Mods for Limited Mobility??

Discussion in 'Camping for the Medically/Physically Challenged' started by klmmc13, Jun 13, 2014.

  1. klmmc13

    klmmc13 New Member

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    Hi All!

    I've got an empty box interior in our Pup. Whoever owned this pup before I bought it, literally ripped everything but the A/C out of it: bed mattresses, cabinets, table, all; even cut the electrical cable hookup to camp power off at the exterior wall. The good out of all of this is that we can build everything to be adapted to OUR needs, rather than having to adjust & adapt to what some designer for some company wanted.

    Before I start building the interior pieces: table, bench seats with storage, inside galley, etc... I wanted to find out what modifications others have made to their units to accommodate limited mobility issues. Both Hubby and I have some issues, and they are not likely to improve much in the forsee-able future. Neither of us are in wheelchairs, both of us use canes for stability and balance. getting down is a controlled fall at times, and getting up requires planning, leverage, and occasionally assistance. We're not spring chickens anymore, but neither are we old enough for retirement. We have two teenage boys, with issues of their own, and camping for the next five years is a necessary activity to allow them to be as active in Boy Scouts as is possible.

    I'm interested in how others have modified their Pups, or their modes & methods of camping to accommodate, adjust and adapt their abilities into their camping life.

    Thanks,
    Kathy
     
  2. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    Welcome and good for you to want to camp.

    If would be helpful to know what pup "shell" you have. If you add it to your signature line, you don't need to keep typing it.

    How stable are the walls? I ask because the cabinets in some pups are part of the stability for the walls. If yours is one of those, your mods will need to include either new cabinets, or an alternative way to stabilize the walls.

    Are you going to cook inside? If not, you probably don't need to add a full galley. For flip-over galleys, that might be an advantage with mobility issues. I have back and other issues, but can still flip our (small) galley, though I have to remember to use good body mechanics (learning to do that no matter what I'm doing). Some people have removed the top of the galley and just use the bottom cupboards with the top as low counter space for clothing, etc.
    We don't use the original table in ours, since we don't need it for a bed. The original is very heavy and was difficult for me to move and to move around. We bought a molded resin/plastic table (one of the Lifetime brand, made in USA), which packs well and is easy to work with.
     
  3. speckhunter80

    speckhunter80 Well-Known Member

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    If you are going to cook and primarily eat outside you might consider just folding TV tables inside
     
  4. tfischer

    tfischer Well-Known Member

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    If you're outfitting from the floor up, keep a close eye on weight. Most pups have gone to some lengths to keep weight down. For example, the cabinets on mine are largely made of 1/8" "paneling" with some light framing to make them solid. If you build everything out of plywood or even thick particle board, I could see you exceeding the weight rating of the trailer (or your TV) pretty quickly.
     
  5. jerry_ma

    jerry_ma Member

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    DW is in a wheelchair for the most part. She walks for short distances and holds on to stuff for balance. So she sleeps on the bench next to the door. No need to "hop up" on to the bed end to sleep The Apache Ramada has a side bench that folds out to a queen bed. It works for us.

    For you if the roof can support it can you put grab rails or ropes to help you get up. They also have railings for the entrance to help you get in/out. when not in use they fold against the side.

    Good luck
    Jerry in MA
     
  6. klmmc13

    klmmc13 New Member

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    Hi All -
    I'm sorry, I typed it so much last night, including into my profile, that I didn't notice that I hadn't put it here..... I THOUGHT that it was showing on my posts, I'll try to fix that.

    It's a '93 Coleman Destiny Rio Grande (according to the bill of sale).
    I don't know how sturdy the walls are, as I don't have any baseline to compare to. The pup will be delivered and set up this weekend, and I'll be better able to judge then. I'll also start a thread with pictures over at the rebuild section.

    I'd LIKE to be able to cook inside in winter, outside in summer. Enough 12v juice to run a coffee pot in the morning WITHOUT running an extension cord clean-across camp into an inverter, ya know? Thinking about a portable camp-kitchen, common to scouting. Able to set up outside or inside, just makes it tricky to hook up a propane stove.

    Want to build storage benches down both side walls, sturdy enough to support adults of 225+lbs., light enough to not over-load the trailer. (especially since I'm pulling it with an SUV rather than a Pickup.)

    Our current camping gear consists of cheapy WallyWorld: folding table 2'x4.5'; cloth folding chairs (easy to get in, hell to get out of); BBQ top grate/grill for fireside cooking, and some bits & pieces of cookware. Each family member has a mess kit as well. Sleeping bags, mats and a two-man tent completes the current inventory. The boys are able to tote all but the kitchen gear in back-packs for Scout camp.
     
  7. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    Before you commit to a path of mods, do research on there for what people have done, problems encountered, etc. For instance, the general conclusion is that 12v for any heat appliance, including coffeemakers, is not workable. There is a good-sized thread on making coffee:
    http://www.popupportal.com/index.php?topic=82883.0

    Think over the camp kitchen, if you mean one of the wood-case ones. The ones I've seen have been too hefty for me to handle, even before my back issues. We use two roll-up aluminum tables outside, often in addition to the picnic table provided in campsites; one of the tables adjusts to counter-height, good for my back issues. We do not keep our food outside, it is not a good idea in the places we camp, so most of the camp kitchens are not that useful for us. Friends a folding camp kitchen (a more bare-bones version of this: http://www.cabelas.com/product/Camping/Outdoor-Cooking/Camp-Kitchens|/pc/104795280/c/104754780/sc/104248980/Cabelas-Standard-Camp-Kitchen/746444.uts?destination=%2Fcatalog%2Fbrowse%2Fcamp-kitchens%2F_%2FN-1100713%2FNs-CATEGORY_SEQ_104248980%3FWTz_l%3DSBC%253BMMcat104795280%253Bcat104754780&WTz_l=SBC%3BMMcat104795280%3Bcat104754780%3Bcat104248980), but again, do not leave food itself in it.

    Some pups have inside/outside stoves, but it sounds as though the one for yours (if any) is gone, along with most everything else. We use the built-in LP stove in our to cook inside. Outside we use our classic white gas Coleman camp stove.

    We have removed the sink in each of our two pups, we have a good system )after 2+ decades of camping) with dish pans and a gray water bucket. We can use it inside in a pinch, though prefer to wash dishes outside, as well as cooking there. We heat the water on the stove.

    If you will not need it for sleeping, you can make a lighter table or just use one of the molded ones .
     
  8. speckhunter80

    speckhunter80 Well-Known Member

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    For a stove/oven combo you might want to consider the Camp Chef Portable Deluxe Outdoor Oven. You can quite often find it for as low as $235 or so

    EDIT: It is selling for $180 on Amazon
     
  9. bigronw1955

    bigronw1955 New Member

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    My wife does not do steps well, and as I get older I find I don’t much like them either. I decided we needed a ramp for our ’83 Coleman Sequoia, but with our weights topping 250 lbs, we also needed strength.

    My son gave me a set of ATV ramps (from Harbor Freight) for my birthday, and with some 2x4’s and plywood, I made a ramp that sets up and takes down in less than 5 minutes and stores in the available space in the pup. The heaviest pieces are, of course, the metal ramps, but if handled individually are not too bad, and if two handle them they are a piece of cake.

    However, after a few years, my wife finds she needs a steadying hand to help her up or down the ramp. I have come up with a design for hand rails and hope to complete it in the next couple of weeks to surprise her for her birthday. I know it will take a few minutes longer to put up and take down, but not too much more time.

    If it all comes together nicely, I will try to post a video.
     
  10. BarbaraFaith

    BarbaraFaith New Member

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    We bought a brand new PUP in 2012 even though DH had some mobility issues and walked with a cane. The biggest obstacle was getting up in the PUP. We used a one-step stepstool, and on the side, used a fold-up step stool with a high handle for him to hang on to. When I was out at our RV dealer one day, I saw that they had a handle that mounts to the side of the PUP (actually it was becoming a stock item on the new Jayco's).

    The beds are a little high, but usable. DH at home sleeps in a recliner (due to fluid overload-CFH) but we would take the cushions from the dinette and prop them behind him and it worked well. At night, he uses a urinal, and we have a luggable loo toilet (double 5 gal buckets for extra height).

    We are sitting out this camping year because DH had some health issues, including the need for spinal surgery, and he is still in the rehab mode. We are hopeful that we can resume camping in our PUP next year but we'll cross that road when we come to it.

    I'm thinking that if your PUP shell is empty, that you could add hand rails into the side of cabinets, etc. Maybe some kind of step-up with rails to get into the bunks.
     
  11. swordfish

    swordfish Well-Known Member

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    Jayco and Flagstaff make handrail standard or option. Very nice. Amazon sells this "lend a hand" handrail for $33.51. I mounted it to a 2x4 extended in between the roof and lower wall. Quite sturdy.
    [​IMG]
    upload a gif
     

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