Have you ever wanted to give your pop-up camper an upgrade? If so, adding an electric lift is an excellent way to go. These lifts make raising and lowering the camper top easier and faster, allowing you to set up or break down camp quickly.
Installing an electric lift requires technical know-how, but with just a few simple steps, you can install an electric lift mechanism on your pop-up camper. You can select a compatible electric lift mechanism for your model. Then, you must remove the old lift mechanism and install the updated electric lift mechanism.
Installing an electric lift mechanism is possible to make your camping experience easier and more enjoyable. So continue reading if you’re ready to take your pop-up camper to the next level. This guide gives you the technical knowledge necessary to add an electric lift.
How Can You Add an Electric Lift to a Pop Up Camper?
With the right knowledge and preparation, you can equip your camper with this modern convenience quickly and easily. Here is a step-by-step approach to adding an electric lift:
STEP 1. Choose a Compatible Electric Lift Mechanism
The first step in mounting an electric pop-up camper lift is finding the most suitable lifting system. Start by measuring the current lifting hole size, as well as the height of the camper from the ground to the top of its frame.
Then use these measurements to find a compatible motorized winch that can accommodate them. Select a model that offers easy installation and requires minimal upkeep or maintenance.
STEP 2. Remove the Old Lift Mechanism
Once you’ve selected the right motorized winch, you must remove any existing handle or crank used for manual lifting from the frame of your pop-up camper. As much as possible, try not to disturb any connected wires or cables with the possibility that you need them later.
STEP 3. Install New Electric Lift Mechanism
Begin by attaching one end of the winch cable onto an appropriate mount point near where you removed the manual handle or crank from earlier. Next, feed this cable through each pulley wheel and then secure it tightly at the other end of your frame using screws or bolts for added security.
Plug in all necessary electrical wiring for the power supply before finally testing your newly installed electric motorized winch with adequate safety precautions, like wearing protective gear such as gloves and eyewear when necessary.
Try to follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer or professional installer when installing your new electric lift system on your pop-up camper. This will ensure that everything is installed correctly and securely onto the roof of your vehicle so that it works safely and effectively.
STEP 4. Place Cover on Motorized Winch & Connect Wiring
Once you have successfully attached all components of your new electric lift mechanism onto your pop-up camper’s roof, place a cover over the motorized winch to protect it from dust and debris while driving down dirt roads or highways.
Also, connect all wiring according to the instructions before testing that everything is working properly before putting it through its paces when lifting heavy items off or onto the top of your pop-up camper’s roof.
STEP 5. Restore Power to the Circuit Panel to Lower the Lift
When installing an electric lift to your pop-up camper, power must be restored to the circuit panel. To do this, locate an appropriate power source near your camper, such as a 12V battery or AC outlet.
Connect this power source directly to the motorized lift circuit board with wire cables. Ensure that all wires are securely connected before powering up the system. After restoring power to the circuit panel, you can begin lowering the lift into position by activating its switch or remote control unit (if applicable).
Once lowered into its correct position, secure it firmly with bolts and nuts, so it does not move during use.
STEP 6. Install Wireless Remote Control (Optional)
Installing a wireless remote control unit is optional but highly recommended, as it allows you to control your electric lift remotely from anywhere within range.
To install your remote control unit, locate where its receiver needs to be installed on your circuit board while putting the transmitter within easy reach of where it will be used most often (for example, near the entrance of your camper).
When connecting these two components, ensure no interference from other sources like radio transmissions, as this could affect performance negatively. Once correctly installed, test your remote control unit according to manufacturer instructions for optimal performance.
STEP 7. Test Lift for Proper Functioning
Finally, after installing and setting up your electric lift with a remote control or switch, run several tests to ensure everything works properly before regularly using it.
Begin by manually opening and closing the lift to check for any issues, such as sticking or jerking during use, which may indicate that adjustments need to be made before use continues.
Also, activate any safety switches or sensors installed onto the lift system, like pressure pads which can automatically stop operation if something goes wrong during the operation. After all, those tests are complete and no problems are found during testing, you can start using your new electric lift.
Can an Electric Lift Lift a Pop-Up Camper Properly?
Electric lifts are a reliable and efficient way to lift pop-up campers properly. Their powerful motors can generally handle loads up to 800 to 1000 lbs or more, depending on the model. On top of that, their cradle design ensures that the camper is lifted evenly and securely.
