Help getting in pop-up

Discussion in 'Camping for the Medically/Physically Challenged' started by Breadbox, Aug 30, 2011.

  1. Breadbox

    Breadbox Volvo powered

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    Back in March, my wife had a disk collapse in her spine, leaving her with almost no feeling below her waist. She can walk with the help of a walker, but can only get up steps by hanging on to a sturdy railing and pulling herself up. Her knees can't support her weight when bent. She's convinced herself that she'll never be able to go camping again because she can't figure out how to get up the step and into the pop-up, or how to get back out again. Anyone out there with similar problems who has figured out how to get in and out? I opened it up after the hurricane to make sure I didn't have any leaks and decided that I'd really like to take the pop-up out at least one time this year.
     
  2. JeepMama

    JeepMama New Member

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    Wow, I am so sorry about this. She is so young and you have kids [:(] I pray that she will recover and this isn't permanant. I thought this weekend that it was hard for our kids to get in and out of popup. The only thing I could come up with is making a wooden railing with large base plates/platforms that you could put together/take apart onsite.
     
  3. mckeapc67

    mckeapc67 New Member

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    Maybe you could build a portable / collapsable ramp for her. If your PUP isn't too high off of the ground, then it shouldn't be too difficult to make one.

    If designed well, it could collapse down rather small to be stored in the PUP. I suggest using hinges and/or carriage bolts / wing nuts for quick easy assembly.
     
  4. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

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    Having a paraplegic son, I have thought this one through a bit.

    The problem with installing railings on the pup itself is that they will be too low. Anything the correct height would stop the pup from closing.

    I have seen some newer pups that have a fold out bar on the outside next to the door, which would help some. The problem is you can only have it on one side as the door has to open.

    The only real solution I see is building some kind of portable, collapsible ramp with railing all the way up. Then your wife's walker can be placed just inside the pup door for when she reaches the top.
     
  5. papachaz

    papachaz New Member

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    I've had two back surgeries, facing possible third. are they suggesting any type of surgery? i fought against the first one for a long time, but waking up in the recovery room with no pain in my leg and foot for the first time in many many months made me realize i should have done it a long time earlier. don't know what her prognosis is, but we'll definitely add her to our prayer list.
    having said that, the portable collapsible ramp suggested above sounds like your best shot, along with making sure you're behind her to help her.

    EDIT: ok after i posted this, i saw the poll about the ADA pop ups. reading through the posts there, there have been some made, a few with wheelchair ramps. somewhere, someone has one they don't need anymore, the pup or the ramp. i'd suggest scouring the internet to find it! even if you wind up selling your current pup and buying another, it would keep y'all camping!
     
  6. azbirddog42

    azbirddog42 Bullhead City, Arizona

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    Being a lot older that your wife. I had the same problem. The bad disc put me in a wheel chair. I swore I would never had back surgery. Well I had back surgery and and it was the best thing I have ever done. It has been 2.5 years and I have no back problem at all. They fused L-3 and fixed L-5. I was layed up for about 4 weeks and never looked back.We camp from Oct. to May every year.. Hope everything works out for your family....AZ [8D]
    (By the way I'll be 69 this year [}:)])
     
  7. Breadbox

    Breadbox Volvo powered

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    Thanks for all the support. She had her 40th birthday in rehab, the perfect way to feel young. Unfortunately it looks like it's going to be permanent. That's why I'm looking for an answer. She can get up stairs without the walker if she has something to hang onto, so a ramp shouldn't be necessary if she can pull herself up. I build a heavy handrail out of deck materials for our front steps and she can climb the 6 of them with some effort. We have a cabinet on one side of the door and a sofa seat on the other. I'm still hoping she can use the seat to pull herself in.
     
  8. Breadbox

    Breadbox Volvo powered

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    For the record, L4 collapsed and shattered cutting off about 95% of her spinal cord. She can feel the tops of her legs to the knee and that's about it. She had surgery and her back is fine now, but because of all the damage, most of the nerves in her legs aren't getting any stimulus from above and have begun to atrophy so she'll probably never get anything else back.
     
  9. ghacker

    ghacker Active Member

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    Sorry to hear of your DW's disability. Have you considered a small folding ramp? Might be possible if she can handle the slope. Saw a PUP that was modified for someone in a wheelchair that had a non-folding aluminum ramp. Might even still be there since it was earlier this summer. Could take a pic and send it to you if you like. I usually get in that neighborhood every week or so. It is pretty big although nowhere near what a standard handicapped ramp looks like. I'd think it would break down and since it's aluminum it's pretty light. Has a handrail as well.

    I was thinking of something much simpler based on a small ramp for loading ATVs or equipment into the bed of a pickup. There's a variety of styles available, some that fold, some that don't. I've got 2. Might look at some of these and see what you think.

