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Old 03-17-2014, 01:17 PM   #1
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Power lift and battery charging

The power lift (electric winch) on my pup seems to struggle with lifting the roof and when I get to the top there's slight smoke coming from the winch box. I stopped it when I saw that, fortunately the roof was up at that point.

Bring it down is no problem.

The trailer is new to me and has been unused all winter and not plugged in. I had it plugged into a standard outlet in the garage. The previous owner said he had just packed it with grease and it looks like that's true.

Is the struggling lift related to low power from the house, uncharged battery, or potentially a problem with the winch? I'm just wondering what's normal when plugged into the house.
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Old 03-17-2014, 03:46 PM   #2
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Wow.......... ( I just wanted to throw that in there to rattle your cage) If you still have it up, wipe down the telescoping ends on each corner to clean them of old grease or oil. Then get some dry silicon spray from Walmart and give them a good spray top to bottom........Use a big piece of card board behind them while spraying to protect the tent material. Spray some sort of oil........like fogging oil (30w) down into the hole where they go when lowering. Now once it's all down, underneath there will be a long box looking thing that has the cables that run in tubes to lift and lower the roof of the camper. On each end of this box will be zerk fittings to pump that thing full of grease........if it's empty it will use about a full tube of grease.........Lucas Red and Sticky is good for this. The zerk fittings are located one on top in the rear.........and one on the bottom in the front, keep pumping until you see grease coming out the ends. There may be holes in the tubes as they turn up to pump some grease into for the cables........there may not be there because FR requested to not use them per manufacture.
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Old 03-17-2014, 03:47 PM   #3
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The smoke you saw is the motor drawing too many amps and over heating the wires causing them smoke.
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Old 03-17-2014, 03:51 PM   #4
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Very helpful, thank you! That makes sense. I had to do an image search for "zerk fitting." :-) It's not up right now (stored in my parent's driveway 40 miles away until I find a permanent home for it closer to me) but I'll make sure to do this the next time I open it.

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The smoke you saw is the motor drawing too many amps and over heating the wires causing them smoke.
Drawing too many amps because of the effort to lift, probably due to too much friction that the silicon spray and grease will likely alleviate?
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Old 03-17-2014, 03:54 PM   #5
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How cold was it when you raised it?
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Old 03-17-2014, 03:56 PM   #6
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How cold was it when you raised it?
Once in a temperature controlled garage (65ish) and once outdoors in sunny, 50 degree temps.
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Old 03-17-2014, 04:00 PM   #7
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Once in a temperature controlled garage (65ish) and once outdoors in sunny, 50 degree temps.
At 65 it should no problem but the more it gets cold the harder the motor will have to operate using more amps to raise.
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Old 03-17-2014, 04:04 PM   #8
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Very helpful, thank you! That makes sense. I had to do an image search for "zerk fitting." :-) It's not up right now (stored in my parent's driveway 40 miles away until I find a permanent home for it closer to me) but I'll make sure to do this the next time I open it.



Drawing too many amps because of the effort to lift, probably due to too much friction that the silicon spray and grease will likely alleviate?
So pump it full of grease first before you raise it again. If the previous owner didn't know about the brakes........he may have not known about greasing that once a season. The grease that comes out.......put it on a rag and coat the cable all the way up to the motor to help it wind up easier. That motor uses a worm drive gear to turn the big drum that winds up the cable.......make sure that small box that houses the worm drive is packed with the same red and sticky grease. The dry silicone (CRC brand) makes it easier to keep the tent material cleaner and nicer than oil or grease. Most wet batteries are good for about 4-5 years of normal use.........it may be weak, it may be low on water (distilled water only if you refill the cells)
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Old 03-17-2014, 04:08 PM   #9
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Excellent, thanks both!
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Old 03-17-2014, 04:19 PM   #10
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That same Lucas Red and Sticky can be used on your wheel bearings..........that should be done/or checked about every 500 miles. Check to see if your wheels have a zerk fitting on the end when you remove that cap on the wheel. Pump that in SLOWLY as to not blow out the rear seal..........untill you see more grease pushing out around the zerk fitting.......if you have that type bearing setup. The dry silicon can also be used on the rails and rollers that your beds slide in and out on. Lets go ahead and get this out of the way now........the four stabilizer jacks on each corner of your camper......level your camper first side to side and end to end........then put those down just so they touch the ground. They are not to be used to level your camper.......this will cause your box to twist up and nothing seems to want to fit/work correctly. You want your camper level before raising the roof.
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