Guidelines for Outdoor Developed Areas Final Report

 Regulatory Negotiation Committee on Accessibility Guidelines for Outdoor Developed Areas Final Report

 Accessibility Specifications

Recreational vehicle and trailer camping spaces are designed for use by motorized vehicles, including motor homes, fifth wheels and tent campers. As with all campsites, site planners and facility managers should consider the type of equipment used at the site and the spatial needs of users. For example, a RV/Trailer campsite is required to have a minimum width of 20 ft (ODA, which represents the minimum space needed for an RV/Trailer camper who also uses a wheelchair. The 20-ft minimum was arrived at by considering the following dimensions:

The width of an RV is assumed at 9-ft based on current dimensions in the RV industry. An access aisle on the driver’s side of the vehicle is to measure at a minimum of 3-ft, enabling a person using a wheel chair to access utilities located on the driver’s side of the vehicle.

The clear space on the passenger side of the vehicle is to have a minimum width of 8-ft. A wheel chair lift for a motorized vehicle generally requires an 8-ft wide level space to operate in full capacity.

Amenities at Camp Sites

The Final Report on Outdoor Developed Areas also addresses amenities for recreation areas including picnic tables and grills. Campsite amenities are to be accessible and located on an accessible route. Grills, picnic tables, fire rings, water and electric utilities and restrooms or comfort stations are often located near the accessible campsite, but are not located on accessible surfaces. Often a facility will place a picnic table or a pedestal grill on grass or other naturally occurring surface just outside the area covered by the firm and stable surface. This creates both a difficult surface to maneuver and a change in level between the accessible surface and the non-accessible surface. More information on accessible picnic elements is available in NCA Tech Sheet #4 “Accessible Picnic Tables: Requirements and Recommendations.”

People with disabilities are individuals with unique preferences and needs. Each person looks for different benefits from recreating. One cannot assume the abilities or preferences of a person with a disability simply because of previous experience with others with a similar disability. Incorporating accessibility into campsite policy and planning will enable people with varying abilities the opportunity to experience the unique social and personal benefits derived from camping.

Excerpt from the National Survey on Campground Accessibility

Policies and Practices

the National Center on Accessibility through the University of Indiana.

[1]“The quality of the camping experience is obviously dependent upon the desired experience and expectation of those staying at campgrounds. Some campers want isolation, some want socialization. Some want primitive experiences and some want convenience and access to campground improvements (e.g. electricity, tables, grills, restrooms, laundry facilities, etc.).  Campers with disabilities can be expected to have the same types of expectations as others and will seek campgrounds and individual campsites that most closely meet those desires.  As with those without disabilities, some

campers with disabilities will prefer a campsite that is located close to restroom facilities and other improvements, others will not. One of the primary tenets of the American’s with Disabilities Act was to provide the same opportunities for people with disabilities as those without. It really comes down to choice. While some folks with disabilities may prefer to use pit toilets, as an example, others will want to be able to use the more modern facilities, if they are provided.  In order to provide ‘choice’ campgrounds should have sites accessible for people with disabilities that provide a full range of choice as those without disabilities have.”


[1] National Survey on Campground Accessibility—Policies and Practices

3 Responses

  1. Leonard Hoffmann

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