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Old 01-30-2014, 10:45 PM   #29
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1968 30' Sovereign
Santa Cruz , California
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 8
That's a great question. I wouldn't classify the Airstream as a "handicap Airstream," but rather, an Airstream that is being designed using the guidelines of Universal Design, making it accessible to a broad spectrum of people. People with disabilities and able-bodied people alike can enjoy the trailer.

While it is still in the works, the end result will be a modern, comfortable, stylish accommodation available to rent to anybody. I'm imagining somewhere in the $135-$150/night range (perhaps on the lower end of rental rates in the Bay Area, where I live). (This price would be for renting it on our property... I would likely eventually be willing to tow it to a local campground for renters as well, though there would be an additional fee for this.) Very curious to hear what others would consider paying, however.

Thanks for following this thread! Curious to know what piqued your interest.

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Old 06-09-2014, 08:42 PM   #30
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1973 25' Caravanner
Santa Cruz , California
Join Date: Jun 2014
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I hope I am not to late to throw my two cents in. As a wheelchair user and a new Airstream owner I have kicked around a few ideas. What about making the rear a ramp door like the Eddie Bauer edition. Then you can renovate the bathroom to suit your needs. You can really open up the floor plan plus the wheelchair user does not have to make as many turns inside the trailer. Which takes more room than the width of the chair. Can't forget about turning radius. Please get back with me as I am in the process currently and I also live in Santa Cruz. What are the odds....

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Old 10-12-2014, 04:19 PM   #31
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2015 16' Sport
Tahoe Vista , California
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I am a full time wheelchair user (paraplegic) and it's all about how big/heavy the person is that's using the wheelchair and the wheelchair itself.
My wheelchair is a little over 24" wide (small to average for most full-time users) and we chose an Airstream because the doors are 26" wide.
We went to our local dealer and went in and out of all of the under 25' models (I use a telescoping light weight ramp that's actually 2 pieces that the tires fit in). Believe it or not, the 16' Bambi was the easiest to get around. The uncomplicated L-shape of the interior is pretty much barrier free and while getting in the bathroom is a tricky transfer, the toilet doubles as a shower seat. It's tight to turn around and when my husband, daughter, 2 dogs and I are all inside it's definitely cramped -- but it's completely do-able and a joy!
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Old 02-17-2015, 11:32 AM   #32
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Thanks to all who have contributed, my wife and I are keenly interested in those who have triumphed in this challenge. The spirit of adventure and the need to explore is even more important when facing such a life change.

SantaCruz, I would be interested in any lessons learned over the last year!

Holly, you look like you're having fun! Thank you for sharing your experiences. I never would have believed that smaller was better, before reading your post!

Access, any update on your project?

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Old 02-17-2015, 11:54 AM   #33
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2005 25' Classic
Austin , Texas
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Check out the "Story Corps" Airstream touring the country. They have an very nice unit modified with a lift. Saw it in person when it was in Austin, Tx last month. That unit has been all over the place and really put to the test. Maybe they can give you the low down on the setup and reliability of their conversion.

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Old 02-17-2015, 12:07 PM   #34
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Thanks, Ampman- that's a great door they have!
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Old 07-10-2016, 12:15 PM   #35
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1995 34' Land Yacht LE
cincinnati , Ohio
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Originally Posted by access.air View Post
I'm in the planning stages of purchasing & renovating an Airstream to be universally designed/accessible to people of all abilities. I'm planning to eventually make the trailer available to rent, but feel strongly about it being wheelchair accessible. I know this topic has been discussed over the years, but I'm wondering if anyone has specific recommendations for a shop in CA (or nearby) who would be able to widen the door and install a lift? (I know it is a difficult alteration to complete.) Any recommendations would be appreciated! Thanks so much.
I know a few years have passed but I was wondering where you were on this? We widened the door of our 1995 Airstream Land Yacht successfully for our handicap son. While the door was wonderful, we haven't come up with a light weight portable way to ramp in. We were able with his old wheelchair to use a 12 foot folding ramp, with supports underneath. His new wheelchair needs something more sturdy plus our knees are having trouble getting in and out of the steps. Does anyone have ideas?
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Old 08-01-2016, 09:18 AM   #36
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BEND , Oregon
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What I"m doing!

