Poor-boy RTT - now I need a ladder

rnArmy

Adventurer
Went on a three-week trip (I guess you could call it an expedition; I called it an adventure) up to Northern Canada recently (TX to Inuvik NWT, and back to TX), and we used a pair of Cabela's double-sized Tent-Cots (not a lot of head room, but fine for sleeping). After the trip, I decided to mount one to my trailer (a very modified HF 4' trailer) as a poor-boy's RTT (PBRTT). Looks like it'll work ok, but now I need a ladder (will be entering/exiting over the spare tire).

Doing a forum search, looks like my two options are sliding vs. telescoping. Tepui seemed to offer ladders, but was out of stock.

So what's a good reasonably priced ladder I could make work for my PBRTT? Any links (and insights) would be appreciated. Thanks.

Oh; and I enjoy this Expedition Portal. I used to be more of a hard-core Jeeper (still enjoy doing that), but I've been getting into this expedition travel stuff.
 

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rnArmy

Adventurer
Thanks for responding.

Looking for something more rigid that can go out at an angle and support a good 200+ pounds.
 

rnArmy

Adventurer
I originally had the tent 90-degrees, but thought it was too wide on the top of the trailer when folded so I rotated it. Plus that mounting system was not near as strong as it the way it is oriented now (bolted directly to the lid with no brackets).

The spare tire is mounted on a Jeep TJ spare tire mount that is bolted to the aluminum diamond plate tub. While I do have reinforcement ribs on the inside of the tub (and the tire rests on a 2" receiver tube) I'm afraid my slightly over 200lb weight might cause some damage to the tub structure (but that frontrunner heel-step thing looked pretty cool).

I think I want to stick with some sort of rigid ladder. I found this on Amazon that looks like I could make work:
https://www.amazon.com/Telescopic-T...TF8&qid=1471663072&sr=1-4&keywords=rv+ladders
 
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Jelorian

Adventurer
Very cool idea to put those cots on top your trailer. I've been thinking of getting the double just to use when car camping but never thought to put it on top.

I think I want to stick with some sort of rigid ladder. I found this on Amazon that looks like I could make work:
https://www.amazon.com/Telescopic-T...TF8&qid=1471663072&sr=1-4&keywords=rv+ladders
Looks like the telescoping ladder would be your best bet. The fact that it is so compact when not extended is a bonus. Plus since it won't be attached to your tent you can use it elsewhere when needed.

i like that idea, ive thought about it before, how far apart are the legs when oriented like that? is it wider than the HF frame? as for a ladder, might look on amazon for some of those telescoping ladders like they have on the rtt's similar to this https://www.amazon.com/Xtend-Climb-...471956382&sr=1-10&keywords=telescoping+ladder
Interesting how both ladders look very similar but 1 is almost 3 times the price of the other.
 

rnArmy

Adventurer
I'm sure that professional version collapsing ladder at $200+ is very sturdy, but kinda defeats the budget aspect of this PBRTT project.

I will tell you that these Cabela's double size tent cots are extremely bulky and awkward trying to store and maneuver inside a vehicle. It was even a little awkward getting it in-and-out of the storage bag. At 55" x 38" x 7-8" thick folded and weighing 63lbs (I put it on a scale once) it isn't easy to squirrel away in a vehicle; they take up a lot of space. That's one reason I put it on top of the trailer. It won't fit inside the trailer, won't fit inside my Jeep TJ, and was a little cumbersome getting it out of the carrying bag and setting up. It would be heavy to constantly try and put folded on a vehicle's roof (like in a roof-rack tray it could lay in). I'm not complaining (I liked it when it was all set up); it just wasn't a "pop it open and you're done" sort of thing. I think it will work out great as a RTT though, and very easy to go from folded to ready-for-sleeping.

When we took our two Tent-cots on our Inuvik trip, they pretty much took up all the floor space in the Jeep Grand Cherokee. So we put our luggage on top of them (two tent-cots laying flat one on top of the other, then everything else piled on top of them). Which meant we had to pull all our luggage out (and sleeping bags and pillows, rifles, etc.) to get to the tent cots. And on one we somehow rubbed a hole in the ceiling of the tent (had to buy a patch kit to patch it) probably from something on top of it as it was being transported and the constant vibrations.

Trip report: http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f109/usa-yukon-arctic-ocean-3582218/ (I had major issues with my computer on the trip so the writing is sparse).

I think it will work great as a PBRTT though. But for car camping, like I said we had a Jeep Grand Cherokee ZJ and it took up all the floor space (rear seat folded flat of course). If you've got a smaller vehicle, make sure it'll fit inside before you purchase it if you're planning on using it for car camping.

Here's a picture of one tent-cot in the back of the Jeep; now picture another one on top of it. They take up a lot of room.
 

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rnArmy

Adventurer
tent ladder.JPGtent cot.22.jpg

I ordered a telescoping ladder from Amazon for my PBRTT. $78 dollars. This one extends out to 10.5'; more than I need, but it seems most ladders start out at 12.5' so I actually got a shorter one.
 
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