Monday, September 3, 2018

Gas Strut for the Under Bed Storage

Fuse Gas Strut Storage Project

If you have a Fuse 23a one of the great things winnebago did was create a large amount of storage under the foot of the driver's side bed.   It is a real hidden gem that the sales people often don't seem to know about.  We keep our extra water, sodas, toilet paper, anything we only have to get to ever couple of days.

There is one problem with it.  You have to hold open the lid to get things in and out.  Winnebago did not put anything in place to allow you to hold it open.  It is also pretty heavy especially if you have your bedding in place.

We keep our rear beds made up as beds and it requires some muscles to open it with the bedding on top.  For Sonya and myself it turns into a 2 person job.  One person opening it and the other dealing with the stuff.

Ron Jansen came up with a great idea.  Add a gas strut to the system to help open it and hold it open once you get it upright.  So I decided to add this mod to the Beagle Bus.

The parts I used:
Fuse Strut mod parts

Under bed storage compartment.

This is the before picture.  I had to take off the bedding and the mattress to get started.  As you can see we have several very important things stored in the compartment.

Strut End

Step 1 - Prepare the Struts.  The struts are connected using the ball stud brackets.  Then get the hole in the strut to go over the ball you have to slide up a small clip on each end of the strut.  I needed to use a small screwdriver to get it to move.

Flat ball bracketL bracket attachment

Step 2 -  Attach the flat ball bracket.  This is an easy step.  We reuse one of the screws from the L-bracket in the corner of the bed.  I chose the 3rd one up from the bottom.   Unscrew the screw and then screw it back in with the flat bracket in place.  It is not a perfect fit, but pretty close.  Best of all no drilling.

Angled Ball bracketAttached angled ball stud bracket

Step 3 - Attach the angles ball stud bracket -  Now we need to attach the upper bracket.  I slid the gas treat into place and just hand fit the part making sure it was not at an angle.  Once I was happy I marked where the middle hole needed to be.  I used the hand drill to make a pilot hole so I would not split any wood and it would be easier to screw it down.  When I got the first screw in I made sure it worked the way I wanted it to. 

In a rare occurrence, I got had it lined up right the first time.  It would not have mattered if I had it in the wrong place.  I would have just moved it.  Any mistaken holes would have been hidden.  I then added the remaining 2 screws to make it permanent installation.

Gas strut for storage on the Fuse

Step 4 - I installed the gas strut.  This was very easy since I had it hand fit already.  All I needed to do was slide the clips back down so the strut would not fall off the back studs.  The project was complete.

Now getting stuff in and out of the underbid storage is a one person job.  No effort required.

Other folks who have done this mod have suggested using a 60lbs strut since the 30lbs strut does not hold the top open with bedding on top.  My experience is that 30lbs will allow you to hold the lid open with your pinky and makes opening it super easy.  Making the change to 60lbs would be super easy but I am staying with 30lbs for the moment.

Effort required - Low
Total time - 15-30 minutes
Cost of the parts - $30.00

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