Lifters punching through bottom of floor

Discussion in 'Lift Systems' started by devsc, Mar 24, 2008.

  1. devsc

    devsc New Member

    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2007
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    We have a 1983 Starcraft Galaxy 24 that we bought used. The lifters are starting to punch through the wood floor of the popup. They haven't punched through completely, but there is about a 1/4" to 1/2" bulge for all 4 lifters underneath. I don't know how long it has been in this situation. The result of this is that the roof doesn't go up high enough to make the door fit properly. I went and replaced all of the rear lifter cables, including the inner lift cable (3-section lifter) and have adjusted the turnbuckles so that it now achieves the right height, but the turnbuckles in the rear are at their maximum adjustment, so if the cable stretches much, I'll be back to where I was: snapping cables trying to get the roof up to the proper height. The front lifters appear to have plenty of adjustment left, though I did order new cables just in case.

    The other problem is that in the rear, whatever bracket holds the upper portion of the lifter to the roof has worn a groove in it, so that is also affecting the ability of the roof to be raised to the proper height.

    Are there any easy fixes for this? Custom supports that I install to take the load off of the lifters? Some metal plates/brackets for the bottom of the lifters to prevent it from punching completely through? Or am I just dealing with the harsh reality of having a 25 year old popup that appears to have been well loved and used and may just be ready for retirement? We only paid $1950 for it and have gotten good use out of it, so it's not like it has been a waste.

    And a related question: Is the door seated properly (or the roof at the right height) when the upper portion of the door frame meets the rubber seal that goes around the bottom edge of the roof? The owner's manual (such as I have or have found) is not clear on this.
     
  2. Tekboy46

    Tekboy46 Member

    Messages:
    979
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2007
    Location:
    Central Oklahoma
    devsc, can you put up some pics on webshots for us to see? Try to get shots from inside the box and from the outside, underneath, so we can see what's going on. I have a '79 and worked in these corners a bunch; I don't know if the 79 is close to what you have on the 83, but try to get some pictures up that shows what's punching through so we can know what you have going on. A camper has to be pretty far gone before anyone in this bunch will consider retiring it :). See if you can get a pic or two of the door frame and seal.

    1979 Starcraft Venture
    1996 Ford F150 TV

    Edited by - Tekboy46 on March 24 2008 19:35:16
     
  3. devsc

    devsc New Member

    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2007
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    I'll try to get some pics up next week. The pop-up is down in Southern California and I'm up in Northern California.
     
  4. devsc

    devsc New Member

    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2007
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    I finally got around to getting some pictures of things. These are exterior views only. I've got pics of where the lifters appear to be pushing through the floor, and how the door is fitting.

    If I can find the time (and the cooperation of others), I'll try to get some interior shots, but it requires removing drawers and access panels, so it's a bit of pain.

    http://adsl-63-195-87-212.dsl.snfc21.pacbell.net/~dev/popup/

    PUP: 1983 Starcraft Galaxy 24
    TV: 2004 Toyota Sienna XLE Limited
     
  5. Yellowkayak

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

    Messages:
    2,198
    Likes Received:
    10
    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    Looks like you have some major wood rot going on there and that is where your problem is. You'll have to put you roof up, braces it while wokring on the pup just in case, and replace the flooring. Good luck, you have a job ahead of yourself. Those support brackets are a little worn but they don't look broken or worn to the point that they are not doing their job. As far as the door, sorry, can't help with a suggestions.


    I just thought of something else...How is the seal around the roof, your lifters may be htting the floor. They should be supported a bit by the seal that goes around the bottom of roof to seal it to the box. Your may be worn down (flattened), so much that the rood is actually sitting LOWER than it should. I'd replace that too!

    JJ

    Wichita Falls, TX
    USAF Retired

    Edited by - Yellowkayak on April 17 2008 08:10:34
     
  6. devsc

    devsc New Member

    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2007
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    In the rear, the lifters are definitely hitting the bottom of the roof. I dunno if it is the seal that has flattened, or grooves that have been worn into where the bolts connect from the lifters to the roof itself.

