Is a telescopic ladder a good choice for getting up to my sprinter roof?

surferJ

Member
With a fully racked high top I skipped the fixed ladder and went with a telescopic one. The fixed ladders disadvantages are it’s small width, steep angle, fixed position and security. But the most important for me was coming off the roof with no hand hold and searching for the rungs blindly with my foot. I made sure mine would extend higher than the roof line by 2’.

As someone who has fallen off a ladder before I spared expense and went with a big time ladder maker for one reviewed high on stability. It is heavy but it is stable, even has some stabilizers that extend laterally from the bottom. Collapsed it fits easy in the back.
I doubt this ladder is exported, it is the idea is what I want to share.
In practice I have found that being able to move the ladder around the van has proven to be an asset.
 

kj4oll

2017 24G
I bought a telescoping ladder @ walmart.
Did not pick the cheapest, as I’m too old and fat to fall off one of these contraptions.
OSHA compliant or some such rating, was about $250, free shipping.
I just tie it to the top of the RV, works great so far.

https://flic.kr/p/2hLsQam
 

bcolins

2004 158" Vista Cruiser
Ha! I had forgotten that scene from Animal house. Nice to see it again.
 
Last edited:

bcolins

2004 158" Vista Cruiser
Thule now offers a telescoping ladder with a magnetic base to fix the top to side of van. It would make it a bit safer.

https://www.etrailer.com/Accessories-and-Parts/Thule/TH301404.html

I recall some RV B-vans now come with this as standard equipment with roof racks.
I love the magnetic anchor idea,....but like another mentioned here,...I would want the ladder to go a few feet above the roof line,...giving something to hold on to as I climb onto the roof.

Wondering if paddle board suction cups could be used to help secure the ladder to the roof.
 

Davydd

Active member
The Xtend ladders seem well made to me. I have a 12 ft. and a 10 ft. one. folding it back down can cause pinching your fingers if you are not careful and paying attention. When you do extend the ladder double check the rungs are completely engaged before climbing. The 10 ft. ladder will do it because I am not going to walk on my roof. Keep in mind any ladder leaned directly against the van will dent it unless you spread the point loads. If you want to carry a portable ladder on a trip in the van it will do for an emergency but I would not use it routinely. You can buy attached ladders designed for vans many places.
 
In place of a ladder my Lewmar marine hatch provides easy access to the roof (its mounted above our bed), used it yesterday to remove snow from the roof. The Lewmar 40 fits perfectly between the vans ribs. I plan on adding another one next to the slider. They are not cheap, I lived aboard a sailing catamaran for over 11 years which had 4 Lewmar hatches and was very happy with them. OceanAir makes an optional screen/block-out shade attachment
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07G875R67/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=makshui-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B07G875R67&linkId=7fd5037ef7c3c8567089fd2f4a5ea231
 

sprint2freedom

2008 NCV3 170ext
Not sure if this applies to all telescoping ladder models equally, but I was able to make mine collapse several inches smaller by carefully removing about 1/2" of height from each of the rubber cones between the rungs with a razor knife, with no apparent ill effects. That meant that it could fit upright under the bed rather than lying on its side, a significant improvement in space utilization inside a van.
 

bcolins

2004 158" Vista Cruiser
Not sure if this applies to all telescoping ladder models equally, but I was able to make mine collapse several inches smaller by carefully removing about 1/2" of height from each of the rubber cones between the rungs with a razor knife, with no apparent ill effects. That meant that it could fit upright under the bed rather than lying on its side, a significant improvement in space utilization inside a van.
Given the potential for failure of the plastic bits on these, I would be reluctant to alter one,...but curious to see a picture showing what you are talking about.
 

Top Bottom