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Old 01-09-2017, 07:52 PM   #101
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Hi Boatman
My Windy Nation actuator worked fine all through the 2016 camping season. I may be a little paranoid because of the failure of the original OEM actuator so I "help" the actuator by pushing up on the roof on the other side while my wife works the switch. I have no trouble stopping the actuator at the correct spot when raising the roof. I stop it just before the correct spot, then jog it until the roof just about engages. At that time, a little jiggle of the roof makes it drop right in. Sounds more difficult than it actually is.
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Old 01-09-2017, 08:05 PM   #102
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Hi OYO and Boatman
My Windy Nation actuator didn't come with any brackets. I used the existing brackets that came on the trailer. My guess is that it would be rather difficult to find and fabricate correct mounting points to get the upper limit switch to trip at the right point. Due to the added length of the Windy Nation, I had to lower the lower mount just slightly. I also moved it a little to the left, only because Forest River missed the backing wood with 2 of the mounting screws.
In the picture, you can see the original upper left mounting hole for the lower bracket.
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Old 01-09-2017, 09:43 PM   #103
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swampweasel View Post
Hi OYO and Boatman
My Windy Nation actuator didn't come with any brackets. I used the existing brackets that came on the trailer. My guess is that it would be rather difficult to find and fabricate correct mounting points to get the upper limit switch to trip at the right point. Due to the added length of the Windy Nation, I had to lower the lower mount just slightly. I also moved it a little to the left, only because Forest River missed the backing wood with 2 of the mounting screws.
In the picture, you can see the original upper left mounting hole for the lower bracket.
Thanks, exactly what I needed. I just assumed there would be some brackets (arriving tomorrow), but if the existing ones work all the better.

When I installed the oem replacement they sent me in October i noticed only 3 of the 4 mounting screws hit the backing wood. I wonder if that could be part of the problem.

Got above freezing today, supposed to be 50s (f) tomorrow. Maybe I'll take a look at it.

And I agree on the manual assistance while raising.

Thanks again!
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Old 01-09-2017, 10:33 PM   #104
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OYO-
Make sure your actuator is in the fully retracted position. Remove the lower bracket from the camper and install it on the bottom of the actuator. With the roof fully lowered and latched closed, connect the top of the actuator to the top bracket on the camper roof. Now you can move the actuator bottom around with the lower bracket still attached to the actuator to find the ideal spot to mount the lower bracket. I used 3/16 diameter toggle bolts to mount my lower bracket. I drilled 4 new 3/16 diameter holes in the camper, and used the toggles as nuts on the inside against the backing wood. I used clear silicone sealant between the bracket and the fiberglass.
I hope this helps. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask.
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Old 01-11-2017, 04:21 PM   #105
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swampweasel View Post
Hi OYO and Boatman
My Windy Nation actuator didn't come with any brackets. I used the existing brackets that came on the trailer. My guess is that it would be rather difficult to find and fabricate correct mounting points to get the upper limit switch to trip at the right point. Due to the added length of the Windy Nation, I had to lower the lower mount just slightly. I also moved it a little to the left, only because Forest River missed the backing wood with 2 of the mounting screws.
In the picture, you can see the original upper left mounting hole for the lower bracket.
Swampweasel, I have a question or two concerning how you determined where to place the bottom bracket for the actuator. I've read your process on disconnecting the bottom bracket & mounting the actuator but I'm wondering how you knew that the top limiter switch would "top out" where it was suppose to? Also, do you have actual measurements that you moved the bottom bracket that we may use to position our lower bracket. I've been reading the threads about this situation and noticed that someone had fabricated a different lower bracket and moved the actuator to the other side of their camper (rt. side) and had lowered the bottom mounting stud to below the bottom edge of the camper. I like the idea of using the original brackets and keeping the actuator in the same general location.
One other question, how many times have you had to replace the actuator before you went with the Windy Nation actuator?
The Windy Nation actuator has a 900N (225#) max load capacity where the OEM actuator has a 500N load rating. If I did my "old math" formula correctly, the OEM part has a 125# load capacity (225/900 then x/500).
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Old 01-11-2017, 05:32 PM   #106
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Originally Posted by Ortep View Post
Swampweasel, I have a question or two concerning how you determined where to place the bottom bracket for the actuator. I've read your process on disconnecting the bottom bracket & mounting the actuator but I'm wondering how you knew that the top limiter switch would "top out" where it was suppose to? Also, do you have actual measurements that you moved the bottom bracket that we may use to position our lower bracket. I've been reading the threads about this situation and noticed that someone had fabricated a different lower bracket and moved the actuator to the other side of their camper (rt. side) and had lowered the bottom mounting stud to below the bottom edge of the camper. I like the idea of using the original brackets and keeping the actuator in the same general location.
One other question, how many times have you had to replace the actuator before you went with the Windy Nation actuator?
The Windy Nation actuator has a 900N (225#) max load capacity where the OEM actuator has a 500N load rating. If I did my "old math" formula correctly, the OEM part has a 125# load capacity (225/900 then x/500).
I'm not Swampweasel, but I was about to post that I did this today. It took 30-40 minutes.

