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Old 10-31-2015, 12:45 AM   #1
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THOR #2871
Rear Ladder Repair

The bottom rungs of the rear ladders on the 2016 Thor Challenger 37KT are too close to the ground. The first time I pulled into a driveway the ladder touched the pavement and the bottom rung was bent outward. I got a hacksaw and cut it off at the creases made by it bending. I took two 3/4" pvc 90 degree elbows (slip on), spray painted them, and connected the bottom of the ladder to the two brackets. The paint isn't an exact match but its close enough. It's not a tight fit either, so a few layers of electrical tape around the aluminum tubing is needed to make it tight enough to stay on. I would glue it but don't know what to use to bond pvc to painted aluminum. Here are some pics. I don't know how to put them in proper order, but you can figure it out.
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Old 10-31-2015, 01:08 AM   #2
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THOR #2817
I cannot imagine the latter touching the pavement without the bottom of the end cap dragging on the ground first. You have done a very nice job of repairing the damage with PVC pipe and fittings. You might find that "Goop" will provide enough of a grip on both the aluminum and PVC to make a suitable connection. Or perhaps you could drill through the fitting and aluminum and hold them together with stainless steel machine screws and nuts.
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Old 10-31-2015, 03:38 AM   #3
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THOR #1295
Nice fix job!!!! My ladder has been used twice by me and once by my 15 yr old daughter and the two bottom supports are bent - I am 180 lbs and she is 110! No more going up this fragile thing - we use the TV antenna tower on the house and walk to the RV on the house roof from now on.
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Old 10-31-2015, 12:52 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Nursx2 View Post
Nice fix job!!!! My ladder has been used twice by me and once by my 15 yr old daughter and the two bottom supports are bent - I am 180 lbs and she is 110! No more going up this fragile thing - we use the TV antenna tower on the house and walk to the RV on the house roof from now on.
I weigh 245 and it didn't take long to realize that the ladder wasn't up to the task of supporting my weight. Now I use a 10 foot step ladder to get me almost to the top of the RV ladder, and I support the bottom of the ladder with a floor jack. I've been thinking about making an adjustable support that can be carried in a storage compartment. It would rest on the ground under the ladder and adjust to the height of the bottom rung of the latter. This is our forth RV with a rear ladder and the first one that has such a flimsy ladder.
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Old 10-31-2015, 01:49 PM   #5
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THOR #1589
Coaches with a rear slide like our Vegas 25.2. have no place for a rear ladder. I use a collapsible ladder, that I bought online. Much cheaper there than at the RV stores. It doesn't take up much space in the storage bay, and is rarely used. Perhaps having it prevents needing it, like taking an umbrella sometimes seems to keep it from raining.
Falling from a flimsy ladder is a risk not worth taking!
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Old 10-31-2015, 01:53 PM   #6
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How long is your ladder when collapsed and where do you store it?
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Old 10-31-2015, 06:58 PM   #7
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THOR #2871
The ladder is very fragile compared to the ladder that was on the rear of my Fleetwood.
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Old 11-01-2015, 11:09 AM   #8
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THOR #1589
The telescoping ladder I have is 12.5 feet long, 32 inches retracted. It is aluminum and weighs about 25 pounds. Takes up much less space than the folding ones from the infomercials or an extension ladder. On our Vegas 25.2, it fits nicely in the back compartment outside, under the bed slide out. It might fit in the pass through between the front compartments, but I have some other longer things there. It would fit nicely on the wall of the jumbo compartment in some coaches.

When fully extended, it does sag some, but still has a safe and sturdy feel. I see them on ebay for around $60, plus another 20 for shipping. Have had mine for 8 years, rarely need it, but priceless on occasion, much like my little air compressor or most of the tools I take along!
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Old 11-01-2015, 11:27 AM   #9
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The latter sounds like it will work for me (if it will hold my weight) and I think I have a space where it can be stored in the RV.
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Old 11-01-2015, 01:52 PM   #10
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I think the rating on my telescoping ladder is 225#. For what that is worth. I think the rating is a CYA liability thing.

