Fitting Bench / Bed Gas Struts

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Post by CC on Wed May 04, 2016 11:43 am

Has anyone fitted gas struts to their Beds in the Broadway or similar motorhomes? 
If so can you recommend a suitable strut? 
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I've looked on eBay & elsewhere online but there seems to be so much to take into consideration like length when closed or fully opened, the force of the strut for example 50N to 120N... Positioning of the strut on the bed frame? I want them to assist with opening & hold fully open so I can access the storage areas without fighting to hold the weight as I currently do! 

Also I'm concerned about mounting methods to the wooden ply laminate frame which is poor compared to the earlier box metal frames Auto Sleeper used, nut & bolt with washers would no doubt be essential, any advice appreciated if you've done it or are thinking about it? 

Again, considering how cheap these struts are why the heck is this not standard equipment by Auto-Sleepers  scratch head

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Post by Gromit on Wed May 04, 2016 1:31 pm

Can't help directly CC, but a couple of points to ponder.

They do go "lazy" after a time, so it might be worth getting ones that are a little bit too strong at first - assuming you can make some sturdy mounting plates to spread the load.

As for position, be very careful to mount them so they do not fully close when the bed base is down. Leave a little bit of leeway, because if you mount them wrongly they may be fully closed before the bed base is completely down, then you won't be able to lower it any further. (Does that makes sense??)

I'd suggest you have a look at a recent Broadway which will have them fitted - onto a steel frame!! (A/S obviously realised their mistake and went back to steel.) A few quick measurements will give you the fixing positions, assuming your gas struts are the same length.

Hope this helps

Dave smile!
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Post by Peter Brown on Wed May 04, 2016 1:39 pm

on the forum somewhere CC a couple of years ago. I got 4 for next to nothing and fitted easy, I'll see if I can find the thread and take a pic.

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Post by Peter Brown on Wed May 04, 2016 1:47 pm

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Post by chudders on Wed May 04, 2016 9:25 pm

I have also wanted to do this. Do you know what length the gas struts are and where you got them. I can see they are 150N. Looks like a good job done in the pics.
Thanks Dave
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Post by PLOUGHLIN on Wed May 04, 2016 11:13 pm

The thread Peter#1 linked to has an Ebay page shown, but they have reduced in price now. hugegrins

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Post by steve00136 on Wed May 04, 2016 11:22 pm

I did that original post and all still working well. If doing again I might try to find a slightly stronger unit as the struts on the longer of the two benches does struggle at times.

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Post by CC on Thu May 05, 2016 2:04 pm

Thanks Peter.... Have ordered two pairs, presumably they just assist with opening rather than take the weight fully and hold open on their own? I got the 150n rated ones but even so they don't look man enough to take the full weight of the beds which are bloody heavy!! Metal frames were so much better on our Nuevo! As long as it assists I'll be more than happy smile!


Thanks Gromit for your feedback too up! 


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Post by CC on Thu May 05, 2016 2:14 pm

Just a thought... 

Has anyone managed to fit something like these on their gas locker door? I've just replaced my Veneta door retainer as it had no grip whatsoever! why Auto-Sleeper hinge a bloody great heavy door from the top is beyond me, and is an accident waiting to happen as I found out with our previous Nuevo in Germany when it came crashing down on top of my bonce as MrsCC shut the habitation door on the other side!

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Post by Peter Brown on Thu May 05, 2016 3:27 pm

CC wrote: presumably they just assist with opening rather than take the weight fully and hold open on their own? I got the 150n rated ones but even so they don't look man enough to take the full weight of the beds which are bloody heavy!!

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Once you get them to the angle shown in my pictures they stay open, supporting the weight of the bed cushions as well. I had a good think about exactly where to fix them before I installed the first one.

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Post by CC on Thu May 05, 2016 4:10 pm

Thanks Peter, that's amazing they hold all that weight! Will be a god send as I keep our outdoor chairs etc under my side and swear every time I fight to get them out fight Anything for an easier life! hugegrins

Would still be interested to hear if anyone has managed to fit one on their gas locker door? Guessing it must be feasible as I see many foreign makers have them as standard equipment.

Beautiful day here... Sitting out in the sunshine content

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Post by PLOUGHLIN on Sat May 07, 2016 4:59 pm

My gas struts just arrived, look identical to Peter #1 's picture, £6.60 for 4 delivered off Ebay. Now for some fettling.

A bit cheaper still. [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Will look into the gas locker lid fitment, it is heavy when it hits your head. hugegrins

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Post by Peter Brown on Sat May 07, 2016 5:04 pm

PLOUGHLIN wrote:

Will look into the gas locker lid fitment, it is heavy when it hits your head. hugegrins

This is the third van I've had that will take two 13 kg bottles - the first two had top hinging, not good. This one is hinged on the side and much better although it can still give a hefty smack if caught by the wind - at least its on the shoulder and not the top of the head!

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Post by Heanorboy on Sat May 07, 2016 6:16 pm

If you want to take out the guess work of what strut you need have a word with SGS who are based in Derby. If you give them the approx. weight you want to lift and how high they will advise on what strut you require.
They were brilliant for me a few years ago when I had a T5 with tailgate.
Struts just about held up the door when I got the van but when bike rack on no chance. They took my existing struts and upgraded them so that I could still easily lift the tail gate with bikes on as well and no problem closing either.
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Post by CC on Sun May 08, 2016 12:47 am

Managed to fit my gas struts that arrived today... Same as Peter's except one end has a round bracket but still works fine, and as you can see in the pic the struts hold open the bed fine. With the back cushion on the bed it's not quite strong enough to remain open unassisted but that's fine as I can now lift, then reach in for whatever I want to get out, with the seat cushion in place and the back cushion removed though it'll stay open with no issues... A slightly stronger resistance would be perfect but 150n seems to be the most you can get with that design of strut.

