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Thread: Eureka! offers wheelchair accessible camping tent

  1. #1
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    Thumbs up Eureka! offers wheelchair accessible camping tent

    details: http://www.eurekatent.com/freedom.asp

    March 15, 2005

    BINGHAMTON, N.Y. — Developed in conjunction with BlueSky Designs, the new Eureka! Freedom tent is the first shelter offered for campers with physical disabilities.

    The tent's universal design provides people with disabilities a camping tent they can set up and use independently, and provides conveniences for them and their partners not found in other tents. The tent should be available in 2005.

    This unique, three-season tent was designed with the top priorities of ease of set up, easy access, and a usable vestibule space for mobility devices. It is a five pole tapered rectangular dome style and sleeps two people. A patent-pending zipper-less vestibule door requires minimal dexterity and reach. It pivots open like a fan, providing quick entry out of the elements and has no zipper noise. Pull handles on the internal door and window zippers provide easy grasp and operation of the zipper. The design allows easy set up from a wheelchair, with continuous pole sleeves originating at the rear corners and one side of the tent. The poles are slid through one end of the sleeve and are captured in pockets on the far end. The other pole end attaches to the tent with posts and grommets.

    A large vestibule offers easily accessible and protected storage for gear or chairs, as well as space for sitting, eating and recreation. It can also be used for drying wet gear or a sleeping area for pets. The combination window and side entry doors in the sleeping area allow side transfers onto a sleeping cot while also providing excellent ventilation. The mesh roof increases ventilation and reduces condensation in the sleeping area.

    The Freedom tent measures 6'6" x 11'8". The height is 5'2" at the vestibule door and 3'2" feet in the rear. The packed weight is 16 pounds, 8 ounces. MSRP is $574.99.

    BlueSky Designs is a product development organization that applies ergonomics and universal design to develop products addressing the needs of people with and without disabilities. Funding for the development of this product and other innovations was provided by the US Department of Agriculture's Small Business Innovation Research program. For more information, visit www.blueskydesigns.us.

    According to BlueSky Designs, the tent has a 36" door opening with flush entry, can be set up from seated position, and one can roll in bikes, strollers, or wheelchairs.
    source: http://www.alphaonenow.com/news.php?story_no=5636

    cool, huh? I might have to get one of these. BlueSky has them for $329, contrary to the aforementioned MSRP.

  2. #2
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    see a couple video clips here:

    http://www.blueskydesigns.us/tents.htm

  3. #3
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    Add an air mattress, @ 22" high... this would be a great combo! A queen-size might *just* fit, but the tapered sides of the tent may get in the way... whatever... here's what I found:

    detail: L.L. Bean Aero Raised Camp Bed

    Added height makes our most comfortable camping air mattress even better. Simply attach the powerful hands-free plug in pump and it inflates to the height of a traditional bed in less than three minutes. In the morning, open the Quick-Air-Release Valve and watch bed deflate in seconds. Higher than most inflatable beds for comfortable entry and exit. Durable 18 gauge PVC construction with electronically welded seams stands up to frequent use. Plush sleeping surface is comfortable and helps prevent sleeping bags from sliding around. Built-in stability bars keep bed in place. Includes plug-in pump and large carry bag for convenient storage and travel. Imported.

    Twin 74"L x 40"W x 22"H. ($99)

    Queen 78"L x 60"W x 22"H. ($149)
    can you tell I'm getting into this? I miss "real" tent camping SO much.

  4. #4
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    $329.00!!!!! Good grief, I returned to tent camping 11 years ago in a Coleman cabin tent, with a inverted T door for less than $80.00. We moved up to a 2 room cabin tent with alot more room than this pricey number for less than $100.00. Yes, I did need just a little help setting them up, 1 other person was all it took, and the only adaptions I made were some pull loops on the zippers. BTW, Scott, Coleman makes a great airbed, the "Quickbed" model series 5998-390 ($37.99 at Walmart) makes a raised hight twin bed. It can also be used as a lower hight king sized bed and 2 twin beds, it is very versatile. This airbed doesn't have a built in pump, but Coleman has a cordless rechargable pump that will inflate & deflate it just about as fast as a built in model.

