Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Northstar 850 sc Electric roof lift
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 > Northstar 850 sc Electric roof lift

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ldsmith48

Parsons,Ks

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Posted: 12/21/20 06:12pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Looking for someone that has the 850SC with the electric roof lift. I have injured both shoulders, and most likely will no longer be able to manually lift the roof. Called North Star was advised there was no way to retro fit the lift in my camper. From studying Videos on you tube of the lift system. I really think it could be done. The videos do not show enough details. Would like someone that has this system to send some photos of the systems attachment points. Cannot find any newer NS campers in my area that I could view this system.

Lwiddis

Anza-Borrego Desert SP area

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Posted: 12/21/20 06:36pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sorry for your injury. No local RV repair shops were interested in this modification? Very surprised.


Winnebago 2101DS TT & 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71, WindyNation 300 watt solar-Lossigy 200 AMP Lithium battery. Prefer boondocking, USFS, COE, BLM, NPS, TVA, state camps. Bicyclist 14 yr. Army -11B40 then 11A - (MOS 1542 & 1560) IOBC & IOAC grad


jimh406

Western MT

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Posted: 12/21/20 08:52pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I’m not sure if this could help, but can you use a drill to raise it?


'10 Ford F-450, 6.4, 4.30, 4x4, 14,500 GVWR, '06 Host Rainer 950 Dbl Slide, Torklift Talon tiedowns, Glow Steps, and Fastguns. Bilstein 4600s, Firestone Air Bags, Toyo M655 225/19.5 Gs, Curt front hitch, Energy Suspension bump stops.


okan-star

Nevada

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Posted: 12/21/20 10:34pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I had 2 Northstars and an Outfitter with Heco lift systems in them , all were problems if the roof weight was much more than just a shell of the basic roof , adding cabinets , AC ... and the crank handle brass gear would strip - or push out while raising the roof .
I built handles with more extension that made it easier to lift . I know a drill would just chew up the crank gear , the gear is made soft so it fails first . I see now they have changed to making the cranks with harder gear material and the weld to the handle is supposed to break if to much force is applied to it
I used to push up on the roof with my shoulder to push the roof up the first few inches which helped ; now I have had surgery's on both and that would`nt work for me either
More torsion can be put in the system ,but after a while that weakens too .
About the time I sold the Outfitter they where making a elecric system to add to the Heco one , but the motor would go behind the rack and mess with the bed space
But I see now that Rieco -Titan is making a system to replace the whole Heco one . I would defiantly check it out if I had a pop up now

https://www.riecotitan.com/image/catalog/instructions/electric-roof-lift-instructions.pdf

joerg68

St. Ingbert, Germany

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Posted: 12/22/20 05:59am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

As far as I know, N* have switched to a different roof lift system a while ago (2016?). Their newer popup campers appear to use the electrical Rieco Titan lift; at least the labeling on the switch in this TCM article suggests so:
https://www.truckcampermagazine.com/camper-reviews/2017-northstar-650sc-review/

The new system is a completely different design. Technically, a conversion may be possible, but it looks like a very involved project. I can see why N* do not offer to do it.


2014 Ford F350 XLT 6.2 SCLB + 2017 Northstar Arrow


okan-star

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Posted: 12/22/20 12:23pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I can see it as an involved project , and I`m sure the sticking point for me would probably be the cost of the Reico T product ( no idea of the cost )
Reasons I can see for it being difficult = roof is foam core and has limited structural points to attach to
The lifts appear to need a hole to collapse into , location of water heater .... may be in the way
The lifts need to be inboard of the roof to allow the soft side material to be able to collapse

On a fairly new camper it is probably questionable
The good is Northstars are still inexpensive compared to some others
and they appear to have the lift included

Palomino appears to be the reason Reico came up with it
https://www.truckcampermagazine.com/news/rieco-titan-on-palomino-rv-s-new-lift-system/

I know in about 2007 Outfitter was putting a motor on the Heco
dont know what they do now , but the did retro fits then , maybe Hallmark also

You may want try to make a new crank and see if it does enough to allow you to use the camper
With my Outfitter I used a hand crank handle from a happi jac and put the spline- gear from the Heco on it that way you have more leverage ( dont remember how it was in 05 ) you could get one of the newer harder material gear cranks ito do it with . read this

https://www.hannarv.com/P/21252/HECOTruckCamperCrankHandle

joerg68

St. Ingbert, Germany

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Posted: 12/22/20 12:50pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

There is a pre-loaded torsion bar inside the upper tube of the Heco lift.
It tends to lose tension with age.
Sometimes the rear spring mount gets dislodged, usually due to water damage.
With time, both issues reduce the lift assistance of the torsion bar, and it takes a lot more force to raise the roof.

mkirsch

Rochester, NY

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Posted: 12/23/20 10:50am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yes, if you've currently got the Heco lift system, the newer 4-post lift (Reico-Titan?) system is completely different, and it is not a simple matter of putting in a motor. It's major surgery on the camper, relocating some things to make room in the corners for the lift.

My Palomino B1500 has one of the largest roofs of any pop-up, and mine has an AC unit on top. The Heco lift is only hard to operate during the initial lift. Those first couple of inches when the arms have their worst mechanical advantage is where it takes the most effort. I am able to place my back against the ceiling and use my legs to provide the initial boost to get the roof moving upwards. After that it's easy cranking, almost a 1-finger operation if the crank didn't want to keep walking out.

I say this because a change in technique might be more practical than tearing your camper apart to put in a different lift system, or buying a whole new camper.


Putting 10-ply tires on half ton trucks since aught-four.

okan-star

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Posted: 12/23/20 12:05pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thats what I said I used to do also ,push up on the roof the first few inches when the arms connecting to the Heco rack are at the most horizontal . The camper that was the worst was the Outfitter 9.5 Apex with a polar cub on the roof and upper cabinets . I called Heco and was told at the time that was beyond their systems weight limits , I used to keep a bag of Heco parts in the camper to repair on the road .

When I sold the camper it went back to Outfitter to do a elec lift that they had just come up with

To the OP , maybe call Outfitter or Hallmark and see if they could sell you the parts to do this . As I recall because prior to selling I was going to do this ,its a gear reduced motor so it takes about a minute to raise the roof , and switches to stop the travel.

I could also see a way to build a small manual gear reduction box using the gear off a crank , attaching a larger gear infront of it and a smaller one to the side , with a nut on the front of it , to use a crank on it , all inside a slim enclosure

To bad manufacturers exceeded the limits of the Heco system before thinking this through , although I have to say the Northstar ts1000 I had after the Outfitter and the NS tc800 I had before it worked well , as the AC was in the wall not on the roof

RickW

Sacramento CA

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Posted: 12/23/20 12:48pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Suggest trying one or two ceiling brace/cargo bars to help raise the top for the first foot or so. One type uses a pistol grip you squeeze to extend the top foot. (see 2 in 1 support/cargo bar at that freight store down by the harbor)

Put a large "foot" of thin plywood on the top foot to spread the force, or attach a pad on the ceiling at the best lift spot(s). As said above, once you get about 1/3 the way up, it is much easier to finish cranking.

I would also look at the hydraulic lifts used on 4 wheel campers to see if that is a retrofit possibility for you.

Note there are many more solutions using levers, hydraulics, bladders or extension poles. You just need to discover which is best.

Hope this helps,


Rick
04 GMC 1500 4X4X4
04 Sunlite SB

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