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Old 03-16-2013, 08:08 AM   #1
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Escape ladders aren't for fat folks!

I went by Lowes and picked up one of the Kidde escape ladders. Yesterday I decided to give it a try and the results were not good!

Part of the problem is that my emergency escape window is at the head of the bed, which is a Sleep Number airbed, which is in a slideout. The other part of the problem is that I need to lose about 35 lbs!

First I cut a piece of 2 x 2 lumber to 24" long to prop the window open. I found that my window is VERY heavy and the prop is definitely needed! I cut cross notches in each end to make it easy to place it. Below is a photo of one end.




Now for the test! My window was stuck at first but wasn't too hard to "bump" open. I'll keep the rubber seal lubricated with talcum powder from now on. With an air bed, when you get on it with hands and knees, it sinks, so it's a very unstable "launch platform" ! I really wish Monaco had put the emergency window on the other side of the room above the storage drawers.

The prop stick worked great! I put it all the way to one side of the window so it's not in the way. With the double notches in the end I don't have to worry about getting it turned right.

The escape ladder is easy to hang in the window, and a single pull on a velcro tab releases the rungs so they drop to the ground. I first placed it in the center of the window but found that it works better for me to place it over to the left side, giving me more room to hold on to the top of the ladder while trying to get my potbelly out the window!

Folks, I have to tell you, it was TOUGH to get this old 73 year old overweight body out that window and onto that ladder! I'm sure it would have been easier if a fire had been scorching my rear end!

The hardest part was trying to get my feet on the rungs with them swinging below. Because my escape window is in the slideout, the rungs swing below with nothing to press against to brace them! Even when I got my feet on the rungs I was hanging at what seemed like a 45 degree angle with my feet and the ladder stretched under the slideout!

I have to say I was VERY relieved to get my feet on solid ground without breaking any bones! I can assure you that the next time I do that there will be EXTREME heat behind me encouraging me on!

I will be keeping the ladder and prop stick under the bed for quick access. I am installing an LED "puck" light under the bed so I am not up fumbling for the light switch in the dark.

Many of you have commented on another thread about the fact that Kidde has a warning that the ladder is for one-time use only. I assure you that it is very easy to fold back up exactly as it was before using it. The warning is just a liability thing!

Well, gotta go now, my exercise machine is waiting!



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Old 03-16-2013, 08:39 AM   #2
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Joe,
Nice job.

I though you would have just called Annette. Hasn't she thrown you out of the MH before?

My windows are sliders and the Escape window in the BR is pretty big. The problem with the slider is when it is raining it has to be closed (not when being pursued by flames) Yours swing up and can be used open in a light rain. I do see the prblem as an escape route.

I can stand on the ground and reach the bottom of my BR window. The bedspread would go across the bottom frame and I'd wiggle out and drop to the ground.

Hmm! I wonder if they make a small 6-8 foot telescopic ladder.
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Old 03-16-2013, 08:39 AM   #3
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Good idea, but I must admit I would have giving anything to have a camera and recorder there to capture the event. Well maybe not a recorder. But a darn good idea Joe.
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Old 03-16-2013, 08:47 AM   #4
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It sounds like a real experience but a great reminder to have a route out of your rig in case of fire. Thanks for the reminder Joe.
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Old 03-16-2013, 09:02 AM   #5
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Quote:
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Joe,
Nice job.

I though you would have just called Annette. Hasn't she thrown you out of the MH before?

My windows are sliders and the Escape window in the BR is pretty big. The problem with the slider is when it is raining it has to be closed (not when being pursued by flames) Yours swing up and can be used open in a light rain. I do see the prblem as an escape route.

I can stand on the ground and reach the bottom of my BR window. The bedspread would go across the bottom frame and I'd wiggle out and drop to the ground.

Hmm! I wonder if they make a small 6-8 foot telescopic ladder.
I tried to get Annette to test it! She's smarter than I am!
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Old 03-16-2013, 09:24 AM   #6
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Like my Annie and Ginger Rogers - if we can do it, they can do it backwards in high heels. They aren't called the better half for nothin. It's just a curtesy when they refer to us as The BH.

Your project is a great example of of the difference between theory and practice. Looks perfect on paper, the picture is evidence of a near perfect design. Elegant in its simplicity and form. Should come with user weight and girth restrictions / warning label. Going to check out our situation this morning. Maybe I'll install an airline emergency slide. Lol.

Great work!
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Old 03-16-2013, 10:54 AM   #7
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Like my Annie and Ginger Rogers - if we can do it, they can do it backwards in high heels. They aren't called the better half for nothin. It's just a curtesy when they refer to us as The BH.

Your project is a great example of of the difference between theory and practice. Looks perfect on paper, the picture is evidence of a near perfect design. Elegant in its simplicity and form. Should come with user weight and girth restrictions / warning label. Going to check out our situation this morning. Maybe I'll install an airline emergency slide. Lol.

Great work!
Steve, I already discarded the box, but I think the maximum weight was 350 lbs. I'm not there yet but definitely moving in the wrong direction. Well, back to the exercise machine!
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Old 03-16-2013, 11:53 AM   #8
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I have to commend you for taking the time to make a plan and actually test it . However; statistics have shown If you can see flames, you could have less than 20 seconds to get everyone out of the RV. That's not much time. Personally I don't think I would be wasting time getting a ladder and prop stick out from under the bed. When I roll out the escape hatch (last) even if I break a leg it's not worth wasting any time.
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Old 03-16-2013, 03:56 PM   #9
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Thanks for the reminder, I'm going to check mine out when I get it out of storage. Thanks again. Jim
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Old 03-16-2013, 03:57 PM   #10
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I think I am with Brian. I am going to pick MsC up and put her out the window feet first, letting her down with her hands. Then I will bail out best way I can. How far would you have to drop if you are hanging on the window ledge with your hands and fully extended? Couple of feet? Give me speed when I only have that short distance. But who knows exactly what they will do in a real emergency!
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Old 03-16-2013, 06:20 PM   #11
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papaw.1

Hi Joe,
Just wondering if you could do a instant replay and have the DW to record it so we all can see exactly how you did that without breaking your neck.Good Luck.
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Old 03-16-2013, 07:29 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdpreece View Post
I have to commend you for taking the time to make a plan and actually test it . However; statistics have shown If you can see flames, you could have less than 20 seconds to get everyone out of the RV. That's not much time. Personally I don't think I would be wasting time getting a ladder and prop stick out from under the bed. When I roll out the escape hatch (last) even if I break a leg it's not worth wasting any time.
X2. The last thing I need with flames licking my rear end is the DW telling me how difficult it is to get down the ladder!
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Old 03-16-2013, 08:25 PM   #13
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Good of you to have a plan and to test it. But you're kidding yourself if you believe you can get that ladder set-up and effect a self rescue in a motorhome. Those ladders are for 2nd storey bedrooms when a 1st floor residential fire has blocked egress via the stairwell. By closing the bedroom door (buying time and maintaining visibility) you could utilize that ladder effectively. With a motorhome fire that blocks your normal route of escape, your only alternative is a bailout, for it'll be too smokey and hot for you to dig around and set-up a ladder. My suggestion is to roll out the window on your belly, hang from your fingertips and drop to the ground.
I applaud you for reviewing exit strategies.
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Old 03-16-2013, 08:45 PM   #14
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If my rig was on fire & I had to use the escape window I'm not spending the time to hang a ladder. I'm jumping out.
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