DIY Telescoping Lift for RTT on Trailer

Mark2457

Member
Hi All

got an Bantan T3-C and want to mount my iKamper skycamp min (125lbs). I have an awning, so I need the tent to be about 20 inches above the top of the trailer tub. I'd like to make something telescoping, so I can lower it for driving and raise it when at camp. I've seen people do it with linear actuators. I may get to that, but initially I'd like to make something to raise and lower by hand.

So I'm figuring some square tubing with one piece that fits inside the other. and holes for pins to lock the position.

I'm learning to weld, but phase 1 needs to be (ideally) non-welded

What kind (size and grade) metal would I need to make telescoping "lifts"

Thanks

Mark
 

high-and-dry

Active member
I have never done it, but from what I have read here those who try to make it lift just by hand, cant. To much binding with just 1 person lifting, actuators are not that pricey, be it gas or electric.
 

NatersXJ6

Explorer
What you are asking is virtually impossible. There are no tubing combinations that are readily available in close enough tolerances to be telescopic without special purchases of machined tubes or very heavy materials (think receiver hitch heavy). Unless you are he-man, or camp with a set of clones to help lift every corner at exactly the same time, you are going to spend a lot of money disappointing yourself.

A scissor lift style could be made to work, but I can’t imagine doing one without welding, and the mechanism will consume some space in or over the trailer.

A permanent high-position mount or actuators will be far and away the best bets.
 

cheneymax

New member
Impossible is a strong word, and there most definitely are readily-available options for materials. Searching for "telescoping-tube" on McMaster Carr should bring up some results, seemingly in the $2 - $4/foot range. While actuators may be the ideal solution, I'm a fan of building a minimally viable product (MVP) first to see if I like the configuration before sinking more time and money into it. You may need to consider having a little bit of rotation at the top and/or bottom of the "posts" to prevent binding as some have mentioned. Good luck with the build!
 

NatersXJ6

Explorer
Impossible is a strong word, and there most definitely are readily-available options for materials. Searching for "telescoping-tube" on McMaster Carr should bring up some results, seemingly in the $2 - $4/foot range. While actuators may be the ideal solution, I'm a fan of building a minimally viable product (MVP) first to see if I like the configuration before sinking more time and money into it. You may need to consider having a little bit of rotation at the top and/or bottom of the "posts" to prevent binding as some have mentioned. Good luck with the build!
Okay, as a point of fairness, I said “virtually impossible” then focused on telescopic tube. There are some specially made tubes available, perhaps MCMaster 4931T511 could be made to work, it might even allow a bolt-together construction, but you still have to lift and pin 4 corners Near simultaneously if you expect the tent to travel straight up and down. Doing this without binding, in various weather environments, will be a challenge at best.

OP, what you ask has been tried many times, there is a reason you don’t see dozens of threads about different ways people accomplished it... but there are threads about linear actuators.

Good luck. Don’t forget to stabilize the trailer itself or you will get to add a thread about flipping the trailer while you were in the tent.
 

john61ct

Adventurer
I want to see a wire rope and pulley design that taps into a truck winch, with hand crank as Plan B.

800lb target total weight

No hydraulics or compressed air for me
 

Simons

Adventurer
Hi All

got an Bantan T3-C and want to mount my iKamper skycamp min (125lbs). I have an awning, so I need the tent to be about 20 inches above the top of the trailer tub. I'd like to make something telescoping, so I can lower it for driving and raise it when at camp. I've seen people do it with linear actuators. I may get to that, but initially I'd like to make something to raise and lower by hand.

So I'm figuring some square tubing with one piece that fits inside the other. and holes for pins to lock the position.

I'm learning to weld, but phase 1 needs to be (ideally) non-welded

What kind (size and grade) metal would I need to make telescoping "lifts"

Thanks

Mark
0.100” wall square steel tubing is what you’re looking for, each size fits into the other. For example 1” slides inside 1.25”, 1.25” slides inside 1.5”.... etc

Cheers!


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john61ct

Adventurer
apparently SuperStrut / Unistrut framing does the same?

prolly cheaper, but not as strong load-bearing used horizontally

enough for posts though?
 
You can definitely buy steel tube that will work for telescoping posts. But trying to mount them without welding anything it's going to be the hard part. I used 1.5" 14 gauge tube for the outer sleeve and 1.25" 11 gauge tube for the inner post slides up or down inside - works great!
 
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jeepers29

Active member
You can definitely buy steel tube that will work for telescoping posts. But trying to mount them without welding anything it's going to be the hard part. I used 1.5" 14 gauge tube for the outer sleeve and 1.25" 11 gauge tube for the inner post slides up or down inside - works great!
Thanks for this info. I have been trying to noodle this for a while as I have come up with a bracket design for my m416 to hold the vertical tubes.
 

The Artisan

Adventurer
I want to see a wire rope and pulley design that taps into a truck winch, with hand crank as Plan B.

800lb target total weight

No hydraulics or compressed air for me
I bought an old poptopper for the basic frame and title. Building one of my frp composite proto pod/poptoppers. Once stripped I can take pics of the crank system for you
KevinScreenshot_20201219-133453_Gallery.jpg
 
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