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Open Roads Forum  >  Tech Issues

 > Broken ladder - repair or replace?

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Ramblin' Ralph

Central California Coast

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Posted: 01/28/21 03:50pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for your comments. I agree that internal tubing would be the best fix. I also agree a new ladder is not that much. However, finding an exact replacement has not been easy. If I could find one, it would mean drilling no new holes and make the job much easier. I'll probably go with a new “universal” ladder and hope it's not too hard to modify and install for my application.


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agesilaus

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Posted: 01/28/21 04:42pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Well if you have a local machine shop then you could get them to turn down some aluminum bar or rod down to the right diameter. But again this may cost more than the ladder is worth. Personally I think a hardwood dowel would be perfectly adequate, it's not as if this is a high stress application.


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Gjac

Milford, CT

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Posted: 01/29/21 08:04am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I fixed mine with a steel pipe I had laying around. I slid the steel pipe inside the the broken Al tubes drilled two holes one in each section through the tube and steel pipe then installed SS bolts and nuts. I made an outer sleeve from another section of a broken tubing just to cover the split section. The repair cost nothing but about 2 hrs of my time and is much stronger than the original 3/32 in Al tube. That ladder is an easy target for trees, gutters and large boulders especially if you are backing up alone.

Gdetrailer

PA

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Posted: 01/29/21 08:44am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Gjac wrote:

I fixed mine with a steel pipe I had laying around. I slid the steel pipe inside the the broken Al tubes drilled two holes one in each section through the tube and steel pipe then installed SS bolts and nuts. I made an outer sleeve from another section of a broken tubing just to cover the split section. The repair cost nothing but about 2 hrs of my time and is much stronger than the original 3/32 in Al tube. That ladder is an easy target for trees, gutters and large boulders especially if you are backing up alone.


Aluminum, steel, stainless steel?

Nothing like breaking all of the metallurgic rules, toss in a little bit of saltwater spray and now you have a bunch of oxides..

Aluminum and steel together, not the best of friends, stainless and aluminum barely get along provided the stainless is the correct mix.

Man, you guys really do not value your lives.

Gdetrailer

PA

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Posted: 01/29/21 08:55am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ramblin' Ralph wrote:

Thanks for your comments. I agree that internal tubing would be the best fix. I also agree a new ladder is not that much. However, finding an exact replacement has not been easy. If I could find one, it would mean drilling no new holes and make the job much easier. I'll probably go with a new “universal” ladder and hope it's not too hard to modify and install for my application.


Exact replacements may not be a choice since most RV manufacturers typically will have most items custom made for their setups.

Aftermarket replacement ladders typically will be adjustable to a certain extent. If things workout the ladder mounts may be adjustable which would reduce the need to add new screw holes..

One must also ask the question, How many times do I need to access the roof?

Once a yr?

Twice a yr?

Once every couple of yrs?

Every trip?

Myself, once a yr max and that is just to check the roofing and caulking.. 8ft step ladder setup beside my TT once a yr does the trick for myself so I never felt the need for a built on ladder..

Besides, I have used those built in ladders for my Dads 5ver to help him find a leak.. Sketchy at best, rungs not predictable placement since his rear wall was not straight.. Had to watch your step closely..

Gjac

Milford, CT

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Posted: 01/31/21 09:26am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Gdetrailer wrote:

Gjac wrote:

I fixed mine with a steel pipe I had laying around. I slid the steel pipe inside the the broken Al tubes drilled two holes one in each section through the tube and steel pipe then installed SS bolts and nuts. I made an outer sleeve from another section of a broken tubing just to cover the split section. The repair cost nothing but about 2 hrs of my time and is much stronger than the original 3/32 in Al tube. That ladder is an easy target for trees, gutters and large boulders especially if you are backing up alone.


Aluminum, steel, stainless steel?

Nothing like breaking all of the metallurgic rules, toss in a little bit of saltwater spray and now you have a bunch of oxides..

Aluminum and steel together, not the best of friends, stainless and aluminum barely get along provided the stainless is the correct mix.

Man, you guys really do not value your lives.
Wow! Now I may die because I broke some metallurgic rules. The repair was made 15 years ago with no corrosion and will be there long after the MH or myself is in heaven.

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