Anyone who's not done it, just do it.... Have just ordered another set so I have spares just in case and in the event that I decide to fit one to the gas locker. 

Well pleased!! allthumbz

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Post by chudders on Mon May 09, 2016 12:54 pm

Gas struts ordered, thanks everyone.
They do seem good value for money
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Post by moggyminor1966 on Mon May 09, 2016 5:27 pm

CC wrote:Managed to fit my gas struts that arrived today... Same as Peter's except one end has a round bracket but still works fine, and as you can see in the pic the struts hold open the bed fine. With the back cushion on the bed it's not quite strong enough to remain open unassisted but that's fine as I can now lift, then reach in for whatever I want to get out, with the seat cushion in place and the back cushion removed though it'll stay open with no issues... A slightly stronger resistance would be perfect but 150n seems to be the most you can get with that design of strut.

Anyone who's not done it, just do it.... Have just ordered another set so I have spares just in case and in the event that I decide to fit one to the gas locker. 

Well pleased!! allthumbz

Hi CC
I assume the beds on your Broadway are the same width as our Nuevo. Please could you advise the measurement you fitted the strut from the back of the bed frame and also the measurement from the back of the lift up frame.
This will make sure I get it right! Thanks

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Post by PLOUGHLIN on Mon May 09, 2016 6:21 pm

I just fitted my struts. The frame lift to same position as when using the AS bent wire stay. I used Bottom 245mm from rear timber face to c/l of ball swivel, Upper 150mm from back edge of frame to c/l of ball swivel. Construction on Gloucester is same as photo, just size differs.

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Post by meanchris on Mon May 09, 2016 8:16 pm

Our Executive has lift up bench seats - one tried to decapitate me before nearly breaking my hand yesterday.

I'll have to look at fitting struts, mainly to assist in keep them up.

It won't be as simple as the ones shown here though, as the seat has a double acting scissor type hinge at each end, which also lift the rear of the bench cushion up.
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Post by CC on Tue May 10, 2016 10:07 am

meanchris wrote:Our Executive has lift up bench seats - one tried to decapitate me before nearly breaking my hand yesterday.

I'll have to look at fitting struts, mainly to assist in keep them up.

It won't be as simple as the ones shown here though, as the seat has a double acting scissor type hinge at each end, which also lift the rear of the bench cushion up.

What about something like this meanchris 

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Post by CC on Tue May 10, 2016 10:22 am

moggyminor1966 wrote:

Hi CC
I assume the beds on your Broadway are the same width as our Nuevo. Please could you advise the measurement you fitted the strut from the back of the bed frame and also the measurement from the back of the lift up frame.
This will make sure I get it right! Thanks

Hi Moggs.... Yes our Broadway bed shown should be the same width and length as your Nuevo, it just uses an additional section to extend the beds length. 

I will check my measurements and get back to you, to be honest it was just a guesstimate so you might be better making your own decision. As I said previously it'll happily support the weight of the bed elevated minus the back cushion but as soon as you try with the back cushion it struggles but can still be held open with very little effort.

Will check later and get back to you, but just use it as a rough guide. I might be wrong but Peter's appear to be mounted slightly further outwards along the bottom fixing? I'm only guessing but it's possible with a slightly different angle they may work slightly better possibly. 

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Post by meanchris on Tue May 10, 2016 11:12 am

CC wrote:
meanchris wrote:Our Executive has lift up bench seats - one tried to decapitate me before nearly breaking my hand yesterday.

I'll have to look at fitting struts, mainly to assist in keep them up.

It won't be as simple as the ones shown here though, as the seat has a double acting scissor type hinge at each end, which also lift the rear of the bench cushion up.

What about something like this meanchris 

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Thanks, that looks like it might work OK, is it a real life picture of a real installation?

I guess all I'd need to know would be the extended length and travel required plus the Nm required to hold the bench up.
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Post by CC on Tue May 10, 2016 11:20 am

The strut pictured are available on eBay and listed as ottaman or bed struts, think if I were to replace mine again I'd prefer something like this as I'm guessing it helps spread the weight out further and the scissor action of the frame must also assist to a degree I'd have thought?

I must admit I'm rather concerned about the flimsyness of the wood frame work in the Auto-Sleeper, yours being older probably has better build quality so not so much of an issue maybe.

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Post by meanchris on Tue May 10, 2016 11:26 am

CC wrote:The strut pictured are available on eBay and listed as ottaman or bed struts, think if I were to replace mine again I'd prefer something like this as I'm guessing it helps spread the weight out further and the scissor action of the frame must also assist to a degree I'd have thought?

CC

One problem that I can see is that the ones linked on previous threads for the rear hinged benches won't be long enough to raise the bench fully at the front.
If I pick one that's too short when extended it will restrict the opening too much, as the one in your picture does.

Some research required I think.
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Post by CC on Tue May 10, 2016 11:30 am

Yes know what you mean... The ones fitted as ploughlin says open to about the same distance as the support arm fitted by Auto-Sleepers, the trouble with their solution was fighting to lift the beds high enough with one hand while trying to engage the support arm rolleyes anyone with this system will know exactly what I'm talking about! 

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