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Old 04-09-2015, 07:03 AM   #11
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Re: Rear ladder: is it useful?

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Originally Posted by BrianW
Thanks for the comments so far, everyone! Additional thoughts are welcome...
I consider my side ladder priceless. I use it every time I use the van to access my roof box, but it's also helpful when washing the van and to adjust the pop top if it needs it, as in when the canvas sticks out a bit or you are parked on a hill and it doesn't come down perfectly centered. However, I think a rear door ladder wouldn't be nearly as useful since it takes up room that can be used for a rear box, spare tire, bike rack, etc. Of course, these things can't be put on the side of the van like a side ladder can, so it comes down to a space allocation to match your needs.
I would be fine with a rear ladder if my van were 2wd with the (smaller) spare underneath in the stock location, and if I didn't need the other door for a box/rack for more outside storage. If you have a rear door with nothing on it then go for it, they are certainly cheaper than the side ladders. Just consider what you might add in the future (box, spare, etc.)

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Old 04-09-2015, 09:15 AM   #12
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Re: Rear ladder: is it useful?

And I forgot to mention, I use my rear mounted ladder to hang my Sun Shower on in camp. It's also the perfect place to rest my fly rods when I'm putting my waders on. They slot right into place with the reel resting on the lowest rung and stay upright and out of harms way.

The rear mounted ladder doesn't pose a problem for me. The Trojan spare tire carrier is on the other side, and I have the stock bumper with no extra gear hanging off the back.

Tom
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Old 04-09-2015, 09:27 AM   #13
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Re: Rear ladder: is it useful?

I have a 2WD, stock step bumper, and the tire on the driver's side rear door. My passenger door is empty, which is why I'm thinking of adding the ladder. Really, the only thing keeping me from trying it out is that I have to drill holes in the door.

For accessing roof boxes, the racks, etc., I can see a side ladder being more useful. The Thule box I have loads from the side, for example. But I'm not interested in dropping $400+ on an Aluminess side ladder right now, even though they are pretty cool.

Nice, welded stainless steel rear ladders (like the Surco: http://www.surcoinc.com/V-VL_SSVL.html) are way better than the cheap aluminum ones you often see on conversion vans.
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Old 04-09-2015, 11:08 AM   #14
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Re: Rear ladder: is it useful?

If you don't want to drill holes, use the super duper double stick tape used by the solar panel installers.
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Old 04-09-2015, 12:30 PM   #15
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Re: Rear ladder: is it useful?

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If you don't want to drill holes, use the super duper double stick tape used by the solar panel installers.
Oooh, I like that idea. Thanks!
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Old 04-09-2015, 12:37 PM   #16
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Re: Rear ladder: is it useful?

I am using regular double stick tape on the aluminum one. I wasn't sure which side I wanted it on. Tape is still good after 2 years. My problem is at the top. I should have used double stick tape up there too because it does slide a bit up there. I put protective stuff on the top of the door, but it still moves a bit.
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Old 04-09-2015, 12:47 PM   #17
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Re: Rear ladder: is it useful?

Call Derek at CCV. He can build you a nice side ladder for a lot less than Aluminess.
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Old 04-10-2015, 08:16 AM   #18
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Re: Rear ladder: is it useful?

Using VHB tape to adhere a ladder to your van may not be the best method.......

The ladder will be shear loading the tape joint (or a bolted joint). Although VHB tape has very high shear strength, it is nowhere near the shear strength of a #10 or 1/4" bolted joint given the amount of square inches you'll have to apply tape.

......and the failure is potentially severe........chances are when it fails someone will be standing on the ladder.

Assuming that the tape joint is robust enough, you are now relying on the bond of the paint to the metal to keep the ladder on the van.

EDIT: If your ladder hooks over the top of the rear door then VHB tape would be a reasonable choice, since it's not loaded in shear by the weight of the user and the ladder; it's just sticking the ladder to the van and the top hooks are distributing the load to the door.
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Old 04-10-2015, 09:09 AM   #19
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Re: Rear ladder: is it useful?

The ladder I have, and most that I have seen (at least the stainless ones), hooks over the top of the rear door and secures at the bottom with two bolts through the outside skin of the door. As such, I assume the load bearing is on the top of the door and not the lower bolts, which are there essentially to keep the ladder from moving around.
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Old 04-11-2015, 09:52 AM   #20
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Re: Rear ladder: is it useful?

I use it for attaching a modified bike rack. I can hold two bikes back there and it is handy to be able to open the rear doors. I don't think it's too heavy for the door, but had my concerns about this early on. If you go into my gallery, you can see a few pics of it.
How do I grab a photo in my gallery and attach it into a thread? (I'm not the most computer savvy person...) This would be of great help to me. I just got my new rig about done and finally want to post some photos!
Thanks,
J
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