Loose Ladder

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Jeannine

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Apr 7, 2005
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The ladder at the rear if our 5th wheel is coming loose.  Dan has tightened the screws, but that didn't help.  Any suggestions for a fix?
 

Back2PA

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Jul 26, 2015
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If it is screwed directly into the fiberglass I would suggest removing the screws, filling the holes with JB Quick epoxy, let it set several hours, drill pilot holes and reinstall the screws. I did this on my last rig.
 

Lou Schneider

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The ladder should have wood blocking behind the fiberglass at the attachment points.  That's how Northwood made my Arctic Fox trailer and the ladder stayed solid for the life of the trailer.  The screws are loose because they flexed the skin and tore larger holes in it.

If the manufacturer didn't provide reinforcement behind the skin, anything you do to reattach the ladder will just be a patch.  It will work loose again as the screws tear bigger holes in the skin.
 

coxid

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Feb 24, 2017
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111
The mounting screws for one bracket of my ladder also worked the fiberglass holes over size to where the original screws would not hold tight.

I cut a 1/4 inch thick piece of Aluminum about 1 inch larger than the diameter of the ladder mounting flange. Drilled a hole close to each of the 4 corners of the AL piece. Then applied  a thin coat to one side of the AL backing piece with white caulking or RV Goop or ? (whatever I happened to have on hand, this would act as waterproofing and as a glue)

I could spring the ladder rails away from the RV just far enough so the wife could slide the AL between there and the RV without smearing the goop on the RV. When I released the ladder I drilled pilot holes in the RV, screwed the AL backing plate to the RV. Then I drilled, tapped and screwed the ladder mounting flange to the AL plate. That was about 10-12 years ago still holding tight! I did the other side to make it look even.




 

John From Detroit

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Apr 12, 2005
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Davison Michigan
Back2PA said:
If it is screwed directly into the fiberglass I would suggest removing the screws, filling the holes with JB Quick epoxy, let it set several hours, drill pilot holes and reinstall the screws. I did this on my last rig.

That might work on the ladder (Or molly bolts as well) but.. I know of (I do not personally know the deceased) a man who did that with something else...  You likely can guess the outcome.

in fairness there was a LOT more stress on those bolts though they were like 1 inch bolts.
 

Jeannine

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Apr 7, 2005
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489
Dan says I didn't describe the problem very well. 

The bracket with 4 screws is firmly attached to the trailer.  The connection  of the 6 inch long horizontal post attached to the bracket is loose where it attaches to the bracket.  How does he tighten that connection?
 

Lou Schneider

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Remove the large Phillips head screw that holds the ladder rail to the standoff and confirm it doesn't go all the way to the base.

If it doesn't, you'll have to remove the standoff and base and see if there's a second large screw holding the base to the standoff tube or if the base is just a press fit.  If it's a press fit it may rely on the rigidity of the standoff to ladder connection to support weight on the ladder. 

If you want to replace the standoff, here's a source along with a picture that shows the nut assembly inside the tube.

https://www.amazon.com/Stromberg-Carlson-8535-Stand-Connector/dp/B008OADJLK/

Here's more varieties if that one isn't a match to what you have:

https://www.strombergcarlson.com/product/la-401-la-401ba-replacement-parts/
 

John From Detroit

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Davison Michigan
Jeannine said:
Dan says I didn't describe the problem very well. 

The bracket with 4 screws is firmly attached to the trailer.  The connection  of the 6 inch long horizontal post attached to the bracket is loose where it attaches to the bracket.  How does he tighten that connection?

Ah that one is easy.. Remove screw in ladder. then remove 4 screws that hold bracket to RV. Remove post and bracket assembly. Tighten screw that holds post to bracket and re-assemble.

Better yet remove that bracket to post screw. add drop locktite (Green is likely enough or blue. not red) and then replace screw and tighten then reassemble the support.
 

TheBar

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Jun 25, 2018
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MS
I think your problem may be the "star nuts" that are inside the round posts which attach the ladder to the wall of the RV. They are a compression fit which sometimes fail. These can be found on Amazon, EBay, or even a local bicycle shop since they are used inside the forks of a bicycle.

Edit: Getting them locally is best in case your posts are not the standard size. You usually don't have to replace the posts.

https://www.etrailer.com/Accessories-and-Parts/Stromberg-Carlson/FST-9975.html#exp-productdetails=.questions
 

Jeannine

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Apr 7, 2005
Posts
489
Thanks to everyone for the suggestions.  Dan is going to hold off on working on it until we are in a better spot for repair work.
 
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