Excessive Battery Power to Lift Roof (w/lithium)

Discussion in 'Lift Systems' started by Mike G, Oct 5, 2021.

  1. Mike G

    Mike G New Member

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    Hi all,
    Sorry if this is covered elsewhere but I couldn't find it... I have a 2008 Rockwood 1980 with a Powerwinch 1200lb power lift system (as was standard for that model). There is nothing extra installed on the roof (no A/C, bike racks, etc.).

    I bought this a couple of years ago and during the dozen or so trips the power lift system worked fine (at least as far as I could tell). Towards the end of last year however, the battery had a lot of trouble getting the roof to fully extend. I have a voltmeter on my battery and noted that raising the roof would draw down the volts to low 11s or even 10.9 before cutting out about 2/3rds of the way up. By cycling the toggle switch, it would eventually get all the way up.

    The battery actually went bad on me over the winter (maybe because of the above problem...). I replaced the battery this summer to a fancy new lithium battery. This past weekend was my first time out. Unfortunately, I found the same problem even with the extra power provided by the Lithium. The battery would draw down from 13.6 to less than 12.0 before the BMS cut off power, again about 2/3rds of the way up or so. Toggling the switch would get it all the way up. The battery definitely wasn't dead because without the winch load, the voltage sat at 13.3 and provided us power all weekend (no shore power).

    This past spring, after reading on here, I took apart the housing to clean out any debris, I re-lubed the entire lift system, I reset the limit switches on the motor, and I always ensure the camper is level before lifting the roof. I have used the manual override crank to check for excessive lifting force but honestly, but I don't have any reference to compare against.

    Anyone have any suggestions? Is it normal for the battery to struggle with the roof as the system gets old? I can always step into the camper and push up on the ceiling to give it a little extra assistance, which works fine, but I am worried about the excessive power being an indicator that something is about to break. Everything I read on here is that power lift systems are a pain in the butt, so I know that...

    Thanks!
    Mike
     
  2. Grandpa Don

    Grandpa Don Well-Known Member

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    What winch do you have? I can think of a couple of things that may cause a problem. I had an electric winch on my 2003 Viking with the Goshan lift system that started doing the same thing. After I removed the winch and replaced it with a manual one, I discovered that there was an E-ring that had come off of a shaft in the winch. My guess was that that was causing the main gear to move over and drag on the winch frame when raising. Double check that winch for missing parts or very dirty parts.

    Another thing is to make sure none of the pulleys and cables are damaged or off-track in the lift system.

    And last, I would check for any corrosion in any of the grounds or wiring to the winch and battery. Check all battery wires and inline fuses connections for corrosion. My winch was wired directly to the battery with a separate set of wires. I now use an electric drill to raise and lower my top. It is a lot less stress!
     
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  3. Hilldweller

    Hilldweller Well-Known Member

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    Old or bad wiring can draw more amperage; check for corrosion or sulfate.
    And all that Don said too ---- if your winch is working harder than it should it will eat your battery.

    Also, how many amps is your lithium battery? And do you have the right kind of charger for it?
     
  4. eoleson1

    eoleson1 Well-Known Member

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    In addition to the above, make sure your lift system is properly lubricated.
     
  5. NMroamer

    NMroamer Well-Known Member

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    All excellent ideas from others. My $.02 How big is your battery ? Does it have the ampacity to handle the load.
     
  6. Mike G

    Mike G New Member

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    Answers
    - Goshen Lift System, 2660 series
    - Winch: Powerwinch Motorized Folding Camper Winch with 1200lb Lift Capacity
    - Battery: Dakota Lithium 12v 54AHr, charged using the supplied, lithium dedicated 10Amp AC charger.

    Great suggestions, I'll look all that stuff over this evening.
     
  7. Grandpa Don

    Grandpa Don Well-Known Member

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    Okay, that's good. If you have a Goshan lift system, they are the easiest to troubleshoot. You only have one cable pulley in that system. It will be under the camper in the rear. The single cable goes around that pulley and back into the tube. Sometimes that cable can come off of the pulley and wedge between the pulley and the mount. If that happens and is not fixed promptly, it can damage the cable which would require cable replacement. The pulley can also freeze up. Make sure it is free to rotate.
     
  8. BikeNFish

    BikeNFish Well-Known Member

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    As mentioned by @eoleson1, proper maintenance has a big effect on the lift system. I lube my Goshen each Spring. HERE is just one of many threads on the subject.
     
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