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Enjoying Wheelchair-Accessible VAN Life!

What an inspirational couple! When neurological issues forced Tanya to retire early, she started looking at #vanlife. Her husband, Derec, is in a wheelchair and didn’t think it would be possible to adjust to life on the road or get a vehicle that met his needs.

With the help of the VA, the couple got a wheelchair lift, a special driver’s seat, and hand controls for their van. They tow a bathroom cargo trailer behind the vehicle so Derec has plenty of space, and they lowered the bed inside the van for easier transfers. Now the couple is working on a foundation and grants for other people in wheelchairs wanting to get outside the “four walls” and experience nature. What do you think of their setup?

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Full-Time Van Travel with Disabilities

Enjoying Wheelchair-Accessible VAN life! 2

Images via Tiny Home Tours

Here’s Derec’s special adjustable chair.

Enjoying Wheelchair-Accessible VAN life! 3

Images via Tiny Home Tours

The wheelchair lift fits underneath the van, so it doesn’t take up room inside.

Enjoying Wheelchair-Accessible VAN life!

Images via Tiny Home Tours

VIDEO: Van Life with a Disability – DIY Ford Transit


  • Tanya was a nurse and all was well until health complications forced her to retire early
  • Derec was retired when they married and in a wheelchair
  • Tanya wanted #vanlife! Derec didn’t think they could do it
  • They did it!
  • He has a separate bathroom cargo area they pull behind
  • Lower bed for easier transfer
  • Service dog
  • Hand controls for the van
  • Bathroom inside the van

Learn more

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Natalie C. McKee

Natalie C. McKee is a contributor for Tiny House Talk and the Tiny House Newsletter. She's a wife, and mama of three little kids. She and her family are homesteaders with sheep, goats, chickens, ducks and quail on their happy little acre.

Latest posts by Natalie C. McKee (see all)

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Linda K Howell
    May 3, 2022, 4:23 pm

    My Rv is good just to travel in maybe sleep in while on a short trip out of town.
    But to live in not for me . I do need more room than that. Like a living room, a bigger bedroom w closet.
    Then my kitchen and down the hall bathroom. Soo more space for me is needed.

  • Marsha Cowan
    May 3, 2022, 5:21 pm

    What an amazing love story! The van is so cool, but you guys are the coolest. Happy trails!

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