Advanced Wind Protection for an A-Frame Trailer

Discussion in 'A-Frame PopUps' started by Brian Hovander, Dec 16, 2017.

  1. Brian Hovander

    Brian Hovander New Member

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    Sep 4, 2016
    I have made posts before about wind kits and wind protection. With a wind kit in place I still suffered amazing wind damage to my Aliner trailer. I am attaching a new file that tells how to go beyond the basic wind kit. Words of wisdom from the founder of the new seat-belt type "Wind Cheeta" system are included. This is a must read article if you ever envision camping where the wind could exceed 10 miles per hour. A few simple modifications can make your trailer less vulnerable to side-wind damage. For a start you can add springs to the latches that keep the walls vertical. A mild wind storm was at the exactly correct direction to blow my latch to the open position. A wall blowing in can ruin your day and possibly your trip. Hope my findings and recommended solutions help. I wish someone had figured out this problem and simple solution in advance of my recent incident. If you have experienced wind damage could you share your experience and findings with the rest of us?
     

    Attached Files:

    Rik Peery, jeffc1958 and DiamondGirl like this.
  2. DiamondGirl

    DiamondGirl Active Member

    Thanks for sharing. We recently installed the WindHarness kit by Chalet a few months ago. During our last camping trip, we had 18-20 mph winds at the lake. The Aliner was pointed towards the wind direction as recommended by Aliner’s owner’s manual. The Kit worked well keeping the roof panels together. Last year, we replaced the washers on the swinging latches with wavy washers. It was recommended to prevent latch movement so the interior roof wouldn’t be scratched by accident when erecting the side walls in a older post by Tukee44. It kept the latches in place during high winds. But there is not much protection for the side walls. The side walls can be pushed inward if there’s a change in wind direction.

    I would like to strengthen the side walls with the bar in your article. Seems like a solid idea. Can you post directions on how to?

    Thanks for all your advice and knowledge. It’s very helpful.

    Happy Camping...[ALPU][PUT]
     
  3. Brian Hovander

    Brian Hovander New Member

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    Sep 4, 2016
    I used a strong aluminum pole that was excess equipment from a swimming pool. It was a very old aluminum pole that was originally used to sweep the pool, etc. Randy Floyd says there is a painter's pole available through Harbor Freight Tools and gave me the item no. but I didn't look it up as mine works fine and can handle "lots" of clothing stored on it (a side benefit). And you can use heavy clothes hangers on it to dry towels, socks, etc. My Aliner has the worst possible configuration for mounting a pole to the side wall due to the cathedral window. I just used strong plywood fit to span the area and then transfer the load to the aluminum wall cap. I mount the plate on the far-side wall permanently (on top of the wall cap with screws) but due to clearance issues the door-side wall needs to be mounted when you arrive at the camping site. I just put some plates on it to keep it up there above the wall and some normal closet pole ends on the plates. I formed some clips (with velcro) to store the pole across the back ledge when traveling. I wish you would share the information on the wavered washers as maybe this could solve the problem for those with 4 instead of two latches. Since we can only reach one latch at a time something needs to be added to give resistance to the second latch on a wall. Hope this helps. Below I have uploaded a close-up composite picture of how I made the side plates for my problematic situation. But as most trailers are less problematic you may want to install the pole lower if possible. I would avoid transferring all the side wind force to the styrofoam-backed wall because it could compress. If possible transfer the force all the way to the structural aluminum channel cap that is at the top of the side wall. I hope this composite photo gives you an idea of how to make something to fit your specific needs. Oh, I was given a bungee cord/wind-harness kit from the owners of Chalet at a Chalet rally a year ago. Unfortunately I couldn't achieve the wind-harness benefit because the older Aliners lacked adequate clearance between the roof panels when closed. They feel their kit is fine. I think it may allow the panels to open a bit when raised in a wind storm. The bar and wire kits definitely lock those roof panels down tight (as well as a few other systems). If your trailer has the older push pins on the rear side of the walls I would favor a wire or bar system as the push pins don't overlap much so this could cause a problem when raising or lowering the roof panels during a wind storm when the side wall kit is not in place.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Dec 17, 2017
    Rik Peery likes this.
  4. Fbird

    Fbird Active Member

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    Ferndale MI
    I use a cargo bar from harbor freight that I've modified so it's against the aluminum rails. It has survived a confined tornado, winds were about 105 mph. It did turn the camper about 20 degrees sliding it off of the bal leveler.
     
