Accessibility - For the Physically Challenged - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 09-04-2009, 08:51 PM   #1
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Accessibility - For the Physically Challenged

From following the posts on the forum since its inception I would have to say the typical Escape owner or Escape wannabe is older. How old is not important but older is a fair generalization. Now, I have to say I fit that generalization so this question has relevance.

I have also seen numerous postings from members who face some physical barriers to accessibility or have a spouse facing such barriers.

My question is accessibility and adaptations. How well equipped is the Escape for those facing barriers and what modifications have been done to make the Escape more accessible.

Some things I immediately think of are:

Doors, steps and handles
Bathroom handles and door direction
Toilet height
Setup of jacks, hitches and wheels
Sink height and clearance
Seating




Since these trailers have a substantial life span it is conceivable they will be used when many of us will face some of the above barriers. What have you done or will do to accommodate impairments you have or may have? How well equipped is the stock Escape to handle those with physical impairments?
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Old 09-04-2009, 09:24 PM   #2
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Re: Accessibility - For the Physically Challenged

We'd have to say that Reace and Tammy will turn themselves inside out to meet your needs. Our new 17A has an adapted entry; my wife can't use the standard step or any stair, so Reace invented a U-shaped bracket attached to the trailer frame under the door opening. It has two steel locating pegs about 1/2" long that project upward from it about 14" apart. This allowed us to drill two matching ends in the end of a 6' long aluminum folding ramp that we already owned, and simply drop the high end the ramp over the pegs. Result: my wife can simply walk up the ramp and right into the trailer.

Reace and Tammy can do anything, IMHO. Talk to them at the order stage and you'll be pleasantly surprised. I've never seen such resourcefulness. This is one of the many strengths of their building to order and selling only from the factory.

I tried to post a picture, but the server tells me it's too large. Please reply via forum. By then I may have figured out how to get pictures to you -- would email them direct, if need be, but neither one of us wants to publish our email address on the Web.
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Old 09-04-2009, 09:59 PM   #3
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Re: Accessibility - For the Physically Challenged

Here goes for a couple of ramp pictures, all going well.

As well as the access changes, we had put in a special non-skid lino -- the kind used in commercial kitchens, that has bits of carborundum embedded in it. All we had to do was pick it up and take it to the factory.

Re-reading your original post, fudge _brownie, a couple of other things occur to me. First, I don't know if there really is such thing as a literally stock Escape. I don't know of any that are not personalized in some way at the factory. It's part of the Escape magic that each trailer is as unique as its owner. That's one of the reasons why we bought an Escape: besides the emphatically high quality, Tammy and Reace do want to be bothered to tailor the product to the customer's needs -- they didn't give us the "fish eye" when we talked about the kinds of concerns you've listed. Some dealers obviously wish you'd just quietly go away.

The second, and relatively minor, thought is to remember that this forum is not really addressed to the Escape builders -- it's a happy buzzing crowd of Escapees interacting with each other. I've learned a lot from it. However, for speedy answers to your specific questions, I think it's best to talk to Tammy and Reace direct or by email. I encourage you to do so.

Happy researching, and I hope you end up joining the merry throng of Escape-ees!
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Old 09-04-2009, 10:10 PM   #4
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Re: Accessibility - For the Physically Challenged

Excellent response, these are the things I am looking for. I do not have the need for a ramp, at least not yet, but what a great posting of a solution.

What else is out there? I know there is such a thing as a "stock" Escape. It has a basic set of items included. This could be grab bars or handles. What comes standard in the bathroom, at the entrance?
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Old 09-05-2009, 03:01 PM   #5
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Re: Accessibility - For the Physically Challenged

I can't speak re:handles, but the door can be hinged as you desire (right or left). Also there are those suction handles which are really strong that can be used on the inside which might work well for those who need inside assistance. Also bench height can be changed. Since I am short, I could not see out the window as well as I wanted and they increased the height to meet my specifications. It was perfect for me.
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Old 09-05-2009, 03:47 PM   #6
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Re: Accessibility - For the Physically Challenged

A person with dexterity issues, like arthritis, might have trouble with the refrigerator door. Kathleen has to use a slot screwdriver to lift the latch. She can do it, but it is a struggle. This is the standard 3-way Dometic fridge with freezer that comes with the 17-foot trailers. Other models might be more friendly.
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Old 11-16-2009, 07:49 PM   #7
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Re: Accessibility - For the Physically Challenged

This is excellent stuff. My wife really enjoys the lifestyle, as I do too. We've spent time in every state (exept Oregon, Wash. & Hawaii) and all the Cdn provinces and the Yukon....and we're not ready to stop yet. However my wife has a Parkinson Plus condition called PSP (google it). We ordered a new 17B a couple weeks ago and have so far ordered the installation of grab bars in bath/toilet enclosure; Reduced the height of the lip into the bath/toilet and actively examining other things that we could do. The ramp is an excellent idea. Actually, one of the reasons we like the relative smallness of the fiberglass trailers (we just sold our 2002 16' Scamp) is that my wife can use the closness of the counter, fridge, stove, closet etc. to prevent her from loosing her balance. Keep the ideas flowing.....thanks.
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