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Old 08-22-2017, 04:07 PM   #1
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Photo or Info of What Pole to Manually Lift A-Frame Roof?

I've been through two actuators to lift the roof of my 2015 A194HW. Both worked less than a year. I paid for one and paid for installation of two (close to $1500). I don't know enough to install gas struts from E-Bay as some have done.

I see where many say they use a pole or cane, both with some type of rubber or foam end to manually lift their roof from inside. I think I've even heard of someone pushing on the roof handles from outside. I've tried several tools to lift the roof and still have trouble (I've even used a stool in addition). I am unable to lift the roof without help.

Could someone that uses such a device please take a photo of it or send a link to where to get such a pole and pad? Much appreciated!
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Old 08-22-2017, 05:39 PM   #2
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Try this YouTube video
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Old 08-23-2017, 02:32 PM   #3
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I found this video.. I like the idea.


I am trying to figure out how to lift my roof as well in case the motor fails. I don't think I could lift if manually and once I finish the 6" lift I for sure will not be able to reach the handles. My roof panels are for sure heavier than the ones in the video. I have the dormer on the one side as well.
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Old 08-23-2017, 03:51 PM   #4
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We made two of these and stashed in our front bin. We have not had to use them, but made them just in case the lift goes out. Got the idea from some other post. Hopefully with each of us on one of the handles, we can get it up.
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Old 08-23-2017, 05:41 PM   #5
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I don't understand why so many seem to have problems lifting their roof or afraid to lift it. First disconnect the roof assist system, this system breaks so often its not worth replacing and I have seen it cause a lot of damage to roof panels where it attaches I just release the two latches and push the roof up enough to open the door, climb up and push the roof a bit higher so I can open the top part of the door so I can stand near the top of the door opening. Then I just push on the rear roof panel about midpoint from the inside, the roof has two torsion springs on either end to assist, keep pushing until the front section locks in then sidewalls. There is hardly any weight from the roof due to the springs. Watch this video, he does it all from the outside.

https://youtu.be/z75Y7OSdWkM
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Old 08-23-2017, 09:34 PM   #6
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Hi there! Total newbie and this is my first of many silly questions! How do I disconnect the roof assist? We have a 2016 Flagstaff HW and it has worked fine so far, but after reading several threads here I am considering disconnecting it. Thanks!
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Old 08-23-2017, 09:42 PM   #7
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Never feel any question is silly, even with some experience we don't have all the answers. For the assist it is attached at the top and bottom by a nut and once removed will slide away from the trailer, you will also have to disconnect power.
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Old 08-23-2017, 09:52 PM   #8
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This is the top nut to remove if the motor fails. Same as the nut below the motor. Click image for larger version

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Old 08-24-2017, 08:41 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sundancer330 View Post
I don't understand why so many seem to have problems lifting their roof or afraid to lift it. First disconnect the roof assist system, this system breaks so often its not worth replacing and I have seen it cause a lot of damage to roof panels where it attaches I just release the two latches and push the roof up enough to open the door, climb up and push the roof a bit higher so I can open the top part of the door so I can stand near the top of the door opening. Then I just push on the rear roof panel about midpoint from the inside, the roof has two torsion springs on either end to assist, keep pushing until the front section locks in then sidewalls. There is hardly any weight from the roof due to the springs. Watch this video, he does it all from the outside.

https://youtu.be/z75Y7OSdWkM
When I bought my a-frame, there was a different model on the lot--I had to order mine. I asked to and was able to lift that one with no problem. What I didn't take into consideration (I found out later) was the one on the lot didn't have as large a box size and was not a high-wall as mine is. My camper is larger and the roof is MUCH heavier.

I HAVE tried the method you said, opening the roof part way, then stepping inside--even using a pole and a step stool.
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Old 08-24-2017, 08:47 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by MontyPP View Post

Thanks--if all else fails I may try something like that.
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Old 07-20-2021, 05:41 PM   #11
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Chalet 2004

I have a chalet 2004, I have tried many ways to lift it up and its super heavy and doesnt happen. I have to go ask for help.

