How to begin...... - Fiberglass RV
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Old 10-13-2013, 06:09 AM   #1
Junior Member
Name: jobelle
Trailer: trying to decide
Posts: 7
Question How to begin......

I am a disabled female veteran and I want to start a new chapter in my life that allows me to come and go as the wind blows. I currently drive a 2009 Chevy Impala, which won't hold a wheelchair lift, so I KNOW it won't tow anything either. Any low cost suggestions for a tow car/van and what type of caravan would be best suited to a disabled person? I go everyplace with a service dog, so I need to know what type of caravan parks would allow me to take him with me. These are important details I need to find out before I decide to begin my yearning to run away as an adult.

I used to own my dream 1970's caravan, which I had completely remodeled, but someone told me it was silly to own such an item since I am now disabled. I am still kicking myself for selling it for $700. Not that I can kick anything anymore.
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Old 10-13-2013, 07:03 AM   #2
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Trailer: Scamp 19 ft 5th Wheel
Posts: 1,861
Welcome and thank you for your service. I see quite a few mini vans modified with wheelchair lifts and quite a few here use them for towing their fiberglass trailers. Now to the trailers most fiberglass trailers have fairly narrow doors and there are cabinets installed by these doors for support so modification would be quite extensive and floor space is limited.
As far as fiberglass goes the Lil Snoozy comes to mind. It has an open floor plan with a rear door which leads it self to easier modification. Also I think they will do custom cabinets. With a wheelchair a small toy hauler may be the best bet. they have a large rear door with ramp entrance. I'm sure the ramps could be automated.
Most state parks have nice paved handicap sites which are located next to the handicap bath facilities. And I think service dog are accepted most everywhere but you will have to check on that.
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Old 10-13-2013, 07:18 AM   #3
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Name: deryk
Trailer: 2012 Parkliner 2010 V6 Nissan Frontier 4x4
New Jersey
Posts: 2,084
Welcome jobelle!

Wish you luck, and you got a thumbs up from me for calling it a caravan vs trailer (trailers are what landscapers use to haul's are wonderful moveable homes (can ya tell Im a gypsy at heart?))

Lil Snoozy does offer an option for an unfinished inside...Im sure they would be able to make it with a larger door for easier access for you to get inside. A ramp and a scooter would be much easier then trying to get a wheel chair inside. I have 2 older disabled friends with scooters and they can get them into narrower places then a wheel chair would fit.

Best of Luck!


All that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost.... J.R.R. Tolkien
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Old 10-13-2013, 08:11 AM   #4
Name: Rosemary
Trailer: In the market
Posts: 44
Hi Jobelle,

First of all, great to hear that you have decided to explore pursuing your dream of a new chapter in your life. It is wise of you to seek information on the best alternatives to suit your needs. There is a couple, Howard and Linda (well known and respected in the RV community) who have a website with a forum called where there is a specific forum for people with health and disability issues (link below). I recommend that you visit there and post your questions there as well as here.

Another suggestion would be to contact some of the fiberglass manufacturers listed above and ask for their recommendations as some of them may have already been asked to adapt their trailers for people with physical limitations. Even if they have not been able to, at least that will narrow down your possible solutions.

Another thought is to attend an RV show. I visited the Hershey, PA, USA, show in September and saw MANY people in wheelchairs and on scooters. Manufacturer's reps were working with some of them on what adaptive solutions they could provide. This would give you the opportunity to see and consult with a number of RV manufacturers in one place. Even if you only intend to purchase a less expensive used model, you could get a better idea of what might work for you.

Please let us know once you reach a solution, I, for one, am very interested in your success.


RVing With Physical Challenges And Health Issues.

Follow along Down the Road with Me.
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Old 10-13-2013, 08:26 AM   #5
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Name: jim
Trailer: 2022 Escape19 pulled by 2014 Dodge Ram Hemi Sport
Posts: 6,710
Welcome to FGRV Jobelle,
As far as service dogs in campgrounds, they are permitted in all national and state parks and you should not find any barrier caused by having a service dog in a private cg. Enjoy.
Never in doubt, often wrong
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Old 10-13-2013, 10:47 AM   #6
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Maybe if you could tell us more of your abilities we could be of more help. And, just to be practical, an idea of a proposed purchasing budget. It's difficult to suggest an ideal tow vehicle at this point without knowing what you will be towing.

Several of the suggestions speak about new customized rigs and I suspect that isn't the cards, much less a vehicle than can tow a heavier rig.

As you will see, one of the secrets to full timing is to NOT stay in Private RV Parks any more than necessary. With sites with hook ups running from $20 - $60+ a night it's easy to blow a budget.

However, you will qualify for heavy discounts, up to and including FREE, at many local, state and federal facilities. And don't overlook any access you may have to the Special Services Camping facilities at many military installations.

Kick us back some more info and I am sure you will get even more replies.

And, a special Thank You for Your service and sacrifices, from another Vet.

