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Old 07-19-2019, 07:09 AM   #41
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After one season of limited service, my actuator failed. Despite being stored in a shed, the motor had water inside. Forest River did provide a replacement. Even though it has never gotten wet, (I followed the recommendation to remove it when not using it) it failed to work upon the return from the first camping trip. The fuse shows continuity. Any other possibilities why it isn't working? (I will be installing two gas shocks with OYO's solution.)
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Old 07-21-2019, 09:49 PM   #42
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You state the fuse is OK but you didn't mention whether you checked to see if power was actually available at the actuator.

You can use a DMM to make sure power is available at the connector by having someone press the EXTEND/RETRACT button for you. The voltage should read +12V one way and -12V the other.

If that is bad then I would use a 12V dc source (battery, battery charger or power supply) with some jumper wires to see if the motor runs when connected. If it does then the problem is with the switch circuit in the TT. If not, then you probably need to open the motor housing up to see if the connections to the motor brushes are OK. Not everyone is comfortable doing that so if you aren't ask a friend whose knowledgeable about motors to check it for you. (I'm a retired electrical engineer so I would jump in with both feet but most people are shy about doing that and I understand.)
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Old 07-22-2019, 07:33 AM   #43
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Thanks, Trailer Texan. Will do the tests. Rather nice to have a retired electrical engineer in the loop.
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Old 07-22-2019, 11:39 AM   #44
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I haven't had one fail but like everyone else I am concerned about it. I studied it a little and it seems the main water intrusion point is at the top where the rod enters the aluminum housing.

I had some foam backer rod from Home Depot left over from another project so I used a small piece of that to make a "donut" seal around the rod. I used duct tape to attach it to the housing so that the foam is in full contact with the rod in the hopes that would make a better seal. Or at least an additional one that would provide some help to the factory seal. This is kind of like the tennis ball idea (that OYO uses I think) only it stays in place at the housing. The extra friction is negligible.

I haven't seen any water dripping from the motor/gear housing since I did that but only time will tell if I improved anything.
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Old 08-05-2019, 10:17 AM   #45
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Kayak drip rings would be great for diverting rain water away from the shaft. However, most kayak paddles are larger in diameter than 3/4." hollow pool noodles are usually the right diameter for the actuator shaft. Haven't tried it but it might be the protection needed.
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Old 08-05-2019, 10:32 AM   #46
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Hammock Drip Line Solution

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Originally Posted by LoonCall View Post
Kayak drip rings would be great for diverting rain water away from the shaft. However, most kayak paddles are larger in diameter than 3/4." hollow pool noodles are usually the right diameter for the actuator shaft. Haven't tried it but it might be the protection needed.
I've used a hammock drip line; i.e., small piece of cord tied around the shaft to divert water from traveling down the shaft. Problem is that when you lower the roof the shaft sits tight against its housing. There's no room for a drip line to fit between the shaft and the housing in the closed position. So, you have to remember to remove the drip line each time you lower the roof or risk something catastrophic I presume.
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Old 09-12-2019, 11:10 PM   #47
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Roof Actuator is a Piece of Crap!

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Forest River sent a replacement part for the roof actuator at no charge. Model a214hw roof actuator failed after first season. Easy to replace. 1 nut at the top and another at the bottom, cut the wire and the old one is gone. Use the same brackets for the new actuator. The main difference is there is now a Jack to plug into the Actuator motor. It's the same one used for zamp solar. Rockwood sent me the part. I just pulled out the wires through the hole on the bottom bracket where the actuator is attached. It is connected under the bed and easy to find. I didn't do a very fancy job installing the new zamp outlet. I just left it hanging, which is Rockwood told me to do. Everything works.
I have a 2016 214HW trailer that came with the electric roof actuator. I am now on my third one AND the unit is damnably hard to get up or down when the unit fails halfway!

Yes, the unit is under warranty but I don't have time for this crap on an otherwise great little trailer.

I have changed out the Forest River actuator for a Truck Camper lift jack and I doubt I will ever have a problem lifting the roof again...

I truly hope Forest River's other products are more reliable than their piece of junk roof actuator!?

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Old 09-12-2019, 11:17 PM   #48
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Gerbie53, thank you for this information. I have a 2019 Forest River Flagstaff T21TBHW that I purchased last fall. The lift actuator has already failed & been replaced under warranty. The spec label on the new unit shows 12 volts at 20 watts. That seems rather gutless to be lifting that much weight! It REALLY strains when going up, but comes down quite easily. I usually "help" it lift, which makes me think that a gas strut installed on the opposite side (maybe one on each side?) might help the actuator last longer. I just might add one of these before it fails again. I really don't want to spend $130+ every year or so to replace it.
I have a 2016 214HW trailer that came with the electric roof actuator. I am now on my third one AND the unit is damnably hard to get up or down when the unit fails halfway!

Yes, the unit is under warranty but I don't have time for this crap on an otherwise great little trailer.

