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Old 10-26-2011, 06:48 PM   #1
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Basement Door supports

My entry level Winnebago uses hinged rods to hold open the basement doors below the slides. They are a real pain and I'd like to convert to another system. I'd like to hear from anyone who has converted to a piston style or any other form of upgrade.
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Old 10-26-2011, 07:40 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum. My rig already has the gas strut type of supports but I would think you could add them to your rig. They basically use a ball and socket type of connection.

Hang on and I am sure someone will chime in if they have done the conversion.
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Old 10-27-2011, 06:48 AM   #3
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I have TWO large bay access doors that are under my one slide. They came with piston assist devices, two on both doors. I have just "removed" all 4 pistons. Why? Well, both doors were limited to opening no higher than just below the bottom of the slide to prevent damage if the slide was accidentally opened/closed while the doors were open. This arrangement required you to always get down on your hands and knees to access the bays, even when the slide was closed! A definite PITA. Now I have a dowel cut to the right length to prop the door open IF the slide is open......and the BIG improvement, I have another length of galvanized water pipe with a rubber crutch pad on one end to hold the doors wide open when the slide is closed.....this is a GREAT improvement!! Rook.
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Old 10-27-2011, 07:09 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rook View Post
I have TWO large bay access doors that are under my one slide. They came with piston assist devices, two on both doors. I have just "removed" all 4 pistons. Why? Well, both doors were limited to opening no higher than just below the bottom of the slide to prevent damage if the slide was accidentally opened/closed while the doors were open. This arrangement required you to always get down on your hands and knees to access the bays, even when the slide was closed! A definite PITA. Rook.
We also have 2 bays under both slides. The struts on our unit are two position struts. First pull opens 90 degrees, then second lift opens an additional 70 degrees. This way I can open bays with slide out and not hit the slide but if the slide is in I can open them fully.
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Old 10-28-2011, 03:40 PM   #5
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HatchLift after market lift kit

The newest (Dec 2011) edition of MotorHome has an article on page 58 titled "Hold It Up" that shows an after market kit named "HatchLift" in the $32-$42 range. It looks pretty good and I may try a couple on my 2012 Winnebago Vista 35F.
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Old 10-29-2011, 12:05 PM   #6
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ETnRvr - thanks for the reply. I don't think my copy has come yet, but I'll definitely check it out. My RV is a 2011 35F, so if it works, it should work for both of us.

I really like the thought of a two stage system that George Z mentions - it sounds perfect.

The other option I'm considering w/ or w/o a better door support is a slide out tray for the under-slide compartment that has the heaviest items in it so my old back has it a bit easier.

Thanks to all who have replied and if anyone has yet to respond but has a good solution, bring it on.
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Old 10-29-2011, 12:39 PM   #7
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update

My copy of MH just arrived and the Hatchlift Slide model looks just like what I was looking for allowing 90 and 140 degree openings depending on whether the slide is open or closed. They can be seen at HatchLift | RV Hatch Lifts | Lift Hatch | Hatch Lift Supports | Hatch Hinges
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Old 11-06-2011, 02:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rook View Post
I have TWO large bay access doors that are under my one slide. They came with piston assist devices, two on both doors. I have just "removed" all 4 pistons. Why? Well, both doors were limited to opening no higher than just below the bottom of the slide to prevent damage if the slide was accidentally opened/closed while the doors were open. This arrangement required you to always get down on your hands and knees to access the bays, even when the slide was closed! A definite PITA. Now I have a dowel cut to the right length to prop the door open IF the slide is open......and the BIG improvement, I have another length of galvanized water pipe with a rubber crutch pad on one end to hold the doors wide open when the slide is closed.....this is a GREAT improvement!! Rook.
I like the idea of 2 position struts, but I think my method works almost as well and is a LOT cheaper. The original cable was Winnebago's idea, I just improved on it by making the cable loop bigger so it will slip over the screw easily and allow the door to open higher. If I need to keep it under the slide, then I loop the cable back on the screw as shown in the picture.
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