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Old 06-18-2019, 11:51 PM   #1
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: NW Montana
Posts: 34
Underbed storage lifts

2014 Coachmen Freedom Express TT, there is a small storage under the main bed (about the bottom 1/3 of the bed). The only problem is, the bed is awkward to lift - the bed butts up against a wall separating the bedroom from the rest of the living space. I want to install gas shocks to make the bed easy to lift to utilize the storage area. Is it better to just buy a kit, and hope it's enough lift (or not so much that it takes 2 people to push it back down), or is there an easy way to figure out how much force I need in the shocks to just buy the parts and make my own? In my wildly imaginative mind, I think I should be able to put a scale on the floor, weigh myself, then lift the bed and weigh my self again, giving me the weight I need to lift. So if difference is say 40 pounds, do I buy 2 30# shocks to give me 60# of lift, or is it that easy? RV shops here have no idea, and only want to sell me a premade kit that they don't have in stock.

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Old 06-19-2019, 12:16 AM   #2
"Formerly Diplomat Don"
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Moorpark, Ca.
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It sounds like good a idea, but is probably not that simple. I've installed pistons on a couple of beds and front hoods. Not only is the weight of the piston important, but length and position. I've been lucky and have guessed accurately at what was needed. I've also missed a couple of times and have bought pistons that are too strong or too weak. I've got pretty good at guessing. Since they're relatively cheap, I keep the ones that didn't work for another project.

I will say that the bed frames are often flimsy and you need to add extra support when installing the pistons. If you can fit in the storage are, it will help you more easily figure out the length and position.

I think the best way to guess the weight of the piston is compare it to lifting weights. Compare the weight of the bed to lifting a barbell.

Don & Mary
2019 Newmar Dutch Star 4018
2016 GMC Canyon 4WD Crew Cab
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Old 06-19-2019, 09:11 AM   #3
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We have 2 gas struts on our bed to assist in lifting however it still takes a lot of force to lift the bed, my wife could not lift it on her own and always needed my help. Not good since she travels solo sometimes and uses this area to store stuff.

My solution was to buy a 12 volt actuator with remote. I found this on Ebay.

I bought one the same length as the struct when it was extended. I was able to mount it next to one of the struts so they still help lift the bed. I used an old piece of extension cord to get power from the rear electrical bay.

Since I concerned about failure I did put a quick pin release on the top attachment and a piece of cable so I can disconnect if necessary.

Now my wife can just grab the remote to lift the bed and it also works to pull it back down.
Jim J
2002 Monaco Windsor 38 PKD
2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee w/5.7 Hemi
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Old 06-19-2019, 09:25 AM   #4
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Mine came with the lift cyl. I was amazed to find they both were 200# units. They had been mounted to a plywood block screwed to the bed platform and not through bolted and the screws pulled out. The bed was almost impossible for me to lift when that happened but by using some blocks and wedging them in as I went I got it open, the block glued and through bolted and back in working order. Even with them back in place it's just barely enough to hold the bed up.
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