Introducing a motorhome that provides freedom to people with a wheelchair or mobility scooter
Just because you rely on a wheelchair or mobility scooter, it doesn’t mean you can’t live the dream of touring Australia.
Taxis modified for people with wheelchairs are now a common sight, as are parking spots for the ‘disabled’. Avida has seen the growing need in the market, and designed and built a motorhome for people with mobility problems. As you can see, the modifications are more extensive than just adding a ramp on the side.
Avida was the first in Australia to design and build a motorhome which caters for those that require a wheelchair or scooter. Watch the video to see how.
Before Avida began this project, it spoke with various disability groups to determine what their needs are. Avida’s Max Mayo explains, “Because people have so many different kinds of disabilities, from amputees to paraplegia and quadriplegia, we knew we couldn’t design a recreational vehicle that would be all things to all people”.
Instead, a version of the luxurious Avida Esperance was created, which allows people in either wheelchairs or mobility scooters to get in and around the motorhome.
“It’s most important that they’ve got enough room to move easily within the motorhome,” Max says. “Then if people require more specialised equipment, we can certainly make it for them, but we didn’t want to do things that wouldn’t be used by everyone.”
The model Avida converted was the Esperance Highline. ‘Highline’ models differ from the maker’s ‘Lowline’ models by utilising the space above the cabin.
While the wheelchair-friendly Esperance may tick all the boxes for many buyers, it can be further modified to suit a customer’s specific requirements. For example, the kitchen can be lowered to be accessible at wheelchair height, or hand-operated accelerator controls can be installed for the driver. Avida dealers can organise all this.
The reason this hasn’t already been done is because the person with the wheelchair or mobility scooter may be travelling with their partner or carer, who is able-bodied and doesn’t need the extra modifications.
In fact, Avida assumes the person with the disability is travelling with such a person. For example, there’s a double bed that needs to be folded away during the day to allow wheelchair access to the motorhome.
Again, if somebody isn’t capable of folding up the bed, Avida dealers can install an electrically operated unit as an optional extra.
Avida’s wheelchair-friendly motorhome is an important vehicle and welcome news for people with mobility problems. Avida is one of the first manufacturers to target this sector of the motorhome market. However, with our aging population and ever-growing numbers of people wanting to see the real Australia, it sure won’t be the last.
In addition to the extraordinary lengths Avida has gone to in accommodating people with mobility problems, there is no denying this is a very well designed, comfortable, and practical motorhome to tour Australia.