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Old 04-30-2015, 12:31 PM   #1
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Converting a Manual Penthouse Top to a Powered Top for $3.10

I can raise and lower our manual penthouse top with no problem. My wife can lower it but not raise it. Lowering is the easy part in that anyone weighing over ~70 pounds can hang on the penthouse handles and lower it. I do note that as I head north of 70 years of age that each year for some reason the top gets just a little bit heavier. Also what happens if I sprain my back while we are on a trip? Would be painful raising the top.

So I bought $3.10 of material and made a backup powered system to raise the top when needed. Thought I would share since the subject comes up once and awhile.

Modified our penthouse bed


Have electric drill. Made a load distribution block and bought some 3/8" rod.


Put it all together....


Raise the top (wood load block shown was my first grab from scrap box).
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Old 04-30-2015, 12:40 PM   #2
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Re: Converting a Manual Penthouse Top to a Powered Top for $

Hey, that looks a pretty good idea!
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Old 04-30-2015, 02:28 PM   #3
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Re: Converting a Manual Penthouse Top to a Powered Top for $

I like it. Great idea. Definitely more compact and convienent that using a cargo bar. Will have to do that for mine. But will put a nut and jam nut on the end of the rod so that I can use a socket on the end of the drill.
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Old 04-30-2015, 03:14 PM   #4
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Re: Converting a Manual Penthouse Top to a Powered Top for $

Socket is a great idea. Caution: I have no idea on the factory penthouse bed construction so take care.
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Old 04-30-2015, 04:11 PM   #5
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Re: Converting a Manual Penthouse Top to a Powered Top for $

Since my SMB does not have a penthouse bed am planning on using the 3/4" plywood shelf that I carry. Will test it out and report back. U
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Old 04-30-2015, 05:11 PM   #6
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Re: Converting a Manual Penthouse Top to a Powered Top for $

Nice! If I'd seen this a year ago I would probably have kept my PH SMB. I made a manual lever bar contraption but never really liked it. And although the ratchet bars some folks have used are not *that* big, they seem large when teying to figure out where to put one in an RB/aisle. And I already carry a drill.

I did make use of your "close all doors and windows and put dash fan on high" trick. Really makes a difference.
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Old 04-30-2015, 08:07 PM   #7
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Re: Converting a Manual Penthouse Top to a Powered Top for $

Thats a great idea! Thanks for sharing it with us
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Old 04-30-2015, 10:11 PM   #8
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Re: Converting a Manual Penthouse Top to a Powered Top for $

Clever, simple and cheap. What else could you ask for!
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Old 04-30-2015, 10:36 PM   #9
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Re: Converting a Manual Penthouse Top to a Powered Top for $

I like it. Nicely done.
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Old 05-01-2015, 07:44 AM   #10
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Re: Converting a Manual Penthouse Top to a Powered Top for $

I would love to see someone lift a penthouse with a rooftop box/solar/rack etc. with this mod. If it will lift the weight I'm all over it. If one of you guys doesn't do it within a couple months I'll have to be the lab rat myself.

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