Tuesday, July 23, 2013

How to Replace the Lift Cable on Your Skamper Popup Camper, Goshen Lift System

Hi All,

I am finally getting around to writing this post about how to replace your popup camper lift cable on a 1989 Skamper 240C that uses the Goshen Lift System to apply force to all four corner posts equally. Here is a list of tools and parts that I needed:

  • (1) Goshen Lift system aircraft cable (comes with correct length crimps and push plates). SPEND THE $30 ON IT AND SAVE YOURSELF A LOT OF TIME!)
  • Carbide Drill Bits, 1/8" to 3/16"
  • Standard Ratchets and wrenches.
  • (4) New #10-32 x 5/8" long, high strength bolts. I used Black Oxide Socket Head Cap Screws (SHCS) and nuts.
  • #10-32 tap
  • Extra length of cable, smaller diameter preferably.

Please save yourself some time and frustration and order the lift cable directly from Goshen Metal Stamping, http://www.goshenstamping.com/lift.php.  This was the best $33 I have spent in a long time. First of all it was nice to actually talk to someone, place a COD order with them, and have it show up exactly when it was supposed to. It was a throw back experience to the old days of commerce. I have read other posts about people crimping there own cables but I think I saved myself a ton of time by just ordering the correct part from Goshen. First things first, DO NOT pull your old broken cable out of the camper you will use this to "fish tape" your new cable in!

STEP 1).  I started by jacking up my trailer so I could get under it. I also used the appropriate jack stands under it so I could work safely. Remove the rear push spring brackets at both rear corners of your popup. This proved very hard for me since the old bolts used the a bowtie bit to break them loose. I was only able to get one off and the other three rounded off. This was problematic because the screws were harden and my high speed steel (HSS) drill bits just couldn’t drill out the screws. That's where the carbide drills came into play. The carbide drill cut through them like butter but I kept breaking them since they are brittle but I had a few extras. Here are some pictures:

Skamper Corner Lift Bracket
STEP 2). Remove the (4) bolts that connect the other ends of the rear lift tubes at the master tube. You will then be able to lower the lift tubes and springs from the corner lift tubes and then pull the lift springs out of the master tube.

Skamper Popup with Rear Lift Tubes/Springs Removed

Skamper Rear Lift Springs

STEP 3). Use your old cable, still in your camper, to fish the new one into it. I did this by using a extra length of smaller diameter cable from a broken come-along that I had saved. The cable will only go in and out of the master tube from one direction because of the two crimped stops and the push plates. First take your extra cable and electrical tape it as tight as you can to the end of the broken cable at the front (that is where mine broke). This may take a few tries but pull it through the master tube until you have the taped end at the rear of the camper. Un-tape the old cable and discard, then retape the new cable end to the extra piece of cable now in your master tube. Once that is taped tight pull the new lift cable through the master tube. It will stop at the front lift springs and won't go any more. Now fish the other end of the new cable up through the rear pulley and into the master tube. You will need to keep your rear lift springs/tubes on their correct side and you will also need to run the cable between the springs. Before I reinserted the lift springs I cleaned the old grease off of them with a few old rags. You need to make sure the lift springs are pushing the pusher plate into the top part of the master tube.

New Lift Cable Taped to Extra Fish Cable, Ready to Pull new Cable Through to Crank
STEP 4). Once the rear springs and tubes are inserted back into the rear of the master tube, you will need to re-attach the (4) heavy duty sheet metal bolts. Next you will need to reattach each corner lift bracket. Before I did that I had to make sure the holes were ready. I did this by chased the threaded holes with a #10-32 tap. Once installed I added a #10-32 nut to the back of each screw so I new they would not rattle lose. I also used lock washers in addition to the nuts.

I did this by myself and it took me about 4-5 hours. It helps to have some extra hands but it gave me the time to analyse my moves and not break anything. I should have taken more pictures but its hard when your hands are all greasy and you are tired. I hope this helps.

New Lift Cable Installed.