By comparison, some of these factory RV ladders must be rated around 100#. I once saw an oversize RV tech break the bottom step off of a coach before shifting his full weight onto it.
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Old 11-01-2015, 04:11 PM   #11
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I suspect that the factory ladders on some RVs are primarily for looks. Sort of like the ladders on the custom vans back in the 80s to mid 90s.
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Old 05-16-2016, 04:53 PM   #12
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THOR #2678
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbmartiniv View Post
The bottom rungs of the rear ladders on the 2016 Thor Challenger 37KT are too close to the ground. The first time I pulled into a driveway the ladder touched the pavement and the bottom rung was bent outward. I got a hacksaw and cut it off at the creases made by it bending. I took two 3/4" pvc 90 degree elbows (slip on), spray painted them, and connected the bottom of the ladder to the two brackets. The paint isn't an exact match but its close enough. It's not a tight fit either, so a few layers of electrical tape around the aluminum tubing is needed to make it tight enough to stay on. I would glue it but don't know what to use to bond pvc to painted aluminum. Here are some pics. I don't know how to put them in proper order, but you can figure it out.
Hi Robert,

I have the 2016 Thor Challenger 37tb and now that i purchased the roadmaster tow defender it looks like i'm going to have to trim the ladder and do what you have done. How is the pvc 90 degree elbows holding up for you and what did you end up using to permanently attach the pvc elbows to the aluminum ladder and lastly...do you use the ladder? Wondering how it holds up with weight...
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Old 05-16-2016, 05:22 PM   #13
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THOR #2871
The easy answer first. Yes, I use the ladder, but very "judiciously." It has held up so far, the PVC elbows haven't come off yet. Unfortunately, I can't remember what adhesive I used. It may have been one of the J-B Weld products. I remember it indicated it would work on pvs and metal surfaces. The only problem I have with the fix is not being able to get the bottom ladder bolts as tight as I would like (the ladder isn't real tight against the RV body). If you come up with a better way, let me know. Good luck.
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Old 05-16-2016, 07:27 PM   #14
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THOR #2678
Thanks...

I will let you know the route i decide to take.
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Old 05-17-2016, 10:29 PM   #15
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I find the idea of using PVC fitting on a ladder quite disturbing. Even more so when you disguise them by painting them. My thought is that some service tech will think you have a serviceable ladder and try to use it. When your plastic repair fails and he falls, insurance may not cover your liability.
Chuck Peck in CasaLoca
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Old 05-17-2016, 11:27 PM   #16
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THOR #2871
I understand what you are saying, but I don't believe it's really a problem. The PVC elbows don't support the ladder or even a step. They do hold the bottom of the ladder out from the body of the RV. I suppose the worse that could happen if the elbows did break would be getting the paint scraped up. I don't know what else to do when Thor installs a ladder that is too long for the coach.
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Old 08-26-2017, 03:05 AM   #17
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State: North Carolina
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THOR #5494
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Sunshine View Post
Coaches with a rear slide like our Vegas 25.2. have no place for a rear ladder. I use a collapsible ladder, that I bought online. Much cheaper there than at the RV stores. It doesn't take up much space in the storage bay, and is rarely used. Perhaps having it prevents needing it, like taking an umbrella sometimes seems to keep it from raining.
Falling from a flimsy ladder is a risk not worth taking!
Thank you Mr. Sunshine, I was thinking of adding a ladder to the side of our 25.2. I need to go up to the roof to set the tailgater up. I really like your idea of a collapsible ladder!
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Old 08-26-2017, 03:38 AM   #18
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THOR #5196
Rough up the connections with coarse grit sandpaper then use some JB Weld.
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Old 09-02-2017, 08:31 PM   #19
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THOR #7853
Clever idea to fix your ladder. 2 part epoxy will hold pretty much anything to anything once it sets and it can fill small gaps as well. Comes in a syringe, Walmart and Lowe's should have it. Hope this helps.
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Old 09-02-2017, 10:27 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by CasaLoca View Post
I find the idea of using PVC fitting on a ladder quite disturbing. Even more so when you disguise them by painting them. My thought is that some service tech will think you have a serviceable ladder and try to use it. When your plastic repair fails and he falls, insurance may not cover your liability.
Chuck Peck in CasaLoca
Any service tech who scrambles up the back of an RV without checking the sturdiness of the ladder shouldn't be working on RVs.
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