Can we make the problem worse? Roof issue

Discussion in 'Lift Systems' started by Purplyn, Jul 25, 2019.

  1. Purplyn

    Purplyn New Member

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    Help!! I need to problem shoot our issue and resolve in less than 24 hrs or we have to cancel our trip!! This post seems to be exactly the problem we are having now. We are on a time crunch and this happened at the worst time! I have one day to fix this or else we have to cancel our 1st camping test run trip!

    2008 fleetwood Saratoga

    Problem: manual crank on PUP. Roof won’t stay in place if we don’t hold crank still. It would drop shut if we let the crank go. We didn’t hear any thing pop up or slip out. Not sure what led to this. We had it sitting open. Then closed to up, when it was almost closed, we had to relict roof to restuff parts of canvas in. We lower it again. But needed to lift it up again to stuff other parts of canvas. But this time, it wouldn’t stay where we left the crank. It kept wanting to shut unless we hold it.

    I have searched and found 3 possible fixes.

    1- We will give the “slightly over cranking” it open.

    2- “slightly over cranking” it closed.

    3- putting some heavy weight on top of roof and then trying to open and close.

    However, my husband is worried it could make things worse if that’s not the problem. So what is the risk with giving this “slightly over cranking” method a try?

    A- if we actually have another problem (but don’t know) and try this method of “slightly over cranking”, could it make our original problem worse and cause more damage? How can you tell if you have a different issue that could be exacerbated by trying the “slightly over cranking” method? The person who sold is the PUP said to not over crank when opening or closing, which we do not think we did to cause this issue but some of the resolutions to this issue seem to call for “slightly over cranking”. If there is a bigger mechanical problem, what are things to look for to try to figure it out? Can anyone safely say, if it’s a bigger problem, trying the “over cranking” method won’t make things any worse, so therefore, you have nothing to lose to try this first?

    B - can we macgyver it and get wood 2x4 to hold up roof just so we don’t have to cancel trip? Are we crazy to try to do this and therefore, it’s too dangerous to try to hold it up this way if the “slightly over cranking” doesn’t solve it? —unless we can find a way to secure the wood pieces without them slipping and causing roof to crash down while we are in it!! Any temp fixes so we don’t need to cancel our trip?
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2019
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  2. joet

    joet Well-Known Member

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    To begin with the roof should have supports to keep it from falling. Yes, you can use 2 2 X 4's tied to lift arms on diagonal corners to hold it up, even if over cranking solves the problem
     
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  3. Purplyn

    Purplyn New Member

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    Thank you Joet!! I’m feeling hopeful we have a backup plan that would allow us to still take our trip even if we can’t fix it!! Do you have any precautions on potentially doing more harm to the pop up lift system if we try the over cranking method. My husband is worried the cable can snap.
     
  4. bols2Dawall

    bols2Dawall S.W. Ontario

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    You need to tell us what your PUP is , there was someone recently whose Coleman was doing the same thing , the pawl was gunked up and not clicking on the way up . He removed the gunk , greased it up and all good . I think , not sure , that the overcrank method is only used on the Coleman/Fleetwood models .
     
  5. Shaman1

    Shaman1 Well-Known Member

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    Yes you can use supports to salvage your trip. When I replaced the whiffletree on my Coleman, I made them out of 3 inch PVC pipe. They get secured in place with cheap mini bungee cords. Like bols2Dawall said, it would help us help you if we knew what camper you have.
     
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  6. Purplyn

    Purplyn New Member

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    Thank you Joet!! I’m feeling hopeful we have a backup plan that would allow us to still take our trip even if we can’t fix it!! Do you have any precautions on potentially doing more harm to the pop up lift system if we try the over cranking method. My husband is worried the cable can snap if we

    2008 fleetwood Saratoga. Thank you!
     
  7. Purplyn

    Purplyn New Member

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    I edited the post to add: 2008 fleetwood saratoga
     
  8. eoleson1

    eoleson1 Well-Known Member

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    Just a suggestion, if you click on your name in the upper right corner of this window, then choose "signature," you can add details about what camper you have and what you tow it with. It might yield more accurate answers to your questions.

    Good luck with the pop up!
     
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  9. Purplyn

    Purplyn New Member

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    Hi! Thank you for the suggestion. I added my signature. Hopefully it will show up.
     
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  10. GreyFox

    GreyFox Well-Known Member

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    Posting the same questions in more than one forum only makes it more difficult to assess the suggestions you receive.

    http://popupportal.com/threads/lift-system-issue-on-2000-coleman.124882/#post-1292776

    In fact, the suggestion that you should add more weight to the roof is ridiculous - your roof is rated to support no more than 150 lbs when elevated, no more than 300 lbs in the travel mode. There is no such thing as "over cranking" the lift system with the roof in the down position - in fact, once you feel slack in the system you want to give it a 1/2 crank or so (as if you were going to crank the roof up) in order to remove any slack in the lift cables. Read my post in your other thread and you'll have the answers you need to your issue.
     
