Wind kits for Aframes

Discussion in 'A-Frame PopUps' started by AFramed!, Aug 19, 2017.

  1. AFramed!

    AFramed! Member

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    Mar 20, 2017
    Looking for either direction for any previous post with good discussion on wind kits I missed in my search or current day thoughts about the need and preferred product.

    What research I have found online seems to link these kits to the lighter weight Aframes. That said, I have experience with wind lift on our Rockwood, tho only sight (an inch or two) from the completely lowered position and no roof latches in use. So I doubt the wind discriminates against certain Aframe manufactures or Aframe weight. I have seen the pictures of wall blow outs and read camper stories. Personally I think there is a point where severe weather just has the upper hand and we may be helpless regardless in those situations.

    Any thoughts or personal experience? Thanks
     
  2. Sushidog

    Sushidog Active Member

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    I've been in 50+ mph winds in my Aliner and though the wind shook the camper quite a bit we were safe and secure inside. I use the simplest of all wind "kits" a rope thrown over the top of the camper secured to the frame in the front and bumper in the rear with a motorcycle tie down pulled taunt. If I forget to take it off I can't take the camper down - it locks the roof halves together that securely. The only thing is it doesn't protect against high winds while you are erecting the roof, though there are those that do, like the Wind Cheeta, which I think is the best but it's $220. I usually just wait for the space between gusts to erect mine or if the wind is blowing steadily, I go to a protected area where the wind is not blowing so strong to erect it then pull it to my campsite at low speed while it is up. I only had to do this once.

    Chip
     
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  3. DiamondGirl

    DiamondGirl Active Member

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    AZ Aliner
    I don't have a wind kit either. I usually camp by trees for protection against the wind. I've been researching between the Wind Cheeta & John Pfeil's wind kit. John Pfeil has lots of experience and knowledge of Aliners & Aframes. I've been told, he's the best for repairs, modifications and etc. Haven't decided yet. I would like to hear from owners of both types to decide from there. It's on the list for new accessories.

    We recently camped in a very windy, pouring rain with thunder and lightning monsoon storm. She did very well by keeping us dry and comfy. And coming out of the muddy forest roads was a breeze.

    2013 Aliner Classic Off Road Ed.

    Happy Camping...[ALPU][PUT]
     
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  4. AFramed!

    AFramed! Member

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    Thanks for the replies! Since I haven't been inside or raised the roof on an Aliner I can only assume..... the Rockwood has a "groove" that the short wall settles into at the peak of the connected roof. We know it's all the way up after the short side slips into the groove where it rests while up. Is this the same with the Aliner?

    I too, am heavily considering the Wind Cheeta. It's cost verses the cost of the camper isn't outrageous in my mind, moving a factory determined position on a roof handle for placement of the Wind Cheeta gives me pause.... but that may pass. Just trying to determine the need...... guess untill it's your roof in the high winds one can say it's not needed.

    Aliner owners? You guys got that groove right?[:D]
     
  5. nhlakes

    nhlakes Active Member

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    I have not looked at my aliner peak close enough to see if there is a groove there, but suspect it may have something similar due to the way it 'snaps' in when it is at peak.

    We have lift assist with wind kit on our Ranger 15 and love it (I think they come together as a package on ours.) I was honestly way more more interested in the lift assist than the wind kit due to having a couple blown discs in my back. That's why I specifically did not want dormers. I wanted to keep roof weight to a minimum.

    With the just two of us in the 15' box with the higher sidewalls, we felt we had plenty of head room.

    The Ranger 15 with lift assist was the first of the 15' box size Aliners that we setup that more or less opened itself - the top literally opened right up all by itself he first time I released it. I was sold.

    We have only bothered securing the factory wind kit a couple of times while on the coast and it seemed to work well.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2017
  6. Sushidog

    Sushidog Active Member

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    Jan 8, 2008
    New Orleans
    Yes, our Aliner's have the groove too. You might say our A-frame campers are all groovy.[8D]

    Chip
     
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  7. sleach

    sleach A short run will get you within walking distance.

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    Chalet units are groovy too.

    I looked at the various strap, bar and cable wind kits, but in the end retrofitted our Arrowhead with the Chalet system which features a travel limiting section of tubular nylon webbing surrounding bungee cords. It was time to replace the bungees in any case, and the ease of installation and use of the combined system sold me.

    Go to www.chaletinc.com, and then to parts to see. Cost was modest, shipping reasonable and prompt.
     
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  8. AFramed!

    AFramed! Member

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    Checked out the website as you suggested, Thanks! I may call them for info about the possibility of using theirs on our Rookwood, while keeping our stock bungies and adding theirs. Kind of hard to tell just by the pictures. At this point more knowledge is key to making the best decision. I like the fact that the Chalet system isn't as visible as the Wind Cheeta and would not require moving the roof handle tho wouldn't discredit the Cheeta as possibly the strongest option. Would be nice if Forrest River had their own wind kit. I have not discovered one yet in my online search.

    To date none of this has been an issue on any of our camping trips.....to date anyways!;)
     
  9. shuang2

    shuang2 Well-Known Member

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    I just finished the new bungee cord replacement couple days ago on our 2005 Chalet XL 1940. The new bungee seems going so far so good.
     
  10. bob barnes

    bob barnes Well-Known Member

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    I have been out in Kansas heard of that place? Anyway i was scared to death finally got 2 ropes out went over the top tied them off on one end had the wife hold them at the other end while i very carefully raised the roof. now the next am still blowing hard and snowing i pulled over by a walmart truck to take it down. again was scared to death without the truck no way could we have taken it down.

    i too have see pictures where they have been blown apart very scary and i don't know if they figured out how to reassemble it or not!
     
