Raise The Roof

Econ

Super Active Member
Aug 18, 2019
1,649
Deep South
I have worn out the L4-L5-S1 joints in my lower back during a strenuous outdoor life. Find it very hard to raise the roof sections on our Chalet Arrowhead with worn out vee springs using the lift lever. I bought a pair of extendable heavy duty painter's poles. They adjust in length up to 10 feet. Put crutch tips on the working ends. Collapsed, they fit easily in the front storage box, and are useful for other things such as improvised awning poles.

Loosing the latches, our roofs rise only a few inches. Working from side to side I/we use the poles to push up the front roof, then push up on the rear roof until it engages. Lifting the side panels is not too difficult.

Project for early spring is designing and installing air springs on all four corners.
Thank you for the courtesy of a reply.

My plan is my campground is full of deer hunters now and it should be January before they get tired of thinning the herd. Exercise and playing Christmas is the goal til then.

Do you have a problem stretching the bungies too tight or is that an Aliner problem?

Is there a way to use the high wind kit to hold the front panel up???

I did it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Found some 1" by 2" pieces.The wheels are mags. Stuck the 1 by 2's in the top holes of the mags. Used the high wind kit to lift the front panel. When the high wind wasn't long enough I sat them on the boards that were about 18" off the ground. It was all about getting the proper angle to push. My quadriceps aren't strong enough from a low angle roof. I'm tickled.

Somewhere is this subforum somebody posted about their struggles with putting 4 gas cartridges on an Aliner. Its like a 45 page document on how he did it.

They say if the damage isnt too severe the brain will build by passes around stroke damage. This is the second time in a week I kind of felt like my old self.

Merry Christmas
 

Susan Premo

Super Active Member
Nov 5, 2020
1,137
Minnesota
Thank you for the courtesy of a reply.

My plan is my campground is full of deer hunters now and it should be January before they get tired of thinning the herd. Exercise and playing Christmas is the goal til then.

Do you have a problem stretching the bungies too tight or is that an Aliner problem?

Is there a way to use the high wind kit to hold the front panel up???

I did it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Found some 1" by 2" pieces.The wheels are mags. Stuck the 1 by 2's in the top holes of the mags. Used the high wind kit to lift the front panel. When the high wind wasn't long enough I sat them on the boards that were about 18" off the ground. It was all about getting the proper angle to push. My quadriceps aren't strong enough from a low angle roof. I'm tickled.

Somewhere is this subforum somebody posted about their struggles with putting 4 gas cartridges on an Aliner. Its like a 45 page document on how he did it.

They say if the damage isnt too severe the brain will build by passes around stroke damage. This is the second time in a week I kind of felt like my old self.

Merry Christmas
Goingnowherefast, Rick has a video about the gas struts, on YouTube. Maybe that might help you.
 
I added gas struts a couple of months ago to our Aliner and it was actually pretty easy and it made a BIG difference, even with my mistake of under sizing the lb strength of the struts (easy fix). It was also quick and only took about 2 hrs start to finish (Not including deciphering the instructions and video I watched).
I first read the PDF instructions from this post: https://www.popupportal.com/threads/adding-gas-spring-roof-panel-lift-assistance.136657/ as it is the latest and greatest version (2021) vs what is on the Aliner owners club website (2018). I also watched goingnowherefast's video as well and did find it helpful but found it more trial and error than I would have liked.
In the end I identified the key points from the info above and made my own install instructions which worked really well. I can post another entry if anyone is interested in my method.

I will add that I started by first ordering the parts as indicated in the pdf BUT if I was to do it again, i would order based on the following:

If you have an Aliner expedition WITH dormers, I would go with 26" long 50 lbs rear / 70 lbs front (minimum) or 70 lbs rear / 90 lbs front (allows for future solar panel)
If you have an Aliner expedition with no dormers, I would go with 26" long 40 lbs rear / 50 lbs front (minimum) or 50 lbs rear / 70 lbs front (ideal)
if you go more than that, it may mean zero effort to raise the roof but it will make it harder to close it again and put additional strain on the lower pivot ball attached to the aluminum side trim of the trailer.
if you go less than that (what I did), you will still need more of an effort to lift the panels (although it will still be easier than worn out springs alone). I can now do it easily by myself without even needing the wind poles whereas before it was always 2 people and wind poles. It also eliminates any strain on the bungee cords (which I had already replaced last year when 1 broke)

There is also this video of a well thought out pulley system however it will add quite a bit to setup time. I also noticed that her Aliner does not have any gas struts installed which is what I would first start with and depending on the results and your needs go from there. Good luck!

Cheers,
 
Wow. That contraption seems like a lot of work to get that roof up!
Absolutely - makes setup time turn into a pop up! - I included it here as it is a creative idea that can be a reliable option for those who may have limited strength, are vertically challenged, or have an injury limiting their arm/hand/shoulder movement (has happened to me with bursitis in my shoulder). This pulley system then becomes a way to still use your Aliner solo. There are electric methods as well (Chalet and Rockwood) but from what I have read, these have never been too reliable. If ever in the future I lose my mobility / strength again, I'd at least try the pulley system before being forced to sell the trailer.
 

