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Old 02-14-2011, 07:40 AM   #1
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RV Class A ladder repair

I hired a crew to come out and repair the RV Ladder, the "coins", star washer fasteners, were rusting out and the ladder was becoming dangerous to use.

They removed and installed about seven coins and charged me $75.00. It seemed quite stable after the repairs, but upon using the ladder three or four times, I realized there was more work to do.

So, I found where to purchase the coins and new stainless steel bolts, it was time to repair the ladder. I purchased an additional thirteen coins for the job.

Remove the ladder


Complete disassemble the ladder


Make new flanges to replace damaged ones


Install the new coins


Reassemble and reinstall with permabond or a good quality caulk.

The job cost me materials about 30 bucks and about an hour and a half worth of work.

The material:
Stainless bolts that fit the washer, 3/16 by 2
Coins
Water sealant tape, although I recommend the caulk.

The tools:
Grinder
Pencil
Tape Measure
Drill
#2 Phillips bit
Various drill bits

Thanks,
Sam
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Old 02-14-2011, 01:32 PM   #2
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Good work there, Sam. Keep it up!

As a lifelong DIY kinda guy - I've both saved myself a bunch of money and in some cases ended up with a better results than if I had taken it to the "professionals".
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Old 02-14-2011, 02:12 PM   #3
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Thanks Nick,

We seem to fall into a black hole, the 10 year and older club. The price for repair does not depreciate as quickly as our rigs.

Thanks for the reply,
Sam
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Old 02-14-2011, 04:10 PM   #4
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Sam, great job. I need to do the same. Where did you get the coins and bolts? Can you add any details about what to disassemble and renew to get a total job? Thanks in advance, HarveyP
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Old 02-14-2011, 05:13 PM   #5
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Hello Harvey,

The coins are available at the local RV Parts desk, as star washers or ladder coins, they should be a couple bucks each. Remember when purchasing new coins, to have the tubing with you, there are at least two, one inch(1") and one and an eighth inch(1 1/8") inner diameter tubing.

Each horizontal extension from the RV to the ladder has two coins. The flip lower part of the ladder as well as where the ladder connects to the roof have coins as well. I had a total of 16 coins.

So, it goes a little like this:
*Removing the bolts from the outside of the ladder, thus separating the ladder from the extensions, is a matter of backing out the bolt like in the second image of the original post. If it is as rusty as mine, two things may happen, the bolt breaks, or the coin spins in the tube, well, I guess the third would be a smooth extraction, but seriously, folks.
*The coins on the flange side, they come out by undoing the flange from the RV, there is a bolt inside the flange in the center. These were relatively easy to remove.
*Should the bolt snap, then what worked for me was using a 3/8 socket extension and a block of wood to bang out the coin and bolt. This works for the second scenario as well, however if the coin spins, then the head of the bolt will have to be ground off, and that takes a little finesse, just take a little at a time, 'cuz its harder to put back, right?
*If the coin spins, make sure you set the coin in the tube a bit shallow of where the inner tube damage is, otherwise the new coin could spin in the tube as well.

When purchasing stainless bolts, make sure you get the correct length, a little longer is not the end of the world, as long as the tube has enough length to accommodate, which it should.

I used permabond tape in all the fittings, and on the flanges. I do not recommend using the permabond on the flange, because it does not compress enough for a secure mating to the RV. Caulk is fine, 100% silicone, clear is every color, and apply on the back of the flange as well as a bead around the flange after installation.
The flange will move a bit on the RV with weight, so expect it.



That should about do it, any other questions?
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Old 02-15-2011, 01:45 PM   #6
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Hi Harvey,

If you can't find them locally, this guy on eBay has them.

Star Washer for RV Rear Ladders. Keep your Ladder tight - eBay (item 160492278392 end time Mar-10-11 08:18:58 PST)
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Old 02-16-2011, 01:22 PM   #7
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Sam and Nick-B, thanks to both of you. It is guys like you that keep this forum the absolute best for sharing ideas and getting help. I couldn't keep RVing without help from the great people here, Thanks, HarveyP
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