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Old 11-29-2016, 06:42 AM   #1
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Getting up and down safely from roof. What's your method?

Good morning, friendly campers!

I finally worked up the courage to climb the ladder to the roof and install AC covers for the winter. Going up wasn't too bad, but going down was a different thing altogether as I crabbed on my belly near the edge of the world feeling out for the ladder top with my feet.

What is your method for safely going up and down? Have you built any ramps, ladders, scaffolding to assist in the adventure?

Thanks much.

Signed,
Nervous Nellie in Delaware
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Old 11-29-2016, 07:04 AM   #2
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I found it works a lot better when I have lost weight.
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Old 11-29-2016, 07:19 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Full.Monte View Post
I found it works a lot better when I have lost weight.
That there is funny

Yes, Thanksgiving dinner and leftovers required a shift to the left on the belt hole line-up.
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Old 11-29-2016, 07:48 AM   #4
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I use a folding extension ladder and place it against the side of the rig just behind one of the forward slides. That allows the top of the ladder to extend above the roof line and I can then step onto the top of the slide with one foot when making the transition up to the roof. Coming down is different - just a careful step onto the ladder and on down.

Remember - if you stand in front of the ladder with your feet touching the bottom side rails - when you lead the ladder against something it is safe when your arm is extended straight in front of you at shoulder height and just barely touches the leaning ladder rail ...
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Old 11-29-2016, 07:49 AM   #5
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Humor aside, I have found two things that help get safely onto and off the roof.
My coach has one of the permanently mounted ladders that extends slightly above the roof for additional safety. The first thing is I never carry anything onto the roof with me, so that I have both hands free to hold on with. The second thing is I use a sturdy step ladder positioned close to the permanent one to climb most of the way up. I then use a bucket with a rope tied to the handle to raise and lower any items I might need on the roof. I tie a generous length of the rope to the back of my belt so that it's handy when I get there. I learned the rope and tool bucket approach watching linemen work on poles for the electric company. And I use the Little Giant step ladder, because I never had a lot of confidence in the strength of the RV mounted ladder.
Stay Safe,
Bob
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Old 11-29-2016, 07:56 AM   #6
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I have no problem getting up, just like the OP getting down is the problem. I put a second telescoping ladder next to the coach ladder. When i am ready to come down DW climbs the telescoping ladder and guides my first foot onto the desired rung. Once I get one foot firmly planted, the rest is easy. She also acts as a tool carrier while i am up there.
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Old 11-29-2016, 08:04 AM   #7
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Get an extension ladder that is long enough to extend 3 feet beyond the top of your roof when it is placed at the proper angle. Have a helper keep the bottom of the ladder from kicking out as you get on or off of the roof. When getting off/on the ladder, the last/first rung to place a foot on is the one just below the point where the ladder contacts the roof edge.
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Old 11-29-2016, 08:19 AM   #8
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IN a younger life I was a professional ladder Monkey (Roofer) and got very used to getting on and off ladders.. BUT ONLY SLANTED ladders. not Vertical ladders like on the back of the RV

As Joe said, an extension ladder or convertable (mine is convertible, Extension or step) that extends at least 3 feet PAST the roof-line.. Way easier to get on and off.

Oh, how to set up an extension ladder. Length Joe and I both covered, 3 Feet (at least 2.5 Rounds) above the roof.

Slope
Put your toes against the ladder's feet
Extend your arm straight out and grip a round.
Does the round hit your fingers? Too flat
The heal of your hand? (or wrist) too steep
do you miss the round completely (Too flat)

Does the round fall naturally into the palm of your hand with arm fully extended and not leaning either forward or back.. Ideal.

And that's how I do it, at 300 pounds the RV ladder was quickly turned into scrap metal so I use my combo ladder.

I had my body man make a pair of "J" hooks out of heavy duty Step Bumper metal, either of them will (And has in testing) held my 300+ by itself (i used a rope and stirrup system to test) This holds the convertable ladder nicely at the top, a shower "Grab bar" from the bath isle at the local big home imporvemnt store at the bottom keeps it from slamming into the fiberglass and provides me with an anchor for the bicycle cable lock and tie down straps that keep it from bouncing off the hooks.

very nice very useful and in Step mode it is used for wash and wax.
Sears used to sell this ladder.. Do not know if they still do.
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Old 11-29-2016, 08:58 AM   #9
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I place a stepladder next to the bottom of the ladder. It makes it a lot easier to get on and off the ladder. I go up the stepladder to the 2nd step from the top, then grasping the side rails of the ladder, transfer to the ladder, being careful not to let the stepladder jump out from under me!

When I get to the top I hold the ladder rails, get on my knees on top, move away from the ladder a safe distance to get on my feet.

Going down I just reverse it. I get on my knees with my back to the ladder, move backward until I can grasp the ladder rails, then move one foot and then the other down to the first rung!

I'm 77 and weigh 206 and it works for me!
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Old 11-29-2016, 09:28 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSHappyCampers View Post
I place a stepladder next to the bottom of the ladder. It makes it a lot easier to get on and off the ladder. I go up the stepladder to the 2nd step from the top, then grasping the side rails of the ladder, transfer to the ladder, being careful not to let the stepladder jump out from under me!

When I get to the top I hold the ladder rails, get on my knees on top, move away from the ladder a safe distance to get on my feet.

Going down I just reverse it. I get on my knees with my back to the ladder, move backward until I can grasp the ladder rails, then move one foot and then the other down to the first rung!

I'm 77 and weigh 206 and it works for me!
That's is exactly how I do it too. Except I don't go to the 2nd step from the top of the folding ladder to transfer over to the coach ladder. I usually only climb to the 2nd maybe 3rd step from the bottom and then transfer over. I'm 6'3" @ 195lbs. Coming down the same way as described above. Works very well and is safe. I also use the bucket/rope method for tools, soap bucket, parts etc to get stuff I need up on the roof. Way to dangerous to try to carry it up while climbing. I think I've actually mastered this technique in the last 7 weeks because I completely redid my entire roof which had many, many steps in the process and I probably went up and down the ladder this way a 100x. Knees hurt some though. I personally would not feel safe or try to go down the side of the coach. And remember, when that roof is wet, or damp—if you have to get up there—be really, really careful. Stay away from the sides. Use about a 3' lane down the middle of the roof to walk. Personally I don't go up on the roof unless it's dry.
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Old 11-29-2016, 09:58 AM   #11
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Walk to the top of the rear mounted ladder and turn my south side toward the ladder.

Crouch down and left hand grabs onto the otherwise useless cargo railing.

Step down on first rung. Right hand grabs right side of ladder.

Alternate feet and rungs heading down.
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Old 11-29-2016, 10:01 AM   #12
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I take it to Integrity RV in Douglasville and tell Dean what I need done. lol

I'm too fat to be climbing ladders anymore.
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Old 11-29-2016, 10:04 AM   #13
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I take it to Integrity RV in Douglasville and tell Dean what I need done. lol

I'm too fat to be climbing ladders anymore.
See post #2.
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Old 11-29-2016, 10:11 AM   #14
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My MH doesn't have a ladder so I bought one of the 15' extendable ones from Home Depot. Works well and extends above the roofline. I do need to find some better bumpers and someone suggested canoe pads. Guess I need to get out and look at some.
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