Monday, 28 October 2013

Top 10 Features That Make An RV Truly Handicap Accessible

What actually makes a wheelchair or handicap accessible RV different from a regular RV and suitable for people with disabilities to use on vacation. Or when they need a place to sleep away from home with all the creature comforts of home?

That's something that can be answered easily by anyone who has need of this kind of vehicle for an accessible RV vacation of come kind. But for those that are maybe not so well versed on what constitutes a truly accessible vehicle, here are the top ten major features that defines this genre of motorhome.

Ten Handicap Accessible RV Features:

  1. Motorized wheelchair lift : This is the first feature you generally see that indicates this is a specially adapted vehicle for wheelchair users. Essential for raising and lowering the wheelchair user without the need to get out of the chair when you want to get in and out of the RV.
  2. Grab rails: Abundantly located inside the RV and at the entrance outside to help with keeping steady when transferring from the ramp through the entrance. Inside these are essential to help with maneuvering around the place.
  3. Wide access points and aisles: These are necessary to aid access by the chair and its user without getting stuck anyplace.
  4. Handicap bathroom fittings including toilet, washbasin, and accessible facets all at low level for ease of reaching from a wheel chair.
  5. Accessible shower with seat, wider access and unobstructed floor with water drain channels to keep water inside the enclosure.
  6. Non-slip flooring to help prevent the kinds of accidents that slippery floors have a tendency to bring about. You need to maintain a high level of safety at all times.
  7. Low level kitchen units and worktops with easy access drawers, units and cupboard doors. If you intend doing any cooking or food preparation in the RV, it should be easy to reach everything you need and be able to work on the worktop in comfort.
  8. Adjustable height dining table to suit the height of the wheelchair. Eating at a table that is the right height for your sitting position in the wheel chair is not just necessary, it's essential if you're going to enjoy your meals and eat in comfort.
  9. Low level light switches and accessible power sockets. Nothing is more frustrating that having to reach up for a light switch that can be tantalizingly just out of reach!
  10. A real comfortable bed. OK, maybe not an exclusive feature of our special RV but this is something you need in everyday life. So when you're traveling a lot during the day you need a comfy place to hunker down at night, right?

These are aspects of a truly accessible motor home that you would expect to have available should you decide to rent a wheelchair accessible RV for a vacation or long road trip. There are other cosmetic additions that can enhance the overall experience of using this type of RV and it really depends on what you need in an individual basis.

Do These Features Exist on All Accessible RVs?

It depends on the manufacturer or customizing workshop where the modifications were made, so the short answer is, "It depends." In other words, while the core features will be evident on all truly accessible recreation vehicles, the type and placement will naturally vat according to the model and design layout.

You often find that the best and most evident of these features are found on commercially available vehicles such as handicap RV rental models, or those that are for hire in some form or another. This is probably because the hiring company wants to put out a fully featured vehicle that they expect to gain revenue from and then word of mouth will bring in more recommendations for future business.

Whether you buy or rent a handicap accessible RV, the whole idea of an RV is to have a fully convenient and functional home away from home. Just because it is on wheels doesn't mean it shouldn't contain all the handy and useful features you have become accustomed to in your home.

With that being said, it is pretty clear that the best accessible RVs will have everything you need for a comfortable and enjoyable vacation on the open road.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Accessible RV Vacations at Disney World

The thrill of going to Disney World for a person with disabilities it's a reality they can really look forward to. Travel there in an accessible RV and it's part of the vacation experience that will never be forgotten!

If you didn't already know, Disney World Florida caters for guests with disabilities allowing anyone access to suitable attractions that can make for an awesome vacation experience. So how about making it your objective after you have arranged for a wheelchair accessible RV rental and planned your journey by road for a fantastic voyage of discovery with an awesome destination!

Let's take a look at some of the services that are provided to make your visit a memorable one with the minimum of hassle and the maximum of enjoyment.

Ambulatory Requirements

These great attractions will require guests to walk some way by themselves or if possible to be assisted by members of their party. These are of course not suitable for all wheelchair users especially those who do not have sufficient mobility.

It's always a good idea to check before you visit to make sure you will be able to enjoy the attractions of your choice.

Electric Conveyance Vehicles (ECV)

These small, four wheeled electrically powered vehicles are perfect for transporting you around the park to get to the many attractions that have special wheelchair access capabilities. You can hire one of these small cars for your stay on the day and transfer to and from your wheelchair either by yourself or with help from someone in your party.

