With the slogan “Get Out and Live!”, the Handicapped Travel Club encourages people with disabilities to embrace nature and experience the joys of RV camping and travel. Since its founding in the early 1970s, the group has sponsored RV rallies and campouts for its members and their families and served as a resource for accessible RV camping. From April 9-13, 2013 the Handicapped Travel Club will hold its 40th Annual National Rally at the Sunflower RV Resort in Surprise, Arizona.
Accessibility features for RV travel are necessarily dictated by each person’s needs, but some common mobility improvements to look for include:
- Electric wheelchair lift
- Single-level floor plan
- Wider hallways
- Lever-style handles
- Convenient grab bars
- Raised toilet seats
- Fold-down shower seating
- Handheld shower head
For people with mobility issues, customizable recreational vehicles have expanded opportunities to enjoy nature and travel comfortably. The popularity of RV travel among people with disabilities and mobility issues has spurred the growth of a niche market: RV customizers that specialize in accessibility modifications. RV customizers have become expert at modifying motorhomes and travel trailers to be completely accessible with custom-designed driving controls, lifts, bathrooms, showers, counters, chairs, beds, appliances and floor plans built to the accommodate the specific needs of individual RV travelers. An example of this type of service provider is RCI Wave Express customs and conversions.
One such accessible travel trailer has been created by Walters Travel Trailers. Called the Freedom Traveler-H, information about it can be found on their news page.
Also, recognizing consumer need, Born Free Motorcoach (which specializes in the manufacture of accessible RVs) was an early entrant into the accessible new RV market, and growing consumer demand has prompted other RV manufacturers to offer some mobility and accessibility features on new RV orders as well. Numerous accessible RVs are available on the used RV market via internet classified ad sites.