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Steady legs winding with cordless screwdriver demo video


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Below is a link to a U-Tube clip is an ad hoc video using the Aldi Ferrex screwdriver to raise and lower caravan steady legs.

 

There will be many comments I suspect, but the longevity of the screwdrivers life remains to be discovered and at £12.99 it is vastly underpowered. I shall leave the video so that you know not to buy a 3v. device.

 

See the video HERE - Part 1

 

The link below is a demonstration of a 12v. compact cordless drill to lower and raise caravan steady legs. The price is £30 and it is supplied with two batteries.

 

12v. Compact cordless drill - Part 2

 

 

 

 

Edited by BOAC
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  • BOAC changed the title to Steady legs winding with cordless screwdriver demo video

There's nothing wrong with using a power drill / electric screwdriver to operate the steadies BUT if you do either use a drill with a selectable torque setting, or take extra care not to overtighten the legs. Use them with caution and care.

No only can overtightening distort the floor where legs are attached directly to the caravan floor (as opposed to the chassis) but not all steadies use metal steady slide-nuts. Some still use a nylon nut on which the thread can easily strip if stressed.

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Usually there will not be a weight saving, as the standard hand crank will also be carried by most caravanner, and of course the drill needs to be kept charges.

Personally I would not recommend the use of a battery drill if your only reason for doing so is lazyness :ph34r: however those with difficulty bending down or turning the standard handle will benefit. 

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Unless otherwise stated, my posts will be my personal thoughts and have the same standing as any other member of Caravan Talk.

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Whilst I understand the need for caution about over tightening with a powerful drill I somehow doubt the ability of a small electric screwdriver to get them tight enough, or move them if they are a bit stuck.

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6 minutes ago, macafee2 said:

How will the battery of this type of tool hold up to infrequent use if only used for leg winding?

 

macafee2

I suspect you have foun the 'Achilles heel', unless the drill / screwdriver is also used for everyday DIY tasks.

Fourwinds Hurricane 31D Motorhome. Also MGTF135 1. 8i Roadster (fun) & Volvo V70 3.2Ltr LPG (everyday car)
Unless otherwise stated, my posts will be my personal thoughts and have the same standing as any other member of Caravan Talk.

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Nice and compact and for just over a tenner certainly worth the money.

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25 minutes ago, macafee2 said:

How will the battery of this type of tool hold up to infrequent use if only used for leg winding?

 

macafee2

 

 

Good point and I guess only time will tell. I will let you know if there are any snags 'in the field' if I ever get out to try it that is.

19 minutes ago, Stevan said:

Whilst I understand the need for caution about over tightening with a powerful drill I somehow doubt the ability of a small electric screwdriver to get them tight enough, or move them if they are a bit stuck.

 

Hi Stevan,

 

Good questions. :Thankyou:

 

If you note on the video when I was lowering the leg it did raise the caravan about 1/4 of an inch so I think that would be enough.

 

If the screwdriver is incapable of lowering or raising the legs then it would indicate that the leg mechanisms require a bit of TLC.

11 minutes ago, GaryB1969 said:

Nice and compact and for just over a tenner certainly worth the money.

 

Good old Aldi :D

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33 minutes ago, Gordon said:

I suspect you have foun the 'Achilles heel', unless the drill / screwdriver is also used for everyday DIY tasks.

I have been using a small pistol-style Parkside drill from Lidl for over five years and it is still going strong.  It stays in the front locker and is only used for the caravan.  I have found the torque setting that gets the caravan steady without overdoing it.  The drill has three LEDs to show the state of charge but it probably only needs charging about once a year.

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1 hour ago, Gordon said:

not all steadies use metal steady slide-nuts. Some still use a nylon nut on which the thread can easily strip if stressed.

As the gearboxes on these cheapo drills are likely made of the same nylon - it may be 50:50 which gives first ;)

But it's all down to having some degree of mechanical sympathy when using a power tool - or manual winder for that matter (mine is "designed" to undo wheel nuts with ability to have a 90-degree arm https://www.primaleisure.com/product/1140114 )

 

 

Lithium cells if stored at least partly charged will retain power for a long time.  Certainly enough for occasional caravanning use.  (Self discharge of 1-3% per month Wikipedia tells me ;) ) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithium-ion_battery 

 

I love lithium cells - no more replacing drills 'cos the NiCds won't hold a charge and its uneconomic to get new battery packs.

