If you own a caravan, you’re probably more likely to be an expert in so-called “staycations” than you are in how caravans are constructed. However, one item that you can find almost everywhere in your caravan is the gas strut – the small tube that is used to prop open your sky roof, open your gas locker, and unfold your bed – it’s all over. If something goes wrong with them and you don’t know how to remove and replace them, your caravan might start falling to pieces!
Replacing gas struts quickly is an art. Without the correct knowledge it could take you forever, so let us help you! We’ve created this guide that explains what gas struts actually are, where you can find your gas struts in your caravan, and explains how to replace them – all within a single afternoon. With a job like this it’s best to get in and get out as quickly as possible before it becomes frustrating, so, time’s ticking: time to learn about your caravan’s gas struts.
What Actually Are Gas Struts?
In simple terms, a gas strut is a type of spring which uses compressed gas, contained in a cylinder and compressed by a piston, to exert force. They are commonly found in vehicles, where they support the weight of hatchback doors when they’re open, as well as furniture, medical equipment, office chairs and industrial machinery. Bearing in mind that gas struts appear to be everywhere, we’re sure you’ll appreciate that learning how to fit them is a very useful skill.
When it comes to your caravan, you’ll probably find your gas struts in three places:
- Sun roof: gas struts prop the roof open to allow you to ventilate your caravan in terms of heat and stuffiness.
- Gas locker: gas struts will hold the hatch open to the gas canister storage locker, allowing you to replace the canister when your gas levels run low.
- Foldable furniture/tables/cupboards: when room is sparse, you might want to replace permanent furniture (for example beds, tables and chairs) with the foldable variety – gas struts facilitate this.
- Under bed storage: Beds tend to be elevated above the floor, so the space underneath is useful for storage.
- Windows: For the majority of caravan designs, windows open in a vertical fashion, and some windows may be large and heavy, so a gas strut is part of the window design to help lift it open.
So now you know where to find your caravan’s gas struts in just a few moments, that way you can quickly get to work with replacing them so you’re on track to have the job done within an afternoon.
Replacing Your Caravan’s Gas Struts
Here’s the part where you really need to know what you’re doing. This might be a fiddly job, but once you have the know-how, you’ll be able to work quickly to replace any broken gas struts in your caravan – replacing them in just a few hours maximum.
You’ll need a screwdriver to hand so that you can lift up the metal clip on the strut, and then pull it away from the ball stud. It’s always a good idea to compare the struts that you remove to their replacements to make sure that the new ones are going to fit.
Fit the New Struts
If the new struts have plastic ball joints then the process is a simple one. To add the new struts, simply do the same thing that you did to remove the old ones, but in reverse. This means lifting the metal clip and pushing the strut into place – a nice, easy process. However, if the struts have a metal ball joint, then you’re going to need to remove the metal safety clip and then push the cup over the stud on the vehicle. When the socket is sitting in the cup, then replace the safety clip.
Regardless of which approach you take, you should be able to change your caravan’s gas struts with relative ease, and in way less than an afternoon if you really know what you’re doing. Just make sure you’ve ordered the right struts from our site’s caravan struts section, and you’ll be ready for a speedy change over.