Gas springs for trailer lid - help me decide...

cparkerc

Observer
I built a steel top for my trailer. It is around 150 lbs! It is hinged on the passenger side with 3 barrel hinges. I need to pick out my gas springs, but there is an issue. I have a swing out tailgate and no spot to place a spring in the rear.

Question- Would one spring mounted of the front of the trailer box, say a 200 or 250 lb spring, be strong enough to open the lid? If so, I could brace the back with a pole to keep all the weight from being on the single spring when open.

Hope that makes sense, I welcome any ideas! I went through a ton of threads, but could not find my answer. Thanks for any help!
 

sroth

Fabricator
I went through the same sorta challenges with my builds. The big issue is if you only use one the lid will twist and not open/close or latch correctly. Also consider the angle the spring is attached, this geometry will increase or decrease strut size. Hope that helps a bit. Take a look at our builds, it may help.
 

97kurt

Adventurer
Sroth is right, Lid will twist if you only have one. Post pics of the setup, you may have to get creative with the mounting point.
 

Buffalobwana

Observer
You are better off welding a cross member close to the tailgate than attempting a one gas spring method. At 150 lbs, it will twist. Just not a good idea.

Another option is mounting the base of the springs on the opening side wall and the top of the springs closer to the hinge.

That would work and eliminate the need for a cross member.
 

veetee

New member
You could change to hinges at the front. Then you can have gas springs left and right, and load the trailer from the left ánd right side, as well as from the rear...
 

cparkerc

Observer
You could change to hinges at the front. Then you can have gas springs left and right, and load the trailer from the left ánd right side, as well as from the rear...
I am seriously thinking about this...i am almost ready to paint tho!
 

workingonit71

Aspirantes ad Adventure
... The big issue is if you only use one the lid will twist and not open/close or latch correctly. Also consider the angle the spring is attached, this geometry will increase or decrease strut size....
Hope my experience can help you with this, though my homebuilt trailer's hatch was much different than yours. Though my vertical hatch was only 48 lbs, it required a long lift to raise it to 90 degrees (whereupon I could easily lift it to 105-110 degrees, and attach my locking support rods for camp safety under windy conditions). There was much conjecture on the TnTTT website about how to do it. I finally got it done, using only one 150lb gas spring, mounted on my trailer's rear shelf, slightly off-center to clear my extended-run gas tank (for the on-board generator). Here's a link to my thread:http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=61432finalized galley with hatch lift assist.jpg The single gas spring was mounted slightly off-center, to clear the extended-run tank for my on-board generator. I've lifted and lowered the hatch hundreds of times, before and after the single spring was mounted, and have had zero wobble or side-play in the hinges on the vertical hatch (48-50 lbs weight). I used nylon-bushed gate hinges from Home Depot.gate hinge 2.jpg Good luck.
 

veetee

New member
@workingonit71, you are talking about a hatch (shut vertical) - the force calculations and mounting positions of the gas strut(s) are totally different from a lid which is shut horizontal.
With a lid (which is shut in horizontal position) the force apllied (needed) just at the start of opening is far more greater than when the lid is fully opened, say 60 degrees. With a hatch the openening force is small, and greatest when fully opened (90 or 110 degrees).
Thoughtfull planning/caluculations of mounting positions of the struts and the gas strut strength (which is also dependend on mounting postion) is very important.
My M416 trailer had a aluminium lid, and Columbus hard shell tent on it. Estimated weight total approx. 90 kgs. It opens with hinges on the front. I used two gas struts and with opening I have to apply considerable force the first 15 degrees, thereafter it opens very easily, the last part, it does not need any force at all and I have to hold it from opening to far. Don't remember the gas springs strength exactly, I have to look it up...

image.jpg image.jpg
(Sorry for the sideways pic, on my iPad is shows Ok?)
 
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