There are many attractions that you can visit and enjoy thanks to these great little carts where you can transfer from the cart to the ride and back again. Here is a list of them:

    Astro Orbiter
    Slow Rides, Spinning
    Magic Kingdom® Park, Tomorrowland®

    The Barnstormer
    Small Drops
    Magic Kingdom® Park, Fantasyland®

    Big Thunder Mountain Railroad®
    Small Drops, Thrill Rides, Interactive
    Magic Kingdom® Park, Frontierland®

    Castaway Creek
    Water Rides
    Disney's Typhoon Lagoon Water Park

    Cross Country Creek
    Water Rides
    Disney's Blizzard Beach Water Park

    Crush 'n' Gusher
    Small Drops, Thrill Rides, Water Rides
    Disney's Typhoon Lagoon Water Park

    Small Drops, Thrill Rides, Dark, Scary, Indoor
    Disney's Animal Kingdom® Theme Park

    Dumbo the Flying Elephant®
    Slow Rides, Spinning, Interactive
    Magic Kingdom® Park, Fantasyland®

    Expedition Everest - Legend of the Forbidden Mountain®
    Big Drops, Thrill Rides, Dark
    Disney's Animal Kingdom® Theme Park

    Haunted Mansion®
    Slow Rides, Dark, Indoor, Interactive
    Magic Kingdom® Park, Liberty Square

    Kali River Rapids®
    Small Drops, Thrill Rides, Water Rides, Spinning
    Disney's Animal Kingdom® Theme Park

    Mad Tea Party
    Magic Kingdom® Park, Fantasyland®

    Small Drops, Indoor
    Epcot®, World Showcase

    Main Street Vehicles
    Slow Rides
    Magic Kingdom® Park

    Marketplace Carousel
    Slow Rides, Spinning
    Downtown Disney®

    Mission: SPACE®
    Thrill Rides, Spinning, Dark, Indoor
    Epcot®, Future World

    Primeval Whirl®
    Small Drops, Thrill Rides, Spinning
    Disney's Animal Kingdom® Theme Park

    Prince Charming Regal Carrousel
    Slow Rides, Spinning, Disney Princesses
    Magic Kingdom® Park, Fantasyland®

    Runoff Rapids
    Small Drops, Thrill Rides, Water Rides
    Disney's Blizzard Beach Water Park

    Shark Reef
    Water Rides, Animal Encounters
    Disney's Typhoon Lagoon Water Park

    Slush Gusher
    Small Drops, Thrill Rides, Water Rides
    Disney's Blizzard Beach Water Park

    Snow Stormers
    Small Drops, Thrill Rides, Water Rides
    Disney's Blizzard Beach Water Park

    Small Drops, Slow Rides, Indoor
    Epcot®, Future World

    Splash Mountain®
    Big Drops, Thrill Rides, Water Rides
    Magic Kingdom® Park, Frontierland®

    Teamboat Springs
    Small Drops, Thrill Rides, Water Rides
    Disney's Blizzard Beach Water Park

    Test Track® Presented by Chevrolet®
    Small Drops, Thrill Rides, Indoor, What's New
    Epcot®, Future World

    Toboggan Racers
    Small Drops, Thrill Rides, Water Rides
    Disney's Blizzard Beach Water Park

    Tomorrowland Speedway
    Gas powered facing cars
    Magic Kingdom® Park, Tomorrowland®

Wheelchair Rentals

If you need to rent a wheelchair at the resort, this is catered for too. Naturally most will already have their own with them, but it's nice to know the availability is there if you need it.


It may seem a little off course to be even mentioning the word "hotel" to an RV'er for obvious reasons. But there will be times when it's just nice to pamper yourself for a night in a really nice hotel with accessibility.

If there's one thing you can count on at a Disney resort that's the high standard of hotels available to guests. If you do feel like pushing out the boat and leaving the rented handicap accessible RV in the parking lot for a night, the availability is there but you might want to book in advance.

You can find out a load more about visiting this exciting and must see resort by visiting the official Disney World website and opening the page covering "Disneyworld guests with disabilities" (follow that link).

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Renting a Handicap Accessible RV Privately

As it gets tougher to find a rental company that offers wheelchair accessible RVs for rent, taking a look at privately renting might be a solution. There are advantages and disadvantages to taking this route, but the end result could be a happy one if you manage to secure a private rental for your vacation.

So what is involved in the process of finding and then negotiating a private handicap RV rental deal that is mutually beneficial for both parties? This article takes a look at the pros and cons of this option to see if it could work out to be the best solution to your problem.

Finding a Suitable RV to Rent

The first step is to go looking for a suitable RV that is owned by someone who would consider renting it to you for an agreed period of time. The best way to do this is to start with the classified section of local publications to see if anyone is actually advertising this service.

