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Rear Door Ladder

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Thinking about a rear door ladder for my high top Promaster. I'll be getting up there to tie down kayaks, clean the roof, etc.
I want to avoid drilling into the door, so must clamp on somehow.

So far I've found two ladders:

Aluminess at $1350
Says it attaches to the door hinges.

Eurocampers "Prime Design" at $502

Your thoughts, any experience with these or other models to consider?
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I’ve seen the Aluminess in person and it’s a solidly built product, and the auxillary steps are a nice touch but my main complaint with it is how narrow it is. Also for what it’s worth, over on the Ford Transit forum a bunch of folks had hinges crack from Aluminess.

The prime design I’ve note used but have seen on some vans around here, slick idea. I think the sole issue I’ve seen folks have is weather stripping compressing too much.

One other one to consider is from Rover Rover Vans Tire Carrier & Ladder Combo — ROVERVANS
 

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I have a telescoping ladder that is bungee'd to the inside of the driver side back door. I have pipe insulation on the sides where it contacts the van. It takes up little space and allows me access to the roof from the rear and both sides. One has to be sure it is placed on solid footing, I have an appropriate length of 2x8 to help with that. I paid less than $100 for it a couple of years ago, no idea what they'll sting you for it now.
 

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2021 1500 136"WB High top
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I considered the one from Flatline Van Co, as it doesn't require invasive drilling, but it is a side ladder. I heard directly from them that it'd be pretty easy to mount to 8020/unistrut roof racks with not much extra hardware.

I ended up going for the Vantech one. More labor-intensive than others and requires plenty of drilling, but I just couldn't swallow how expensive some ladder options are.

I considered a telescoping one, but I didn't want the extra hassle just to clear snow off the roof every few days.
 

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anyone know the weight limit of the hinges on the rear doors? I guess when they are closed the door catch helps out. Just seems not great for doors that often come a bit out of alignment just from driving.
 

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2018 136 HR Ont.
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anyone know the weight limit of the hinges on the rear doors? I guess when they are closed the door catch helps out. Just seems not great for doors that often come a bit out of alignment just from driving.
There are pads(?) that the doors sit on when closed. When they are adjusted properly the doors are not just hanging on the hinges/latches and jarring them over every bump.
 

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I went with both! Aluminess for a spare and Prime Design for ladder. I had an upfitter install both and even asked the expert advice of Beaver Motors in PA bc they do a lot of this type of installation. Both were recommended, and the hinge based Aluminess more than a drill thru mount. Anyway i only looked at the spare+ ladder combo from Aluminess and it just seemed difficult to climb and i would feel less supported than the prime design. No problems at all. I use these doors daily.
 

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I have a telescoping ladder that is bungee'd to the inside of the driver side back door. I have pipe insulation on the sides where it contacts the van. It takes up little space and allows me access to the roof from the rear and both sides. One has to be sure it is placed on solid footing, I have an appropriate length of 2x8 to help with that. I paid less than $100 for it a couple of years ago, no idea what they'll sting you for it now.
Obviously this is just my opinion, but after researching what to use for roof access, I also prefer the telescopic ladder.

I have attached strong magnets to the upper rung to keep it stuck to the van and keeps ladder from contacting paint when using.

pros:

you can use it anywhere on your van or someone else’s. a mounted ladder is only as good as your reach To the part of the roof where it’s mounted. Unless you want to climb up onto roof, which I prefer not to.

Negates nefarious access by others.

Easily extended to various heights and collapsed for storage.

Can be used at a better angle to keep from scratching your paint with your shoes.

Cheap and lightweight.

Very useful for many other tasks.

extra $1k or more to spend elsewhere


Cons:

hmm,

Not quite as sturdy as mounted ladder, but very safe if cautious when setting up. and by using my magnet upgrade mine is much more secure than without.

Needs storage space, but not a lot.
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I paid $80 for mine.


I find the ladder/spare tire combos king of laughable. I have yet to see how someone climbs up over the tire to get to a few rungs of the ladder. But many vans use them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Obviously this is just my opinion, but after researching what to use for roof access, I also prefer the telescopic ladder.

I have attached strong magnets to the upper rung to keep it stuck to the van and keeps ladder from contacting paint when using.

pros:

you can use it anywhere on your van or someone else’s. a mounted ladder is only as good as your reach To the part of the roof where it’s mounted. Unless you want to climb up onto roof, which I prefer not to.

Negates nefarious access by others.

Easily extended to various heights and collapsed for storage.

Can be used at a better angle to keep from scratching your paint with your shoes.

Cheap and lightweight.

Very useful for many other tasks.

extra $1k or more to spend elsewhere


Cons:

hmm,

Not quite as sturdy as mounted ladder, but very safe if cautious when setting up. and by using my magnet upgrade mine is much more secure than without.

Needs storage space, but not a lot.
————————————————————————————————-

I paid $80 for mine.


I find the ladder/spare tire combos king of laughable. I have yet to see how someone climbs up over the tire to get to a few rungs of the ladder. But many vans use them.
Thanks, good tips. I'd also like to see the magnet setup, maybe something plastic coated to keep from scratching paint? What brand/size of ladder did you get? Do you store it strapped to the inside of the rear door like someone else mentioned?
 

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@Cavah, magnets sound brilliant. Can you please add a pic or two and if a unique sort of magnet provide a source? No need for Neanderthals like me to reinvent the wheel!
I’ll take pics and post my mag setup with parts.

I used a piece of heavy vinyl under the mag surface that can easily be cleaned to protect the paint.
 

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I figured I would need side access front and rear to get 2-man Kayak up there so went with telescopic ladder that fits in "garage" under couch bed or attached to dual bicycle Thule which clamps to back door. I can also climb the Thule if it is just a quick topside to clean solar...it works but not as cool looking as these mentioned.
 

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@Cavah, magnets sound brilliant. Can you please add a pic or two and if a unique sort of magnet provide a source? No need for Neanderthals like me to reinvent the wheel!
i used a small wood block as a stand-off riveted into the ladder rung, mounted between the 2.5” round magnet with center hole and a screw to attach magnet to block. The vinyl is trapped between and I sewed a few creases to keep it in place when using but easily cleaned of any metal that’s sticks. I was thinking of making a few to post for sale if people do not want to spend the time to gather parts and make one diy.
Automotive tire Automotive lighting Hood Automotive design Bumper

Finger Bumper Rim Tool Automotive wheel system

Hood Automotive tire Bumper Bicycle part Rim
 
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