RTT lift with pneumatic cylinder?

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Oct 13, 2012
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Fernie, BC
Probably a stupid idea since I have not seen it yet, does anyone use a pneumatic cylinder and compressed air to lift and lower their RTT?

I have a CDN M101 and copying a bunch of you built a rack the keeps it in the down position when driving and lifts it to 6’ when camping. I currently have 2 pneumatic springs that lift it up. It works ok but would like it smoother. To get it down I get the kids to climb on top.

I was at Princess Auto and saw pneumatic cylinders and got to thinking that I could use one with the air compressor to lower and raise it with the springs. I’d put it in the centre. Would make it easier when I go out alone. Overthinking it? (Almost want to build it just to try).

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I did hydraulic lift struts inside the vertical posts, and they worked ok, but it was kind of a pain and it was really hard to prevent binding. I ended up going to linear actuators and heim joints to mount the top rack and it’s so much easier and smoother now. Should have done it that way from the start. The picture is when I was first tacking then in place.
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I did hydraulic lift struts inside the vertical posts, and they worked ok, but it was kind of a pain and it was really hard to prevent binding. I ended up going to linear actuators and heim joints to mount the top rack and it’s so much easier and smoother now. Should have done it that way from the start. The picture is when I was first tacking then in place.
View attachment 3163170

Nice. So many questions. Do you have actuators in all four corners? Where did you source them? Waterproof IP65? As simple as wiring them all together in parallel?
 
Nice. So many questions. Do you have actuators in all four corners? Where did you source them? Waterproof IP65? As simple as wiring them all together in parallel?
I do have actuators in all 4 corners. They are IP65. I got them from here: https://www.windynation.com/linear-actuators
I originally thought I’d set it up to run from 2 switches (front and back), but they don’t run at quite the exact speed, so I ended up just doing one switch for each actuator. There are ways to get them to run at the same speed, but seemed more difficult and expensive, and as usual, this was all going together right before a major trip. With the heim joints there is enough flexibility that they don’t have to be exactly the same speed, and I can bump up whatever one I need at the end to get them all locked in.
 

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