The ladder took a lot of pondering. There was not only the decision of where to place it but also which ladder to get. In my mind there were three possible placements for the ladder; on the back right or left or on the drivers side of the van. The passenger side was not an option because of the sliding door. I went with the back of the van in case I wanted to attach anything to the ladder, such as a bike rack. I chose to put it on the right side for no particular reason, I think its because that is where I have seen them on other vans. (I think the hitch would be the best placement for the bike rack but haven’t gotten around to installing one yet. It would be best to have one that swings laterally so you can still use the rear doors.)
I decided to add some more insulation to the van after my first winter staying at Mt. Bachelor. The front of the vehicle was letting so much cold air seep in along with the fan I installed in the roof. I kept the blinds in the back and front down to help hold in the heat during the rest of the winter. It didn’t help a lot but it was better than not doing it. When I got back to my home base in WV I used the leftover 1″ foam board insulation to fill the gap in my fan and also placed it on the front floor of the van, except the drivers side. I was afraid the foam would interfere with my braking ability. Reflectix, reflective roll insulation, was used to insulate the windows. I used rare earth magnets to attach it to the frame around the windows in the rear of the van. For the front, driver side and passenger side windows I just cut the Reflectix a little larger than the windows and jammed it into the windows with the tops tucked under the seams to keep it in place. I was surprised by how much of a difference this stuff makes in keeping the heat in, it also helps to keep it cool in the hotter months by blocking the sun.