The likelihood of such an ad appearing is slim, but you never know what you will find in such advertising media. While you are in that area, you might want to consider placing a classified ad in the wanted section specifically to make it known you are looking for a private RV rental arrangement. This might prove more fruitful.

There are plenty of places you can place a small want ad like this. Online, you could try Craigslist for your local area. The ad itself could look something like this:

"Wanted: Wheelchair accessible RV to rent privately for two weeks starting June 10. Price negotiable. Cash waiting. Call 123 456 789 anytime."

Negotiating a Private Rental Deal

Once you have found a suitable privately owned RV that the owner is willing to rent to you, a mutually agreeable deal needs to be hammered out. Several factors need to be taken into consideration, such as:

  • Auto insurance that will fully cover you to drive the vehicle for the stated duration and provide the owner with peace of mind for all eventualities
  • Providing proofs of your identity and address
  • Providing proof you are suitable qualified and able to drive an RV
  • The provision of a deposit to cover the owner for any internal damages
  • A legally binding rental agreement between the two parties (may involve a lawyer to verify its legal standing)

There will probably be some minor aspects that will need to be agreed on, like for instance:

  • Agreeing the RV is taken and returned with a full tank of gas
  • All the internal appliances and lights are undamaged and working correctly
  • All fittings, seating, covers, beds etc are undamaged and in good condition
  • The RV wheelchair lift is in good working order
  • The vehicle is roadworthy and well maintained
  • You (the renter) is made fully conversant with the operation of the RV and its features and appliances

Getting to Know the Vehicle

Of course the onus is on you to make sure you get to know the vehicle before you set off on the open road to wherever. You certainly don't want to end up pulling into a camping spot and then have no idea how to operate the shower or hook up the water, electricity etc.

You'll have to spend some time with the owner going over the main points and just making sure you are happy with the operation of all the internal features of the RV from the bathroom fixtures to the kitchen appliances and anything else.

If you are taking the RV during summer, you'll need to know how the air conditioning works and similarly, if you're going during winter, you'll want to be aware of the heating system and how it works.

Driving a large vehicle like an RV is not necessarily as easy as driving your own car. You'll need to make allowances for the greater length, width and turning capabilities along with the basic driving, stopping and parking the vehicle.

Respecting the Vehicle

This probably goes without saying, but one thing you need to remember is that you'll be driving a vehicle belonging to someone else and it's a nice mark of respect to show common decency in treating it like it were your own.

I know of plenty of people who rent cars or vans and drive them like they don't care about the vehicle. I've been a passenger in rental cars where the drivers treat them like junk, screeching tires and driving fast over bumpy surfaces etc. It's not nice, I can tell you!

In the end, if you are lucky enough to have found a private individual who is willing to rent you their handicap adapted RV so you can have that vacation you've been dreaming about, be grateful and make sure you return it in the condition with which you took it. You never know if you'll want to repeat the deal and if the owner was happy with the way you treated their much loved RV, they'll be happy to do it again next year!

Monday, 21 October 2013

Wheelchair Accessible Handicap RV Rentals Texas

Trying to find a wheelchair accessible handicap RV rental company in Texas can be a tough job simplified some with the resources you'll find here. While there's no sure fire guarantees of anything these days, you can at least follow a trail that can lead you to uncovering a resource that is not known about in the main.

That's what we're trying to do with this little site here and this post follows on from where I was looking into he same problem for residents looking for accessible RV rentals in California. I understand it can be frustrating to contact companies that used to rent RVs specially adapted for wheelchairs only to find they're not doing it anymore.

Who Rents Handicap Accessible RVs?

This is the big question facing many wheelchair users that needs some answers. And what happened to the companies that used to rent these specially customized vehicles and why did they stop offering wheelchair accessible motorhomes for rent?

I think the most common reason for withdrawing the offer of renting these vehicles is that it probably wasn't very cost effective for the companies. The high cost of purchasing and maintaining these vehicles to the very high standard required for their use may have proved too much for most to keep them going.

But that doesn't mean that nobody is renting anymore and neither does it mean that the demand isn't there, because it certainly is. Where there is a demand for a product or service, the supply usually follows, so the chances are that some investigating will turn up some positive answers.

Searching for a Needle in a Haystack

So I put on my thinking cap and figured if the information is not available where you expect to find it, then go where you don't expect to find it and see where that takes you! Sure, the obvious place to start such a search is with existing rental companies that offer regular RVs for rent and see what they can tell you.

Now the chances are they're not going to have any wheelchair adapted RVs on their books. But they might just know of a business that is local of maybe out of state that does.

So instead of going at this head on and trying to find those elusive handicapped RV rentals, I chose to get together a short list of ten of the top names in RV sales and rentals as a starting point to make the search.

