Adaptive Camping - Chapter Three

If you have been following my story titled “The Challenges of a Wheelchair Camper” you know my next challenge was to develop a ramp system to access my camper independently. My camper, which I named “Tramper”, is 31 inches from the ground to the floor level. That required at minimal 15 feet of ramp.

 This is where the divide and conquer strategy comes into play. Instead of one long ramp I was able to get three smaller and lighter weight ramps that still maintained the 600 pound load capacity. I purchased one six foot, a five foot, and a four foot ramp. The variety of ramps could always be used for other circumstances.

To complete the ramp system I needed something to support the end of each ramp as it inched closer to the ground. My solution, set the ramps upon my front deck. I knew the platform level was 31" off the ground so I went in my work shed and low and behold my sawhorses were 32" tall. I set one of those up and started thinking what I could “build” to support the end of the first section of ramp. I had mapped out several different concepts on paper when it hit me. “If I just had a shorter sawhorse!”

The sawhorse I was using was plastic and did not lend itself to maintaining its structural integrity if I started whittling it down in height so I took off to that store of wonders! The place every man loves (and lots of women too.) Of course, I am referring to your local home improvement center. I found the aisle with sawhorses and there it was. A folding meatal sawhorse. It was perfect for the task at hand. All I had to do was measure how high I wanted it and cut the legs off to that length. After doing that I found myself sitting on my front deck looking at my creation “A Ramp to Nowhere”.

I had to try it out and that is the picture you see of me halfway up the assembled ramps. I can set up and takedown the ramps by myself with much less effort and time. I store the ramps inside the tramper during travel. I am working on the design of some brackets to store the ramps on the outside of the tramper so I can access them for set-up and once again be an independent camper. Hmmm? These brackets are going to be made out of surplus scrap metal. Time to call my friend - Hey Steve?


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