Winnebago RVs, travel trailers, and fifth-wheel products are built in Iowa and Indiana. The most famous name in the industry is the top Winnebago brand of products. Its Specialty Vehicles division has used the Winnebago motorhome platform to develop and build unique community outreach vehicles for customers all over the world since the 1960s. Winnebago commercial shells are perfect for functions such as portable medical and dental care, DUI/BAT, cancer and preventive screenings, food trucks, advertising for events, bloodmobiles, classrooms, bookmobiles, and many others, with adaptable layouts and chassis alternatives that accommodate different budgets and sustainability goals.
Winnebago is a subsidiary of Winnebago Industries, Inc. (NYSE: WGO), a significant U.S. manufacturer of outdoor lifestyle goods principally utilized in leisure travel and outdoor recreation pursuits that operate under the Winnebago, Grand Design, Newmar, and Chris-Craft brands. Winnebago Industries has operations in Iowa, Indiana, Minnesota, and Florida. The regular stock of the Company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker WGO.
Introduction to Winnebago Roam
Wheelchair-accessible motorhomes aren’t exactly novel. There have been a few previous instances, such as Winnebago’s Class A RVs, which were revealed in 2019.
Nevertheless, the Minnesota-based RV manufacturer introduced another variant for its wheelchair-accessible motorhomes. The Winnebago Roam is a Class B camper van developed on the Ram ProMaster that doesn’t require a lot of parking space or a high admission ticket. Even better, while having a smaller rear cabin than the other wheelchair-friendly RVs in Winnebago’s inventory, it still has enough of cabin room.
Naturally, one of the Winnebago Roam’s outstanding characteristics is its remote-controlled wheelchair lift for simple access and egress. The wheelchair lift is a Braun UVL with a wireless remote control. There are also inbuilt tie-downs that secure the wheelchair, allowing the user to make use of it as an additional seat while traveling.
Winnebago has made certain that the cabinets and compartments for storage within the Roam are available even when seated, and that specially-designed duffels are available for quicker loading and unloading. Even the galley is constructed with accessibility in mind, containing a refrigerator, microwave, and sink, as well as an induction cooktop outlet.
Another interesting feature of the Winnebago Roam is its rear convertible sofa, which can be converted into a bed with the push of a button. The power feature makes conversion relatively simple, especially for persons with limited mobility.
As previously said, the Roam is a compact size, built on the Ram ProMaster, but Winnebago managed to squeeze in enough space for our friends to wheel around inside. Despite the small size, there is a private bathroom equipped with an incorporated shower and a cassette-style toilet. Back then, Winnebago had not released a price for its wheelchair-accessible Roam camper van. Notably, non-Accessibility Enhanced camper vans in the Winnebago series start around $100,000.
5 Reasons Why Winnebago Roam is Good
Traveling in a wheelchair necessitates a great deal of logistical planning. Due to the inaccessibility of airplanes, air travel can be challenging. When disabled people fly, they must be attached to a restricting aisle chair severely limit their food and water intake because restrooms are inaccessible, and endure the embarrassment and inconvenience of long security pat-down lines. They also frequently think that rough baggage handlers will destroy their wheelchair and they won’t be able to repair them when they arrive at their destination especially when they are in a different location with limited items with them.
Aside from the difficulties of air travel, hotels tend to not be wheelchair-friendly, and locating accessible facilities on lengthy drives can be difficult at times. Getting out and experiencing the outdoors and staying in campsites can also be tough for wheelchair users, as some are inaccessible, and sleeping on the ground in a tent can prove challenging for most wheelchair users.
The Winnebago Roam, which debuted in the spring of 2022, is the company’s first wheelchair-accessible camper van. It was built with features that cater to everyday requirements, road trips, outdoor activities, as well as everything you can think of. The RAM Promaster chassis is used in the Roam, which is available in two overall lengths: the parking-friendly 19’8″ length and the still-nimble 20’11” extended-length model. The Roam is a highly adaptable recreational vehicle, designed to provide greater independence, convenience, and excitement. Those traveling with a wheelchair-bound family member can do so in comfort. Caregivers have more space to move around and provide more care.
The Winnebago Roam RV is Inclusive
Winnebago has previously constructed wheelchair-accessible RVs, but they consistently produce Class A behemoths costing $270,000 or more. The recently introduced Roam is a compact Class B RV built on the Ram ProMaster van with enough inside space for a wheelchair user.
Winnebago created the inside with the support of accessibility activists, and when determining what to include, the RV manufacturer employed universal design as a guiding factor. A pop top for an increased sleeping area, a TV, and your preferred color are all options. A third party may set up steering hand controls for wheelchairs if necessary.
Accommodating to any RVers even Wheelchair Users
When the #VanLife calls, you may actually be seeking a #VanLift. Wheelchair users who enjoy traveling may be intrigued by the new Winnebago Roam RV, the company’s first Class B RV constructed expressly with accessibility in mind.
