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Old 04-23-2010, 03:52 PM   #1
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Why a ladder. Why no roof storage boxes?

I was contemplating my RV trailer the other day and wondered why almost every RV has a fancy, but too narrow and too flimsy a ladder leading to the roof. Ok, it is to provide access the roof. But, how many times is it ever necessary to get up there and why wouldn't a conventional ladder be better and much, MUCH safer?

Second question – Back in the 60’s and 70’s you saw a lot of Rvs with storage boxes on the roof. I recall Coleman made many of them. These days I hardly ever see such a box on a trailer’s roof. I don’t even know if they are available? I am told, “Oh no, you don’t want to put any new “holes” in that roof and you shouldn’t walk on a RV roof”!

So what’s the deal? I can see the RV ladders if it is to access roof storage, but with no roof storage boxes why a ladder.

Just wondering!?
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Old 04-23-2010, 04:11 PM   #2
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Some of us actually wash our roof. Its also handy for checking seams and the overall condition of the roof.
As to storage, we have more than adequate storage either in our storage compartments or inside our rig.
Having to haul a separate ladder just isnt as convienient.
And last, we wouldnt have a place to hang our pvc clothesrack to dry towels and etc.

I also believe its safer going up and down to use the attached ladder than to use a step ladder, especially when one has a tall 5th wheel.
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Old 04-23-2010, 04:27 PM   #3
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Besides, that ladder needs to be there so folks have a place to hang their stepladder
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Old 04-23-2010, 04:30 PM   #4
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Hi Dumolebob

The roof needs maintenance more than any other surface on a motorhome.

The roof is full of joints made necessary by the joining of panels and different materials. The roof needs cleaning and waxing to protect from UV rays and the heat of the sun. On my Rv the solar panel needs wiping to operate at a maximum and my Tv aerials/disk need a check now and again. More work takes place on the roof than anywhere else.

That's why we need a ladder.
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Old 04-24-2010, 09:05 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Half Dimes View Post
Besides, that ladder needs to be there so folks have a place to hang their stepladder
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Old 04-24-2010, 11:23 PM   #6
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Well, let's see, aside from using the ladder to access the roof for maintenance/repairs, we use it to haul up the RV cover & to climb up on the roof to put on the RV cover, we use it to get to the courtesy lights when the bulbs need changing, we use it to hang towels on to dry, we use it to hold our Plak-R's & we use it to attach our flag pole. But I don't think I'd ever use it to gain access to a roof storage container. I have a hard enough time accessing our storage bins that are close to the ground, so even if there was such thing as a roof storage box, I'd never put anything up there 'cuz it would be too much hassle to go up there to get it.

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Old 04-25-2010, 05:17 AM   #7
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And why no rooftop storage.. Many RV's are pushing the height limit as it is but more importantly an RV is often a very top heavy vehicle, so storing stuff on the roof, makes it more so. Not a good idea
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Old 04-25-2010, 06:31 AM   #8
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I once had a luggage carrier on the roof of my station wagon. The added wind resistance reduced my milage considerably.
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Old 04-25-2010, 07:41 AM   #9
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Okay, so I am probably the exception here. I have two different rooftop storage pods. One holds all the our Christmas stuff, tree, ornaments, wreath for the front window, lights, decorations, etc. and some kites that get used when we stay at the ocean. The other holds our two folding chairs that we seldom use other than when guests are staying with us, also my bike bag and probably other stuff that I can't even remember now.

I power wash the roof 3-4 times a year. And this past month I had all of the old sealant removed from all of the components on the roof and a new layer of self-leveling sealant applied. Similar to another poster, I have to clean the solar panel to ensure that it is working at optimum efficiency.

So there is a useful purpose for the narrow ladder but each time I use it, I pray that it will stay intact while going up or down.

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Old 04-25-2010, 12:45 PM   #10
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Our older, '88 Winnie seen under my user name, has a very sturdy ladder and roof - I prefer it for all the reasons already offered - and while our OEM storage space is wayyyy more than the 2 of us need - a roof mounted box for lighter and bulky items used less frequently, would not be out of the question...
John Day....|'88 Winnebago Super Chief 27ft. Class A
Eastern .....|'88 KIT model 240 24 ft. 5er
Oregon ......|'02 Dodge/Cummins 2500 Quad Cab
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