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Old 06-27-2017, 08:25 AM   #141
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Hi Mountain Girl
Roof actuators are a problem! I am hoping that all of us here on the forum can collectively come up with a good solution. Kind of frustrating.
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Old 06-27-2017, 12:06 PM   #142
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Sorry to hear about this failure,

as I have been wondering about my installation of the same, and when it might fail.

When I installed it, I looked for weaknesses, and found 2.

1. I put a thin coating of grease around the outside bottom of the moving shaft.
I reapplied some again today.


2. I tightened the 2 screws that hold the top cap on the drive motor housing.
Today I took each screw out, one at a time, and applied sealant to the threads.
Tightened them down good.

I will suggest that water entry into the motor could have taken place from the cylinder
rod seal, especially with the rod extended up and collecting rain water. If the water
seeped through the seal and into the housing, when the cylinder lowered it would have
forced the water into the motor. And/or, if the screws holding the top motor cap were not tight,
water could seeped into the motor via the screws.

My install is still working fine, and using top and bottom limits as hoped for,
although I do assist lightly on the side opposite of the actuator.
And, I am keeping my fingers scrossed all the time.

I might buy a spare actuator, all the same. Since I store the camper in the lowered
position, the corner assist lift springs are probably weakened.

I would also suggest to contact the actuator vendor and explain to see if they offer anything
about the water leakage, as it is advertised as weatherproof.

Good luck, and continue to hang in there...
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Old 06-27-2017, 01:43 PM   #143
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Hi Mick
Those are good things to try. I am not sure what type of seal is in the top where the rod comes out. I was thinking it might be an O-ring. I still have my old broken factory actuator. I think I will take it apart to see what is in there.
The screws on my motor cap were on tight, but there was no sealant around them, and as you know, water can find its way into the smallest of places.
I think I will contact windy_ nation to see what they say.
I hope your actuator holds up better than mine did.
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Old 06-27-2017, 02:03 PM   #144
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Right - the screw threads had some orangish oxidation(rust)

on them, but they were dry. This indicates there was some water seepage through
the screw heads, where there was no gasket or seal.

I used some permagasket sealant in that area.

Guess we are hoping for the best...
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Old 06-27-2017, 02:45 PM   #145
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mick-
I just pulled the top off of my old broken factory actuator. There was a rubber seal just under the metal plate, similar to an automotive axle seal, but without a metal housing around it. This leads me to believe that your suggestion of applying grease in that area is a very good idea. I am thinking that re-applying a little grease around that area each time the actuator is extended or retracted would be good insurance, and not too much trouble. I think I will use silicone grease.
I also believe that sealing the motor cap screw heads may be more good insurance.
Thank you for your suggestions. We will beat this!
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Old 06-27-2017, 04:35 PM   #146
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Further failure investigation

Hi Mick & others
I had re-glued the loose magnet inside the motor housing, and cleaned all of the rust out of the motor. I tested the motor armature for continuity with the brushes. All seemed well. I put it all back together. When I had removed the actuator from the camper it was in the extended position. In bench testing my "fix", I was quite surprised that the motor actually ran and I started to retract the actuator. When it was fully retracted, the lower limit switch didn't work and it jammed tight in the lowered position. Now the motor will not run.
Since it was pretty much crap, I decided to do some further investigation.I pulled the bottom housing off of the gear train. There was rust in the gear train housing, and the water appears to have run out of the place where the wires enter the housing. That may be another potential water entry point. Next I took the screw out of the top and removed the cap where the rod comes out. There is an o-ring in the top cap and it was bone dry, no lubrication. The top cap is plastic and is just pushed into the top of the main body extrusion with no sealant. Another area with great potentential for water intrusion. There was some water in the long body of the actuator so I am sure some got in through the top.
The good news is that the gear train in the windy_nation looks much more substantial than the original factory actuator.
My plan now is to rework my spare actuator by sealing any possible places that water may enter, and use grease where the rod comes out the top. I will try to keep an eye on it and re-seal / re-grease as necessary. I will also keep my fingers crossed as at $90 a pop, this could quickly get expensive!
Thanks again Mick for your suggestions, I think we are on to something.
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Old 07-05-2017, 11:49 AM   #147
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Very interested in this subject

I have an A214HW less than a year old and of course, it has a failed actuator. Same story, rusty inside, cut it loose, tested it and it's dead. I was all set to go the Windy Nation route until I read that that had failed likewise, from the same issue it appears? I'm still thinking Windy Nation is the route I'll go but in scratching my head over all this I have come to a couple of possible "helps" if not outright solutions. One, and this is the one I have thought about the least so shoot it full of holes, please, is to simple mount the unit upside down. This would require wiring differently, either running the wiring up the inside of the rear roof and out to the actuator motor. This, along with good housing sealing, would "appear" to eliminate the funneling effect that the current setup has. Not perfect, but it "seems" it would work?? Second, and this is from a little more studying on it, is to get the new unit and find an accordion "boot", like an offroad shock boot, that would seal the exposed shaft and seal point on the lower end, yet still allow the unit to extend. I haven't researched it but a little, but there appears to be some items on the market.
Thoughts??
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Old 07-05-2017, 12:57 PM   #148
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A214HW View Post
I have an A214HW less than a year old and of course, it has a failed actuator. Same story, rusty inside, cut it loose, tested it and it's dead. I was all set to go the Windy Nation route until I read that that had failed likewise, from the same issue it appears? I'm still thinking Windy Nation is the route I'll go but in scratching my head over all this I have come to a couple of possible "helps" if not outright solutions. One, and this is the one I have thought about the least so shoot it full of holes, please, is to simple mount the unit upside down. This would require wiring differently, either running the wiring up the inside of the rear roof and out to the actuator motor. This, along with good housing sealing, would "appear" to eliminate the funneling effect that the current setup has. Not perfect, but it "seems" it would work?? Second, and this is from a little more studying on it, is to get the new unit and find an accordion "boot", like an offroad shock boot, that would seal the exposed shaft and seal point on the lower end, yet still allow the unit to extend. I haven't researched it but a little, but there appears to be some items on the market.
Thoughts??
Welcome.
I was thinking thinking the boot thing, but had front wheel drive CV joints in my head. Hadn't thought about a shock boot. Good idea.