While some wheelchair-using explorers, such as quadriplegic photographer Kirk Williams and his rough conversion van, have taken to building their own accessible house on wheels, not everyone has that kind of drive. Winnebago’s new Roam wheelchair-accessible RV fits the bill in a package that’s smaller than the company’s larger wheelchair-accessible RVs, the Adventurer AE, and the Inspire. Both are bus-sized Class A RVs with more sleeping space, accommodations for five and a starting price of $269,000.
Accessible RV and Accessible Features
Class B RVs are typically 21 to 24 feet long and include more off-grid amenities like toilets and freezers than smaller conversion vans, but can sleep one or two people just as comfortably. Winnebago told Car & Driver that pricing for the Roam will be announced within the next two months. Non-adapted Class B motorhomes from the manufacturer start around $100,000.
The Roam is less than 20 feet long and was constructed employing a 2021 Ram ProMaster as the basis and a BraunAbility wheelchair lifts beneath the sliding side door, but Winnebago says it was developed with sufficient space on the ground to accommodate a wheelchair and critically accessible amenities. This has a wheelchair lift under the vehicle, conventional wheelchair tie-downs, a shower and toilet featuring grab handles, accessible light and system controls, and a powered sofa bed. If you purchase it with the accompanying pop top which accommodates two, it is capable of accommodating a maximum of five individuals and sleeping up to four.
There are Great Amenities Inside
The Roam’s applications are practically limitless. Frequent excursions with the Roam guarantee that one is never without a bathroom. Medicines and snacks can be stored in the refrigerator to keep them chilled. Road excursions and touring with the Roam offer the essential features of an RV while also providing the convenience of driving a van. It’s never been easier to visit state and national parks. All of these activities, and much more, have been done by roaming owners.
Winnebago’s only other alternatives will be a built-in TV and a choice of three colors (red, silver, or white). Winnebago will not install any driving controls on the Roam, instead leaving that to third-party firms if the buyer is interested. Everything else in the car photos, such as the compact size of the refrigerator and microwave, is typical. Winnebago will also replace the Roam with 2022 ProMasters when they become available.
Despite its small size, the interior of the Roam is spacious enough for a wheelchair. The open floorplan is a distinctive feature. A BraunAbility UVL wheelchair lift, integrated Q’straint tie-downs, powered couch bed, wet bath with toilet and integrated shower top, transfer and grab bars, refrigerator, microwave, sink, storage cabinets, TV, and sleeping for up to 4 people with the optional pop-top are all included. Hand controls can be added to the RAM Promaster after purchase so that they match the needs of the person using them.
The Roam’s accessible features were chosen based on user feedback and decades of producing larger Class A motorhomes, according to the firm. Winnebago also drew inspiration from many hosted RV trips with wheelchair-bound travelers, who provided suggestions regarding what to change and preserve. Winnebago also consulted with members of the accessibility community, particularly carers, while designing the interior of the Roam.
Pricing Depends on the Uses and Needs
Because there are two versions and numerous choices, pricing will vary depending on the arrangement. Winnebago Roam dealers can provide final pricing. However, the Roam’s affordability and mobility is aided by the vehicle’s classification as a recreational vehicle, which is eligible for RV finance for up to 20 years. A Roam could be purchased for a lower monthly payment than a typical wheelchair-accessible van. Furthermore, depending on the unique situation, the accessibility elements may be eligible for local or federal assistance. Because RVs are considered as a second home, financing interest can potentially be tax deductible.
A Look at Winnebago Roam’s Open Concept
Travel to the hills on this coach, which will provide you with additional chances to see and do more. There are wheelchair tie-downs, restroom grab handles, and a pull-down cabinet to make it easier to reach needs. The powered sofa/bed will give you a location to rest and sleep, while the onboard wet bath will keep you clean throughout your journey. This Roam kitchen comes with a 3.0 cu. ft. 12V compressor-driven single-door refrigerator/freezer, stainless steel sink, and microwave oven for meals in a hurry.
Winnebago’s Roam accessibility improved Class B van gives up a whole fresh set of possibilities. With conveniences like a Braun under-vehicle wheelchair lift, wheelchair tie-downs with four Q’Straint attachments, as well as lower cabinets for easy access, you’ll love how simple it is to move around in this coach. The Ram ProMaster chassis’ established foundation delivers strength and durability, and the 3.6L V gas engine will power your travels near and beyond.
Several of this vehicle’s amenities that come standard with the Roam are the radio/review monitor system with a 7″ multimedia touchscreen infotainment center, the slide/swivel/recline captain seats, the all-digital instrument cluster, and many more features! On the interior, you’ll find at-home soothes you are unlikely to want to travel without, such as the stainless steel sink, LED ceiling lights, and the 24″ TV, to mention just a few of the features!
Winnebago Roam AE
Many people, especially ourselves, appreciate the Winnebago Roam’s easily accessible features. The BraunAbility under-vehicle lift made getting into the RV a breeze. The lift also included a wireless remote, allowing my wife to enter and depart the RV on her own. The front seats swiveled, making it easy for persons in wheelchairs to transfer to the car seat.
While some individuals may not utilize it, the Roam also has integrated wheelchair tie-downs, allowing you to use your very own wheelchair as an additional secure seat in the car. Finally, the lift was kept out of the way by the under-vehicle mount, freeing up much-needed interior room in the RV.
