Push up caravans

Submitted: Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 18:56
ThreadID: 58063 Views:4253 Replies:5 FollowUps:4
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Hi - I'm new to caravaning - had to give up lovely big canvas tent as my little girls and I are on our own now and can't lift it let alone put it up! Purchased an easier option (so I thought) a tidy little 20 yr old Windsor Sunwagon.Problem - we can't get the roof up! Very heavy! Eventually took 2 hrs to do it with extentable tent poles one corner after the other!Very dangerous and exhausting. Have been quoted $3000 to convert and laughed at for even asking. Does anyone have any suggestions? I'm prepared to try just about anything to get my girls out on our first solo camping trip.Thanks :-))))
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Reply By: Member - Glenn G (QLD) - Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 19:20

Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 19:20
I can understand your problem as my wife has trouble with our pop top roof!
How about a pole that is higher than the erected height of the camper that has a pulley at the top.The pole could have a small spike at the base to stop it slipping.Rope with a hook on the end runs through the pulley and down to the camper roof,hook it to the roof and you can use your body weight to elevate the roof section.If you are on the Gold Coast I could make such a gizmo ! I am getting ready to move(to bundy yeha) and want to use up some stuff in the shed !

AnswerID: 306160

Follow Up By: Girlie - Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 19:31

Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 19:31
Dear Giffo,
Thanks for not laughing at me - that sounds like a great idea. Funnily enough, I used the tent poles upside down so the spike was digging into the ground. Unfortunately we're in Sydney, but that's a lovely offer. Maybe I should have sold tickets to the hilarious 2 hour comedy show we put on trying to get the thing up, then the $3000 would have been peanuts! Thanks again :-))))
FollowupID: 572167

Reply By: Best Off Road - Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 19:27

Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 19:27
Where are you located?

Forget throwing good money after bad, sell the thing and get a more useable option.

Please give me a call on 03 9706 6527 and I'll talk you through the best way to do it and the cheapest way. I'm NOT trying to sell you anything. Just like to help if I can.

Those old Sunwagons were a great jigger, but the push up was a real problem.


AnswerID: 306161

Reply By: Member - Roger B (VIC) - Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 21:45

Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 21:45
If you were only to stay in camping areas/caravan parks you'd have a queue of willing helpers to assist you to put it up and lower it. There's always an adventurous few ladies travelling alone or with kids in most parks. They never get left to do the hard yards. Good luck.

AnswerID: 306202

Follow Up By: Girlie - Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 21:53

Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 21:53
Hi Roger, thanks for your reply. I know you're right - we've found campers are great people in our experiences with the tent. I think I'd just like to avoid looking like a complete ditz, especially after TRYING to look like I know what I'm doing, reversing the thing! I get the feeling that we are going to provide some cheap entertainment along our travels! Thanks again Roger :-)))
FollowupID: 572210

Reply By: Member - Clive G (NZ) - Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 21:45

Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 21:45
I presume those two angled struts (and two on the other side) go straight and vertical when the top is up.
If so, talk to someone about adding a gas strut to each one, that will make it real easy to lift. In fact you might only need two otherwise you may not get it down again.
Cheers, CliveG (NZ).
AnswerID: 306203

Follow Up By: Girlie - Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 21:59

Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 21:59
Hi Clive, thanks for the suggestion. I'll hop on the phone first thing tomorrow with your idea. You can't beat Kiwi ingenuity! I'll certainly enquire about the 2 strut option, as I don't think it would do much for my hard earned 'cool & capable Mum' image, if my girls had to suffer the embarrassment of driving home doing 20kph with the top still up!!! Thanks Clive :-)))
FollowupID: 572215

Reply By: PradOz - Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 22:18

Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 22:18
Hi - I have some info which may help from my repair manual for the wind up type jayco campers. Just need to adapt it to suit.

To raise you roof on your own you need a series of pieces of wood or metal with wood being easier to get and prepare. It suggests 2 x 1 inch timber as suitable as long as they are free of knots and holes in the timber and also be easy to carry. (I would actually be more comfortable with 2 x 2 inch timber but thats me)Just be careful when using the first time just in case you have a problem with one of them. Bunnings can do cut to length to get them nice and square on the ends if you know the full height open so you can work out the lengths you need, otherwise cut it at home in lengths you need yourself. That way you can start longer and cut shorter until you get lengths that are easy for you to use.

They suggest the shortest piece being 7 to 10 cm long. The next size up being 15 to 20 cm longer and so on until you get to the last length required. They say you only need two of each but read on... before deciding.

Start at one end and raise a corner and insert one of the shortest pieces between the underside edge of the roof top and the top of the bottom wall. Repeat for the other side on the same end.

Next go to the opposite end and repeat the process. It suggests you use the next length up but this will depend on whether you are able to lift it that high which will also then determine how many of each length you need. Two of each length at a minimum or 4 if you have to lift each end by the same amount. Give it a go with alternate heights first, which is quicker, and will also mean you need to carry less timber.

I would also get some silicone spray and use it to lubricate the lifting arms (and do it regularly) BUT be careful not to get it on any canvas. Best to have something available like cardboard etc as a shield between the canvas and the arms when spraying them. I would spray them in the open and closed position. You can get silicone spray in auto sections of kmart etc.

Depending on height at the top you may need to use a ladder or you can stand on the rear bumper and the front A frame (but have your timber pieces handy first.

If you travel on dirt tracks etc keep the lifter arms clean also so they lift easier. Where in Sydney are you? I am in Campbelltown area. Let me know if it works for you. Good luck with it and hope it gets you camping real soon.

AnswerID: 306215

Follow Up By: Girlie - Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 22:32

Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 22:32
Hi PradOz, thanks for your reply. I wouldn't have thought of the silicone spray - I think I may even have some in the shed! I'm really keen to give that a go as it may be a big part of the problem - not my puny biceps after all! We're just outside Penrith - I'll let you know how we go. Thanks again
FollowupID: 572226

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