Getting up onto the roof

Submitted: Thursday, Dec 18, 2008 at 17:55
ThreadID: 125263 Views:3876 Replies:7 FollowUps:1
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I'm carrying a small-ish aluminium step ladder--sufficient to access awnings etc, but not really high enough to get onto the roof directly, e.g. to check solar panels or spray the Wineguard or check our loose rubber seal on our ensuite hatch/exhaust fan.
It seems I could probably get onto the roof by standing on top of the spare wheels at the front and climbing up.
I've got two 600 x 600 mm flat timber plywood boards which I carry for a variety of reasons.
Has anyone tried to get onto the roof this way (i.e. from the front)?
Is it safe for van and climber?
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Reply By: Motherhen & Rooster - Thursday, Dec 18, 2008 at 20:44

Thursday, Dec 18, 2008 at 20:44
Mmmm - sounds a bit risky, although i don't understand quite how you plan to do it. Try and coincide your needs to access the roof with times when you can find and borrow a ladder - eg if you stay at a CP and they have one. We found a ladder when we were at McGowans Kalumburu and were able to compare our solar input with the BT next to us, which really proved our panels were faulty. When in Kununurra we borrowed one from a tradesman for the duration of our solar panel investigation - remove - replace episode.


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AnswerID: 576562

Reply By: Grumblebum & Dragon - Friday, Dec 19, 2008 at 00:12

Friday, Dec 19, 2008 at 00:12
We have a humungous alloy bullbar on the front of the cruiser. I drive the said vehicle to be facing the side of the Bt and climb onto this and it makes a great ladder for cleaning panels. Have'nt used to to access onto the roof but may work.

Otherwise I have also used ladder borrowed from CPs or friends.

Cheers John
AnswerID: 576563

Reply By: Pixellator - Friday, Dec 19, 2008 at 02:28

Friday, Dec 19, 2008 at 02:28
If you have a roof rack, park alongside (close) and use the rack as a platform. Works for me, but I also have a ladder that's long enough to give (visual) access to roof, although too short to climb up safely.
How were you proposing to climb up the slopey front bit of the roof? Crampons, mountain climbing ropes, perhaps? LOL
AnswerID: 576564

Reply By: The BrakeAways - Friday, Dec 19, 2008 at 02:52

Friday, Dec 19, 2008 at 02:52
thanks guys.
scaling the slippery slope at the front did look rather challenging, so the roof rack option will be next cab off the rank, so to speak.
AnswerID: 576565

Reply By: Dundee - Friday, Dec 19, 2008 at 09:48

Friday, Dec 19, 2008 at 09:48
Rick & Julie
On the issue of the loose rubber seal on the ensuite hatch - we had exactly the same problem from day one - they seem to use a cheap contact adhesive and then this oozes out and the actual dome sticks to the seal and pulls it off when opening.
Its very fiddly but worth doing - we took the seal off - cleaned it and the ridge on the hatch - then re fitted with clear silicon - this is a great adhesive and when dry it will remain unaffected by heat etc - we worked on a safe ladder to the side and you need to leave the hatch open for at least 24 hours - then its another reason not to have to get up on the roof.

AnswerID: 576566

Reply By: Deleted User - Wednesday, Jan 07, 2009 at 20:50

Wednesday, Jan 07, 2009 at 20:50
Hi Rick & Julie

Just returned from a couple of weeks hiking Tasmania's south coast wilderness areas so I am now back in BT etc mode.

We purchased a telescopic ladder which can be extended to a max of 3.3 metres and has a max load of 100kg. It weighs >10kg and stores to a size of 900x500x90mm. It is for emergency/maintenance use only but works really well & is very compact (Stored in narrow slot under bed with golf clubs, ironing board, backpack, 240v hotplates, portable shower screen, etc).

Saw ad in CMCA or similar mag & I think it was posted to us from either WA or SA. The were good people to deal with.

Have a great day.

Greg & Diane
AnswerID: 576567

Follow Up By: Rockgoc - Wednesday, Jan 07, 2009 at 22:29

Wednesday, Jan 07, 2009 at 22:29
The ladder referred to is made by We bought one for the very reason being discussed in this thread and have found it a great bit of gear! Stores in a very small space but it's robust enough to take 100 kgs or so. There are two versions, one for up to 100 and one for up to 130 kgs. The people are very good to deal with and we just emailed and ordered and had it in a couple of weeks even over in the far north of WA where everything takes forever to get here!
Regards, Jan O
FollowupID: 850487

Reply By: AlexMc - Thursday, Jan 15, 2009 at 20:16

Thursday, Jan 15, 2009 at 20:16
I park my twin cab along side the van and step from the roof racks across onto the van. I use the 2 plywood roof access boards that BushTracker supply with all there vans. They are stored under the cushions of the seats at the table!!!!!

AnswerID: 576568

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