Janet Lumb delivers her verdict on this mid range Pemberton Harmony static caravan designed for those with mobility difficulties.
A few years ago there was hardly a holiday home available for those with mobility difficulties, other than bespoke models from smaller manufacturers. Pemberton were among the first of a growing band providing dedicated units.
The aim of this fairly new model is clear. The Harmony is a top-of-the-range model available for £49,563 ex-works retail. It is an alternative too to Pemberton’s own cheaper Sovereign. The key feature, of course, is the ability to progress unhindered through the home, with wide spaces and special wide doorways.
The Harmony has two external doors, both at the side, requiring both a veranda and a ramp. Entering via the lounge door, you face the dining table – space at the end for a wheelchair if needed, or sweep straight into the sitting area with its movable furniture. The hard-wearing carpet is suitable for wheelchairs and doesn’t have too deep a pile. Subtle shades of beige and mocha and pale blue are restful on the eye.
A wide galley kitchen allows a straight run through. Work surfaces are lowered to suit, although appliances such as the microwave would be out of reach. There is space under the sink for a wheelchair, so you can offer to do the washing up, and there is also space for a dishwasher, so you may not have to! Both kitchen and shower rooms have single lever mixer taps for ease of use.
Sleep glorious sleep
The practical sliding door to the twin bedroom is opposite the kitchen and here there is space to run the wheelchair between the fixed twin beds, though not much of a turning circle. One bed is 3ft wide and one 2ft 6ins.
The other bedroom is a master double. It is possible to access this bed too with a wheelchair, at the near side.
In the corner of this room is an en suite shower room, not accessible to a wheelchair user. However just as near through the sliding door from the bedroom, is the large and accessible shower room.
Features of this shower room include a wall-hung basin, a very large shower with small lip and a wall-hung seat, as well as strategically placed grab handles. The WC is a little higher than the norm, and has an adjacent grab handle and projecting bar at the other side.
It has to be said at this point what you already know – that everyone’s needs are different. There is an assumption that you will be with a companion, and can therefore have help with accessing items such as clothes, and parts of the kitchen. I think it would be very difficult to create an accessible model where you could have total independence.
Parties with one wheelchair user, or just possibly two. Couples who are getting on a bit and would like the assurance of an easy access shower. People with a wheeled walker would find this great for getting around. The Harmony is designed for buyers who would like a ‘step up’ from the cheaper models available. At 39ft by 12ft it is long too.
It looks to me as though Pemberton have had a good shot at incorporating as many accessible features as possible. Try before you buy if you can. Only you will know whether this model meets your needs and those of your companions. It certainly seems a good attempt to marry style and comfort with practical accessibility. The proof of the pudding…
Ex-works price £49,563.97 *
*Ex-works price quoted. Additional charges will be made by park operators, and/or distributors for transportation, siting and annual maintenance. Please check the price carefully before you commit to purchase, as prices vary considerably dependent, amongst other factors, on the geographical location of your chosen park.
Pemberton Leisure Homes Limited
Tel: 01942 321221
Fax: 01942 234150