Econ

Super Active Member
Aug 18, 2019
1,649
Deep South
Agree. If I get so decrepit that I need to resort to something like that I'll trade for a TT.
Bless her heart but even Rube Goldberg said, "dang, that's complicated..." after watching the video.
It is a lot simpler than it sounds. Adds less than a minute . The whole point is to get the front panel up in the air to lighten the load

Merry 11th Day of Christmas. Remember to take your decorations down tomorrow.

Am I blind or is it 6 AM? <GG> Wasnt there a sub forum on Castias?
 

Karey

Active Member
Apr 3, 2021
107
Colorado
My husband had bladder surgery 2 years ago. Total new bladder created from part of his intestine. It's the cadillac surgery. It's why we wanted a camper with a bathroom. All's going well. He walks daily alternating with climbing the mountain behind us.

When we bought our Chalet last year everything worked. We had to make some adjustments since I would be the primary lifter of heavy things. AND I'm only 5'4". Our lift stopped working after an extremely windy Wyoming camping trip - lots of opening and closing and lots of dusty roads. Our son is going to figure out fixing the lift ... someday. Together we can lift with the poles disconnected from the lift, but if no lift fix, I may at times need to lift it by myself. I may try the Potatohead version if it comes to that. Once up I use a broom to push the ceiling up all the way snug.

Our Christmas decor will be put away the 6th, Epiphany.
 
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Hilldweller

Super Active Member
Mar 2, 2021
1,121
Hog Waller, GA
It is a lot simpler than it sounds. Adds less than a minute . The whole point is to get the front panel up in the air to lighten the load

Merry 11th Day of Christmas. Remember to take your decorations down tomorrow.

Am I blind or is it 6 AM? <GG> Wasnt there a sub forum on Castias?
I'd believe the Potatohead thing adds a minute but the crank-hoist gizmo adds a weekend or so. I'd have the chili cooking and two beers in my belly before she's got her roof up.
 

Econ

Super Active Member
Aug 18, 2019
1,649
Deep South
I'd believe the Potatohead thing adds a minute but the crank-hoist gizmo adds a weekend or so. I'd have the chili cooking and two beers in my belly before she's got her roof up.

I made a "potato head counter balance but it broke. His was a 2003 classic which was much lighter.

Did you consider any other camper other than the Expedition? DW wants a road direction bed.


didn't this forum have a system where you could send messages to other members in a non public way and if so where is it?? Thanks
 
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TimAZ

Member
Oct 16, 2021
53
I made a "potato head counter balance but it broke. His was a 2003 classic which was much lighter.
Same here, Slim’s gadget is simple and easy to store, but it only works well if the roof has no extra-weight additions like solar panels or dormers. The other downside of the Potatohead “lever” is the way it applies an unbalanced force on the roof panel. It’s only a slight twist, but over time it will work fasteners loose.
 

jyeat

New Member
Jan 23, 2017
4
I'm 6' tall and weight 145 pounds. I've been raising the roof single handedly for years. Last spring I had a stroke. The only damage is a little bit of memory. This summer I had Triple A surgery. There is a 14" incision running up the left rib cage from the kidney towards the arm pit. It's one of those surgeries where you pull the guts out, do your business, then stuff the guts back in the abdomin. I was released a month ago to try and raise the roof. I can't. Suggestions?
I have a coachmen 105st that can be raised with a drill. Maybe you could retrofit your's.
 

charleylu51

New Member
Aug 17, 2014
3
I'm 6' tall and weight 145 pounds. I've been raising the roof single handedly for years. Last spring I had a stroke. The only damage is a little bit of memory. This summer I had Triple A surgery. There is a 14" incision running up the left rib cage from the kidney towards the arm pit. It's one of those surgeries where you pull the guts out, do your business, then stuff the guts back in the abdomin. I was released a month ago to try and raise the roof. I can't. Suggestions?
Have you checked to see about an electric raiser for the roof? I know some companies make them but I don’t know if they can be an add-on.
 

Econ

Super Active Member
Aug 18, 2019
1,649
Deep South
Have you checked to see about an electric raiser for the roof? I know some companies make them but I don’t know if they can be an add-on.
Do my knowledge no one makes an add on. DW has decided that I want to move on and get something else if I can improve my physical condition.
 

Neil Henry

Member
Jun 12, 2018
11
West Concord, MA
I am concerned about my muscle and bone strength based on a pretty serious cancer diagnosis. I am 4 years in - and the meds are working - but they will continue to steal muscle strength.

For now, I have extra incentive to keep my lift system well lubricated and in good condition. An attachment for my Milwaukee drill might help - but as we all know the lifting requires some finese. (sp?)
 

Econ

Super Active Member
Aug 18, 2019
1,649
Deep South
I am concerned about my muscle and bone strength based on a pretty serious cancer diagnosis. I am 4 years in - and the meds are working - but they will continue to steal muscle strength.

For now, I have extra incentive to keep my lift system well lubricated and in good condition. An attachment for my Milwaukee drill might help - but as we all know the lifting requires some finese. (sp?)
Good luck on your recovery.
 




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