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Old 09-04-2023, 09:10 AM   #1
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Using Pickup Truck to get on Roof

Has anyone used the bed of their pickup to help get on the roof. I am thinking about parking the bed of the truck close alongside the AS and then securing the feet of the ladder on the far side of the bed somehow which would make a "bridge" that is less slanted than a ladder placed on the ground. Also, can I do this without denting on the non-awning side? Thx!
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Old 09-04-2023, 09:49 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by farafield View Post
Has anyone used the bed of their pickup to help get on the roof. I am thinking about parking the bed of the truck close alongside the AS and then securing the feet of the ladder on the far side of the bed somehow which would make a "bridge" that is less slanted than a ladder placed on the ground. Also, can I do this without denting on the non-awning side? Thx!


I am not agile enough to consider moving around not to mention exiting on and off the roof of an Airstream, especially a small one.
Side note, Id like to visit your state for foliage viewing, do you have any favorites? Mid October a good time? Thanks
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Old 09-04-2023, 10:08 AM   #3
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Sounds like a plausible idea but is there really any gain besides ladder height. Plus that's quite an angle of climbing. You are adding another element so maybe more things to go wrong.

A good extension ladder placed where ribs are. (Don't use an A frame ladder folded against the trailer). Something against the trailer under the ladder (we use old bathroom rugs that still have some sticky on the back), and a person holding the ladder. Cell phone nearby.

If you don't have a second person (don't do it). You could park your truck next to you with a board against the tires to keep the ladder from moving away at the ground.

Mind you this is from a person who trims the top of their bushes while standing on their A frame ladder in the bed of their utility bed golf cart.
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Old 09-04-2023, 11:06 AM   #4
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I've leaned a ladder against the awning cover with a piece of carpet between them. There was no damage.
From a physics standpoint, putting the ladder in the truck bed and leaning it at a greater angle puts MORE load on the roof, not less.
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Old 09-04-2023, 11:11 AM   #5
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I am not agile enough to consider moving around not to mention exiting on and off the roof of an Airstream, especially a small one.
Side note, Id like to visit your state for foliage viewing, do you have any favorites? Mid October a good time? Thanks
Yes, it's beautiful here in leaf peeping season! Lots of places--small towns, mountains, I89, Rte. 100. Stowe, Mad River Valley, Woodstock are the most touristy, but for good reason. Any of the smaller roads from those towns will be nice. The Green Mountain area is probably the most dramatic with northern VT and the Champlain Valley along Lake Champlain being more open and agricultural. Living here means I appreciate leaf peeping season but do't think about it from a tourist perspective! Do make plans early as it gets busy!

I think mid-October could be a bit too late. There's always discussion about what the summer weather will mean for the leaves--dry, wet, cloudy, sunny. We had a very wet summer. But honestly, the leaves are always amazing.

Feel free to throw any qestions or ideas by me.
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Old 09-04-2023, 11:12 AM   #6
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I've leaned a ladder against the awning cover with a piece of carpet between them. There was no damage.
From a physics standpoint, putting the ladder in the truck bed and leaning it at a greater angle puts MORE load on the roof, not less.
Right, good point. I hadn't thought of that.
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Old 09-04-2023, 11:14 AM   #7
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FF

Sounds like a plausible idea but is there really any gain besides ladder height. Plus that's quite an angle of climbing. You are adding another element so maybe more things to go wrong.

A good extension ladder placed where ribs are. (Don't use an A frame ladder folded against the trailer). Something against the trailer under the ladder (we use old bathroom rugs that still have some sticky on the back), and a person holding the ladder. Cell phone nearby.

If you don't have a second person (don't do it). You could park your truck next to you with a board against the tires to keep the ladder from moving away at the ground.

Mind you this is from a person who trims the top of their bushes while standing on their A frame ladder in the bed of their utility bed golf cart.
Thanks for your thoughts. The idea is to have the ladder be at less of an angle and more sturdy?
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Old 09-04-2023, 11:47 AM   #8
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FF
Mind you this is from a person who trims the top of their bushes while standing on their A frame ladder in the bed of their utility bed golf cart.
Haha, exactly! Great minds think alike!
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Old 09-04-2023, 12:08 PM   #9
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Are you comfortable at heights and slick surfaces?

I am comfortable climbing steep and irregular surfaces when rock hunting in the West.

I am uncomfortable when on top of an Airstream. At least wear footwear that has traction.

What is the purpose of this 'adventure'? I can use a tall step ladder and get a good look on top of an Airstream with a 3 inch lift. Also an Oliver Elite II that is similar in height above the ground. Both are at heights you can do more than get a couple bruises. At these heights, better have some help standing by.

Unless you are experienced in odd height situations, with unstable surfaces and access, think this out in advance.

A 6 foot folding ladder works for me to get a look of what I am getting... into and how to understand what I am getting myself into and out of without breaking my neck.

