6 Best Handicap Accessible RVs

Disclosure: Please note this post may contain affiliate links. This means – at no additional cost to you – we earn a commission if you make a purchase using our links. We only link to products and companies we use and recommend. The income goes toward supporting the free content on this site. Read the full disclosure here

Sharing is caring!

The RV industry has always been the one to step up to the needs of the United States. Whether it was mobile housing for our troops, triage units for the recent pandemic, or other significant aspects to our society. Manufacturers introduced handicap accessible RVs when retirees, families, and veterans weren’t done with the open road.

This wasn’t the first attempt, but it was the most successful. With these new motorhomes, disabled Americans could either start or continue their RV experience in ways that gave them more independence and comfort. Caregiver family members could enjoy the experience since these motorcoaches allowed the disabled person to take care of certain things themselves.

We’ve explored the best motorhomes and handicap accessible RV manufacturers on the 2020 market. You’ll learn about how they’ve approached wheelchair accessibility and ADA compliance. We’ll then show you the best features and false steps they’ve made in the current year models.

What is ADA Compliance and Certification

The ADA stands for the American Disabilities Act that was originally signed into law by President George H.W. Bush in 1990 (colloquially known as George Senior). Title III of the ADA states that all commercial structures must give people with disabilities equal access. The act went through updates in 2010 and 2019 to stay current to new public spaces that came through technological advancement.

The Act is overseen by the Department of Justice and uses both professional staff and volunteers to enforce, investigate, and certify all aspects that fall under the Act’s jurisdiction.  Local and state governments are the first levels of enforcement, but there have been cases that have gone to the federal level.

Objectively, recreational vehicles don’t fall under the guidelines of Title III of the ADA. Newmar does claim to have ADA Approval on its components, but not a certification. The ADA allows certifications to those elements that fall under its purview.

Handicap Accessible RV Perspectives Each Brand Takes

Newmar and Winnebago take different approaches making an RV handicap accessible. Newmar was the first to offer the built-in lift from BraunAbility in their 2012 models. All three of their 40-foot motorhomes, known as the Newmar Mobility Lineup, have features that cater to those that are wheelchair-bound.

Newmar created the industry’s first and largest line of wheelchair accessible motorhomes designed and engineered from the ground up, with direct guidance and oversight from wheelchair users themselves.

Winnebago introduced three motorhomes at the Tampa Bay RV Show in 2019. Each can be tailor-made based on the disabled person’s needs. You work with a representative in Winnie’s Specialty Vehicle Department customizing your chosen unit for your disabled loved one and everyone else in the family.

Winnebago’s three Accessibility-Enhanced RVs are the Intent 30R AE, Adventurer 30T AE, and Forza 34T AE, which feature the most common customization requests, including:

  • Platform wheelchair lift with an 800-pound lifting capacity
  • Powered roll-up lift door, with wall-mount and key-fob remote controls for wheelchair entry and exit
  • Expanded hallway and bathroom areas for greater accessibility featuring:
  • Large roll-in shower with an assist bar and available folding bench seat, with extended lever faucet controls and adjustable shower head
  • Raised toilet with assist bars
  • Roll under sink
  • Electric adjustable queen bed
  • Thermostatically or remote-control roof vents
  • Wall-mounted light and generator switches
  • Lower installation of the systems monitor panel
  • Optional 6-way power transfer seat
  • Optional lower microwave placement

In addition to these standard features, customized features on a Winnebago Accessibility-Enhanced RV are available, including bed and toilet height specification, placement of handrails, ceiling track system installation for mobility without a wheelchair, specific furniture requirements, cabinetry, and aesthetic changes.

The Best Wheelchair Accessible Motorhomes for 2020

1. Newmar Dutch Star 4311

The first thing you’ll notice on the iconic Dutch Star is the remote control wheel chair lift. Keep your independence as you enter or exit your Class A motorhome on your own. When you’re all set the ramp folds neatly into the luggage bay below it.

As you’re traveling, Newmar designed this floorplan to allow you to navigate the center hallway even with the slideouts pulled in. There are plenty of grab bars throughout the coach to aid with balance and maneuvering. The roll-under bathroom sink allows you to take care of your morning ritual and grab whatever you need from the storage space above.

For easier access, Newmar lowered the countertops, amenities, and features. The Dutch Star also sports a Fisher and Paykel Dishwasher giving you the ability to fully operate everything in the RV. The bedroom has a sleep number mattress that is adjustable, room for a CPAP machine, and many other spaces for whatever you need.

