How To Make Your Static Caravan Accessible For People With Disabilities

static caravan in field

When you buy a static caravan for commercial or private use, including as a holiday home, it’s important that it meets your needs and those of your guests. From family and friends, to renters and workers, a disabled accessible caravan, a wheelchair friendly caravan, or a caravan suited for limited mobility, may be the best option.

Depending on your requirements, it may be possible to adapt an existing or used static caravan, or to buy a brand new model that has been designed by the manufacturer with disabled access and features.

Our team can advise on models in our stock that can be modified into more accessible caravans, and connect you with static caravan brands and holiday parks that offer disabled access and facilities. Don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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How to adapt your static caravan to make it more accessible

If your existing static caravan, or one you’re hoping to buy, isn’t fully equipped with accessible features, there are several options to make it more suitable for people with limited mobility, the elderly and wheelchair users. As there are many possibilities, you can tailor the adaptations to your specific needs.

Access ramps

accessibility ramp
To be wheelchair accessible and easier for people with limited mobility, static caravan access ramps leading up to the entrance are essential. You can utilise portable ramps as temporary fittings, or invest in a more permanent solution, like a decking access ramp. For permanent modifications, check if you require planning permission.

Grab rails

grab rails
Grab rails, or handrails with grip, can be incredibly useful to help owners and visitors keep balance and to ease navigation. This is especially true when they are placed in the right locations throughout the caravan, for example by the entrance door and in the bathroom.
You also need to consider the correct height for these to be installed. A professional can advise accordingly but if you have the right experience and skill set, it could be a DIY project.

Portable helper frame

portable helper frame
Providing a range of mobility aids, including a portable helper frame, would definitely help make your static a more accessible caravan. A portable helper frame, or wheeled walker, helps people keep balance and aids stability whilst moving, in part by offering extra support to a person’s legs, and can reduce the risk of injury. As these are portable they can be stored somewhere convenient when not in use.

Shower seat

shower seat
A shower equipped with a seat means someone with limited mobility will be able to take a shower sitting down, offering additional comfort and helping to prevent injury. Depending on your requirements, you can have freestanding stools or fixed stools, and even corner stools, available in various sizes and heights.

Sliding internal doors

sliding internal doors
Sliding doors have the benefit of being able to be completely opened and pushed out of the way, clearing the space to manoeuvre through, making a static more wheelchair accessible. Sliding doors could also help individuals with limited mobility as they don’t have the back and forth motion of standard doorways. For wheelchair users, check the doorways are wide enough.

Layout considerations

static caravan layout
Where possible ensure that a wheelchair user has the space to manoeuvre comfortably inside the caravan. You can move around freestanding furniture or even potentially move or remove fixed furniture to improve the layout but results may be limited. Open plan can often be beneficial and a large main bedroom with a fixed bed, however these features could be challenging to upgrade in existing static caravans.

Wet room

wet room static caravan
Installing a wet room where the shower tray is the same level as the rest of the floor makes washing more accessible and suitable for wheelchair users. They are a popular feature of disabled access static caravans and as a fully waterproof area, can reduce ongoing maintenance and cleaning.

By designing a wet room to meet your requirements, you can truly improve the experience in your static, whether it’s lived in full time or used as a holiday home. It’s important to consider if you have the space for a wet room and whether or not it needs to include room for a carer.

Accessible parking

disabled parking space
Does the location of your static home, holiday home or rental, have or allow for accessible parking? If you don’t already have a parking space next to your caravan with a suitable room on either side, are you able to move it to create more space, or change the area around the caravan to provide more space? Either could be beneficial in making your unit more accessible. Many holiday parks will offer units with accessible parking.

Choosing a static caravan with disabled access

It may be that a modified static caravan isn’t suitable and the best choice for you would be to invest in a brand new or second hand static that was designed by the manufacturer to have disabled access and facilities built-in.

There are several manufacturer’s designing wheelchair friendly caravans with facilities including:

  • Wet rooms
  • Sliding doors
  • Wide internal doors
  • Wide corridors
  • Lowered kitchen counters
  • Wheelchair access

If this sounds appealing over adapting a caravan, take the time to research your favourite accessible caravans online and see which statics are popular and why. There will be many factors such as budget and accessible needs that will decide with model is right for you, however some top brands to look at are Willerby, Delta and Atlas.

How N. Doe Caravans can help you

In addition to advising on suitable models in our stock, we have many years experience in park home dealing and transportation and siting static caravans. We are fully insured and can set-up utilities ready for you to move in or rent out. It should be noted that most holiday parks and caravan parks in the UK will require you to buy a holiday home directly from them.

Speak with us today

If you have any questions about our range of used and new static caravans and how we can help you find accessible caravans to meet your needs, call us on 01403 274877, or fill in our contact form, and someone will get back to you as soon as possible.

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Posted in Caravan Ownership, Static Caravans.