I also have a heavy folding ladder that collapses into quarters, that extends 91 inches folded in half, or 182 inches with all four sections locked in. Works best for me. It has Rubber pads on both ends and can be leaned close to our Roof of the House, or Airstream or Oliver to climb 'aboard' or a casual look around.

Smaller the angle leaning to go up, the safer and gives you more ladder to grasp going up, and getting down.

Rubber pad to shield the aluminum. If it is a towel, it could cause the ladder to slip.

Watch the 'Leaf Gutter Commercials'. That will get your attention.

Hauling tools up, you climb up, sit them down and climb on top. Or someone helping down below. If the ladder slips and falls down, you can Yodel for Help.

The trailer height is similar to all Airstreams without a lift. You step off the Buck Rivet and Frame, and now you have a bigger issue.

Nope, not yelling Fire in a Theatre. But if you are not comfortable with Risk... experiment at first. One mistake is one too many.

I was the one my parents called to remove leaves out of the roof gutters. Airstreams... no comparison. A trailer is slick and you need to be a good Ballet Dancer.

Taller the ladder. The easier. Have someone hold the ladder below to keep it stable. Once a ladder slides to the side, you may need an ambulance.

Yes... a good extension ladder is not cheap.

Neither is an Ambulance.
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Old 09-09-2023, 05:47 AM   #10
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I am comfortable climbing steep and irregular surfaces when rock hunting in the West.

I am uncomfortable when on top of an Airstream. At least wear footwear that has traction.

What is the purpose of this 'adventure'? I can use a tall step ladder and get a good look on top of an Airstream with a 3 inch lift. Also an Oliver Elite II that is similar in height above the ground. Both are at heights you can do more than get a couple bruises. At these heights, better have some help standing by.


Yes... a good extension ladder is not cheap.

Neither is an Ambulance.
Thank you Ray. You are always generous with your knowledge and years of experience. The purpose of this adventure is to clean the roof and inspect the sealant. Doesn't everyone have to do this??? Or do they farm it out? I am in an Airstream mainteneace desert here. The dealer is good, I've heard, but has been booked up for *years.*

Based on thoughts here, I will not do the ladder in the pickup bed. My current thought is to build, on the side of my garage, a vertical ladder which cannot slip, sway or otherwise buck me off, pull the AS next to it and then have some kind of bridge, properly padded and placed so as not to damage, that goes from the ladder to the roof that I can crawl across.
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Old 09-09-2023, 09:19 AM   #11
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Farafield,
Yes, I get up on my roof to do exactly what you mentioned. Inspect, clean and recaulk. I am getting to that age where I might let the Airstream dealer do this but at over $200/hour I will have to give that some thought.


I do exactly what Mollysdad does. I close the awning and place a thick towel over it. On this I put a light aluminum ladder that is stuck in the lawn of the parking strip in front of my house. I can raise the ladder high enough so I have something solid to grasp when getting off the ladder and onto the roof.


It is important to be constantly aware of where you are and what you are stepping on. It is very easy to see the rivets that locate the roof trusses which let you know where to step. You can do this.



I like your idea of attaching a permanent ladder to your garage but, two things about that would make me uncomfortable. Getting the trailer "close enough" to the ladder might be a big challenge for me. And, making the transition from the ladder to the roof might be a bit dicey.


You will figure out a system that works well for you. I commend you on your plan to remain active in the maintenance of your trailer.
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Old 09-09-2023, 10:58 AM   #12
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Farafield,
Yes, I get up on my roof to do exactly what you mentioned. Inspect, clean and recaulk. I am getting to that age where I might let the Airstream dealer do this but at over $200/hour I will have to give that some thought.


I do exactly what Mollysdad does. I close the awning and place a thick towel over it. On this I put a light aluminum ladder that is stuck in the lawn of the parking strip in front of my house. I can raise the ladder high enough so I have something solid to grasp when getting off the ladder and onto the roof.


It is important to be constantly aware of where you are and what you are stepping on. It is very easy to see the rivets that locate the roof trusses which let you know where to step. You can do this.



I like your idea of attaching a permanent ladder to your garage but, two things about that would make me uncomfortable. Getting the trailer "close enough" to the ladder might be a big challenge for me. And, making the transition from the ladder to the roof might be a bit dicey.


You will figure out a system that works well for you. I commend you on your plan to remain active in the maintenance of your trailer.
Thank you!
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Old 09-09-2023, 11:24 AM   #13
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I have THREE kinds of ladders I use around the house.

Lots of people have one and make it work for access to climb onto a roof of their home, secure hardware on a vehicle's cargo carrier on the roof... or use the same ladder for access on, let's say for Airstream roof access.

With my 3 inch lift on my current Airstream... it is a bit taller. I prefer a ladder that is higher than the trailer is tall. And that is still uncomfortable without someone holding the ladder steady.

Step onto the wrong area of an Aluminum Airstream and create more headaches than checking for leaks.

