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Author Topic: using a cordless drill or cordless impact wrench to raise and lower the top  (Read 4476 times)

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Offline keno

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I am looking to use a cordless drill or cordless impact wrench to raise and lower the top of my '04 Jayco designer pop-up.  Has anyone done this with any success?  Is there any problem doing this, will it damage anything?  Is there a better option?  Thank you in advance.

Offline Yellowkayak

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You need a HIGH TORQUE cordless drill with a minimum of 400 pounds of torque.  I bought one at Sears and it has 550 pounds of torque.  Ours works great.  You also need the SOCKET JEANIE to into the drill then into the socket to lift the top.  It does not hurt the lift system.  Get a drill with a LOW SPEED setting.  When putting it down DON'T put it down all the way uding the drill.  You can over turn the cable and it won't go up and catch to keep the top up.  So I use the crank handle to lower mine.

JJ

Offline Unstable_Tripod

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I can't speak from experience because I crank mine manually, however I've read here several times that one should not use an impact wrench.
2011 RAM 1500 Laramie Quad Cab and 2009 TrailManor 2619

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Offline NJGuy

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My Hitachi DS 18DMR with 450 in-lbs torque in drill mode works great.  Be sure it is set in the correct direction and hand crank the last few turns to be on the safe side. 
2000 TrailManor 3023
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Offline Eanddrice

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I use a DeWalt 1/2" 18volt cordless drill with a socket genie that does great.  I have a line on the lift post that when I get to that point, I stop and crank it manually (about 2 turns) to get it where I want it.  Don't want to chance going too far and damaging the lift system.
Eric & Debbie
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Offline Yoti14

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I use a Craftsman 19.2v with no issues. I use the Low setting with the chuck set in Drill. Perfect. for the crank I use a 30mm socket that fits snug over the crank sleave. Cheap and effective.
2005 GMC Yukon XL Denali 2004 Jayco Jay Feather 18F
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Offline azbirddog42

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I use the Hitachi  18 volt drill on high torque and slow speed, works great. I first crank the top up about 2 turns and then use the drill until I reach a mark I put on the lift arm and then crank by hand to the top. Just reverse the procedure to let the top down... Hope this helps....AZ [8D]
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Offline Retired Alex

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Search back through the older posts, there are several that state that the crank mechanism is not designed to withstand the forces developed by drills in the hammer mode.
Alex & Mary Burnett
JD (Boxer)
2006 F150 towing a 2011 Onyx 25RB via an Equal-i-Zer 4PSC

Offline NE_FL_CAMPERS

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Do not use the impact drill..trust me on this one,at $289.00 to replace the crank clutch assembly I learned the hard way [B)]
Phil Smith
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Offline azgilamonster

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Hi,
I bought a low speed high torque electric drill from harbor freight tools for 39 bucks, converted a socket  by cutting in 2 notches on the side and it fits in the crank tube. I do not raise it all the way up with the drill I stop when it is about 8 inches from top then crank by hand a couple turns, I do not use it when loweing at as there is no need.

I figure there is electric at our sites or use a power inverter to power the drill.
will try to post pics of drill and socket







Offline GetOutSide

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I did the same from He Ruide's excellent blog. Wish he were still around...

Anyway, I did have mine bind up once, so now I go slow and easy. Does anyone know how fast the factory kits go?
'05 Chevy 2500HD or '03 Hummer H2
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Once you go boondocking, you don't come back. ;-)

Offline billin

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Re: using a cordless drill or cordless impact wrench to raise and lower the top
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2011, 03:17:56 PM »
I burned up two drills, one 1/2 inch heavy duty drill, and one 1/2 inch cordless drill... I think my camper is just too old to use a drill, I just have to sweat it out.

I did make my own Socket Genie though...
I used a 5/8" deep socket and I put the socket in a vise and used a recip saw and cut down about 3/4 of an inch, and spaced each of the two cuts about 1/4 inch apart. then I used a pair of needle nose vise grips to break out the pieces I cut. I then took and old 3" 3/8" extention and cut off the part you put the socket wrench on, and I grinded down the end so the drill would have something to grab onto. I then used JB Weld putty to hold the socket and my "new" extention together. I then put on the drill and watched the "smoke Genie"...Literally...

If it weren't for the drill's cooking, It would've been great...
1992 Coleman Pioneer Newport
05 Tundra Reg Cab

Offline momule

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Re: using a cordless drill or cordless impact wrench to raise and lower the top
« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2011, 01:04:35 AM »
The concern that I would have with using an electric drill is that if something gets in a bind the drill could easily just bust up the rollers and other stuff while if you are hand cranking you would feel a problem, fix it by leveling better or finding the problem before it gets worse.

If these things were meant to be powered up a lot more of them would be from the factory. Setting up camp isn't a timed event so just relax, take it easy and do it right.
TV: 2001 Mazda Tribute V-6 with factory tow, PUP: 2000 Viking Saga 2107st

Offline DSCinVegas

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Re: using a cordless drill or cordless impact wrench to raise and lower the top
« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2011, 02:00:25 AM »
I know a lot of you won't like this comment, but here goes anyway... how about burning some calories and sweat equity and hand crank it like the oldtimer PUP pioneers  [:D]?  Is it really that awful?  Will it kill you to get all buff and build up the guns a little for the Mrs? (you're welcome, ladies) 

Granted--- Seniors or physically challenged.. I get that of course.
DSC
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Offline jerryegbert

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Re: using a cordless drill or cordless impact wrench to raise and lower the top
« Reply #14 on: February 15, 2011, 06:46:33 AM »
Never even thought about using a drill.  As I get older, I may look into it.  I cannot imagine it would hurt if a low speed drill was used with care.