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Old 07-05-2015, 10:02 PM   #1
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Getting on top...

No giggling... I want to get on top of my AS for a general condition check and otherwise clean it. Never been up there before and I know there's at least some bird poop that I'd like to get off.

What's the best and safest way to get up there? Can the white roofed 2015 model with ducted AC handle a 210lb guy or should I send the wife?
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Old 07-06-2015, 05:16 AM   #2
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I use a 8 ft stepladder on the curb side so the awning gives you something to hold onto. I cannot comment on the weight issue as I only weigh 140. Still, I stay on the ribs and use a cushion, kneeling pad, when I am up there.

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Old 07-06-2015, 06:37 AM   #3
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Stay off the end caps, they have very little support.
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Old 07-06-2015, 07:32 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chaseav View Post
No giggling... I want to get on top of my AS for a general condition check and otherwise clean it. Never been up there before and I know there's at least some bird poop that I'd like to get off.

What's the best and safest way to get up there? Can the white roofed 2015 model with ducted AC handle a 210lb guy or should I send the wife?
I recommend an extension ladder over a step ladder, or even better a scaffold, since it is safer to step from/to a ladder that is leaning against the trailer. I wrap a towel on my ladder to keep it from scratching the finish.

I weigh substantially more than you. I have been on the roof of several Airstream trailers. I try to go on hands and knees, trying to keep contact in two places at any time to distribute my weight. Keep your bearing over a rib, where you see rivets, and it will support you. DO NOT GO ONTO THE END CAP OR THAT LAST RIB AT THE END CAP.

When I am working on the roof I use a wide board that spans two ribs, with a quilt beneath. It's a lot more comfortable than trying to balance on a rib.

add edit:
This video demonstrates pretty good, but I suggest a different ladder would be safer. OSHA would frown on his demonstration since he is at his work place.
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Old 07-06-2015, 08:02 AM   #5
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I have used the step ladder approach but tie it off. Rope over the top of the trailer secured to something that can handle the load. Keeps the ladder from tipping when you step off the trailer.

I use light weight cedar and cypress boards to span the ribs placed on the awning side to help keep them from sliding off.

As already indicated, always enter on the awning side.
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Old 07-06-2015, 08:50 AM   #6
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There is so little room to move around up there, there is always a risk of slipping off, and it all can be reached from the side. A ladder from one or both sides leaning against the awning(s) with a heavy throw rug draped over it to protect the awning finish gives safe access. Need the ladder anyway.
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Old 07-07-2015, 11:24 AM   #7
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I use one of these 14 foot folding ladders. What I do is have it shaped like a inverted L shape. The short side of the L is heavily padded with old bed sheets or moving blankets tied around the ends that are in contact with the roof. It works quite well as it gives you a better transition point from the ladder to the roof. The other thing I like is that you do not have anything leaning against the side of your trailer and all the contact is on the roof.
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Old 07-07-2015, 11:31 AM   #8
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Keep the wife on Top she is probably lighter than the HUBBY
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Old 07-07-2015, 11:45 AM   #9
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I have a 16 ft adjustable ladder and a couple of pieces of plywood scrap that I use to bridge the ribs. Works fine for me for the rare trip up on the roof. Is safer than trying to reach everything from the sides in my opinion. I have not put solar panels up there so I have plenty of room to move around. What ever method you use, safety first.
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Old 07-08-2015, 10:12 PM   #10
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As always, great feedback. Having pictured myself using a ladder to accomplish this and finding a way to not do permanent damage, I've decided to chicken out and hope for heavy rain to deal with roof. Maybe a step ladder with extension wand. I'll let the service center do the condition check at the end of the season. Thanks to all!
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Old 07-08-2015, 11:28 PM   #11
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I use an 6 ft ladder and go up over awning. I take two plywood squares to stand on.
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