Scissor Stairs

10 06 2010

So far, all of our camping experience has been with the camper on the pickup.  This means that the floor level is about 36” off the ground.  We’ve been using a step-stool that sometimes is a bit unsafe because the legs tend to sink into damp ground.  It’s also another items to forget at home, and requires space inside the camper when we travel.  Doing a bit of online research, most of the aluminum scissor stairs appear to be very similar.  They come in 3, 4 and 5 step versions, with the recommendation of 4 step for 31” to 39” height requirements.  I found the best deal at JC Whitney and with a 15% off coupon from CouponCabin.com paid about $175 for the aluminum scissor stairs. 

 There’s a bracket that comes with the stairs intended to be attached to the rear of the camper that the stairs slide onto.  But, this assumed that the stairs would be transported inside the camper which I didn’t want.  Often wet or muddy, I wanted the stairs to stay outside.  Drilling 4 holes in the top bracket  of the stairs along with 4 matching holes down through the camper floor (through a 2×4 floor joist for strength) I permanently mounted the stairs underneath the camper.  The existing threshold covered the 4 stove bolts that went down through the floor making for a completely invisible attachment.  The stairs worked well during our first outing with them to Jefferson Lake

You’ll remember that one of the first projects with the camper was a rollable platform that allowed us to roll the camper inside the garage for storage.  This platform is only about 11” high, the minimum that the jacks retract and the maximum height allowed to roll the power vent lid through the doorway.  These new stairs hang down about 14”, requiring removal during garage storage.  Not wanting to remove the 4 bolts  each time we moved the camper into storage, I purchased 2 1/4“ pins and clips, drilled out the top rivets and re-attached the stairs with these pins.  This provides easy removal when necessary (either on the storage platform, or camping off the truck) and  allows us to keep the stairs mounted under the camper for travel.

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