Winnebago Designs New Wheelchair-Accessible RV
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Accessibility, usability, and comfort are especially important in smaller RVs. They're particularly important for users with mobility issues. Fortunately, Winnebago has designed a new wheelchair-accessible Class B motorhome to meet the needs of this select audience.
The new Roam isn't the first mobility-enhanced RV Winnebago has made, but it just might be the best. They solicited input from accessibility advocates (including caregivers) when designing the Roam and also kept RV safety essentials firmly in mind.
What makes the Roam RV so special?
First off, the Roam doesn't cost as much as Winnebago's other wheelchair-accessible RVs, the Adventurer AE and the Inspire. Those are both massive Class As in the $270,000 plus range. Not only are they expensive, but it’s difficult to find a place to park them.
That isn't a problem with the Roam's more manageable length of 19', 9". It may not sleep five people like the other two, but it will fit just about anywhere you want to park it.
This RV may be relatively small, but there's still room to maneuver a wheelchair inside it. That's an important factor when a company is working on its first Class B RV specifically designed to provide great accessibility.
From Ram ProMaster van to Class B motorhome
The Roam is based on a Ram ProMaster van chassis—a favorite of those who do custom camper conversions.
The Ram ProMaster's 48" space between wheel wells gives it a wide, flat floor. That flat floor and the vertical walls allow room to turn a wheelchair around easily in the center of the RV.
RVTravel believes the nimble front-wheel-drive and compact size of the Roam will let it act as a daily driver between road trips or camping excursions. It's about the same length as a full-size pickup and just as easy to park. Maybe even easier!
These features make the Roam RV accessible for almost anyone
According to Car and Driver, the universal design was the driving force in deciding what to include (and what to leave out) of the Roam. This RV is designed to be usable for everyone, whether they have mobility issues or not.
The included features are a result of decades of feedback on the company's Class A motorhomes. Winnebago also hosted several trips for wheelchair users. Those travelers offered suggestions about what worked well and what should be changed or simply ditched.
There's a BraunAbility under-vehicle wheelchair lift beneath the sliding side door and secure wheelchair tie-downs are standard equipment. However, if a buyer needs hand controls for driving, they'll have to arrange to have them installed by a third-party vendor.
The powered sofa bed can seat up to five people and sleeps two comfortably with the touch of a button. Adding the optional pop-top increases the RV's sleeping capacity to four. There's also a fold-down table between the sofa and wheelchair tie-downs.
All of the lights and system controls are easily accessible, while the wet bath and toilet feature handles for safety. The heavy-duty vinyl flooring can easily stand up to constant wheel traffic.
Do you have a favorite color? No problem—as long as it's red, white, or silver! Those are the three color options Winnebago offers to Roam buyers.
Choosing the color scheme, determining whether or not to pop the top, and deciding whether you really need a built-in TV are the only decisions you'll have to make. That's because Winnebago only offers those three options in the Roam!
If you're wondering what a Winnebago Roam might set you back (with or without some of those last few options), you'll have to wait a couple more months.
That's when Winnebago is expected to announce the price of these new accessible RVs. Just by way of comparison, their non-adapted Class B motorhomes start at around $100,000.
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