using a cordless drill or cordless impact wrench to raise and lower the top

Discussion in 'My Favorite Mods, Tips, Tricks (and Blunders!)' started by keno, Jan 19, 2011.

  1. keno

    keno New Member

    Aug 13, 2008
    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.
  2. Yellowkayak

    Yellowkayak Popups.....when sleeping on the ground gets to you

    Mar 13, 2007
    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.

  3. Unstable_Tripod

    Unstable_Tripod Well, there's your problem!

    May 20, 2008
    Seattle, Washington
    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.
  4. NJGuy

    NJGuy Active Member

    Apr 20, 2010
    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.
  5. Eanddrice

    Eanddrice Member

    Dec 23, 2006
    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.
  6. Yoti14

    Yoti14 Member

    Apr 6, 2007
    Milwaukee, WI
    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.
  7. azbirddog42

    azbirddog42 Bullhead City, Arizona

    Aug 25, 2009
    Bullhead CIty, AZ
    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]
  8. Retired Alex

    Retired Alex New Member

    Oct 2, 2003
    Limoges, Ontario
    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.

    NE_FL_CAMPERS New Member

    May 18, 2007
    Do not use the impact me on this one,at $289.00 to replace the crank clutch assembly I learned the hard way [B)]
  10. azgilamonster

    azgilamonster New Member

    Dec 9, 2010
    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



  11. GetOutSide

    GetOutSide Let's go get lost...

    Oct 25, 2010
    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?
  12. billin

    billin The back of the pickup is NOT a dumpster!

    Feb 7, 2011
    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...
  13. momule

    momule New Member

    Oct 31, 2010
    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.
  14. DSCinVegas

    DSCinVegas New Member

    Sep 16, 2010
    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.
  15. jerryegbert

    jerryegbert New Member

    Jun 27, 2010
    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.
  16. turborich

    turborich Active Member

    Jun 22, 2010
    Las Vegas, NV.
    I don't think I would even chance using a drill just in case something were to go wrong, besides I don't find turning the lift crank very hard at all.

    Now if you are not able to lift your pup due to other reasons then maybe you could mount a 12 volt winch under the pup that would raise & lower the pup. You could also install a limit switch that would automatically stop the winch when it got to a preset height. You could easily mount a simple momentary rocker switch on the pup, one way for up & the other for down. This type of set up would be permanent & you can get a small winch from harbor freight tools for around $50 bucks that could easily do the job with plenty of power to spare.
  17. moneeleann

    moneeleann New Member

    Sep 25, 2010
    A lot of it will depend on which pup you have too. I have a jayco 1206 and bought the high torque drill a lot of people use from harbor freight. Took it out this weekend. Worked like a charm on the stabilizers.... not so much on the roof. Worked until about the half way point, then the drill was NOT happy with me...

    I'm thinking this is too much for this drill.... would another drill work better, or am I destined to crank? For the record, I want the drill because most of the time it will be me setting up by myself with our two little ones (almost 2 and 5) and we're planning on adding another babe as well... Can't imagine cranking while watching two kiddoes scream at me from the car, while pregnant... The drill makes it much faster and easier.

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