In 2018 Gamiviti released it’s revolutionary side ladder. This patent pending design is like no other- a quick release ladder mounted to the side, utilizing a unique flex-hitch system to connect it to your rack. Couple pictures, then we’ll get into the details…
To install you bolt a clevis plate to your rack, using those existing slots in the plates of your Gamiviti rack, or finding/creating a 3” hole pattern in other racks. You need an aftermarket bumper on the bottom, as you will drill/tap some threads in to your bumper wing to install the bottom bracket. Adjustability on the bottom is accomplished using the included cam lock fasteners, and adjustable connecting arm between the ladder and rack bracket attached with supplied hitch pins. Once installed, you’ll realize your side ladder has some significant benefits…
Access to your roof when your rear hatch is open. So keep on cooking, putting your shoes on, or just hanging out on the tailgate- the ladder’s available with the hatch open.
Unrestricted rear window. So easy to clean at the gas station, easy to scrape, and no visibility restriction in the rearview mirror. You can’t see it.
Easy to remove. Like many Gamiviti accessories, your ladder is designed with ease of use in mind, so you can put it on or take it off in seconds.
The downside of side ladders…
Just about every modification you do to your vehicle comes with a compromise, and side ladders have three primary objections to them. It’s important before you decide this is the ladder for you that you understand all three, and and our approach to resolving them, afterwords making an informed decision.
Tree catcher/damage multiplier: yes sure, you can catch a tree branch on a side ladder. And if you smack your truck into a rock face, that ladder could push into your vehicle. That is why the Gamiviti ladder is designed to be removed in seconds- one hitch pin on top, two cam locks on the bottom, that ladder is off the side and in the truck in under a minute. You could go one further and replace the bolts for the bottom bracket with thumb screws, and with no tools could make your ladder completely disappear. So when you get to that tight obstacle out on the trail, you can likely have that ladder in the truck before your spotter finds his gloves. or if the day is more unpredictable, then just leave the ladder inside or strapped to the rack until you’re parked at camp.
Load transfer: In general, it’s a bad idea to directly tie your vehicle frame to its roof. Those are designed to move a little independently from each other, for example that is why you have rubber bushings in your body mounts. If a ladder was simultaneously hard mounted to your bumper and roof rack, then the force (moment) from slamming down on off a ledge would transfer directly to the rack, which could damage your rack or stress your rack’s attachment points. That is why we developed our flex-hitch system up top, one designed to allow full movement of the bumper, transferring none of that stress to your roof rack. All of load when you’re on the ladder is down at the bumper wing, using the connecting arm up top to maintain stability only. So yes, if your first reaction to seeing a side ladder is don’t tie those two together you are completely correct, and we agree. This ladder is different.
Attention grabber: Gotta love it when the guy at the mall asks if your snorkel is a periscope, right? And what’s with all the lights, and the antennas… ok sure when we build up our truck it can draw a little more attention, and a lot of times we enjoy that. But parked at the ball game, at work, or the airport, sometimes we’d prefer if most folks just walk past without another glance. A permanently mounted ladder can grab attention, so when you’d prefer to not advertise you’re built for overlanding, just take the ladder off. Again the quick release system allows you to stow this in your garage or shed in just minutes… so you choose when want to have it out on display.
Installation is fairly simple. First, instal the bolt-on clevis to your roof rack, and connect the top of the ladder to is using the supplied connecting arm. Then mount the bottom of the ladder to the bumper bracket using the supplied cam locks, and position it on your bumper in the desired position. It helps if you have a partner help with this. Once you like the location, mark the bumper, remove the ladder, then drill and tap your holes. Install the bumper bracket to the bumper and reinstall. If you have flip-out windows, open it to insure you have adequate clearance, adjusting the bottom bracket and extending the connecting arm as necessary.
Price for the ladder is $200. If ordered with your Gamiviti rack, this ships for free, just like all of our other accessories. Just let us know if you want to include a ladder with your rack package, and we’ll add it to your custom quote.