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MeanFun ladder: A silly name for a great gadget for RVers

This week’s gadget is something I’ve gotten more use out of than I thought I would—the MeanFun telescoping ladder that I bought on Amazon.

The main reason I bought this is to do some roof and skylight repairs on our vintage Aristocrat trailer. Also, it’s never a bad idea to have a ladder when RVing and, with our new trailer being equipped with a slide room, I wanted to be able to get up there and make sure the roof was clear before I brought that slide room in. 

The MeanFun telescoping ladder easily reaches the roof of our vintage Aristocrat trailer.

Let’s talk about names, first, shall we? Some things that sound great in one language sound silly in another. Assuming that MeanFun is a Chinese brand, that might be a great term that denotes quality and engineering superiority in Chinese, but it sounds silly here. At least, to me. 

MeanFun is what the kids in the third grade have picking on little nerdy kids. I know nothing about this. 

But on to the ladder. There are a few very specific reasons I chose this one. 

Why I chose the MeanFun ladder over others

  • Good rating on Amazon (though very few responses—not always a good sign).
  • One button to retract the ladder.
  • Folds up and carries easily—the convenient carry handle makes it quite portable.
  • Holds an estimated 330 pounds.

While I’ve lost a good number of pounds recently and don’t displace as much water in the pool as I used to, having more capacity seems better. There is nothing I like less than wiggly ladders. In fact, I truly dislike going up on a ladder, in general, past about the first rung. 

Getting this out of the box, it’s a rather substantial piece weighing in at approximately 20 pounds. But it feels heavier than this, quite frankly. I should probably go out and weigh it. 

The way their video shows the ladder extending and the way it actually works are very different. The ladder extends the fattest sections of the build first so the last thing you extend is the skinny bits at the top. There’s a red rung three sections from the top that they don’t want you standing on, but the maximum height of this thing is 12½ feet. 

A very rare site – Tony high enough on a ladder to effect some roof repairs on the vintage Aristocrat trailer

What I like about the MeanFun ladder

This is more than enough to get up onto the roof of our vintage trailer and should be enough to get onto the roof of the new trailer, as well. In fact, what I liked about how this extends is that I can get enough of these sections to extend so that I can get up on the roof of the vintage trailer with still some sections left retracted. This makes the thing feel more solid to me. 

As much as I am no fan of ladders, I was honestly surprised at how stable this ladder felt getting up onto it to work on the vintage trailer. It’s not typical that I feel confident up there, but I did. I think part of that is that typical A-frame ladders have a specific pitch against which some of my more bulgy bits rub (my stomach), and it’s not a confidence-inducing feeling. Since this is just a straight ladder, I can angle it a bit more, so this isn’t the case. 

Someone at OSHA probably just wrung their hands and started typing out new legislation. 

I was also happy with how well it sat on the ground. There are large, round rubber feet on this and they seemed to grip the ground such that I wasn’t concerned that they were going to shimmy away and leave me as the star of some YouTube “Fail” video while all my friends gathered around to have a good laugh at my tortoise-like landing and subsequent bounce amid a string of profanity that would get me a chastising letter from the nearest pirate ship. 

What I don’t like about the MeanFun ladder

The things I don’t like about this ladder are the rungs. They are rather narrow, and while they certainly feel supportive enough and strong, there’s not a lot of surface for one’s feet. As someone who spends a lot of time in Birkenstocks, this is something where I definitely have to have good work shoes on to use. 

If you haven’t noticed, fewer and fewer RVs are coming with ladders for a number of reasons. One of those is that there was simply a ladder shortage for a while. This has been solved, but companies are also making the decision not to include ladders at all for a variety of reasons, including the fact that they face lawsuits from people falling off and also from people attaching things to them thinking they’re built to haul cargo. They’re not. 

In summary

If there’s a tree limb to be moved while backing in or you just want to get to something without walking on your RV’s roof, having a portable ladder is a good thing. Further, we took the stepstool out of the back of the truck as my wife finds this is the perfect ladder for getting into and out of the bed of the truck (we have a camper shell). The compact size, when folded, is convenient, although it’s not the smallest thing we own. 

