Thanks very much for showing your linear actuator install, I built up my trailer
two winters ago and opted to leave the tent rack at full height, knowing full well that the center of gravity will likely be too high for much off roading and I would have to come up with a solution later if it caused real issues. Well it's later and it's caused issues. Behind my FJ it just doesn't handle how I'd like it to. I've been tossing around the idea of using linear actuators as well but haven't pulled the trigger on it yet. Now that I've seen you pull off kinda what I was thinking I'd love it if you could answer a few questions about your experiences with the actuators
[*]Do you pin the legs in the up or down position or just rely on the actuators to hold the rack in the up or down position?
The pop pins were really a hold over from using the gas springs. I still like being able to hold the rack in position but the actuators were so strong that once they were installed I didn't need to use the pins anymore. If I had it to do over again, I'd remove the pop pins and just use hitch pins on all 4 corners. That being said, when I wheeled TOTW, the rack wasn't sitting all the way down, meaning there was a gap between the inner leg and the outer sleeve, which caused the old actuator mounts to bend whenever I would drop off a ledge. This was caused by the actuator length being just a bit longer than the gas spring, so the pop pins didn't lock when the rack was in the lower position. Had the pop pins been situated correctly, I'd have had no problems
[*]Assuming that you just run all 4 at the same time do you have any binding on the way up or down? Did you have to grease the tubing at all?
no binding at all, no grease at all. I got a lot of binding with the gas springs but none with the actuators
[*]Did you think about using just 2 actuators and leaving the lift cylinders on the other 2 posts?
I did, but the actuators were cheap enough for me to not worry about that, IIRC about $240 for all 4. I also didn't want to run into any additional binding issues using springs and actuators. The springs and actuators rise at different speeds, so it just seemed overly complicated for no gain, really. The gas springs were $25-30 each, so you're only looking at an extra $60 to do it right.
[*]Do all 4 stay in sync enough to do the job? I worry about 1 or 2 not running exactly the same speed and having binding because of it.
Yes, I had no issues there. When I installed them, there was probably a 1/32" to 1/16" variation in mount placement between the legs, so I had to adjust the installed length accordingly. This means I just jogged the actuator a bit to get the mounts to line up. They I ran all 4 actuators positive leads to a terminal block so that if one did get out of whack, I could disconnect the ones that were ok and adjust the problem one accordingly. I never had any issues with that though. They all rise together and lower together. Flexing in the rack took care of the 1/16" difference in mount placement
Thanks in advance, I was going to give up on this and leave it but you made it look easy, sounds like it's back on the menu again!