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Old 06-14-2015, 07:20 PM   #1
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1990 29' Excella
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Best Ladder ?

Ok, So I recently acquired an excella. I noticed that on other RVs there is usually a ladder attached so you can walk up on top and survey things. How is this done on an airstream? I assume you need a ladder. What is the best ladder for this purpose or what is your favorite?
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groundhogy
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Old 06-14-2015, 07:51 PM   #2
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The one you have that is tall enough to reach the top.
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Old 06-14-2015, 08:15 PM   #3
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so just throw any old ladder up there?
Sounds good to me. What about dents?
Is your airstream all dented up? Or can you just
stomp all over these things?
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Old 06-14-2015, 08:23 PM   #4
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In my opinion, you gotta be a little careful. Lean the ladder against a piece of carpet, step on the ribs (where the rivets are) when walking on the top. If you are going to work on the top, put some more carpet down and a board or two to sit on. Just need to be creative.
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Old 06-14-2015, 08:28 PM   #5
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An attached ladder at the rear or front is not a good idea. There is no framing under the end caps. It would also interfere with opening the windows. I think your best bet is an articulating ladder like a "Little Giant". This type of ladder can be configured so that the point of contact between the Airstream and ladder is on the roof and not the side of the trailer. The ladder will need to be padded with carpeting, etc. as leaning a ladder on the aluminum skin will scratch it The permanently installed ladder on SOBs is also designed to access roof storage which is also not a good idea with an Airstream.
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Old 06-14-2015, 09:05 PM   #6
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I have a Little Giant (22 ft version) and I highly recommend it. It is stable and makes it easy to get up on top of my Trade Wind. I use a big foam block between the side of the trailer and the ladder. There are generic versions of the ladder now but they are not a well built. The Little Giant was expensive but I figured that one trip to the ER from falling off a cheap ladder would be a lot more expensive.
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Old 06-14-2015, 09:09 PM   #7
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An extension ladder that you can lean on the awning cover with enough height to facilitate getting on and off. Use of a pool noodle cut open and placed on the ladder where it contacts the awning. This works. I just installed a fantastic vent cover two days ago and I had to replace the radio antenna when I purchased Aggie.

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Old 06-15-2015, 01:22 PM   #8
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I just looked up the Little Giant. Impressive but does it fold up smaller?
I am going to full time and would like something that packs up small that I can throw into the back of the pickup. I have a short bed pickup... with a job box taking up space. lol.
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Old 06-15-2015, 01:27 PM   #9
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Best I've found is TeleSteps.
Telesteps - ¬*Home
Sturdiest and most stable collapsible ladder I've ever owned. I carry one in my Interstate (a stepladder model, not an extension ladder model)ó and for those of you who know how little storage space there actually is in an Interstate, you'll know that's high praise indeed and I'd make room for one!
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Old 06-15-2015, 06:52 PM   #10
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Ok. That looks like what a civil engineer friend of mine had.
He pulled up to do a free analysis on a house I have and pulled
something out of the trunk of his compact jap car that was like
this.
I like.
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Old 06-15-2015, 08:12 PM   #11
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Old 06-15-2015, 09:33 PM   #12
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Agree with Protag...........Telesteps RULE!!!!!!

I use the Pro model when doing my solar installations. In fact, I have 2 of them....one for each side!! They are especially great for Airstreams, as I can lean over the roof and rarely have to actually get on them. The Pro model is rated for 300 lbs. and has the comfort steps across the rungs.

Almost every one of my clients that gets solar orders one of them, but in the 12' version with the plain rungs. They use them to access the panels for tilting.

The best part is the foam cap that I have made right here in Hood River! It is semi-rigid foam around 4 sides with the inward face made of a harder, more dense foam that evenly distributes the ladder pressure. Result........no dents, marks or other evidence that it was ever leaning against the aluminum.

Yes............the 'ladder caps' ARE available! PM me for more info if interested.

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Old 06-15-2015, 09:54 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by groundhogy View Post
I just looked up the Little Giant. Impressive but does it fold up smaller?
I am going to full time and would like something that packs up small that I can throw into the back of the pickup. I have a short bed pickup... with a job box taking up space. lol.
Completely folded about 30" long x 1' and the width of the ladder. Folded in half it might fit under a pickup truck job box.
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Old 06-16-2015, 01:38 AM   #14
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Well, for us little folks, the "Little Giant" is a great 'home' ladder. For on the road, the 300# rating on the Tele-step is 'adequate'.. ahem....

Get 'pool noodles' from someplace.. split one side, along the length, stretch open over the 'edge' of your favorite ladder where the vertical parts smack on your Airstream.

ALWAYS try to lean against a ZipDee awning cover.. they are pretty resilient aluminum and will spread the, ....er... load on the AS.

ALWAYS work with a 'ground buddy'... to steady the ladder and hand you stuff... and take YouTube videos so you can be proud of and relive your work!

When a buddy is not an option, don't do the work. When you ignore this advice, have someone call to check on you every so often and call 911 if you don't answer.

When mounting the roof, have good shoes with lots of traction. ALWAYS walk on the 'rivet' line where the roof is attached to the 'ribs'/frame. Use sticky, padded 3/4 plywood on the roof to protect the panels and provide a nice working surface. You may do as you choose... and use the 'non-skid' stuff for kitchen drawers laid down as a 'padding' for the plywood... it grips even when slightly damp...

Remember.. plan your work before you mount up... always good advice... Get a cloth or soft bottom tool bag to carry your 'essentials' up the ladder...so you don't wear out your 'ground support' buddy running errands for you.
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