Top Ten RV Rentals in Texas

In the meantime and with the possibility of that information coming to light from other sources, it makes sense to look in some fairly obvious places first.

Below I've listed what I consider to be the top ten RV and motorhome rental companies operating in the state of Texas and provided their website addresses. For launching your own personal search for a rental firm in your own locality, this is a pretty good starting place.
Hope that helps you some.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Wheelchair Accessible RV Rentals California

If you're searching for wheelchair accessible handicap RV rentals in California, this article may help you find what you're looking for or at least steer you in the right direction. While fewer and fewer rental companies are offering these specialized accessible motorhomes for rent, it is still possible to find prospects.

At the end of this article you will find a short list of RV rental companies in the State that may be able to help you. The best way to get what you want is as always to do it yourself. No arguments there! But a little help in providing some resources that you can cross reference will I hope go some ways to getting you to where you need to be.

Renting an Accessible RV in General

Whether you live in a particular state and need to locate a reputable auto rental company in your state or perhaps in another state that you intend to visit, finding the best resources is not always as easy as picking up a book, but here's a thing. There's nothing stopping you using the Internet to find what you're looking for and there are actually some great resources on there that will help you not only in your own state but in remote ones too.

In general, I find the best starting place are existing RV rental companies. That's because even if they don't provide handicap accessible RVs for rent, they may know of another company that does, or that may be looking to start this service in the near future.

Out of state businesses can also be helpful, but they are less likely to know of any local businesses you can contact for more information. So to start with, I say stick with the local people and if you don't find what you want then extend your search to neighboring states.


Below I've listed some resources that are well worth your while checking out to find the information you need or a suitable rentals company that may be able to help you.

The first port of call I prefer to recommend to folks is the Handicap travel Club. That's because they are probably best placed to know if there has been a recent change to the situation and which company may now be providing rentable wheelchair accessible RVs and motor homes

Top 10 California RV Rental Companies

Failing that, here are the top ten local auto and RV rental companies in California that you might want to visit the websites for the following:

  1. Cruise America RV Rentals and Sales
  2. El Monte RV
  3. Corona Motorhome Rentals
  4. Expedition Motor Homes
  5. Budget RV Rentals
  6. 1st Choice RV
  7. Vacation RV Rentals
  8. Camper USA
  9. Family RV Inc.
  10. San Diego MotorHomes & RV Rentals

From time to time, there will be companies that advertise their services online in a variety of formats. It pays to keep an eye out for these web-based ads that show up every now and again as they might just be from companies that could provide what you need, or at least point you in the right direction of the information that will help you.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Where Would I Find a Good Quality Wheelchair Lift?

If you ever wondered where you will find good quality wheelchair lifts that provide much needed access in building and public places, this article may help. It looks at the concept of accessibility and improvements to existing forms of access.

You may have heard of certain devices that are fitted to staircases that enable the elderly, or those with limited mobility to get up and down them in safety and comfort without needing to call for help. They look like a simple set up consisting of a chair, a rail mounted the length of the staircase and a small electric motor to move the chair up and down the stairs.

But what about people who need to use a wheelchair and can't easily get out to hop onto a chair to get up or down the stairs? What's more, what becomes of the wheelchair left at the other end?

Solidly Built Lifts for Wheelchairs

The solution to this problem comes to us in the form of solidly built wheelchair stair lifts, which operate on a similar principle to the stair chair lift. That is except in place of the chair there is a sturdy, horizontal platform that is able to take the wheelchair and its user up or down the stairs.

The platform itself folds away in a vertical position when not in use so the stairs are unobstructed for physically able people to use. They make it possible for wheelchair users to use stairs without help, in safety and with dignity.

Where Do You Find These Lifts in Public Places?

These handy transportation devices are often found in staircases in older public buildings where there is no facility for an elevator. They are also found in places where there is no other way to get a wheelchair from one level to another.

The general idea is to provide good access for wheel chair users that is easy and safe in place of more traditional staircases that most physically capable able bodied people have no real problem with. The idea is pretty obvious really, but it just took someone with the realization that such a thing could become a reality with the inventiveness that exists in abundance but is so often passed by.

As far as inventions that help people in amazing ways go, these wheelchair lifts are a wonderful addition to the incredible creative inventiveness of humankind. Imagine how much further we could take such ideas into the future.

Could you imagine a world where nobody had to rely on mobility aids of any kind to get around? It's possible and it can happen, but it just takes the creativity and application that surely exists to bring such an ideal into the real world!

Modified RV Rental Sites:

Please follow the link(s) below to RV Rental websites that offer handicap modified RVs to rent: