Disabled Wife wants to try camping again - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-31-2007, 06:12 AM   #1
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My wife had a stroke about 6 years ago and has not gone camping since then. The other day she made the comment that if our Love Bug had a Porta Potti and a step to allow easier entry, she would like to try camping again. I purchased the Love Bug to make camping easier for her. I will be doing a front dinette conversion with the PP under the seat by the door. I can't remember who posted their mod but I will be giving it a try.

She has come a long way in her recovery and I think that getting out and enjoying camping again will really improve her state of mind. She feels like she lost everything. I try to gently remind her that she may not be able to do 100 % but 70 % is better than giving up. Please keep her in your prayers.
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Old 07-31-2007, 06:34 AM   #2
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Hi: I thought I was reading my brothers tale as he is in the same situation as you!!! He is trying to sell his '72 13' Boler and find a larger unit with a bathroom/shower for his wife...as the campground washrooms might be accesable once you get there...but pushing a walker over tree roots etc. isn't easy
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 07-31-2007, 06:59 AM   #3
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You and she are in my thoughts. I would think that camping would be good for body, mind, and soul. Best of luck to you both!
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Old 07-31-2007, 07:16 AM   #4
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Bob.. i think that is wonderful that your wife wants to go camping again!!
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Old 07-31-2007, 03:14 PM   #5
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Ditto what Christine said! The fact that she wants to is the most important thing! All the rest is just logistical. You'll get the details worked out together. Each new trip, new ideas will merge.
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Old 07-31-2007, 03:54 PM   #6
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That great Bob! I'm glad your wife is rekindling the camping bug! Getting back to nature can be good for the soul.

Let us know how your mods go. When are you starting?
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Old 07-31-2007, 05:45 PM   #7
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Bob,

That's wonderful your wife wants to try camping again. I'm not familiar with a Love Bug but I'm sure it is the same concept as our Scamp. We have the slide in step underneath our camper and my husband built a wide shallow wood box as a second step. We also have a screen door with the wood frame surrounding it. He attached a handle with a rubber grip (CW Catalog Item # 34931) to the right side of the frame. I can use it getting in or out for balance.

Best of luck with the mods.

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Old 07-31-2007, 06:44 PM   #8
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heading sloowly up the eastcoast to our next 2 month (Aug and Sept) camp hosting gig at Camden Hills State Park in Maine
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Old 07-31-2007, 07:02 PM   #9
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Bob,

I just bought an Ideaworks safety grip handle for my mom. It attaches with suction, so it's completely portable, and could be useful for your wife while she's in your trailer or while staying in motels or at a friend's house. Here's what it looks like.

Best wishes to both of you. Happy travels!

Jeanne
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Old 07-31-2007, 11:45 PM   #10
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I just bought an Ideaworks safety grip handle for my mom. It attaches with suction, so it's completely portable, and could be useful for your wife while she's in your trailer or while staying in motels or at a friend's house. Here's what it looks like.

Hmmm. I wonder whether it's suction grip is secure enough to attach to the outside fiberglass shell and act as a handhold that someone who is mobility impaired can grab onto for climbing in & out of the trailer. ???

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Old 08-01-2007, 04:16 AM   #11
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Hello Bob; Good for you getting the wife back into camping!

I think I'm the one who did that early conversion of the front bench to a small dinette with the porta potti built in. I would be happy to help walk you through that job. We found having a convenient potti made the world of difference for our camping experience.

email me if you have any questions: nobid@shaw.ca
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Old 08-01-2007, 04:21 AM   #12
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Great to hear your wife has gumpsion (as they say in Maine)
I myself broke a hip back in the late 70's but tried never to slow down but by the late 90's the pain was so great I was forced to give up alot of things I loved, one of them hikeing and camping, but never lost my love of the outdoors and with the help of others would go fishing.
3 years ago I had a complete hip replacement and I think that the pain I went though the last 7 years makes any pains I get with the replacement really nothing.
I hate to see people who just give up so get out there and enjoy the things you love to do
Gerry the canoebuilder
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Old 08-01-2007, 06:12 AM   #13
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Peter,

I've had lots of experience with handicap needs for family members and myself. I've seen handles like Jeanne's and it would be good to use inside for standing in a shower, etc. But I would be afraid to depend on it for pulling myself up. If the suction cups loosened it would be a bad fall waiting to happen, and that is something Bob's wife can't risk. A handle needs to be solidly attached to bear weight.

Nita

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Hmmm. I wonder whether it's suction grip is secure enough to attach to the outside fiberglass shell and act as a handhold that someone who is mobility impaired can grab onto for climbing in & out of the trailer. ???

--Peter
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Old 08-01-2007, 11:32 AM   #14
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My sister just got one of those huge toy haulers and they actually have a handle on the outside that swivels out when you need it, I wonder if an RV shop would sell something like that. I'm not sure how easy it is to screw something into fiberglass but it is very sturdy and it has a kung fu grip on it! Anyway another thought. Frankly our trailer could fit in her trailer, however I would much rather have my gas bill and I won't be paying on my little home on wheels for the next 30 years! Best of luck Bob on the trailer conversion, I think it is just wonderful that your better half is ready for the out doors again. Hope to see you at the gatherings!

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Old 08-01-2007, 06:16 PM   #15
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Ken-Your's is the conversion that I had been looking at. The metal "frame" that would be under the dinette seat is higher on our Love Bug, about 5" so I have to make sure that the PP is not overly tall for her to sit on.

We were talking about steps and handles at the supper table tonight as a first step before getting the dinette in. She wants to make sure that she can get in and out before spending the money on the PP.

I am really encouraged that she brougth this up on her own. I have tried not to push her into doing things that she isn't ready for. I gave God a silent prayer of thanks when she brought it up.

The oldest daughter (Sarah)wanting her kids to experience camping had alot to do with the wife's timing I am sure. I called Sarah and told her about this development and we both almost cried.
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Old 08-02-2007, 12:10 AM   #16
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It's great to see your wife wanting to try camping again. My wife has MS and we just make do with what her handicap schedule dictates. We have extra handles in our Casita, bath room door sill cut down and when she says to stop, we do. We have a bed slider in the back of the pickup to carry her scooter(break apart) and working on modifying a bike rack to carry her walker on the back of the trailer. If we can help, please let us know.
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Old 08-02-2007, 01:17 PM   #17
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You might also check the regulations to see if she qualifies for whatever the federal system calls the old Golden Access Card for the federal CGs like NP, NF, BLM, etc. Not only gives her free admission and half-price on the campsite, but allows use of the handicap sites so the walk to the facilities is much shorter.

http://www.fs.fed.us/passespermits/access.shtml
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Old 08-02-2007, 10:17 PM   #18
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This may seem simplistic, but I don't see that others have mentioned it: In all of the Oregon and California State Parks I've visited so far with the trailer, there have been 'handicapped only' sites. They've had paved/smoothed areas for easy maneuverability and raised firepits for easy and safe use, with the tables easy to get to.

I assume this is true for other states, and such a campsite might make for an easier first couple of trips as she gets her feet under her again.

Good luck.
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Old 08-02-2007, 11:26 PM   #19
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Good luck in your wife`s venture back to camping....hope it all works out well....you`re both in our thoughts and prayers for the future....Benny & Alice
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Old 08-03-2007, 12:52 PM   #20
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We were in a British Columbia provincial park campground this year which had one handicapped site, and it was indeed paved, with a entirely paved path possible to the (very nearby) washroom. It was also one of few sites in the campground with power (30A).

It was, unfortunately, terribly laid out: a trailer when backed in ended up with the door opposite the picnic table, and a large unit would have the door on the adjacent gravel. Going in forward wouldn't work with a trailer: it looks like the designer assumed that any user would have a motorhome, and would pull in forward.

Dave has a good point: this type of site does exist, and is worth checking for.
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