Welcome to the sixth entry in March’s Medium Mod Contest. One Medium Mod will be published in every Email Alert in March. At the end of the month we’ll hold a reader vote to determine March’s winner. Click here for information about the 2021 Mod Contest, including how to enter.
Camper Ladder Mount For Rotopax
2017 Ford F350
2018 Northern Lite 9-6
My primary objective for this modification was to carry extra fuel for our generator. My conditions were that the solution could not get in the way of the camper’s door and the associated ingress and egress. It also could not interfere with the driver’s side awning support, require no holes being drilled into our camper, or require modifications to the exiting ladder. Finally, it had to allow for easy access from the ground.
The first under support for the containers – the outer aluminum angle – did not work out. So it goes with design evolution.
The images show the components and the current project, mostly completed, waiting for the Domestic Supervisor’s sign off.
To fit the backing plate to the ladder and to ensure clearances, there were many iterations during the design and building phases.
That included positioning the Rotopax containers (indexed and held/positioned by a Rotopax mounting plate) to the backing plate, avoiding the ladder’s rungs, and adding effective support under the containers.
The support under the containers is designed to carry part of the load, to keep the containers from rotating, and to not just depend on one central threaded fastener to support the entire load of two containers, mount hardware, and fuel.
The mount is made out of aluminum; 6061 T6, 1/4-inch plate and 1/4-inch by 2-inch angle. The baseplate is 16-inches wide by 24-inches tall. All fasteners are stainless steel. The U-bolts are 5/16-inch, and all other fasteners are 1/4-inch.
The ladder verticals are protected by plastic, clear, reinforced, 1 1/2-inch ID, 1/4-inch wall, tubing that is slit on one long side. I purchased that from Home Depot. The Rotopax hardware includes a Deluxe Pax Mount RX-DLX-PM (base and hold down), and Extension RX-EXT (extension, for two containers).
The aluminum is from remnants sourced via eBay. Rotopax items can be found from many sources and prices vary greatly. Rotopax makes this size container for water, gasoline, diesel, or general storage, but there are many other Rotopax sizes and options. A ladder mount like this one could be modified or expanded to carry their other systems.
The mount cost, including fasteners, was about $80. The difficulty is easy to medium. The time usage was the greatest cost. It took us several weeks to design and acquire materials.
The actual physical project build took about two weeks and required several recycles to plan, measure, do drawings, fit and refit, cut, file, sand, drill and select fasteners to get everything to work out as desired.
Disclaimer: The modifications above are submitted by Truck Camper Magazine readers. It is your responsibility to make sure that any do-it-yourself modification project you undertake is safe, effective, and legal for your situation.
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