01/05/2007
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Motorhomes for the disabled

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FOUR years ago, Neil Pallet and Jose Ballesteros formed a company producing specialised vehicles such as fully equipped horse boxes and transporters for the motor racing industry.

Neil had previously owned his own construction company and Jose is very well known within the motorhome industry, having been involved in the building of the first ever model from Auto-Trail.  Little did they know that their lives were soon to be changed by an unexpected quirk of fate.

About two years ago, I was contacted by Jon Clayton, who wanted to know if I knew anybody who could build a motorhome that would enable him to undertake long-term touring.

Jon is a quadriplegic, who is confined to a wheelchair after suffering a spinal injury in a motorcycle accident 28 years ago. As anyone who has met Jon will verify, he has a very positiveThe custom layout built by Event Homes attitude to life and is willing to undertake projects that other people in his position might find too daunting. Jon was becoming increasingly frustrated by the fact that any journey lasting longer than a single day became a massive logistical undertaking, due to the problems of transporting bulky, specialised support equipment and often requiring the help of two carers.

 

Jon set about producing a layout for his ideal motorhome and it soon became obvious that none of the standard motorhome base vehicles had the necessary carrying capacity.

He had already approached many of the major manufacturers, but their production lines could only accommodate minor changes to the existing structure. I suggested Drivelodge Motorhomes of Keighley in West Yorkshire, who had previously built vans equipped with wheelchair locks, lifts and hoists. However, Jon was thinking on a scale that was beyond the capabilities of their modest workshops.

A fellow visitor to the York Show told Jon to seek out the legendary “Spanish Joe”, who turned out to be the very same Jose Ballesteros who was now based within a short distance of his home.

It was the weight requirements of such equipment that prompted Event Homes to opt for the Mercedes Benz Vario chassis with 3.2 litre turbo-diesel engine. The company are Mercedes Benz approved coachbuilders, so are familiar with its capabilities. Jon’s plans required much pioneering work from the staff at Event Homes, as although they are all skilled engineers, the specialised equipment involved took them onto a journey into the unknown.

 

The entire process, from the first meeting with Jose to the finished product, took almost a year in planning and two months to construct. Neil astaff photond John will readily admit that it was steep learning curve and the build time on this first project was prolonged by the many problem solving exercises required. As a result of all this effort though, the Event Homes team can now claim to be the most experienced and quite possibly the only builders, able to take on projects of this size and nature.

If you would like to speak to Event Homes about the possibility of building a motorhome to your requirements, Neil will be only too happy to arrange a factory visit or even to visit a previous customer to see what can be achieved.
 

Event Homes (UK) Limited

 

Tel: 01724 847744
Website: www.eventhomesuk.com

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