    Over the past month, the roof has definitely dropped a little bit in the rear. About a 1/16th to an 1/8th of inch or so. Not enough to cause door problems, but I can see sag in the canvas starting to show up. I haven't tried cranking it up to compensate. This roof stays up for 2.5 to 3 months at a time.

    As to floor replacement, how daunting a task is this likely to be? Are we talking a complete gutting of the interior to get at the floor? Removing cabinets, carpet, under-bench storage, etc? Or can I potentially cut out the bad wood section and replace it with good wood? Or somehow shore it up with a metal plate where the lifter hits the floor?

    I don't necessarily have the skills or time to do a whole floor replacement, and I'm not confident that paying someone else to do it would be all that cost effective. Might be better to sell it on Craiglist after the Faire season is over (late October), and take the money I get for it and buy another used one in better condition. We only paid 2 grand for this and have maybe $120 or so of repairs into it, which are mostly cable replacements, so if I had to sell or junk it, it wouldn't be a huge loss on my part. We've certainly gotten very good use out of the PUP so far and are rather addicted to the amenities and space it has provided. The other mods I've done to it (12V socket, bank of batteries, solar panel/charge controller, LED lights) could all be easily transferred to another PUP, so I'm not out that money I've spent.

    PUP: 1983 Starcraft Galaxy 24
    TV: 2004 Toyota Sienna XLE Limited
     
  7. Yellowkayak

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

    Messages:
    2,198
    Likes Received:
    10
    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    First you have to check how extensive the rot is EVERYWHERE. Climb under the floor with an awl (sharp pointed screwdriver looking thing to scrip and punch holes in things. Poke around under everthing that doesn't look normal (like new wood). If you have extensive rot all over the place, and sense you can't do a floor replacement yourself...I'd say pull all the GOOD PARTS out of it and get another used one in better shape, then you will have all the good stuff off the old one to use for mods on the newer one!

    Put on the crub for the curb fairy with a sign that says FREE title in plastic ziplock bag taped to side of popup.

    JJ

    Wichita Falls, TX
    USAF Retired

    Edited by - Yellowkayak on April 21 2008 17:48:30
     
  8. dannyoung

    dannyoung New Member

    Messages:
    332
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2008
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    My 77 Starcraft has the same problem. The rot in the floor seems confined to the bottom of the lift tubes. My solution is going to be to cut 2.5" wide by 18" inch long strips of 1/8" thick aluminum; bend the aluminum to 90 deg about 6" from the end to make an 'L' shape. With the roof up (in my case the roof is off) and supported, disconnect the cables and pull the lift tubes out of the wall far enough to slip the aluminum brackets in with the long leg flat to the floor. Now drill through the aluminum skin of the trailer and the short leg of the brackets then use pop rivets to fasten the two together. Drill through the long leg of the bracket and into a good portion of the floor and use stainless steel screws to fasten it. Now crawl underneath and mark the underside of the bracket where the cable needs to pass through your bracket and drill a 3/4" hole . Once you've fed the cables back up through the holes and fastened the lift tubes in place, all you need to do is dab a touch of paintable caulking on the rivets and apply a touchof white paint to hide them.

    I've attached a sketch...

    <img src="http://i252.photobucket.com/albums/hh19/chmln101/bracket.jpg" border=0>

    Edited by - dannyoung on May 06 2008 00:59:28
     
  9. dannyoung

    dannyoung New Member

    Messages:
    332
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2008
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    In hindsight it would be better to mark the holes for the cables before you fasten the brackets and drill them before you attach the brackets.
     
