When you want a lift in life. There are legal ways to do just that especially when you own an RV. The power lifts you can buy will help provide you with more storage space, make an area multi-functional, and so on. The key is not to overdo it and buy something you don't need.
Happijac bed lifts are the go-to option for many RV makers. Their system is strong, safe, and secure. However, they are also expensive. If you want to use an alternative, you may need to go to a winch or use different options that may suit your needs.
To learn more about Happijac bed lift alternatives just continue to read our article. it explores the topic so you have some less expensive ways of lifting up your bed and maximizing your limited room. Take a few minutes to see if these options are for you.
This company’s web page refers you to the LCI store if you want to get a price almost straight from the factory. However, when you click on the link, you get a 404 message. A further search for bed lifts doesn't produce any substantial results either.
The reason for this is that Lippert may simply sell to dealers only and there is no retail option through that company. However, we did locate one store selling this lift system and their retail price was $1,899.
We were able to find other prices and one couple said they paid only $1099 for their model. You will have to do some comparison shopping to find an affordable bed lift made by this company.
As you know brand name items always cost more than the alternatives. Expect to pay more for a Happijac bed lift over its competitors if they are not well-known brands. Then expect to get a lower quality bed lift when you make those purchases at those cheaper outlets.
We were able to find one direct competitor to Happijac. It is Castle Winch, LLC and they have the same style of bed lift as Hapijack has. they also have about 4 to 5 models to choose from depending on the type of bed the system will raise or lower.
The prices at Castle Winch also depend on the system you buy. The one for their standard bed is priced at $1799 which means you save only $100. If you only want to make an extra bunk above your bed, the cost is quite a bit lower at this company.
You can get a system for either $599 or $699, installed. For DIY bunks, the price goes up again to $1299 depending on the size of the bunk. Then this company has a slide-out bunk system that fits 72 and 80-inch slide-outs. The cost for this system is $1499.
According to their website, this is an exclusive system to Castle Winch only. That is the winch style that is similar to Happijac’s system. There are cheaper alternatives that lift the bed but are not flat like the winch style can do it.
Some can be applied to a camper van and lift the bed up flat while the same design can lift a regular RV bed only up at an angle giving you access to the storage space underneath.
This option is vastly cheaper than the winch style and can cost less than $50. These struts are gas-powered and allow anyone to lift the bed without any risk to them.
Many, many YouTube videos provide you with fine examples of DIY lift beds. One of those examples is found at this link and it is using a strap-like pulley system that wraps up when the bed is lifted out of the way.
This link will take you to a set of pictures where the DIYer used those gas-powered struts in his camper van to lift his bed. There are other ideas you can use as well. One is the Racor garage ceiling lift rack.
Here is a link to photos of one man installing this system in his RV. You can get a few ideas from the many options on sale at the Amazon marketplace. They have all sorts of garage lift racks for sale that can be modified to fit an RV bunk or bed.
The only drawback to this option would be the weight capacity of each system. Some are not too great so you would have to swap out some parts to make them sturdier and more secure.
Then this link will take you to a website detailing some of the components you can use to make your own lift bed. if you talk to experienced people who know a thing or two about setting up these types of systems, you can get some good leads on top quality parts and tips on how to install easily.
The manual bed lifting system is not comprised of cables and a handle you turn to lift the bed up or put it back down. That would be inconvenient and tiring. There is a better way and most of the time the system can remain out of sight.
The gas-powered struts are the best manual system you can use and they are not difficult to install. One person, as we mentioned earlier, used the struts in his van, attaching them securely to the walls of the van.
He was able to lift and lower his bed with ease. There are countless websites for companies selling these struts and the majority of options we saw had them inside the bed frame. You never saw them unless you lifted the bed.
The biggest drawback to these manual struts is that they do not lift the bed out of your way. They only give you access to the storage compartment underneath your bed or bunk. The struts lift the bed up at an angle with the head side of the bed still touching the floor-based frame.
This system is great for storage but not so great if you want to lift the bed up out of your way and add some seating underneath.
Most of these may be simple systems that do not require a lot of tools to install. One is found at this video over at YouTube and the people used four of them to equally lift the bed and keep it straight.
It takes a little wiring skill to set the lifts to one switch that activates all four at the same time. Here is one more video that installs a different electric bed lift. It actually shows you how they do it so copying their work should not be too difficult.
As we said, this is not a rare project that no one ever does. There is a huge amount of videos that will give you lots of ideas and inspiration on how to install your own electric bed lift.
If you want to go to old school systems, a winch system will work and have the weight capacity to lift the bed with ease. They are a bit more difficult to work with as you need to put the motor in a convenient spot as well as route the cables properly.
When you are dealing with those tiny trailers, you may not have enough room to install a full-fledged electric bed lift. You will have to take stock of the design of the interior and see which system will work the best for you.
Different outlets will sell directly to the consumer. Some will only sell to dealers like Lippert and possibly Happijac itself. We saw no products for sale on their website.
One retail outlet for this type of bed lift is RVPlusParts and their price is getting close to the $2000 range. Shoppok sells quite a few Happijac products but we did not see their bed lift listed there. You can check them out from time to time to see if any show up. Just click here to get to their product page.
If you want to pay a lot of money for one of these helpful gadgets then go to the bend trailers website and you can pay almost $4000 for one. We checked Amazon but they only sell lower-priced items. We did not see any bed lifts listed on their web page.
There was one at eBay and it was listed at $1600 but the good thing about eBay is that if you only need a few parts, you can get them through that marketplace. Then we will suggest you try Craigslist, classified ads, and your RV discussion websites. Sometimes the last one will have a separate section to sell items.
You can try RV accessory shops and even hardware stores to get your bed lift if you are set on owning a Happijac bed lift.
These are not light devices. When it was weighed with pallet, supports, etc., for shipping the total weight came to about 220 pounds. Take the extra weight off and you are still looking at a good 200 pounds at worst.
The weight though is not the problem. If you are installing one in a van, you have to worry about level, curved walls, and other issues that are not in normal RVs. That is not to mention the curved roofs on the inside of the van.
You will have some logistics nightmares to contend with other than being able to carry the device to the van. Once installed though, these bed lifts can handle a lot of weight. We have seen figures as low as 400 pounds, middle-range at 600 pounds, and top range of 900 pounds.
These bed lifts are very durable and strong once you get them to their destination and installed correctly.
Before you buy, here are some things to consider and see if this device will work for your RV or van situation.
1. Easy to use- once installed you should not have any trouble with the electronic motor. if you happen to have a few problems with the motor there is a manual override you can use.
2. You lose headroom- there is no escaping this fact. While you make up in living and storage space, you lose in headroom. The bed, the platform, the motor and so on all need a place to go and your headroom is the victim.
3. Weight- you have to watch your maximum payload capacity limit. 200 +/- pounds can make a lot of difference and to make up for it you may not be able to bring along enough supplies
4. No resistance sensors- this is a very important issue as once the lift starts down it does not sense anything in its path. That means that if anything is underneath the tracks or the bed, you could break or damage them
5. Bulky items not wanted- you have to be careful what you put inside the van as bulky items and this bed lift do not get along very well. You may be gaining some storage space but for smaller easier to pack items.
6. Insulation- you may have trouble staying warm when you lower the bed down. The heat doesn't get to the top of the van when the bed is p in the air.
Bed lifts sound like a good idea. But the cost and drawbacks may have you rethinking their worth. Happijac bed lifts are good but their cost may be too much to handle. It will be up to your RV situation if you use it or not.