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FVC Side Ladder for Mid Roof Transit Van Conversion

Materials needed for this project →

  • The rack
  • The ladder
  • Screwdriver, pliers, other various prying tools for trying to safely pry back the plastic rocker molding
  • a drill (possible with drill bits)
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I’m here for ya.

Seriously! Reach out on Instagram or YouTube with questions.

Hollar at me on Instagram or YouTube.

The video is hilarious.

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Step 1:

Assemble the ladder.

There are two ladder pieces to be joined using little “bayonets” that fit inside the top and bottom hollow parts of the ladder.

There are a bunch of bolts that come with the ladder. You have 6 holes in the ladder for securing the bayonet (aka “nunchuck” if you’re cool like me) and only 1 type of bolt in the box that has 6 members. Use those 6 bolts to secure the ladder pieces together.

Then, loosely secure the bottom plate to the bottom of the ladder using two of the large bolts with nuts.

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Step 2:

Mount the ladder and pull back the plastic rocker molding.

The ladder is mounted to the Flatline Van Co Low Pro rack via two “pill slots” on the driver side of the rack. Simply hold the ladder up to these slots and run two bolts through the ladder holes and pill slots. Then loosely secure the bolts with nuts on the back.

You want to leave the ladder loose so you can move it around while finishing the installation process.

Now your ladder should be hanging down and touching the (pesky) plastic rocker molding on the bottom of the van.

This is the not-so-fun part. That plastic piece needs to be pulled back to make room for you to be able to drill and secure the bottom plate of the ladder to the thin strip of metal behind that plastic piece.

There are two types of plastic clips holding that plastic bar to the van. Big black ones on the bottom and little white ones on the side. Both are equally fragile and prone to breaking when you’re yanking on them…so, be careful.

I removed two of the big black ones simply by pulling and prying with a screwdriver (while laying under the van to see watch the clips).

I broke the first white clip and then simply pulled the plastic piece bar so it bent at a strong angle to finish the installation process.

When I finished, I pushed the plastic bar back over the thin metal strip as well as the newly installed plate from the bottom of the ladder and smacked the semi-broken white clip closest to the wheel back into it’s metal opening in the van and it held…so far it has not come loose and you can’t tell that the plastic was ever bent so awkwardly out of shape.

It is scary to pull that plastic bar back so far and at such a sharp angle but it worked out in the end for me!

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Step 3:

Attach the bottom plate to the van.

I may just be an idiot, but I could not get the provided self-tapping screws to work. They just stripped themselves bare so they were unable to actually hold the plate to the van (since they were smaller than the hole they created through drilling).

Eventually, I set the provided self-tapping screws aside, bought a few bolts and nuts from the hardware store, drilled holes in the plate AND the thin strip of metal on the van that were just larger than the bolts I bought from the hardware store, and then ratcheted each bolt and corresponding nut through the plate and van until it was super tight.

NOTE: make sure you have the plate (and therefore the ladder) positioned where you want it to end up before securing your plate to the van since that dictates where the ladder will end up.

This has worked fine for me with no issues of anything coming loose. If you can get the self-tapping screws to work for you, go for it. Otherwise, just grab a few bolts and nuts from the hardware store, drill your own holes and tighten using a socket wrench for maximal tightness.

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Step 4:

Secure (or re-attach in my case) the ladder to the bottom plate and tighten the top and bottom of the ladder down.

After the bottom plate was tightened down to the van and not budging at all, I bolted the bottom of the ladder to the plate using the two large bolts and nuts but left it slightly loose until I made sure the top of the ladder was also where I wanted it.

After making sure both top and bottom are where you want them, tighten the bolts on both top and bottom of the ladder to your heart’s content.

Now the ladder is secure and ready to go!

Test it out!

I am 100% serious when I say that sometimes I just climb up the ladder to “check on my panels” simply because I like climbing up and down the ladder. Absolutely love it.

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Final Thoughts:

Even though I had some trouble with the self-tapping screws, it wasn’t a big deal to run to the local hardware store and grab some bolts and nuts and drill my own holes.

The ladder is amazing! Not only do I find myself climbing up it for no apparent reason other than to climb up it, I also find myself glancing out my side mirror at it all the time haha.

Needless to say, I love the way it makes the van look awesome and ready to go on any adventure.

A true adventure van upgrade. Thanks, FVC!

Originally published on my site, Storiesfromtheroad.life.

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Written by

Non Aesthetic Van Lifer: https://www.storiesfromtheroad.life/

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