When you have a disability it can be all too easy to assume that you can’t easily get out and explore in a leisure vehicle, but you’d be surprised at the amount of assistive devices available.
From grab handles and auto levelling systems to profiling beds and hoists, there really is no limit.
Okay, the title of this blog post isn’t the actual name of the show, but we used the 2019 Caravan, Camping and Motorhome Show as the perfect opportunity to seek out all things accessible. Here are just a few of the companies that sparked our interest-
We first heard about this lovely family run business online, and just had to pay them a visit while we were at the show. The unique motorstep is a self supporting stand-on lift designed for people with mobility issues who struggle with going up or down steps. This portable platform is weather proof and can sit outside your caravan or motorhome ready for you to step onto, and with the press of a button, will raise you up to a maximum height of 24 inches and enable you to easily step into your caravan or motorhome.It can be plugged into your onboard battery or a mains outlet, making it suitable to use at home as well as on a campsite. It’s easy to see just how life changing it can be. Although the Motorstep wouldn’t be beneficial to me for obvious reasons, I think it’s a great piece of kit that can (and does) enable people who may no longer consider themselves able to caravan/motorhome, to keep exploring.
You’re probably aware that we’ve met with Coachbuilt GB a few times now, but the work they do with their high quality craftsmanship never fails to amaze me. From fitting simple grab rails to installing complete wet rooms, it seems that no matter what additional needs you have they will find a solution for your leisure vehicle.The huge Autotrail motorhome they had on display at the recent show is just one example of what they can do. It came complete with a hydraulic wheelchair lift, ceiling track hoist, personalised shelving units, electric bed and even a 12v slide out section to give the wheelchair user a greater turning circle. I just know it’s going to make a family really happy when they receive it.
Now on to something a little different, OmniPods are a company who make wheelchair accessible glamping pods. Although you can’t hitch it up and drag it around the country like we are used to doing, we were taken in by it.The smooth decked ramp invited us up for a closer look, where we found stylishly decorated and perfectly accessible accommodation. It seems they had thought of everything, from the good sized wet room to the smaller (but just as important) details, like having the microwave at wheelchair height. These adorable pods can be installed on campsites or even in your back garden as a little annexe, and are suitable for year round habitation.I could happily have moved in!
Again, time for something a little different. These quirky little caravans caught our eye, not only because of their unusual shape and colour, but because the whole rear end can open up like a car boot- avoiding the issue of narrow doorways, essentially making it an “off the shelf” wheelchair accessible caravan.We got talking to the Managing Director and his passion for TripBuddy really shone through. Being a relatively small company they are able to make bespoke caravans and really are enthusiastic about providing adjustments and solutions depending on your needs, whether this be choosing the colour of the outside or interior layout.Not wanting to miss the opportunity to get inside one of these we returned with my portable ramps and I was straight in. The decor inside had a nautical feel, with decked flooring, blue and white striped sofas and porthole windows. Having just one stem on the yacht table made it really easy for me to get under in my wheelchair. I just love how willing TripBuddy are to customise everything!
We went to the show in the search for accessible camping, but came across more than we expected. There are many amazing products available but it’s the passion from the people behind them that really stood out.
I hope that more companies start to cater for people with disabilities because, for some, it’s the difference between staying at home or getting out there and exploring- and to me that’s priceless!