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Old 10-14-2013, 09:30 PM   #7
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Trailer: Casita
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I have a Chrysler Town & Country. I added a receiver hitch and can tow my 16' Casita easily. I am looking ahead in the near future to getting a new one with the trailer package. It's better than the add on because it comes with the load leveler. Also I will get it with a transmission cooler. The new ones also have more horsepower. I too have seen some with a lift. Pretty good gas mileage too. The stow-n-go seats are a big plus to hauling extra junk....I mean my stuff!
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Old 10-14-2013, 11:03 PM   #8
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Name: Carl
Trailer: 2013 Lil Snoozy #161 (SOLD)/2010 Tacoma
NE Oklahoma
Posts: 2,358
to the Forum Jobelle.

Just a's a photo shoot of my Snoozy after I got it.
The door is wide enough to get a wheel chair through.

Backyard Photo Shoot

Here's the shot from the back door.

Rear Door open

And if you plan on traveling alone you could opt for a single bed across the
front and have loads of room.
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Old 10-15-2013, 11:57 PM   #9
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Name: jobelle
Trailer: trying to decide
Posts: 7
Question Caravan with Parkinson's and a service dog..

I am a disabled female veteran and my most acute disability is Parkinson's Disease, but I also have severe migraines, which, if not aborted in time, (this is why I have a service dog) I am paralyzed from the waist down until that headache goes away. About 4 days on the low side and the worst was 21 days. I do have a power chair, so I would need to be able to drag that along, too. I think a 16 foot Scamp caravan, (sorry I spent many years in the United Kingdom that is what they are called there and that is where I caught the wandering bug) Now that my children are done with college and are on their own, it is just me, my service dog, Barker, a Rough Coated Collie and HIS pet cat, Piglet. Piglet is a deaf Russian Blue who weighs in at 38 pounds, thus the name Piglet. He is not allowed outside, so he doesn't get much play time. I am ready to have lots of adventures, I no longer fly, so my car/van (whatever I decide to tow with) and a 16 foot Scamp, probably used at first. I am very frugal. If I purchase a van that will store my power chair inside and have room for Barker and Piglet inside. Depending on what van I purchase, the chair would be lifted inside in the rear or center, and the pets would get the next available space. I would just have two seats, driver and passenger. I could stay at an RV park, unhook and then have my van to use as my transportation for exploration. This sounds like a loopy idea, but I am rather loopy, I am a dizzy blonde with 1/2 a brain. I lost some of it in a traumatic head injury and cancer took a piece, too. I don't know how much time I have, but I am ready to wander. Does this sound do-able? I can have my retirement checks direct deposited into my accounts, and I will be a turtle, I will carry everything I own with me. I am going to sell my home and let my children pick what they want from my home and only store those items I cannot part with. There may come a time when I will have to be in an assisted living home, and I would like some of my own things there.

Any information will be greatly appreciated.
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Old 10-16-2013, 01:44 AM   #10
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Name: jobelle
Trailer: trying to decide
Posts: 7
Yes, I will stay on military bases, the campgrounds are great, not only with the rates per night, the safety factor, the BIG plus is that I will be able to shop and get medical care in the same place. I will do state parks and national parks (as soon as DC figures out if we have the money or not) and perhaps once in a while a private rv park, for those days/weeks when I need more help with set up, etc. I am going to check out the 'lemon lot' which is the place on base(s) where people who are moving overseas, change of lifestyle, or just cutting costs for a toy they no longer want. There are always a row or two of used rv's of all types and sizes. The most important items, ability to carry a power chair, a service dog, his pet cat, and have things a basic as possible, with only the extra $$ on my h/c items. I am looking at a Ford Transit Van, basic white cube style because the local Ford dealership will install my lift for my power chair as a 'gift' for my service. I don't like to take those gifts, but it will save me several thousand dollars. The Ford Transit Van should be able to tow a Scamp caravan. It is a mini van, but built for business use. I will have to purchase it from the Ford Fleet Program, since I won't be buying the family type version.
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Old 10-16-2013, 01:56 AM   #11
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Name: jobelle
Trailer: trying to decide
Posts: 7
Yes, it is now between a Little Snoozy, because of the rear door, which I can make a portable ramp entry for or the 16 foot Scamp. I do want a larger bed because my dog and cat sleep with me. So a queen size is the smallest I can go when I add an 86 lb dog and a 38 lb cat. lol
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Old 10-16-2013, 02:26 AM   #12
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Name: Jared
Trailer: 1984 19' scamp
Posts: 1,610
First, thanks for your service.

I'm afraid the scamp door will be too narrow and will be hard to modify. I'm sure somebody on here can get you a measurement, I don't know if my old one is the same as a newer one or not. The snoozy would probably be much better for what you're wanting.

Second...any pictures of the cat? I have a 22 pounder, curiosity has the best of me.

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Old 10-16-2013, 04:15 AM   #13
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Trailer: Trillium 2010
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Another rear entry trailer is the Little Joe.

If you don't already have one, consider applying for a NPS Access pass. Similar to the senior pass it gets you free entry into National parks, historic sites, etc. and a discount (1/2 price) on camping at National Parks, National Forest, BLM, etc. campgrounds. Thirty eight pound cat. Wow! Raz

America the Beautiful - National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass
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Old 10-16-2013, 05:39 AM   #14
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Name: jobelle
Trailer: trying to decide
Posts: 7
I cannot use this new laptop very well, it is a windows 8 nightmare and I do not know how to upload a picture of Piglet. He is huge and I have some great pictures of him and Barker.
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