By Sabrina Thompson ~
As avid campers, off-roaders, hunters, and lovers of all things nature, my husband Tim and I became interested in buying an RV to enjoy our hobbies and travels. As a T-10 paraplegic, I was faced with the obstacles of finding one that would accommodate our need to haul our adapted recreational toys and gear and be wheelchair accessible. Not easy to do but not impossible either!
Most RV dealers warned us that modifying a non-accessible RV would void warranties and weaken structural points as the frame flexes and moves during travel. The companies that had resources and were willing to make accessible modifications were very expensive and still presented warranty issues on the overall RV.
We knew there had to be a market for accessible travel trailers without the stress of compromising the warranty and breaking the bank. Through many hours of research, I found Dune Sport Custom Toy Haulers in Mesa, Arizona. The words “accessible mode” advertised right on their website was so refreshing to see after hitting so many road blocks with other dealers.
At Dune Sport, they start with basic trailer models and sizes from which to build on. In the “Accessible Trailer” section there are ten size options ranging from 14ft. to 32ft with varying floor plans. We were instantly impressed with their website as it allowed us to build our toy hauler online while giving us an immediate quote based on the options we chose. Their online process made it possible to truly customize our purchase within our budget.
Some of the handicapped accessible options to choose from include lower trailer stance for easier access, lower light switches, and remote control access to the AC, generator, hot water heater, ceiling fan, stereo and TV. The most exciting options for me were the placement of the microwave below the countertop, and of course, the enlarged bathroom with a roll-in shower and a raised toilet. We built online quotes for several different floor plans and filled in our contact information. We received a call from Tom Miller at Dune Sport the very next morning.
Tom didn’t call us with a hard sales pitch or pressure to buy. He let us know that their sales representatives are just like us. They don’t claim to be the experts and absolutely no one at Dune Sport is on commission, so you know you will get the information you need. They love toy haulers and the lifestyle that follows them. Not only do they know toy haulers in a recreational arena, but they have also cornered the market on accessible trailers at a lower cost than modifying a non-accessible RV, and you get an uncompromised warranty.
We had to be creative throughout our ordering process because we live in Texas and didn’t want to make such a big purchase without seeing what we were buying first. Tom gave us the link to the Dune Sport Facebook page where we looked through hundreds of pictures of their custom made toy haulers. This gave us a good idea of what our build would look like, and we went ahead and listed the details of the options we needed with pictures via email.
Tom spent weeks helping us customize our RV with every detail from floor to ceiling and everything in between. He was thorough in his questions on how much room I needed to maneuver in my wheelchair throughout the trailer. We worked out every accessible option we could think of including deep pull-out drawers, door measurements, and reachable pantry space in the kitchen and bathroom. We even went over design choices for furniture fabric.
Finally, Tom walked us through measuring our “toys” that we have and will be hauling in our trailer so that the Dune Sport manufacturers could build it to fit exactly what we needed. He really showed us a quality approach and understanding of our accessibility needs on a much higher level than what we expected during our buying experience.
Dune Sports willingness to engage the spending power of the disabled community and custom adaptable options for camping is inspiring. We hope to see more businesses focus on adapted recreational options and we look forward to enjoying our new travel experiences while making great memories with our friends and family.
You can contact a Dune Sport representative at 480-357-3863 or toll free at 800-507-1432, firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit their website at http://www.dunesport.com. You can also check them out on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/toyhaulers.