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Buzzy

Adapting Ollie for Amputee

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As I look ahead to a most outstanding camping season, I will be incorporating a new goal into my plans. I have a family member, age 77 year young, with an above knee amputation of his left leg. I want him to feel camping in Ollie is a treat, not an obligation. Do any of our Forum members have experience adapting their Ollie for use by an amputee?

 

I will be acquiring the Fiamma Privacy Room to increase living space and engaging a medical team of therapists to inspect Ollie from end-to-end so we can identify any barriers. I would like to bring any owner observations to the planning process. Nothing quite as great as the been-there-done-those comments.

 

Buzzy

PS – I realize a 28 foot Airstream would give us more space, but I really do not want to go there. ????

 


Buzzy


2016 Oliver Elite II - June 9, 2016
2016 F150 Lariat 3.5L EB, Max Towing

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Buzzy, you don't mention if they need a chair. If so, the biggest obstacle will be that door, replacing the fridge I found that it is less than 22" wide.

 

If needing a ramp, I would think the door lip is a perfect setup for attachment.

 

If mobile, I would probably look at the fold out extended railings that are found in the entrance steps of other trailers.

 

Inside, in such a small space I would only think strategically​ placed hand holds (think Reeds mod) for balance, would be the only alteration.

 

This is why a wet bath is good, so they can sit down to get clean. I might replace the seat cover with a hard one so it doesn't flex and slide around.

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Randy


One Life Live It Enjoyably


2017 F350 6.7L SRW CC LB


2015 Oliver Elite II Hull #69

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Buzzy, I've done a good bit of ADA design and like the others, my first question would be whether wheelchair accessibility is necessary. If it is, I have to say that you're going up a very steep hill trying to make it work in an Ollie. The first question would be if there's even 30" of clear space at the front door. It sounds like there's not, and if you can't jump that hurdle then unfortunately that's it. Second question would be if the wheelchair can make the 90° turn to the galley. My guess is no - typically you'd need each leg of the path to be 36" wide and if I'm not mistaken, the Oliver galley is under 30". Though it may be possible if the footwell of the dinette is located just right. Third is bath access - the curb is too high to ramp over, and I doubt that the walls of the bath are strong enough to support the grab bars necessary for someone to move from a wheelchair into the bath or to the toilet on their own. Fourth would be getting back out of the Ollie - there's no room to turn the wheelchair, so your guest would be forced to back down the ramp which can be a nerve-wracking maneuver. Then there's trying to access the various things within the Ollie. The only storage that would be accessible to your guest would be the front closet, and even that would be a bit tricky trying to get a wheelchair oriented to give your friend access. And pretty much all of the switches and control panels are mounted too high. And on top of all of that, you have to ask how you yourself would maneuver inside the Ollie while your guest is there. Climbing around your friend or asking him to back into a corner every time you need to move around or exit the trailer will get old for both of you in short order.

 

On the ramp, ADA is a 1:12 slope, meaning that if your front door is 2' off the ground, your ramp will need to be 24' long. You can go steeper, but that is the slope that your friend would be accustomed to and so a steeper ramp might be strenuous. Too steep and there's a risk of the wheelchair tipping backwards.

 

So, if a wheelchair is in the mix, my advice would be to concentrate on the annex - make it a special place for your friend and create a living space there. You already do your cooking outdoors, so that's good. And you can make a very comfortable bedroom with a cot and a small table and I would think that a propane heater like the Mr. Buddies would keep the space toasty. Make it a real glamper setup with an air mattress on the cot, real sheets, etc. Perhaps you could even create a small bath area around the exterior hose with a table and basin and a privacy tent/curtains.

 

Of course, if you don't have to account for a wheelchair, then I think the game changes entirely - if that's the case, your main concern will be getting in and out of the trailer. For that, I would think that one of the aluminum platform steps, like what Reed and Karen have, would give your friend a nice stable platform for getting in and out. Inside the Ollie, the tight confines might actually work to your friend's benefit, as there will always be a surface within reach for support, or a nearby wall to lean against or grab hold of. And like Randy said, the suction cup grab handles are great and you can place as many as you need in just the right locations.

 

It's an interesting challenge. I'm sure that your friend will appreciate any effort you make, however small.

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Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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With the shower rod that you had installed in the bathroom, he will be able to pull himself up and also sit down on his own. Then with the handle outside the bathroom door like we did in this picture, it really gives access to both the trailer door and its bathroom a lot of stability. If he is going to be wanting to do it alone, then another handle on the right side of the closet along with the screen door bar will really make his entry a lot easier. As far as making it to the bed and so on, the suction cup style added in a few places down roof should give him all of the extra hand holds needed once inside. If he does everything that he can on his own, like the ampute I know, then just ask him what else he needs :)

 

 

 

IMG_20170402_102526.thumb.jpg.e2798c695e75b595ca32d6e67b82e042.jpg

 

This extra handle outside the bathroom door should be standard on all Ollie's, it gets used for everything. Also the bungee ball that you see hanging from it, hooks over the bathroom door handle on the inside to hold the door closed if you need a little more room when turning around in the shower. It keeps the pressure off of the door.

