Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Wrestling with how to adapt our pop-up camper

There are all kinds of ways to make the outside of your home look better. As my grandmother grew older, it became apparent that a ramp would make it easier for her to get in and out of the front door. The project sounded pretty straightforward but reality very different.

Instead of a simple ramp, she wanted to be able to get some fresh air while still being able to maneuver. We checked into several different plans before she decided that an elevated deck would fit the bill. A raised platform near the front door was large enough for a porch swing. It was a good choice for her but can something similar be done with our pop-up camper?

Since developing foot drop, I'm having to reevaluate how to camp. We planned to go camping for our next vacation but getting in and out of the pop-up camper is going to be hard for me. Since giving up my favorite activity isn't an option we're creating a "Plan B".

My husband is researching plans for decks and for steps. The idea is to create a set of steps or a ramp that will reduce the fall risk. Stability is as vital as it is challenging. It will be disastrous if the camper slips as I step up into it. But, the steps must also be sized so that they'll fit into the pop-up.

Being unable to find plans for this kind of modification is surprising. I can't be the first person with foot drop who enjoys camping. Right now, we're looking into building a small portable deck and ramp, building a set of steps or (my favorite) modifying a small stepladder.It's more of a camper-improvement project than one for the home.

Failure isn't an option. Our little pop-up camper has made peaceful mountain vacations possible. I'm bound and determined to create an adaptation that will make camping possible once again. We're going to chronicle the process and post updates on our progress.

Hopefully our frustration will make it possible for others who have health challenges to enjoy camping.  Keep checking back for updates and feel free to leave suggestions in the comments section.