Adding Gas Spring Roof Panel Lift Assistance

Discussion in 'A-Frame PopUps' started by Brian Hovander, Sep 10, 2021.

  1. Brian Hovander

    Brian Hovander Member

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    Here is what you need for Aliner and Chalet trailers. Forest River A-frame trailers require a modification to this procedure (see Forest River Forum). It will cost right at $200 for a complete stainless steel gas spring system. If you are skillful with tools it should take about 4 hours to drill the needed 12 holes and attach the four each brackets and ball studs.

    This is also posted in the files of the FB group "Aframe Support and Technical Development".
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Tait

    Tait Active Member

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    Thank you for posting this… On our trailer, without dormers, it's fairly easy to raise the panels. Is this mostly for people with dormers?
     
  3. Brian Hovander

    Brian Hovander Member

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    Dormers, solar panels, etc. make it even more beneficial for adding this system. My aging body, pending hernia surgery, and ever-weakening internal springs helped to motivate me to dive into this area back in 2016. It was so easy to raise the roof panels when the trailer was new. But metal springs bend over time and lose their "spring" making older trailer roof panels more challenging to raise.

    I didn't design this solution. I initially looked at the two methods being used by Aliner and Forest River and retrofit installed gas springs using the better of the two designs available at the time.

    Then a fellow engineer named David Hall in Australia sent me his design and another US engineer (Dave Michaels) tried it on his trailer. We all had the same year 2005 Aliner Expeditions or equivalent. We all needed lift assistance. We were all inventive and willing to take risks.

    I later analyzed the various methods and switched to the method designed by David Hall because it was the ONLY method that provided minimal uplift at the start (when very little uplift was needed) and the maximum amount of uplift assistance at the end (when the maximum uplift was needed).

    In short this method is the only functional method and it uses the lowest force gas springs which therefore eliminates the potential damage being experienced with other methods that use dangerously powerful gas springs and put way too much bending torque on the roof panels when they are closed.

    For any trailer where it is a bit difficult to lift the roof panels by one person, I would recommend considering this solution. It is so easy to install and in six to 10 years when the gas springs lose their spring (as do those of the rear hatch of an SUV), it is exceedingly easy to swap them out in a few minutes of effortless work.

    I would like to add that I feel any business that aftermarket retrofits gas springs on an older A-frame trailer should not be paid for their installation if they use the antiquated methods initially introduced by Aliner and Forest River.

    I wrote and posted an article on the importance of bonding surety to protect owners from incompetent installations by technically-challenged repair or other facilities that are not capable of installing gas springs in a dynamically-functional manner. See the link below to the article I posted titled "Certificate of Insurance" that tells how to protect yourself from these incompetent businesses that should absolutely NOT be installing gas spring lift assistance systems.

    Bonding Surety may be the only way to get these businesses to stop installing dangerous and ineffective gas spring systems using an antiquated method. The bonding insurance company would hopefully terminate their bonding coverage if they persist in installing dysfunctional and dangerous gas spring systems that the bonding company has to deal with (and find a more competent business to repair the damage and install a functional system).

    Requesting a "Certificate of Insurance" for Aliner Repair Work | PopUpPortal
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2021

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