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Old 04-11-2019, 08:31 PM   #1
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Gas Springs Actuator DIY Primer

Apologies for the long post. I considered replying to Roof actuator replacement
or
2017 Rockwood A213HW Roof Repair
or a few others. But they all had sidetracks.

Mods, if you want to consolidate no problem.

As some of you probably know I've posted extensively on this subject.
I've felt all along that the issue was water in the motor. I still think that to be a large part of the problem, but not all.

I really feel this is a low cost long term solution not requiring extensive mechanical ability.

Last fall we headed out to the outterbanks with my power drill set-up A-frame Acuator Powered Fix $0 and it worked just fine. But being on the port side while raising, I was able to observe that the tension on the lifting roof panel was way too much (not the 1st to observe this). Warping of the side panel was serious. I'm thinking the torsion springs are getting weak or are not properly installed/adjusted, or just a POS.

With that in mind, last winter I decided to go the gas spring route. With some help from backpacker3 ( 2017 Rockwood A213HW Roof Repair) I ordered and installed these https://www.siraweb.com/gas-prop-c16-15952 trying to duplicate backpacker3's dealer fix.

I didn't want to post until we had a chance to try it out. We recently completed a 5 week, 10 campground, 16 setup/teardown trip and couldn't be happier (almost). It takes about 5 seconds to raise or lower. I can do it alone without having to move from one side to the other. My wife (5' 4") is more comfortable moving, but she can do it on her own.

I said 'almost' above. I'm not sure it's set up as well as it could be, but it works darn good. Maybe we can discuss improvements later, but here's some photos.

Based on Backpacker3's (A213HW owners) input I mounted the rail brackets 23" from the front of the camper. And the wall brackets 22" from the floor. (Photos 1 & 2).

On the port side there was nothing solid to fasten to so i made a block to solidify it (Photo 3)

Photo 4 shows the roof after releasing the latches.

A push up on the rear panel moves the lower section up and another nudge engages the two roof panels.

To lower just pull down on the rear panel to disengage, then an easy tug to latch it. .
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Old 04-11-2019, 09:46 PM   #2
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I am another surviving member

of the original custom actuator replacement user team.

I would like to be the first to congratulate you for your latest accomplishment,
which may be the ultimate solution to the actuator dilemna.

I am still using the actuator for "up only" with a shovel handle side assist,
and we'll see how long that works.

Best regards!
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Old 04-12-2019, 06:48 AM   #3
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Nice job looks good.
What I was thinking of trying to install a gas strut on the existing electric motor mounting brackets.
I am lifting the roof now without the motor now. The motor is just too darn slow for me.
Just need a little more lift power to make it easy for me to lift.
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Old 04-12-2019, 07:03 AM   #4
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Nice job. So all you have is the gas struts on that one panel? Nothing on the other panel? I had assumed 2 on each panel would be ideal. But this fix seems doable.
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Old 04-12-2019, 07:43 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lcangler View Post
Nice job. So all you have is the gas struts on that one panel? Nothing on the other panel? I had assumed 2 on each panel would be ideal. But this fix seems doable.
Just on the front panel. The bungies pull up the rear panel. If you were to do both you'd better lower the psi of the springs. It's actually a little harder to close than to raise.
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Old 04-12-2019, 08:06 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by superal View Post
Nice job looks good.
What I was thinking of trying to install a gas strut on the existing electric motor mounting brackets.
I am lifting the roof now without the motor now. The motor is just too darn slow for me.
Just need a little more lift power to make it easy for me to lift.
That could be difficult to close. Once a GS gets nearly closed it should close its self. If the angle is too steep that won't happen and you'll be pulling against the spring.

I actually have this issue with my setup. I think the lower wall brackets should be higher, almost to the top so that the GS is nearly parallel to the ground when shut.

That's what the (almost) statement is about in my original post. I was hoping to generate some discussion on the GS placement.

On the other hand, the way it is makes it super easy to lift.

Don't get me wrong, it works great, but it probably isn't perfect.
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Old 04-15-2019, 11:54 PM   #7
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Do you have to purchase the mounting brackets separately, or do they come with the struts?
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Old 04-16-2019, 04:22 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benefit View Post
Do you have to purchase the mounting brackets separately, or do they come with the struts?
Separately. I should have mentioned that: https://www.siraweb.com/bracket-gpb2
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Old 04-16-2019, 09:32 AM   #9
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One more question.
What did you use to fasten the brackets?
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Old 04-16-2019, 03:01 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benefit View Post
One more question.
What did you use to fasten the brackets?
On the three that "hit something" (both sides of roof and starboard side wall) I used stainless flat heads, 1 1/2" I believe. On the port side wall I used ss machine screws.
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