Custom Camper Vans Wheelchair Accessible And Adventure Ready

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Building a wheelchair-accessible camper van isn’t easy. There are many things to consider to make sure the camper van can fit a wheelchair and still function. Lisa Franks, a Canadian paralympic athlete, built her camper in two phases, living in it without any cupboards before deciding on the final layout of the van.

The camper van comes with the essentials featuring several adjustments for accessibility. The kitchen has a sliding two-burner induction hob that allows Frank to slide his wheelchair under the cooktop. The sink also features a cutout underneath so she can easily access the sink. Next to the sink is a sliding meat block that also doubles as a counter.

Franks designed the entire camper around his mountain bike which was stowed under a queen bed in the back of the van, which had to sit relatively high to accommodate the bike. This made it difficult to get into bed, but Frank installed a stool, which concealed the porta-potty, with a motor that raised and lowered it like a standing desk, allowing him to reach the bed.

The Ford Transit van, which Franks chose for its all-wheel drive, was equipped with a Superarm Lift System for his wheelchair. It features a compact design that does not require a large platform that takes up a lot of space and keeps the door free of obstructions. It is also easier to repair than platform lifts.

Franks has a bike rack in the back, although it holds the wheelchair he needs to play basketball instead of another bike. The cargo door opens to reveal the camper garage, which is also home to an outdoor shower. The rear cargo area houses the 32 gallon water tank and vehicle electronics.

Franks is relatively new to the camper van lifestyle, setting off on a modified Honda Element for several months in 2020 before ordering his Ford arriving in 2021. Franks has faced challenges in his transition to a nomadic lifestyle but believes it’s all worth it.

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