New Lifts in the Gypsy Wagon

Design & Construction of anything that's not a teardrop e.g. Grasshoppers or Sunspots

New Lifts in the Gypsy Wagon

Postby Rae » Sun Jul 08, 2007 7:50 am

Hi folks,

I've been a bit out of touch, but I thought you might be interested in this. My wagon is about as far from a teardrop as one can get, but I wanted to share the new lift-assist system with all of you.

We were still having some trouble with the pop-top of our wagon being a strain on the winch system. It was just too heavy. A friend suggested that we install some gas springs under the framework. After a little bit of experimentation, (because we didn't know the actual weight of the top) we ended up with a great system. There are springs in all four corners, and now the top lifts easily without nearly so much strain on the cables as before. It's a nice, neat, elegant solution. We're really pleased, and it's taken a lot of the tension out of setup, now that we know nothing is overstressed--including us.

The lift capacity is pretty well balanced. We actually have to push the top down for the last few inches, and we are going to pin it in the down position for safety, so it doesn't start levitating while we're driving...

(Full site here, for folks that don't remember me.)

http://www.enslin.com/rae/gypsy/wagon.htm

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Last edited by Rae on Mon Jul 09, 2007 7:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby mikeschn » Sun Jul 08, 2007 8:10 am

Hey that's pretty cool. Ingenious use of the gas spring.

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Re: New Lifts in the Gypsy Wagon

Postby Joanne » Sun Jul 08, 2007 9:12 am

Hi Rae,

It has been a while since we've heard from you. I'm glad you dropped in to share your update photo. I just checked out your website (again) and enjoyed looking at the pictures. I enjoy seeing the gypsy wagons and the vardos. I travel to northern Nevada from time to time and see the sheepherder wagons. They usually have 4 wheels, a rounded top and a rear entry door. There is a long Basque heritage up there.

I really like the way you used the gas springs to assist in lifting the top. That's a great idea. Enjoy your beautiful trailer!!

Joanne

Rae wrote:Hi folks,

I've been a bit out of touch, but I thought you might be interested in this. My wagon is about as far from a teardrop as one can get, but I wanted to share the new lift-assist system with all of you.

We were still having some trouble with the pop-top of our wagon being a strain on the winch system. It was just too heavy. A friend suggested that we install some gas springs under the framework. After a little bit of experimentation, (because we didn't know the actual weight of the top) we ended up with a great system. There are springs in all four corners, and now the top lifts easily without nearly so much strain on the cables as before. It's a nice, neat, elegant solution. We're really pleased, and it's taken a lot of the tension out of setup, now that we know nothing is overstressed--including us.

The lift capacity is pretty well balanced. We actually have to push the top down for the last few inches, and we are going to pin it in the down position for safety, so it doesn't start levitating while we're driving...

(Full site here, for folks that don't remember me.)

http://www.enslin.com/rae/gypsy/wagon.htm

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Postby Rae » Sun Jul 08, 2007 12:08 pm

Thanks, we're looking forward to this year's travelling. We've done a few upgrades, and we're hoping the pleasant weather will hold. I'm anxious to try everything out now that it's a bit easier and safer.
:)
Last edited by Rae on Mon Jul 09, 2007 7:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Gas spring placement

Postby bgordon » Mon Jul 09, 2007 6:10 am

Hi Rae,

Great lift system! Just remember that the gas spring placement should be rod down, in other words, the thin part (shaft) needs to be at the bottom, and the thick part at the top. The spring has oil for lubrication inside, and if you place it like you did in the picture it will dry out (eventually), and you will need to replace these springs more often than necessary.

:)
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Postby Rae » Mon Jul 09, 2007 6:13 am

Hmmm, okay. I think we can do that. We actually have two in each corner, coupled together and braced so they won't torque. (It was the only way to make them long enough and not spend a fortune.) I don't suppose it would be a huge deal to couple them both going in the same direction to avoid that.

Thanks for the advice!!
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Postby Steve_Cox » Mon Jul 09, 2007 6:58 am

Rae,

Thanks for dropping by again with the update. I still have vardo envy and someday want to build one. I have a question if you have time to answer. Do you know how much your vardo weighs? Thanks.
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Postby Rae » Mon Jul 09, 2007 7:21 am

Do you know how much your vardo weighs?
According to our local shop, it weighs 1800 unloaded. We figure around 2500 when we're fully packed.

If you do the canvas topped style, you can cut that weight by quite a bit, and it's a lot cheaper to build. (No problematic lift systems, either.) My brother did this one. (I can't remember if I posted his site before. Please forgive me if I'm being repetitive.) He started small and then upgraded, as you'll see in the photos. The wagon is built on 4x8 frame.

http://www.enslin.com/rae/gypsy/dwagon01.htm
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Postby Steve_Cox » Tue Jul 10, 2007 3:21 pm

Rae wrote:
Do you know how much your vardo weighs?
According to our local shop, it weighs 1800 unloaded. We figure around 2500 when we're fully packed.

If you do the canvas topped style, you can cut that weight by quite a bit, and it's a lot cheaper to build. (No problematic lift systems, either.) My brother did this one. (I can't remember if I posted his site before. Please forgive me if I'm being repetitive.) He started small and then upgraded, as you'll see in the photos. The wagon is built on 4x8 frame.

http://www.enslin.com/rae/gypsy/dwagon01.htm


Rae,

Thanks for the link to Darren's build. I had seen it before but had forgotten how much could be put into a 4X8 with a bow-top. You've renewed my interest in vardos once again, you're a bad influence of the best kind :thumbsup:
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Postby Rae » Wed Jul 11, 2007 7:35 am

you're a bad influence of the best kind.
Yeah, I get that a lot--and I'm quite pleased about it. :lol:
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