 

Should someone merge this thread with the other recent long saga on the same power driver/winder topic? :ph34r:

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Mulling over yesterdays trial I now think the Ferrex is underpowered and will stuggle especially if there is thick grease on the winding mechanism.

 

I spotted THIS

 

Torque of 4.5 Nm. Would that be enough do you think. I have no means of measuring the torque.

 

During internet browsing, if anyone discovers a small device which they think might be more suitable for the desired purpose, please post a link. Thanks

 

 

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32 minutes ago, BOAC said:

Mulling over yesterdays trial I now think the Ferrex is underpowered and will stuggle especially if there is thick grease on the winding mechanism.

 

I spotted THIS

 

Torque of 4.5 Nm. Would that be enough do you think. I have no means of measuring the torque.

 

During internet browsing, if anyone discovers a small device which they think might be more suitable for the desired purpose, please post a link. Thanks

 

 

I suspect that a great many people would have difficulty hand holding such a small device if it was delivering 4.5 Nm (over 3 ftlb). The bigger hand grip on a drill type device enables the user to apply much more torque.

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4.5 N is 0.5 N less than the Ferrex unit you own. https://www.aldi.co.uk/grey-3-6v-cordless-screwdriver/p/802375402793100  220 rpm vs 210 of the Bosch.

 

I recommended you a 12V Lidl drill in that other thread  https://www.lidl.co.uk/en/p/diy/parkside-12v-cordless-drill-bare-unit/p37765?ar=3 2-speed gearbox.   £30 with battery and charger.  The chuck is now removable cf the one I use and 0-320 rpm cf my 0-400.  Mine doesn't specify the Nm in the booklet I have for it, but it can have a kick if you are careless ;) 

 

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13 minutes ago, BOAC said:

How about this one then Stevan?

 

HERE

Yes, there are many powerful screwdrivers on the market.

The point I was trying to make though is that for many users the limiting factor for torque on these small devices is the user's wrist, not the device itself.

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59 minutes ago, Stevan said:

Yes, there are many powerful screwdrivers on the market.

The point I was trying to make though is that for many users the limiting factor for torque on these small devices is the user's wrist, not the device itself.

 

Okay. Thanks.

 

I have ordered the one as linked above and will make a video to demonstrate it when I receive it.

 

:Thankyou: for your help Rodders and Stevan.

 

 

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3.6 V drill-drivers:  Only ever owned one a Bosch NiCd, Christmas present from the in-Laws - possibly around the time we started caravanning, so a long time ago.  Pretty useless for most things as I recall.  I've never wanted to replace it which maybe says enough?. 

 

I think they are also fixed speed often enough which is bad.  A decent variable speed trigger and low-speed gearbox is essential for control in winding the steadies imho.  Start slow and speed up then slow as the pad nears land (or home if winding up) - then its no 'wrist problem', careless could mean an abrupt stop, stall and...

 

Decent variable = being able to pull the trigger and it just start rotating, pull more to go a bit faster and so on to full pull and full speed (and the same when releasing the trigger).  Some triggers can be very 'coarse'.

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Can’t see a dinky little low voltage screwdriver being up to the task myself ! 

 

Might be a worthwhile exercise to see how many many times you can lower and raise the steadies on a single charge? 

 

I await the the results of the “Field trials”  with interest. 

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nice job, I have given you your first thumbs up. I can't believe you haven't got some already!

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57 minutes ago, PMW said:

nice job, I have given you your first thumbs up. I can't believe you haven't got some already!

 

:blink: :blink: :blink:

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Experience is an awful teacher who ends up sending you simply horrifying bills

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Can’t see the motor or gearbox lasting any length of time abusing it like that. 

The tool is designed to be used in short bursts to drive screws in, not for continuous heavy loading.

 

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8 hours ago, Tuningdrew said:

Can’t see the motor or gearbox lasting any length of time abusing it like that. 

The tool is designed to be used in short bursts to drive screws in, not for continuous heavy loading.

 

 

 

I have to agree with you and others. I am awaiting delivery of THIS

 

If it is successful I will trial it and make a video for you all.

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A bit late to add to the thread but I'd have thought the Katsu as described by BOAC would be deal because it has 18 torque settings.

So, with 12v power I'd start at a low torque setting to avoid overtightening and work forward from there until you reach a happy speed/tightness compromise.  Nevertheless  watch out for the "kick" on your wrist.

 

By the way, and no disrespect to Stevan -  4.5nm is not much more than hand tight - I can achieve that easily with a 6 inch ring spanner.

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