My windy nation is still working fine. It is far superior to the oem pos. But it is probably just a matter of time before it dies.
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Old 07-05-2017, 02:23 PM   #149
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and the inverted setup?

Other than the wiring issue, that would naturally protect entry points from water, to a greater extent, provided you sealed up the other parts. Speaking of, unless it would trap heat, I even thought about plasti-dipping the entire motor assembly. Just gerbils spinning wheels, I'm a few weeks away from getting my Windy Nation unit.
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Old 07-16-2017, 08:49 PM   #150
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Has anyone considered installing one on each side of the unity?
My actuator has failed after only 3 or 4 uses since I bought it in Jan.
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Old 07-17-2017, 07:02 AM   #151
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dhubbca View Post
Has anyone considered installing one on each side of the unity?
My actuator has failed after only 3 or 4 uses since I bought it in Jan.
I've wondered the same. Why it wasn't designed that way from the start. Putting one on the opposite side would seem to interfere with the channel for the side table and grill on mine.
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Old 07-17-2017, 05:52 PM   #152
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We had a Toyota with a tailgate window and the motor died a couple of times. On the last repair visit to the dealer, the tech told me that the problem was infrequent use allowed the motors to develop rust and buildup that killed them. The fix was to put the window up and down about once a month.

I've used my lift 100+ times and never had a problem. My thought is that maybe infrequent use along with high humidity or water causes a similar problem. I'm in a dry part of NM and use it a lot.
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Old 07-19-2017, 07:34 PM   #153
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I would suggest anyone looking to replace their actuator look at something like this - it is rated IP54.

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The motor is built in.
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Old 07-20-2017, 06:45 AM   #154
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carlsbad View Post
I would suggest anyone looking to replace their actuator look at something like this - it is rated IP54.

Attachment 145374

The motor is built in.
The one discussed in this thread is supposedly IP65. But the built-in motor is interesting.
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Old 07-20-2017, 07:49 PM   #155
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Definitely water getting in our windy nation actuator. These pics shows water draining out both ends. Still works.
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Old 07-27-2017, 09:47 AM   #156
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RE: water in the actuator.

I decided to:

A) Coat the motor with Flex Seal

B) Make a boot/cap to cover the arm

For the boot I used 1 1/2" PVC end cap and a 3/4" rubber grommet. The grommet is a pretty tight fit on the arm which is good for sealing, but is a bit difficult to move on the arm. I used a little grease figuring it would enhance the seal as well as lubricate.

Hard to tell how effective it will be, but I don't see how it could hurt and it cost < $10.
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Old 07-27-2017, 10:28 AM   #157
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Nice job OYO. I had sealed my motor with some vinyl goopy stuff caled Phenoseal, which was not a good choice. It immediately rusted all of the screws, and it turns white every time it rains which says it probably absorbs moisture. I wish I had used something better like Flex seal. I like the boot you made for the top. I had just put some silicone grease around where the shaft comes out and it appears to be working. It just has to be re-applied each time the roof is raised or lowered.
I am thinking of buying another spare actuator and will probably steal your ideas for sealing it up. Thank you for the write-up and pictures.
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Old 07-27-2017, 07:56 PM   #158
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All this compounding of problems

and fixes on top of improvements,
and preventive maintenance on top of fixes and improvements,
has me somewhat concerned.

I have been using grease on the actuator rod, although I have wondered what
happens when the rod raises. That would probably remove most of the "grease seal".

So, I also like Oyo's idea, and will make the same.

We will persevere until we make this perfect. Somebody should, anyway.

Now, I am testing my actuator periodically, just to make sure it is working.

And, given lots of thought to all options, I have a spare actuator on the way.
Just in case...
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Old 07-27-2017, 08:23 PM   #159
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OYO-
Where can I find the rubber grommet like you used in your top cap boot?
Thanks
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Old 07-27-2017, 08:45 PM   #160
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OYO-
Where can I find the rubber grommet like you used in your top cap boot?
Thanks
I got that at Home Depot in the electrical dept, but most any hardware type place should have it.

Being 3/4" it is about 2mm smaller than the 20 mm actuator shaft thus providing a tight seal.

Rained off and on all day today and it seems to be making the water run onto/over the pvc and not down the actuator arm, but who knows.
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