In preparation for our roof rack/ deck project, we first needed a ladder to access our roof. There are many options out there for ladders when it comes to Sprinters. A few companies are making side mounts while others make their own rear door mount version. One thing I noticed when it comes to Sprinter Van ladders is they are extremely expensive for what they are. Most of them start around $500 and go up to $1000. That is just insane in my opinion. I understand the expense of labor and tools required for quality fab work, but I just can’t fork out that much cash for a simple LADDER. In my many hours of van build research, I came across the Surco rear door mounted ladder for the high roof Sprinter.
One of the reasons I chose the Surco ladder is because it has a very simple way to attach to the van’s rear door. It basically hooks on the top of the door and then bolts to the door on the bottom with two small 1/4″ or 6mm bolts.
The included instructions are very generic, but it’s pretty straightforward how to install this thing. The ladder comes with two sheet metal screws. Toss those in the garbage. It also comes with adhesive-backed foam pads to go between the ladder and the door. Those do get used.
To attach the bottom ladder mounts, I removed the door panel and drilled two 1/4″ holes in the door. It’s funny how the cringe factor is no longer there when drilling and cutting into our van. After you’ve cut a few giant holes for things like windows and a fan, these little holes seem like nothing. The holes were primed with some oil-based paint and then I used some stainless fasteners and double nutted them to prevent any possibility of theft.
The positioning of the ladder was easy. I wanted to still be able to open the rear door all the way to the stop. When I found the sweet spot for that, it ended up aligning perfectly with the edge of the backup camera and license plate cutout while still not covering up the emblem.
Extended Door Stop
In order for the door to swing all the way open without damaging the side of the van, I installed a taller (passenger side) doorstop in the rear door. It’s really easy to swap out. Only one nut inside the door has to be removed.
Shown here is the taller doorstop next to the factory one. MB part #9067600728
Taller door stop installed.
Once installed I made sure there was sufficient clearance. Perfect. I have about an inch to spare before it contacts.
Adding Mounts and a Mini Shovel
After installing the ladder, I realized I now have a place to mount some stuff on the back of the van. I’m thinking of picking up a Trasharoo bag for trash, firewood and whatever else. In the meantime, I added some mounts and a mini shovel. The shovel comes in handy for campfires or when leveling the van in the dirt. I could also see it being much more useful than a poop shovel to dig out the van in the event we accidentally buried it. Using 1″ tube mounts secured to the ladder, I attached some rubber shovel mounts. These hold it very secure and make it easy to quickly grab or stow away.
Here is the finished product with a side view of the ladder. It sticks out just enough so you don’t kick or damage the van’s door when climbing up and down.
Backup Camera View
When backing up, you can see the ladder in the camera, but it hasn’t affected our view.
How Does it Work? How Do We Like It?
Yes! The Surco ladder has worked great for us so far. We’ve used it on a few occasions to get on our roof and it has been very secure and solid when climbing up and down. There is zero flex in the ladder or the door. I weigh just over 200 pounds and it easily supports me. I’m glad we didn’t blow $1000 on something that does the same job.
Where to Buy
There are a few places that sell the Surco high roof ladder for high roof Sprinter vans. We bought ours on sale at the Sprinter Store. They offered free shipping and had the black one in stock. Other places like Amazon and Trucks n Vans have it as well.
Parts/ Products Used
Extended door stop (factory passenger side), MB part #9067600728