For the 2012 season Willerby Holiday Homes has introduced a new Rio Gold two bedroom static caravan which has been modified for disabled owners. Externally the Rio is very similar to other caravans in the company’s range, the most obvious difference being the entrance which has been widened for wheelchairs. The caravan is a single unit measuring 35ft x 12ft, and sits on a single axle fully galvanised chassis and is aluminium clad. It has a steel pantile roof, is single glazed with double glazing and PVCu gutters and downpipes being offered as optional extras.
On entering the caravan, you immediately notice that all the work surfaces in the kitchen, which is to the right of the doorway, have been lowered and there is no cupboard below the sink. Instead room has been left for wheelchair access with the work surfaces either side being slightly higher. When it comes to appliances it has to be said that there is only one, a low level cooker, although spaces have been left for a microwave and an under the worktop fridge. On the plus side, there is adequate storage for kitchen utensils, food stuffs etc in the floor and wall cupboards.
To the left of the entrance is the lounge which has fixed seating running down the wall and across the end wall for about two thirds of the width of the caravan. Beyond the end of the seating is a small radiator – the caravan has micro bore central heating – and then a corner unit with TV connection. Then follows a tall unit which projects from what is the caravan’s rear wall which contains a gas fire. More fixed seating follows, this time it being in the dining area. We should also mention here that the main seating in the lounge incorporates a pull out sofa bed so that the Rio can actually sleep six.
The kitchen forms part of the main corridor in the caravan with the two bedrooms being accessed off it via sliding doors. The door to the first bedroom is directly opposite the kitchen. The room is large enough to have two 2ft 6in single beds with a common headboard, and a bedside cabinet and a window between them. Above each bed is a wall cupboard and above the foot of the left-hand bed is a small wardrobe suspended from the wall above a radiator.
Beyond the second bedroom is the Rio’s washroom, or more accurately its wet room. This is a huge room with its walls lined with plastic planking and full facilities for the disabled, including a corner shower unit with wall mounted folding seat and support handle, plus a shower curtain. The floor has been completely lined and has a corner drain immediately below the shower. The washbasin has been positioned at low level and has support handles at either side. There is also a large mirror above it, whilst to the side of the toilet is a further support handle, this one being hinged on the wall.
At the end of the caravan is the main bedroom. This is the full width of the Rio and has two 3ft beds, one on each of the caravan’s front and back walls so that there is a massive amount of space between them. Also included here is a portable helper frame to assist in manoeuvring the person using it from a lying to a sitting position. At the bottom of each bed is a freestanding double wardrobe, whilst between the beds is a small bedside cabinet containing two drawers. Although there isn’t a dressing table in the room there is a mirror on the wall to the left of the doorway.
The Rio Gold is one of four, two bedroom caravans ranging from a 28ft x 12ft to 37ft x 12 ft plus a fifth 35ft x 12ft three bedroom option. None of them can be classed as other than budget models but for anyone looking for a caravan suitable for a wheelchair dependant person the Rio Gold could well fit the bill.