Accessible RVs & Guaranty’s Commitment to Accessibility

Update: In November 2015, Winnebago decided to reintegrate its Itasca vehicles under the Winnebago name. These great models will continue, but under the Winnebago name instead of Itasca.

As you know, here at Guaranty RV we believe camping and pursuing the RV lifestyle should be accessible to everyone year round, regardless of disabilities or age. This is why we are a proud corporate sponsor of the RVing Accessibility Group (RVAG). This amazing nonprofit organization is staffed by a team of committed volunteers who are professional Accessibility Specialists, people who understand firsthand how difficult it is for people with disabilities or infirmities to access our nation’s parks, campgrounds and wilderness areas. Whether it’s a child in a wheelchair, a veteran who has lost mobility due to war injuries, an elderly person with age-related mobility issues, or anyone else who finds it challenging to access our nation’s most beautiful natural sites, the RVAG and Guaranty RV want camping and RV accessibility for all. In this blog, we’re excited to tell you about the work the RVAG is doing and the accessible RVs we like best.

Raising Awareness for Recreational Accessibility: RVAG

The RVAG’s primary goal is to raise awareness about Recreational Accessibility, to bring about change that will make our campgrounds and other outdoor spaces more accessible to everyone. The organization does this by addressing accessibility issues through educational workshops and seminars, as well as public speaking to raise awareness regarding ADA compliance. The RVAG also provides campgrounds and others in the RV and campground industry with the most up-to-date standards regarding accommodations for people with disabilities. They go to campgrounds to do on-site education and give technical assistance, including providing extensive accessibility assessments by specialists trained by the National Center on Accessibility. Through these assessments, they determine what barriers exist that make a site inaccessible and help put a plan in place to remove those barriers.

RVAG volunteers also take their message to RV manufacturers in order to provide information about consumer compatibility issues. The best manufacturers in the industry are learning how to better design floor plans with accessibility and aging in mind. They’re getting feedback about reach ranges and other design considerations that are opening the RV lifestyle up to more and more people.

Providing Accessible RV Park and Campground Information: Phase 1

Another of the important services that the RVAG provides for RVers is information about accessible RV parks and campgrounds that allow people to maintain dignity and independence. The RVAG has begun developing a list of places that will meet all your expectations when it comes to traveling with disabilities. President and Founder Mark Douglass and his wife, Ellie, have spent several years exploring and examining RV parks, often using assistive mobility equipment, in their efforts to put together comprehensive information about RV parks, campgrounds and rest areas for travelers. You can see the information they’ve gathered so far on their RV Parks and Campground Information page. Although none of the parks listed are fully ADA compliant, they do have various levels of accessibility for wheelchair users and they’ve gotten the stamp of approval from the RVAG.

As you’ll see, this project is in Phase 1; there is still work to be done to create a national list for RVers, and you can help! If you find an RV park, campground or campsite that you feel is accessible, contact RVAG so they can offer to perform a professional assessment of the park or site features. As you roam the highways and byways of our great nation, join this extraordinary effort to get the best accessible campgrounds on the list. Because as the RVAG says so well: “The United States is a beautiful country, best seen on the road and even better from an RV… and a little bit of freedom goes a long way.”

RV Travel with Disabilities: RV Manufacturers Who Get it Right

Traveling in an accessible RV that has been modified to meet your particular needs takes a lot of the stress out of traveling. You don’t have to worry about the ADA compliance of hotels, restaurants or public restrooms. You have everything you need available to you right when you need it. If you have an RV that you love, there may be a number of things you can do to modify it, including adding a wheelchair lift or ramp, and replacing the doors with wider ones. But also take the time to look at new and pre-owned accessible RVs, because in today’s world of RVing, some of the best manufacturers are ahead of the game. They’re taking accessibility seriously by including wheelchair lifts, widened entrances and halls, lower kitchen counters and cabinets, accessible controls and appliances, and roll-in showers and roll-under sinks. Two of our favorite RV manufacturers, Newmar and Winnebago/Itasca, were at the forefront of this movement and have set the bar high when it comes to accessibility.

Newmar offers three wheelchair-friendly Class A motorhomes in both gas and diesel models that include extra-wide interior pathways, easy-to-reach appliances, rooms designed with wheelchairs in mind, and the best wheelchair lifts in the industry. They have thought of every possible scenario and made adjustments accordingly, so you can expect height-adjusted switches and outlets, accessible closets, adjustable dining tables and much more. As Newmar puts it, these are the models where “power and luxury meet ultimate accessibility.” For instance, in their gas powered Canyon Star 3911 model, they have designed the ultimate accessible RV with a Braun power wheelchair lift, 30”-wide pathways throughout, roll-under counters and sinks, an L-shaped dinette with wheelchair seating, a power adjustable queen-size bed, and an open bathroom with a redesigned ADA-approved shower: all at a remarkably reasonable price.

Winnebago/Itasca also offers a selection of excellent ability equipped motorhomes, including Class A gas and diesel models, and a smaller Class C option. As well as wheelchair lifts, wide entrances and pathways, roll-in showers, they also have options like power roll-up doors and SureHands Ceiling Tracks: a continuous, out-of-the-way track and motor that affords extra independence and mobility when moving about your RV.

Both Newmar and Winnebago/Itasca make accessibility a priority because they agree with us—RVing should be for everyone.

Try Before You Buy
If you’re thinking about purchasing an accessible RV but you’re not sure where to begin, consider renting one first. Contact our RV Rentals department to schedule some time on the road in our sleek 2016 Itasca Sunstar 30T ability equipped Class A motorhome. With all the features you need for accessible comfort—a power wheelchair lift, barrier-free floor plan, wide entrances and pathways, easy-to-reach appliances, an extendable Dream Dinette, roll-in shower, accessible sinks and much more—you’ll be able to get a much better sense of what RV life can be like, and you’ll have the opportunity to figure out what works for you and what doesn’t. Becoming an informed buyer will help you choose the perfect RV for you.

At Guaranty, we’re proud to be one of the few RV dealers in the nation who are advocating for increased accessibility to campgrounds, RVs and our nation’s natural wonders. If you have any questions about accessible RVs or our work with the RVing Accessibility Group, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Photo: Guaranty

Share Button