It was great to hear from our friends at Coachbuilt GB again recently. They wanted to tell Able Magazine readers more about their approved accessible motorhome and caravan conversions. As it happens, I was thinking of taking a weekend away with the kids, so they invited me to take away one of their Swift Escape 664 iCruiser motorhomes.
By Steve Craven
With autumn just breaking, it seemed like a great time to pack the fishing rods and see the Cotswolds, as well as to catch up with family over in the Midlands. So away we went: Me and three teens. (I like a challenge…) We arranged to stay at the Winchcombe Caravan Park (near Tewkesbury) a familiar destination of ours. Winchcombe is probably my favourite Camping and Caravanning Club site; the staff are really friendly and helpful – which comes in handy when you forget how things work in a motorhome. Winchcombe’s facilities are very well maintained and the shop is stocked with just about anything you can imagine – and the things you’re likely to forget.
The fishing is great with two lakes a stone’s throw from the pitches and several fishing spots that are level decked – ideal for wheelchair users. Naturally, there’s a bit of rough ground here and there but getting around is definitely achievable.
The Swift Escape 664 is 6.72 metres long, a point that really only comes home when you stand in front of it and think about how you’ll manage on the roads. The upside is that the interior is generously spacious. Ours came with two double berths – although Coachbuilt GB specialise in taking on your personal preferences during the conversion/adaptation process. Nevertheless, it had been a while since I’d driven a motorhome and the wind was picking up a bit. Once behind the wheel though, I was reassured to find that the handling was excellent and honestly, there is something reassuring about commanding such a vehicle from a high driving position.
Mia won the family fishing contest, although we probably didn’t see the best of Molly who was more than a little wary of the live bait. As the weather closed in, we retreated to the van for tea and board games – a refreshing change from junk TV and Xbox. While the motorhome swayed a little in the wind we all got a good night’s sleep before starting the new day with a Craven tradition – a cooked breakfast.
If I knew any more about cooking, I’d be dangerous, so the simple sink and hob layout suited me just fine.
Since we were on my home patch I decided to drop in for a night at my sister’s house. Of course, I couldn’t just turn up expecting to stay, with three teenagers in tow, but that’s one of the primary benefits of a motorhome conversion. The motorhome was even kitted out with a tracking hoist so it dawned on me that this would be the ideal vehicle to travel to friends that don’t happen to have adapted homes. We literally just plugged it into one of the domestic plug sockets.
Since there are any number of adaptations, including driving hand controls and drive-from-wheelchair options to select from, a motorhome conversion could open up so many opportunities for travel and leisure.
We’d like to thank…
For more details about caravan or motorhome conversions visit:
The Camping and Caravanning Club
Join The Camping and Caravanning Club and explore 108 club sites around the UK, many of which have disability friendly layouts and accessible facilities.
Winchcombe Camping and Caravanning Club Site
Brooklands Farm, Alderton, Nr Tewkesbury,Gloucestershire, GL20 8NX
(NB: As well as caravans you could also enjoy a stay in one of their pre-erected tents or a cabin.)