Caravanning without barriers - a motorhome and caravan for the disabled
People with mobility limitations, and above all on wheelchairs, also want to be mobile, be close to nature and be able to spend their free time safely on their own terms. Visiting international caravanning fairs, we have met many times companies that rebuilt and rework serial motorhomes or created their solutions based on bodies of well-known manufacturers. When following the offer of companies with such a profile, it is easy to notice that they do not develop their own constructions - for many reasons.
Firstly, the cost of the development and production of vehicles would not be profitable due to the quantities produced, and secondly, the subject of approval and legalization of certain solutions is omitted. It should be borne in mind that every person with mobility limitations has different needs and it would be difficult to offer permanent interior layouts like in "serial" motorhomes. A good example of cooperation between the manufacturer of a motorhome and a company that adapts the vehicle to the needs of the disabled was the cooperation between two German brands - Paravan GmbH and the well-known Hymera - initiated a few years ago - its result was, unfortunately, the Hymermobil Paravano series of vehicles expired.
Camper and caravan after modifications
The market, however, does not like a vacuum, and the Hymer / Paravan construction has been replaced by several manufacturers for which this segment has become the main area of interest. And so, for some time now, a number of interesting constructions can be observed on our European market, proving that a physical disability does not have to mean stagnation and the inability to explore the world. British Coachbuilt is a great example of this. The company's offer includes not only adapted motorhome structures, but also caravans. Most of the modified vehicles come from the domestic SWIFT / Sprite brands.
The KON-TIKI model, widely described by the industry media, refers to the boat of the Norwegian traveler Thor Heyerdahl. Based on Fiat Ducato with 3 axles, this colossus is equipped with a slide-out hull to increase the living space and make it easier for wheelchair users to maneuver inside the vehicle. The toilet, the sleeping bed and - of course - the vehicle control system have also been fully adapted. Depending on the type of disability, the company adjusts the cockpit and driver's seat to ensure comfort and safety while driving.
The Austrian company Multimobil also has an interesting proposition in its offer. A fully adapted drive control system, a retractable side wall and a cassette lift allow you to travel without barriers, but with the class and full equipment needed to be independent for a long time. The car is 780 cm long and the gross vehicle weight is 4,500 kg. Interestingly, this motorhome for the disabled has a remote-controlled gray water drain valve and a remote control door that opens at an angle of 100 ° at the press of a button. Due to the specificity of the vehicle, the standard equipment includes an advanced active suspension system and self-leveling hydraulic supports. The non-threshold paddling pool offers an area of 130 x 145 cm.
I feel best in the form of trade fairs and meetings with enthusiasts. Technical freak. In my life I have dismantled many motorhomes for the first time. Fan of large vehicles, mountain biking and traveling without weight and financial restrictions. At CampRest, I am responsible for all publications on automotive topics.