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Everyone needs an elevator, right?


MsChrissi

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Right from the start we had always planned on a skydeck with a center cockpit dining section on the roof of Red Flyer. We go to airshows mostly and volunteer & teach every spring so folks in the campground have been watching the slow progress and developments on Red Flyer with great curiosity.

Some folks stop by each year to chat and see what these two crazy old ladies are up to.

Randi gives the tours and tells the stories and plans for the rig which eventually comes round to "...and up on the roof we're going to have a skydeck, see that section up there folds out extending the roof by two feet so we can snap in a 10x10 EZ-up and then there will be an elevator to take you up...." watching from the sidelines you can usually catch the little eye rolls (yeah girlie dream on, elevator ha ha).

So this year we had some fun....

http://www.cozygirrrl.com/redflyer/elevator1.mp4

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People usually freak out a little bit "THERE HAS TO BE A RAILING!!! SOMEBODY IS GONNA DIE !!!"

Seriously, I am terrified of heights so its taken care of, just not per OSHA nor will it ever be. The video only shows the elevator, when the roof extension is folded out and the ladder is dropped down (stores flat on roof locked to roof extension) the ladder itself provides a secure handhold to steady oneself going up or down. Plus the controls are on a pair of remote key fobs that only Randi or I have so there is no unsupervised usage of the elevator. Up on the roof there will also be stanchions for hand rails all the way around, I needed something to attach the 400W of solar to =)

Redflyer1.jpgOsh14.jpg

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Thanks Jack!

Spindrift... you can bid on it when we finish it, a unique project like this only has a value if it has a purpose. In this case the end use would be the perfect NASCAR infield camper =) but also small and maneuverable enough to drive to a game for some tailgating.

Thing is once the design is finished, a good conversion shop could make this entire motorhome as a drop-on and bolt-on unit.

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We haul all sorts of catering trailers/luxury boxes to events like you describe. They have all the same options as you do, minus the elevator. Significant stairs with lots of railings to help the high dollar clientele who have had a little too much too drink get to and from the deck. When some high dollar corporation wants to land a contract by wining and dining influential people, they spend big money to do what you are doing with a little hard work. Enjoy living like the 1% on the 99% budget.

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OH MY! If that isn't SLICK! I do have some questions, if you don't mind sharing?

 

What is the drive mechanism? Cable? multi stage ram? I'm CURIOUS!!!

 

How does the elevator platform remove for driving? That must of taken some pretty significant engineering to make if sturdy and easy to remove/install.

 

Also one suggestion. A pull out "rail" on the front edge of the box would add significant protection. something that would slide out to also give you a railing on the front (truck cab) side of the elevator. It would give protection on 3 sides...and another handhold. Or how about a rail just mounted onto the platform on that side, that travels up and down with it? That would be even better as you could step on, grab hold, and not have to move your hand again. The reason I thought of this is I had a farm tractor with some tall steps that only had a rail on one side, It seemed I was always slipping off the other side! I added a rail on the other side, and haven't slipped off since. Not trying to be a safety freak, just thinking of ways to make if easier to use.

 

I just gotta say how much I've enjoyed watching this project. Kuddos!!!

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Only 400W of solar? I hope you are teasing me, it is an array 3 1/2 ft tall by 9 ft wide, we're going to look like a downed satellite! =) And it has to be portable.

 

The elevator attaches with aircraft pull-pins, normally only 4 needed but holes available for as many as 12.

 

The mechanism... ho boy. Rube would be proud though no chipmunks were harmed.

First off, everything exposed to weather is stainless except the platform itself.

The platform attaches to a car on each side of the door with pull pins.

Each car has two pair of stainless ball bearing rollers (like a small garage door roller) running captive in a pair of stainless tracks flanking the door.

The cars are pulled up by an endless loop of #40 stainless roller chain.

There are two ball bearing idler sprockets each top and bottom each side.

At the top under the top stairs is a keyed cross shaft connecting the two sides to keep them in sync.

The cross shaft is driven by a stainless primary chain attached to a planetary drive bumper winch modified with a sprocket rather than a cable spool.

The winch is operated by a large winch reversing solenoid. The solenoid is controlled by logic from an arduino. Things like a door interlock switch prevent the platform from ripping off the door. All logic exceptions result in a stop. There is no condition where an exception can be cleared and the elevator will begin to move again. Movement always requires clean logic and a deliberate input. There is a status panel inside, a removable key switch, logic LEDs and manual input keys. The remote key fobs will operate the elevator (300' range) and the outside flood lights. All components were rated at about 2000 lbs.

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There are a pair of 1" sockets on the front of the elevator pad to drop in a couple of stanchions with a cable gate for the squeamish, we won't be making those parts but have put the capability in.

I used to give a lecture on my yacht while motoring towards SFO bay, included was a bit about the lifelines that went something like "lifelines... they are there as a guide, not for you but for me to help determine when a passenger has gone beyond the point of no return and based on the water temp, my ability to turn this 12 ton yacht around, our inebriated crews ability to recover your near frozen soaking and choking ass aboard, yep, chances are lifelines are the demarcation point where life as you know it ends. Stay inside them please." I feel the same way about elevators.

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THANKS! That makes a lot of sense---nice design. I like the double chain drive. That's not complicated...to a farmer that sounds pretty simple! I'm sure the complexity is in the control!!! After I typed the above comments about the handrail I thought--I bet they already added some stanchion/hand rail design of some kind. Yup. Only other thing I can think of would be some kind of safety dog that would drop in on the top cross shaft should the drive chain break...then even the g'ment would probably be happy! Of course, it would only drop down 6 feet or so--big bump but probably not life threatening. (I'm not criticizing your design--I just am enjoying thinking of more. :D )

 

Thanks for sharing. I wonder if something similar could be built to enter the truck instead of the Henry/scissors lift. Just thinking.

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Jeff, one of the reasons I tell people to keep one hand on the side of the ladder =) The short primary chain is the one single point failure, we would have simply put on two sprockets and two chains as a primary drive but designed ourselves out of space to do so.

 

Henry's lift does a good job and takes much of the heavy handling out of it. It could be done with a single platform that becomes the fairing when folded so it folds down, does it's lifting duties then on command returns to folded/parked mode. Otherwise it would assume a single user therefore is extended and is either up or own based on last use so that the user does not have to wait for it to unfold each time. Very doable either all electric or combined electric hydraulic. Who knows with my knee I should have one =)

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I'm with Phil on this. I want to check it out. Y'all have done a great job in taking your vision, planning it out, and then implementing it!

Let us know when and where the show will be. Or, as you have been invited many times, come to the Rally in Hutch!

 

Agree, very nice design and another vote for you coming to the Rally.

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