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Old 02-05-2012, 01:41 PM   #1
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Default 215WSK ladder?

My husband and I just purchased a 2012 215WSK and will be picking it up next week. Until now, we have had a tent trailer so this is a big step up in terms of size and features.
We are debating getting a ladder installed and have received differing opinions. What are your thoughts?
Any other tips or advice you have would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 02-05-2012, 02:00 PM   #2
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Congrats on your new FF, I never know what the real reason is to have a ladder on the back of an RV I don't think you can store much stuff on the roof (weight wise) plus if you are driving, you won't see your cargo way up there. I see a lot of Motorhomes or fifthwheels have ladders, it just means gotta bring a long more stuff.
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Old 02-05-2012, 02:09 PM   #3
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Thanks, we are excited. We've been looking for 2 years and this floorplan is perfect for us, especially with the outdoor kitchen, as we almost never cooking inside.
Our thought was that the ladder faciliates easier inspection of the roof. We camp a lot in the mountains so there is always potential for snow, even in summer. We are getting the slide topper, but if the slide gets stuck or another issue comes up, it would sure be nice to have a ladder. However, this would also mean the potential for leaks where the ladder is attached.
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Old 02-06-2012, 08:02 AM   #4
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Ah, ladders...

Be very, very careful when adding a ladder to the back of any trailer. While they are very handy for inspection of the roof or cleaning (sweeping) the top of the slide(s), unless you are able to get them anchored into the framing of the back wall or there is engineered backing plates in the walls for a ladder, you will be introducing a host of potential problems.

Ladders introduce a lot of diagonal stress on their mounting points. A body (105-200 lbs) climbing up a ladder pulls diagonally down on its mounting points; a body climbing a vertical ladder not only adds stress down the ladder, but, out and away from the vertical position. Unless those mounting points are in the framing or a frame braced backing board, you'll egg shape the screw holes in the filon that makes up the back wall. The egg shaped holes will leak and you'll suffer delamination of the back wall...an expensive problem. Some people make the mistake of thinking that the curved roof handles will support the weight on the roof and the ladder won't pull out...those ladders are made of lightweight materials (usually aluminum or thin wall stainless) and will flex enough to still either pull out completely over time or egg shape the screw holes. Even if you could hit the framing, a hollow aluminum stud is not your best anchoring point. The thin wall aluminum frame does not really support the length of the screw, still allowing for some movement and deforming, over time, of the screw hole.

I wanted a ladder on the back of our old 210WBS, but, even with the frame plans I got from CruiserRV, I couldn't figure out a way to get one attached and have it braced adequately. I carried a telescoping extension ladder* instead. Your trailer almost has to be designed from the start with ladder mounting in mind or you have to be able to access the back wall, from the inside, to install the bracing between frame members for the ladder to attach to.

* Telescoping type extension ladder

Congratulations on your new trailer! Hope you have many miles of smiles in your future!



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Old 02-14-2012, 09:57 PM   #5
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Thank you for the great explanation of why we should not get a ladder and a suggestion for an alternative. We decided to forego the ladder and installed a slide topper and a vent cover. Next time we are down in the US we will pick up a telescoping ladder for sure.
Now we just need the snow to melt and we can head out camping.
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Old 02-15-2012, 04:13 PM   #6
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We've had a very mild winter down here...some snow, a couple inches and it is gone in a few days. Not even any truly cold temperatures (still too cold for my old thin blood ), but, according to the weather gurus, you folks up in Canada have been keeping old man winter all to yourselves. That's one thing we don't need to import from our northern neighbors!



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Old 02-15-2012, 05:13 PM   #7
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As always, a great explanation Don.

Regarding the "extend-a-ladder", they now make that in a slightly shorter version. Eight and half feet I think is what it measures. I bought one locally ( Sherwin-Williams paint stores are authorized dealers ) and have it in the storage compartment of the FF. I wanted it mostly to be able to get up there and clean the debris ( twigs, acorns, etc ) off the slide when breaking camp.
Very cool ladder for sure., and really compact.

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Old 02-15-2012, 05:21 PM   #8
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BTW....forgot my manners there....welcome Safetygirl ! I'm new here too, having just bought my 189FDS in November.
When you get it brought home and settled in, let's see some pics of it.

I just spent and hour or so putting "rubber mat shelf lining" in all the drawers and cabinets. I got a roll of it at Sam's club, and am hoping it will keep things from sliding around so much in the drawers and cabinets.
I've also added two paper towel dispensers inside the front storage compartment. One on each side so I don't have to walk around if I need one !

george
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Old 02-15-2012, 07:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Safetygirl
Now we just need the snow to melt and we can head out camping.
safetygirl, your snow should be almost gone , ( we have a bit left in the Red deer area, but you can go camping @ tunnel mountain in Banff, or Mcclean creek near Bragg creek, or bauvais lake in the south near Pincher creek, those are some of the campgrounds that are open during the winter and it is great camping at this time , sitting around the fire , with some glue wine MMmmm. just a thought lol.
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