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Old 12-25-2007, 09:47 PM   #1
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Bunk ladder for SV235

Here is my first addition to my SV235 Surveyor. Not sure why Forest River did not include one with the camper but I was able to make one that is quite suitable for our needs. I had it painted white but when I set it in place my wife noticed the color stood out, So I took a door off one of the cabinets and went to Lowes and had the color matched. The color is off white and that really made the difference. Very pleased with the outcome.
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Old 12-25-2007, 10:09 PM   #2
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SWEET
give that guy a gold star
interesting they dont provide a ladder. looks likes the young lady likes it fine

thanks for the mod
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Old 12-26-2007, 10:01 AM   #3
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didn't provide a ladder on my Thor either so I also had to make one

Nice Job on your ladder Cyclicpitcher!
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Old 12-26-2007, 06:44 PM   #4
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Thanks!

Thanks Guys, Not sure what the logic is with FR not providing a ladder. I read somewhere some units come with the ladder hidden under the matress. I couldnt find one.
I enjoyed building the ladder, it's amazing what you can do with the right tool. I bought one of those foldable squares they use to make staircases. Not sure what you call it but it was about 8 dollars, has a water level in one side and a metal blade as the foldable square part. Worked like a charm to do the layout and setup the angles.
I am off work for a few days need to build something else since I have the matching paint leftover. Maybe some more shelves here and there!
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Old 12-26-2007, 08:06 PM   #5
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Haven't seen a ladder included by a manufacturer in a while. I'm willing to guess that the non-provision of a ladder is a liability thing... if they don't provide one, you can't sue them for your child falling off it or off the bunk they used the ladder to climb up on unattended. Illogical given that they provide the bunk bed, but in this post-McDonalds-coffee-lawsuit world, logic has little to do with it.
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Old 03-17-2008, 11:12 PM   #6
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Hello from Vancouver,Canada. We have a 235RKS on order and while we were looking at it we thought this should have a ladder. You did a excellent job. I was also wondering is your tow vehicle a Honda, and what your towing capacity. I have V8 Pathfinder with a 7000 lbs tow capacity.
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Old 03-19-2008, 12:32 AM   #7
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Tow

Hi Wittal,
The 235 RKS, rear king slide is an extremely nice trailer. I think you will be very pleased with your purchase.

My TV is a Honda V6 Ridgeline with 5000 lbs towing. I average about 10 mpg when towing the trailer at 60 to 65 MPH.

I think your Pathfinder will do great.
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Old 03-19-2008, 05:25 PM   #8
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Hello again from Vancouver, Do you get much sway when your on the Hiway. I'm concerned about sway because of my short wheelbase (112 inches).
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Old 03-19-2008, 06:17 PM   #9
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Sway Bar

I had a sway bar installed. Honda manual does not recommend a weight balance hitch but they do recommend a sway bar.

I had no sway issues on the entire ride from Altanta to Memphis and about halfway home I loosened up the bar. I hate the groaning sounds of the sway bar.

My father used to pull a lot of cows in a stock trailer and they would get to falling and the truck would go wild with sway. All he would do is reach down and apply brakes on the trailer and all sway would stop.

I am going to leave the sway bar off on this next trip and try the brake method if I have any sense of sway. Will let you know how it turns out.
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Old 03-25-2008, 07:58 AM   #10
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Please be careful

Cyclicpitcher, please be careful and tow conservatively with your rig. Our 235RKS weights 4,500 dry and we figure 5,500 with fluids and packed items. You may be exceeding your Ridgeline's towing capacity. Keep that sway bar cranked. Without a WD hitch, I would think that you might have the potential for some sway; especially when something out of the ordinary happens.

How do you like your 235? We haven't had the chance to use ours yet as we still have snow and it was 15 degrees the morning of March 24!!! That's a very cute little girl!!! : - )

I'm trying to get up the nerve to remove some of the underbelly to install a tornado in the holding tanks.

Bob
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Old 03-25-2008, 11:09 PM   #11
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Sway bars are good.

Hi Acadianbob,

We went camping this past weekend up to Fall Creek Falls about 300 miles up in Tennesse. It was a fun time and I ran the first 100 miles without the sway bar. I could feel the sway from time to time but never so bad that I had to pull the trailer brakes. We stopped at a rest area and I put the sway bar on and it was so much better that I am now a big believer in the bar. The trailer ran straight and true and I settled into the right lane, set the cruise to 60 and kicked back and enjoyed the ride.

We may be pushing the edge of the weight limit, but the ridgeline is very stable and the tongue max weight is rated at 600 lbs. Many on the Honda forums believe Honda is conservative on their ratings. There is dozens on the forums reporting their tow experiences with heavier setups.

We never dry camp and so we dont carry water and we dump grey and black before we haul. One other thing I have done is replace the two large propane tanks with the smaller size. On pulling to the site both my propane tanks are empty. We stop at a Walmart and exchange a few miles prior to driving into the park. I dont believe we carry a 1000 lbs of stuff. A couple of camp chairs and a small grill, and a 9x12 indoor/outdoor carpet. I think I will do a checklist and weigh all the stuff just to be sure.