Even easier adjustment is possible with models featuring adjustable legs, which provide additional stability to the camper during lifting. All this allows for quick and safe equipment transportation and storing it away when not in use.
Do Pop-Up Campers Have Electricity to Power the Electric Lift?
While most pop-up campers don’t come with an in-built power source, if you want to use an electric lift, you will need to find an external source of electricity. A great way to do this is through solar panels, which are becoming increasingly popular for pop-up campers.
Some models, like the BlackSeries pop-up campers, have integrated solar panel systems to provide a convenient and efficient off-grid camping experience. So solar might be the best solution for you if you’re looking for a power source to run your electric lift or just trying to have more comfort while in nature.
Pros and Cons of Adding Electric Lifts to Pop-Up Campers
Electric camper lift systems can make pop-up campers easier to set up and increase their capabilities. Still, like any upgrade, there are pros and cons to consider.
- One of the biggest advantages of having an electric lift is that it allows the user to lift heavier weights than they otherwise would have been able to do by hand. This makes it possible for campers to transport more items with them on their trips.
- Also, electric lifts are easy to operate. Just press a few buttons and wait for the lift mechanism to do its thing. Aside from that, electric lifts often use the same bolt holes and infrastructures as regular manual lifts, so installation is straightforward.
- Finally, because of their automation, electric lifts can save campers time and energy when setting up their campsite or packing up after completing their journey.
Despite these benefits, some drawbacks are associated with adding an electric lift to the pop-up camper. For example,
- Not all locations may be appropriate for using an electric lift due to either hazardous terrain or other factors such as local laws. In addition, improper wiring or installation could lead to dangerous situations if operating the lift mechanism goes wrong.
- Moreover, because electric lifts involve many components working together to operate properly, this increases the chances of one or more parts breaking down during use which could lead to costly repair bills for the system to become operational again.
- Finally, some models may be quite noisy during operation, which could cause disturbances for nearby campers at night or early morning hours when campfires are usually prohibited in certain locations.
Safety Concerns When Adding an Electric Camper Lift to a Pop-Up Camper
Below are several safety considerations when including an electric-powered lift system to ensure your trip goes smoothly and safely.
Electrical Safety: Proper wiring and grounding are essential for the safe operation of any electrical system, including an electric lift for a pop-up camper. Be sure all wiring is in good condition, with no exposed wires or frayed cables that could cause sparks or shocks.
Weight Capacity: When installing an electric lift for your pop-up camper, it’s important to consider the weight capacity of the motor and its mounting hardware. Check the manufacturer’s specifications and rating for the maximum weight capacity before you proceed with the installation.
Vehicle Stability: To ensure your safety while using the electric lift system, ensure it is securely installed with stabilizing hardware that prevents tipping or shifting of the motor during operation. Check all bolts and other fasteners regularly to remain tight and secure.
Emergency Controls: An emergency override switch should be installed in case of mechanical failure or malfunction on the part of the lift system while in use. This switch should be easily accessible if emergency shutdown needs arise due to unforeseen circumstances.
Proper Use: It is important that only people who have been properly trained use the electric lift system for their camper’s safety and security purposes. Be sure everyone involved understands how to operate it safely and within its load limits for optimal performance.
Maintenance: A qualified technician should do regular maintenance checks at least once yearly. This should include inspection of wiring, connections, moving parts, mechanical components, corrosion prevention, etc.
Weather Safety: When using an electric lift in inclement weather, such as high winds, heavy rain, snow, or ice storms, take extra precautionary measures, including shutdown/disconnection, until conditions improve.
Leaving an automatic system unattended can lead to catastrophic failure if the weather changes quickly without warning.
Enhance Your Pop-Up Camper with an Electric Lift & Enjoy Camping Adventures
Upgrading your pop-up camper by adding an electric lift can be a great way to make camping more enjoyable. From the installation process to enjoying the outdoor adventure, having an electric lift on your travel trailer provides excellent convenience and eliminates the hassle of strenuous setup.
With essential tools and preparation, anyone can easily install and configure an electric winch to make their camping trips smoother and more enjoyable. Completely transforming your camping experience, an electric lift is a worthwhile investment for campers of all experience levels.