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Old 11-11-2020, 03:07 PM   #1
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Is ladder needed?

Has anyone tried to attach a ladder to a 19? I am getting my new 19 late November or early December and wanted to know how to access the solar panel to clean off during camping. This is my first trailer. Thanks
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Old 11-11-2020, 03:17 PM   #2
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As much as I'm a proponent of folks remembering to clean off their solar panel I don't think that a permanent ladder is necessary if the only panel is at the rear. I've stood on top of my spare tire to clean one in that position. Not everyone might want to do that though.

Some folks do carry ladders that collapse or fold. I think that I'd carry one of those before I'd install a permanent ladder. Walking all over the roof isn't recommended so a ladder that can be placed anywhere around the perimeter would be better.

Ron
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Old 11-11-2020, 03:33 PM   #3
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Is Ladder Needed?

Ron, thank you so much. I will do as recommended; carry a foldup or get on my spare. Not trying to damage a thing. Thanks again.
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Old 11-11-2020, 03:49 PM   #4
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Just FYI, a 6' foldup ladder with under-trailer storage tube installation is described by Jon Vermilye on this blog page with pics: Trailer Modifications - Escape 21
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Old 11-11-2020, 04:09 PM   #5
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Thanks so much. There is more useful information than I asked for. GREAT!!! Thanks again.
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Old 11-11-2020, 04:22 PM   #6
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I have three panels on my roof and don't carry a ladder. I have not personally had an instance where I need to clean them while traveling as usually the rain and wind take care of that. I can get to the front and rear panel by standing on the hitch and bumper but have not really needed to. Of course I do use the ladder at home, mostly to keep the snow off in winter so the batteries stay charged.

I would recommend going first without a ladder to see if you really need it, and then only ad it if you see real advantage. But then I am a proponent for not adding weight and complexity by carrying things you don't really need.
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Old 11-11-2020, 04:29 PM   #7
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I don’t have any roof top solar but carry a ladder to check that the power awning is clear of any acorn type objects that may get rolled into the awning. A ladder is need to if you need to adjust the power awning if it goes out of alignment.
I purchased a ladder that just fits into the pickup bed.
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Old 11-11-2020, 06:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark B1 View Post
I have three panels on my roof and don't carry a ladder. I have not personally had an instance where I need to clean them while traveling as usually the rain and wind take care of that. I can get to the front and rear panel by standing on the hitch and bumper but have not really needed to. Of course I do use the ladder at home, mostly to keep the snow off in winter so the batteries stay charged.

I would recommend going first without a ladder to see if you really need it, and then only ad it if you see real advantage. But then I am a proponent for not adding weight and complexity by carrying things you don't really need.
Excellent advice ! At home is where we clean off the solar and check things out . Pat
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Old 11-11-2020, 09:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron in BC View Post
Walking all over the roof isn't recommended so a ladder that can be placed anywhere around the perimeter would be better.
Ron
To underscore that, here's what ETI replied when I asked that question earlier this year...

I'm curious about the load capacity of the roof on our new 21NE. Our rig has 2 solar panels, A/C and Maxx fan factory installed.
If there was a need to get on the roof (I presume your crew walk on the roof to complete the panel and A/C install), what weight limit would you suggest if a need arises to get up there?
Who's�� your heaviest technician that regularly works, stands or walks on the roof of the trailers while they are being built?


You should not get right on the roof it is not meant to carry your weight. We do not get on the roof we have lifts to assist with the installation of the parts. If you have to do anything on the roof we ask that you only put weight on the sides of the roof and have something under your knees to distribute the weight.

And before you ask, I don't climb ladders anymore - I hire people that are younger and don't break as easy
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Old 11-12-2020, 06:57 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark B1 View Post
I have three panels on my roof and don't carry a ladder. I have not personally had an instance where I need to clean them while traveling as usually the rain and wind take care of that.
That has been my experience too, and I have, on a number of occasions, been on the road with my trailer for 4 to 4-1/2 months at a time. I do carry an Xtend & Climb ladder for other reasons, most notably when I had to replace a vent cover that was smashed/cracked by a falling tree branch. At home I use a 10-foot step ladder for washing and waxing the roof. I wear clothing that will not scratch the roof and by leaning over and laying on the edge, I can reach 60° of the way across the roof.
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Old 11-12-2020, 07:08 AM   #11
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While I've cleaned my panel a few times by climbing up on the spare, the 1 time I really needed a ladder I borrowed one from the camp host.
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Old 11-13-2020, 05:29 AM   #12
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As I age I can't help but notice I'm not as nimble as I once was. I wonder if climbing on my spare tire is OSHA approved?

