Accessibility features to your RV are essential for those who require those features as well as increasing your rental audience. What better way to increase your chance of getting your RV rented than making it available for everyone? The more people your RV can accommodate, the better your chances in getting it rented.
What is Accessibility?
Accessibility is pretty simple, it means access to anyone despite any physical limitations they may have. This could mean someone who uses a wheelchair, walker, or another device for mobility. Check out this post on accessible rigs on outdoorsy.
Why is it important?
Accessibility to the outdoors and for rental RVs is critical because it allows everyone access to do the activities this community loves. That being road trips, traveling, and getting away from our everyday lives. Those who have some physical limitations deserve these opportunities as well. Most of us don’t even realize what challenges standard RVs can bring to those who have physical limitations.
Key factors to consider to make your RV accessible for everyone
The entrance to your rig is the first thing to consider when making an RV more accessible. If the person cannot get into your RV, they will not be interested in renting your RV. The best way to make your RV more accessible is to make your entrance wheelchair accessible. If a wheelchair can fit, then most other devices will fit (i.e., a walker or cane). The best way to make your RV more accessible would be to install a mechanical or electric wheelchair lift. Although this is the number one option, it can be costly, but there are other options.
The width of the doorway is very important for accessibility entrances. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards are the best measurements to go by as an ADA compliant entrance can accommodate most wheelchairs. The standard ADA measurement for door width is 32 inches. Keep in mind that this is measured from inside the door frame, not the outside of the frame.
If your RV entrance is low enough, a temporary ramp may be your best option. You can find portable ramps like this one on Amazon and other shopping sites. Make sure to keep information that your renters may need regarding the length, width, and weight limits.
So once your RV is accessible for the entrance way, the next most important feature would be the bathroom. Space is very limited in an RV bathroom, to begin with, and you may not be able to make any modifications to make it safer and more accessible for your guests. However, there are some add ons that don’t take up too much space that can make a big difference.
RV renters who utilize a walker or cane will likely not be able to bring their device into the bathroom. The one positive aspect about small space is if the sink, toilet, and shower are close together; it is easier for renters to stabilize utilizing anchored items such as those to steady themselves. A higher toilet is always ideal for those with mobility needs, but adding grab bars can assist with accessibility needs for those who need it. The best places to place grab bars by the toilet would be one horizontal or vertical to a wall closest to the toilet, as well as horizontal behind the toilet. The horizontal bar behind the toilet can assist those transferring from a wheelchair to the toilet with increased safety and support. Most public handicap bathroom stalls are ADA compliant, the best you can mimic those the better. Here are ADA standards for an accessible design that can be a great reference.
Showers in RVs are so small it is rather challenging to make those ADA compliant unless they already have been built that way. Adding grab bars in the shower can assist with those who have accessibility needs as well as a fold down shower chair if your RV bathroom can support it. It will be much more beneficial to focus on the toilet as this will definitely be used by renters as a shower might not. Some travelers with accessibility needs utilize rec centers or gyms with accessible shower to bathe as the offer ADA compliant showers as well as more space.
The Living and Kitchen Space
Lastly, the living and kitchen areas are also essential to consider when talking about accessible RVs. The most crucial factor here is simply space – space to comfortably move around. With limited space in RVs, I would recommend investing in modular furniture. Items that can be easily tucked away or removed when they are not being used, such as a bed or kitchen table. Here is an example of a convertible table.
There are a lot of modifications one can do to make their RV more accessible. Making your RV more accessible offers your rig to more potential renters as well as provides access to what this community loves most; the outdoors!
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