I added 4 gas struts and 2 new bungees and still its impossible to open and close. I think the roof is wet or something but I would like to hear your help! I feel helpless as chalet is not responsive at all.
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Old 07-26-2021, 09:09 PM   #12
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Try increasing the strength of your struts. Mine poops right up with a simple push.
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Old 08-04-2021, 04:00 PM   #13
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There is an extensive thread and specific instructions on exactly how to install what you need on this site. Try “actuator failure” in your search.
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Old 08-04-2021, 05:17 PM   #14
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Can I please know what brand and weight you are using for the struts? I have 80s in front and 60s in back and no luck!
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Old 08-04-2021, 06:23 PM   #15
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Sepi
I’m using 40 lb struts from Amazon as recommended by Trailer Texan here. It sounds like you have the wrong angle for your strut placement. Note the post below and you can find detailed instructions written by him:

T21TBHW roof actuator failed again

https://www.forestriverforums.com/fo...d.php?t=199652

Good luck. Contact if you need more help, but Trailer Texans instructions are spot on!

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Old 08-13-2021, 04:31 PM   #16
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This is timely. The motor to lift and raise the roof died and it was just over a year old. I was getting ready to go camping on Monday. When I come back from a trip, I typically put my trailer up to air it out. I have a 2020 213HW. I lowered the walls then went to close the roof. Nothing--not even a sound. Tried it again thinking a second time would work. (Definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over but still getting the same result) Apparently, I thought I'd get a different result. I called the dealership to see if there was another option. The repair person told me it was easy to lower manually, just disconnect the motor. I tried and couldn't do it. I waited for my son and daughter to help me. They tried but one of the hydraulic arms started to bend. I called again and the person told me to disconnect the hydraulic arm--he couldn't tell me that before. It took both my son and daughter to lower the roof, each standing on each side and pulling it down. I was also concerned that it would slam, which it did before and I had to have a new hydraulic arm put on. I'm short and not very strong but camp by myself, usually. Any thoughts about an easier way to open and close the roof incase this happens again?
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Old 08-13-2021, 08:27 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Letarae View Post
This is timely. The motor to lift and raise the roof died and it was just over a year old. I was getting ready to go camping on Monday. When I come back from a trip, I typically put my trailer up to air it out. I have a 2020 213HW. I lowered the walls then went to close the roof. Nothing--not even a sound. Tried it again thinking a second time would work. (Definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over but still getting the same result) Apparently, I thought I'd get a different result. I called the dealership to see if there was another option. The repair person told me it was easy to lower manually, just disconnect the motor. I tried and couldn't do it. I waited for my son and daughter to help me. They tried but one of the hydraulic arms started to bend. I called again and the person told me to disconnect the hydraulic arm--he couldn't tell me that before. It took both my son and daughter to lower the roof, each standing on each side and pulling it down. I was also concerned that it would slam, which it did before and I had to have a new hydraulic arm put on. I'm short and not very strong but camp by myself, usually. Any thoughts about an easier way to open and close the roof incase this happens again?