Enjoy,

Perry
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Old 11-13-2020, 11:06 AM   #13
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https://www.homedepot.com/p/Gorilla-...P-47/305590237

It's not a ladder, but I got this for help at home getting a bit higher to safely wash my 17a. I got it on sale but for a lot more than I noticed it priced in yesterday's flyer. I put 5 rows of non slip tape on the top and a strip on the sidesteps--one roll was perfect. It's really helpful.
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Old 11-13-2020, 11:36 AM   #14
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Ladders, step stools and alternatives - all combined with the acrobatic capabilities of aging.

A former neighbour related that to safely climb, one should have 3 of 4 appendages linked to the ladder (i.e.: 2 feet + 1 hand or 2 hands + 1 foot) at all times. It makes sense, but stability is primary.

I seriously doubt many of us had a safety course on how to use a ladder, thinking that climbing is basic and intuitive - something we did when we were kids. But to promote safety for all of us, our friend Mr. YouTube provides a number of courses on proper ladder usage. Here's a link to a favourite channel ... 10 minutes that may save your neck.

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Old 11-13-2020, 12:05 PM   #15
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In a pinch, I've pulled my truck up next to the trailer and stood on the bed to access things. Like others, I have stood on top of the spare tire to wipe down the solar panel as well. Requires a bit of flexibility that not everyone has.



So no ladder is not needed but it sure would be easier.
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Old 11-13-2020, 02:45 PM   #16
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All the contractors that have come out to our home the last years seem to be swearing by these. You'd need pool noodles or some such to cushion where it leans against the roofline but would probably work well and don't take up much room to store.
https://www.amazon.com/WolfWise-Tele...s%2C241&sr=8-5
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Old 11-13-2020, 03:04 PM   #17
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They're a nice idea but at 25 lbs. I'll pass because the number of times that I've had to access the roof while underway is pretty much zero.

I wonder how much the type of ladder that Jon carries weights.

Ron
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Old 11-13-2020, 03:20 PM   #18
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Ron,
I'm showing the 8.5 ft one is only 15lbs and the 10.5 ft one is 20 lbs.
The one Jon's carrying is showing at 22 lbs, so this would be lighter.
We'll want one when we go FT in the fall for sure.
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Old 11-13-2020, 04:42 PM   #19
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OK, the link was for the 12' one. The 8.5' one is more than enough height so that's not too bad. But, with a pickup with a box cover I'm not likely to carry a ladder.

Ron
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Old 11-13-2020, 08:21 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron in BC View Post
OK, the link was for the 12' one. The 8.5' one is more than enough height so that's not too bad. But, with a pickup with a box cover I'm not likely to carry a ladder.

Ron
Understandable, Ron. Storing a ladder can be a problem. I have the 10.5’ Xtend & Climb which weighs 20 lbs. I have a cross bed tool box in front of my 5th wheel hitch. There is approximately 6-inches of space underneath the tool box. I can slip the ladder behind the hitch and under the tool box, making good use of generally unusable space. I also have room under the tool box for a small hinged vinyl storage case in which I carry sponges, cleaning supplies, and Meguier’s fiberglass wax. When on the road I do not often use either the ladder or the cleaning supplies, but it is good to know I have both if I need them and they only occupy “wasted” space.
The smashed vent cover I mentioned in a previous thread wasn’t the first time I needed a ladder. In a previous Shoddily Constructed And Maintenance Plagued trailer I had the misfortune of owning, a fantastic fan started to drip during a heavy rainstorm. I would have covered it with a large trash bag as a temporary fix but could not access it, and none of my camping neighbors had a ladder. Because of both experiences, I decided to always have a ladder available. To protect the fiberglass, I flip a folded blanket onto the roof so that it dangles over the side and let the ladder lean on the blanket.
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