I may very well be done with pop ups after this ....

Discussion in 'Lift Systems' started by Buckmaster81, Jul 31, 2019.

  1. Buckmaster81

    Buckmaster81 Active Member

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    ....And or camping all together

    The saga continues with this thing. My whiffle tree failed, I ordered a new and improved aftermarket one from rvworkshop.com. Worked smooth once. I go to open it today to load up for a trip tomorrow and then it got jammed so tight I couldn’t lower the roof.
    After removing the whiffle tree cover I found metal burrs from the threads which were no doubt what was jamming the draw bar.
    Took the entire thing out, had to also remove the back cover to remove the crank assembly and figure out why it was slipping (new problem caused by the jammed whiffle tree) wire wheeled, cleaned, greased and lapped the draw bar with the whiffle tree rod, put it all back together, reinstalled on the camper.
    I began to crank it up and it went buttery smooth perfect until about 3/4 of the way up and it jammed up tight again. It took me 4 hours to lower the roof to the point I could lock it closed. It’s getting dropped off at a repair shop when I get back from this camping trip that I’ll end up spending in an overpriced rental cabin.

    I’ve had enough. I don’t know where to go from here but I know I’m done laying under a camper in the hot sun and pouring rain. My wife and kids are very disappointed as I cursed at the thing and vowed to sell it but this is not enjoyable in any way. From packing to setup, takedown, and storage, all on top of the maintenance of this flimsy piece of junk, none of this feels like a vacation.
    Maybe I just need to suck it up and pay people to fix my broken stuff, maybe I need to spend more money on a newer camper with a power lift system or maybe I need to get away from camping altogether.
    I’ve never been beat like this before and I fix a LOT of broken stuff.

    End rant, thanks for listening
     
  2. BillyMc

    BillyMc Well-Known Member

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    Sorry you're having problems. I can relate to things not working right or at all for that matter. I've camped all my life, but PUPs are a little different. I didn't really know what I should have been looking at when we bought ours. Missed some things that caused me headaches later. Do the wife and kids enjoy going? If so that's worth a lot of aggravation in it's self. Before giving up on camping try it another way. If a PUP isn't your thing try a hybrid or TT, you have the TV for it. There are plenty of them for rent if you want to try it out.
     
  3. neighbormike

    neighbormike Well-Known Member

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    I would get it repaired and then give it another shot. You may find it's just not the right camper for you... or maybe pups in general aren't the right fit. Keep in mind, though, any camper is going to require work and maintenance - even (sometimes especially) brand new campers!
     
  4. crackerJack

    crackerJack Well-Known Member

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    Sounds awful.
    Definitely not typical though.
    If all pups behaved that way then no one would keep one.
     
  5. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Well-Known Member

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    I would have a mobile mechanic come out and check the lift system completely. I recommend a mobile mechanic because that way you can go through it with them - they may have tricks and tips for the system. You can also watch and learn while they work.

    Then, you need to look at each part of the experience:
    1. setting up and taking down the trailer
    2. the actual camping
    3. the packing and prep
    4. the non-camping storage

    Looking at each on their own, do you love, like, dislike, or hate it. What could've you do to move closer to the "love" side of the scale for each? Then consider how that change would affect the others.

    For instance, a TT may make 1 and 3 better, but 4 worse. Is making 4 worse going to defeat making 1 and 3 better? A power lift popup may make 1 better, but won't change anything else. Is that enough to make camping enjoyable?

    Don't quit while you're frustrated - that rarely ends well. Instead, slow down, breathe, have someone check it out, and do your homework. Then make an educated decision.
     
  6. 1380ken

    1380ken Well-Known Member

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    A lot of it is just luck. Some people will buy the same camper and never have any problems.
     
    HappyTraveler likes this.
  7. daveo1289

    daveo1289 Active Member

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    Sorry to hear that you're having issues. PUP's are a lot of work. Both the maintenance and set-up. The trade off can be many great times with the family. Ours goes back to the early 80's when our children were much younger and got the camping experience. That continues to this day as they both have their own campers and continue to pass the camping on to their children.

    On the lift problem. Make sure that the roof at the top of the lift bars is not completely tight. Let it float a bit. I ran in to this with my last PUP. I found the roof was loose and being the type of guy I am, tightened it. Well, doing that causes the exact problems that you've mentioned. Once I went back and loosened it, the roof went up and down with no problems. Just a thought. Good luck.
     
    HappyTraveler and Michelle S. like this.
  8. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    Whether a popup is for you depends on a lot of factors and not just on your lift. Let’s say for instance your lift system worked do you like, tolerate, or hate anything else about popups? What happened if you went to a TT or hybrid? No lift system to deal with at all, is the work involved with camping still upsetting you? Perhaps trying to rent something different just to get a better feel of how you will like it. its very possible it’s just your popup that is a lemon or that was very poorly maintained and it’s now entirely on you to fix someone else’s mistakes. Vrs a newer popup where any mistakes were on you or the manufacturer. I have an 04 Fleetwood and have zero issues with my lift system. It is heavy and I have to be sure I lube the lift every season without fail, but it’s still going strong. I have other issues occurring due to the poor roof manufacturing, but I knew that getting into it.
     
