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Old 05-11-2011, 11:35 PM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 48
Gas Struts

I have a 2011 Salem 22RBXL trailer, and the space under my bed is basically unusable because there's not an intuitive way to access it.

Basically it's a sheet of 1/2" plywood with my mattress on it, but it's too awkward or heavy to lift it and stay lifted.

Others on the site have addressed this various ways, but I'd like to use gas struts to do it. The problem I have is that i don't know what I need in terms of how strong of a gas strut.

I see a few on amazon from Suspa that seem nice, and the price is great, but I'm a bit confused on the weights. One says "SUSPAŽ 80 LB Gas Spring/Prop/Strut/Shock (set of 2) C16-08053".

Does that mean it can lift 80lbs of weight using both of the springs, or each can handle 80 lbs for a total of 160 lbs of lifting. In addition, I'm really not awake enough to do geometry, but I do understand that where I place them in relation to the hinge is going to adversely affect their lifting power (fulcrums and whatnot).

My goal is this: I have a queen sized bed in my 22RBXL and I can't get under there. I want to provide access, and will build a few cubby holes using wood to compartmentalize the thing. I'll add a few hatches to the front of it, and have the rest accessible via this strut system. These items are mainly for not as often needed things, but still needed to be carried along.

My question: Without going too much, I'm trying to find the right amount of lifting force. I have the factory mattress, with a 2" pillow topper (it's 30 - 35 lbs by itself).

Thoughts? I'll try to get some pictures of what I'm working with on Friday but it's your run of the mill queen bed in these things.

Thanks for your inputs.

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Old 05-19-2011, 08:44 PM   #2
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 48
Installed Gas Struts

Ok, I finally just bought some struts and tried them out. Here's what I did:

Removed Mattress and lifted the top all the way up to see what I'm dealing with.

Starting Out

Next I took some measurements. I wanted to give the most support to the strut on the bottom side of the lid, so I added a 1x6 to screw the ball on to. I used a 2" screw to attach it to the bottom of the lid like so.

1x6 Attached to Bottom of the Bed Lid

Next, I set the lid back down and screwed 5 screws top down into the block of wood. I only used a screw to tack it in place on the bottom, and then removed them after the successful install of the top down ones. I needed to make sure it wouldn't move while I screwed it down, and didn't want screws coming up and hitting the mattress later.

Screws Top down holding block on from top to bottom

Next I mounted the bracket which holds the strut to the lid and attached the strut.

Attaching strut to lid and angle bracket

Then I installed the bottom bracket on the "T" part of the box to achieve better support (Hopefully).

Attaching bottom bracket

Gas struts attached to tops but not connected to bottom yet.

Pic of Struts hanging

Now attached.

Attached lid

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Old 05-19-2011, 09:02 PM   #3
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 48
Now for the final thoughts.

After installing my mattress down, it seems the 45 PSI might not be enough to hold it in place, but it makes it to where I can easily lift with one hand and hold it up while I get what I need from in there, or have the wifey grab something.

I'm thinking of adding a kickstand on the front like the hoods of cars have, because very little pressure is needed to hold it up now.

I can always purchase stronger struts, but my problem is that with 1/2" plywood, it's likely I'll apply too much pressure to them with more PSI. However, I'd like to try 80 PSI and see if I can use them. If it proves that the 1/2" can't handle it, I'll upgrade to 3/4" plywood which I know with no doubt it would be able to take a 100 PSI strut with no problems.

The 3/4" would add some weight to the front of the trailer, but I'm actually needing to do that anyways for better weight distrubtion so it would be a win/win and not really cost but around $30 bux.

Total cost of this modification is $35. The struts were $25 and $5 / pair for the mounts.

Overall impressions, I now have access under my bed, mod took about 1 hour, and the cost is very inexpensive. Can't do much better than that.
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Old 05-23-2011, 12:57 AM   #4
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 48
Quick Update. I added the "kickstand" yesterday and wanted to share my pics. I hope someone sees this at some point and it inspires them to do something more elegant than this . I used spare parts around the house so this cost me nothing, but the parts I'd guess would be about $15 new.

Stand Deployed

Gravity simply causes the leg, which is attached to a door hinge, to kick out when lifting, as long as the path is clear where it's crossing. I might add some guardrails later to make sure when stuff shifts around during transit that it won't interfere with the path when kicking out.

I wrapped the bottom of the wood in an old rag with zip ties to bind it, in hopes it would not snag my floor or any canvas or inflatable things that might go in there from time to time.

It's all attached to a nylon string with several screw in Eyelets to route the string around the top of the box. When it's time to retract the kickstand, I just pull on the sting (which is connected to the outer lip of the lid) and gently set the top back down.

Full view of stand deployed.
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Old 07-27-2011, 10:20 PM   #5
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 10
Thanks for posting this. I have found my new project!!!
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Old 07-27-2011, 11:13 PM   #6
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Rio Grande Valley Texas
Posts: 357
Thats one thing I liked about our Palomino, it already had the struts they work like a charm. nice Work!!


Ruben Zamora
2007 Silverado 2500HD 4x4 Dmax/Allison, 4" Exhaust-no cat-no muffler
2012 Palomino Puma 23FB
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