Kate Taylor
Digital Content Manager

See other Advice articles filed in ‘Running a motorhome’ written by Kate Taylor
   
If you’re disabled, motorcaravanning can be a wonderful way to broaden your horizons, and it’s easy to get started. Here are some tips and sound advice to get you going.When it comes to buying a new motorhome, choose the smallest vehicle with which you’re comfortable, rather than the biggest you can afford. Make sure you have room on your driveway to park it, too.

If you’re disabled, motorcaravanning can be a wonderful way to broaden your horizons, and it’s easy to get started. Here are some tips and sound advice to get you going.

 

 

  • When it comes to buying a new motorhome, choose the smallest vehicle with which you’re comfortable, rather than the biggest you can afford. Make sure you have room on your driveway to park it, too.

 

  • If you are normally dependent on a wheelchair, you don’t need to pay VAT on the purchase of a motorhome that has been adapted to suit your needs and is for your personal use. All parts and subsequent servicing are also VAT-exempt. (For more information on this, phone the VAT Enquiry Line 0845 010 9000.) In addition, the zero-rating of VAT has been extended to cover used specially adapted vehicles.

 

  • Consider how your physical condition or family circumstances might alter in the years to come, and buy with this in mind.

 

  • Elevating-roof campers are generally unsuitable for motorcaravanners with a disability. High-top panel van conversions are often better: most have a large, sliding door on the nearside so getting in and out is not too hard. There are also many bespoke motorhome builders who will undertake a conversion to your exact requirements.

 

  • Larger coachbuilt motorhomes (either overcab or A-class) make a good alternative. Although their caravan doors often need to be adapted, this is very often not a problem – many manufacturers offer such adaptations as an option, or alternatively your dealer or local coachbuilder can do it.

 

  • Ramps and lifts can be fitted easily, as can a wheelchair-restraint system (although many may prefer to use the motorhome’s travel seats). If you do need a hydraulic lift, it must be equipped with fail-safe technology.

 

  • Disabled person's washroom in motorhomeDo not buy any motorhome without first assessing accessibility to the washroom.
    If you have a carer to assist you, it is even more important.

 

  • If you have arthritic hands, monobloc lever taps (where one lever controls both flow and temperature) are essential.

 

  • If you are a wheelchair user, you’ll find it easier to push your chair over vinyl flooring rather than carpets or rugs.

 

  • Many motorhomes are available with automatic or semi-automatic gearboxes, including Renault, the Ford Transit, Fiat Ducato, Mercedes Sprinter, and VW Transporter. Many US RVs have auto gearboxes, too, but these are usually for left-hand driver versions only.

 

  • You can automate a manual gearbox using a system such as Auto-Clutch (contact Vehvac: tel 01732 868080; web www.vehvac.co.uk), which is useful if you only have one ‘good’ leg: you change gear as normal but instead of depressing a clutch pedal, you push a button on the gearknob instead).

 

  • Finally, don’t be inhibited – just do it. You have nothing to lose, and much to gain!

 


Useful contacts

  • Coachbuilt GB (024 7630 4754, www.coachbuiltgb.co.uk)
  • Nirvana RV (0800 328 1475, www.nirvanarv.com)
  • Roy Wood Transits (0118 979 0060, www.roywoodtransits.co.uk)


Manufacturers/Converters

  • Leisuredrive (01204 574498, www.leisuredrive.co.uk)
  • Middlesex Motorcaravans (020 8952 4045, www.leisuredrive.co.uk)
  • Nu-Venture Campers (01942 238560, www.nuventure.co.uk)
  • Nu-Venture Motorhomes (01942 494090, www.nuventure.co.uk)
  • RS Motorhomes (01709 891110, www.rsmotorhomes.com)
  • SC Sporthomes (01633 862419, www.scsporthomes.com)
  • Warrior Motorhomes (01482 797001)
  • Wentworth Conversions (01784 433081, www.wentworthmc.co.uk)
  • Young Conversions (01908 639936, www.youngconversions.com)

 

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