If you are a larger traveler, you might have looked at RV’s in the past and decided that RV travel might not be for you. However, there’s an RV for everyone, including many models that will work for larger people. There are several RV considerations for larger travelers and that includes seating in dinettes, beds and bathrooms.
The following RV considerations for larger travelers will help larger travelers in looking for an RV. Having an RV will get you outside. Along with an eBike and some gear for hiking, it can help you lead a healthy lifestyle!
Bathroom RV considerations
One of the more important RV considerations for larger travelers is going to be in the bathroom. Most RV bathrooms are small and the shower stalls are even smaller. Thankfully, there are models that have standard height toilets and shower stalls that are large enough to accommodate larger travelers.
As many RV’s come with slides, try to look at models first with the slides IN so you test access to your bathroom (an other areas of the RV). If you stop some place and want to make use of your bathroom of other facilities on-board, it will be important to be able to do so with the slides in.
You’ll want to look for a porcelain toilet. You’ll also want one that is standard height as well. Don’t be afraid to try sitting on it and make sure you have enough room around you. Having a ceramic toilet will give you a firm seat in which to do your business. The standard height helps as well.
The show is another area you’ll want to take a look at. Avoid units that have a triangle shaped shower stall in the corner. A better choice is going to be the round units with a swing door. The best units will have a 3-4′ square/rectangle shower stall and a shower curtain. This is going to give you the maximum amount of space.
If you can’t find a unit with a curtain and you need some more “elbow” room, you can always consider adding a shower curtain. That’s one simple modification that you can do.
Kitchen RV Considerations
You’ll also want to pay attention in the kitchen to make sure that you can “fit” around different areas and that you have access to what you need and that you are comfortable.
Many RV’s come with dinettes which is a little like a booth. This can be an area that is “tight” for larger travelers. Thankfully some RV models have a side that is wider than the other. You can also look for models that have removable cushions (most do) and this will give you additional space around the table.
Be sure to look at the trim around the side of the dinette where you would slide out. Many models have a trim that sticks up and for a larger person trying to slide out, your leg might catch the trim and after a while this could cause the trim to snap or break off.
Another option instead of a dinette is table and chairs. At the very least you could bring a chair to the table and sit comfortably at it but this requires having the space for the chair. However, you can also look for models that will substitute a dinette for a a table and two or four chairs. This will give you the best space.
The bedroom is another area of RV considerations for larger travelers and you’re going to want to look for some special features. Starting with the bed, look for a queen bed that is a walk around bed. Some models have a bed pushed in a corner, particularly smaller units. Walk around beds are easier to get in and out of. Be mindful that some “walk around” beds are tighter than others and you’ll want to make sure that you can actually walk around the bed.
Depending on your mobility, you might want to look and see if there any steps along the bed and see if that will impact your ability to get in and out of the bed.
The bedroom is another area that you want to look at with the slides in. You want to make sure that the bed is accessible with the slides in. It’s nice to be able to stop somewhere and take a nap or just rest. Not having access to your very own bed is problematic!
If you looking at a class A, B or C, you’ll want to look at how you access the driver and passenger seats, particularly from within the inside of the RV. Some models can be tight trying to access the seats from within the RV. This mainly applies to class A’s. You can look at models that have seats that swivel or turn around. This might make access easier but try it out and make sure that you can get in and out easily.
The nice thing about a class B or C is that there are separate doors to access those seats and it’s basically like getting into a truck so with the seat properly positioned you should have no issues.
Outside RV considerations
There are a few outside things impacting RV considerations for larger travelers outside when you are looking at models. There’s some functions that will be more difficult as a larger traveler in terms of weight and reaching and this section discusses some of those considerations.
Depending on your model, take a close look at the steps going into the vehicle. Some models have metal steps that deploy outward from the door and you’ll want to look at the construction of those steps. Over time those steps could give way leading to potential injury from a fall. You can mitigate that with “secure supports” that sit under the steps and help support the steps.
Later models are featuring metal steps that fold down as one unit. These are much more secure and don’t require any external support.
A better approach is to look for models that have built in steps and you’ll never have to worry about a support slipping or the stairs collapsing. Many class A’s and some class c’s have this feature.
Another thing to look for around the steps is the handle. You’ll notice a handle next to the door and you’ll want a solid handle that is attached to the frame of the RV and not a “strap” screwed in place. The best ones are solid handles followed by ones that extend out a little bit.
On the outside of the RV will be connectors for your water and sewer hoses. Some models are tucked away for cosmetic purposes but make sure that you are comfortable with being able to connect and remove the hoses.
Related to the sewer hose will be the valves to remove all the contents of your back and grey tanks. You’ll want to take a look at those and make sure that you are comfortable reaching them and opening and closing them.
When you setup your campsite with your RV, you will need to level it. One thing to consider is a model that will have leveling jacks. Most jacks are stabilizers and should NOT be used to level your RV. That means you’ll need to be comfortable with putting down leveling blocks. In that case, you might want to consider Anderson Blocks which might be easier to slide under the wheels.
If your unit has leveling jacks, they are designed to hold the weight of the RV and make it level. Some models will do this for you automatically!
There are some things that you’ll have to do for maintenance and you’ll want to ask about your ability to do some of these things. It might involve climbing the ladder to access the roof and you’ll want to know how secure it is and if there is a weight limit on it.
If you don’t think that you’ll be comfortable with some of the maintenance and don’t want to pay your local shop to do the work you could look for a mobile mechanic who might be willing to do some of the work for you.