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  11. Dingit

    Dingit Well-Known Member

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    The door and the bathroom walls will also serve as extra supports, or really more of an extra safety measure to keep you from being flattened if the roof comes down once you're set up. :)
     
  12. durhamcamper

    durhamcamper Active Member

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    I had the exact same issue on my pup yesterday. Decided to give the drill a try to lift the roof instead of manual cranking......but had the drill in reverse by accident. Torqued the closed roof system and when I realized the problem and put the drill in the right direction there was no clicking and the weight of the roof was no longer being supported by the braking system or pawl. My heart just sunk.....we are supposed to be heading away tomorrow. My first thought was "how do I even get access to the mechanism to attempt a repair? Do I need to drill out the rivets and remove the ABS panel? My older pup (a Dutchmen) has a goshen lift which is easily accessable......Fleetwood, not the case.
    After a couple of choice words, I came in and accessed the portal and went directly to the Lift System area and started searching. Found someone who had previously had the same problem and suggested raising the roof completely (being careful not to let it drop back down while doing so) and once it reached the top, slightly overcrank and the pawl will re-set itself. Well.....what did I have to lose at this point....I had already resigned myself that I may have to dissemble my pup to fix it anyway.
    So with a hopeful heart, went out ant manually cranked the roof up. I hit the top and it stopped. I slightly overcranked......nothing. So I cranked even harder (carefully if that's possible). There was a clunk felt in the crank and the roof dropped about 1/4 inch. Success! System reset and is now working again!
    Thank god for this forum and the people who post here !!!!
     
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  13. durhamcamper

    durhamcamper Active Member

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    Disagree with this statement. On a Goshen lift I agree but not a Fleetwood lift. I can't explain how this could be but just had this exact thing happen yesterday.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2019
  14. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

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    Coleman/Fleetwood campers never came with supports due to the design of the lift system. A properly working lift system cannot fail while up, only during the operation of cranking up or down.

    @Purplyn , no need to cancel your trip. If your lift is broken and can't be repaired in time, you can use supports to keep it up. For the first year we owned our current camper, the lift didn't work properly. We would leave the crank in place, and tie off tightly to the bumper so it couldn't move. Then, we put angle iron on all for posts (overkill, you only need two.) Angle iron is sold in the exact length you need, no cutting needed. We just cleaned it well, as it's sold covered in grease, then spray painted with Rustoleum. We also used cable ties to hold the angle iron in place, on each lift post, but really didn't need to.

    Lengths of wood can be used, too. I just bought angle iron as it blended in with the posts and looked neater. We weren't planning to replace the lift system until the following year, and didn't want to lug around boards that long.
     
  15. GreyFox

    GreyFox Well-Known Member

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    You're misunderstanding my statement, my point being there is no need to continue cranking the roof lower once you sense slack in the system. In fact it's good practice once the cables have slacked to crank it back up at touch to remove any of this slack and thereby prevent the cables from slipping off any of the pulleys.
     
  16. SpecialGreen

    SpecialGreen Member

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    I'd agree that a single broken cable cannot bring the roof down on Coleman/Fleetwood with wiffletree. On 2002+, if the chain between wiffletree and clutch breaks, then it's just like if you started to crank down, then walked away: the roof could lower (but probably very slowly). The door should stop it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2019
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  17. Purplyn

    Purplyn New Member

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    So thankful I found this forum too! I’m still reading through all comments but wondering about the extra cranking. Would you say it was an extra 360 rotation every time you did it? Or 180? Trying to get a sense for how much is “slightly more” so I can lesson my husbands sorry that things can break if you extend too much.
     
  18. durhamcamper

    durhamcamper Active Member

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    I would say it was roughly an extra 1/4 turn....so approx 90 degrees....then boom. Scared me actually but when the roof held on it's own I was ecstatic! Tried up and down afterwards and everything back to normal.
     
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  19. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    Look at it this way, it dosent work now right? How much more can you break it? Broke is broke. There are instructions i belive in the owners manual, but they probably are worse and more vauge then the ones here!
     
  20. Purplyn

    Purplyn New Member

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    Thanks GreyFox. Agree with keeping in one thread. I originally replied to an existing post and it was an after thought to post a new thread.

    I did check our manual - my version has it on page 28 : ) and found the section for the lift which stated exactly what you said. Fingers crossed!! We will known within an hour when he comes home to try the crank approach. My husband does not want to go unless the lift mechanism is working as designed but I’d hate to cancel!
     
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