Thursday, September 28, 2023


Can I mount a flagpole to the ladder on my RV?

Dear Dave,
In general, how safe is it to mount a flagpole or anything to the ladder? I would think the vibrations from a flagpole would loosen the ladder, letting water penetrate the ladder mounts. Thank you. I’ve learned a lot from your book and columns. —Gary, 2017 Fleetwood Bounder 36Y

Dear Gary,
It depends on how the RV manufacturer mounted the ladder and what support it has. From what I can see on video walkarounds, your ladder is a two-piece design with the upper assembly permanently mounted to the back wall and curves up over the top and mounts directly to the roof. The bottom is typically stored in a compartment and has a circle with a slot that mounts to the lowest rung of the upper assembly.

This would not be a good ladder to mount anything to as the vibration you indicated would be stressful on the roof as well as the back wall mounts. It also depends on the size of flag and pole you want to install. If it is just a small flag with a 4’ pole, it might not create much stress; however, the larger ones will.

Options for flagpoles

Go to any RV show that has vendors and you will find someone selling flagpoles usually sitting between the gutter guy and the knives demo! There are a few models I have found that would be a better fit such as this one that slides into the receiver of the hitch. You can find it on Amazon here.

Another very popular mounting plate for an RV is the flat plate with the tube which you drive over and the weight of the wheel and rig hold it in place. You do need to be careful that the pole doesn’t blow in the wind and hit the side of the rig. There are brackets that can be mounted to the rain gutter or even mounted to the side of the rig to hold them in place. You can find this model on Amazon here.

As I stated earlier, there are numerous versions available. I have used the tire model many times setting up shows around the country. Let’s see what our readers are using out there.

 You might also enjoy this from Dave 

Can I install a roof ladder on my RV? Where and how?

Dear Dave,
Our RV didn’t come with a factory-installed roof ladder. I’d like to install one to be able to see and clean off the tops of the slideouts before closing them, and also to clean the roof. Heartland says they didn’t provide a ladder as the roof isn’t walkable. However, two men weighing about 200 lbs. each were on the roof at the same time installing a SoftStart on one of the A/C units, and it was very sturdy. How can I tell where to drill in the rear wall to hit at least a couple of solid anchor points? Heartland doesn’t have (or won’t provide) a build sheet showing the wall construction and layout. —Mike, 2021 Heartland Milestone M-1 28RL 5th wheel

Read Dave’s answer.

Dave Solberg is a leading expert in the RV industry and the author of the “RV Handbook.”

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Dave Solberg
Dave Solberg
Dave Solberg is a leading expert in the RV industry and author of the “RV Handbook” as well as the Managing Editor of the RV Repair Club. He has been in the RV Industry since 1983 and conducts over 15 seminars at RV shows throughout the country.


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18 days ago

I use a flagpole buddy mounted to the ladder and have both a wind gage and the flag with a light but check with neighbors at night before leaving it up all night because of the light.

Neal Davis
22 days ago

My father-in-law created a four-piece flag pole from 2-inch electrical conduit. We attached it to the hitch receiver of our MH. We secured it in place with bungie cords to allow the wind to move it within a restricted range. This prevented it striking the back or sides of our MH. Ultimately we quit using it because I had to remove the tow bar in order to use it.

As an aside, Newmar does offer an optional flag-pole holder on some models. It was available when we ordered our 2022 New Aire, but we did not include it with our order. The holder, if I recall correctly, is mounted in front of the entry door, so on the passenger side. I imagine that location lessens the chance of a pole remaining in the holder when breaking camp. 😉

Jack Fate
23 days ago

With just a little ingenuity, I believe the pole if telescopic could be mounted in such a fashion that when collapsed for travel with and the flag removed of course. There wouldn’t be any more stress than any other item hanging from the ladder ( lawn chairs or blue boys ) most likely less.

Charlie Sullivan
23 days ago
Reply to  Jack Fate

I don’t think the issue is when the flag pole is collapsed for travel. The issue is when the flag is displayed, depending on size and wind speed, the wind exerts a lot of force on the flag and pole which could potentially loosen the ladder mounting hardware.

23 days ago

Here in Florida, one of the highest lightning strike areas of the world, campers parked near someone with a nice tall flag pole mounted to their rig love it because generally unbeknownst to the flag pole owner, the pole and his rig becomes the local “lightning Rod” for the area, adding some protection to RV’s parked near it from a potential lightning strike as it will more than likely hit the very high metal flagpole before one of their lower elevation rig roofs. NASA does the same thing at the space center with lightning rods on towers all around the rockets, and it works great!

Jim Johnson
23 days ago

It isn’t a flag pole, but a TV antenna mast- We are over 50 miles away from OTA TV broadcast antennas with plenty of rugged terrain between. To make things worse, I discovered when we semi-permanently took an available site, a two story building with a metal roof about a 100 feet from our TT was in direct line with those distant antennas. The only solution (if we wanted non-satellite TV) was an antenna mast with a good home antenna. As most digital stations are now UHF rather than VHF, the antenna is more like a basket than a long beam with radials. The antenna is about 22 feet off the ground.

A quirk is the antenna mast could not be planted on the ground by park rules due to a trip hazard. I put a 4″ square bracket sideways near the end of the rear bumper. The mounting nuts have two flat plates at roughly 45 deg. angles from the bumper to the mounting nuts on U-bolts on the mast. The mast does not touch the ground as it would act like a lightning rod. I removed two trim screws at the roof line to install a 3-sided metal plate (hammer & park’s bench vice) to corral the mast. There are two 1/8″ steel rope guy wires leading to an anchor point on the rear A/C unit frame. 65-70mph wind gusts have hit the antenna with no damage.

23 days ago

I have a flag pole mount attached to my two piece (bottom folding) ladder, it’s plastic.
Bought the telescoping flag pole, it snaps into the plastic mount. Have never noticed any vibration or loosening of either the flag pole or the ladder.
If you display the U.S. flag during the night, flag protocol requires it to be illuminated.
Solar flag pole lights are easy way to do this.
The flag pole also acts as an HF antenna pole. 🌀 are coming.

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