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Old 10-19-2017, 09:22 AM   #1
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Question for low-roof, side-ladder owners

I've been thinking of replacing my rear ladder with a side ladder. It would free up some sitting space on my rear bumper plus allow me to open the LR door all the way. What I'd like to know are several things: Do I need the factory roof rails to attach the top of the ladder? (I was hoping to not do any drilling up top). Does the side ladder obstruct the side mirror view? Does it make noise at highway speed? and finally have you noticed any decrease in fuel mileage? I forgot to mention that I do have a PH.
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Old 10-19-2017, 10:11 AM   #2
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Fitz has done a lot of the heavy lifting research and prototype building on side ladders and hi-lifts. He had a Van Compass side ladder incorporated on his rig.

We're having a Van Compass ladder built into our high top van. Attaches on the Van Compass Rocker Guards and into the factory roof rails.
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Old 10-19-2017, 01:52 PM   #3
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On the bottom, the Van Compass ladder attaches to the top of their Rocker Guards, the Aluminess ladder attaches to the pinch seam. For the VC ladder there is no installation option without their rocker guards also (pictures on their web site).

On the top (at least on a RB), the Van Compass ladder has no screwed attachments that penetrate the van where the Aluminess ladder utilizes two screws. I have pictures of both, but no access or time right now, pictures will have to come later.

There is some side mirror vision obstruction, but nothing to worry about. After driving for a couple of hours you have become accustomed to it and hardly notice.

In my case, which is probably the worst case scenario because I also have the HiLift jack attached vertically to the leading edge of the VC ladder, there is no noise when driving and no noticeable change in fuel mileage.
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Old 10-22-2017, 09:42 PM   #4
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Here are two pictures that show the difference between the ladder attachments at the top. The first is the Aluminess ladder with four attachment screws, the second is the Van Compass ladder with no attachment screws. Both are very solid, I have the Van Compass ladder on my van and am very happy with it.


Aluminess


Van Compass
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Old 10-23-2017, 08:44 AM   #5
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Thanks Fitz, That's exactly what I was looking for - photos showing the top attachment. I do like how the VC attaches w/o having to drill but not that I have to buy the rocker guards. I may have to abandon the whole idea and stay with my rear ladder that is working fine. I do love the look of the side ladder tho.
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