It’s a wonder why gas springs are so popular among RV manufacturers.
They’re almost always used to hold up RV basement doors and prop up mattresses so you can access the storage areas underneath.
But boy, it seems they’re responsible for more finger smashes and head bonks than nearly any other item in an RV.
Over time (sometimes not long at all) the combination of the high pressure inside these springs and the fact that they’re almost always in a closed state (when the door is closed or the mattress is flat) puts a lot of stress on the seals.
The gas is held in by just a thin rubber seal, and over time this seal can fail.
In fact, it’s probably more accurate to say that the gas springs that hold up your RV basement doors will fail, it’s just a matter of when.
Should You Replace RV Gas Springs Or Use This Quick Fix?
When your gas springs go bad, you could just replace them. Or you could save your money and get rid of the springs altogether.
Given their failure rate, it’s probably cheaper to figure out a way to bypass the need for springs in the first place.
You’ll save money by never having to replace a faulty spring again, and you’ll minimize the possibility of injury due to the springs pinching your hand.
How To Eliminate RV Gas Springs From Your Storage Compartment
User cakepa from the RV.net forums designed a very simple modification to a piece of PVC to fix once and for all their troublesome RV gas springs.
They simply cut a few pieces of 1/2″ PVC to length and ripped a 1/4″ slot down the middle, making it wide enough to slip over the extended arm of the gas spring.
The PVC pipe slips over the arm and wedges between the door and the top of the RV gas spring housing. When you’re ready to close the hatch, you just slide the pipe down and shut the door. The PVC support will remain attached to the spring, and safely out of the way, allowing the door to close flush.
PVC cut to length with groove.
PVC pipe slipped over in the ‘rest’ position.
Holding Basement Door Open #1.
Holding Basement Door Open #2.
Depending on the girth of your RV gas springs, the PVC support may not slide over the housing easily. Others have struggled with this and decided to simply lay the PVC pipe directly inside the storage bay for easy access. When you want the PVC pipe to hold the door up, just slip it on and pull it into position.
Another option would be to cut a longer length of PVC so that the RV basement door raises parallel to the ground. Once parallel, you could use the flat surface for meal prep or as a fancy outdoor bar! You couldn’t do this with any ordinary gas spring setup.
Have any tips that you’ve picked up that would help fix common gas spring flaws? Please share in the comments below.