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Old 05-22-2020, 06:58 PM   #41
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I'm confused but my A214HW already has struts on the front panel. They were there when I bought it new. Are they less than the 60-lb struts being suggested?
I installed the windyNation but wouldn't mind eliminating it if the other is enough.
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Old 05-22-2020, 09:21 PM   #42
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I don't think the factory started installing struts until 2019 model year. The struts the factory put on my early 2019 T21TBHW (A213HW) were mismatched in length and rated at 40lbs. The strut model number (stamped on the strut) gives open length and power rating. They were nowhere near enough power, which was surprising because the dormer struts are well matched to the load.

I installed 60# struts, but it's not quite enough - probably needs 80# with the combination of dormer weight and poor location of the struts, but the roof isn't strong enough to handle that much force that near the hinge. The design really needs to lift near midpoint or further back for decent leverage. The angle appears about right (almost 90 degrees when the roof is up), just too close to the hinge.

I finally tested taking the lift motor off this week on a camping trip. I was able to raise the roof manually by pushing up on the rear handle with a wood pole. But the roof did not raise as evenly as I would have liked - it does better with the lift motor. And I had to push about 40lbs force, which I was afraid was going to rip the handle off the aluminum cap. There was definitely an assist from the struts, but not enough for a smooth experience. Compared to OYO's experience, I think the dormer weight is the issue. I can't use more power in the struts because they are already causing warping of the aluminum at the upper mount.

In an ideal world, I would retry the experiment, moving the struts back as far as I could without interfering with door or hatches (or grills for heater, water, heater, and fridge on the port side). This would take considerably longer struts. But I am not going to make new holes in the side of my A-frame or roof frame. So I will live with the electric lift with a good assist from the 60# struts where they are. Since Forest River gave me a second lift motor under warranty, I'm going to take the first lift motor apart, clean and lube the gears, and see if I can put a better seal where the shaft goes into the case.

just my thoughts and experiences
Fred W
2019 Flagstaff T21TBHW A-frame
2008 Hyundai Entourage minivan
camping Colorado and adjacent states one weekend at a time
last trip: Trinidad, CO (earlier this week)

next trip: Black Hills (2 June)
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Old 10-12-2020, 12:57 PM   #43
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pgandw, out of curiosity, how did you remove the goofy ends on the starboard strut? Port side is easy. My A214HW has the same underpowered 40# struts on the dormer end. And my actuator tanked due to water infiltration. Guess I need to get a piece of flat aluminum stock as well to reinforce the top mount too.
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Old 10-12-2020, 07:11 PM   #44
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I looked up lift strut replacement on line. Showed a variety of retention devices. Mine had a u clip that slid to lock the pin. All have a pin thru a hole. It's how the pin is retained in the hole.

Fred W
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Old 10-13-2020, 07:52 AM   #45
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Okay thanks for the info, I will take a look this afternoon. I just can't figure out why FR would have used two different types when two 36" lengths would have worked in the first place. Also since the port side is the limiting factor on placement due to fridge vents, why not match that on starboard when the whole side is open in this area?? It seems it would eliminate twisting in the whole roof panel. But I am preaching to the choir. Thanks again.
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Old 10-16-2020, 08:22 PM   #46
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Joining the strut club -

If you are still around,

Oyo,

I have the 2 36" 60lb struts and am about ready to "have at it".

My single actuator is still working good, remember I am only using it for the
raising part, and removing it to store until the next raise.
I just don't want to risk the chance of actuator failure...

Question - what is the length of your strut when closed? Other posts mention
that the strut might need some compression to decrease its pressure. There is some leeway in all this, as we know.

Regards,

mickrock
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Old 10-16-2020, 08:40 PM   #47
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I measured the factory 40# struts (on the front roof section) at 23" compressed, 36" extended. I replaced them with 60# struts. Because I have the front dormer, 60# on the front does not cause the roof to spring open. They do significantly reduce the load on the lift motor.

In my mind, the best solution is to put struts on the rear roof section, and get rid of the lift motor. I just haven't had the guts to drill new holes for another set of struts in the back, with 6 total struts already in the front (2 on main roof, 4 on dormer).

Hope this helps.
Fred W
2019 Flagstaff T21TBHW A-frame
2008 Hyundai Entourage minivan
camping Colorado and adjacent states one weekend at a time
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Old 10-16-2020, 09:50 PM   #48
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I don’t have an actuator that works anymore. I took it off and just raise it by hand. Mine was found to be full of water too. With the new 60 pounders it raises a lot easier. I can get the near side to lock in at the peak but have to walk up inside the camper to engage the other side. As pgandw said it does cause some flex in the aluminum where they attach to the roof, so an aluminum angle is in order for mine as well. And no it does not pop open with the heavier springs, it just helps a lot with the initial lift.
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Old 10-17-2020, 12:34 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Powercat87 View Post
I don’t have an actuator that works anymore. I took it off and just raise it by hand. Mine was found to be full of water too. With the new 60 pounders it raises a lot easier. I can get the near side to lock in at the peak but have to walk up inside the camper to engage the other side.
Being only 69" tall, I was worried about getting the peak to unlock if I removed the lift motor completely. I had thought about a rope through the handle, but recently acquired an extendable boat hook that is less than 4ft when compressed. Has a nice rubber coated hook.

The boat hook is a much better solution than my previous pusher pole since it can both push and pull. Worked well enough on the last trip that I now have confidence to remove the lift motor, and go with manual set up. Will probably add struts to the rear roof to fine tune the solution - the 60# front struts are not as good a solution. Since the factory had 40# struts on the front roof, I may revert to them, and add 40# struts on rear as my first test for totally manual roof raising.

Or just stay with what I have, and replace lift motor every 2 years. My A-frame is stored in a garage, and we camp in the dry west, so lift motor tends to last at least 2 years.

Fred W
2019 Flagstaff T21TBHW (Rockwood A213HW) A-frame
2008 Hyundai Entourage minivan
camping Colorado and adjacent states one weekend at a time
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Old 10-17-2020, 02:11 PM   #50
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Lots of brainstorming going on,

and good to see that.

I did some garage testing with one of the new struts, and it did seem to
slightly lessen the compression on the downstroke at about 1" from full
down position.

The recommended method of unlatching the top halves is to raise the front
panel with the handle, which enables the back panel to drop down from the
latching slot.

I was taking measurements and thinking about all this, and decided that
it was time to take a break.
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Old 10-17-2020, 04:20 PM   #51
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No handle on the front roof,

I only have one handle on the rear roof, none on the front with the dormer. I just give the handle a slight tug and the rear roof panel pops out and the whole roof comes down much smoother and slower with the 60's. With the 40's it was much faster, but you definitely wanted to keep a hand on the rear handle. Before, with out an actuator, and 40's on the front, I could only get it up high enough for the DW to open the door, step inside and push it the rest of the way up with the handle I made her to open and close the fantastic fan. Now it is a one person job for me. I am 5'10 and 56.



I like the boat hook idea, but I also like the thought of gas springs on the rear even better. I was thinking of taking the old pair of 40's and mounting them to the rear roof too.


My thought on getting rid of the actuator, as nice as it was to lift the roof, was that I didn't want to be in a position where it fails when we are trying to set up or take down and speed is essential. Now, I know it is only a few screws to remove, but if I was not there and the DW was having to take it down for some reason, she could still do it without resorting to getting the screw gun out and removing an actuator.
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