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RV camping needs you to carry lots of items and RV ladder is one such item. With RV’s you are also limited with space and storage. Not all RV’s come with bigger storage and thus getting a ladder along can make you think twice.
So, why do even RVs have ladders? Do you really need a ladder while you are away from home camping at a campsite or say boondocking in some remote region?
An RVer may need ladder to access the roof either for cleaning it or clearing snow. People also store items on roof storage racks. You may also need ladder to do minor maintenance of the RV, fix windshield on the front or fixing awning .
Lets find out why one needs ladder in RV in detail. And also how to install a ladder on RV, plus find out about using portable ladder in RV.
1. Cleaning RV roof
RV ladder can help you get to the roof or at least reach the point from where you can access the roof to clean it.
Roof cleaning is a tedious job and without ladder its going to be more of a pain for you. Keeping the RV roof clean and clear is an important part of maintaining the RV. They get dirty very quickly and if you have been driving through muddy roads then you know how its like on roof.
A RV roof is a critical element of RV system and keeping it dusty or dirt free is important. When you have fixed ladder at the backside, you can easily climb up there and do periodic checks. If you don’t have a ladder then obviously you will find it hard to go up there often. And that will ultimately result in neglecting the roof.
RV roofs are made up of fiberglass or rubber which need special attention and cleaning need to be done with care. You cant really use pressure wash on them as that can damage the roof (read why pressure wash rv or trailer can be bad). Getting a brush along with a handle can work but for that too you need to be at the edge of the roof which is possible with a ladder.
2. Storage rack access
If you have a roof rack for storage then again you need a proper mounted ladder to access it. Having such a storage can give you extra space but it depends on what kind of items will be placed there.
The ladder at times could be mounted for such storage racks and that will be a better mounting. Such “on the top roof racks” can be used for carrying kayaks or smaller bikes. But, you need to be careful when carrying such extra items as it will be on top of already high RV. Many people do carry bike racks or top of rv.
3. For clearing the snow
Many people will say, cleaning the RV can also be done at home using a home ladder. Yes sure, but what if the RV gets covered with snow when you are camping? Now, for that you will have to have access to roof. And thus, having ladder installed or even a portable ladder at that time will be a big relief.
When its snowing, the roof can get fully covered with snow and getting that removed will need good efforts. And you should make sure every bit of it is removed, snow can cause lots of damage to your RV roof and those repairs can be costly and also can lead to further damage to your RV roof.
4. Helps in fixing various things like awning
Ladder can be of great help while you are camping and you want to fix a part or so. Awning for example may at times need fixing, or you may find it difficult to put it working due high winds. You definitely don’t want to regret the absence of ladder at such times or you don’t have to ask a neighboring camping guy for it. Having a ladder is always helpful while in campsite or boondocking.
5. Putting front windshield
You can make use of portable ladder for putting the front windshield. Having a mounted ladder at the rear end will not help obviously. Both mounted and portable ladder have their own pros and cons.
So, depending on what is going to be your frequent use, you need to decide. If you have a storage rack on top or you often camp in snow regions then having a mounted ladder will be more helpful. Mounted ladders don’t need separate storage inside the RV and thus, you will save on storage space.
6. Use the roof for getting views of sport events or so
Not everyone of us would be doing this. But, you must have definitely seen people doing this. Getting up on the rv roof to get that awesome view of a sporting event or match.
People do use their rv’s for such entertainments. But, it may not be a good idea to go up there on the rv roof. Specially if more than 1 person wants to do this then that can be bad for the roof.
Remember a roof of the rv can handle only weight upto certain limit and putting more pressure on it can result in damage. You can check out this linked article on how much weight a rv roof can handle.
7. Easy access for self maintenance
Many of the rvers prefer doing smaller maintenance or fixing on their own. Getting the RV to a professional every time time can be time consuming and also costly. A $100 or more per hour for minor maintenance can be costly affair. Having a ladder at your disposable can be very handy at such times. A 15 feet high RV can definitely not be reached with chair and having a ladder is the only solution.
8. Style statement for costly motorhomes
Having that well mounted ladder in the rear can actually make your motorhome look great. Many people show off their ladder at the rear end. They certainly look greet but are more useful as we discussed above. But not all Rv’s come equipped with such mounted ladders, in which case you can get one nicely installed for that awesome look.
I am sure you will agree, having a class A motorhome or stylish fifth wheel looks awesome with a rear end installed ladder.
Do all rvs come with ladder ?
Having ladder as we saw is great for your RV. It can save you from many situations and help in quick fixing many things. Similar to how they are important for your home, they are also very important for your on road home. Almost all type of rv have bigger heights, may it be class b rv or travel trailer or class c rv. They all have good enough height that needs ladder to access the roof easily.
But, not all rv’s come fitted with ladders and thus you may have to get one installed yourself. You can get them mounted on the rear end or even on the side. It depends on what is your usage like and how often you are going to use it. They may look great at the rear end though.
Rv’s will mostly not need ladders for interior usage. Most motorhome or trailer will have not high interior ceiling even though overall height can be high. This is because bottom part of the RV is mostly used for storage. And thus, you can do fine without ladder inside of you RV or motorhome.
Different type of portable ladders of RV’s
You can get different types of ladder from retailer like Walmart or amazon. Its important that you decide the type of ladder carefully. Lets see different type that you can get for your RV or camper.
1. folding ladder
Double sided folding ladder are conventional type of ladders that will be more heavy and lengthier. You need to buy these ones by carefully checking the height of your RV and get a comparative sized ladder.
Getting a more heavy and lengthier ladder can be space wastage for you and thus, you need to be more careful with this. Many times people buy ladders online and then size or weight issue arises. Thus, make sure you verify it properly before getting one for you RV. Smaller RV’s specially have space crunch and getting a big ladder will not make sense.
2. Telescopic ladder
This type of ladders are great as they are collapsible type and then length become very short after your collapse them. They are more costly though.
You need to check the brand before yo buy them. Since they will be collapsing there are more chances of issues with them. Most of the ladder come with 1 years warranty. So do check for warranty before buying.
Installing the ladder on RV
Getting a RV ladder is no doubt an important thing for you as an RVer. Camping in RV will surely need a good ladder that will allow you to access most parts of your RV. While getting the portable RV ladder can work, it also needs space and that can make you think twice. Mounting the ladder on the RV itself can help you get rid of that space problem. So how do you install a ladder on RV?
Installing the ladder yourself can sometimes be easy but not always. Putting holes on to your brand new RV can at times go wrong and spoil the finish of your RV. If possible take help from a professional to get it mounted.
It would need drilling holes to fix the ladder using screws. You need to coat the screw holes with caulking so that there aren’t any gaps remaining. Apply caulking on underside and wipe off extra, allow sufficient time to dry off. Make sure screw were tight enough to hold the ladder firmly. You also get rv ladder guard online that can be used for security and protection.
While you are buying such a ladder that can be mounted on RV, the quality of the ladder is crucial. It is going to be exposed to all the wear and tear and will also remain attached all the times.
One disadvantage with such mounted ladders is that you wont be able to use them for other purposes. You cannot use them for other work may be on the side of the RV or at the front for windshield.
They would be fixed and will be mostly usable for accessing the roof, that’s all. Thus, be thoughtful and choose the ladder wisely. If you own a big RV then giving that little space for a portable ladder shouldn’t be an issue. With telescoping folding ladders, the space needed is also reduced.