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Old 06-26-2023, 07:31 PM   #1
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Location: Herriman
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Top sway? How far should roof sway side to side?

I have a '94 Jayco Cardinal SD which extends to 42 3/4 " when fully extended - that being how far up the roof travels from closed to open.
I just replaced the entire lift system; replaced cables, springs, rivets, crank cable and block, and 2 of 4 tracks. I did not think any of the lift arms or roof mounts needed attention.
It almost gives me pleasure to crank up the roof, knowing how solid the system is that does that lifting.
However, I had to remount the entrance doors top section mounting screws as now that the roof fully extends, and the repair job done previously on the system was so botched that they had to compensate on the entrance door height (moving it higher on the inside), I placed it right close to where the original installation points were.
Well, as one does push firmly to mount the screws, and in expecting the doors pop out motion to place the top door section I was working with mostly flush with the roofs overhang level I was quite stunned to see that the whole roof itself leans / sways side to side about 10- 12"!
Knowing how much weight that roof is (having lifted or tried to brace one corner in the repairs), and being subject to significant winds in the high desert, I am fairly concerned about this vulnerability.
This unit is coming up on 30 years old. The previous owners were ... not that great of stewards of the unit. I am trusting my wife and children to this mobile domicile, and need to know that it can hold up to some strong winds and not crumble over us. There are no roof anchor points to even consider placing guy stabilizers on them anchored to some strong ground stakes.
Can anyone please give me a sense for what is normal in the side to side sway of the roof while extended?
I have a coleman TSR Air-conditioner unit on the roof which is massive, and does a nice job, but it's a heavy rock on top for sure.
I took pictures of the roof mounting points and sadly saw my worst nightmare- particle board blocks, a horrible trait and remnant from the previous "repair" folks who botched more than just the lift system using that crappy quality wood product.
So, please help me get some wisdom from the collective borg body here.
Thanks
Fred Kesler
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Old 06-26-2023, 08:12 PM   #2
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I can't say that I've ever seen one sway that much. We use to attach a "staked" awning and the lift arms stayed practically vertical. Do you have the canvas all reattached? That may help stop some movement.
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Old 06-26-2023, 08:48 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grumpy View Post
I can't say that I've ever seen one sway that much. We use to attach a "staked" awning and the lift arms stayed practically vertical. Do you have the canvas all reattached? That may help stop some movement.
Thanks Grumpy,
Yes, she's got her hair cover firmly put on.
Although your insightful question did bring an idea to mind for which I will have to test out in the wild.
Currently the unit is in our small garage where she barely births at all. There is about 15 " to the house wall, and about 3" for the garage door to close over the ball mount. Thus, we have to close the garage door to raise the vertical sail, leaving zero back bunk extension room, and barely enough to extend the 48" front bunk.
So, as such, the good Ole ship isn't fully battoned down with full masts being completely unsecured.
That may play some part in a flawed assessment of the seemingly free swaying top.
I had also come up with the internal X cross guy stabilization technique that another astute fellow had on another platform.
So, I will toy with this idea, but the safest anchor would be to firmly wrap something side to side on the roof and anchor those attachment points to some bullet proof ground or earth anchors.
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