RVs, campers, and 5th wheels have countless features and conveniences built into them. Owners can enjoy their travel experiences in ways that were unimaginable just a few years ago,
like satellites built for RVs and ultra thin air conditioners. With all of these features and appliances, there are things we see and then there are the things that we do not see, such as the changes in the inner construction to support the equipment. We often take for granted that the structure of an RV has to support the onboard equipment.
Picture the last time you hung a large artwork or framed photo in your home. Did you just tack a nail in the wall willy nilly and hope for the best? Or did you find the stud, or use a wall anchor so that it could support the weight of the frame? Without the proper anchoring, the heavy artwork will tip and potentially fall, or damage your plaster or drywall. Just as you might anchor artwork to your home's wall, so must RV ladders be internally supported.
RV ladders typically weigh in at 10 to 30 lbs. Many types are available, and all of Briter's RV ladders are made of RVIA EXTLAD-passing lightweight aluminum. But to pass the RVIA standards, have you wondered what structural changes were needed to support the ladder? The RVIA standards for the ladders were tested when there was weight applied to the ladder. So, to pass these tests, they use a mounted ladder under the load that the RV structure has to support.
The external ladder is supported by internal supports. This prevents the ladder from moving and losing its position during use. The supports are located under the attachment points from the ladder to the backcap and from the ladder to the roof. Extra material under the attachment point anchors the ladder to its position, giving it the support it needs to pass RVIA testing for 250 lbs, 300 lbs or even more.
CHECKING YOUR RV'S LADDER ATTACHMENT POINTS
Mounting a ladder at different points may "miss" the structural elements that are not viewable to us. Yes, the ladder will successfully attach to your RV. But if you climbed the ladder and added weight, the ladder may feel less secure. How long will the attachment points remain secure? Will they eventually loosen? One has to wonder. As an additional test to your ladder's attachments, tap on your backcap. You may notice that the sounds change to having an echo to not having an echo when there is more material. You may also notice that the fasteners attaching the ladder to the backcap and the roof can be 1.5" or 2" long. This is so that the ladder is securely attached to the backcap or roof and to its support.
Over the years, we have spoken to many RVers. Having the factory ladder ensures that the mounting holes line up and no additional holes will be created. That should always be the goal for aesthetic and weatherproofing purposes. However, using the factory designed ladder also guarantees that you will be safe and supported during the use of your ladder.
Briter Products Elevate RVIA-compliant external RV ladders have been trusted by RV manufacturers for many years and come factory-installed on many different models. For more info on these ladders, please visit BriterProducts.com/ladders or contact us.