 

Then a few of these below, placed where he wants them on the ceiling, will give him the freedom he wants inside.

 

 

 

IMG_20170404_092440.thumb.jpg.36fb044303d9496963740f63ab1b8445.jpg

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Happy Camping,


null


Reed & Karen Lukens with Riffles our Miniature Poodle


2017 Oliver Legacy Elite II  Standard, Hull #200 / 2017 Silverado High Country 1500 Short Bed 4x4


Past TV - 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML350 4Matic BlueTEC Diesel


Click on our avatar pic above to find the videos on our Oliver Legacy Elite II


 

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I would think that one of the aluminum platform steps, like what Reed and Karen have, would give your friend a nice stable platform for getting in and out.

 

Thank you for the valuable comments/ideas! Not sure I saw a pic of the aluminum platform steps mentioned in the quote above. Reed and Karen, do you have info on where to purchase?

 

Randy and Overland, I agree a wheelchair will have to be excluded from the trailer. Just not enough room especially with a big sloppy dog (Buddy) in the mix. This week the rehab facility will begin shaping the stump for a prosthesis. The prosthesis selection may be a couple weeks away. I will know more next week. The hope is a choice which has some flexibility will be selected versus a peg leg. We do not need to accomplish 5 mile hikes, just freedom of movement in and around Ollie. I really like seeing some of the grab handle selections in the pics posted by Reed and Karen. I may need half a dozen! I also like Randy's suggestion of replacing the toilet seat!

 

One challenge may be the timeline. I want Ollie to be ready and accommodating prior to the first trip. Also I have spring camping trips in the pipeline, they may need to be rescheduled. Not a problem since Ollie is all about family.

 

(Interestingly, three years ago I guided an above knee amputee on a 14-day ocean kayak expedition where we had to dodge bears and sea lions. My state park camping trips in Ollie will be a real “walk in the park” in comparison. Hey, where there is a will there is a way!)

 

I always thought there might come a time when our Forum would benefit from a section entitled “Adaptations for Medical Conditions” so we can all keep camping in our Ollies as we age. ????

 

Buzzy


Buzzy


2016 Oliver Elite II - June 9, 2016
2016 F150 Lariat 3.5L EB, Max Towing

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Happy Camping,


null


Reed & Karen Lukens with Riffles our Miniature Poodle


2017 Oliver Legacy Elite II  Standard, Hull #200 / 2017 Silverado High Country 1500 Short Bed 4x4


Past TV - 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML350 4Matic BlueTEC Diesel


Click on our avatar pic above to find the videos on our Oliver Legacy Elite II


 

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I agree, it's a great conversation to have. Here's the platform that we have on our list to buy - I don't know if it's the same one Reed and Karen have or not, but it seems sturdy and is height adjustable...https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00G258I0G/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=15JNG1X28RXCS&coliid=I3LZTQLU2NEMTU&psc=1

 

They make longer ones also. Some of the trim carpenters and drywall crews on the job sites I visit use them, so they should hold up to abuse.

 

lol, just saw Reed&Karen's post - I guess we did pick out the same step.

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Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Reed, Karen and Overland,

 

Thank you for the link. It is now on my Amazon wish list.

 

Overland, I would guess you might be an architect. It would make sense based on your various postings. There was a time when I had a desire to design science buildings for colleges and universities. That never happened, but I still love to visit science buildings at various universities. Hey some guys tour baseball parks. To each his own!

 

Buzzy

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Buzzy


2016 Oliver Elite II - June 9, 2016
2016 F150 Lariat 3.5L EB, Max Towing

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Thanks, Buzzy, for starting this thread. I think we'll all learn something.

We designed our new home, on our old lot, as a "forever" home, with mostly ADA compliant doorways, baths, and turning radii. Extra blocking in the walls for hand grips. Installed towel bars and shower slides that didn't look like it, but are grab bars. Lots of new stuff out there these days.

Paul and I have been talking about sailing v camping, lately. Our boat, is of course, more difficult to make accessible. The camper, we feel we can use for a lot of years to come, barring needing a wheelchair. Our older little Oliver has only 22 inches clearance between the fridge and shower corner.

We bought our Oliver 9 years ago, so we had a lot fewer physical challenges then. Still, I camped for a month with a broken foot, and my biggest challenge was the bathroom door ledge, six years ago.

Buzzy, best of luck in your improvements. Truly reinforces my first opinion of you. Nice guy. Family first.

Thanks to Randy for the toilet seat info, overland and lukens on the step.

I personally, however, don't trust the stools on hilly terrain. Cracked a rib when one flipped . If you use one, always hang on to a grab handle .

Bugbite, thanks for the link. There's a lot out there. And, we all need to be forward thinking, as we age...

As these trailers will outlive us all.

Sherry

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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