    Scott, I'm not trying to rain on your up coming camping trips. If you have that kind of money to burn on this new "accessible" tent by all means go for it, or you can save a lot of that money, and spend it on the camping trips themselves, . Camping has been a activity that I have dearly loved all my life, and I do miss it, but until I can afford a adapted motor home I'm stuck staying in hotels and "camping cabins",LOL.
    Linda H.

  5. #5
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    Thanks Linda... no, you're not raining on my parade by any means, and I haven't purchased anything. I tend to agree that the cost is a little steep for that particular tent, but I figure it goes into R&D and all that jazz. I was just excited to see a company thinking beyond the norm. That cost would almost become moot if it provided an easy, low-level-of-assist means to get back into camping. Doesn't the threshold part of tents that are "non-accessible" (that sounds dumb) tents get in the way entering w/ a chair?

    Truth be told I don't really like Eureka tents. I did a lot of backpacking prior to my injury & used Kelty or Mountain Hardware. When I was in boy scouts, our troop had a bunch of Eurekas and they were all too heavy and clunky for my liking. But... a lot has happened in the outdoor industry since my injury ('99), & I can't say I wouldn't give Eureka a 2nd look. Now the characteristics I'd look for in a tent are different.

    Good call on the Coleman Airbeds. They look like they'd do the trick for a fraction of the price. The are 4" lower than the LL Bean mentioned above, which *could* make transfers tougher (I'm a quad), esp. as they are only supported by air.

    How much are you anticipating spending on an adapted motor home? Are you talking about something like a bus? That's a little beyond what I'd be looking for right now, but it'd be fun! Plus, I'm sure they're just a little more expensive than an accessible tent.

  6. #6
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    I haven't really started pricing them yet, it won't really be do able unless/till I sell my other house up in Delaware. I would have to buy a fairly large motor home, with both of us in power chairs a small one wouldn't cut it. Although the models with the slide outs seem to have more elbow room, that might help us reduce the lenght we thought we'd need. One thing is for sure, if I do buy one I don't want to feel like a sardine in it,lol.
    When we had to give up camping in tents we bought a large Coleman pop-up camper, it worked pretty well. That is until my DH lost his leg and wound up wheeling full time. The reason we had to give up the tent was I couldn't take the heat anymore, and it had a really good a/c system, as well as the ability to cook inside when the weather was bad.
    If I was to take a guess at the cost, I'd say somewhere between $35 & $50,000.
    Linda H.

  7. #7
    Hey Linda,

    I want an accessible motorhome, too. My boyfriend and I would love to roam the country. Gotta save up, though. Where in DE is the house you need to sell to make this happen? Is it accessible?

  8. #8
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    Hi Kimmy,
    I don't know how much you know about DE, my house is in Sussex County, pretty close to the beach. It is fairly accessible for a small house that was built in the 1930's. The kitchen was completely rebuilt in the 90's to be w/c accessible, lowered counters, pull unders, etc. It still needs more done to be 100%, the bathroom is small, and was a tight fit even for me, but it can be remodeled. It would most likely mean scarificing one of the 2 bedrooms, unless someone's willing to put an addition on the house. I haven't actually put the house on the market yet, but if you want more detailed information about it send me a private message.
    Linda H.

  9. #9
    Very nice- Thanks for posting Scott.

  10. #10
    I am going camping next month and had some questions. Ok i have googled these forums and the internet and tried looking to see options for a wheelchair accessible tent...anyone have any other suggestions or models of tents that work for them besides this Eureka tent? I think the vestibule area on the freedom tent is cool and could come in handy. I plan on buying an air mattress that sits about as high as my chair. Any other suggestions for Rustic camping? BTW I am a T5 level and wont need to do any bowel care or anything bc I am camping close enough to home where i could go home for a morning and get that done.
    JOE

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