  10. Yellowkayak

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

    Messages:
    2,198
    Likes Received:
    10
    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    Guys and Gals,

    Your forgetting one important issue...how that water got in there in the first place. Those expandible posts let water in all around themselves, and it flows downward and ends up on the floor. The aluminum "L" is the perfect solution accept for one small thing....you need to put drain holes on the bottom where the posts sit to allow water to drain onto the ground and not flow off around the edge of the aluminum to rot the rest of the wooded area around that. Also put sealer around the base of the post to keep the water from seeping out and flowing outward, this causes a small dam and will force the water to go thru your drain hole in the center of where the post sits.

    JJ

    Wichita Falls, TX
    USAF Retired
     
  11. devsc

    devsc New Member

    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2007
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    DannyYoung, thanks for the sketch and suggestion. That is one of the solutions I have been contemplating. TekBoy46 in this posting
    shows another good idea. I had originally contemplated a flat piece of aluminum or steel about 6 inches long by about 2 or 3 inches wide by an 1/8" thick to go underneath where the lifter hits the the floor, with the long side running parallel to the side of the trailer. Sort of like your suggestion, but turned 90 degrees, and without the portion going upwards.

    Yellowkayak, I'll keep in mind your suggestions about water getting in, and giving it a way to drain out. Given the age of this camper, and the fact that all 4 corners have problems, I'm guessing this was an inherent design flaw back then...

    PUP: 1983 Starcraft Galaxy 24
    TV: 2004 Toyota Sienna XLE Limited
     
  12. Tekboy46

    Tekboy46 Member

    Messages:
    979
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2007
    Location:
    Central Oklahoma
    I think mothering in sheet metal or aluminum into the corners is a good fix if the floor rot is confined to the corners. But heads up... I used hardened, flat aluminum stock 1/8 inch thick the first time and it flexed with the weight of the roof up. I added a sheet of 1/16 steel under it and still had flex. The angle aluminum I used cured the flex as the L shape of the bracket can handle the load without flex. If you want to stick with flat stock, I'd really consider something 1/4 inch thick or so to handle the load without flex. If you're running thin flat stock up the back of the lift and pop riveting it through the camper skin, you're putting that roof load on the camper skin and sidewalls... just something to think about. You can notch your metal instead of drilling a hole if you're not replacing cables at the same time.
    Also, YKiak has a valid point on water intrusion. Water is what caused our woes in the first place, and water not only travels down but it tells you where it wants to go. The cable slots in my brackets should act as drains, but I'm going to make some kind of vinyl/velcro wraps, kind of like skirts, to go around the lifts where they enter the camper box. Rain hitting the raised lifts is going to find its way down those lifts and run down to the floor if it's a hard enough rain. I think keeping water out needs to start at the lift/box juncture. Just sealing up the floor corners after this fix is required for sure, but it shouldn't end there.


    1979 Starcraft Venture
    1996 Ford F150 TV
     
  13. DaveA

    DaveA New Member

    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2005
    I had this problem with the rear lifter posts on a '75 Starmaster 6. It seems the posts make good water collectors and it all goes to the floor. I removed the lifter posts and laid 1/4" flat stock on the floor extending to the area above the frame. I the used wood screws on the outside and bolted through the floor to the frame on the inner. I had to readjust the eye bolts afterward due to the increased lift on those posts.

    '00 Ford Windstar
    '98 Jayco Eagle 10UD w/Mods
    Milwaukee, Wisconsin <img src=../Images/flags/us.gif border=0 align=middle>
     
  14. dannyoung

    dannyoung New Member

    Messages:
    332
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2008
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    I agree with the water infiltration point, but I think that problem is that most people are setting up their popups wrong. The canvas is supposed to wrap around the outside of the lift poles; when done this way, the water sheds off the trailer and does not enter the lift tubes. The reason it isn't done properly is that the fit is tight and most people don't want to be bothered by unzipping the four corners of the canvas every time they tear down. The previous owner of mine went so far as to bolt a block of wood through the canvas and into the roof, so that the corner could never come undone...unfortunately the lifttubes were outside the canvas...and now I have four rotten floor corners.