For the rest of your family, the full-size front sofa folds out for sleeping space. The whole family can sit together in front of the televator cabinet watching your favorite movie and warm yourselves in front of the LED fireplace. You can enjoy a meal together at the adjustable kitchen table that has plenty of space for everyone to be together.

Main Specs For the Dutch Star 4311

  • MSRP Price: $505,071
  • Sleeps: Up to 4 people
  • Length: 43.9 feet
  • Fresh tank size: 105 gallons 
  • Grey tank size: 65 gallons
  • Black tank size: 45 gallons
  • Fuel tank size: 150 gallons diesel

2. Newmar Ventana 4311

The Newmar Ventana 4311 has the exact same floorplan and similar features as the Dutch Star. The differences will be in the mid-range decor. Newmar’s interior designs lead the industry in quality and look, but won’t have as much of a luxury feel like the Dutch Star.

Main Specs For the Ventana 4311

  • Average Price: $375,677 
  • Sleeps: Up to 4 people
  • Length: 43.10 feet
  • Fresh tank size: 105 gallons
  • Grey tank size: 65 gallons
  • Black tank size: 45 gallons
  • Fuel tank size: 100 gallons diesel
Check Out All Three of Newmar’s Wheel Chair Accessible Motor Coaches

3. Newmar Canyon Star 3911

The Canyon Star 3911 isn’t a stripped-down gasser version of its diesel big sister motorhomes. It stands on its own six wheels. It’s full of features and amenities where someone in a wheelchair can choose what they want to do; not settle for what’s there. 

The master bed has 28 inches in front of it and enough on the far side, so you can keep your side of the bed. In the morning, you’ll be able to reach the dresser from the edge of the bed to get ready for the day. The adjustable shower head, padded seat, and molded floor allows you to clean yourself unassisted without the worry of water going everywhere.

If it’s your turn to prepare breakfast, you can fry up your signature eggs and bacon on the stove that sits at the perfect elevation. The pullout table has freestanding chairs that your spouse and/or family can join you for a family meal. If it’s you turn to do the dishes, you can make full use of the sink without straining yourself.

As a member of the family, you can take responsibility for the RV. You have full access to the lowered control panel. You can be the one that handles the holding tank levels, slideouts, and various other operations. The 80-gallon fuel tank provides plenty of fuel to run the generator while traveling, giving you one less thing to worry about.

Main Specs For the Canyon Star 3911

  • Average Price: $206,277
  • Sleeps: Up to 4 people
  • Length: 39.11 feet
  • Fresh tank size: 75 gallons
  • Grey tank size: 60 gallons
  • Black tank size: 40 gallons
  • Fuel tank size: 80 gallons unleaded gas

4. Winnebago Forza AE

Luxury level Class A motorhomes aren’t all 40 feet long. The Winnie Forza gives you the best features Winnebago offers and the advantages of their Accessibility Enhanced amenities. Whether you choose to keep the standard countertops or pick the wheelchair-friendly ADA level, this front lift motorcoach is Winnie’s classiest way to travel.

Winnebago put real thought into the design of their features that most wouldn’t think of. A dangerous spot is the stepwell for the main door. To prevent wheelchairs from falling into it, Winnie provides a stepwell cover for all of their AE models.

The wide hallway allows those in a wheelchair to move from the rear nightstand all the way up to the back of the driver’s area even with the slideouts pulled in. The all-in-one bathroom has a shower area that acts as a multi-purpose space. If you’re not showering in your waterproof chair, it’s a great place to park your wheelchair or walker while you’re using the facilities.

The rear corner queen-size master bed adjusts so you can raise the head as you watch TV.  The air mattress allows you to adjust the firmness to whatever comfort level you enjoy. Some may appreciate the extra security of sleeping between your partner and the wall.

Main Specs For the Forza AE

  • Starting Price: $356,159
  • Sleeps: Up to 4 people
  • Length: 35.9 feet
  • Fresh tank size: 84 gallons
  • Grey tank size: 54 gallons
  • Black tank size: 48 gallons
  • Fuel tank size: 90 gallons diesel

5. Winnebago Adventurer AE

The Adventurer series has been apart of the Winnebago lineup for decades. This family-oriented motorhome gives you diesel style amenities in a gasser. It has two slideouts and a mid-coach lift.

