Tag Archives: Hand Control Systems

Accessible RV

You’ve probably read a lot about handicap minivans and full-size vans, but how about an accessible RV? If you travel often and find accessible hotels not so wheelchair friendly or you have a distaste of flying, an accessible motor-home could be a solution. Finances permitting, you could buy a new or used RV and have the conversion equipment you need installed.

A mobility equipment dealer can modify your new or used RV with whatever you require. The most common type of customization involves installing a wheelchair lift and widening the vehicle’s entrance and interior aisles to accommodate the wheelchair’s width.

Other common adaptations might include lowering the bed and toilet, installing hand control systems, wheelchair tie downs and handrails in strategic positions or modifying the shower and/or tub.

RVs carry their own water and waste management system. All you need is an electrical hookup at an RV campsite, state or national park or, if necessary, a generator.

Google “accessible RV parks” or “accessible RV campgrounds” for locations along your route. Access varies with each camping location, so check out the website or call beforehand. Be sure it has hard-surface cement or asphalt sites, not gravel or sand.

Think about it, you wouldn’t have to stay in a hotel or motel again, as RVs are totally self-contained living quarters on wheels. They have open floor plans with kitchens; barrier-free, roll-in showers with grab bars; extra-wide interior doors; and whatever bells and whistles you desire.

If you don’t travel often enough to justify purchasing an RV, search for a place that rents accessible RVs. Start looking well in advance of your trip.

Basic Hand Control Systems

The four Basic Hand Control System designs are:

  • Push/pull: Push the control forward to brake; and pull back and hold to accelerate. Not the most popular control as it must be pulled toward you and held to maintain speed, requiring more arm strength.
  • Push/twist: Like on a motorcycle, it requires twisting the handle for the gas and pushing the hand control lever for the brakes. Unlike the push/pull in that the driver doesn’t have to pull the lever back and hold to accelerate.
  • Push/right angle: (Most popular) Drivers push forward for the brakes. Push down toward your thigh with a slight pull to your torso for acceleration. Acceleration with the push/right is less fatiguing than push/pull as the weight of your hand holds the desired speed.
  • Push/rock: Not necessary to keep a grip on the control. The driver rocks his or her hand on the top of the handle, rocking back to accelerate and forward to apply the brakes, like a slot machine.

All four can be mounted on the right or left side depending on your preference or abilities.