The Oliver Elite II has a roof full of accessories as it is no longer and a bit narrower than a 23 foot Airstream. Also... no specific place on the slick fiber glass to walk or crawl.

The Airstream offers Buck Riveted internal supporting structure to stand, or balance yourself... upon. Like a acrobat walking across Niagara Falls on a cable. Sure to draw a crowd, like accessing the roof of an Airstream.

Once on top, you better "Watch your Step when Cow Patty is in Town" situation.

If you have no leak, hard to find places to prepare Not to Leak. When it does leak, you have more reason to get on top.

Some Car Washes have steps and walkway to wash the TOP of trucks. May be a good access point. South of Socorro, New Mexico on the west side of the Highway is one of these car washes. Inspect your roof and wash. Check for internal leaking. The car wash is excellent and is within sight of the highway. For those traveling in the area.

Or go to a Truck Wash... get the wash, pull out and enter the Trailer. If this does not get the roof to leak, you are sitting... good. We do that every trip coming home. Worth the $35 or so. No leaks, yet.

Tell them 'NO Brush. NO Shine'. They understand.

Farafield... is like myself. Try it. If you do not like it... someone else might. I will shut up.
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Old 09-09-2023, 02:36 PM   #14
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I have THREE kinds of ladders I use around the house.

Lots of people have one and make it work for access to climb onto a roof of their home, secure hardware on a vehicle's cargo carrier on the roof... or use the same ladder for access on, let's say for Airstream roof access.

With my 3 inch lift on my current Airstream... it is a bit taller. I prefer a ladder that is higher than the trailer is tall. And that is still uncomfortable without someone holding the ladder steady.

Step onto the wrong area of an Aluminum Airstream and create more headaches than checking for leaks.

The Oliver Elite II has a roof full of accessories as it is no longer and a bit narrower than a 23 foot Airstream. Also... no specific place on the slick fiber glass to walk or crawl.

The Airstream offers Buck Riveted internal supporting structure to stand, or balance yourself... upon. Like a acrobat walking across Niagara Falls on a cable. Sure to draw a crowd, like accessing the roof of an Airstream.

Once on top, you better "Watch your Step when Cow Patty is in Town" situation.

If you have no leak, hard to find places to prepare Not to Leak. When it does leak, you have more reason to get on top.

Some Car Washes have steps and walkway to wash the TOP of trucks. May be a good access point. South of Socorro, New Mexico on the west side of the Highway is one of these car washes. Inspect your roof and wash. Check for internal leaking. The car wash is excellent and is within sight of the highway. For those traveling in the area.

Or go to a Truck Wash... get the wash, pull out and enter the Trailer. If this does not get the roof to leak, you are sitting... good. We do that every trip coming home. Worth the $35 or so. No leaks, yet.

Tell them 'NO Brush. NO Shine'. They understand.

Farafield... is like myself. Try it. If you do not like it... someone else might. I will shut up.
Hope that is just a temporary shut up. Somehow, I think it is. All good advice. In the meantime, I have the bed of my pick up very close to my AS and will wash the roof by standing on the rim(?) of the pick up bed. I am going to think on my fixed ladder idea, maybe rig up a way for it to lean against the AS but have the feet and lower 2 feet/24 inches fixed so as to not allow my unplanned departure from it. Good to hear though that I don't need to worry about leaks until there are leaks. Then I will have to build a house for her if we keep having this rainy weather.
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Old 09-09-2023, 07:56 PM   #15
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I have been on the roof of my 25' many times for cleaning and maintenance. Not crazy about doing it but sometimes it is needed. This summer I had to replace the AC shroud and scrub the roof. Previously installed a Max-Air fan.
The key to a safe on & off is to have a ladder that extends 3-4' above the roof line. (also an OSHA requirement i believe) Climb up the ladder high enough that you can step on and off on your feet while holding onto the ladder. No crawling over the edge! I'm 76 and 200# and still doing it. My son is 35 and his knees were knocking when he went up.
I would not try one of your suggestions with your truck or some other setup.
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Old 09-09-2023, 08:03 PM   #16
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NHDigger... you have what it takes!

farafield may want to visit...
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Old 09-09-2023, 08:07 PM   #17
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I'm also a rockhound so maybe it's in our blood, doing things when we should know better.
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Old 09-09-2023, 09:12 PM   #18
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Colonial Airstream Climbing onto a roof.

https://youtu.be/lofcdz7odDk?si=-oiU2jEW2Zw9g_mD
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Old 09-09-2023, 11:02 PM   #19
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I have trouble getting on my roof using an 8ft step ladder.
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Old 09-09-2023, 11:18 PM   #20
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I have never been on the roof of my 25FB, but I can clean it, remove the A/C shroud, and clean the inside of the A/C while standing on my 8 1/2 foot collapsible ladder (and I am 5'7" with a 5'9" wingspan). I do have to lean way over the top of the ladder.


I also use an 8 foot step ladder at times, when it is more convenient to grab that one. But I can't reach the center of the roof using it.
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