Photo of a road track with car on the sides are of the trees

Pop Up Tent Trailer Lift System with Lifting Columns

Nathan Bong
Nathan Bong
PA Engineer

It's that time of the year again where we just can't pass up the chance to experience some gorgeous fall scenery, crackling fires, roaring waterfalls, and whooshing rivers - all this that makes up nature's soundtrack. The Autumn months indeed provide the perfect atmosphere for camping.

For a perfect camping experience, a camping tent can make all the difference! Nowadays, we can choose from a variety of modern and technologically advanced tents. Pop up tents are the new favorite as they can be set up almost instantly. However, if you are more of the road-tripping type of camper, then a tent on a trailer is most certainly an exciting way to camp. Pop-up tents are becoming increasingly popular by keeping the traditional tent-style camping experience while staying off the ground. This article will cover how our FLT-04 lifting column set was able to be integrated into a pop up tent trailer lift system for easier and more convenient user experience!

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Pop Up Tent on A Trailer

Pop Up Tent on Trailer

 

Our customer, Johan from Belgium, incorporated the best of both worlds - camping and enjoying the views mother nature has to offer. He did this by implementing our FLT-04 lifting column set to create an easy-lifting pop up tent trailer lift system! By building a pop up camper lift into a trailer, a full sized tent trailer lift system was then able to collapse into an easily portable package altogether.

Johan explains, “When a rooftop-tent is installed on a trailer, it is possible to make a comfortable ‘base camp’ while the car stays available for visits.” He continues, “The problem encountered is that the rooftop-tent on the trailer should be lowered whilst towing/driving to ensure stability but should be lifted up while camping in order to install awnings and surroundings.” Johan and others have attempted to use pneumatic, hydraulic, or even gas pressure spring-style lifts that had all resulted in discomfort and drawbacks when used as a lift system for pop up camper.

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Automating the Tent

Johan came across our Progressive Automations FLT-04 lifting column set that paired perfectly with an auxiliary battery installed into the trailer where this was connected to a 12V-220V converter to power everything. This was also lockable to prevent unwanted use of the lifting column set. Usage of our Lifting Column Set in dry conditions also ensured that the IP51 rating was sufficient, however, the biggest advantage our FLT-04 had for Johan was its heavy lifting capability that it offers while operating in smooth synchronized motion.

 

Heavy Lifting Capability

Camping overnight would include bringing gear like camping equipment, back up clothes and sleeping essentials. All these would be loaded onto the pop up camper lift in combination with the weight of the user. Assuming potential users could weigh 200 lbs and carried 200 lbs of extra gear and equipment, the required force rating for a tent trailer lift system should be around 400 lbs. For extra safety factor, the FLT-04 offers plenty more force than required with its 700 lbs weight capacity rating! It also has the 4x columns rated at 175 lbs force each to ensure that the lifting power could be dispersed on all 4x corners of the platform.

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Seamless Synchronized Motion

A major challenge with lifting heavy loads is ensuring that all the motorized lifting columns are moving the same speed to prevent bending or flexing of the platform being lifted. The FLT-04 has a control box responsible for reading the positions each column has travelled to and would then output the necessary amount of power to ensure the columns will move to the desired position synchronously. By adjusting how much power is coming from the output, the control box can detect and correct for most disturbances such as uneven weight distribution, aging motors, and physical obstructions.

For the control box to determine what positions the lifting columns have travelled to, there is positional feedback coming from their internal Hall Effect Sensors. As the motor inside the lifting column rotates, square pulses of 5 Volts are being generated from the Hall Effect Sensors. These pulses are then being counted by the control box to determine the positions which each column has travelled to.

 

Johan’s automated lift system for pop up camper using our FLT-04 lifting Column Set can be seen in full operation in the below video!

Final Word

Johan and his family spent a marvelous holiday and did not encounter any issues with the pop-up camper lift setup which gained plenty of attention! The high force rating and synchronous motion of our FLT-04 lifting column set ensured Johan the durability and seamless operation he was looking for.

Thank you to Johan for sharing your project and happy camping!

If you have any custom projects, applications, or technical questions on our products, feel free to reach out to us at sales@progressiveautomations.com or call 1-800-676-6123. We look forward to hearing from you!

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