We stretched into the Surveyor, so we wouldnt outgrow it and we are thrilled with this trailer! My wife and I had a 10 ft jayco popup before this and we are now in heaven. I think the 235 is perfect for us. We didnt like the tent with two small kids you have to contantly call out to them and we felt like everyone in the camp could hear us. Hybrids same effect and you dont get away from that damp feeling. I ran a small dehumidifier in our popup to try to kill the damp and now its packed in the attic because the 235 always feels dry.
I would pass on the tornado because I would want to avoid tearing into the underbelly. Its all foamed up so nicely. I use the Flush King, it back washes the tanks quite well. Hope the weather breaks for you soon so you can see how great your new camper is!
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Old 03-26-2008, 08:11 AM   #12
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Nice work on the ladder, looks professional!
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Old 03-26-2008, 05:38 PM   #13
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Hi Cyclicpitcher

It sounds like you have done your homework. I'm glad of that.

I'm glad you like your trailer. It seems that most everyone really like their Surveyors. That's always good to hear.

We also are going from a 10ft. PUP (Rockwood) to the 235. And we had the same feelings as you about going hardsided vs having some canvas. Quieter, warmer, more dry, and we also thought security. We like to camp in National Forest Service campgrounds in the Rockies; BEAR territory. Some campgrounds are off-limits if you have canvas. So that was part of our thinking too.

Here is a link to a guy in Florida who has posted pictures of modifications he has done to his 235. Thought you might be interested. I'm already in the process of doing a few of these mods. Check it out. I'll post back after we have a camping experience or two. Supposed to get 6 more inches of snow tonight. Starting to wonder whether Spring will ever arrive.

http://travel.webshots.com/photo/255...44062658mijIcV
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Old 04-27-2008, 01:43 PM   #14
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Hello Cyclicpitcher.

That bunk ladder that you made is fantastic! My wife and I just picked up our own new 235 RKS and we have two little ones that need a ladder like this too. Would I be out of line if I asked you for the plans for your ladder? It sure would save me a lot of trial and error during my imminent attempts to make my own. (I'm not the handiest guy in the world )

I also saw your thread with the flat screen mount and based on the very limited TV options that I am seeing for the small designated space in the unit, I will probably steal that idea from you as well.

Acadianbob, thanks for that link too. There were quite a few excellent ideas to improve the already great 235. I would never have the courage to attempt most of those modifications but there are a few within my capabilities that I will take a stab at.

Dave.
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Old 04-29-2008, 08:25 PM   #15
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plans? Whats zat?

Lots of great mods in that link. Very inspiring.

Not a problem on the plans if I had such a thing. I kinda build things by eye and I bet there is not an equal mesurement anywhere on the whole thing

I will add some build pictures to help recreate the design. I will try to fiddle around with it this weekend and see if I can come up with something to help.

Good luck on the Surveyor , we think they are the best thing ever!
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Old 05-03-2008, 11:05 PM   #16
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Making the Ladder

Here is a composite picture of how you build the ladder. The right tool does wonders! With the T-Bevel and a table saw you can build this ladder with ease. Hope these picture help to show the process. The t-bevel came from Lowes and is a cheap tool, if I remember correctly it was about 8 dollars.
I used a power sander to smooth all the edges before assembly, then put one coat of paint and dap all your flaws away. Two more coats of paint and it looks like it was made by a pro!

Once you make your master board and it sits right against the floor and lays flush against side of the bunk with the proper angle you chose, you then make a copy by tracing the design to another 1x4.
To make the three rungs of the ladder, you can use the same angle using the bubble level to mark the line for each, put the two side boards together and mark the three rung locations. Divide once the whole length in half to find the center rung, put the top and bottom rung half of the center to the top and to the bottom. I used the table saw to cut grooves and this added additional stability to the ladder. Screw and glue each rung. I counter sunk the screws and dapped over them in painting so they wouldn't show.
Good luck, best wishes!
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Old 05-08-2008, 11:54 PM   #17
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Hi Cycilpitcher
We heard from are dealer finally and should be getting our 235KS on May 17th. The family is getting excited as we have some trips planned around here in British Columbia and the Oregon Coast.Hope you don't mind if I use your idea to also build a ladder.Maybe I can send you some pictures.
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Old 05-20-2008, 06:02 PM   #18
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Wow, all I can say is thank you very much Cycilpitcher! I will be attempting the ladder project this weekend (as per your instructions) and I'll be sure to let you know how it turns out.

We had our 235 out for its maiden voyage this past weekend and it was fantastic. (despite a couple of water leaks that we discovered). It was windy, cold, rainy, and generally miserable all weekend long...but we were quite content to watch it all from the complete comfort of our wonderful new Surveyor!
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Old 05-22-2008, 09:38 PM   #19
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We finally picked up our trailer last Friday, and we're very pleased so far.It towed very nice on the way home but we did'nt have to far(30 mins). I think I will still get a sway bar though. We are planing our first weekend trip for the middle of June. I'm going to start work on the ladder tomorrow night thanks for your plans for the ladder. Scott
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Old 05-23-2008, 10:32 PM   #20
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Water leaks??

Davican,
What were your water leaks?
We have had a leak of sorts, with the slide open during heavy windy rain we get a few drops. They run in under the metal rails on the bottom of the slide. It drips inside the inner storage shelf next to the couch. We just fold a towel and place it on the shelf and change it from time to time. It's understandable that heavy blowing rain could penetrate the slide a little if you keep it open all the time like we do.

Scott, I think you will tell a difference with the sway bar. It's worth it and easy to use.

Hope you enjoy your ladders! It's fun to make something for the camper. I am thinking of making a small step for the rear slide. It needs to be somewhat thin so that the couch/futon can be folded down but not get in the way of the dinette. Hmm, maybe I need to take a few measurements!

Best to both of you, enjoy your new campers!!
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