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Adventures in Popup Camping

April 22, 2017

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Popup Update - Hand crank

April 25, 2017

For my 2000 Coleman Taos, it takes 136 revolutions to crank that bad boy up and another 136 to bring it back down. What a workout! The hubby, knowing that the majority of those cranks would be done by him (up and down every time I wanted to get in), decided to make an adapter so he could use a power tool to make this happen.

 

This is the crank that came with our popup.

I was super excited to make this easier for us, so the hubby sent me to Ace to get a socket for his drill to make the part.

 

Lesson learned: listen when the hubby tells you what to get because when you come back with something that looks right, but is actually a plug-thingy that puts threading in holes, you have to go back to get the right thing and all of the Ace guys have that aww-we-knew-you-needed-our-help-the-first-time look on their stupid wrinkly faces.

 

I wrote it down the second time and came home victorious with a 17mm deep socket with only a little of my pride left on the dingy white and gold flecked Ace floor. Then I found out we needed to make sure the socket adapter fit in correctly, ugh! I got lucky because I grabbed a standard size socket and our adapter fit fine. But this might matter for other drills, so double check for sure. You know what is worse than the double trip to Ace? A triple trip! If that were the case, I would have had to give up and drive the extra few miles to got to Home Depot.

 

So, then it needs two little grooves cut out similar to the ones on the original crank. The hubby measured twice (because he is better than me), marked the depth and width for the cut spots with a sharpie and used an angle grinder to grind those pieces away. I was distracted by the hubby’s handsome ability to pull off his safety glasses and forgot to take a picture, but here is what the final piece looks like with the socket adapter attached.

After reading on some popup camper blogs, we realized that our Black and Decker drill wasn’t powerful enough to actually crank the popup up in one charge of the battery. This made the hubby pretty happy to have to buy a new tool. Can you hear Tim Allen grunting in background like I can?

 

If you always camp at a site with electric, you could always buy a corded drill to plug in and make sure the massive amount of torque doesn’t spin your whole wrist off as the camper raises. Overwhelmingly, the blog sites said to get a drill that has multiple speeds with a massive battery and to NOT get a hammer drill because that has way too much power. The hubby ended up buying a Gen5 18-volt Ridgid cordless drill.

It sort-of worked when we raised the popup in front of our house, but it has this weird safety thing where if the torque is too much it shuts off. Very frustrating, but we thought after the money spent we would still try it. It brought the popup down fine, it was just putting it up the drill would choke.

Sure enough, at the campsite it would not work to put the popup up, ugh! I think I heard 136 individual swear words from the hubby as he cranked it up by hand. But, it worked fine to bring the popup down. So before our next trip, we need to, once again, go get a more powerful drill. Probably something in the 20-volt range. Looks like another trip to the tool store, man there is that grunting again…

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