Choose the Right Camp Site
The first thing to get right is the choice of campsite. Campsite vary from spacious, level sites with tarmac roads and electricity hook up points to the most basic sites which are just a field with no amenities at all. Wheelchair users may find it easier to opt for a site with paved paths and which are not situated on a steep hillside. Washing facilities will also vary hugely; not all sites will have accessible toilets or showers, although many do. Ring ahead to check what sort of facilities are available, or to request a pitch closer to the shower block or on an even plot of ground.
If you are shopping for a new caravan or motorhome, take care over the purchase and ensure that everyone who will be using the new vehicle is happy with getting in and out in comfort, and check that moving around inside is easy. Tents can be trickier, and in general terms, larger tents are better for people with a disability. Some of the larger tents have doors which can be zipped open fully and which allow wheelchairs or other aids to be taken inside, and this is obviously easier than a smaller tent which means you have to crawl in and out. If your mobility issues mean that pitching the tent causes problems for you, call ahead and speak to the manager of the campsite as with prior notice, they are often happy to help.
Gadgets to Make Life Easier
Many campers – and not just those with a mobility problem – find sleeping on a groundsheet or thin mattress very uncomfortable. Invest in a proper camp or foldaway bed to use in the tent. It will keep you off the ground, be easier to get into and will make camping a whole lot more comfortable too. Think about getting an easy to operate can opener for those essential campsite dishes like beans and soup, and check out the range of large print maps and speaking compasses to help people with vision difficulties to find their way around. Pack some solar rechargers for your phone or tablet, and think about packing lots of baby wipes and dry shampoo if you just can’t face the showers.
Steering balls and knobs are the most common adaptation to make driving easier for drivers with a disability, and in most cases there is no reason why these cannot be fitted to motorhomes, or used when towing a caravan or trailer tent. Swivel seats can also be fitted to motorhomes to make accessing the vehicle easier, but this will often depend on the height of the cab. Hoists are a good alternative, as an electric motor can lower someone into a waiting wheelchair.