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Old 07-06-2013, 09:26 AM   #1
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Popup Electric Winch Motor Repair

If some of you have experienced failure of your popup electric winch (Carefree 55000), maybe this will help. I assume you know about the backup 7/16" bolt head embedded in the grease on the motor side of the winch. Note that is ONLY a 1/4" bolt and will shear off instantly if your motor is frozen, so before using your powerful drill on it, make sure it will turn. You don't have to make your own mistakes: learn from mine.

First, a description. This winch has a small electric motor with a small worm gear screwed onto the upper end of its shaft and spot welded to keep it in place. That worm gear meshes with the winch large gear and turns it, raising or lowering the camper top. The other end of the worm gear has the 1/4" bolt with the 7/16" hex head screwed into the worm gear and spot welded to keep it from unscrewing. Thus, when you turn that bolt with your drill or other means, you are turning the motor shaft and are operating the winch either up or down.

My motor was ineffective before becoming frozen. Would not raise the top very far, but then over the winter it froze up completely. Thus, in a bind, I had to do something. I ordered a new winch but needed to set up the camper for incoming family. So I took off the motor, disassembled and cleaned it, and solved my problem. You'll probably want to scoop out as much of the grease as possible at the top end of the motor, and note the metal bracket held on by the motor mounting bolts is necessary to hold the grease.

1. Two long 1/4" bolts hold the motor to the winch frame and also hold the motor ends together against the motor's mid-section, which is just permanent magnets. You can see these after getting all the grease out.

2. Remove the two bolts and disconnect the two wires, noting where/position of attachment of these wires. Mine connected with 2 other wires (mismatched colors) with small bolts and taped connection.

3. Mark the position of both ends of the motor relative to the mid-section, and then separate the bottom motor end from the mid-section. This is most likely where your problem is. I had to put penetrating lube on mine to get the shaft to come loose from the bearing on this section.

4. Clean all the gunk and goop and dirt and whatever out of the motor's end. The brushes are in this and need to move freely so they will contact the armature.

5. The armature is on the back end of the shaft and needs to be cleaned down to the copper. It's most likely black with corrosion and crud. Try to get it cleaned smoothly down to the copper so the brushes make good electrical contact. Note: you can pull the shaft out of the midsection, but it will resist due to the strong magnets in the mid-section.

6. Once it is cleaned, put a small amount of lubricant on the shaft or bearing, reassemble making sure your marks match and the tiny position notch on the ends match the mid-section.

7. Hold it together and reattach to the winch frame with the 2 bolts, remembering to reinstall the metal bracket that holds the grease.. Connect the wires and try it. Worked like new for me...but since I've already received the new winch now I'll swap it out. Be sure to fill it back up with grease if it works good for you.
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Old 07-07-2013, 08:06 AM   #2
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I'll have to check the make of mine. Thanks for posting.
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Old 07-12-2013, 10:01 AM   #3
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I am about to purchase a 2014 Rockwood 2560G and now I am concerned about the lift motor. Do these motors have a history of breaking down? I do not understand the "backup bolt head" and could not do a repair like you described. If the electric ever did freeze up I could still hand crank it correct?
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Old 07-12-2013, 10:56 AM   #4
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No, if the motor freezes up you are unable to lift the top--PERIOD. If the motor just "quits" electrically, but the shaft would still turn freely, then with the bolt backup you'd be able to crank it manually...but, evidently it is an "hour long" job (30 min plus I read from some) to hand crank it. I think the motor is 6000 rpm, and takes 30 seconds to crank it up or so...so you'd be cranking by hand 3000 rounds with the crank handle. Therefore, it is recommended that you carry an electric drill with a 7/16" socket. Mine is a 2005 model..bought used, but used very little. I bought the entire winch replacement on Amazon for about $225. After getting the new one which does not have an access hole for the backup in the cover, I'm thinking they may not come with one and you'll have to either remove the cover of the winch or cut your own with a hole saw attachment. Get your dealer to show you. I'm hoping the new winch will last longer than the old one as I am planning to make sure it has enough protection from the dust the tow vehicle will be throwing at it as well as the elements when it is parked. I've had hand crank popups before and never had any problem getting them to work, and don't think it would be a problem with this kind either if it's an option. These are just a bit more luxurious and thus have more bells and whistles, which isn't always a good thing. As far as the elec. winch history, it's only the problems you hear about (like mine). It's made by Powerwinch, and sold by Carefree in Colorado. Some folks may never have a problem with it. I'd be glad to answer any other questions I can help you with.
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Old 07-12-2013, 11:58 AM   #5
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My winch was not working at all. The battery had good power. It ended up being a fuse underneath the lower pan under the winch. I would have never known it was there if I hadn't found this article. I have a Rockwood Freedom.
http://robertssales.com/articles_tut...ked_winch.html
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Old 07-21-2013, 04:35 AM   #6
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Thank you for that link
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Old 07-29-2013, 03:20 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zzzzzzz View Post
Thank you for that link
ditto!
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Old 09-15-2013, 07:34 PM   #8
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Does anyone know where I could get new brushes or a replacement motor. I have a Flagstaff 425D popup. Jim
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Old 09-15-2013, 09:31 PM   #9
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Popup Electric lift motor

I could not find one. Checked with Carefree who sells it, and the manufacturer. Both told me no parts are available. I ordered one online off Amazon for a little over $200 w/free shipping. It might be that an electric motor repair shop would be able to get the parts you need. I just think it's pretty lame they don't make available repair parts.
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Old 09-16-2013, 05:36 PM   #10
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I don't know if this will work on your trailer but it works beautifully on mine. I went to Harbor Freight and bought a 2000 pound atv winch and installed it myself. I have a 176ed. which is probably smaller than yours. The winch comes with all the parts you need to get the job done. Only had to drill six holes. Did it all for under $100.00 dollars. My trailer came with a hand crank winch. You might want to check it out.
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