Tuesday, August 9, 2022


 The roof of the Chevy Roadtrek's - 170, 190, and 210 are added to the van to raise the indoor ceiling so that walking around inside the Roadtrek is possible.  The height is a little over six feet - and is lower in the bed area by a few inches where the floor is raised and where the air conditioner is the ceiling is lowered by the air conditioner.  The increase in height brings the exterior height of the Roadtrek to 8 feet 10" tall. This, according to Roadtrek, includes the television antenna and the lid of the Fanatastic Fan ceiling ventilation van.  The roof is made of fiberglass.

When one needs to get up to the roof outside to do any work - perhaps on the antenna or the ceiling fan, Roadtrek was very clear that the fiberglass roof cannot support full body weight.  Their recommendation was to use a ladder to get up to the roof up to your waist and lean over onto the roof still standing on the ladder which would evenly support part of your weight and be able to get to whatever you needed to work on. 

I have several ladders and step stools. The only place that I can store my Roadtrek when we  are at home is at the top of our suburban driveway which does have an incline  Going up to the roof of the Roadtrek means the ladder is not sitting on level ground but rather at an angle of the incline of the driveway. Going up on ladders is not one of my favorite things and whenever I have needed to go up there I have had Meryl on the ground holding the ladder on the side where if gravity wants to take the ladder down at that angle she is there to stop it.  She has been very good at doing this. 

The ladder I used for several years was a regular step ladder that would get me up to the top of the Roadtrek but was rather precarious and with me on the top, top heavy.  I never was really happy going up on that ladder to the roof of the Roadtrek - especailly if I had to move around up there to do whatever it was that I had to do.  I would first try using one of the step stools we have - one with two steps which never got me all the way up to the roof - so that did not work unless I wanted to reach the A/C vent over the cargo doors in the back of the van.  We also have a taller one that got me up a little higher but not enough to get up high enough to lean over the roof. At some point, I bought an extension ladder to be able to get up at the side of my house to outdoor light fixtures or the roof of the detached garage - all of which have level ground to put the ladder on.  I tried this ladder with the Roadtrek and it was not bad, but I did not want the metal ladder to lean on the painted roof of the Roadtrek. I bought rubber bumpers that went on the ladder but when they leaned on the side of the Roadrek with me moving around they were going to scuff the roof. That was no good. I got a thick, quilted moving blanket at Harbor Freight,  That was a little better but it slid easily on the side of the roof - and when it slid so did the ladder.  Not good - as far as I was concerned. 

I said to Meryl why don't they make a really tall step stool. She did not know. I did not know. So I went to find out. I found the ladder in the photo below at Home Depot. This was several years ago and they may not carry this same ladder but they do have very similar ladders. This ladder is made by Werner.


The ladder takes you up 5 feet 5 inches. One is not supposed to stand on the very top platform which is there for tools. The ladder is very sturdy and even on the angled driveway next to the Roadtek it gets me up to the roof easily - and not as precariously as the regular ladders were. I still have Meryl holding the ladder when I am up on the roof - though I did go up on my own once - not wanting to wait for Meryl to come out of the house to hold the ladder - and it was OK. It does not touch the side of the Roadtrek. I am not tall and I can get up to the roof enough to put myself bending at the waist with my upper body flat on the roof and my arms and hands free to do whatever I have to up there.  I will share this - I cannot get to the three windows on the roof from the side of the Roadtrek with any of the ladders I have including this one because it means leaning way too far toward the downward angle of the driveway by how these windows are positioned over the windshield.  When I clean these windows I do so the way I wash the rest of the Roadtrek from the ground with an extending pole hose nozzle  and an extending pole vehicle cleaning brush.   See this article -

 This, of course, is not a take with you when traveling ladder. It is too large to put anywhere inside the Roadtrek - much less even get it inside the Roadtrek without damaging something.  There is no need to get up to the roof of the Roadtrek when we are traveling - and if there was, I would go over to the campground office and ask to borrow a ladder.

 I know that some Roadtrek owners will say it is no problem going up on the roof - being up on the roof with full body weight - we do it all the time.  My response is "Do whatever you want with your Roadtrek. I heed the advice given by Roadtrek, not to do this."  Many of my readers know we bought the Roadtrek new. It is now 11 years old and it still looks the same as the day we took delivery of it. It was a major investment for us and we have to keep it in as best condition we can - so I do not take any chances with it.  I think of what "Dirty Harry" said in one of the movies - "Feeling lucky?" - when I hear or read the "we do it all the time". Sooner or later luck is not always with you.