  11. Customer

    Customer Well-Known Member

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    I used Chris Mendola's wind kit. He developed the kit after he was nearly killed in his Aliner. Once the wind lifts the roof the side walls can collapse. The side wall barely missed Chris due to the exact spot he was sitting. He had to be assisted crawling out and the trailer was totaled. I felt that a $20 kit was a cheap investment in our safety.
     
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  12. AFramed!

    AFramed! Member

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    Appreciate your post! Your written simplicity of how the walls actually collapse really helps to grasp why this IS a serious issue and deserves attention. May well be end of my mulling and a call immediate action. THANK YOU!!
     
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  13. bob barnes

    bob barnes Well-Known Member

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    Every heard of the KISS principle I use it every day works for me!!!
     
  14. bob barnes

    bob barnes Well-Known Member

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    Life is funny I grew up poor right out the depression my parents held on to every penny they could scared to death another one was coming clear up until the day they died. I am a little less than them but close I buy used cars and put tons of miles on them my son buys new and trades every 2 years sort of gets under my skin but they make tons of money but I can never spend all the money we have.

    I change my own oil even at 75 he goes to the dealer buys motorcraft you can imagine what they take him for on that. He trades a car off with 20k on it I hang onto mine even when they get 450k on them using any oil on sale. Saying that I didn't have to have a job with a lot of stress in it, I never had to worry about my employer closing up or any disasters pertaining to my job. I live in a house we built 41 years ago its all I desire he has built 2 macmansions I think I chose my lifestyle over all the others.

    Use your head life can be extroidanairely good and stress free and take my word for it when you retire you do not want money problems or stress!!!
     
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  15. Sotovoce

    Sotovoce Active Member

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    Georgia
    We have the Wind Cheeta. The beauty of it is that once installed with a twist in the strap, you do not have to even think about it. There is nothing you need to do to make it operational. It keeps the two roof halves from flying apart when raising or lowering and once the roof is up. If I hear the strap flapping against the camper, I know it is doing its job. The twist in the strap keeps it from flapping in any wind.

    Hubby got ours for Christmas. Put one on you Christmas wish list.
     
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  16. Brian Hovander

    Brian Hovander New Member

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    Years ago I evaluated the wind kits A-Frame trailers were using before Chris Mendola had his roof panels blown apart due to strong winds. Chris had such a fine trailer and had delayed on adding a wind kit.

    I developed an inexpensive wire wind kit that anybody can make for about $15.00 for parts. I personally feel it is a simplified, functional, and economical alternative to all other wind kits on the market. It also provides for connection during the raising and lowering phase of the roof panels.

    Protection for the roof panels is not the end of the issue. With a wind kit secured/installed my upwind side wall was still blown in last September 2017 in a locale with a mild wind condition. So I evaluated the issue, devised a fix, and posted a second article on advanced wind protection to deal with more than merely keeping your roof panels securely held together. You don't want your side walls blowing in or out!

    Some folks think a wire, bar or wind cheeta will fully protect them. This is not the case. More is needed or your side walls can still blow in. Also the wind cheeta only protects you while the roof panels are being raised. A wire or bar system would need to be added in addition to the wind cheeta for full roof panel protection.

    The wind cheeta system is the best system during the roof panel raising or lowering phase with an important exception. I see no need for this with a powered roof panel lifting system. Worse yet, in a windy condition one of the straps can be whipped causing one side to lock up. The operator might not then be aware of this and the powerful lifting system could damage your roof panels (as has now happened in two known cases to date--both parties have subsequently removed their wind cheeta devices).

    If you desire to read my two articles on basic and advanced wind protection they are in the files of a group I set up to deal with A-frame technical development issues at:

    https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/A-FrameTeam/files
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jul 19, 2018
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  17. Sushidog

    Sushidog Active Member

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    New Orleans
    I met Chris and Sally in Caprock Canyons State Park, TX once. I was traveling with my Aliner and he was traveling with Snoopy 2. Nice fellow, and passionate about his wind kit.

    For any wind kit to be really useful, it must be able to protect wind from catching your roof and ripping it out of your hands while you are erecting it, because that is where the real danger is. Once up and latched our campers will withstand pretty high winds even without a wind kit. This is why I like Chalet's high wind harness as it is a simple design that uses a round nylon "rope" as a back-up to the bungie as Sleach mentioned. They have 3 kits: a 34", a 43" and a 49" kit, one of which I'm sure can be adapted to your camper. http://chaletinc.com/product-category/roof-accessories/ The best part is they are only $41.80, so when your bungies wear out due to sun/wearher exposure (and they will) it is a great replacement item that is also an upgrade.

    Chip
     
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  18. DiamondGirl

    DiamondGirl Active Member

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    AZ Aliner
    SushiDog,

    I couldn't find anything on youtube regarding installing the Chalet High Wind harness kit. How hard was the install? I was considering replacing the bungees and installing a wind kit this winter. DH is very handy. Thanks.

    Happy Camping...[ALPU][PUT]
     
  19. ~erik~

    ~erik~ Active Member

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    Jan 19, 2015
    North Georgia
    Chalet's wind kit does look like a nice alternative to bungies. Wish I knew what size fits what camper. After three years our bungies are still in good shape, as the camper lives in the garage, but eventually.....

    I have a wind kit like the Aliner OEM one - square aluminum poles on heim joints that swings over to secure the roof. However, unless you can hold onto the pole in high wind it's really just designed to help hold things together once the sections are raised.
     
  20. Customer

    Customer Well-Known Member

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    Jun 5, 2014
    I never considered my kit not helping while erecting to be an issue. In high winds, don't open the trailer!
     

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