Cheap Mantis Claw Alternative

My main goal was to find a safe alternative for the mantis claw (the $200 piece that attaches the ladder to the camper). Though the mantis claw is a remarkable piece of GFC engineering, I’d personally rather put money elsewhere for now.

A trip to the hardware store generated some inspiration. It’s not quite as visually appealing as the mantis claw but seems very sturdy. It also helps that the bike hooks have rubber coating to prevent marking up the camper.

I’m quite happy with an approx. $10 solution and curious whether anyone else has attempted anything similar…


You know that scene in Jurassic park when the raptors triangulate and trap the guy and his last words are “clever girl…”… Every time I see little things like this I think “clever girl”. Good job! Sturdy enough to hold a couple hundred pounds on the ladder?


I stood on the shoulders of geniuses to accomplish something as fast as I could, and before I even knew what I had, I slapped it on a GFC camper…

Thanks. Yeah, most of the weight is still supported by the ladder itself… but certainly stronger than many of the ladder configurations I climb!

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Sweet. I’m considering this for v1 ladder. Thanks!

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Is the ladder they now sell for the superlight different than the old V1 ladder?

I ordered a few different ladders off amazon because I wasn’t sure which one would be compatible with the mantis claw. They all were. They were all made the same.

The old V1 and the one listed for superlight had a curved lip that just slides over the extrusion. Simple and functional. No need for hardware, it can go anywhere and works when the truck is leveled on a hill and the ground is sloped. What is the benefit of being clipped into one point at a particular angle?

My ladder didn’t come with a lip- just the option to add the mantis claw, which I declined. I probably would have made due with it if it had the lip.

Without any modification the ladder was very unstable and quite scary in the dark for the family. The mantis claw (or bike hook hack above) simply secures the ladder laterally and allows a more vertical position that is gentler on the feet.

I was able to pick up an 8.5 foot ladder at Overland Expo East 2019 for $40. I took a pieces of 1/8" flat aluminum and a pieces of aluminum angle to create mounts. Total cost under $70.