Jump to content

Wheelchair camping


Recommended Posts

Two weeks into our 7 month stay at Ft. Morgan AL my wife took a slow speed bicycle spill which resulted in a 3 hr operation and 4 days in the hospital to piece back together her right femur.  As soon as the RV park operators found out they got to work.  The largest site available was given to us and they built a ramp to allow wheelchair access into our trailer.   The community got together and found a narrow wheelchair that fit inside our 22" door, secured a walker and portable toilet.  They broke down camp, helped me hitch up and reset all our belongings in the new site while I was in the hospital with my wife.

It's been two weeks now since she's back and the steady stream of well wishers and visitors has brought tears to my eyes more than once.  Through all this the bonds we've made with our old friends have been strengthened and new friends have been made.

Just to let everyone know something like not being able to put any weight on a leg for 6 weeks maybe more isn't a reason to head for home and cancel your winter plans.  It's doable and with the good folks here at Ft. Morgan RV park  it's actually easy.

Please share any ideas, hints or experiences.   I'll try to add what we've found out as time permits.   This morning will be spend at the Dr. to get her staples out and trying to get a handicap placard.  Then off to look for wheelchair accessible beaches.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Special thanks to the park staff & residents!

Get well wishes to your wife for a "special -and rapid- mend" - for a special person!

Lastly - please post the brand of the 22" wide wheel chair - for RV use by others who may need one.

Also - folks needing a wheelchair at their *sticks and bricks* home - be advised the "normal" width of a "standard" wheelchair is 27 inches wide.  Many tract homes will have  28" wide doors for the bathrooms.  Sounds like it should fit, right?  (Darn "bean counter" designers!).

Unfortunately - *NOT*.  The width of the opening will be about 26 inches (or less) due to the framing AND the edge of the door when it's open.  Consequently (through actual experience) a 24" wide wheel chair is the minimum width which will fit.

Soooo - Buyer beware! - measure doorway openings *before* placing an order. Don't forget to include the edge of the door in that measurement! Common "inexpensive" brands, (eg: Drive) do have 24" chairs available without going to "extra cost" versions.

~

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 minutes ago, Ray,IN said:

Through the years I've noticed that's what dedicated RVer's do, help whenever/wherever it's needed.

Yes indeed.  We didn't expect such a welcome acceptance when we decided to spend our winters away.  Most everyone is FB friend here and when someone runs to Walmart we all know about it.

Here's the chair given to us that fits our camper.  https://www.amazon.com/Drive-Medical-Lightweight-Transport-Wheelchair/dp/B000TW0CQ6/ref=mp_s_a_1_3?adgrpid=62894277784&gclid=CjwKCAjwzY2bBhB6EiwAPpUpZu3Y15ogDn48Ywwgbk4fxrLBeXnr9QtNsWww3iUIUu_gDdu4enrU3xoC_QEQAvD_BwE&hvadid=617002451166&hvdev=m&hvlocphy=9012944&hvnetw=g&hvqmt=e&hvrand=633284903105127955&hvtargid=kwd-354139873355&hydadcr=6718_13278912&keywords=drive+steel+transport+chair&qid=1667498390&qu=eyJxc2MiOiIzLjAxIiwicXNhIjoiMi41MCIsInFzcCI6IjIuMzIifQ%3D%3D&sr=8-3&ufe=app_do%3Aamzn1.fos.f5122f16-c3e8-4386-bf32-63e904010ad0

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Pappy Yokum said:

Special thanks to the park staff & residents!

Get well wishes to your wife for a "special -and rapid- mend" - for a special person!

Lastly - please post the brand of the 22" wide wheel chair - for RV use by others who may need one.

Also - folks needing a wheelchair at their *sticks and bricks* home - be advised the "normal" width of a "standard" wheelchair is 27 inches wide.  Many tract homes will have  28" wide doors for the bathrooms.  Sounds like it should fit, right?  (Darn "bean counter" designers!).

