550 / 560 Galley Hatch Lift?

Discussion in 'Camp-Inn Options & Accessories' started by FauxPa, Mar 31, 2017.

  1. FauxPa

    FauxPa Novice

    I know Cary and co. have elected to NOT use gas lift struts for the Galley hatch and have offered good reasoning and design logic - can't disagree with their thoughts on this. However, for those of us that would like the option anyway, can anyone recommend a design and strut specs that will work or that they've tried in the past? I'm considering just buying the struts and installing them myself, but designing the installation, and deciding on which specific size (length, force, etc.) and type is a bit beyond my engineering skills. Has anyone done this? Any thoughts or recommendations? Highest regards, -Dan
  2. Brian & Lucy

    Brian & Lucy Novice

    I had read that if gas struts aren't used frequently, they lose their holding power. I can attest to this as both my boat seats require me to hold them up to stay in the up position, and my Porsche front trunk that I never use...it's literally worthless. The dealer told me if I wasn't using it, don't waste the money replacing them. Due to the weight and the length, you'd probably want to look at large SUV's for the best options. There are some boat hatches that have them as well, so consider marine options.
  3. Jean W

    Jean W Junior Ranger Donating Member

    My suggestion, wait until you have used the teardrop before deciding to add gas struts.

  4. FauxPa

    FauxPa Novice

    Thanks for the thoughts Brian ... yes, I understand little usage may result in dried-out malfunctioning seals which render the struts rather useless. That said, our FoxTail gets quite a workout all summer and would not suffer this malady.
  5. FauxPa

    FauxPa Novice

    Hi Jean ... we've used our 560 a ton since acquiring it nearly 3 yrs ago ... we absolutely love it and the freedom it provides us. That said, the one comment I hear from my wife most often is "gosh, would be great if this galley hatch weren't so heavy" ... she's a small person and has a history of back problems, so it worries her anytime she exerts unnecessary back motion/leverage/pressure. So ... though I can't disagree with Cary's sound design logic, there are times when the convenience of such a mechanism would be valuable. Still hoping to hear design ideas from anyone who's tried this. Thanks, Dan
  6. Bear

    Bear Ranger


    I would encourage you to venture into the unknown. Set the precedence. Be the leader. Given the reasoning you've shared here, what a great way to demonstrate your love for your wife. Run with that ball and don't look back.

    I sometimes think the hatch is about 10-12 lbs. heavier than it was back in 2005, and have thought about struts but haven't acted on it. I don't know if I ever will, but I know I'll be thinking about it.

    Walk in Beauty,

    Jenn likes this.
  7. FauxPa

    FauxPa Novice

    Ok ... so, I took Bear's advice & jumped into the unknown and have arrived at a solution. Thought I'd pass along my learnins'. I didn't have an easy way to determine the correct lift-force and/or the correct length and stroke ... so, for $33 I took a chance and guessed. Ordered a pair of gas struts from Amazon with 17" expanded length and 40# of force each (80# total) ... first fit-up didn't work as my positioning didn't allow for enough stroke to fully close. So, after adjusting the positioning it closed wonderfully. However, I was not happy with the amount of lift assist (too little). So, I ordered a similar strut but with 80# of lift each (160# total). Installed the new ones in the correct position and it worked perfectly! With this lift force, the hatch actually lifts open by itself! just like a high-end car trunk! I elected to keep the wooden OEM support pole just as a safety and it takes the pressure off the struts when fully opened ... and, we loose a couple of inches fromthe storage tray areas due to the struts operating there.
    In case anyone's interested, the lifts were ordered thru Amazon Prime from LiftSupportsDepot.com ... part# C16-08789 ... $33.00 for the pair (returned the lighter ones & was charged for returned shipping - about $9.00). Note that I also had to purchase the mounting brackets - 10mm Flat Gas Spring Mounting Bracket ($5.98 for the pair) and 10MM Ball Stud Bracket for Gas Strut -90 degrees ($9.35 for the pair). So, total investment (not including return shipping for the rejects) = $48.33 ! and now ... momma's happy (which means I'm happy!). Photos below.

