We have posted a couple of questions here in the past (like this one) regarding why some RV manufacturers don’t offer a ladder on their rig. We’ve also gotten a couple of suggestions for an aftermarket version and extension.
I got this email from one of our readers and thought it would be good info to share.
I agree with you that most RV manufacturers don’t install or recommend installing exterior ladders or getting on top of an RV due to liability and structural reasons. I considered purchasing and using a telescoping ladder to gain access to the roof to clean off debris as well as seasonal cleaning but decided on something more permanent.
I decided to go with the Stromberg Carlson Exterior RV Ladder. Because I did not have access to any backing/framing details on the RV, I knew some form of reinforcement would be required. Using a stud finder and basic RV build assumptions, I figured the width of any ladder would not match up with the RV frame structure. Therefore, I attached 2″ aluminum flat bars on the roof and back wall where needed and tried to secure the ends to the framework. Just as you have recommended, I also selected this ladder because of the top U-shaped section and attached it to the roof aluminum bars and roof structure. I also attached the standoff assemblies to the aluminum bars and back siding.
I realized this may be unorthodox, but rather than use the included bottom J-shaped ladder section, I used 1/2″ threaded pipe inside the ladder sections, secured it to the square bumper, and bolted it inside. For waterproofing, I used silicone sealant on the rear attachments and Sika Multiseal Plus Tape and Dicor Self-Leveling Lap Sealant on the roof bars. I am 180 lbs. and the ladder feels very secure when ascending and descending. Photo shots included.
—Dave C., Skyline/Evergreen Layton 285BH (Javelin Series)