Question about external lift arms

Discussion in 'Lift Systems' started by mickkjhc, Jul 14, 2013.

  1. mickkjhc

    mickkjhc New Member

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    I have an old 73 Camel Oasis camper, a bit of an oddball design, but very light weight to tow. It has an aluminum body, a very light fiberglass or plastic roof, and spring assisted lift arms. 3 of the springs in the arms are broken, but the top is so light it's easy to lift. The problem for me is that when I try to lift up one side and lock the arms in place, the whole top wants to slide too far forward off the body of the camper by a foot or so, making it really hard to extend the arms properly, and putting a lot of stress on the top. Once I get the arms extended on one end, I can go to the other end and manuever those arms up, but it's a hassle to get to this point. Anyone have any ideas what I'm doing wrong here? Why is the entire top sliding forward? Isn't there something that should be holding it from doing that?
     
  2. ghacker

    ghacker Active Member

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    Since very few here have ever even seen your PUP, pics of the lift system might be helpful.
     
  3. mickkjhc

    mickkjhc New Member

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    I'm not very good at figuring how to post pictures, but the camper has the typical spring assisted arms.
     
  4. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    Our previous pup had external lifter arms and there was a bracket or stop that prevented the roof from sliding forward or back.
    The original ones were a long piece of metal that looked like a towel rod on an angle. Here's a pic of the replacement one, to further stabilize it, the pin fits in the bracket:
    [​IMG]
    lifter arm by kitphantom, on Flickr
     
  5. chrismarques

    chrismarques New Member

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    Most likely there should be pins or a pivot point in the front. Lift the back first then unpin the front and lift. That's how it is on my old Viking.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  6. mickkjhc

    mickkjhc New Member

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    Thank you for the advice. Yes, there may have been pins or some sort of pivot point on the front at one time, but it was likely removed at some point over the last 40 years. Do you think it would be a matter of installing something stationary slightly above the point where the roof and the body of the camper meet, say about an inch or less in height? That way the roof would catch while the back was being lifted, and it would be prevented from sliding forward. Not knowing how it was originally set up, I'm thinking a thin metal lip running the full or partial length of the upper front of the box that holds the roof from shifting, if that makes any sense.
     
  7. chrismarques

    chrismarques New Member

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    Here's a picture of how mine is. It's not great but I can take a few pics tonight that are better. The two small "hinges" you see on the front are what the roof pivots on when you lift the rear of the roof. After locking the rear arms, I pull the two pins in the front and lift the roof straight up in the front. Not much to it and no need to make anything wider or bigger if this is what you need.
    [​IMG]


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  8. Ken1967

    Ken1967 Can't wait to Camp!

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    We had an 87 pony with those external spring assisted lift arms. Our manual was very specific about lifting the back end first... the front had tongue in slot that we put locking pins in when traveling. However when lifting the pins came out.. but the tongue would stay in the slot... hence the front of the roof would not move forward. Then went to front and lifted it up.
    I do believe I have read on this site that you can replace the springs in the arms. That might help as well.
    Wish I had pics of the 87 tongue in slots... You could very easily put some on your lid and body.
     
  9. Ken1967

    Ken1967 Can't wait to Camp!

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    Just looked through old photos from camping trips... couldn't find a shot of the tongue in slot latches. But this photo shows there were steel bars that prevented the arms from swinging more than 90 degrees. But the top would sway if we did not put the back up and then the front.

    [​IMG]
    IMG00079-20110722-0836 by KamperKen, on Flickr
     
  10. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    Your "brackets" look similar to the originals on our '84 Palomino Shetland. We went with the ones that came with the replacement arms, the entire new set-up was much better than the original.
    Our Shetland was backwards to what seemed to be the norm for that type of pup, so when we installed the new lifter arms and the brackets, we did it according to the way our hinge thingies were.
     
  11. mickkjhc

    mickkjhc New Member

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    Thanks for all the input and pictures. Yeah, I remember seeing those pivot hinges on a Palomino Pony. My camper doesn't have those, and I don't see any screw holes to suggest they were ever there, but they are exactly what it needs. The top of camper is extremely light, it's almost like the plastic material used to make rooftop cargo carriers nowadays. I wonder if they overlooked the possibility that it might slide forward when they designed it, or maybe in the original owners manual they suggested a second person hold the front while the rear arms are extended. Only a guess on my part, but some features of campers weren't too user friendly back in that era.
     
  12. mickkjhc

    mickkjhc New Member

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    Any idea what those things with the pivoting hinges and pins on the front of the camper are called? I've tried searching the terms 'pivot hinge' and 'pivot mount', but get nothing that looks even close.
     

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