need help with design/placement of actuator or similar to raise and lower trailer gate.

My dad lost his leg but walks with a prosthesis he also only has use of 1 arm. What we are trying to do is make it so he can raise and lower his trailers gate using one simple control. He uses the trailer to transport his scooter which he rides when he cant walk long distances. Right now i have a hand powered boat winch going from the fender to the gate but its difficult to operate. What id like to do is use an actuator or something similar and have it powered by his wiring harness or even a battery on the trailer with a solar charger. I cant wrap my head around the design and placement atm so im asking for help.

this is basically the same trailer model http://tinyurl.com/c32dlw

edknoles7 years ago
Weld on a square tubing post to the left rear corner of the trailer, a little shorter than the height of the ramp in the up position. Slot the post top and put in a cable sheave with a bolt on clip to keep the cable from jumping out of the sheave groove. Weld on an angle brace from the post top down to the side rail. Make sure the post assembly is strong enough to resist buckling over sideways during use. Get a 2000 lb or higher capacity 12v electric winch with a "power out" feature (like used on 4 wheelers) and an integral control switch, mount it near the front of the trailer left side rail. Disable the winch freewheel clutch if it has one, you can just safety wire the control lever so it can't be operated. Run the winch cable over the sheave and connect to the ramp. Keep the cable in a straight line (when the ramp is up). Install a deep cycle battery in an RV type enclosed battery box somewhere near the winch.  Latch the ramp upright before travelling, don't rely on the cable only. Use a 12v trickle charger overnight, once a week or so to keep the battery charged. Winch, battery, battery box, wire, charger are available at WalMart. Sheave, bolts, clips, etc from any large hardware.