Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A RAMP DOOR-- A WINCH -- AND MORE MONEY !

I could make this into another one of my sagas but I think if I did both Sandie and Bob will likely punch me the next time we meet up.  So in consideration of their (lack of) patience I’ll tell ya all about it in one post.

We all know by now that the ramp door is one BIG and HEAVY sucker !  And we all know by now that I have already (re)injured my shoulder trying to push it back up by myself.  Bob told me about an electric winch that is on sale this week at Canadian Tire for $60.00.  Got it.  But it runs on 12V and I don’t have a 12V outlet in the garage but do have a 110.  I had to get an inverter/converter thingie that converts 12V into 110.  For those of you who are like me and don’t have a clue about this kinda stuff, perhaps you are familiar with those inverters that you put into your cigarette lighter to keep your cell phone etc. charged while you are driving.  Well it’s the same as that but opposite.  LOL  That converts DC into AC, but I needed AC to DC.  Am I right here Bob ??

The guys in the Service Department at Canadian Tire do not install these kinda things so they referred me to a ‘fab shop’.  WTF is a ‘fab shop’ !!??

I learned quickly what it was and went to see Kevin at KC Custom Welding and Fabricating.  Kevin is ‘da man !!  What a great guy he is and stopped what he was doing to help me out.  Easy peasy job he said.  Will probably only take an hour or so.  Here he is looking at the winch trying to understand how it works..

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And here is said winch….

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And here is the plate thingie that will get drilled into the door to hook the winch into.  It has an “O” ring in it that you really can’t see in the pic. This little part gets really important later on in this story !

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FIRST PROBLEM ENCOUNTERED = Kevin and his buddy Nick hooked everything up BEFORE they install anything to make sure it works.  Smart young men that they are.  IT DOESN’T WORK !!??  Why ?  Takes awhile to figure this out.  There is power coming out but NOT into the electric winch.  Turns out that $30.00 inverter/converter thingie I got at Canadian Tire just doesn’t have enough umph to do the job.  Only has 5.9 amps and clearly that isn’t enough.  It’s getting on in the day at this point.  What to do ?  There was an RV Dealer place next door so Kevin suggested I go over there to see if they had a bigger amp inverter/converter things.  They only have the gargantuan (couldn’t resist Mrs. Tang) kind that you could probably move a house with and that are hard wired blah blah blah.  But they were very kind and called around to a couple of places to try and find one for me.

They did find one at another RV place that wasn’t too far away.  It cost $250.00 !!  OUCH !  I simply cannot catch a break these days !  But at this point, in the middle of the installation, AND my shoulder aching like crazy reminding me I HAD to get this set-up, off I went and got it.  Once the right conversion thingie was used it was an easy peasy job and Kevin had it done in no time.  He soldered a steel beam to the top and then soldered the winch onto that.  Nick is holding this beam while Kevin is doing the soldering and you can see the winch is already on.

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Now for the BIG TEST !!

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OMG it works !!  Now Kevin teaches me how to use it……….

My Heroes !!!

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When Kevin realized the small converter thingie wasn’t going to work he was looking at other options before I went out and spent all that money on a larger one.  One of the options he looked at was somehow hooking it into the motor of the bunk beds in the garage.  He quickly dismissed that idea though due to the possible risks of overloading this motor.

If anyone is ever in the Lower Mainland area of British Columbia and should need any kind of welding work done Kevin is definitely the man to see !!!

When I got back ‘home’ that night I noticed the bunk beds were still lowered a little so I pressed the switch that raises them.  NOTHING ?  ZIPPO !  ZERO !  ZILCH !  Not a gig in ‘er !  I called Kevin and he remembered that he did pull something out and told me what it was and where to find it.  But hard as I tried, there was no way that sucker would go back into place.

Later my Administrative Assistant dropped by to see me as my NL Plates had arrived at her place.  The rig is now totally official and legal and also now a ‘Canadian’ rig !!  She also tried to put that piece back in so the switch on the bunk beds would work but no go either.

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Then we sat back and enjoyed a lovely cuppa on a lovely evening.

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Now it’s time for my Administrative Assistant to head home so I hook up the winch to bring the door back up and POP !!  The plate thingie comes right out of the ramp door !  The red arrow is pointing to the plate thingie I’m talking about.

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Thankfully I didn’t decide to do this AFTER Betty left so she was there to close the door.  She just laughed of course and said “Denise, It could only happen to you !!”

Today I had to trek back to Abbotsford and once again Kevin (my Hero !) had both things fixed in no time.  I stopped at Home Depot and got two of those butterfly nuts and with a bit of wigglin’ and wagglin’ the job got done.  That plate won’t pop out this time !!

7 comments:

  1. DANG! The video makes that door look REALLY REALLY heavy! I'm glad it's all working out!

    Cyndi & Stumpy @ RVly Ever After

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  2. Just a wee word of advice, don't stand anwhere near the thick wire that raises your door just in case of another failure!! I hope it doesn't happen, but be careful and safe...glad you got er done properly!!
    HarleyB

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  3. Holy cow, girl. You're having more trouble with your rig than we are and that's something. I sure hope nothing else falls out or quits or anything so you can start enjoying. Hope the shoulder feels a whole lot better today.

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  4. Wow Sassy girl! You have really been through it. I stand by my prediction that your luck has to change. Sounds like the winch was $$$ well spent, though.

    Kim

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  5. I'm thinking these rigs are like boats. They always seem to need something! I'm hoping it's just a "starting out" thing, and then just maintenance once we get them just right.

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  6. While watching the video I'm thinking... "you mean to tell me that door was supposed to be raised by hand?!"

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  7. Hi D....sorry I wasn't thinking that the outlet wouldn't be 12V.......but as HarleyB mentioned when operating the cable stand to the side of the unit as the cable will whiplash if it lets go.
    I trust that Kevin through bolted the hook with support on the outside of the door.
    Best wishes

    Bob

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