Dormobile roof won’t open fully. Help please

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Bob750
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Location: Stoke on Trent

Dormobile roof won’t open fully. Help please

Post by Bob750 » Fri Oct 05, 2018 11:39 am

Hi all

My 2A Dormobile roof is a real pain to open fully. As I push up it takes all my strength to try to get the extending arms to move far enough to allow the spring loaded button to pop out and lock the arms. However only one will lock and I have to stand on the rear seat to get enough push to do this.
The other arm button will not pop into place as I can’t get enough push to move the button into place and line up with the hole.
Additionally I removed one of the arms to see if the button and arm moved freely. No problems here But then the main spring decided to come off its stop on one side and I can’t see how I can get it back into place
Also how do the springs adjust? Could this be why the roof won’t open fully? It’s as if the roof is at its full travel and can’t move any further.
I am 12 stone and 5ft 10 and not exactly a weakling surely the roof should be easier to open than this
I can post pics if required
Any advice would be greatly appreciated
Regards
Bob
jerryd
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Location: Qld Australia

Re: Dormobile roof won’t open fully. Help please

Post by jerryd » Fri Oct 05, 2018 2:52 pm

Could be the colder weather, mine is the same in an aussie winter.
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DrivingDutchman
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Location: Raunds, Northants

Re: Dormobile roof won’t open fully. Help please

Post by DrivingDutchman » Fri Oct 05, 2018 10:24 pm

Hi Bob,

I have had the same issue with Mine (Dora).
As soon as the weather got a bit cooler, I couldn't really get the roof to open properly.
Out of fear of ripping the canopy, I have since this summer replaced the original stays with gas struts.
Now the struts push the canopy open as far as it allows depending on the temperature. They are strong enough to withstand the wind and will never ever over tighten the canopy.
It does take some effort to pull them down now, but rather have that then the risk of ripping it all. It works pretty well. I have used all the original mounting points.
Will post a piccy soon.

Michiel
1969 109 sw dormobile Dora
1996 overland defender sw 110 Nellie
1962 109 sw safari diesel Hannie (sold)
1973 88 series 3 soft top in various bits on the drive...
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RMS
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Location: Near Wakefield, UK, in God's own Country!

Re: Dormobile roof won’t open fully. Help please

Post by RMS » Fri Oct 05, 2018 10:41 pm

Hi Bob,

It appears to be a common problem - in colder weather the plastic canopy material remains stiff and doesn't stretch like it does when warm.

Some other Dormobile owners have drilled holes further down in the stays for cold weather, so they don't have to extend quite so far.

I still have my roof in bits (waiting to send some stuff for galv before the Dormobile goes back together) so unless anyone comes back with an answer about the spring, I'll have another look over the weekend.

Cheers,
Robin.
1967 109" Carawagon 200TDi
1958 109" Carawagon 2.25P (project)
1972 109" Carawagon 200 or 300TDi (project)
1972 109" SW Carawagon 2.5NA (project)
1974 Dormobile 2.25D (project)
(patNrob on S2C)
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DrivingDutchman
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Location: Raunds, Northants

Re: Dormobile roof won’t open fully. Help please

Post by DrivingDutchman » Fri Oct 05, 2018 10:51 pm

Hi Bob,

As promissed, some photo's from our Summer holiday trip to Spain, Andorra, France.
You can see the gas struts in situ.
I ordered them from Struts Direct.
If you google them you can find more info.
I had measured thr following:
Stroke: 430mm
Extended length (CRT tpo CRT): 970mm
Force required: 20kg (but this was just a guestimate)
If you call the guys at Struts Direct, they are very friendly and helpfull.
I have had also a conversation with Dormobile about the weight of the roof. They said I needed to quote about 60kg to calculate the strength of the struts.
At Struts Direct they can advice you regarding all this.
They adviced me to go for adjustable ones. They are somewhat more expensive, but you can adjust the strength down to what you need. It is more expensive to order the qwrong ones and discover they will not keep the roof up.
I ordered them with eyes on both ends so I could use the original mounting points.
It works a treat.