I have changed out the Forest River actuator for a Truck Camper lift jack and I doubt I will ever have a problem lifting the roof again...

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Old 09-14-2019, 03:59 PM   #49
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I am also on my third actuator. I have been applying silicone grease around the top where the rod enters with a Q-tip. No problems in the last 2 years. I just re-apply a little grease after raising the roof, only takes a minute. Seems to keep the water out.
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Old 09-15-2019, 11:16 AM   #50
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I am also on my third actuator. I have been applying silicone grease around the top where the rod enters with a Q-tip. No problems in the last 2 years. I just re-apply a little grease after raising the roof, only takes a minute. Seems to keep the water out.
I did much the same with my third actuator. I added a rubber boot off an ATV drive train to the top of the unit and filled it with grease. It did keep the water out but the gear train failed... The actuators are simply badly underdesigned for the task!!

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Old 09-16-2019, 06:55 PM   #51
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I wrote a very nice letter requesting a new actuator on their website. I got a reply that a Rep would get back to me within a couple of days. After waiting 3 weeks, I replied to the reps listed on the email and got a reply the next day.

"Sorry that you are having these issues. I see your unit is out of warranty. Your unit issue would be something that would not be covered under warranty anymore.. I will though send as a good will and no charge and a last time good will ( part only) ."

I replied, for future reference, I would like to know how much an actuator is and do I need to order from my dealer or FR. Also they need to have better parts so FR wouldn't have to replace them and the customers would be happier.

We'll see how it goes.
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Old 09-16-2019, 07:12 PM   #52
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Well that's great news. Mine finally crocked out on Labor Day weekend.
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Old 09-19-2019, 09:50 PM   #53
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I got my replacement actuator today per FR's Last Time good will gesture. The invoice quoted $202.68 but the charge was zero. My wife has an excellent but PIA suggestion, install it only when raising and lowering. Take it off when not in use and store it inside. I look forward to taking the old one apart when I get time.
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Old 09-20-2019, 11:55 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by traveling.geocacher View Post
I got my replacement actuator today per FR's Last Time good will gesture. The invoice quoted $202.68 but the charge was zero. My wife has an excellent but PIA suggestion, install it only when raising and lowering. Take it off when not in use and store it inside. I look forward to taking the old one apart when I get time.
Your wife is a smart lady!

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Old 09-22-2019, 05:50 PM   #55
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Brand new 2019 A213W...actuator failure!

We've only taken our camper out 4 times and we just got stuck with an actuator failure when we were camping. The roof was stuck in the up position. I fortunately had my tools on me and was able to get the actuator off to so that we could drive home. When they send you a new actuator, do they send just the motor or the whole long motor, shaft, etc? ie- the whole system from the top connection to the lower connection. When I removed the upper nut it stripped the threads from all of the corrosion on the nut/stud at the top. Definitely not stainless steel given all of the corrosion for a 4 month old camper! (and yes, power is at the actuator, actuator is locked up solid from what I can tell.)

Thanks for the help.
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Old 09-22-2019, 07:29 PM   #56
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They will send a whole new actuator, including mounting brackets.
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Old 09-22-2019, 10:11 PM   #57
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We've only taken our camper out 4 times and we just got stuck with an actuator failure when we were camping. The roof was stuck in the up position. I fortunately had my tools on me and was able to get the actuator off to so that we could drive home. When they send you a new actuator, do they send just the motor or the whole long motor, shaft, etc? ie- the whole system from the top connection to the lower connection. When I removed the upper nut it stripped the threads from all of the corrosion on the nut/stud at the top. Definitely not stainless steel given all of the corrosion for a 4 month old camper! (and yes, power is at the actuator, actuator is locked up solid from what I can tell.)

Thanks for the help.
Welcome to the world of Forest River roof actuators. My fourth unit (in three years) is on order through my local RV dealer.

bwa
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Old 09-23-2019, 06:15 AM   #58
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The same thing just happened to me after five times camping. They sent me new studs and the actuator and the lift arm. The dealer wanted to make an appointment for me to have them install it but it was so simple that I just went and picked it up and did it myself. Happy camping and good luck
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Old 09-23-2019, 09:47 AM   #59
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@bwallan, thanks for the wife compliment, I told her about the post. AND I totally agree with you.
This is what I got and haven't tried it yet.
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Old 09-23-2019, 10:25 AM   #60
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We have the 2018 model of your camper, the lift went out on it's 3rd trip, just me and my daughter. We had a hell of a time getting that heavy butt roof lifted and the only thing that made it possible is a 24" piece of pipe I keep in my (also) Pathfinder in case I need extra leverage taking off a tire nut. They sent me the new one that is like this, a plug in, so I had to remove the hard wiring, drill a bigger hole, and splice in the receptacle. Caulked behind it before screwing it into the original holes. Looks nice if I do say so myself. I keep the mechanical stuff going around here and kids keep hubby busy elsewhere when I am working on things, lol.
I've currently got cracked sub-flooring I need to figure out. It's always something.
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