How to fit a ladder

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by kelpbeds, Feb 24, 2012.

  1. kelpbeds

    kelpbeds Read Only Funster

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    I need to fit a ladder to my van to access roof where I need some bars to store surfboards etc...
    If I bought a cheapish ladder (as attached image shows for £99 ) How do they attach? I can see brackets but do these just screw into motorhome wall? Wouldn't seem strong enough to me as basically it's just plastic, polystyrene and plastic.
    Thanks
     

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  2. old-mo

    old-mo Funster Extra Special Life Member

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    The wall`s where factory/manufacturers ladders are fitted have reinforcing behind the Fibreglass/aluminium....

    You would be advised not to just try and screw them into "Anywhere" on the body.. without first checking what is behind the skin.. :thumb:
     
  3. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    As Mo says.. either enquire with your van manufacturer or have a look at one in a dealers..

    if your ladder is different from the factory fitted, ie different length, it MAY be possible to fit wooden batons inside the van (hopefully in a cupboard) and bolt through.

    When fitting, seal the holes and behind the ladder fixing fixing plates with silicone sealer or sikaflex
     
  4. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    you could try contacting your motorhome converter and ask if and where the strengthening timbers are located.
    whether they will tell you or not is another matter but worth a try

    you cant just screw it on, as you say...plastic/foam/ply or hardboard just aint strong enough
     
  5. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    Decide where you are going to fit ,then tap lightly and listen for the sound to detect where the battens are :thumb:Screw and seal to the new found battens :BigGrin:
    terry
     
  6. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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    I would never fit a ladder without bolts that go through the structure. Screws? :Rofl1:
    2004 Autocruise Starspirit Fiamma Ladder project.
    The only place it actually will fit is with top brackets hard up against the bottom edge of the top moulding trim and centre line is governed by how the ladder nestles into the top moulding.
    This becomes self evident when holding it in place. As you will see from the pictures the very top fixings end up only just inside the overhead locker.The wood is quite substantial at this level which is just as well as only small washers will fit.
    The top lower fixings land behind the pelmet and I've used penny washers.
    The lower fixings are taken from a bike rack fitting kit and installed complete. All the bolts Top & Bottom are stainless steel coach bolts.
    After checking everything fitted dry I've removed and applied Sikaflex 512 to all four brackets. I've then carefully placed a Stainless steel mudguard washer (about 2mm thick) close to the bottom edge of each bracket to ensure that all the adhesive cannot be squeezed out when the bolts are tightened.
    Refitted tightened up and excess adhesive cleaned off.
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    Fixings supplied courstey of Phil at RhinoInstalls
     
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  7. Landy lover

    Landy lover Funster

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    We have the same problem with our 5'er - would love to have a ladder bumper and spare wheel all hanging on the back but have been advised by everyone that I should not attempt it as reinforcing is not in place and the existing timbers may well not be strong enough to support anything.
     
  8. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    I weigh 18 st and I had the spare wheel fastened on the ladder and used to climb up onto the roof over the spare- prob 22st in total -- simply screwed and sikaflexed :thumb: 8 screws in total never a problem and no ugly bolts on the inside -After five yrs and me still jumping up and down from the roof to get at chairs and spare dog food tub :thumb: You either know how to screw thing together or not :BigGrin::Wink:
    terry
     
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  9. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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    Surface area combined with sikaflex is powerful stuff but screws are only as strong as the material you screw into, polystyrene aint very screw friendly
     
  10. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    This is going to be one of 'those' threads.. :Rofl1::Rofl1:

    How many funsters does it take to fit a ladder... ??

    None..

    JCM will do it ... just call and pick his brains :Laughing:
     
  11. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    That is why you find battens etc,Do you think point 5 mm ali and 20 mm polystyrene with 3 mm ply (normal make up of van wall)bolted though is strong enough :Eeek:I think if I stood on that it would pull straight through the van and I would end up on my a--e with big holes in the van :Eeek:
    terry
     
  12. TheBig1

    TheBig1 Funster Life Member

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    Just a couple of thoughts

    If you are going to be using the ladder frequently and carrying things like surfboards or canoes, you need to reinforce the wall to avoid cracking the wood. I recomend you put an aluminium plate, about 3mm thick, covering both legs at each level on the outside and a smaller plate behind each nut on the inside.

    Any bolts that dont hit a timber support will require a metal sleeve inside the wall to avoid crushing it when tightening the bolts

    When mounting, use mastic tape as it will flex as you use the ladder without splitting unlike silicon. It can also be removed easily if you need to change anything

    to find the supports, use a stud detector or one with a metal detector in, that can see the staples. These can be bought for under £10 at any DIY store. I recomend marking them with a non permanent felt tip pen, so you can see at a glance if youre going to fit ok as you offer the ladder or accesory up against the van wall
     
  13. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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    Unfortunately battens are not always where the ladder brackets are they just dont co operate :Laughing:. So do you re engineer the ladder or forget the idea? or simply accept that fixings WILL be on the inside but where not noticeable.

    EDIT mastic tape is fine for sealing roof vents.
    It has absolutely no shear strength and unsuitable to carry a load.
    Sikaflex is flexibly and will not shear
     
  14. kelpbeds

    kelpbeds Read Only Funster

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    Righto understood now, I didn't think it would be as simple as I wished it was!
    Will try and suss where my battens are and if not look at going straight through and reinforcing the other side.

    Many thanks for all your replies.

    Tim
     
  15. slobadoberbob

    slobadoberbob Read Only Funster

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    It is a real risk fitting the ladder as an add on

    If you could see the fixings on my Winnebago Aspect rear cap (fibreglass) it is at least 2" thick and has massive plates to carry the spare wheel kit that is a factory fitted item. The ladder is the same. Made to fit the vehicle and not an add on.. it also rolls over on tot he roof.

    Ladders by the virtue of the fixings with the weight of climbing up and down could start the move over time and that could create a point where water might egress and then you will have serious issues.

    But like others I would never think about screws.. bolts with plates is the only way to go if you have to do it.

    Bob
     
  16. kelpbeds

    kelpbeds Read Only Funster

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    Cheers for that, will defintely get some metal plates made up.
     
  17. TheBig1

    TheBig1 Funster Life Member

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  18. rangitira

    rangitira Funster

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    O h fer Gods sake!! Stop fannying about! What a pack of Jessies:Angry:

    Six inch nails! use six inch nails, once they are thro, bend some down, ie stops the ladder falling off, bend some up ie Coat hangers!

    Sorted!:thumb:
     
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  19. kelpbeds

    kelpbeds Read Only Funster

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    Cheers for the ebay links.

    Oh and never thought about six inch nails, obvious when you think about it, will hit them with a sledgehammer to make sure they go in good and proper!
     
  20. JJ

    JJ Funster

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    I don't understand...:Eeek:

    I fit my ladder by leaning it against the side of the van, position it appropriately depending on the part of the roof I want to get to... afterwards I let it "telescope" down (mind your fingers) and pop it into the rear storage area... :thumb:

    JJ :Cool:
     
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