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Old 07-15-2019, 04:55 PM   #1
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Roof mounted ladder rack

I just bought a new ladder rack for my 2011 21 wildwood travel trailer. How do I find the roof rafters to mount the brackets to. Im a construction contractor but RV framing & construction is quite different from house construction. Any thoughts?
Thanks for any insight.
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Old 07-15-2019, 05:53 PM   #2
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If there wasn't a ladder standard or optional, there is no factory backing for the lasder.
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Old 07-15-2019, 06:17 PM   #3
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Not necessarily true sir bikendan. My '15 Freedom Express did not come with a ladder. Dealer didn't mention installing one and I didn't ask. I sent an email to Forest River asking for info on mounting a ladder. They sent me a printed diagram of how the rear wall was constructed. My unit has aluminum framing but the print showed that there were two (2) 2x4's mounted sideways in the back wall. The print shows construction as you would see standing inside the rear bunk room. Careful measuring on the inside then transposed to the outside and I found the studs easily. I confirmed stud by drilling very small holes through the fiberglass until wood chips came out. I mounted the ladder and all has been well since
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Old 07-15-2019, 06:28 PM   #4
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Thank you Thurman. I just got done sending an email to Forest River. Before doing that a tried using a stud finder on the roof to find the rafters. But I had difficulty getting consistent stud finder readings through the rubber roof. My next thought was using your small exploratory hole method but I figured Id give FR a shot first. Im thinking theyre 24 on center but not sure. So well see. Thanks again.
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Old 07-15-2019, 06:53 PM   #5
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Ooops, I forgot to mention that the print informed me that I could attach the ladder anywhere in the as the roof has a 3/8" plywood underlayment. Do remember to us either silicone or Dicor on the attaching points of the back wall and Dixie on the roof screws
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Old 07-15-2019, 07:01 PM   #6
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I thought Dicor was the stuff compatible with rubber roofs and was going to use that for the roof screws. I was going to use silicone for the back wall screws. Dixie??? Not sure what that is.
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Old 07-16-2019, 04:42 PM   #7
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Spell check got min post #5. Should have read that I could attach the ladder anywhere on the roof as the roof underlayment is 3/8" plywood. I used a marine grade silicone where I attached the ladder mounting screws in the back wall, placing a dab of silicone in the pilot holes where each screw went through the fiberglass. Spell check seems to like using "Dixie" rather than the "Dicor" I meant to type for the screws entering the roof. I placed a dab of Dicor at each pilot hole for the screws entering the roof and after placing the ladder and tightening down the screws I put Dicor over the entire roof flange and screws on the roof.
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Old 07-16-2019, 05:25 PM   #8
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When I toured the Flagstaff plant Elkhart, I was interested in putting ladder on my unit. Tech on the production line told me they place right and left backng on all units as they do not have a build sheet on the line. They have no way of knowing which units gets ladders or not. He gave me measurements off the corner and above the taillight. Worked for me. True of Flagstaff not sure of other models, you are doing the right thing by asking FR.
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Old 07-16-2019, 06:47 PM   #9
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In that case my friend, we are precisely on the same page! 😁 Now if only Forrest River would get back to me on what the roof construction looks like 😩
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