Pop-top too heavy

Submitted: Sunday, Mar 09, 2008 at 18:20
ThreadID: 55366 Views:3786 Replies:7 FollowUps:6
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We recently purchased a 2nd hand Millard Horizon 16ft pop-top caravan. We're very pleased with it, but the pop-top itself is very heavy to pop up. It does have an air-conditioner on the roof which adds to it's weight - but it seems heavier now than when we first bought it 6 months ago. The front and rear of the pop-top have what appears to be a "scissors" type of spring loaded mechanism which should help with the lifting. The sides have a couple of gas struts similar to the type used on the rear door of a station-wagon. Any suggestions for making it easier to pop the top up would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you :-)
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Reply By: Member - kevin Y (SA) - Sunday, Mar 09, 2008 at 18:53

Sunday, Mar 09, 2008 at 18:53
am replacing rollers in my poptop nylon wheels were broken in slide ---could be ---and grease slide
AnswerID: 291811

Follow Up By: jamas - Sunday, Mar 09, 2008 at 19:30

Sunday, Mar 09, 2008 at 19:30
Thanks Kevin - I'll have a look at that and lubrication is always a good idea - I have sprayed with WD-40 but maybe they need something a bit heavier.
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FollowupID: 557152

Reply By: jamas - Sunday, Mar 09, 2008 at 19:35

Sunday, Mar 09, 2008 at 19:35
I forgot to say - the Millard is a 2004 model so it's not really very old - but I don't know how long it is before the "scissors" weight adjusters etc need replacing. Also it's our 1st pop-top so I don't know how heavy other pop-tops are to put up - but I've always considered myself pretty strong - so I'm sure there's something not quite right here. :-) Maybe I'm just getting old :-(
AnswerID: 291818

Reply By: TRAVELLER848 - Sunday, Mar 09, 2008 at 20:44

Sunday, Mar 09, 2008 at 20:44
We also have a Millard Horizon that was purchased Jan 2006, after about 12 months I thought that the top was getting hard to move. On close examination of the gas struts I found that their was a fine layer of rust starting to bleed through the polished chrome shaft of the strut. I took one off and found that it was quite stiff to move. I replaced them with another brand of strut with the same dimensions that had a black chrome shaft, after a similar amount of time all seems well.
Some would say that the rust should not have appeared, while I would like to agree the fact is that we take it onto the beach for extended periods on north shore Noosa. Salt mist is fairly unfriendly to steel.
Perhaps you have a similar problem.
AnswerID: 291828

Follow Up By: jamas - Sunday, Mar 09, 2008 at 21:27

Sunday, Mar 09, 2008 at 21:27
This maybe an answer - I believe the previous owner often took it to the Sunshine Coast (we haven't yet - but intend to) - I'll remove them and check or maybe replace them. Thank you.
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FollowupID: 557189

Reply By: The Geriatric Gypsies - Sunday, Mar 09, 2008 at 21:15

Sunday, Mar 09, 2008 at 21:15
sorry but i have to ask you do leave the door open while lifting the lid???

steve
AnswerID: 291836

Follow Up By: jamas - Sunday, Mar 09, 2008 at 21:28

Sunday, Mar 09, 2008 at 21:28
Yes - I usually have the door open to allow the inflow of air - but good thought. :-)
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FollowupID: 557190

Reply By: Col_and_Jan - Sunday, Mar 09, 2008 at 21:32

Sunday, Mar 09, 2008 at 21:32
Our 1986 poptop Viscount had the scissors type springs. Front, back and one on each side. It was getting difficult to lift, so I replaced the springs on the sides with 4 gas struts.
There was a choice of lift capacities (in Newtons which is 10 (gravity) times the mass in kilograms ie 90N will lift 9kgs.)

I got the heaviest gas struts, as I thought the roof was fairly heavy. Installed them - now that is a challenge. And then it was too hard to pull the roof down. The struts were too effective.

I lived with that for years - thinking that the struts would fade. They never did.

Your struts can be regassed, or replaced. Just make sure they are the correct specification!

Col
AnswerID: 291842

Follow Up By: jamas - Sunday, Mar 09, 2008 at 23:22

Sunday, Mar 09, 2008 at 23:22
That's good to know - thanks Col, I'll check the internet tomorrow for places to get the struts either re-gassed or replaced. I'm not too far away from Brisbane (Pine Mountain - near Ipswich) and I know there's a thriving caravan industry on the North side.
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FollowupID: 557210

Reply By: Keith_A (Qld) - Monday, Mar 10, 2008 at 21:21

Monday, Mar 10, 2008 at 21:21
Hi Jamas - I live at Camira (near ipswich) and had the same problem.
Ring this guy : 0406670934 - or a/h 32085425. He runs a mobile RV Gas strut van.
Name is Randy - about 50yrs, knows his stuff and reasonable rates.
Will either regas or replace depending on what you want.
..........................Keith
AnswerID: 292004

Follow Up By: jamas - Monday, Mar 10, 2008 at 21:44

Monday, Mar 10, 2008 at 21:44
Thanks Keith - I've noted those numbers and will give him a ring.
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FollowupID: 557355

Reply By: Ianw - Monday, Mar 10, 2008 at 21:24

Monday, Mar 10, 2008 at 21:24
I thought ours was too heavy until I remembered to Loosen/open/unlock the rollup canopy. Much easier now.
Ian
AnswerID: 292006

Follow Up By: jamas - Monday, Mar 10, 2008 at 21:46

Monday, Mar 10, 2008 at 21:46
I've been terrified of making that mistake lol - hope you didn't damage your awning.
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FollowupID: 557356

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