Tailgate Ladder? -How do you get into your GFC?

Hey GFC fam,

As I eagerly count the days until the install of my V2 Camper, I’ve come to the realization that the 41" tailgate height on my Power Wagon on 35"s might make for a difficult entry for my short wife. As of now, my solution is to place my tool box below the tailgate… But I feel there should be a more elegant solution?

I’m looking for ideas or solutions that might help climbing into/out of a tall truck bed in the dark a little easier!?

I really like the idea of this Westin step, but it is only designed for tailgates up to 38" tall:
https://www.westinautomotive.com/truckpal-tailgate-ladder

This appears to be another option, but I’m not a fan of the design of having to unpin around the tailgate support and it laying across the tailgate when not in use:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B078YFVS8V?pf_rd_r=017YRV19WHCMBTWC0RM6&pf_rd_p=8fe9b1d0-f378-4356-8bb8-cada7525eadd&pd_rd_r=e11233b0-738c-4fb2-9bc1-4abce54df98d&pd_rd_w=Kbn21&pd_rd_wg=Py54g&ref_=pd_gw_unk

Looking forward to your thoughts and suggestions!

We just use a 3 step ladder that we carry in the truck. Easy to move around and is a useable for working on the truck too. I don’t know what kind it is, just a steel kitchen step from Walmart that we have had for years. My truck is a 2016 power wagon on 35s. I thought about a permanent tailgate ladder, but it does no good if you are using the camper with the tailgate closed.

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I have a PW on 35’s, my wife is short ie 5’2" and almost 60 years old. she does not have any problem getting in or out. I have a Gorilla folding step that works great is very stable and is easy to carry and useful for lots of things at the campsite. We use it when we are cooking for food prep etc. I rigged a strap for her to grab as well. It is also stable if set it up on the tailgate itself and I use it when tucking the sides of the tent in when closing it up. We both prefer using a ladder on the side tho as it is a pain going up from the bed if not solo.


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also remember when you are fully loaded you are going to sag a stock suspension. Just the weight of the V1 sagged me 1/2" and when you load everything up you sag more. Does not take much and you are overloaded on a PW, weekend camp trips put us over GVWR.

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My Yeti cooler works great as a step into my Tacoma.

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I also use the gorilla folding step and it works well for my 5’1” wife and little kids.

I use a milk crate to go in from the tailgate and a CVT ladder to go up the side.

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MultiPro tailgate, no extra stuff needed. :smiley:

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Because those trucks are “comically large,” Graham - GFC walkaround, 2020

:rofl:

My apologies in advance - the wiseassery was too difficult to resist.

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How high is it to the average Tacoma tailgate? Power Wagons are 41" from the ground to the top of the open tailgate.

To be fair, I’m not sure, but I also installed a 2" suspension lift. I use one of those little fold out stools - they’re like 15bucks at any box store. My wife’s 5’3" and it works fine for her. I’m 5’8" and it’s a bit of a jump to get into the bed

Step ladders

I do know that my truck still isn’t as tall as my buddy’s stock Power Wagon though.

EDIT: The open tailgate is ~32" from the ground on a stock TRD.

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2019 Power Wagon here, on 37” tires… step ladder helps my 5yo kids get in. I’m 6’ and can get in butt first, with no step… or put a foot on the bumper, and hand on the GFC frame (V1 with panels open), and climb up.

A built in ladder sounds neat, but I also use my truck as the family minivan, and everything in between, so I try to keep the bed flexible; drawers and GFC are my only permanent/full-time mods.

You win the internet today!

The Yeti option would work for me, but exclusively camp in bear territory and have had a buddy lose a yeti to bears… So, I’ll keep the yeti in the cab for now.

Seems like the best option to make for an easy entrance while maintaining bed functionality is the step ladder. I appreciate the feedback guys! Worth noting, my wife is still recovering from a spinal injury that required surgery… Hints my attempt at being proactive in trying to find a solution.

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I’m 5’1 and use a small foldable step stool to climb in and out of the bed of my Tacoma. I’m recovering from a fractured toe and ankle and it works great. My Tacoma also has one of those dealer installed under bed steps, but don’t use that much. The side ladder is great, but after an injury, I’m still a bit unsteady on the ladder.

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That’s really good idea. I was thinking about doing this, but stacking the milk crates up like stairs - something like this:

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this what i’ve using for a couple years now. 3/4" marine plywood screwed to the top of a milk crate. I always kept it in the bed for a step and it also works great to put stuff in so it doesn’t slide around. then when I got my Ranger and used herculiner on the bed and door sills, I also did the top for slip resistance.

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AEV Prospector XL owners be like:

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I read that Tacoma owners can enter their side doors by standing on the rear tire. On a Power wagon it is ~5’ from the top of the tire to the bottom of the tent door. I imagine on a Prospector you would need an elevator to do that :slight_smile:

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:rofl: too funny. i think a step stool that can be used for other stuff is cool - like doubling as a table or something. i never like carrying stuff that can only do one thing when you don’t have much storage space

the gorilla ladder also folds flat and weighs nothing and will support well over 300lbs. My buddy and i were using it to put his roof top on and he weighs 260lb and I am 215lb and it was solid. it is 48" long 12" wide and 20" tall and folds to about 2" flat and weighs no more than like 5lbs. It really is a great camp item.