Hope this info will help with your problem.

Michiel
Attachments
image.jpeg
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1969 109 sw dormobile Dora
1996 overland defender sw 110 Nellie
1962 109 sw safari diesel Hannie (sold)
1973 88 series 3 soft top in various bits on the drive...
Bob750
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Joined: Sat Jun 16, 2018 1:42 pm
Info: Bob
Location: Stoke on Trent

Re: Dormobile roof won’t open fully. Help please

Post by Bob750 » Sat Oct 06, 2018 7:09 am

Hi
This info is really useful. Love the idea of the gas struts and many thanks for the pics
The idea of drilling additional lower down the tube is simple and effective and I will do this short term
I will contact the gas strut people too as that system will eliminate the need for the springs I presume

Appreciate if you can figure out how to get the displaced spring back in place Robin

Many thanks Guys
Bob750
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Info: Bob
Location: Stoke on Trent

Re: Dormobile roof won’t open fully. Help please

Post by Bob750 » Sat Oct 06, 2018 7:15 am

Hi again Michiel
Just on the struts, how easy is it to open the roof now with the gas struts in place? I assume it’s easier and less pushing force needed now they are in place.
Also regards the extended length, what is CRT?
Regards
Bob
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DrivingDutchman
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Location: Raunds, Northants

Re: Dormobile roof won’t open fully. Help please

Post by DrivingDutchman » Sat Oct 06, 2018 7:43 pm

Hi Bob,

First off CRT is the hart of the hole where the bolt goes trough.

It is fairly simple to open the roof with the gas struts. You still need to push it past the point of no return, then you will feel the struts doing their work and you can let go. The roof will open up all by itself.

Closing is the reverse. You pull untill it goes past the point of no return and it shuts. All you need to do is tuck the plastic canopy inside the roof and lock it up.

Dora is in my workshop now to get her gearbox fixed. When I have her out again, I'll try to make a little film to show how it works.
But that may be some time I'm afraid.
Or if you are not too far, you could drop by and have a look, feel for yourself.

Michiel
1969 109 sw dormobile Dora
1996 overland defender sw 110 Nellie
1962 109 sw safari diesel Hannie (sold)
1973 88 series 3 soft top in various bits on the drive...
Bob750
Posts: 58
Joined: Sat Jun 16, 2018 1:42 pm
Info: Bob
Location: Stoke on Trent

Re: Dormobile roof won’t open fully. Help please

Post by Bob750 » Sat Oct 06, 2018 8:05 pm

Hi Michiel
Ok that’s clear now
Today I have drilled another hole in each arm and it’s a lot better however I’m convinced gas struts are the way to go
I had a look at the website and all seems good
Have you the detail of your actual struts I.e model,loading, and also the diameter of the fixing eyes on each end? It would be easy to order the same from them I guess
Where abouts do you live? Hope to meet members moving forward
Cheers
Bob
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RMS
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Location: Near Wakefield, UK, in God's own Country!

Re: Dormobile roof won’t open fully. Help please

Post by RMS » Sun Oct 07, 2018 10:24 pm

Hi Bob,

Had a quick look in the barn this morning, but couldn't put my hands on my spring assemblies - I think they are buried under the rest of the Dormobile roof bits!

I remember removing the springs from mine to clean and paint them - as far as I remember the stay needs to be allowed to go past the fully open (vertical) position and all the way over to the horizontal position again.
Then the spring is no longer under tension, as far as I remember, and can be removed/replaced easily.

Of course, that's not possible with the mechanism attached to the roof, so you'll probably have to unbolt the mount from the roof to do it.

As I say, that's from memory - perhaps someone else who has disassembled their roof might confirm :shrug:

Cheers,
Robin.
1967 109" Carawagon 200TDi
1958 109" Carawagon 2.25P (project)
1972 109" Carawagon 200 or 300TDi (project)
1972 109" SW Carawagon 2.5NA (project)
1974 Dormobile 2.25D (project)
(patNrob on S2C)
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