Unfortunately - *NOT*.  The width of the opening will be about 26 inches (or less) due to the framing AND the edge of the door when it's open.  Consequently (through actual experience) a 24" wide wheel chair is the minimum width which will fit.

Soooo - Buyer beware! - measure doorway openings *before* placing an order. Don't forget to include the edge of the door in that measurement! Common "inexpensive" brands, (eg: Drive) do have 24" chairs available without going to "extra cost" versions.

~

 

Amazon to the rescue, with offset hinges. Just put a set into middle son's trailer. Older trailer with a 24" door, and a walker that should fit. Now it does. They won't fix every door issue, so use your tape measure carefully.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks to all for the thoughts and well wishes.  The Orthopedic Surgeon was pleased with the progress.  A stop at the Baldwin Co DMV proved you meet good people everywhere if you just open your eyes.  The lady at the DMV allowed us to use an unverified Alabama address of the RV park to get the handicap parking permit.  Next stop was Aldi's and they have a wheelchair with a basket available for customers.   I found this out after unloading our heavy steel full size.

Winds permitting tonight we'll have a campfire.  The usual rules apply.  Everyone is invited but bring your own chair and poking stick.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Just a quick update.

Handicap parking is frustrating at times.  More often than not it's just simpler to park in the back 40 and push her wheelchair to the store.  To make loading her chair easier on my back I bought a folding cargo rack that fits in the 2" receiver on the truck.  After she's on her chair I fold the rack vertically to prevent it from obstructing traffic.

 

Gotta run.  She's getting up.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for the update on this Thanksgiving morning! I do hope that she has continued progress and is soon walking once more.

I do understand your frustration from the need for and use of handicap parking. I never gave it a lot of thought until my father's last few years. Much more recently I have experienced quite an education on the subject as my wife (Pam) had a complete ankle replacement (2011) leading to 3 months before she could walk on it, then a hip replacement (2014) and then back surgery(2018). Today she uses a cane or on bad day a walker. In addition, we live in a retirement community and I drive a bus for them several times a week, often using a lift and always with canes and walkers.

Edited by Kirk W
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Kirk W said:

Thank you for the update on this Thanksgiving morning! I do hope that she has continued progress and is soon walking once more.

I do understand your frustration from the need for and use of handicap parking. I never gave it a lot of thought until my father's last few years. Much more recently I have experienced quite an education on the subject as my wife (Pam) had a complete ankle replacement (2011) leading to 3 months before she could walk on it, then a hip replacement (2014) and then back surgery(2018). Today she uses a cane or on bad day a walker. In addition, we live in a retirement community and I drive a bus for them several times a week, often using a lift and always with canes and walkers.

We are lucky to have a fellow camper here with handicap bus experience and he has been a big help teaching us.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, VC 23RSS said:

Just a quick update.

Handicap parking is frustrating at times.  More often than not it's just simpler to park in the back 40 and push her wheelchair to the store.  To make loading her chair easier on my back I bought a folding cargo rack that fits in the 2" receiver on the truck.  After she's on her chair I fold the rack vertically to prevent it from obstructing traffic.

 

Gotta run.  She's getting up.

 

I agree handicap parking is problematic at times. My wife and I both have hang tags as well as handicapped plates on our toad. I use a cane and have difficulty walking long distances due to arthritis, while she is on oxygen, has spine damage, and also can't walk long distances. One pet peeve is when we're in a handicap space with a regular space next to it and the regular parker pulls in so tight to our car that opening the door wide enough for easy entry is impossible. I'd really like to see stores add a marked no parking space next to the handicap spaces. It wouldn't need to be the full width of another space, just wide enough to allow full door opening. I've only seen that done once in the time we've used the spaces.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 minutes ago, Dutch_12078 said:

I agree handicap parking is problematic at times. My wife and I both have hang tags as well as handicapped plates on our toad. I use a cane and have difficulty walking long distances due to arthritis, while she is on oxygen, has spine damage, and also can't walk long distances. One pet peeve is when we're in a handicap space with a regular space next to it and the regular parker pulls in so tight to our car that opening the door wide enough for easy entry is impossible. I'd really like to see stores add a marked no parking space next to the handicap spaces. It wouldn't need to be the full width of another space, just wide enough to allow full door opening. I've only seen that done once in the time we've used the spaces.

