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Old 11-05-2015, 03:16 PM   #1
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Storing the telescope ladder

Okay all you engineers I want to store my telescoping ladder under the coach next to the spare tire... Any ideas? I was thinking about bungee cords but I'm a little worried that they won't hold... I guess I could use straps.. Just want to make sure it doesn't come off while we are going down the highway.. Click image for larger version

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Old 11-05-2015, 03:25 PM   #2
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Ratchet type tie-down straps would be much more secure. I would use 4 (2 on each end) just to be certain.
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Old 11-05-2015, 04:15 PM   #3
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Or even nylon straps with spring loaded buckles that bite into the strap to keep it tight. I've used them to keep a generator on top of my battery box without a problem.
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Old 11-05-2015, 04:35 PM   #4
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Okay all you engineers I want to store my telescoping ladder under the coach next to the spare tire... Any ideas? I was thinking about bungee cords but I'm a little worried that they won't hold... I guess I could use straps.. Just want to make sure it doesn't come off while we are going down the highway.
You also want to make sure it doesn't rattle or bang around from not being tight enough. For that reason I also recommend the ratchet straps instead of bungees. Just be sure you don't tighten them enough to bend anything important.

But I'll toss out another idea just for the sake of providing alternatives. Namely, a tray, hinged (piano hinge?) on the end farthest from the side of the van, that you can unlatch and tip down when you need the ladder. Then all you need is latches that will stay secure while you're driving, and some padding all around to cushion the bumps and rattles.
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Old 11-05-2015, 06:40 PM   #5
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Any sewing skills in your family? Regardless of how you mount it, I think you are also going to want a nice protective sleeve for it. Maybe made out of blue roof tarp or something, with Velcro to close it up. These ladders are expensive pieces of engineering and I don't think you want road grit and crap getting into the workings.
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Old 11-05-2015, 06:48 PM   #6
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But I'll toss out another idea just for the sake of providing alternatives. Namely, a tray, hinged (piano hinge?) on the end farthest from the side of the van, that you can unlatch and tip down when you need the ladder. Then all you need is latches that will stay secure while you're driving, and some padding all around to cushion the bumps and rattles.[/QUOTE]


I like that, that would be nice and easy to get the ladder out when I need it..
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Old 11-05-2015, 06:52 PM   #7
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Any sewing skills in your family? Regardless of how you mount it, I think you are also going to want a nice protective sleeve for it. Maybe made out of blue roof tarp or something, with Velcro to close it up. These ladders are expensive pieces of engineering and I don't think you want road grit and crap getting into the workings.

I was going to put it in a canvas marine bag, that should help keep it clean and dry.. And my sewing skills are limited to sewing buttons on my shorts that usually fall off after a few weeks.. The buttons not the shorts.. 😁
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Old 11-05-2015, 09:33 PM   #8
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I would us a flame retardant nomex fabric, not canvas or a blue tarp. Particularly if it is near the exhaust or generator.

If there is room to hang a grey water tank, I'm sure there would be room for a little tray.
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Old 11-05-2015, 09:55 PM   #9
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I was going to put it in a canvas marine bag, that should help keep it clean and dry.. And my sewing skills are limited to sewing buttons on my shorts that usually fall off after a few weeks.. The buttons not the shorts.. 😁
I told my husband about both of our ideas and he was worried about combustibility under the vehicle. Better not put cotton or blue tarp material anywhere near either the engine or the generator exhaust pipes - in the wrong circumstances, a fire could start, he noted. Canvas mildews like crazy, and so that had me concerned. Husband argued for Nomex as a better choice. I argued that Nomex wasn't waterproof and wondered about Gore-Tex instead. So then I looked up Gore-Tex yardage prices and they are surprisingly reasonable, as is Nomex. I thought all that stuff was hideously expensive but perhaps that was 30 years ago when I first checked into it.

Anyway, this thread comes coincidentally on the same day when I sewed analogous sleeves for two shore lines (water and electrical; URL below). Those are intended for interior rather than exterior storage, and so they are an ordinary heavy polycotton canvas-type material. But the affordability of the other fabrics opens up a bunch of possibilities for Interstate applications, inside and outside. My wheels need to turn a bit.

THE INTERSTATE BLOG: SHORE LINE STORAGE FOR THE AIRSTREAM INTERSTATE
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Old 11-06-2015, 07:41 AM   #10
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I found this on the interwebs I think it will work well:

http://www.tarpsplus.com/firrettar.html
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Old 11-06-2015, 08:09 AM   #11
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I would investigate some commercial truck upfitting companies in your area. There are some really innovative ladder clamping systems out there. Most, if not all are made for rooftop, but some of the mechanisms would adapt well for underbody, perhaps. I think the location and idea is brilliant.

I wouldn't cover it however. Sure it will get dirty, but I think that a cover won't help much, creates some concerns as noted above, and will just hold moisture inside which may create problems.
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Old 11-06-2015, 08:16 AM   #12
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I wouldn't cover it however. Sure it will get dirty, but I think that a cover won't help much, creates some concerns as noted above, and will just hold moisture inside which may create problems.
If you implement the tray idea, the tray itself should help to keep the majority of road grime off the ladder, and strategically placed drain holes will ensure the tray doesn't retain water.

A bit of road grime is unlikely to do much damage to the ladder anyway, unless you're driving on icy streets treated with salt. Just whenever you go to the truck wash, pull the ladder out and spray-clean the ladder as well.
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Old 11-06-2015, 09:07 AM   #13
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I found this on the interwebs I think it will work well:

Fire Retardant Tarps - Lowest Price - TarpsPlus.com
Nice - thank you for this.

I've spent a lot of time under our Interstate and I'm intimately familiar with the amount of fine grit that gets thrown up under there. If this were a conventional aluminum ladder, I surely would not cover it, because there would be no reason. But this has moving parts and tight specs. I would worry about grit getting into those sliding mechanisms far more than I would worry about a cover retaining moisture. Inside and outside, the Interstate breathes pretty well by virtue of daily temperature and humidity fluctuations. A properly constructed cover would protect against grit while still being able to breathe.

The OP's question is not far-fetched. As it turns out, my husband was thinking the same thing. I can accommodate the Telesteps behind the driver's seat, but my husband cannot. He is so tall that he must push the seat all the way back against the wall of the wet bath, leaving no room for it. So we have to resolve this predicament also.

Something else that has to be considered in any such design - how do you clear the ground effects in getting the thing in and out of whichever mount you choose to install? We've got exactly 9 inches of clearance at the sides of our Interstate. I am 8 inches deep at the breastbone, so I can (and do) scoot under there with ease (although I prefer one end of it to be raised a few inches on the Valterra levelers, to make it a bit less claustrophobic). Most adults are considerably larger than I am and would have difficulty even inserting a shoulder under there.

I took 1.5 days off work this week because endless weekend rains have prevented me from doing Interstate projects on the weekends (we had about 15 - fifteen! - inches of rain just across the past two weekends). I had to return it to our off-site garage last night because if I did not, I'd simply continue to play with it today rather than doing the paying work that I'm supposed to be doing (LOL... self-employed self-discipline methodology). If I get the time this weekend and if we get a weather break, I'll try to assess these under-chassis ideas in more detail.
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Old 11-06-2015, 01:38 PM   #14
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Many towns have small custom gear/outdoor clothing/bag sewing operations. I always check them first!
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