Here is a link to the PDF of the Goshen Lift System for my camper.


Sunday, June 30, 2013

Broken Lift Cable on our Skamper Pop Up Camper

Hi All,

We were just getting ready to get the camper ready for the summer when while cranking it up we heard a loud "SNAP"! Our 24 year old lift cable on our 1989 Skamper 240C pop up camper finally broke.

Broken Lift Cable Skamper Pop Up

Broken Pop Up Camper Lift Cable near Crank

Luckily it broke near the crank and is easy to get at. I thought about rigging it somehow but it is worth it to fix it right since the cable is original. I did the research on our lift system and we have the Goshen Lift system which is still being made by the Goshen Stamping Company http://www.goshenstamping.com/lift.php. They still make and sell parts for their lift system that they have been building since 1976. The lift cable is about $15 - $25 in parts but it is going to take about 2 - 5 hours of labor since I have never done one before. I will definitely be posting pictures here of what I had to do to fix it. Here is an up to date shot of our Skamper.

Up to Date Skamper Pop Up Picture

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Stayed at the Best Condo in Indian Shores on Florida's Gulf Coast

Hi All,

I recently posted about a trip we took to Indian Shores, Florida on the Gulf Coast. We stayed at a wonderful condo that we rented directly through the owner using the website https://www.airbnb.com. We had an awesome time and the condo was great! It was a three bedroom, two bath condo, with covered parking and direct access to the ocean. I didn't wear shoes for four days while we were there unless we went out to eat or site-see. We stayed there with six people for less than $150 a night. I am definitely going back to the same condo which made me hesitate about posting this article but I couldn't keep this to myself I had to share. Here are some pictures of where we stayed and here is the direct link to more info about renting this condo. This link has tons of great pictures of the inside of the condo.


Indian Shores, Florida Condo

Indian Shores, Florida Sunset

Gulf Cost of Florida Sunset

Since there were six of us (two families) renting the condo for four days, this was a lot more affordable than staying at a hotel. The kitchen was great because we didn't have to eat every meal out. Having the ability to do laundry was awesome since we had kids and they made extra messes with their clothes. Every day we would down the stairs barefoot and then 40 feet to the warm sand of the Gulf Coast of Florida. Here is a direct link to where you can rent the same condo, enjoy!


Friday, June 7, 2013

Indian Shores, Florida on a Budget

We just finished visiting Indian Shores, Florida. What an awesome Gulf Coast island town. We stayed at an great condo right on the beach, I'll have more info on that later. Check out the pictures of the Gulf of Mexico as tropical storm Andrea just passed us by.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Sandia Man Cave in the Jemez Mountains

The Sandia Man Cave is cave in the Jemez Mountains near Placitas that was found in the 1930's. It was excavated and the remnants of the cave were removed to the University of New Mexico. There is now a hiking trail, a fence, and a small spiral staircase that leads up into the cave. It is an easy hike from the parking area but not so easy if you are afraid of heights. In my picture you can barely see the spiral staircase and cave entrance in the upper right corner of the picture.

View from the Sandia Man Cave Trail

Baseball in New Mexico

I wanted to share a quick picture of our baseball team, the Albuquerque Isotopes, in action this past summer. We do not have a lot of major sports out here but we have some. Enjoy the pictures.

Albuquerque Isotopes - View from Outfield

Isotopes from the outfield

Isotopes Baseball at Sunset

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Santa Fe National Forest - Black Canyon Campground

Just got back from a quick weekend trip to the Santa Fe National forest and it was beautiful! We chose this particular campground because they took online reservations which were easy to book. Here is the link to the reservation site, http://www.recreation.gov/camping/Black_Canyon/r/campsiteSearch.do?site=all&type=9&minimal=no&search=site&criteria=new&contractCode=NRSO&parkId=70078&topTabIndex=Search. They do charge $9.00 extra for a total of $19.00 a day but it is worth it! Check out the pictures of how beautiful it is!

Black Canyon Campground in our Skamper

Very nice campground and quiet too.