Huh! The places I've been always have an aisle space next to a handicapped space. Where are you?

Linda

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Now that I have my TravelScoot I am willing to park further out. Fortunately, the Scoot only weighs 35 pounds and fits in the hatchback so I can unload it anywhere. But, that does not negate the room to open the passenger door for me to get in and out problem. 

Linda

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, sandsys said:

Huh! The places I've been always have an aisle space next to a handicapped space. Where are you?

Linda

They typically have a space on one side, but not both sides for a space next to a standard space. Here's a photo showing what I mean. The parking layout apparantly assumes only one person in the vehicle needs the extra space for exiting/entering the vehicle.

handicap-parking-600x423.jpg.6af22a27ec59332ca017c59329cec8be.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 hours ago, Dutch_12078 said:

They typically have a space on one side, but not both sides for a space next to a standard space. Here's a photo showing what I mean. The parking layout apparantly assumes only one person in the vehicle needs the extra space for exiting/entering the vehicle.

handicap-parking-600x423.jpg.6af22a27ec59332ca017c59329cec8be.jpg

I guess most of the places I go have more Than two handicapped spaces so I can often get a space with an aisle on each side. But, I am fortunate in that my Dave doesn't need that extra room so if there's only one aisle that still works for us as long as it is on the passenger side. No, we can't just back in to the other spot because we need access to the back to unload my Scoot.

My pet peeve about the spots are the ones sometimes at Walmart that are near the door and big enough to hold a long van like the conversion van I wintered in but someone with a compact car would park there instead of in one of the regular spots. I chased a woman out of one once when I had just picked up a friend from the hospital who needed to fill a prescription and we both needed scooters. The woman had pulled out of a regular spot as we were approaching to take the oversized spot because she wanted to face that direction.

Linda

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, sandsys said:

I guess most of the places I go have more Than two handicapped spaces so I can often get a space with an aisle on each side. But, I am fortunate in that my Dave doesn't need that extra room so if there's only one aisle that still works for us as long as it is on the passenger side. No, we can't just back in to the other spot because we need access to the back to unload my Scoot.

My pet peeve about the spots are the ones sometimes at Walmart that are near the door and big enough to hold a long van like the conversion van I wintered in but someone with a compact car would park there instead of in one of the regular spots. I chased a woman out of one once when I had just picked up a friend from the hospital who needed to fill a prescription and we both needed scooters. The woman had pulled out of a regular spot as we were approaching to take the oversized spot because she wanted to face that direction.

Linda

Even the parking lots with multiple handicap spaces often have the problem with end spaces. And I agree on smaller vehicles taking the extended van spaces. I suppose if that's all that's available maybe, but the one you mentioned was definitely rude.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Unfortunately, very few if any stores enforce the handicap parking spaces and I regularly see able people with no handicap tag or plate just take them because they are the only ones close to the door. We have a hang-tag because Pam needs it but we don't keep in on display and only use it if she is along and planning to go inside. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Kirk W said:

We have a hang-tag because Pam needs it but we don't keep in on display and only use it if she is along and planning to go inside. 

That is what Minnesota mandates--we only hang it if I need to park close. If I'm going to wait in the car or the weather says I can park further away and use my Scoot, we don't hang it.

Linda

Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 hours ago, sandsys said:

Yes. Dave parked in one of those end spaces recently and I almost didn't make it out of the car.

Linda

When we park in a space, I need the door nearly wide open so I can reach out with my cane to support myself as I get out. My wife needs the door wide open so she can exit with her purse and portable oxygen concentrator with my assistance. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...