Greetings all, I've been following this thread for some time now as my wife had a massive stroke 15 months ago and I began thinking of the problems of visiting friends, travel in general, host inconveniences etc. This what I'm in the process of doing and am open to suggestions and even laughter for my folly!
I found a toyhauler/ motocross utility trailer by Featherlite which seems to suit my purpose, so far. Featherlite is an all Aluminum well constructed trailer and I think it is key to start with a quality product. The trailer is 20 feet long with a 4 foot V in front making it a total of 24 feet long. The trailer consisted of two factory constructed rooms with a wide pocket door between.. (Key consideration, as my wife is in a wheelchair too!!) This particular trailer was created for the "DAYTONA BIKE WEEK" back in 1995 and has some amenities which I don't really need but came with the package. For example, in the 4 foot V, there is a power washer with an instant hot water heater with a propane tank and a 50' of hose on a retractable coil, a spare tire with mounting ( needed), a 4000 watt Kohler gasoline generator with a 15 gallon fuel tank (needed), the battery and electrical stuff for the lights and electrical outlets in the trailer etc. (needed and well done!). Not in the "V" but under the rear room there is an 80 gallon water storage area for the pressure washer to clean the motocross bikes etc. The front room of the trailer has a long bench with a long table (removable ) with storage drawers underneath, the "V" is squared off with an insulated wall with outlets and overhead storage cabinets, the wall opposing the bench has a huge cooler probably for beverages of choice and Ice, additional storage, outlets, and a small microwave. The side door is 36" and windowed with a screen, then the generator control panel on the other side of the door and then the wall between the rooms. The back room has 3 "aircraft" type ribs with adjustable connectors to attach the bikes going from front to rear, a rubberized floor over particle board or something similar, a "Craftsman" tool cabinet, overhead lighting and of course the rear fold down diamond plated door. I forgot to mention the front room has overhead lighting and an air conditioner on the roof. There is also another window opposite the door with a screen.
Everything is in good shape (so far) and this is the verbal description of the project.
This is where I am in my project.
I found a soft/spongy spot on the floor of the rear room and I decided to repair it and as you've guessed it turned into a real project. I removed the entire rear room floor; the rubberized pad which was glued to the "wet" particle board which was screwed through the aluminum floor of the trailer. (THROUGH THE FLOOR)! so I ended up with a rear room with 400-500 screw leaks in the floor! (I'll wait until the laughter subsides!) The floor is relatively thick aluminum and can be walked on easily so the next step was to reseal and waterproof the floor. I went on line and found out how they seal holes in aluminum boats. They used blind rivets with marine grade sealant coating. So I bought a nice rivet gun and blind rivets and became an expert riveter! Then I started thinking, Is it really sealed and ready for a new floor? (I was thinking about a laminate floor, "PERGO" type or some such but the floor wasn't smooth as you can imagine so I decided to seal the already sealed floor with a truck bed spray in liner. ( which requires an aluminum primer coat for adhesion); this was done! It looked great. I was originally thinking of leaving the "aircraft ribbing" exposed and just laminate around them but then thinking it over and traveling "rough roads" I would probably have laminate all over the trailer, so scratch that idea. I ended up with 3 pieces of 3/4" plywood and routed out the grooves and formed the floor. I then placed some laminate flooring over top of the plywood which I am going to pin nail it to the plywood for stability. ( I have not done that yet) as I'm thinking I should have spar varnished the plywood before I placed the laminate. BUT since it's a floating floor, does it need it? This is where I am on my project. My goal is to create a moveable bedroom, toilet facility, and maybe some other amenities. I need some expert advice about kitchen and bath prefab options keeping in mind that nothing can be mounted underneath as the trailer sits only 18 inches above the payment. All thoughts are welcomed!
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Old 08-01-2016, 06:05 PM   #37
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My only thought is good on you, call-me-al! Happy camping to you and your beloved!
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Old 08-07-2016, 08:03 PM   #38
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Lakewood , New Jersey
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[QUOTE=call-me-al;1829303]Greetings all, I've been following this thread for some time now as my wife had a massive stroke 15 months ago and I began thinking of the problems of visiting friends, travel in general, host inconveniences etc. This what I'm in the process of doing and am open to suggestions.

My wife had a massive stroke 17 years ago and is paralyzed on her right side and is unable to speak. In 2006 I rented a motor home and we went camping in Maine for a week. My wife came alive, and we bought a 1988 classic limited in 2007. In 2008 we sold our condo and put our furniture in storage and hit the road.

We spent 2 years traveling the country. We have since upgraded to a 2006 classic limited with a slide and we have never looked back. My wife can walk with my assistance and has learned how to use the steps to get in and out of our trailer. I use aluminum ramps to put her wheel chair(power) in the trailer while we travel and then use the ramps to get it out.

Air streaming has given us our lives back...

If you need to talk please feel free to pm me anytime

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Old 08-07-2016, 09:14 PM   #39
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1983 31' Airstream310
Hillsburgh , Ontario
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As a person whose Grandmother suffered a severe stroke in 1969, given 3 days to live, only to survived 11 years, I have a small inkling of the incredible challenges you face.

My Grandfather took her on trips from England to all over the world in grand means of travel, like the QE2 to New York, by train to Toronto, then by train across Canada to us in Vancouver, to return to the UK by Concorde. Their determination to keep living and to enjoy life amazed us all.

To you all that are mobility challenged, to those who assist them to keep living, you have my admiration and utmost respect.


Per Mare, Per Terram and may all your campaigns be successful.

Its a recession when your neighbor loses his job; its a depression when you lose your own. "Harry S Truman"
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