Using Power Drill for Lift Mechanism

Discussion in 'Lift Systems' started by Coulter Wood, Sep 7, 2021.

  1. Coulter Wood

    Coulter Wood Member

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    I've heard that one can buy an attachment to use with a battery-powered drill to crank up the lift system. Is this safe? Will it work with an a/c unit on top adding to the weight? Any downsides?
     
  2. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    Make the drill you use has metal gears.. DO NOT use a hammer drill on hammer setting or any sort of impact driver or gun.. the lift system won't put up with the constant hammering..
     
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  3. Coulter Wood

    Coulter Wood Member

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    Hmm, well, I have a corded drill (unsure of brand offhand) and a 20v battery-powered drill (Dewalt). How to know whether they have metal gears?
     
  4. WrkrBee

    WrkrBee Un-Supported Member

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    I would recommend a name brand (DeWalt, Milwaukee, Makita) contractor grade 20v drill. Use drill in the lowest speed setting to develop the most torque. Use it for the majority of roof travel, but stop short of fully raising or lowering it. Finish raising or lowering the roof manually, so it does not over travel.
     
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  5. Coulter Wood

    Coulter Wood Member

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    Thank you! I get my pup back from the shop this week, so I will definitely give it a go with my DeWalt 20v cordless and see how it goes. I just need to find that attachment. I'll be checking Amazon today.
     
  6. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure what if any cordless drill manufacturers that still use metal gears in their non hammer drills.. I do know (because dad has one) that Dewalt use to have an 18volt nicad drill that had metal gears.. I believe the 1st gen Ryobi blue 18 volt drills also had metal gears.. these however are hard to find anymore as they were prone to catching fire and were recalled..
     
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  7. gladecreekwy

    gladecreekwy Well-Known Member

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    40C71192-EDBD-4580-8D8C-93ECC91F7B5A.jpeg Here’s my power drill.
     
  8. Grandpa Don

    Grandpa Don Well-Known Member

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    Here is what I use. It is a Dewalt 1/2 inch drive 20volt Max cordless drill with he Socket Genie attachment. Been using it for well over a year now. Even with the A/C unit on top the drill will raise and lower the top twice on one battery. I carry two batteries and the charger in the camper. Do not use a Hammer drill! not only will it work on my stabilizer jacks and the BAL leveler, but also the spare tire jack. You would not believe the torque this thing has. If you are not careful, it will break your wrist. Hold on tight! You also have to use the slow speed on the drill.

    Dewalt drill.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2021
  9. Sneezer

    Sneezer Well-Known Member

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    Socket genie is what you want. Some pups are easy to diy a socket, mine wasn't so I bought the genie. Money well spent. Mine has A/C, no issues.

    I use a corded harbor freight 1/2" drill. Has side handles so easier to control. Also has a speed lock so I can set it to a lower speed. I always camp with power, so this was the cheapest option. I don't have dewalt tools and Ryobi didn't have anything in the same power level as DeWalt, Makita or Milwaukee. No way was I going to pony up the cash for a drill, charger and batteries when a corded one ran me only $50. Been working great for a couple years, used only for the winch. I take it slowly, and stop near the top and then crank by hand to make sure I don't overrun the winch. Same on descent.
     
  10. tzmartin

    tzmartin Not here for a long time but here for a good time!

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    I've used a drill for awhile but it has gotten weaker over time. Only goes up a little ways then it cuts off. It's a Ryobi 18v from Home Depot. No I only use the drill for the tongue jack and stabilizers only now. Son or daughter cranks the old fashioned way.
     
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  11. John Harris

    John Harris New Member

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    I found a simple winch at Harbor Freight. With a little cutting and welding it became a reduction gear between my electric drill (18 V, battery type) and the pup top crank. One charge is enuf to raise and lower the top and also use stabilizing and leveling jacks, plus ???.
     
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  12. campfire Joe

    campfire Joe Active Member

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    I use a 18v makita and a socket genie. Like others i run the top up almost all the way and then finish with the hand crank. Top goes up so fast that it would be hard to get it just right with the drill. I also use the drill to crank down the stabilizers too. I think it takes a 3/4 socket, but not sure. When it comes time to lower my top i hand crank it down. Just want to be careful on bringing it down and make sure my cable wraps slowly on the winch spool.
     
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  13. Grandpa Don

    Grandpa Don Well-Known Member

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    I was lucky to find this deal on the Dewalt drill. I think the whole kit cost me around $100.00 on sale. It came with two batteries, a charger, and a carrying bag. I only use it for the camper. And you are correct in stopping before it gets to the top. I raise the top the last 3 or 4 inches with the hand crank. I also start it down about an inch with the hand crank, and then proceed with the drill. Even on slow speed, the drill will fully raise the top in about 10 to 15 seconds. The same for going down.
     
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  14. Fuzzy Bear

    Fuzzy Bear Active Member

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    I have a Ryobi 18V with 2 batteries that I have been using for a few years now. I put marks on the lift arms on my Coleman Columbia about 6" from fully raised, when it hits those marks I switch to the hand crank. Has made setup and take down a bit faster and easier on the arms and back.
     
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  15. Eric Webber

    Eric Webber Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    I will add that it tends to work better if you do one or two cranks with the hand crank, then switch to the drill - and stop short of full height.

    I use a Bosch hammer drill (hammer mode OFF) for my big Fleetwood Arcadia, with Air Conditioner, , two awnings, and two (empty) Cargo boxes
     
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  16. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member Platinum Supporting Member

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    We used the socket Genie with our 8' Coleman, without an a/c. It worked OK, but the drill we bought didn't have an auxiliary handle, and trying to keep it from spinning instead of raising the roof was interesting. I'd brace it against my leg. The battery was pretty much empty by the time the roof was up, so without having several batteries, was really only good at home, or maybe a single stop trip, since most places we go don't have power.
    In the end, I mostly used it to raise the roof at home, when it was too hot for me to do it manually. (The campers have lived in the west facing driveway, as close to the garage door as we could place them, so in NM, the space where the crank was got hot, hot. I also only used it for most of the raising. In knew how many cranks it took to manually raise it, no way to track it with the drill, so I'd get close visually, then crank carefully by hand so it was all the way up, but not over-cranked.
    The drill turned out to be a handy purchase, whether or not we used it for the pup, though. Surprised us how much we liked having a cordless drill, especially for tasks on the roof or here and there in the house.
     
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  17. Grandpa Don

    Grandpa Don Well-Known Member

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    Yes, hand crank the last few inches. I also hand crank the first two or three inches when lowering it.
     
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  18. Jeri Sullivan

    Jeri Sullivan 2006 Rockwood Freedom Gold Supporting Member

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    I tried all kinds of drills with my socket genie and none would raise the roof. Even the RV repair shop tried their drills and it just wouldn't raise. The socket genie was the right size and would engage but no matter what drill was tried it wouldn't raise it.
     
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  19. WrkrBee

    WrkrBee Un-Supported Member

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    Sounds like it could use some lube on everything.
     
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  20. Grandpa Don

    Grandpa Don Well-Known Member

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    My goodness, I've never heard of such a thing. There must be something wrong with the lift system. I know several people who have bigger and heavier camper than I do and they use the drill all the time. It has to be a 20 Volt Max with a 1/2 inch drive. And run it on slow speed. My cousin has a Coleman Westlake with the A/C on the roof and he has not problem raising and lowering the top.
     
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