Setting up / taking down the pop up with back issues.

Discussion in 'Camping for the Medically/Physically Challenged' started by dbhost, Nov 5, 2019.

  1. dbhost

    dbhost Well-Known Member

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    The title says it mostly, just looking for ideas how to simplify setup / take down so that it isn't quite so hard on the back...

    What's your method?
     
  2. bheff

    bheff Well-Known Member

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    I have a bad back (multiple surgeries) and dont have any issue with any part of the setup take down process. You have to identify which part causes pain or discomfort then modify that action
     
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  3. dbhost

    dbhost Well-Known Member

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    Sliding out the bunk ends is somewhat problematic. As is the reach to get the canvas attached at the uprights.
     
  4. PopUpSteve

    PopUpSteve Administrator

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    Some later models Coleman/Fleetwood and all Somerset models have what is called "Back Saver" on the bunkends. I have a Somerset E2 and it does help.

    Since you don't have a unit yet (per your signature), perhaps you should also consider an A-Liner type.
     
  5. dbhost

    dbhost Well-Known Member

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    The pop up is already here more or less, it's a mid 90s Coleman that I am swapping some work for..

    An Aliner is far too expensive, and too small inside. There are however smaller hard side trailers I could really love.

    Honestly, I may just be overthinking this. How easy should the bunk ends be to slide out? And are there any components that need lubrication to keep it moving well?

    It's not putting the support rods in place which is easy as cake, but actually sliding the bunk ends out as they seem to go easy, then stick, then go easy... Probably a maintenance thing... Kind of like a dresser drawer that has a sticky slide.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2019
  6. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    My bunk end tracks sometimes need to be cleaned and sprayed with a dry lube. I took a tooth brush and cleaned the track out as best as I could and then sprayed it down really well. Problem is you really do have to open it up dead even or it can get hung up. The only thing I can think of is perhaps you can start it from outside and then go inside to push vrs pull. Problem though is that front bunk end bar will be in your way until you get the bunk mostly out I think.
     
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  7. dbhost

    dbhost Well-Known Member

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    Could you recommend a dry lube? Like I said, chances are better than good it's probably a maintenance issue. The camper I have / am getting, the prior owner is a friend from college, his Dad bought it new and just used it, didn't do much in the way of maintenance aside from things like tires, wheel bearings, light bulbs and the AC...
     
  8. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    Clean and lube, any dry lube will do. Also, if bending in or down to pull the slide out is a bit much, add a strap to the center underneath, with a loop to pull it. ( helps on the toung end if needed) . I didnt need to do that but i can see it helping.
     
  9. dbhost

    dbhost Well-Known Member

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    Aside from the bunk ends, this camper has no slides...
     
  10. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    It will really depend on your specific back issues and your popup. I kept camping in our popup a year or so after my back really began to have issues. In the case of that 2010 Coleman Cobalt, my issues were dealing with the bunks, flipping the galley, and all the shifting of gear I had to do. For example, I had to move the duffels packed under the dinette in order to reach the back bunk for the inside set up, then shift them back for being in camp. Raising the roof, which was manual crank, was also an issue. I tried using the drill to raise the roof, but didn't like it much - it just moved the stress from one place to another, since I had to steady the drill so that the roof raised, rather than the drill itself spinning. Some of my problems are exacerbated by the fact that I'm short, so have to stretch to reach some things that are well within reach for my husband.
    Our solution, finally, so that I could continue to camp solo as well as with my husband, was to move to a small (17') travel trailer. I still have to deal with cranking down the stabilizers, and cranking the manual front jack, but I've learned a few tricks along the way, for popups and TT.
    For stabs and tongue jack, we use a stack of Lynx levelers and cap under each. Not only reduces the amount of cranking needed, they are all more stable when not extended far out, and the Lynx distribute the weight so we don't get settling on soft surfaces. Even with sand pads on the stabs we had that in a few places until we gained enough Lynx to use a stack under each stab and jack.
    We stuck with using the Lynx blocks for leveling, using the tow vehicle to pull the camper onto the blocks. With each camper, we've gotten very good at estimating how many blocks are needed by how the bubble on our small t-level looks (it's been compared to a longer level used inside). While many really like the BAL leveler, once I saw one in use, I realized it would be difficult for me to use with my bad and shoulder issues. I do cope with the BAL chock, though.
     
  11. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    . I believe he is talking about adding straps to the bunk end. Adding straps, if you don't already have them, on the bunk end may help give the leverage to pull. Some bunkends may not have straps some do.

    As far as a dry lube I just use what ever is available or on sale. You don't want wd40 as that only attracts more dirt.
     
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  12. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    Yes , the bunk ends. The back is usally not a problem , but the front over the toung may cause you to lean in and pull, not exactly heat for your back. If you have a strap, you could walk it around so you can just pull and not have the back twisted while doing so.
     
  13. PopUpSteve

    PopUpSteve Administrator

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    Thanks for the signature update.
     
  14. dbhost

    dbhost Well-Known Member

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    No worries. The deal is, the PU is now technically mine, the TV is still in process, the friend that I have bartered with is allowing me to store on his land so I don't incur extra costs...
     
  15. dbhost

    dbhost Well-Known Member

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    Next time we are out there, will have to set it up again, see if I can recall the straps or not. I just don't remember.
     
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  16. PopUpSteve

    PopUpSteve Administrator

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    For me, the issue is pulling the bunkend out on the front. There are two little guards which are meant to keep the bunkend from sliding out. They're only 3/16th in height but a pain to lift the bunkend over since I can't stand directly in front of them due to the tongue of the camper. One of these days I'm just going to cut them off.
     
  17. dbhost

    dbhost Well-Known Member

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    That sounds about right... And I thought there were 3 straps on the bunk ends. One in the middle and 1 on each end to help you lift it.

    I am tall enough, I can straddle the tongue if I need to, that isn't the problem. The issue is straddling, reaching, lifting and pulling at the same time...

    If I can con my wife into helping, one each on each side, lift and slide, should make it easier...
     
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  18. dbhost

    dbhost Well-Known Member

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    So I found a pic from another user, that has similar bunk ends, you see the aluminum bars that are supposed to slide in / out? On mine, the aluminum is black in some spots and it seems that might be where it is sticking... You can sort of see some lines on this one, but mine has like 1" long chunks of black on the rail things...

    [​IMG]

    While it is going to be more uncomfortable work in a bad position, I am thinking about going under there with a Dremel, and a set of polishing bits, and compound, cleaning that gunk off, polishing those rails and dry lubing them to see what that does...
     
  19. BillyMc

    BillyMc Well-Known Member

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    The first foot or so is a reach on the front bunk, but past that they are fairly easy to slide.
     
  20. dbhost

    dbhost Well-Known Member

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    So doing some practice. Wife on left, myself on right. 1...2..3.. lift and pull, no problem with 2 people. Problem with 1.
     

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