    Some kind of lift table would work but you'd probably have to build a homemade one since they would easily cost more than your PUP. But if you're handy, it is doable although much more of a long term project. A ramp and any needed modification would be pretty easy to implement.
     
  10. Breadbox

    Breadbox Volvo powered

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    The ramp isn't the problem, it's something to hold onto. Her balance is way off (can't feel her feet) and she can't handle steep slopes either. What she needs is something to grab onto that's higher than the pup sides.
     
  11. CampingGators

    CampingGators Awaiting the day...

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    If she's not in a wheelchair, I would still use a ramp. Get a small computer chair or stool with wheels. You can then push her in with that. I'm not sure how feasible it is for her to get in on her own, without any help. [SUN]
     
  12. RotnMom

    RotnMom Am I there yet?

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    I wonder if something like THIS could be adaptable to have rails on both sides? It's 27 inches wide so the door might fit within it!

    I'll keep y'all in my thoughts. I've had 2 neck surgeries and am not long for a 3rd, on my mid back. I might have to copy whatever YOU come up with. :)

    [:D]
     
  13. Shaman1

    Shaman1 Well-Known Member

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    Breadbox, sorry to hear of your DW's problem. I spent 3 years in neurosurgery & understand the difficulties with such injuries. I've also designed some individualized assistance devices. I might be able to draw something for fabrication if you would like to pm me. I don't know anything about your dutchman. I would need to know: 1.Height to any & all steps from the ground & between each other. 2.Ground to arm height with elbow bent 90deg. 3.Pictures of immediate right & left of door. 4. Direction door opens. 5. Floor plan of pup. Steve
     
  14. RotnMom

    RotnMom Am I there yet?

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    YAY!! Here's hoping you two can get together and fix this situation for DW's sake! Steve....YOU ROCK!! [A]

    [:D]
     
  15. Dusty82

    Dusty82 Active Member

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    I've said it before, and I'll keep saying it until I'm banned - this is the home of some of the friendliest, most knowledgeable people you'll ever meet online.

    Truly a fantastic gesture, Shaman.
     
  16. JeepMama

    JeepMama New Member

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    I was picturing the railing on the steps that RotnMom suggested, but Shaman1 sounds like he has the experience needed to really help out, yay!
     
  17. Breadbox

    Breadbox Volvo powered

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    Something like what RotNMom linked to would work if the hand rail was on the other side and much, much heavier. She has to put all her weight on it and pull against it when she steps up and that would just bend and collapse. I would also only need two steps probably. I've just got the one pull out step into the unit and that's not a big step up from the ground even with the door on the low side like it is in our driveway. Quick specs: Door opens to the right, to the left is open space. Inside is a cabinet to the left and a U-shaped bankette to the right running around the nose of the unit.

    Sorry about the lousy picture quality. These are all I have at work. This is the door side. Nothing to the left but the wheel.
    [​IMG]

    Best interior shot I have. The opening on the right between the cabinet and the seat is the door.
    [​IMG]
     
  18. RotnMom

    RotnMom Am I there yet?

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    Matt,
    The arm rail will hook to either side, just FYI. I was actually thinking of having something like this made for myself, and it has to be strong enough to handle me, and yet be light enough that I can handle setting it up and such. I'd bet at this point, we're all waiting in anticipation of Steve's potential solution! And meanwhile, I'd also bet you'll get more ideas tossed your way!

    [:D]
     
  19. EileanT

    EileanT New Member

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    Dear POP Friends... YOU ROCK! I would never have thought I would get so much love and support from people I barely know (for the most part... some of you I know extremely well - glad to say) I got mad/brave/determined and found out that if I kneel on the floor of the pup then basically bench press myself up onto the sofa. I CAN GET IN! Getting out is OK but not fun. When DH put pup in the driveway and leveled it... it ended up being rather high on the door side and I still could manage. I like the idea of a railing or something. I can't believe how many people jumped to the rescue... that being said... I have the new electric panel to put in the pup and now I can't manage it myself... DH is not into electricity at all... If we manage to get to one of the rallies could someone PLEASE help put the thing in! Again... thanks for the love and support guys... it means more than you know.

    Eilean
     
  20. RotnMom

    RotnMom Am I there yet?

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    Howdy EileanT!! Glad you hopped over to this thread to say hi! HI!! :)

    I've only been here a short time, but you're right...something 'special' happens when you get like minded folks together. They don't have to agree on ANYTHING, ever, but we all hold camping dear...and that's a strong connection. [A]

    I'm also paranoid dealing with electricity. Good thing I have an electrician buddy! I'm thinking you're not going to have to wait long for help! This bunch is loaded with the DIY crowd, male AND female!!

    I sure hope you find a better way to enter / exit your pup. If not, and you're still bench pressing your body, remind me NOT to pi$$ you off in a dark campground! [LOL] [:O] [LOL]

    I share your pain and empathize. [:!]

    [:D]Pam
     

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