Swampweasel states that he has an issue with the top limiter. I was unable to test mine because my carport is not tall enough. The lower limiter works.

Positioning the the lower bracket is done by attaching the actuator to the upper bracket (in its original place), place the lower bracket on the actuator, mark where the lower bracket hits the camper wall and attach it there.

The position could vary based on camper model. The one you saw mounted on the other side I believe is an older model that did not originally have an actuator. Mine ended up about like Swampweasel, but I was able to use the lower left hole and rotate the bracket so that it is now the upper right corner.

I was on my 3rd oem actuator. It hadn't failed, but it was struggling. For $90 it just made sense to me to do it when it was convenient.

The new one pops it right up.
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Old 01-11-2017, 06:26 PM   #107
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Hi Ortep
My Windy Nation actuator is not positioned to stop at the correct place in the extended position. If you kept raising it, it would go too far due to the fact that this actuator is longer than the original. Re-read post #104 above to see how I stop it when raising the roof. If you wanted it to stop at the correct place when raising and lowering, you would have to move both brackets, or maybe fabricate new ones. I wanted to use the top bracket in it's original position.
To make sure the actuator is in the fully retracted position, just connect the 2 wires to your 12V battery. in one direction it will extend, just reverse the wires to retract. It will stop automatically when in the fully retracted position.
OYO explained the installation a little better than I did. See his post above this one. Let us know if you need more information.
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Old 01-11-2017, 06:38 PM   #108
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Ortep
I meant re-read post #101 to see how I stop the roof in the raised position.
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Old 01-12-2017, 07:12 AM   #109
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OYO View Post
I'm not Swampweasel, but I was about to post that I did this today. It took 30-40 minutes.

Swampweasel states that he has an issue with the top limiter. I was unable to test mine because my carport is not tall enough. The lower limiter works.

Positioning the the lower bracket is done by attaching the actuator to the upper bracket (in its original place), place the lower bracket on the actuator, mark where the lower bracket hits the camper wall and attach it there.

The position could vary based on camper model. The one you saw mounted on the other side I believe is an older model that did not originally have an actuator. Mine ended up about like Swampweasel, but I was able to use the lower left hole and rotate the bracket so that it is now the upper right corner.

I was on my 3rd oem actuator. It hadn't failed, but it was struggling. For $90 it just made sense to me to do it when it was convenient.

