Vanagon – bridging ladder

it’s been a while since i posted anything, busy at work and at home. I have some Vanagon stuff to post and I’ll get on it as I can.

This post is about a bit of fiberglas grating I picked up to use as a bridging ladder. I’ve been looking for off cuts of the is material for quite a while now and last week I finally found some. The source is interesting but I really can’t say where. This kind of bridging ladder is commonly used in the UK and Europe but I don’t see it being used much over here in Canada. Here is a link to a UK source.

What I found was slightly different as what you see on that link, it has extra webbing on one surface and a very coarse anti slip grit embedded on same surface. Also it had been partially cut, annoyingly so as it screwed up a neat division into two long usable pieces. And it is about 38mm thick, major grid size is about 1 1/4″ square. You have to love the mix of measurements.



I cut it it to get one good strip and gave it a test. You can see how it bends but doesn’t break.




They left over strip, still with the partial cut in it, was strong enough to make a ramp.


And the un cut section supports well.




I have to explain why i want something like this. On logging road spurs you often find water drainage trenches cut across the narrow road. Seems to be the norm nowadays instead of installing a culvert. The trenches can be deep and steep sloped, either by design or by the drainage water eroding the sides. Sometimes the shape of the trench makes a perfect tank, I mean, Vanagon trap. You only need a little help to get across and I think even one bridging ladder will do.


  1. #1 by Paul on May 10, 2014 - 6:10 am

    Thanks for the explanation. Now it makes sense. Paul πŸ˜‰

  2. #2 by albell on May 10, 2014 - 7:20 am

    Smarty pants!


    I forgot to mention that they could also serve as sand or traction mats.



  3. #3 by Joel on May 10, 2014 - 9:20 am

    Nice! I look forward to someone getting a picture of you using one of those in the wild. I suppose you still have your winch if the bank they rest on fails. What is the max length you could use? They look like 1 meter in length?

    • #4 by albell on May 10, 2014 - 9:48 am

      Hi Joel,

      I don’t have a winch, I should have one I suppose. I do have my Hi-Lift jack and that has helped me get unstuck a few times. It is kinda hard to explain how the seemingly insignificant ditches can stop you. Its a combo of a narrow road (so you can’t come at an angle), steep entry, and the poor approach angle of the van. I have resorted to filling in the ditches a little with large rocks just so that the van doesn’t drive its nose into the ground when you are easing over the ditch. So I really don’t need a big help from the ladders.
      Yes, they are about a meter long.



  4. #5 by famillysyncro on May 11, 2014 - 7:17 am

    Make sense for me too, I was more thinking traction mats too at the beginning.

    I would like to see a video of those used, not that I am saying you should go get stuck somewhere…. πŸ˜‰

    This other idea would be 38″ tires for your new rims…..


    • #6 by albell on May 12, 2014 - 6:56 am

      38″ tires? Like yours Jerome?




      • #7 by famillysyncro on May 12, 2014 - 8:51 pm

        Nope, at 30.5″ it is already rubbing a lot….
        IIRC, only in UK….. damn, cannot find the post on Samba…..

      • #8 by albell on May 12, 2014 - 9:39 pm

        That’s huge, I don’t have the power πŸ™‚ plus it kinda reduces the G gear effectiveness. Ike the slow crawling it gives me.




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