  5. KJ Sunshine

    KJ Sunshine New Member

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    Dec 29, 2017
    How do make the cargo bar longer? I cannot find one long enough to fit Aliner Ranger 12
     
  6. nhlakes

    nhlakes Active Member

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    One of these 108" extendable shower rods may do the trick, if you feel it is necessary.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00IF5SY1E

    I just ordered one to hang stuff on - and if it works in a wind storm, that's good too. ;)

    I have a cargo bar for my truck that may or may not be long enough, but it is a heavy bugger and I'd be concerned if that thing fell down it would damage something or somebody.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2017
  7. KJ Sunshine

    KJ Sunshine New Member

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    Dec 29, 2017
    Thanks for your help, but I think those tension rods would not hold up. It was my first thought, but just light pushing on those things and the lose the tension. I am probably over worrying about wind tearing apart my Aliner.
     
  8. Fbird

    Fbird Active Member

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    Sep 10, 2017
    Ferndale MI
    it was long enough. I made larger ends that distribute the forces better and it now contacts the aluminum rails.
     
  9. desertlady

    desertlady Member

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    Sep 3, 2011
    Wind Cheetah's are well worth the money. Randy Floyd installed mine at an A-frame tech rally hosted by John Pfiel (? spelling his last name). The strongest wind I encountered was last year, end of June, coming through Oklahoma. Raising the roof was daunting, but I felt secure knowing I had the Wind Cheetah to help protect my camper roof. During the night I could hear the wind, and see the roof trying to lift. The Wind Cheetah would "catch" and prevent the roof from taking off. Some systems secure the roof well 'once the roof is in place'. But often people run into problems during the opening or closing of the A-frames.
     
    Patrick Courtney likes this.
  10. DiamondGirl

    DiamondGirl Active Member

    The Wind Cheetah and Wind Harness kit by Chalet are GOOD roof panel protection systems BUT they don’t prevent side walls from being blown INWARD by strong winds. Both systems ONLY secures the roof panels not side walls.

    Hovander’s brace recommendation is for additional SIDE wall protection. In case the swing latches unlocked from constant side wall movement or ripped off the side walls due to strong winds blowing against the sides.

    You can replace original washers on the swing latches by using a waved washer. DH recommends taking the original washer from the swing latch to shop in Person for the correct size at the hardware store.

    Thankfully, Tukee44 posted pictures and instructions in his “Little Helpful Mods” post dated back in 2015 regarding wavy washers.

    http://www.popupportal.com/threads/little-helpful-mods.92949/#post-937857

    Happy Camping...[ALPU][PUT]
     
  11. Brian Hovander

    Brian Hovander New Member

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    Sep 4, 2016
    I just bought an 8' long structural aluminum channel and cut it to the desired length. It is an exact match for slipping over the existing channel it will cover. It was available at two metal suppliers in the area. The cheaper source price was about $16.00. I did this on the cap of the walls on the back side where I merely had dinky push pins to supposedly keep the wall from blowing in--hah!
     
  12. Enigmacamper

    Enigmacamper Member

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    Nov 5, 2017
    Before our first trip we installed four "wind pins" a la http://theoleguy.blogspot.com/2013/08/fail-safe-lock-down-of-hinged-panels-vs.html

    We did four wind pins, one above each latch...basically just a 1/4" bolt through with washers etc. and a screw-on wing nut on the outside for each. This bolts both sides of each ceiling panel to the sides. Camped on the beach off lake MI and high winds were not a concern once the bolts were through. Doesn't help with the setup though of course. We are pleased, easy quick and dirt cheap...we used bolts with hooks on the inside as well to hang lanterns etc.
     
  13. Patrick Courtney

    Patrick Courtney New Member

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    Jun 17, 2018
     
  14. Patrick Courtney

    Patrick Courtney New Member

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    Jun 17, 2018
    Where do you find a wind cheetah?
     
  15. nhlakes

    nhlakes Active Member

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    Oct 15, 2011
    DE and NH
    I found that one of these shower poles at the peak provided a great place to hang stuff in my Aliner plus offered protection from potential side wall blow ins (which I was honestly never really worried about. The OEM wind protection kit seemed to stabilize things quite well even while camping in high winds on the coast.) https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00IF5SY1E/
     
  16. StlAnnie

    StlAnnie New Member

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    Jan 18, 2018
    The only place that has a cargo bar long enough is Harbor Freight. You can order it online if you don’t have a store in your area. It’s item #66172.

    I’d like to know more about modifying the ends of it. How was that done? I’m uncomfortable bracing the bar against the side panel alone.
     
  17. Sotovoce

    Sotovoce Active Member

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    Jun 27, 2015
    Georgia

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