RV Ladder Repair

Aluminum ladders are easily repaired with a propane torch

RV ladder repair is needed when stress causes fractures or you back into something that damages your ladder. I found that repairing some broken ladder problems is easy with a propane torch and a special "welding rod".

Have you ever been to a fair, swapmeet or other show where a guy is welding holes in aluminum soda cans closed? He has a number demonstrations that show how easy it is to fuse two metals together with only a propane torch and his rods.

I was at a boating swapmeet at our local harbor and one of the vendors was selling this rod for $10 for a small packet. He also was selling self igniting propane torch heads. I bought both. After years of wondering what I could use the rods for, I had an answer, my RV ladder.

This is not actually a welding process, it is a brazing process. It is like soldering where you flow your material onto the surface you are repairing. You do not need brazing flux. The specially formulated rod works by itself, with only the heat from your torch.

When I bought our 1988 Bounder the ladder bracket welds were broken at two places. This made it so when you climbed the ladder and pulled outward, the ladder pulled out of the brackets I had to use care climbing the ladder and not put stress where the ladder would pull out of the mounting brackets.

This repair job was fairly easy, but my "welding" was rather sloppy. The job will hold just fine, but more practice beforehand would have been a good idea. I used up two rods practicing on scrap pieces of aluminum I had in the garage. Then I went to the ladder repair. I repaired one broken weld and will do the other at another time after I practice some more on scrap material.

My problem as the upright ladder. My molten aluminum rod would melt and then pool and run like melting wax. It took me a couple rods to do a one rod job and still it was not "very professional" looking. It is functional but ugly.

If you would like to get some of this rod to try, I found it online at J.C. Whitney. You can check it out at INSERT LINK HERE

Should you have a broken or very damaged ladder, you could braze support pieces onto the ladder and make an effective and safe repair. Use common sense when doing any repair.

Click on any picture to see the larger picture

RV Ladder Repair
crack in original weld
Broken ladder weld
other side not welded
brush clean
burnish clean with stainless steel brush
Braze without flux
braze without flux
Repairing Ladders
heat and go
sloppy work
see the rounded puddling I mentioned
finish up
Finished ladder weld
finished weld on "no weld" side
Crack repaired
finished weld on cracked side
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