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Old 04-28-2014, 04:08 PM   #1
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Rockwood power roof winch

I have a 2010 Rockwood Freedom M-190XR. It is equipped with the PowerWinch P55000 for raising and lowering the roof. The winch labored going up and tripped the thermal switch several times. I greased the center tube and lubricated the corner post per the manual and greased the worm gear. This seems to help, the winch no longer throws the thermal switch, but I not a big fan of the whole design/setup.

I am planning to purchase a Warn 2000# ATV winch and mount it to the C channel on the front of the ATV deck. The M-190 is a 10' box with a 4' expanded metal ATV deck. The roof has an AC unit and Fantastic Fan.

The yellow sticker shows dry weight at less than 2500#'s. The P55000 manual states that the roof weight should be less than 800#'s. I am guessing that the roof with AC is less than 25% of the total camper weight.

Opinions/experiences on whether the 2000# Warn winch will be sufficient?

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Old 04-28-2014, 04:20 PM   #2
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Are you on shore power or only on battery power? Is battery fully charge. A low battery will make the motor work harder increasing required amps to operate.

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Old 04-28-2014, 04:24 PM   #3
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I was on a 1000 watt generator through a grp 24 battery.
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Old 04-28-2014, 04:41 PM   #4
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Hum, our Powerwinch does not have a problem lifting the roof. We have a 2010 rockwood hw277 with an air conditioner. It struggled when we had a bad battery, but once the battery was replaced has been working fine. Before replacing the winch, I would get the battery checked.
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Old 04-28-2014, 05:21 PM   #5
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Checking battery would be good but I would also check the contacts at the battery, splices, fuse, and motor contacts. Any oxidation will cause some loss of conduction.
The worm gear should be covered in grease and watch for filings and wear in this area.
Additionally you can purchase a hydraulic system to lift with a small ram, pump, and reservoir if you wanted a replacement lift unit.
Have you checked the spring tubes and bottom cable assembly for grease as well? Even a bent tube would cause a problem.
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Old 04-28-2014, 05:22 PM   #6
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I had a 2280BH...more or less same setup. After two years I began to worry about the whole winch lift thing. It never really gave me any problems, but it seemed like it was working harder than when new. I greased the whole thing at least twice a year also. It might have been my imagination. Right before I traded it in, the roof quit working..kept tripping the thermal. Then I realized that the battery boxes were off and in direct was overheating the breakers.
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Old 04-28-2014, 05:47 PM   #7
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The cables, springs and post are well lubricated. I bought the unit used, and it wasn't well maintained, but that's been fixed. The winch will now lift the roof, it sounds like heck, but it will lift it.

I don't like the vertical motor mount with the worm gear transition to the wire spool. I realize that it had to be done that way to fit in the frame yolk for most campers. In my case there's large opening between the ATV deck and the propane/battery deck. The ATV winch can be mounted to the end of the ATV deck with out an inflection in the cable. Seems like a no brainer, weather proof, heavy duty winch built for outdoor applications at $200 versus this motor with a glob of grease that needs to be replenished every 6 months and seems to be on it's last legs.
I can't find a real rating for the PowerWinch, it's marketed by Carefree Colorado and their specs are terrible.
We always dry camp, often boondocking, the last thing I want is a half raised roof 10 miles from pavement. The winch has a manual feature, a 7/16th's bolt that most say will be sheared off on first use.

I don't have any experience with power lifts, frankly would really just like a manual crank. I do plan to add 2 T105's to the top deck with either a single or dual propane tanks. Not sure how the manual crank could be integrated, hence the idea for an ATV winch.
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Old 04-28-2014, 06:02 PM   #8
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ATV winch would work for sure but a 2000lbs winch... I would be concerned about pulling the lift system apart under the trailer if something ever had a binding issue and then your problems are huge. Often seemingly weak points like the factory winch are engineered that way as a safety. Also it would increase the chances of over extending the roof.
I see what you mean financially and mechanically it makes sense. But if you just want an affordable fix then simple boat winches are cheap, easy to install, and you can feel if something starts to bind somewhat.
Whatever you choose to do please share here as my own power winch is getting old and I've been looking into replacement options.
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Old 04-28-2014, 06:27 PM   #9
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Hum, good points, the roof has a green over extended cable next to the street side front post. I use it for "is it high enough". I don't know if the over limit switches are set correctly. I just let the roof down until it's flush and the cable is slack.

A buddy is a ME, I'll buy him a beer and see what are his ideas. The over torque potential is troublesome, I was only thinking about it for "enough" capacity.
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Old 04-28-2014, 08:33 PM   #10
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I will agree that the motor, even when my 228BH was new, sounds like it is laboring. In fact, during the familiarization demo with the dealer I noted that, and he said they all sound that way, but are very reliable. (On my second trip, the main sprocket shattered, and per the dealer I took it to, and FR, it was something they had not seen before. Probably just a bad sprocket, so far it works ok when power is available.)

However, I can attest that the roof will raise with the 7/16" 3/8" socket; done it quite a few times with no problems.

First time, was in a campground and could not connect the generator, and that is when I found out my new TV had not had the power wire connected to the trailer. My Dewalt and the socket raised the roof with no problem, other than taking possibly five times as long to raise it, even with the drill.
I have also used the drill a few times out where I store the trailer. Rather than lug a battery out to the trailer, I just use the Dewalt and the socket (with short extension) and no problems raising or lowering the roof.
I do make note to pump in plenty of high pressure lithium grease over top of the bolt after use, as recommended by the manufacturer.

I will say that if I ever order a new popup, I will NOT get the power winch. Manual with a drill motor will be fine for me.

Trailer: Lifted 228BH, heavy duty springs and Yokohama tires DELAMINATED ROOF
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