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  • Camper-minivan

    One of the things on my to-do list is a cross-country drive (though mostly west of the Mississippi drive). In a perfect world it would be traveling with an Airstream, which due to many reasons, isn't feasible (not that this idea is either). I ran into some YouTube videos of "van-life" travel, and figured I'd google "minivan camper van". I was honestly surprised by all the videos there were, which got my mind to thinking. Not that I'd likely ever be adventurous enough to do so...but I wonder how possible (and practical) it'd be to do so as a quadriplegic, using a modified minivan? Given my height the bed would have to face front to rear, and needing to use a lift to transfer complicates things even further. There wouldn't be enough headroom to use the lift inside, but I suppose you could open the side door, and transfer in/out of the chair next to the van door, wheeling the lift legs under the van, and the arms of the lift inside the door opening. I imagine there would be much more to it then that, and it likely wouldn't be something I'd want to stay in for the full journey, but I imagine for an adventurous spirit, it might be possible!

  • #2
    You could use the overhead luggage rack for your lift.
    https://nwbus.com/inventory/shuttle-...le-bus-s04744/

    Here is one in yellow...https://nwbus.com/inventory/shuttle-...ol-bus-b71944/

    I like this style. Put the lift where the staired entry is.
    https://www.lasvegasbussales.com/inv...le-bus-sp2167/
    "Never turn your back on fear. It should always be in front of you, like a thing that might have to be killed." - Hunter Thompson
    T5/6 complete

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    • #3
      You need something like this! I use my Molift to transfer back and forth form my wheelchair and bed. https://tampa.craigslist.org/hdo/tro...056508844.html

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      • #4
        I've pondered this as well as a paraplegic. The restrictions of a minivan are pretty tough, though basically anything is possible if you've got enough time and money and are willing to make some crazy sacrifices (I suppose if you had a reclining electric chair you could just sleep in the chair for example).

        Getting a chair into the van means you've got very little space left to work with.

        I've watched a couple of this guy's videos

        He manages to fit a fat tired bicycle into the minivan with him, but there's precious little space after that.

        A minivan basically eliminates the possibility of having any sort of lavatorial facilities, so you'd have to rely on finding an accessible bathroom when you need it which definitely might be easier said than done (though I have hauled my toilet seat into a highway rest stop and taken a two hour dump in the past).

        If you're willing to go a little bigger, something like a sportsmobile might be possible. They built a one off WAVE (stands for something like wheelchair accessible vehicle... E-something) that had a lift and a passable amount of room inside a Ford E series full size van. That was years ago though and they mostly build stuff out of Mercedes Sprinters and the like. That would seem a little more feasible than a minivan and you'd still be able to park in a regular parking space (which I'm assuming is the reason you are thinking about a minivan?).

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        • #5
          Originally posted by HACKNSACK44 View Post
          You need something like this! I use my Molift to transfer back and forth form my wheelchair and bed. https://tampa.craigslist.org/hdo/tro...056508844.html
          I'm afraid the gas bill alone on that would be jaw-dropping!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Rook98006 View Post
            You could use the overhead luggage rack for your lift.
            https://nwbus.com/inventory/shuttle-...le-bus-s04744/

            Here is one in yellow...https://nwbus.com/inventory/shuttle-...ol-bus-b71944/

            I like this style. Put the lift where the staired entry is.
            https://www.lasvegasbussales.com/inv...le-bus-sp2167/
            That last one is sharp. I'd again worry about gas mileage.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by funklab View Post
              I've pondered this as well as a paraplegic. The restrictions of a minivan are pretty tough, though basically anything is possible if you've got enough time and money and are willing to make some crazy sacrifices (I suppose if you had a reclining electric chair you could just sleep in the chair for example).

              Getting a chair into the van means you've got very little space left to work with.

              I've watched a couple of this guy's videos

              He manages to fit a fat tired bicycle into the minivan with him, but there's precious little space after that.

              A minivan basically eliminates the possibility of having any sort of lavatorial facilities, so you'd have to rely on finding an accessible bathroom when you need it which definitely might be easier said than done (though I have hauled my toilet seat into a highway rest stop and taken a two hour dump in the past).

              If you're willing to go a little bigger, something like a sportsmobile might be possible. They built a one off WAVE (stands for something like wheelchair accessible vehicle... E-something) that had a lift and a passable amount of room inside a Ford E series full size van. That was years ago though and they mostly build stuff out of Mercedes Sprinters and the like. That would seem a little more feasible than a minivan and you'd still be able to park in a regular parking space (which I'm assuming is the reason you are thinking about a minivan?).
              I'd imagine I'd have to keep the chair outside due to space.

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              • #8
                I've been keen on the Mercedes Benz Sprinter vans.

                https://www.masano.mercedesdealer.co...19e86d9a8b.htm

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                • #9
                  Considering the added weight of carrying all the stuff needed for travel, a full size van might work better. Like the MB Sprinter, you'll have lots of room for bed and other mods. Gas costs will suck no matter which one you get. Weight = more fuel needed.
                  Attack life, it's going to kill you anyway
                  Steve Mcqueen (Mr Cool)

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                  • #10
                    get a toy hauler a gal I know went to moab with 1 they camped fr a week out there I think mcduff had a coach amber a para rodeo with here lq trailer with horses

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by HACKNSACK44 View Post
                      You need something like this! I use my Molift to transfer back and forth form my wheelchair and bed. https://tampa.craigslist.org/hdo/tro...056508844.html
                      I like this. You get space. Another option is to buy a motorhome and gut the cabinets and shit that are in the way out of it.
                      I have had periodic paralysis all my life. I lost my ability to walk in 2011 beginning with a spinal block, which was used for a hip fracture caused by periodic paralysis.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by landrover View Post
                        I'm afraid the gas bill alone on that would be jaw-dropping!
                        It has a big tank. We can fill it up and go around 600 miles and still have about a half a tank left. Not sure about the exact miles per gallon.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by nonoise View Post
                          I like this. You get space. Another option is to buy a motorhome and gut the cabinets and shit that are in the way out of it.
                          That is all we did. Gutted all the seats and put some fold up bunk beds in it.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by HACKNSACK44 View Post
                            That is all we did. Gutted all the seats and put some fold up bunk beds in it.
                            Do you own this? Was wondering if the floor is level up thru the cab. If the drivers seat was removed could a person in a power chair pull up to the steering wheel? Also what do you use for a mattress to avoid getting a sore?
                            "Never turn your back on fear. It should always be in front of you, like a thing that might have to be killed." - Hunter Thompson
                            T5/6 complete

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Rook98006 View Post
                              Do you own this? Was wondering if the floor is level up thru the cab. If the drivers seat was removed could a person in a power chair pull up to the steering wheel? Also what do you use for a mattress to avoid getting a sore?
                              Yes I own it. The floor is not level up thru the cab. The driver's seat is lower. I use a memory foam mattress. Works good for me.

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