Getting in and out of your motorhome is easier with a grab handle, says Tony Brown.

Motorhomes are not normally equipped with grab handles by the door, although even able-bodied motorcaravanners can find it a bit tricky to get in and out.

But if you have limited mobility, I think you would be especially well advised to fit the large, fixed, metal handles made for the purpose.

Car roof handle

I spent some time searching on the internet for a suitable general-use handle, but those I came across all had a domestic appearance.

I eventually realised that a car ceiling grab handle would be ideal - compact, folding and neutral grey in colour.

A typical car ceiling handle might cost around £50 new, but online I found three reclaimed Hyundai i10 roof handles for under £12, including postage.

If you are reclaiming the handles from a car yourself, it is simple to flip up the screwhead cover at each end and then use a cross-point or Torx screwdriver to remove the fixing bolts.

On removal, you'll probably find plastic bulges on the back of the two end fixing plates, which fitted into recesses in the car framework.

These bulges would obstruct their refitting to a flat surface, but this problem can be solved by securing the plastic in a vice and cutting it off with a hacksaw, before sanding down.

Strength test

At this point, you'll need to vigorously test the strength of the modified car handle, by bolting it to a large plywood offcut and giving it a good tug, before committing yourself to drilling a fixing hole in the motorhome's woodwork.

Before fixing in place, give your handles a good clean with T-Cut to remove any discoloration.

After they are cleaned and dried, check the hinges and folding springs work easily, If there is any doubt, a blast of silicone spray will help.

Select a washer to spread the load over the interior of the fixing recess and if necessary, drill out this washer to the hole size required and file down the sides to get a good fit in the recess.

You will probably use the largest size wood screw for refixing, as you need hidden access to the rear of the panel for putting nuts on bolts. If you plan to fix your grab handles horizontally, and you choose a rear seat handle, you might also have a handy coat hook!

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