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Old 04-20-2009, 09:06 AM   #1
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Penthouse top adjustment

Has anybody out there adjusted the tension on ther manual lift Penthouse top? I added two 130 watt solar panels and the top barely stay up on it's own now.I looked and saw the springs are attached with chain to top bows.What I'm wondering is if I remove a link to increase tension will that cause to much stress on the bows?Thanks for a great forum it has given me lots of inspiration and motivation in building my version of a Sportsmobile.
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Old 04-20-2009, 10:13 AM   #2
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Re: Penthouse top adjustment

I had to do two links on my chains. Also added a spacer to the preload spring. If it is marginal when up, it may be easier, better to support in the corners as opposed to more spring force. I used 1" dowels cut to just fit in the space between the top and the ledge. I worry about too much spring damaging the bolt it pulls on; the dowels make sure the top can't come down from wind, rain, snow, tree branches, etc.

Mike
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Old 04-21-2009, 04:23 PM   #3
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Re: Penthouse top adjustment

SMBW adjusted mine for free when they were doing other work. Perhaps if you call them and explain that you're too far away to come in, they'll walk you through it. The adjustment they made for me made a big difference.
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Old 04-22-2009, 09:12 AM   #4
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Re: Penthouse top adjustment

Thanks for the information guys. I'll probably go ahead and take out a couple of links to see how much of a differance that makes.On the plus side the top already came with poles in all four corners to help support the top when it's up.
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Old 04-22-2009, 09:43 AM   #5
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Re: Penthouse top adjustment

You've seen this right? http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/vie...ph+top+tension
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Old 04-22-2009, 04:59 PM   #6
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Re: Penthouse top adjustment

Hey Wildhare. I took at least 4 links out of my chain when I added 3 solar panels. So far no issues at all. I'm close to you in Tucson. PM me if you get in a bind.

tom.
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Old 03-25-2017, 01:04 PM   #7
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I went over to rallypanam's place yesterday and we adjusted my penthouse springs to account for the ~65 lbs of solar on the roof. Instead of bracing the top with 2x4s, we put a piece of aluminum in where the small spring is to hold the top up. Then we pulled on the big springs with a ratcheting tie down to take out three links on each side. We tried adding wood blocks behind the small springs but it turned out they were not needed. Pretty sketchy process but we managed to pull it off without injury.









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Old 03-25-2017, 09:30 PM   #8
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65lbs?!? Should have spent the day doing 12 oz curls! That top would have felt light as a feather after that workout!

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Old 03-25-2017, 09:50 PM   #9
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65lbs?!? Should have spent the day doing 12 oz curls! That top would have felt light as a feather after that workout!

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LOL Ben!

I wish it was that easy. Raising the top wasn't all that bad but it sagged a couple inches when up. The real problem was keeping it up (insert joke here, we did!). On Thanksgiving weekend we got a quick inch or so of pretty wet snow and the top came down on its own! Thankfully, we weren't in the van. If we had been sleeping upstairs at the time, there is no way we would have been able to get it up again (insert joke again).

And, we did do a few 12 ounce curls yesterday...we were doing van stuff after all
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Old 03-25-2017, 11:43 PM   #10
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Pretty sketchy process but we managed to pull it off without injury.
Sounds like most of my work.........
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