    HappyTraveler likes this.
  9. JWeible

    JWeible Active Member

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    I definitely feel your pain. We had a pup that we bought used. We camped in it twice and the lift system broke 3 times. We spent $800 to have all the cables replaced, took it camping, and when we got home it broke AGAIN when we were popping it up to clean out.
    At that point we thought we were done camping. I won’t do a TT. We owned one before and it’s just not camping to me.
    This February, we bought a brand new pup at a deep discount because it was last year's model. We know that the lift system will always be maintained instead of its past being a mystery. And, it comes with a lifetime warranty on the lift system.
    Getting ready for a week long trip and couldn’t be happier with our choice!!
     
    HappyTraveler likes this.
  10. J Starsky

    J Starsky Well-Known Member

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    I have a working theory: That if the machines fight, this is because my Machine Karma is off balance. Perhaps it's maintenance of a machine I've been skipping, maybe a car I didn't help a buddy fix, maybe the mower need attention I refuse to give it (stupid valves need adjustments) but if I can find the unbalanced machine, the rest come in line. Machine Karma is real. I swear.
     
  11. GreyFox

    GreyFox Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately you haven't indicated whether you've contacted RV Workshop about the problems you're having. [?:~{] Seems to me there may be other issues with your lift system, perhaps they'd have some ideas.
     
  12. tfischer

    tfischer Well-Known Member

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    I'd bite the bullet and take it in somewhere that can fix it right. Your experience sounds awful, but is not typical of pup ownership. While it seems like I'm always fixing something minor, it tends to be a drawer handle that's come loose, or a seam that needs re-sealing, or on a bad day, my power converter that likes to have components literally fall off the board even though it was brand new about 2 seasons ago. But, knock on wood, the lift system has been solid. Yours can get there too. And I suspect the type of problems I tend to see happen on any camper that goes bouncing down the road.
     
  13. PopUpSteve

    PopUpSteve Administrator

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    Wow, sorry to hear you're having such trouble.
     
  14. Buckmaster81

    Buckmaster81 Active Member

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    I did contact them. She is sending me a new one. I also asked for suggestions as to where else to look for problems. I don’t want a repeat of yesterday.

    I thought I located and checked every pulley. Maybe something else is hiding that I can’t see. Seems unlikely but it’s possible.
     
  15. GreyFox

    GreyFox Well-Known Member

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  16. neighbormike

    neighbormike Well-Known Member

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    Good for you for not giving up just yet! [:)C]
     
    HappyTraveler likes this.
  17. rjhammetter

    rjhammetter Husband, Dad, Engineer & Camper

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    We chose to spend $10k on a brand new Jayco PUP right off the showroom floor (actually, the gravel lot) for a few reasons:
    a) I didn't have the wherewithal and interest in disassembling, repairing and reassembling anything as complex as a Goshen lifter system, especially if out in the woods with few tools and little help.
    b) We wanted to know the maintenance history because there are plenty of war stories here about what happens with unmaintained trailers.
    b) We wanted the warranty so if anything did happen, it would be fixed.
    c) We wanted an electric lift.

    I feel bad for your rotten experience. That is not how camping should feel. There is no reason yours shouldn't be working if all cables and poles and nuts and bolts are aligned as they should be. It could be worse - you could have an failed IDT system. Ultimately, people have a choice to buy a really old PUP for cheap (and pay in elbow grease and headaches) or pay more for a newer PUP with no issues.

    From the looks of your signature, your TV is plenty for a nice TT or HTT. Come to the dark side - way less work and fewer headaches.
     
  18. tfischer

    tfischer Well-Known Member

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    I'm sure your camper will give you many years of great service. But your comments made me chuckle just a little, since the Jayco system is a lot more complex than the Goshen, which is about as simple as lift systems get. :)
     
  19. rjhammetter

    rjhammetter Husband, Dad, Engineer & Camper

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    Up to 2015, Jayco used their proprietary pushrod lift system. I don’t know what it’s called, if it had a specific name at all. The one with the crank in the rear and the remote fob towards the end of the Jay Series run.

    In 2016, Jayco and Starcraft had fully merged, so our Jay Series was essentially a Starcraft Comet in every sense except the name on the exterior. I actually felt a little cheated by this change, because the Jayco design was time tested and backed by a lifetime warranty. Well, ours had the same warranty, because it was still a Jayco, but we ended up with the Goshen, arguably a better system that was easier to fix anyway. There are RV dealers around here who won’t even service Jayco lift systems. Point is, whichever we had, I wouldn’t have wanted to fix it. Ours had electric winch in front, tubular conduits underneath to the posts, the whole shebang. Our PUP was way more Starcraft then Jayco - and I could tell in many other regards too. If you have 7 seconds, google 2016 Jay 1207 and 2016 Comet 1222. Everything from layout to box color are identical. I had to go to the Starcraft website for the owners manual because the one we got wasn’t accurate regarding electric, plumbing or mechanical systems.

    If anyone wants a “real” Jayco PUP, stick with 2015 and earlier for a quality one. Back to like 2007 offers 8 years of good ones.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2019
    tfischer likes this.
  20. tfischer

    tfischer Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the update/correction, didn't realized they had done that.
     

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