazel.
     
  13. gavel

    gavel Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    East Anglia
    We have an Auto Cruise Starspirit 2 berth. Sue has MS and cannot walk, We have a Milford hoist from Autochair £350 on ebay, we have hinged the shower room door to make a wider access and use a Ross Return a glorified sack barrow from our OT to transport Sue up and down the van. We also have a portapotti which we can use as a commode between the beds. We either transport a Pride Apex 4 mph full suspension on the bike rack without battery pack or with a trailer carry a ProRider Road King plus the Pride. We regularly travel to France to walk the canals or go to Scotland and walk "Walking with Wheels" by Eva McCracken a brilliant book of walks. Try "Miles without Stiles" for walks in the Lake District.
     
  14. campingcar9

    campingcar9 Funster

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    new milton
    only just come across your post I have ms not completely wheelchair bound but my main need is for a cassette loo ,it will be interesting to see what you design in the end ,I'll watch this space campingcar9
     
  15. EzeeRider

    EzeeRider Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2007
    Messages:
    93
    Likes Received:
    48
    Wow that was expensive! I hope it included the cost of a new Sundance. Was it the cost of additional equipment for the disabled that ramped up the price?
    ezee
     
  16. Cat53

    Cat53 Funster

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2014
    Messages:
    909
    Likes Received:
    4,890
    Location:
    Grantham
    We were quoted £97 k to make a Swift Kontiki 695 wheelchair friendly. This was to install a cassette lift, widen the door make the shower room a wet room, tip the bed up, LPG Gas conversion, tow bar, automatic, (£4000) tip up bed, satellite TV system, plus 2 TVs, and so on. The whole thing costs about £30 k on top of the on the road cost of the Kontiki. They say the addition of a wide door and the cassette lift uses up the discounted VAT the and the rest costs a further 20% . They have to make a profit too. But it's steep and part of the reason we backed off.
     
  17. dryad

    dryad Funster

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2010
    Messages:
    641
    Likes Received:
    9,215
    Location:
    kent
    thank you for the recommendations of the books, shall try and get hold of copies..
    it can be a bit disheartening when you go somewhere that is supposed to be disabled friendly and then come up against a stile, steps or something and have to turn back..
    really think that those who say that somewhere is accessible spend the day in a wheelchair and see for themselves..
     
    • Like Like x 1
  18. dryad

    dryad Funster

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2010
    Messages:
    641
    Likes Received:
    9,215
    Location:
    kent
    it's not often that i rant or swear, but jeezus wept, am truly appalled at the quote you were given, how the hell can they justify that price?
    was that including the cost of a new vehicle as well, and if it was then everything should have been vat free..
    and i find it appalling also that so much disability and mobility equipment is so damned expensive, it seems to have no relation to the cost of component parts, which often are quite cheap, but they know that they have you by the short and curlies because without it you're buggered..

    i had a basic conversion done on my van for six thousand by a company in kent that convert vans to ambulances, disabled adapted mini busses for care homes and charities etc..it didn't include the cost of the (secondhand) van though, that started life as a lwb citroen relay builders panel van, i bought that separately on their recommendation for what i needed..

    the work that they did was..

    remove bulkhead..
    replace double seat for a single swivel seat which they found and bid for me brand new on ebay, which i paid for (£160) separately and went and collected..
    removed ply lining and fully insulated and replaced, then covered with that carpet stuff..
    constructed a raised bed (6' x 3'6") across the back with ample garage space underneath to take my scooter and powerchair..
    fitted a secondhand underfloor cassette lift at the back that they sourced for me..
    two large outward opening windows in the sides of the van, plus a smaller slide window for kitchen area..
    black out windows in the rear doors..
    two roof lights..
    toilet compartment with flushing loo, i didn't want a shower..
    wardrobe and cupboard space..
    kitchen with cupboards of course, two gas rings and sink ( i didn't want oven or fridge as that is what pubs are for, but enough for me to make a brew or a simple dinner if needed)
    gas bottle locker..
    simple electric system with hook up, leisure battery, led lights throughout and ample electrical sockets including one in the garage to charge mobility bits and bobs..
    supplied hook up leads..
    supplied and fitted a fire extinguisher..
    a 5' 9" bench seat/single bed across from the side opening door with masses of storage underneath with an easy full length pull out drawer..
    soft furnishings and foam were included..
    they did a quality job with quality materials and fittings..

    needed everything simple and easy for me to be able to travel solo, but with the extra bed in case i took a friend or passenger with me..

    and one of the guys who worked on it and has one of those graphic making machine thingys, did the tree of life for the bonnet of the van see my avatar, as a surprise birthday present for me as he'd heard me talking about it..
    lovely, lovely people who don't rip anyone off, and there was no vat to be paid either for anything..

    edit...also meant to add, really hope that you find the perfect vehicle and adaptions for your needs cat..
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2014
    • Like Like x 2
  19. EzeeRider

    EzeeRider Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2007
    Messages:
    93
    Likes Received:
    48
    At 97K it is worth talking to some of those that do custom builds, you can buy a cab chassis for about £30K.
    ezee
     
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    May 30, 2008
    Messages:
    15,458
    Likes Received:
    8,598
    Location:
    Ilfracombe, Devon
    Always worth having a word with Terry, he will build what you want and do a decent job of it.
     
    • Like Like x 2
Loading...

Share This Page