Something doesn't sound right on this explanation. When you "disconnected the motor" did you just disconnect the power cord to the actuator arm/motor or did you completely remove the lift actuator? You must remove the lift actuator completely. We have a A213HW and have now had 3 actuator lift failures. I just remove the actuator and it's easy to put the roof up and down. I've never seen anything remotely representing risking a bent hydraulic arm when manually opening or closing the roof. When the roof is in the full up position, the panels do kind of lock in place at the peak. You have to jiggle the lower roof panel to unlock the peak and then it easily folds closed with all of the hydraulic cylinders in place. If you don't jiggle that peak to unlock I can see it binding and being difficult to close. When you put the roof up, as it gets near the peak, again, you have to jiggle the roof panel so the peak locks in place. I can do it myself on one side but most of the time my wife is on one side and I'm on the other. And, if you are still under warranty, keep hitting FR up for a new actuator. They still haven't fixed the issue! I'm off warranty now and as expected, 3 actuators later it still doesn't work. Good luck!
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Old 08-14-2021, 10:25 AM   #18
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I had the roof fall and break the arm that is connected to the motor. I was camping in the snow, woke up in the morning and had 12 inches of snow (where I was, we weren't suppose to get that ). I sort of did a twist-fall on the stairs and was moving very carefully. One of my kids called and we were talking and I sort of did a little yelp moving the wrong way. She kept asking me what was wrong. I kept telling her everything was okay. However, in talking to her, I moved the wrong way again. She, her husband, and my son came out to help me pack up. We took off as much snow as we could with a broom. We did the "wiggle" at the top to unlock it. As the roof was down, someone was on each end getting more snow off when all of a sudden, the roof slammed and bent the main arm connected to the motor. The warranty took care of it. I'll have to see about doing it manually. I'm picking up the trailer either today or Monday after getting a new motor--just outside of the warranty. I'm going to talk to the repair person and ask why we needed to remove the arm connected to the motor. It makes sense that it needs to be there to help move the roof up and down manually.

I don't like hearing that several people have gone through 2 or 3 motors in a short time. It should have been made better than that.
Thanks for the help. I appreciate it.
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Old 08-14-2021, 06:39 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Letarae View Post
I had the roof fall and break the arm that is connected to the motor. I was camping in the snow, woke up in the morning and had 12 inches of snow (where I was, we weren't suppose to get that ). I sort of did a twist-fall on the stairs and was moving very carefully. One of my kids called and we were talking and I sort of did a little yelp moving the wrong way. She kept asking me what was wrong. I kept telling her everything was okay. However, in talking to her, I moved the wrong way again. She, her husband, and my son came out to help me pack up. We took off as much snow as we could with a broom. We did the "wiggle" at the top to unlock it. As the roof was down, someone was on each end getting more snow off when all of a sudden, the roof slammed and bent the main arm connected to the motor. The warranty took care of it. I'll have to see about doing it manually. I'm picking up the trailer either today or Monday after getting a new motor--just outside of the warranty. I'm going to talk to the repair person and ask why we needed to remove the arm connected to the motor. It makes sense that it needs to be there to help move the roof up and down manually.

I don't like hearing that several people have gone through 2 or 3 motors in a short time. It should have been made better than that.
Thanks for the help. I appreciate it.
Here are a couple of things that may help you. This link has some good basic explanations on how the linear actuator works. https://www.firgelliauto.com/blogs/n...-actuator-work About halfway down the page is a really good animation to show you what that roof actuator is doing.

The key take away is that the way a linear actuator works means whatever position it is stuck in, it will be stuck solid and you can't extend it or retract it once it locks up. Mine always failed in the full open or full closed position. If yours failed anywhere in between that could be very difficult to keep the roof halves from slamming shut when removing the actuator. It would take at least 3 people to manage this situation safely. I attached some pictures of our failed actuator that I wrapped in an attempt to keep the water out. (It still failed since I think the water got in prior to me wrapping it) I also took pictures of the actuator upper and lower attachment points so we can confirm we are talking about the same thing. The ends of the actuators go over those posts and are held on by some nuts. Those two pictures are what it looks like with the actuator fully removed. I put some foam over the end of the protruding bolt and then wrapped it in electrical tape to help prevent someone from banging into it. Again, with the actuator removed, the roof is fairly easy for my wife and I to open and close the roof. If you are trying to manually open or close the roof with both ends of the actuator attached something will break.

There is also at least 3 threads on the failed actuators. Lots of folks, and most likely everyone has had more than 1 failure and then are stuck once warranty runs out. Our first one failed with the roof fully opened and we had to move a picnic table to side so we could stand on it and reach the upper attachment point nut so that we could remove the actuator to close the roof manually. Of course, in the rain...
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