Just a little RV safety tip. If you have an Atwood RV ladder like mine, it uses plastic end caps to hold the metal ladder steps in place. Over time I’ve found they get brittle and begin to crack. Sometimes they split right in half. A big safety issue.
It’s a good idea to inspect them every once in awhile especially after they have been exposed to cold weather. I usually buy a bunch at one time and replace as needed. Also, make sure no screws have rattled loose at the mounting points.
For replacement parts do a search for “kemberly atwood RV ladder parts” or part number “vlprbs” I usually pick them up at an RV parts dealer. Ebay may be another source. From my research online I gather the original manufacturer was called Kemberly and was bought out by Atwood.
UPDATE Jan 2018
I received an email from a Love Your RV reader that goes by the handle HerveVR. He was kind enough to let me share his ingenious fix for the cracking ladder cap problem.
When reading in the Tips and Mods section about the entitled subject and having the exact same problem with ladder end caps of the ladder on our RV, I want to share with you the solution I have came upon.After a close look, I found that the root of the problem is the poor design and simply replacing the end caps will just postpone the next issue.In fact, the step is supported only by the longer screw through the tiniest and weakest part of the plastic cap; this cannot support the weight of a normal person climbing the ladder.So I made square angle supports out of aluminum angle stock (to avoid dielectric corrosion) and fixed them with Pop Rivets.Now, I feel secure to climb the ladder, HerveVR
Update Feb 2018
Another reader contacted me to let me in on some new information. The ladder end caps have a new design and are available at a reasonable cost.
Hi, Ray. I read your warning about the end caps cracking on the Kemberly/Atwood ladder so I checked mine on my 2010 Cougar, sure enough, three were cracked. I called up Atwood to discuss, the rep told me they sold the “rights” to the ladder to another company. I called up the new company and talked about the caps. The end caps were redesigned to one center hole, two outsides holes were eliminated. the countersink on the center hole was also changed to a flat seat for the screw, eliminating the stress that results when the countersunk screw was adjusted too tightly that ended up causing the cracking.The new design end caps can be purchased for $0.99 ea plus shipping. I bought 14 for a total cost of $27 including shipping, much cheaper than the usual parts stores.
Website for ordering is https://advancedresourcingsales.com/products/cap-step-endThanks for your heads up on the cap cracking problem, I really enjoy your blog.
Update Nov 2020 from Chad
Hi Ray! Just wanted to reach out to you and tell you about our experience with those cracking end caps. They’re so scary when you’re on the ladder and one gives out!! Wow. My heart almost jumped out of my mouth!
Anyway, we read your blog post on the ladder end caps and took Terry’s advice on the Advanced Resource caps that he had mentioned. We ordered 18 from them and they are still WAY cheaper than the Stromberg Carlson brand that is the direct replacement with the 3 screws (in 2020 they’re $2.00 a piece and $12.00 shipping no matter what quantity you buy.. but that sure beats even the lowest $10.62 from RV Auto Parts for the originals). We went to install them and found one problem, and we don’t know if Terry experienced this, which is that they are about 1/4″ narrower than the ladder rung is wide, at least on our 1995 Class A (even though we thought all RV ladders of that time were interchangeable) and the side screws are really the only part of the end cap that pulls the caps and the rungs together so they don’t rattle, and our ladder rattled something awful after we installed a few of the Advanced end caps as you just can’t get the caps to sit in tight enough because there is nothing actually pulling the cap into the ladder tread without the side screws. That said, maybe our ladder rungs are wider than usual since it’s an older Motorhome, so just because they didn’t work for us doesn’t mean they won’t work for someone else.
FWIW to everyone out there, if you do end up posting this on your blog as an update if anyone needs to replace more than one end cap they might want to go to one of the retailers that have the entire Tread kit (part number 8450-NT).
We found on the Stromberg Carlson website (https://www.strombergcarlson.
com) that the end cap kit (1 cap and 3 screws, part 8450-CP) sells for $12.50 per cap and the entire tread kit (2 caps, 6 screws, and the replacement ladder tread, 8450-NT) sells for $22.95! Not to mention that their shipping is less if you buy multiple tread kits (we checked on 10 kits and shipping was $26) than on an order of the same number of caps you’d get in those same kits (20 caps shipped for around $50).. We know it makes no sense.. 1 tread kit is $2 LESS than the 2 caps and then you have a replacement ladder rung if you ever need it!
Anyway, hope that helps if you want to post an update on your blog for anyone looking for replacement end caps.