First step is to make sure you have some doors open. Surprisingly, it can make it considerably easier to pop the top by lowering the air pressure inside as you try to increase the volume (van + penthouse) without allowing additional air into the van to compensate for the pressure differential.
Some people leave the engine running and place the Vent on High (not recirculate) to add additional air.
SMB-less as of 02/04/2012. Our savings account is richer, but our adventures are poorer.
BroncoHauler, Thank you. We have done that over the years...our SMB is a 2001...open the door. My wife pushes with her back on the top while she stands on the gaucho and I push at the same time. We only have one solar panel on the roof but the springs seem to stick. Do appreciate the info and quick reply.
We have a full bed in our van. I squat, put my head against the top with my back strait, place my hands on end of bed, push w legs from squat position and pull down with hands to lift the top. So my arms do some of the lifting and so does my back. Sometimes I do it with the doors open and sometimes with the van blower set on high w doors closed.
I have also made a jack to lift the top if I have back problems. Have not really used the jack yet.
We do have two 100 watt solar panels on the roof and also have our awning attached to roof.