The new one pops it right up.
Thanks OYO. It looks like you & I have the same basic unit. You have a Rockwood A213HW & I have a Flagstaff T21TBHW, both are 2016 model year and the same floor plan, so your mounting scenario with the bottom left hole becoming the top right hole should work for me. After the sun rises here I'll go look to make sure I don't have any obstructions in the way (water fill, city water hookup). This is the kind of info I needed to "pull the trigger" on going with the Windy Nation actuator.
I'm trying to avoid taking my camper to the Lazy Days dealership in Tampa, I been read some of the horror stories about their service dept and the LONG delays in trying to get them to perform service work on units that weren't bought from them. And now you say that you were able to do the change out in 30-40 minutes why would I give up my camper to them for 2-6 weeks only to have the next oem actuator fail again after so little use.
I figured that my actuator, which is the original for this unit, was "cycled" (open & closed=1 cycle) 25 times since it was made. I personally cycled it 21 times. I figured the dealership did it twice, once when them put it on display and then once to do the PDI for us. I would hope that the manufacturer cycled it a couple of times for during the QC check . I hope and pray that the Windy Nation actuator lasts for a lot more cycles (years).
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Old 01-24-2017, 07:54 PM   #110
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My Windy Nation actuator was delivered while I was on my Florida trip and installed it today. This was a simple install on the T21TBHW camper. As in previous posts I made sure the actuator was in the fully retracted position. Removed the lower bracket, installed the top rod onto the top mount, marked the position of the bottom mounting holes (came out about an inch or so lower than the original), drilled the new holes and filled the old ones with silicon, installed the lower bracket and replaced the bottom of the actuator. My only additional modification was adding a 2 prong electrical connector to the drive motor wires. This way if it fails I can simply take the actuator off and disconnect the wire from the outside instead of cutting wires. Swampweasel, thanks for the encouragement and original instructions. This sure was a better price than offered by FR.
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Old 01-25-2017, 09:07 AM   #111
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Good job boatman. The electrical connector is a great idea. Hopefully the windy nation will hold up much better than the original.
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Old 01-27-2017, 09:31 AM   #112
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Originally Posted by boatman811 View Post
My Windy Nation actuator was delivered while I was on my Florida trip and installed it today. This was a simple install on the T21TBHW camper. As in previous posts I made sure the actuator was in the fully retracted position. Removed the lower bracket, installed the top rod onto the top mount, marked the position of the bottom mounting holes (came out about an inch or so lower than the original), drilled the new holes and filled the old ones with silicon, installed the lower bracket and replaced the bottom of the actuator. My only additional modification was adding a 2 prong electrical connector to the drive motor wires. This way if it fails I can simply take the actuator off and disconnect the wire from the outside instead of cutting wires. Swampweasel, thanks for the encouragement and original instructions. This sure was a better price than offered by FR.
Boatman, Thanks for your installation description. Since we have the exact same camper I have a couple of questions about the positioning of the lower bracket. You said that you lowered the bottom bracket by about an inch, did that make the upper limit switch work properly or do YOU have to stop raising the roof just before the upper limit switch engages? Also, did you position the bottom bracket directly below the original mounting position or did you "offset" the bracket as described before "making the bottom left hole of the original mounting position the mounting hole for the upper right hole of the bracket?
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Old 03-12-2017, 03:28 PM   #113
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Well, I got the roof actuator replaced this past Wednesday at Lazy Days dealership in Tampa. The replacement was done under warranty and took about 2 1/2 hours. The service advisor said that they had to inspect / operate the actuator to confirm that it was bad, duh! I told them that it didn't raise the roof. She then said that it might take 2-3 hours for the work to be done because they would then have to call FR to get approval to do the job under warranty and that sometimes it took that long to get an approval. Prior to me taking the unit in I called Lazy Days parts department to see if they even had the replacement part and the service person said that they didn't and would call me back with an expected time frame for getting the part in. That was 27 days ago and I still haven't received a reply from the parts dept. In the mean time I talked with Deb in the FR warranty claims dept and she got the actuator sent directly to my home address, NO CHARGE, and I took the part in with the unit on my scheduled service day. So why would they have to call FR to get approval when I already had the part from FR? I will say that the service tech did a good job and I have my unit ready to go camping for this St. Patty's Day weekend. Let's see how long this actuator lasts. By the way, the service advisor said that she hasn't heard of a lot of actuator failures on the Rockwood or Flagstaff A-Frames so I told her she should look up the Forest River Forum site and get an "eye full" of what's going on out in the real world.
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Old 03-12-2017, 04:04 PM   #114
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if you purchase a T19QBHW (flagstaff) if the roof Actuator necessary? The roof panels should weigh the same as any T12 Model without a dormer. I know the T21's are heavier because of the 14 foot box dormer's etc.
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Old 03-13-2017, 07:44 AM   #115
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if you purchase a T19QBHW (flagstaff) if the roof Actuator necessary? The roof panels should weigh the same as any T12 Model without a dormer. I know the T21's are heavier because of the 14 foot box dormer's etc.
I have a T21TBHW, no dormer. When the actuator quit working I disconnected the top nut & removed the actuator from the top mounting stud and was able to push the roof up with a little effort, was not difficult. I like having the actuator for the sake convenience AND ESPECIALLY when closing the roof. You can open and close the roof without the actuator but when closing you better have two people to control the roof so it doesn't "slam" closed. I feel that the factory actuator is not strong enough to endure the multiply cycles it goes thru during a camping season, especially down south here where our season is year round ( maybe for up north where the season is shorter). My unit goes out of warranty next month, so when the actuator fails again (which I expect it to do) I'll be replacing it with the Windy Nation brand. If you look at one of my previous posts I calculated that the factory actuator is probably rated for 125# (500N) where the Windy Nation is probably rated for 225# (900N). If this is truly the case, the factory actuator would have lighter gears and would "strip out" those gears since it's probably at its max rating capacity. I'm not saying that the roof weighs more than the rated capacity but is AT its max load capacity.
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Old 03-14-2017, 05:13 PM   #116
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Wink actuator covered under lifetime warranty

greetings,
great thread, lots of good info.

my actuator just failed 11 months into warranty period. at first i was glad the failure wasn't a few weeks later. then i started checking my paperwork. according to page 5 of my owner's manual the roof actuator should be covered under lifetime warranty to the original purchaser. good to know that the next time it fails it should still be covered.

cheers,
-rob
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Old 04-13-2017, 08:36 PM   #117
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I have the actuator on my a214hw. I help the roof while it's raising by gently pushing up on the lift handle while the roof goes up. I can hear the actuator working less. I wonder if this method will prolong it's life.
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Old 04-13-2017, 09:15 PM   #118
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I always "help" my roof go up steve02. Even with my heavier duty windy_nation actuator I think it's a good idea and will surely prolong its life.
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Old 04-13-2017, 09:18 PM   #119
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I just opened up my camper yesterday after having it sit out in the weather all winter. The windy_nation actuator worked perfectly.
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Old 04-14-2017, 05:41 AM   #120
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I just opened up my camper yesterday after having it sit out in the weather all winter. The windy_nation actuator worked perfectly.
Our Windy_Nation actuator just got back from a 9 campsite trip and performed perfectly. There is none of the straining and moaning the oem had. We don't even give it a thought that it might fail.
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