    For added protection I am sewing vinyl flaps to the bottom of the canvas in each corner, so that the water has no option but to shed away from the body. Also the bracket I sketched doesn't fit tight in the lift tube cavity, and it has a hole for the cable...those feature should allow any water to drain harmlessly. As for the stress on the skin...the roof only weighs around a 125lbs; with the weight distributed between the floor and the sides in each corner, I calculate the load on each of those four rivets will be under 4 lbs. The more rivets you add, the less weight they will need to bear, though 4 lbs is pittence...the fasteners holding up the factory installed exterior stove brackets on most new popups put alot more strain on the skin.

    The problem I found with using bent flat stock (with the 'L' projecting out into the trailer as mentioned in other posts) is that while the stock won't bend, it acts as a lever putting upward stress on whatever fastener used to hold it to the wood floor..kinda like a diving board. A 125lb roof will put a continual 31 lbs of force on that lever, more under wind load. If you have an airconditioner you can expect to add another 15 lbs per corner. If you use the walls and floor to support the roof the load is cut in half for each surface and the lever stress is elminated; also the outside walls rest on the steel frame of the traile so whatever weight the wall bears is transferred directly to the frame...that's my 100 cents on the topic...lol

    Edited by - dannyoung on May 07 2008 16:07:20
     
  15. dannyoung

    dannyoung New Member

    Messages:
    332
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2008
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Again in hindsight...the trailer is already thirty years old, so any old peice of metal would probably give me the few years I'm asking of it...lol
     
  16. Tekboy46

    Tekboy46 Member

    Messages:
    979
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2007
    Location:
    Central Oklahoma
    dannyyoung, sounds like you've got a good handle on it. I think we're all correct in our thinking on this fix; our methods are all really the same thing; we all just go about it and use differing materials.
    On a separate thought, the popup manufacturers should put the Popupportal members on a design committee and let us design a popup for them. The result would be one awesome popup that wouldn't have to be fixed every 3-5 years.

    1979 Starcraft Venture
    1996 Ford F150 TV
     
  17. dannyoung

    dannyoung New Member

    Messages:
    332
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2008
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Lol...it'd be a $50,000 dollar PUP...lol
     
  18. redder

    redder New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2008
    Great info guys! I have just finished tearing down my entire pop up and removed the floor. Our damage was more extensive the entire floor around the frame was rotted. We decided to replace the whole floor. This weekend we are putting down the floor and reattaching the walls. I like the bracket I went to an iron shop and had a piece of 1/4 angle iron made up to do basically the same thing. Now I know I was on the right track.
     
  19. Tekboy46

    Tekboy46 Member

    Messages:
    979
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2007
    Location:
    Central Oklahoma
    Welcome to Popupportal Research and Development, redder! We LOVE pictures and learn from them and get a better idea of what people do. If you're inclined, put pictures of your rebuild on a site so we can see them. The way you deal with obstacles and solve problems might help someone else get through a rebuild!
    dannyoung, we could build the pup for $45,000 if we delete the satellite antenna and flat screen LCD LOL

    1979 Starcraft Venture
    1996 Ford F150 TV
     
  20. jorgewolfe

    jorgewolfe Member

    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    6
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2017
    Location:
    Sparks Nevada
    20180402_101816_resized.jpg 20180402_101816_resized.jpg Sorry to resurrect this old topic but I have read all these great posts and I am very well informed on the problem; unfortunately I am not so sure about the solution. It seems that inserting some form of semi-thick sheet metal or angle iron underneath the lifter posts is the answer. Some of the methods described in these posts seem a little involved for my skill level and the expected life of this 40 year old PUP. If I could get the bottom of the poles up and level with the floor I could slide something under there and screw it down (allowing space for the cable to move freely of course) Anyone know of an easy way to move these up to allow this process? I have enclosed pictures illustrating the cause and effect of the water entry and subsequent damage which totally validates the posts from all those years ago!
     

    Attached Files:

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.