Newer Seneca bed platform lifts
As many of us newer Seneca owners know (with the exception of the FS model) the rear bed is part of the slideout making the installation of traditional bed platform lift struts impossible. This is due to the bed base remaining "fixed in place" while the platform slides over top of it when the slideout moves. With the bedding in place it can be a two-person job to lift the bed to access items stored under the bed. This issue has bugged me since I bought my Seneca and I announced on this forum long ago I would try to come up with a solution. Now I have! Here is how it came about:
The DW and I decided we would rather have a traditional Queen bed (versus the factory RV King) thereby allowing me to install a shelf on her side, and also to gain more room for walking around the bed. So I rebuilt and shrank the bed base and mattress platform to allow for this. While working in the area I had an epiphany on how I could add lifts! I realized that the slideout had what I will call a "trolley" that is under the bed and moves with it. It is a very heavy steel structure that incorporates a gear track moved by the slideout motor.
Traditional bed lift kits attach to the fixed bed base and the platform, but our rigs don't have that. But I thought "what if I attach the struts to the trolley, which moves with the bed platform?". To do this I would need to fabricate an adapter that would allow for the attachment of the struts to the trolley. I came up with an adapter that bolts to the trolley without modifying the trolley whatsoever. Then the struts attach to the adapter and are affixed to the bed platform. The adapter uses an existing slot in the trolley to allow the two to be bolted together. This adapter is the key, and after finishing the job I can't believe Jayco hasn't thought of this before!
I designed and fabricated the bracket in an afternoon, it is from metal I had in my shop. I bought (at my local Camping World) a bed lift kit which included the upper and lower mounts and the lift cylinders themselves. I TIG welded the lower strut mounts (from the kit) to my adapter. The adapter includes welded-on mounting and locating tabs to hold it in place and allow it to bolt to the trolley. My adapter is seriously overbuilt, but I wanted to make sure it will never be the weak point in this modification.
I am pleased to report it works fabulously! Waiting on my new Queen mattress so I can install the bedding and make sure the cylinders hold it up properly. I think I will be fine, unloaded it takes quite a bit of force to push it down. Here are some pictures of the adapter and the finished installation:
2014 Seneca 37TS
Toads: 2014 Ford Explorer Sport or 2013 Ford Focus ST