How to choose the right canopy gas struts

Dunn and Watson Gas struts

Canopy gas struts are not just perfect for holding open access doors and toolboxes in Utes and work trucks, they can also be used in caravans and RVs to hold open hatches, doors and panels, even external awnings. Let’s take a look at three reasons you might need new gas struts and how to select the right gas struts for your project.

3 Reasons for installing gas struts

Gas struts don’t need to be replaced very frequently, but there are three instances when it’s a good idea to install new struts. The first is when your old canopy gas struts aren’t up to the job anymore and whatever they are meant to be holding securely open, seems to slip and close too soon. This can be a dangerous situation, so you need to replace them as soon as possible. The second reason is if you need stronger gas struts to hold up a greater force, and the third is when you don’t already have gas struts, but can now see their value.

Selecting the right canopy gas struts for your job

There are different types of gas struts for different applications, so you need to ensure that you purchase the right one for your project. This means that you need to know the dimensions of the struts you need, in particular the strength in Newtons.

When you are replacing a gas strut, the strength that is needed is often printed on the actual strut itself, so you just buy a gas strut with the same strength. On the other hand, if it’s a new install then you need to estimate the weight load required (in Newtons), which can be done by allowing a piece of timber to take the weight of the open panel for example and then placing a weighing scale underneath the timber. So if you want to install canopy gas struts to a panel that opens up horizontally, prop the panel open with a piece of timber that is placed halfway along the side of the panel (where the greatest weight will be found) and the other end standing on the scales, then multiply the weight by 10 to give you the strength that’s required; if the weight pressing down from the panel is 5kg, then your gas struts need to have a 50 newton strength rating.

If you want to be more precise, you can also use a formula, which is outlined below (you will notice that the 50 newtons calculated above isn’t the actual strength that’s needed, instead it’s 72 newtons).

  1. Calculate the weight of what you need to lift, as above, which in our example is 50 newtons. 
  2. Measure the drop of the door or panel you need to lift and halve it. So if the drop is 1000mm, you need to enter 500mm into the formula.
  3. Calculate the mounting distance, which is 20% of the total droop, so in our example that’s 200 mm (20% of 1000mm).

Strength = (((50 x 500)/200) + 15%) and divide the answer by the number of struts you need which is (2), so the final answer is 72 newtons. This means that you need a pair of canopy gas struts with at least a strength of 72 newtons, and since we recommend that you use struts with at least a 60% drop, for a panel with a drop of 1000mm, one of our 100 newton, 595mm range of gas struts should do the job. 

Why not check out our range of canopy gas struts today?