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Old 02-20-2008, 11:13 PM   #1
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Rear Door Ladder

I am thinking about getting a rear door ladder for our new to us Sportsmobile. Can anyone that has one give me the pros and cons of a rear door ladder? We have a manual top, so we will probably have to unload when raising. I am specifically wondering if they are useful, or is it too hard and poorly placed to be that helpful. I am also considering a compact telescoping ladder that can be moved around the van. Thanks. oclv
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Old 02-21-2008, 08:41 AM   #2
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we've got one on ours. no complaints really. It's a ladder and it works. Ours is Line-X coated so it's not slippery.

i don't have my spare mounted on the rear door, the 285/75 16 spare still fits underneath.

If I was doing anything differently I probably would get the Aluminess side mount ladder instead of the door mounted one, would be nice to perhaps run 2 boxes on the back. Probably will be installing an Aluminess Galley box on the driver's side this spring though

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Old 02-21-2008, 09:07 AM   #3
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I don't have any ladders on my van but on the forum rally I climbed up a few. I'm about 300lbs and I was amazed at how steady and solid the side ladders are.

Don't know about the door ladders but I really appreciated the ability to climb up to get a higher POV. I'd think it would be a must have for loading the roof.

* Point of View
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Old 02-21-2008, 10:09 AM   #4
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I added a ladder to the rear of my van. The roof access is wonderful!

The ladder I installed is a Surco 093F99. Stainless Steel with welded steps; it hooks over the top of the door and screws into the bottom of the door. I had it powder coated black to match the van trim. The ladder has rubber pads for both the top hooks and the bottom screw tabs.

Our driveway is a little tight, and I don't want the van to be any wider than it already is, so the side mount ladder was not an option for me.

Mike
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Old 02-21-2008, 10:29 AM   #5
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I couldn't imagine not having a ladder on the van if you have to get up on the roof at all. We have the rear ladder and it is exactly as others have described. It does not extend very far off the rear door, much less than the mounted spare tire. Our's is the standard black one from SMB. The only complaints I have can both be easily solved. The first is that the rungs are slippery if you have wet feet. The second is that it was hard to actually a bit difficult to start climbing up before we added a hitch step. Here's a picture that shows the ladder relatively well.

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Old 02-22-2008, 02:02 PM   #6
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I don't access my roof that much, so standing on the spare and climbing up works for me.

If I ever do decide to mount stuff on the roof, I really don't like the look or addition of a ladder. What I have thought of doing (if I need it) is to dig into the inside of the van in location X related to the outside so that I can add interior plate/strip as support for these:

http://www.sailboatstuff.com/images/AB183011LG.jpg

Even just one or two of these mounted along the rear driver's side corner over the spare tire would be as good for me as a ladder. But yes, it would need a counter metal plate inside the van or the bolts would pull through your van sheet metal.
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Old 02-25-2008, 02:02 AM   #7
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I think if you are planning on carrying any gear on the top, regardless of whether it is powered or manual, a ladder is probably one of the most useful exterior options you can get. I use mine ALL the time, up and down a lot. And unless I'm towing something, I have a nifty little extra step that fits in the reciever hitch that compliments it nicely.

I've seen the side mounts and they're ok, but the reason they are there is because there's no room to mount a ladder on the door if you have the full bumper/box combo on the back. I have found that the last thing I want in many off-road situations is stuff protruding from the body, and whenever I see a side mount I think trees and shrubs and whatnot getting caught in them. Its hard enough with stuff on the roof, now you got stuff off the side to worry about. But if you go the full bumper and box route, think its all you've got.
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