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Old 04-13-2015, 03:51 PM   #1
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Broken Cable / Removing Motorized Winch

Hello all, last night I got my Palomino Traverse Sequoia out for the first time this year and was going to set it up and let it air out and get ready for a camping trip next weekend. Anyway, as I raising the roof with the motorized winch, it was just about to the maximum height when the winch made a loud pop and and the cable snapped sending it crashing down. I had to hook up the end of the cable to my vehicle winch to raise it up enough to stuff everything back in, which I was able to do.

I have only owned this camper for a little over a year and have never felt comfortable with the motorized winch...after numerous calls and emails this morning to my dealer and the lift system manufacturer (Goshen)...I think I have decided to remove the motorized lift and install a hand crank sometime in the near future.

My dealer is 6 hours away and any local dealers will not work on it under warranty since I did not buy from them, so I have decided to fix the cable myself. A very nice lady from Goshen was very helpful in getting the part ordered and talking me through the process of replacement. She indicated that they will not warranty the lift system if a motorized winch is used as it is the reason for 90% of broken cables...

Has anyone else removed their motorized winch and installed a hand crank winch and if so, what kind of winch did you install? I don't mean to scare anyone, but just wanted to share....
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Old 04-13-2015, 07:28 PM   #2
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I was told that regardless of a motorized lift or not, the warranty is still viable on the lift system. The motorized winch assembly only carries a one-year warranty if I remember correctly. But the lift system is lifetime and that is from Forest River. Whether or not Forest River receives reimbursement from Goshen is their problem; not mine. If I have to ever pay first and get reimbursed that is also ok.

My second time using the unit, my winch motor's main gear destroyed itself. MY dealer was in Denver, I was in Moab UT. A dealer in Grand Junction CO did the repair and I received a check from Forest River about a week after submitting the paid in full bill via email.

I have been warned by the dealer and it is even in the owner's manual, that general maintenance (lubricating the cables with grease at the two zerk lube fittings under the trailer, and adding oil to the spring tube) MUST be done to keep the warranty valid and it is easy to note if this maintenance is not performed.

From the manual:

Crank-up Lift system
To help protect your Limited Warranty, you must perform general maintenance
and regular inspections. Failure to provide proper service maintenance is easily
recognized, as it is reflected in the condition of your camper.

inspect and Service yearly

1. Clean and recoat lifter posts externally, with a rust prohibitive, non-drying lubricant.
2. Annually grease zerks on front, bottom and top of master tube.
3. Lubricate springs annually by raising the roof to the UP position. At each segment of the telescoping post, lubricate with 30 weight oil, taking care to inject the oil into the opening between the posts. To help avoid tent damage, immediately remove any excess oil on the external portion of the post.


As for installing a hand crank, I have wondered about that, since if the motor fails it is now out of warranty, but I have talked to people who have over 5 years on their winches and still going. But if (or should I say when) it fails, I will seriously consider a hand crank method. I have seen many use it and it does not appear to be hard to do.

Can't you just install the standard hand winch that comes with some units from the plant? Since dealers add the power winch onto trailers all the time, they must have a supply of hand winch assemblies laying around somewhere.

In fact...first item under FRAME in the parts area for Roberts Sales in Denver. Manual winch is $112.00
Commonly Used Parts for Flagstaff Pop-up Trailers | Roberts Sales

And if you convert to a manual winch....PLEASE take plenty of photos and some good instructions for us, who may follow in your footsteps someday.
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Old 04-14-2015, 10:57 AM   #3
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I have seen post concerning the three zerk fittings but have only found two (too and bottom) on the master tube. Have I missed one somehow?
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Old 04-14-2015, 11:03 AM   #4
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No. I called the dealer about this and he confirmed there are two. I guess years ago, there were three, but three were not needed so they dropped it down to two.
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Old 04-14-2015, 11:04 AM   #5
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I do not understand this.

Lubricate springs annually by raising the roof to the UP position. At each segment of the telescoping post, lubricate with 30 weight oil, taking care to inject the oil into the opening between the posts. To help avoid tent damage, immediately remove any excess oil on the external portion of the post.

Can someone explain? If the roof is up, where are the holes in the telescoping post to lubricate? Are they saying to keep the post lubricated or are they suggesting you try to oil the springs within the telescoping poles? I remember the poles being solid so as to keep little fingers out of the working parts and keep the oily spring contained.
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Old 04-14-2015, 11:11 AM   #6
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Again, I believe it might have been an old design. When the roof raised, I squirt some dry lubricant on the segments of the corner posts, making sure to get it inside the posts. Usually enough play to move them slightly to shoot the lube into and down the segments.
I also use a large piece of cardboard between the posts and the tent fabric.

I also drop the spring conduits down at each corner and, with a small oil can, squirt 30W oil into the conduit to help lubricate the internal spring on each corner.
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Spare TV: Two Alaskan Malamutes

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Old 04-14-2015, 11:36 AM   #7
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"I also drop the spring conduits down at each corner and, with a small oil can, squirt 30W oil into the conduit to help lubricate the internal spring on each corner."

Yes. I will need to do this also. It is also how I understand to lubricate the springs. Never heard of the telescoping post method (if it is even still valid).

I noticed on my new unit that 30W oil leaches out of the conduit. So it was filled up by the factory nicely.

Vin.
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Old 04-14-2015, 11:45 AM   #8
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Don't you have flat telescoping poles at each corner, that raise the Roof?
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Old 04-14-2015, 12:04 PM   #9
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Yes. They are rectangular in shape. I think all the FR pop up's use the same one. Ours should be the same.
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Old 04-17-2015, 12:07 AM   #10
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For those that are faced with a broken lift cable like I had and need an emergency fix, here is what I ended up doing...these are wire rope clips with thimbles. I had just enough cable left on the winch to install these. I had to remove the front bracket and roller as they would not fit though it... and then I had to grab the cable as it passed the front frame and pull it down to keep it from snagging. However, it lifted the top perfectly! It just barely rolled onto the winch based upon the break location. THIS IS NOT A PERMANENT SOLUTION!

FYI...I should receive my new cable tomorrow from Goshen. I also ended up ordering a hand crank winch and handle and another spare cable from them after ordering the cable initially. I will post pictures when I install them.

The only reason I installed the temporary fix is because my youngest daughter and I were going out of town for a soccer tournament and we were going to camp for the weekend, but it looks like those plans are nixed as a big storm is moving in for the weekend...now I can do the permanent fix next week!
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