The built-in wet bath featured a cassette cassette style toilet, with grab bars and provided a convenient, easily accessible restroom that was always nearby. That meant we never had to be concerned about locating a restroom at a rest break. There was also a built-in shower with a hand-held wand, and the cassette toilet doubled as a shower stool.
Other handicapped-friendly characteristics of the van were a fold-up dinette table that can be rolled below by a wheelchair and a pull-down cupboard for easy-access storage. The galley kitchen included a good-sized 3.0 cu ft. refrigerator that was easy to access for somebody in a wheelchair.
The Winnebago Roam was surprisingly easy to drive, despite being a little under 20 feet long. It drives like a regular van, making it simple to navigate streets and parking lots while searching for a parking spot. You might simply convert this into a daily vehicle for commuting around town.
What Failed with the Winnebago Roam AE
What made this Class B RV comfortable to drive also made it a little too tiny for family camping at 19 feet 9 inches. Winnebago claims that the Roam pop-top model can sleep four people, however, those must be very small people.
Some folks may have felt as if they had maxed out the van with just the two of us on a long weekend vacation and questioned where they would have packed more camping gear, food, and toys if they had taken the kids along. The Roam has a hitch that can tow a trailer full of items, but that would contradict its comfort of driving.
The couch bed in the main cabin can accommodate two persons when folded down. The flat is something between a full and a queen size, but few people need to lie down sideways to stretch their legs. We quickly understood that I would have a hard time falling asleep on the mattress that came with the pop-top. The mattress on the pop-top was really comfy, but two full-size adults would be extremely cozy in this sleeping space.
Winnebago has considered a number of wheelchair-friendly features. However, reaching and using the microwave in the galley kitchen would be tough, and we hoped more of the overhead cabinets had pull-down capabilities to reach inside.
Winnebago Roam AE for a road trip
We were excited about the use and drive of the Roam and applaud Winnebago for its dedication and commitment to producing accessible RVs. For sure, many people now discovered a lot about meeting their own needs as a family and those with handicaps while testing out this camper van.
However, we also believe that for some individuals and families, considering an accessible vehicle with a BraunAbility wheelchair lift, swivel seats, and room for people who need to stretch out on the road in the future would be an important factor. The Roam, with its accessible on-board restroom and tiny galley kitchen, certainly caters to certain needs, but it might not be the ideal choice for larger families looking for an accessible camping experience.
In such cases, larger Class A RVs like the Winnebago Inspire, designed to be wheelchair-accessible, or a wheelchair-accessible van paired with an accessible travel trailer, might provide more space and amenities for a bigger family’s requirements. There are certain bigger families that feel like the Roam AE is too small for them especially when they are going to be needing many equipment with them. It all comes down to individual preferences and specific needs when choosing the right RV.
Nonetheless, for smaller families or solitary travelers, the Roam remains an excellent option, offering great help and convenience on the road. Winnebago’s commitment to accessibility and innovation deserves applause, and we hope to see more RV models catering to diverse needs in the future.
So Why is Winnebago Roam A Good RV?
Since the Winnebago Specialty Vehicle Division unveils the Winnebago Roam, a one-of-a-kind class-B RV with a wheelchair lift and numerous accessible amenities, the company had proved that there are among the businesses that think greatly of inclusivity. This new Accessibility Enhanced (AE) RV offers all of the essential features required for pleasant travel or camping in user-friendly packaging. The Roam has adequate floor space to accommodate a wheelchair as well as crucial accessibility features. This vehicle is ideal for many road trips, vacations, camping, or even running errands on a daily basis. Its length of slightly under 20 feet allows it to fit into most normal parking places. The Roam is presently available for purchase from the following Winnebago dealerships: La Mesa, Campers Inn, and Pleasureland.
The under-vehicle wheelchair lift, standard wheelchair tie-downs, a wet bath available from a wheelchair, accessible buttons for all lighting and systems, and a powered sofa bed are all standard features of the 2022 Winnebago Roam. With the optional pop-top, the Roam can sit for a maximum of five individuals and sleep up to four. The Director of Winnebago’s Specialty Vehicle Division said that they believe the Roam, with its smaller stature, will allow many additional individuals with handicaps to experience the flexibility as well as the fun of an RV. They designed the Roam to be used for a variety of purposes, including camping, road trips, and even daily driving.
The Roam joins Winnebago’s wheelchair-accessible Inspire and Adventurer AE models. Winnebago’s enlarged 2022 AE range provides even more options for travelers in wheelchairs to enjoy an adventure in the luxury and solitude of an RV, building on four decades of delivering accessible motorhomes. Almost every feature of the Roam is designed to be used by someone with limited mobility. The Winnebago AE motorhome range expands and enriches people’s lives by allowing wheelchair users to travel in luxury and confidence.
“The freedom of travel with the comforts of home is what we aim for when designing Accessibility Enhanced RVs, including the Roam,” stated Jennifer Butters, Director of Sales for Winnebago Specialty Vehicle Division. Whether it’s a weekend trip or just in town doing some shopping, want everyone to have the opportunity able to get out and discover their world anytime the mood strikes them.