You can sum up the interior of this Class A motorhome with a handicap lift in two words: access and openness. The front sofa has removable oval tables that sit at the perfect level. Whether you’re enjoying a meal or reminding the kids who is board game master, everyone will be comfortable. 

You can choose the optional loft bunk over the driver’s area for added sleeping space. The True Comfort Sofa jackknifes out for a fifth sleeper. At night, you can park your chair strategically next to the bed giving you quick access to the bathroom.

To maximize space, the bathroom comes as a split floorplan. There are plenty of grab bars around the commode and in the shower to ease your maneuvering. Winnebago installed a fold up grab bar next to the commode to give you the stability when you need it and access to bathroom storage when you don’t.

Main Specs For the Winnebago Adventurer AE

  • Starting Price: $238,927
  • Sleeps: Up to 5 people
  • Length: 31
  • Fresh tank size: 78
  • Grey tank size: 42
  • Black tank size: 41
  • Fuel tank size: 80 gallons unleaded gas

6. Winnebago Intent AE

Do you need a vehicle that won’t give you problems in National Parks or Hospital parking lots? The Winnebago Intent AE is a great option. Surprisingly, the shortest of them all can sleep the most.

This rear wheelchair lift RV has a murphy bed as the master bed. The front sofa pulls out and the powered bunk above the driver lowers. This gives you up to six spaces to let everyone get a good night’s sleep.

It’s also a great way to keep everyone happy. While you’re driving, or during the day, there are two 39 inch TVs everyone can watch their favorite shows. Winnebago keeps the hallway wide even on this motorhome, so the family member in the wheelchair doesn’t always get the front TV.

The shower will fit a waterproof wheelchair, but it may be tight. For a better fit, a stable shower chair may be the better way to go. The optional fold-down assist bar for the commode is worth the investment since there’s no such thing as too many handholds.

Main Specs For the Winnebago Intent AE

  • Starting Price: $201,295
  • Sleeps: Up to 6 people
  • Length: 30.10 feet
  • Fresh tank size: 51 gallons
  • Grey tank size: 42 gallons
  • Black tank size: 36 gallons
  • Fuel tank size: 80 gallons unleaded gas

Handicap Accessible RV Rentals

The idea of RVing with a disabled loved one can be a scary prospect. As their primary caregiver, it’s your job to figure out what can go wrong and prepare for it. Yet, the other part of you is constantly battling to allow them to experience life as much as possible.

Finding a handicap accessible RV for rent is possible, but I’ll be honest – it’s not easy. Commercial rental services may seem like a good option, but they typically only have a few different RV models available, which can make finding a wheelchair accessible RV rental quite difficult.

So where can you turn? Online RV rentals are a good solution because there are thousands of RVs listed directly by owners all over the US. With so many options, you have a much better chance to find the perfect wheelchair accessible RV to fit your needs.

Renting directly from the RV owner is a great option when looking for a wheelchair accessible RV for rent because you’ll be dealing directly with the owner of the motorhome so you’ll be able to work out a rental agreement custom tailored to your needs.

When you go through a peer-to-peer rental company like Outdoorsy or RVshare, you’re renting RVs that real people own. They rent their coaches when they’re not using them as a way to earn a little extra money.

When you pick up the RV you’re renting, you’ll meet the owners and have the opportunity to ask them anything you want. They will walk you around the coach and show you how to operate everything. Being an accessibility-enhanced motorcoach, more than likely you’re renting from someone in a similar situation.

This is a way for your whole family to experience a vacation together. You’ll have storage, electricity to power medical equipment, and always be together. There are many campgrounds that are ADA-friendly. 
Many campground directories and clubs like the Handicapped Travel Club are great resources to help you get into the RV lifestyle. The point is, the RV community is one of fellowship. We welcome everyone whether they have two legs, four legs, wheels, or any variation thereupon.

Sharing is caring!

2 thoughts on “6 Best Handicap Accessible RVs”

    • Hi Brian,
      Towable RVs have lightweight frames that can’t currently support the wheelchair lift. We’re sure manufacturers like Winnebago are kicking the idea around, but the lift requires strong support and a lot of power to work correctly.

      Another reason has to do with the costs and conveniences. Many people in wheelchairs need the accessibility to lay down, connect their medical equipment up, or need other features while traveling. On the manufacturing side, the costs to add specialized cabinetry and appliances can only be offset by the more expensive RVs.

      Safe travels!

      Mike

      Reply

Leave a Comment