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Ladders for Motorcoaches

So many ladders, so little space.

When we were at our house, I would just grab one of my ladders from the garage and get to work on the coach.

Nothing special about this ladder. Just a general purpose ladder that I had picked up from a big box home improvement store. For the odd jobs around the house: painting, changing lightbulbs, and anything else that might call for an extended reach. Like washing the coach.

Was it a good ladder for a coach? No. It was too big to fit into any of my bays and it wasn’t high enough.

This was how I used to get onto the roof of the coach.

The ladder only extended about ten feet or so. I would prop it to the sidewall of the coach, lift a leg high and over the roof line, and pull myself up and around.

Likely not the safest move for a man in his sixties.

The return trip down from the ladder wasn’t much easier. The top rung was almost 3-feet below the roofline. Yikes.

When we started travelling full-time in our coach, I knew that I would need to get some ladders.

The first one came from Camping World. It was a 7-foot folding ladder, aka a STIK ladder.

This ladder is very, very handy for working around the coach. Especially for cleaning the front cap and windshield. I use this ladder all the time for washing and detailing the coach. It easily fits into the space beside my slideout tray in the basement of our coach.

The only problem with the STIK ladder?

It is not high enough to reach the roof.

I was fortunate in that I had been able to borrow ladders from our friends in the RV community whenever I needed to get up on the roof.

But it was time. Time to become an independent, climb up to the roof, RV owner.

A new ladder was required.

So I started doing the research. My oh my. There are so many opinions on ladders. And so many different types of ladders.

Ultimately, I decided on the Xtend + Climb 785P.

Part of what sold me was this picture from their website.

Man, why stop at just one of these ladders? I could fit dozens of them in the trunk of our SUV. But Lorraine held me back as she often does when I start using Amazon’s click to buy buttons.

The Xtend + Climb 785P is their tallest telescoping ladder. It opens to 15.5 feet making it a very safe ladder to scale to the 13-foot roofline of our coach. It also retracts to a compact 3 feet making it very easy to store in the coach.

The ladder is a bit heavy at 36 pounds. Stable although I would never scale the ladder without a person supporting the base.

Part of what sold me was Marc’s video on how he uses his Xtend + Climb ladder.

This thread from the iRV2 Newmar Owner’s Forum was also helpful in reviewing the various ladders that people use to climb up to the roof.

My new ladder arrives tomorrow. I will need to pick up a couple of pool noodles to ensure that the body of the coach is protected from any possible ladder scratches.

Finally. My very own telescoping ladder.

RV Ladders

Ladders

I need a different ladder.

For when we travel.

The coach is tall and I need a ladder that can get me on the roof as well as allow me to get to the upper areas of the coach, like the windshield. And this ladder needs to fold up into a compact form so that we can carry it in the basement of the coach.

If you take a look at this video, you can see the type of ladder I do not want. That looks like one dangerous way to get on the roof of a Newmar Dutch Star (same model of coach as our Castaway). You can watch the entire video if you wish as it does have some interesting perspectives on risk management and staying healthy. I’ve pointed the video to start at where he gets up on the roof.

At my age, I need a less risky path. The choice of ladder for me will be a telescoping ladder like this one from Werner:

 

WernerLadder

This ladder is available from Home Depot here in Canada for under $200. A similar design, Little Giant Ladder, is also available in Canada at an outrageous price. In the States, it sells for about $250USD. In Canada they want over $500 CAD for the ladder. Ouch.

The Werner can function as a step ladder, up to 9 feet, and it can function as an extension ladder up to 19 feet, more than enough to safely get on the roof of the coach.

I’ll also be able to clean the windshield.

I love a clean windshield.