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Old 08-25-2010, 09:47 AM   #1
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Penthouse Lift

Does anyone have a electric portable Penthouse Lift that Sportsmobile used to sell that they would like to sell? My wife has a hard time lifting our penthouse alone.

Thanks,

Mac
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Old 08-25-2010, 11:05 AM   #2
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Re: Penthouse Lift

Mac,

You may be able to adjust the penthouse assist springs to make it easier to open. Here is a thread on the subject:

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=1223&hilit=adjust+penthouse+sp rings

If it is starting the top up that your wife has trouble with, you may be able to add a spacer to the 'boost' springs. If it continues to be difficult, you can adjust the main assist springs. We can talk about it when we meet up in Zion.

Mike
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Old 09-04-2010, 08:46 AM   #3
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Re: Penthouse Lift

Thanks for the information Mike. Sadly I am one of the least mechanically-inclined people on the planet so I have learned never to attempt to fix something myself. My "fixes" usually result in several hundred dollar repairs to fix what I broke while trying to fix the other thing. So, maybe I can just get my wife to start lifting weights so she can lift the penthouse herself.

Also, my business schedule got changed again so I'm hoping now to make it to Zion on the 17th. I just got back yesterday from camping at Lava Point at the top of Zion. There are only six campsites there (no services other than toilets) and it overlooks Zion. That would be a nice place for a Sportsmobile rendezvous too because we could take over the entire place and have it to ourselves. Of course it's not in Zion canyon and doesn't have the services (or crowds) of Watchman or South campgrounds.

I've posted some pictures on my gallery page of Lava Point.

Hope to see you in two weeks!

Mac
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2002 Ford E250, 5.4L V8, RB-50 (AdVANture)
4x2, Action Van Ultimate Suspension System, 4 1/2" lift
Dana Spicer Gear, ARB Full Air Locking Differential
285/70R17 Big Foot A/T tires
Aluminess Bumpers F/R, Bushwhacker fender flares
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Old 12-28-2010, 11:14 AM   #4
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Re: Penthouse Lift

How about that! Someone just put a lift for sale on this forum. I'm hoping to snatch it up.

viewtopic.php?f=7&t=6019
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2002 Ford E250, 5.4L V8, RB-50 (AdVANture)
4x2, Action Van Ultimate Suspension System, 4 1/2" lift
Dana Spicer Gear, ARB Full Air Locking Differential
285/70R17 Big Foot A/T tires
Aluminess Bumpers F/R, Bushwhacker fender flares
Smittybilt XRC 12 Winch
2014 Chaser Adventure Off-Road Trailer
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Old 12-28-2010, 12:28 PM   #5
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Re: Penthouse Lift

Good luck Mac, I hope you get it.

Mike
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Old 12-28-2010, 01:30 PM   #6
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Re: Penthouse Lift

I didn't. Apparently someone else was faster than me at getting the guy a deposit. Too bad. My wife really wanted it.
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2002 Ford E250, 5.4L V8, RB-50 (AdVANture)
4x2, Action Van Ultimate Suspension System, 4 1/2" lift
Dana Spicer Gear, ARB Full Air Locking Differential
285/70R17 Big Foot A/T tires
Aluminess Bumpers F/R, Bushwhacker fender flares
Smittybilt XRC 12 Winch
2014 Chaser Adventure Off-Road Trailer
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Old 12-29-2010, 07:52 AM   #7
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Re: Penthouse Lift

On my rig, both the lift springs and the "helper" springs have lots of room for adjustment. I have had them so stiff that I couldn't lower the top from the raised position and couldn't close it all the way when lowered. That being said, there is a "sweet" range where lifting should be easy. Just takes some tuning.

I would not attempt this if you are not used to this type of work. Those big springs are large, heavy, and may cause a lot of damage (to you) if something gives way.

Having said that, it really is a simple job.

You may want to remove the fluff (the cloth trim etc) from the area and just have a look at the springs. This will also allow you to show it to the local mechanic. What you want to do is move the S hook a notch or two up the chain. As mentioned earlier, you can also insert a small shim (I suggest plywood) in front of the short helper spring. A little goes a long way. Start with 1/2 inch. You can just stack in more if needed.

Now that I think about it, you might try the helper shim first. It doesn't require messing with the big spring. Just remove and replace a metal cover if your rig is the same as mine. That will give the top some spring to start it moving up. May solve the problem. Also, crack a window (or open a door) when opening the top so you don't have to fight the air pressure.

If you have the bigger job done, I suggest buying several large, stainless S hooks from Home Despot and replacing, and doubling up, the existing hardware. Mine was pretty anemic (giant chain, sad little S hook). Might also replace the bolt where the two arms join with a Grade 8 bolt.

Hope this makes sense. Good luck.

Tom
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Old 12-29-2010, 08:48 AM   #8
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Re: Penthouse Lift

bluedog225:

Thanks for the information. I will take a look at the springs and see whether this type of job is within my brain-capacity or klutz-factor. Unfortunately I have learned by sad experience that whenever I attempt any DIY project I end of making it worse and having to pay a pro much more to fix what I thoroughly screwed up. That's why I was hoping to get the portable lift. I figured that was a piece of machinery that even I could operate.

Mac
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2002 Ford E250, 5.4L V8, RB-50 (AdVANture)
4x2, Action Van Ultimate Suspension System, 4 1/2" lift
Dana Spicer Gear, ARB Full Air Locking Differential
285/70R17 Big Foot A/T tires
Aluminess Bumpers F/R, Bushwhacker fender flares
Smittybilt XRC 12 Winch
2014 Chaser Adventure Off-Road Trailer
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Old 12-29-2010, 09:27 AM   #9
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Re: Penthouse Lift

I understand. I am the master of turning the $200 store bought job into a $1000 diy project. If you decide to take on the bigger spring adjustment, it requires a come along.

I've never seen the electric lifts but I suspect they are the same thing as the electric lifts for pickup truck campers to lift them off the back of the truck. Just an electric motor on a stick. That may be another source for a used one.

Keep us posted.

Tom
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Old 12-29-2010, 10:08 AM   #10
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Re: Penthouse Lift

Thanks Tom. I never thought of a camper lift. I just looked them up on the internet (http://www.jcwhitney.com/cable-camper-l ... ilterid=j8) and a camper lift should work fine, although it's manually cranked up. And it is a lot cheaper than the electric lifts Sportsmobile used to sell. My wife said "It's worth a try. Buy it." This may be a much better option for us weak, old fuds who can't lift our penthouse top.
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2002 Ford E250, 5.4L V8, RB-50 (AdVANture)
4x2, Action Van Ultimate Suspension System, 4 1/2" lift
Dana Spicer Gear, ARB Full Air Locking Differential
285/70R17 Big Foot A/T tires
Aluminess Bumpers F/R, Bushwhacker fender flares
Smittybilt XRC 12 Winch
2014 Chaser Adventure Off-Road Trailer
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