I’m a big believer in Buy American wherever I can. I know we have some good ladder companies here in this country, not the least of which is Stokes Ladders, which is local to our former home in Northern California. But, for RVers, these folding ladders are really a good thing. I didn’t find a company in the U.S. that makes these, though they probably do exist and, perhaps, should consider selling on Amazon. 

If you choose to get one of these, pay close attention to how they fold back to carry size and how they carry. There were a ton of choices on Amazon and, after getting this one and trying it out, I’m very pleased with the decision. The build quality is good and it’s a well-thought-out design. 

Plus going up on a ladder is just MeanFun. 

##RVT1053

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SDW
1 month ago

I’ve owned a 15 foot telescoping ladder like this for 10 years now. I build a box and mounted it under the front of our 5’ver to carry it in. It’s very handy. But there a proper way to use a ladder and the pic in this article is not a safe way. If your going to get on the top of that rig you need to fully extend the ladder so it goes above the rig. This allows you to go up and step off the ladder on to the roof while having the ladder to hold onto. And to be able to grab hold of the ladder to step back off the roof and climb down. Trying to get on to a ladder that’s even with your feet is most unsafe thing you can do.
My credentials: I painted houses for 20 Years.

Bob
21 days ago
Reply to  SDW

One thing I added to mine was some foam pipe insulation. I velcro to the side rails where they contact the roof and gutters. The foam also helps stop the ladder from sliding.

Gary Fillion
1 month ago

I can’t recall the mfr. but I bought a FOLDING collapsible ladder for my R-Pod. It worked great and could be used as a step ladder as well servicing my awning and other lower needs! I wound up selling it when I got my Lance with a HUGE built in ladder! It was a bit heavy but came with a nice Velcro closure and shoulder strap.

Warren G
1 month ago

I have a similar ladder and like how little storage room is needed. I did get tired of getting it out to check the slide top before retracting it every time, so I made a cheap way to check the slide top first to see if I actually needed the ladder to clear off any debris. I have a piece of PVC pipe about 4’ long, then a 45 degree elbow with a very short piece of PVC attached. I found a hand held mirror at a dollar store and just stick the handle in the short piece of pipe. I did wrap the handle a bit with gorilla tape for a snug fit. Standing along one side of the slide I can extend the mirror up and inspect the slide top.

Tommy Molnar
1 month ago

A ‘neighbor’ in an RV park had one of these ladders (not sure of the brand) and I went over to check it out. It was cool, but . . . It was the heaviest ladder I’ve seen someone haul around. It was strong, substantial, and convenient to use. But way too heavy to add to my inventory.

Robert Champlin
1 month ago

We got the 16.5-foot aluminum collapsible extension ladder from Amazon mainly because it will set up in an A-frame position. We then set it outside our 5th wheels bedroom window to be used as a fire escape if needed (hopefully never).

Last edited 1 month ago by Robert Champlin
Bob p
1 month ago

I also have a folding 12’ ladder that will make a 6’ “A” frame step ladder, a 3’ high X 6’ long scaffold (with plywood walking platform) that when folded into the step ladder configuration is set up under the bedroom escape window. At 82 and 79 neither one of us feels like skinning ourselves up going through the escape window and dropping to the ground possibly injuring ourselves and not getting clear of the danger. The ladder folded is 3’X1’X 15”wide.

Terri R
1 month ago

Only problem with this brilliant idea for escaping a fire without injury is that it may just invite thieves to climb up & in that window. Know when we got locked out of the camper when lock stuck we just climbed thru that emergency window

Wolfe Rose
1 month ago
Reply to  Terri R

I too carry a FOLDING ladder now (having once stacked a dozen picnic tables to access the roof vent in an emergency). However, what Tony neglected here is that you often want a ladder before the rig is in place or for other than accessing the RV, so mine creates a free-standing A-frame to trim branches or whatever before I roll the rig underneath. 16′ straight, 8′ A, 12′ “hook”, etc…

Joe Goomba
1 month ago

Folks, just look for telescoping ladders on Amazon. It doesn’t have to be “meanfun”. Tony’s doesn’t have bottom feet that stick out sideways. Look for those! They really help with side-to-side stability.

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