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Old 04-07-2015, 08:15 AM   #1
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Rear ladder: is it useful?

I picked up a nice used stainless steel rear ladder over the winter - the kind that attaches to the top of the rear door and then bolts into the door at the bottom. I'm dithering as to whether I should install it or not, though, since it requires drilling into the door and isn't easily reversible (well, without leaving two holes in my door).

For those of you that have them, are they useful? I will be adding Thule tracks to the roof this year (mainly as solar attachment points), but I doubt we'll carry stuff up there very often. I was thinking that it would be useful in camp as a drying rack, rope attachment point, and for the rare occasions I want to go "up top" to do some maintenance or whatever.

Thoughts?
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Old 04-07-2015, 08:28 AM   #2
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Re: Rear ladder: is it useful?

Mine is helpful for loading the Thule roof box. I have a feeling that if I had a side ladder it would be helpful for loading the roof box up there as well as for access to the stuff in the roof box, whereas the rear ladder really isn't very useful for getting stuff out of the box. My SMB came with the ladder, though so it wasn't exactly a choice for me.
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Old 04-07-2015, 10:41 AM   #3
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Re: Rear ladder: is it useful?

I had a van with a rear ladder that rattled. Just make sure when you install it, you put some rubber gasket type material (maybe an old bike inner tube?) between the hooks of the top the ladder and the top of the door. Other than that, it seemed pretty solid.
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Old 04-07-2015, 10:43 AM   #4
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Re: Rear ladder: is it useful?

We use ours quite often. I have Yakima tracks on the roof and occasionally have a Yakima basket there for additional camping gear when taking other family members camping. I occasionally haul lumber on the racks. I also use the ladder to get up and clean the solar panels and have been known to climb to the roof to get a better view of wildlife. Finally, when we will be camping off the grid, our Trasharoo hangs from the ladder since our spare tire is mounted under the van.
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Old 04-07-2015, 11:12 AM   #5
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Re: Rear ladder: is it useful?

I ordered one on my 2005 SMB. I use it to clamber on the top to get my rowing frame on and off the Yakima Rack, as well as cleaning the solar panel.

It's mounted on the right rear door. Seems that newer models are mounted on the sides of the van.

I give it a thumbs up for usefullness.

Tom
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Old 04-07-2015, 06:24 PM   #6
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Re: Rear ladder: is it useful?

I would imagine that rear mounted ladders have less wind drag than the side mounted ones...

.....so less wind noise and better gas mileage...at least on paper.
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Old 04-07-2015, 06:57 PM   #7
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Re: Rear ladder: is it useful?

We have a Thule box on top and I use the ladder a lot. I don't find myself using it for a drying rack because it is usually too dusty.
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Old 04-07-2015, 07:12 PM   #8
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Re: Rear ladder: is it useful?

Thanks for the comments so far, everyone! Additional thoughts are welcome...
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Old 04-07-2015, 07:52 PM   #9
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Re: Rear ladder: is it useful?

Use mine all the time. Had mine powder coated black. I put 3M tape at top to hold in place and add firmness.

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Old 04-09-2015, 07:49 AM   #10
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Re: Rear ladder: is it useful?

I've been thinking of getting one to. What type does everyone like and where to buy?
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