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Discussion in 'General Camping Discussion Forum' started by Tin_man, Feb 19, 2016.
Does anyone have an opinion about an electric lift in stead of the manual crank?
My viking has an electric lift. (Goshen system)
I really like it. I haven't had any problems with it, other than a switch that the PO wired in.
Are you trying to upgrade a manual lift, or researching for buying a new pup?
Our first had manual crank only and I didn't think an electric lift was necessary. Our second popup has an electric lift (bought the model for other reasons) and now I wouldn't want to go back.
Definitely a good option! Don't really see a downside. If it fails or your boondocking and the battery fails, you still have the manual crank!
Our first PUP had a manual crank, which was pretty easy to raise the roof. Our current PUP has an electric lift, which is OK , but when it fails (from battery drain), it's a beast to crank by hand.
I would be retro fitting our current pup. Thanks for the info.
For some more lift info.
The older I get the more I wish my unit had an electric lift.
I can give you some important info on the electric vs. manual.
I had an electric lift and the motor failed, it would lift for a while, then stop, lift for a while then stop. Finally at one point, during camping, the cable snapped and the roof came crashing down, 4 sad kids, and 1 p'd off Dad. Never fear though, we went to Walmart and spent a $200 to save the weekend.
I contacted Goshen Stamping, who makes 90% of lift systems, according to them, and explained the situation. They stated that the cable failed because the pulley system was not large enough for the popup, and it was causing unneeded stress and weakened the cable. They stated that the pulley's on the electrical systems are not large enough. Now I have seen a Carefree system with a larger pulley and motor, however Goshen recommended a manual lift.
I was able to purchase the manual lift system for around $75 delivered, and it was extremely easy to install, I posted pictures of it here along with a "how-to". What I found great, was it only takes about 2 or 3 minutes to raise the roof because of the gear ratio.
Hope this helps.
Mine has a hydraulic actuated lift system. It's awesome.
I have an electric lift system. The cable system in my camper is basically the old Coleman/Fleetwood whiffletree system and the electric motor is the one that Coleman/Fleetwood used for many years manufactured by Barker Mfg (the guys who make the blue grey water totes). It has a "current limiting motor controller", which is nice in that it stops the roof from lifting or lowering based upon the current draw of the motor and won't let you over-lift your roof. I know some systems have you check the tension of a wire running next to a lift post to make sure you're at the right height.
However, a word on these electric lift systems: they're usually a bit underpowered, so make sure you keep the cable side of your lift system well lubed and in good repair. The only issues I've faced with mine are with the cheap parts used in the cabled controller, but that's cheap enough to make a replacement. I know niagarafam has been running into issues with his electric lift. I think a lot of issues would be solved if the electric motor were "closer" electrically to the battery. These things draw more current than your converter can provide and having the battery at the front of the PUP, the motor at the back, and maybe 10 AWG cabling running between if you're lucky ends up meaning that the IR losses due to the length of cable and peak currents causes quite a voltage drop by the time you get to the motor, which makes it be under much more strain.
With all of this being said, if you're going to do an install yourself, I would recommend making sure your battery is at least a group 27, if not 29 or 31, and that you run as large of wire as you can between the battery and the motor, but be sure that it is properly protected with breakers/fuses as needed to protect the wiring from burning your camper down. If I ever run into "real" lift issues then I'll look at replacing the wiring from my battery back to my converter. For now it's not an "issue" as of yet.
Good luck and please post back letting us know what you decide. And as always, we love pictures and full descriptions here, so if you do an install please show us how you did it so others may learn from your experience.
This looks like a replacement for PUPs with a winch system mounted on the front. Does anyone know of a retrofit for a 2004 Fleetwood (Coleman) Utah with the crank in the back? I'm thinking it would likely be more trouble than it's worth since I'd have to remove the back of the camper to get to it. But, I thought I'd ask
Coleman/Fleetwood used to make an optional electric lift system. There are two varieties. You can still get them both from colemanpopupparts.com, but they are proud of them. You might contact Barker Mfg. as they are the makers of at least one of the variants of it. Somerset picked up the same system and has it as standard on at least the Evolution series.
The power lift motor and gearing is 500:1. The harbor freight electric winch is 501:1 I've seen a few pictures where the poster removed the spool and replaced it with a sprocket to run the chain in the same manner the crank did. A mounting plate for the winch and, sprocket is by far more cost effective than the official system coming in at under $100 vs the way to proud prices.
I did the same last July. Pulled out the electric motor and installed a hand crank and all new cabling. Motor was a pain since the third camping trip when the motor shattered.
Not hard to crank up, by hand, the roof.
When I bought my pup, the hand crank was bunk and the latch would give out without notice. I bought an atv winch and a car battery from Canadian tire, similar to what you can find d at har or freight on sale. I think the whole set up cost me $100 plus a day setting it up. I was able to mount it to the frame in place of the hand crank assembly and use he existing cables and pulleys. Its a great set-up, and super easy to put up. I never actually used the crank as the system was broken when I got it, so I can't compare.
Adrianpglover- do you know what the amp draw is for the lift motor on the somersets? It would think its significant, probably more than the furnace or water pump. But can't find the info anywhere. We boondock a lot and so want to make sure my solar set up can recharge the battery enough for heat, etc.
I think with the cost and install difficulties of an electric lift in a Coleman the best choice is a cordless drill. Even if you have to buy the drill and socket genie just for that purpose.
My drill will raise the roof. You can feel it strain when the wiffle tree is getting dirty and needing new grease.
This is what I'm using on my Coleman, other than I made my own adapter, rather than buying one. Works fine.