Gas Struts help

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Gas Struts help

Postby Pavarotti » Sun Jul 01, 2018 12:31 am

Hi Guys

I live in the United Kingdom where sadly there isn't as big a teardrop scene as in the U.S. I have a teardrop and have made a few changes to it since buying it. I have managed to rig a working awning that fixes to the teardrop rather than being draped over it. I have adapted and extended the electrics, fitted a small refridgerator and sorted out some lights.

My biggest problem now is trying to sort out some gas struts for the hatch.

Can you guys help?. I have measured and weighed the hatch but I need to work out the strut strength and length but more importantly the precise location of the struts on the frame and hatch.

Is there a write up or someone who can guide me through the process? I want to avoid trial and error as I may end up butchering the timber frame and hatch.

Thanks Aldo
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Re: Gas Struts help

Postby greygoos » Sun Jul 01, 2018 9:01 am

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Re: Gas Struts help

Postby noseoil » Tue Jul 03, 2018 7:19 am

Here's what I came up with for my build.

viewtopic.php?f=50&t=60248&start=60
Build log: viewtopic.php?f=50&t=60248
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Re: Gas Struts help

Postby tony.latham » Tue Jul 03, 2018 10:46 am

noseoil wrote:Here's what I came up with for my build.

viewtopic.php?f=50&t=60248&start=60


I think the struts in Noseoil's teardrop create less stress than the usual method of mounting close to the hinge. Hey Tim (Noiseoil), how'd you figure out the strut weights? Were you able to use the Excel calculator?

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Re: Gas Struts help

Postby Aguyfromohio » Tue Jul 03, 2018 4:26 pm

I can't speak for anyone else, but the excel gas strut calculator worked perfectly for me. Weighed the open hatch on a bathroom scale with a long stick propping it up at midpoint.

I have my struts attaching about 17 inches away from the hinge. My struts are 44 inches long fully extended, so I cut slots in the countertop and the bottom end is well below the counter. Not my first choice, but it works. I was not confident the hatch could take the higher forces fixing closer to the hinge. Next time I'll build a lighter hatch with strong attach point close to hinge, and use shorter struts.
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Re: Gas Struts help

Postby noseoil » Tue Jul 03, 2018 6:15 pm

I "cheated" on mine. One of the kids in the truss office was an engineering student who ran the calcs & did all the math for me. He came up with 87# per side, so I just used 100# struts. Worked great & still doing the job well enough to function & lift the hatch.
Build log: viewtopic.php?f=50&t=60248
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Re: Gas Struts help

Postby tony.latham » Tue Jul 03, 2018 10:14 pm

noseoil wrote:I "cheated" on mine. One of the kids in the truss office was an engineering student who ran the calcs & did all the math for me. He came up with 87# per side, so I just used 100# struts. Worked great & still doing the job well enough to function & lift the hatch.


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Re: Gas Struts help

Postby Carl01234 » Thu Jul 05, 2018 11:28 am

I am about to tackle the springs on mine as well. For the spreadsheet, is the hatch length, the actual curved length, or is it the straight line distance from each end?
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Re: Gas Struts help

Postby tony.latham » Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:55 pm

Carl01234 wrote:I am about to tackle the springs on mine as well. For the spreadsheet, is the hatch length, the actual curved length, or is it the straight line distance from each end?


As the crow flies. Straight line.

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Re: Gas Struts help

Postby Homebrewer25 » Fri Jul 06, 2018 1:05 pm

So right off I'll say this may be a dumb question, but here goes:

I'm estimating that my hatch (foamie) will weigh no more than 30 lbs (probably nearer 20). The gas strut calculator gives me 40" 32lb struts. I can't seem to find anything even close to that. I know I could build my own props as others have done, but it would be nice to have the struts.

What is a good source for struts?
It's 5 o'clock somewhere ... time for a :beer:

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Re: Gas Struts help

Postby noseoil » Sat Jul 07, 2018 6:57 am

I went to McMaster-Carr & found what I needed. Take some time to look at what's available & make sure it's the right type of mount, lift, open-closed dimension, etc. They should have what you need.

https://www.mcmaster.com/#Gas-Springs
Build log: viewtopic.php?f=50&t=60248
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Re: Gas Struts help

Postby Aguyfromohio » Sat Jul 07, 2018 7:12 am

I found the best selection here

https://www.liftsupportsdepot.com/

Use “search by size”
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Re: Gas Struts help

Postby Aguyfromohio » Sat Jul 07, 2018 7:15 am

Homebrewer25 wrote:So right off I'll say this may be a dumb question, but here goes:

I'm estimating that my hatch (foamie) will weigh no more than 30 lbs (probably nearer 20). The gas strut calculator gives me 40" 32lb struts. I can't seem to find anything even close to that. I know I could build my own props as others have done, but it would be nice to have the struts.

What is a good source for struts?

I put your numbers into the spreadsheet and got a much shorter spring.


E
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Re: Gas Struts help

Postby Homebrewer25 » Sat Jul 07, 2018 9:49 am

Thanks for the links ... I should be able to find something.

I was using the 'ideal' extended length and hatch attachment points in the spreadsheet. By adjusting those I was able to find something in the ballpark. For an attachment point of 12" from hinge and 20 lb for the hatch, I found 30"/16" 25 lb struts that should work.

But I am probably 6 months away from needing them, so will just bookmark these links for later use.
It's 5 o'clock somewhere ... time for a :beer:

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Re: Gas Struts help

Postby danlott » Tue Jul 10, 2018 12:16 am

I am glad that people are finding the strut calculator helpful.

The calculator can be a little confusing to understand and use, but there are a lot of different variables that can factor into the ideal gas struts for each individual trailer.

I am not on this forum as much as I once was, but I will help answer any questions that I can if you have them.

Dan
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