Struts losing their oomph

Seems my rear panel struts are slowly losing their mojo. On their own they don’t quite go to horizontal, I can push them fully open, but they’ll drop back down a few inches. Figured colder weather doesn’t help but 40s are the coldest they’ve been in. What is life expectancy of these struts? It would kill me to have to use a prop stick.


My rear struts have the same issue and the camper is only 2 months old

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i noticed that with mine, but i think it’s due to the cold weather in my case… build #287 so i don’t think it’s a strut at the end of its life.

Hmm, as another data point I’ve been camping 10+ nights below 20 degrees in the year plus that I’ve had the camper without any noticeable degradation along with everyday use in sub freezing temps for a few months. I do use the sides a lot more than the rear. I am having issues with my tent struts. In cold weather with my solar panels and beef racks they droop about 4 inches. I’m debating about getting higher rates struts but it isn’t a real inconvenience yet. I figured I’ll wait until warmer temps to see if it resolves itself. I’m interested to see if people replace, upgrade, or potentially repair their struts.

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Any extra weight on them? Seems unlikely since it is the hatch. Does it only happen in cooler weather? Do they recover when it heats back up?

I hope they would last at least a couple years. If they are indeed actually failing in months something is not right.

I would expect gas struts to be a wear item over longer term time based on other products. They loose charge. I don’t know what that timeframe is for the struts in question based on specs.

I think gfc should probably sell replacements for parts that are wear items, or provide a link or part number to order from a supplier.


I’m in the same boat, my rear struts won’t hold the rear hatch fully open. I do have the window in mine.

Picked up my camper in April of '19.

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Seems like that could add stress to the hinge, and … well … probably not a good idea.

Just for a data point. #46 and so far my struts have no issues. I open the panels quite a bit.

Should be easy to replace though.

I’ve thought about making a ‘lock’ as a safety feature for when the tent is up…


I definitely don’t plan for a higher rated strut for the lower hinges, but I feel like the cross bar hinges are more than sufficient to hold a little more force. I’m still waiting to see if it reverts back to normal in warmer weather.

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I see we’re talking about different things. I’m certain that the main pivot of the tent can handle whatever you’d throw at it, which is what I now see you were talking about in the bit I quoted. Sorry, I’ve had a string of long days with little sleep. :slight_smile:

The OP was about the side & rear canopy door struts, and for those, I wouldn’t want more force pushing against the hinge than GFC recommended.

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When I first noticed it happening it was a 90* day out in the desert. So don’t think cold weather was the issue to start but cooler temps now have made it slightly worse. I only have the problem on the rear panel which does have glass so that added weight probably doesn’t help either. Maybe 10 months old when problem started. How many cycles are these struts good for? Doubt they’ve been used more than 1K times. Would also hate to have to replace them every year.

I wonder if the issue is isolated to those that have rear windows? The extra weight could be contributing to the malfunction of the strut.

I have the rear window and an early GFC - I haven’t noticed any of the struts wearing out at this point (14 months of use).

Since these are an off the shelf item I wouldn’t be surprised if the QC isn’t mind-blowing and some last longer than others.

I seem to recall seeing a post from someone at GFC that they would sell you replacement struts at their cost if you ask.


I had GFC #44, and had no issues with the struts throughout a year and a half of ownership. I say had bc it’s been up at the shop getting a complete overhaul. I was the very first to have a hinge break, and would not recommend replacing them with anything stronger.

I contacted several strut companies, including the company GFC uses (used?) for replacements or other options. My favorite was Camloc gas springs manufactured in the UK. They make springs that can lock out at different points during the range of movement, possibly allowing you to lock the sides at a 45° open setting.

After going over specs with them, they suggested they didn’t have any products for the application in a GFC. I still think it could work, but a minimum order of 25 units was too much for me to spring for…


After reading this thread decided to hit up go fast to see how much to replace my rear struts. 11.50$ a pop. Not bad at all.
Replacement of old struts took about 2 minutes.
Wish mine would have lasted longer than six months but oh well.

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do you have a rear window (assuming rear door is where you had problems) and / or where do you live etc ? wondering if the climate was apart of it ?

my old truck cap had lazy lifters so i took one off and into the pep boys and found a similar piston rated to more weight. only issue was it opened like a rocket.l i only replaced one side.i left the other saggy one in.maybe check into a heavier lifting piston so when it looses some strength it wil still work.

Camper #677 and I do have the rear window. Live in salt lake.
The problem started last fall when the temperature started to drop but even in warmer temperatures they didn’t open like they did brand new

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Resurrecting this thread - I have camper #4121 which is now a few months shy of 1 year old, and the gas struts on the rear hatch are definitely losing their “oomph.”

I have noticed it most in cooler weather, but I feel like temps in the 40s should not really be cold enough to cause this issue, and it doesn’t affect the side door struts at all. Just wondering if more people have noticed this and if so, how everyone has been dealing with it since this thread was last active?

If this is just how the struts are (extremely sensitive to cooler temps) then I don’t want to go through the process of replacing them with the same ones just to have the same issue. If there is a problem with some of the struts though, I’d def like to replace them and get some that work at full strength.

The gas struts on the side doors are extremely strong and open quickly when pulled…would love to have similar functionality for the rear hatch.

You didn’t mention if you have glass or not in the rear panel. If you do you most likely will notice it more in colder weather. Mine have been doing it for quite a while but panel stays up and doesn’t sag when I push it all the way up. I’ll replace struts when it wont stay fully open.