RV-10 Door Lift Strut Upgrade

Done 1/11/2023

Where did I go? (You thought COVID maybe got me?)

OK, so I know it's been a LONG time since I've written anything here and updated my website.  The short explanation is:  COVID hit in 2020, and by May I was furloughed by an employer I worked at for 18 years.  They basically cut the people with longevity first, to save money.  I was due back mid-August, but then they decided to tell half of the people coming back that they were no longer being kept.   That was rough, and actually pretty stupid on their part for their long-term operation, but hey, it was what it was.  I was lucky though.  When you do good work over many jobs and many years, people get to know you and your skills and reputation.  I was fortunate and had a prior boss who was just dying to have someone with my skill set it networking.  I've done a large variety of things for many years, and in networking in particular, I've got some great enterprise class experience, with lots of success at making things robust.
So come September 2020, I jumped into a new role at a new employer, and it's one that is in a new-to-me type of business...with lots and lots of goals on their roadmap.  Really, just an intense mountain of things to do. So, I basically folded my cards on my personal life much of the time for 2020 through 2022.  We made some insane progress, and things are working very smoothly.  I work fully remote, which, for some people may mean they can slack off all day, but I've got some screwy brain wiring that turns a good situation like "work from home" into a bad situation of "Work your butt off and be a workaholic at home".  I literally care too much sometimes about my job, and being effective, helpful, and available, and I let it completely run me.  My 2022 New Years resolution was to "relax more", and I absolutely failed at that...and life just plain ran me over once again.  But now, 2023 rolled on in and I have now vowed to be an actual human, with an actual life, who does actual fun activities, once again.  I hope to have plenty to write here, from this point on.  Nowhere near what I used to, mind you, but I'm going to put in writing, those things that help not just you, but me.  I've said this to many people before... This website is not just for you, but for me.  I cannot possibly remember everything from my build, and if you email me with questions, the chances are that I will not have a clue any more.  I was building my RV-10 now, nearly 20 years ago, and have been finished and flying for SEVENTEEN years.  Yeah, time flies, wether you're having fun or not!  So this website is my own personal reference for "How did I do that?" and "What part do I need to buy?".  And here you thought I was just writing this all for you! :)

What's my latest upgrade?

I was lucky enough to have my original lift struts last this long.  I credit the longevity to my leaving the doors open when in the hangar.  I have sealed and insulated hangars that get no birds in them, so I can leave the doors open.  Most people who built when I did have long since replaced theirs.  This worked to my benefit because lots of people posted information on what lift struts to buy as replacements.  I combed through that info, pondered it, and made my choice, and I'm happy with it so here is a write-up for you that may be helpful.

First, the original lift struts from Van's are 500N (that's Newtons, a unit of force) and did an ok job for me with fabric pasted on the inside of my door.  They are made by Stabilus, in Germany, and mine had a part number of 1938LQ 0500N 180/04 E 09.  Depending on your door weight and covering, 500N may be just enough, but probably won't be too much.  For people with lots of stuff on their door, Van's sells a different part...I think p/n C-1060-HD, that is a Stabilus Lift-o-Mat 2218LP that is 600N of pressure.  There are 2 reasons I didn't go with that one.  #1, they are $131 EACH!!  That's pretty insane.  #2, they are a standard lift strut.  Why is that bad?  Well, the ones I got from Bansbach are actually made a little nicer from the looks of it, but they have a feature that the others don't...If you mount them ROD DOWN (attached to the cabin top) then during their last 10% or so of door lift, they will dampen the lift and slow it down so your doors don't slam and wobble when they go up.  THAT to me is a bigger deal.

So what I purchased is a drop in replacement for the RV-10.  You don't have to compress them to install them, and it's a simple 15 minute job to replace both of them. There are bushings on the old struts that you can put on the new ones, but you may need a different variety of light or standard washers to take up the gap, because the aluminum ends are a little wider. And nicely made, I should say.

With the extra 100N of force, I find very little difference other than good function of the doors. My old struts would barely hold the door in cold weather, any longer.  They used to be fine.  The new struts will close the door if you are holding it open about 18" or so.  But if you open it more than 18", the door will raise all the way open, slowing down for the last 10% so they don't wobble a lot.

What and where I ordered:

I ordered A1A1F50-100-287/600N.
A1A1 indicates the end style we need to be a drop in replacement.

I got them from Easylift, in Melbourne FL.  321-253-1999 / (800) 225-4498

At the time of my purchasing, they were $61.03 each, and shipping wasn't cheap at $41.37.
You must phone them to order, because this particular part isn't orderable on their website.
It is, however, listed there:  https://store.easylift.com/a1a1f50-100-287-600n
I called and talked to a very nice lady on the phone, she put my order in and although
they didn't have them in stock the day I ordered, they were shipped quickly.

Click the pics to make them larger.

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