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Loading ramp as sand ladder?
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SSWesty
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 9:06 pm    Post subject: Loading ramp as sand ladder? Reply with quote

I have a trip planned to Moab and I'm looking for some insurance with getting unstuck from sandy washes. So the other day when I was in harbor freight I noticed the loading ramps could make a set of sand ladders. My thought is to go for these http://www.harborfreight.com/1000-lb-steel-loading-ramps-set-of-two-60397.html
and cut one in half to get two 40"+ ladders. I think I'd cut the sides down to maybe an 1" high since I see these as more of a matt than any type of bridging ladder. I figure if I split this with a buddy that works out to about $40 for a set of sand ladders.

Has anyone tried this idea?
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syncrodoka
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 9:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I assume that it would be better than nothing but I have no experience with it.

The only useful knowledge that I have to add to the conversation is to google 25% off coupon for harbor freight and print one out before buying it. I have done this on sale items from them in the past without issue- just gotta make sure that it is current. Wink
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hans j
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If slc is on your way, I'll loan you a set of my waffle boards that fit in the westy luggage rack.
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IdahoDoug
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 10:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have thought about exactly what you are proposing. They seem strong enough, but I would not cut them down thickness wise. That's the whole ball game for strength.
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SSWesty
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 10:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Syncrodoka, I forgot about the coupon...heck that gets the price way down. I saw your video of getting stuck on a sandy beach and using maxtrax to get out. What's your thought in terms of a practical length for vanagons? How have you found the length of the maxtrax to be, more than needed, just right or too short? Looks like the maxtrax or 45" and I was going to shoot for 40".
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SSWesty
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 10:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey hans j thanks for the offer. We will be passing through SLC if I strike out on coming up with something I'll PM you. Have you had success using the waffle boards and could you share what size they are?
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syncrodoka
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 10:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The maxtrax is effecting not because of the length but because of the raised traction nubs that the tires grab onto. If you get the van onto a ramp and air down with some momentum you can get through some sticky situations.
In many situations if SHTF someone is likely to come by and pull you out.

Good luck.
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WestiCoast
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 9:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have these in the van. I have only used them three or four times(on the same outing). They worked well for me. I didn't even need to dig. I aired my Nokian's down to 35 and climbed right out.
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hans j
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 10:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have either 12" wide or 13.5" wide and 46.5" long to fit flat in the luggage rack. They hold 1800 pounds per square foot over 18" span. Actually I haven't had to use them yet except to add some ground height on a really off camber trail!

I would get the air compressor from Harbor Freight for sure though! And those loading ramps would work fine if just laying them on the sand for traction, but low tire pressure works great too.

http://www.amgrating.com/uniform-load-deflection-table-for-fiberglass-grating.aspx
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SSWesty
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 11:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the additional info guys. Those portable tow truck matts look interesting with all the teeth on them and dang they are light. I like to keep the weight down on extra gear. Well I'll see what I come up with for a solution. For starters I am working with 27x8.50 Grabbers, a peloquin tbd, compressor, shovel and a tow strap. I am looking for a little more insurance without going down the winch route.
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dobryan
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2014 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

WestiCoast wrote:
I have these in the van. I have only used them three or four times(on the same outing). They worked well for me. I didn't even need to dig. I aired my Nokian's down to 35 and climbed right out.


Just ordered a set. Perfect for my needs. Thanks! Very Happy
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SSWesty
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So I've been playing with a set of harbor freight ramps. I've cut these down to about 34" in length to fit in the roof top cargo area with my gray water tank.

First test was to see if they could be used for bridging. First pic is about a 2 foot gap. No problem with that.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Second test was to see if I trim these down to save weight and space will they still act as bridges. The side was cut down to about 3/4" and they could do 10" as pictured and could probably go 12" but definitely not 2 feet. Since I carry the 2x8s you see in the pictures to level my westy when camping I am already covered for bridging a 1 foot gap. Cut in this profile they seem like they would work well in a soft sand scenario.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Current weight is 15.2lbs for both of these. I'll be doing some more playing with these so stay tuned.
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SSWesty
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 11:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ending taking the sand ladders I created from the harbor freight loading ramp to Moab. Never had a need to use them since I only got into sand twice. The Peloquin and Grabber tires ended up handling those situations on there own. If I didn't have the peloquin I would have used these at least once. For what it's worth here is how they look laying in the luggage tray.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

I carry a gray water tank up in the tray so I cut these down to fit up there with the gray water tank. They don't take up too much space since I cut them to nest. I tried to figure out a way to carry them on my back bumper or swing out spare but didn't come up with anything I liked. One of these days I'll build a front bumper and may set it up so I can carry them up front.

I definitely think they would help with getting out of sand on mostly level ground. Not sure they would give you much on a hill since they are short and relatively smooth. My next opportunity to use these will be on beach where I'll attempt to launch and retrieve my boat later this summer. I'll report back if I end up using these things.
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