    Hatch lifts 1.png
    Hatch lifts 2.png
    Hatch lifts 3.png
    Hatch lifts 4.png
    Hatch lifts 5.png
    Jenn, Evan, Tom & Diana P and 3 others like this.
  8. mariusz

    mariusz Novice

    Looking awsome
  9. fernlane

    fernlane Novice

    nice job, looks good. The weight of the galley hatch does seem to increase over time :-o. There have been many times I've wished I could raise the hatch with one hand.

    it does look to me like these struts might inhibit the use of the galley windscreens, depending on how much space there is between the strut and the wood.
  10. Randy

    Randy Ranger Donating Member

    Nice mod!
  11. Inn42

    Inn42 Junior Ranger

    Good Job! Just last week I ran into a custom teardrop builder who ordered three different forces of struts before finding his Goldilocks solution. Unfortunately for him, his custom design left few options for placement, and he ended up having to make some slight modifications to his cabinetry to shoehorn them in.
  12. GhostOrchid

    GhostOrchid Novice

    That's slick enough that Craig and Cary should consider offering it as part of the handicapped package. I know that for me the hatch has gotten a LOT heavier since I broke my wrist last fall. That injury also had me wishing we had ordered the interior grab bars. Wrist injury made the usual "skootching" around in the cabin (you know, using both hands against the mattress to lift up and reposition your butt) impossible. Wrist is doing better now, but still wish I had the grab bars.
  13. FauxPa

    FauxPa Novice

    Hadn't thought of it as part of the handicap pkg, but that makes a lot of sense. Bought my "FoxTail" used and it already had the grab bars ... interestingly it's probably the most used upgrade of all! ... wouldn't want to be without them now.
  14. Evan

    Evan Administrator Staff Member

    I wonder if Craig and Cary might consider offering this as an option. I understand that gas struts can leak when they are not used regularly, but they can also be replaced easily enough. Perhaps this is a case where customers would want to choose based on their own needs and priorities.
  15. FauxPa

    FauxPa Novice

    Hi Evan ... yeah ... swapping one strut with another (for different lift force) took me literally 30 seconds. And, given the low cost factor, could prove very profitable for Cary & Co. - I'm betting buyers would be willing to pay for the option for as much as $150-$200. And, basic R&D is now done (I'm very happy with the arrangement) ... I'm betting Cary & Co. could/would refine it even more. Happy to offer more detail and insights if they'd like. -Dan
    Randy likes this.
  16. Betsey

    Betsey Camp-Inn Staff

    Craig's design of the hatch prop was done that way for several reasons. One of the reasons for that design was me. Being 5' tall and having to lift the hatch would not be an easy task. However, the design made it so I could easily lift it with one hand. And after 16 years of doing so, I don't even need to move the prop - it slides on it's own as the hatch is opened or closed.

    That said, for awhile now, Craig has considered the idea of adding struts to enhance lifting of the hatch, as he realizes not everyone is able to open it one handed while moving the prop with the other (the way it is intended). Stay tuned!
    Mark & Casandra, GhostOrchid and Evan like this.
  17. FauxPa

    FauxPa Novice

    So ... We've not had the FoxTail out since the strut install, but working on it in the garage I'm starting to think the 80# each of force may be too much ... it is now somewhat difficult to close. Taking it out this weekend (Ohiopyle State Park, PA!) & will get my wife's feedback after a weekend of real use ... will update with her thoughts when we return.
  18. Duke's

    Duke's Newbie

    Having replaced dozens of gas charged shuts over the years, was pleasantly surprised at campins reliable and bitchin wood design to bypass them. There are way to many cheaply made gadgets added to car's and appliances etc to appeal to the "masses" to make things easier. Option, eh, but going to struts as sole option, be a travesty.
    Randy and AlCat like this.
  19. AlCat

    AlCat Junior Ranger Donating Member

    I echo Duke's sentiment. The current design is very cool.
  20. I love the way CI has done it.

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