Socket Genie and a drill - to lift large Jayco roof

Discussion in 'Lift Systems' started by benandbobbi, Mar 24, 2016.

  1. benandbobbi

    benandbobbi Member

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    I planned to add to an older thread, but a warning came up and said the thread was old and recommended starting a new one.

    I just want to start out saying, all campers (both human and popup) are not the same. Our camper has a 16' roof with AC on top, and it takes some effort to crank it up, mostly a two handed job. It was the same before I rebuild the entire lift system.

    After reading several threads about the socket Genies working great to lift, I decided to give it a try. I order the 625, because our Jayco uses a square 7/8 socket. I got out my old craftsman hammer drill (not in hammer setting) and nothing, it would not even try. Good news, the socket Genie fits just fine.

    Then I read someone post having a 14' roof with AC and used a 19.2V hammer drill, so I bought this one - http://www.craftsman.com/craftsman-c3-19.2v-lithium-ion-hammer-drill-kit/p-00939016000P?TecPara=181_ . Again no luck with a full charged battery.

    I am going to try another stronger corded drill and see if that works. I will update later. If not maybe a gas powered auger!?
     
  2. friartuck

    friartuck Well-Known Member

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    I use a Milwaukee 18VDC cordless drill for my 12' w a/c roof no problems. Generally it's not the voltage, but the torque the matters. Anything more than 450 in/lbs should be good. Be sure you are on the Hi Torque/Lo Speed setting.
     
  3. benandbobbi

    benandbobbi Member

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    Stopped after work and picked up this drill. http://www.harborfreight.com/12-in-Heavy-Duty-Spade-Handle-Drill-60436.html It didn't have a lb/in rating i could find. The craftsman linked above said 456 lb/in and it would not even try to turn it.

    I was able to lift the top twice. It seems to get tight (even by hand) about 1/2 way up, then gets easier. The drive chuck unscrewed when i tried to lower the top.

    Now the bad news. On the third lift, half way up, something broke and down came the top. The tube that the extends from the winch spins and nothing else. I can pull it in and out a little, and it feels like there is a spring inside it?? There is some sort of screw thing inside the tube. I tightened that and now it makes the clicking sound like the safety is holding, but cable does not move. That is about all i can see through the door opening.

    here is an old picture from when i had the whole thing apart.
    [​IMG]
     
  4. Nandy

    Nandy Active Member

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    sounds like the sprocket in the main crank came undone. I have one like that from a camper I was given that I have yet to replace... When you are using the drill you have to be careful if the mechanism does bind you need to be quick to stop as you dont have the same feedback as with your hand. I think the crank was on its way out then the drill was the last draw... Now you know how hard can a roof come down, make sure you use your safety brackets if you dont have a full door.

    Good luck.
     
  5. SteveP

    SteveP Well-Known Member

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    Just guessing. I've never actually seen the winch in my Jayco.

    There may be a shear pin where the square tube joins the drive gear shaft. The shear pin is supposed to break before damage is done to the main part of the mechanism. This would allow the crank to spin freely but I doubt that it would allow the roof to fall.

    The winch has a clutch that actually holds the roof up when lifted but allows you to lower it by turning the crank against the clutch. It may be worn or just loose. This would allow the roof to fall.

    A call to Jayco cutomer service may help.
     
  6. benandbobbi

    benandbobbi Member

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    i am going to try and reach inside and see if i can see anything with a camera.
     
  7. benandbobbi

    benandbobbi Member

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    I could not see much with the camera. But i was able to convince some friends into helping me lift the roof up on 2x4's to see what happened.

    It turned out that the main cable came apart, shreaded in the middle. Embarrassingly i must say, i did not replace that cable when i rebuilt the rest of the system. It looked fine, its atleast a 1/4" cable, and i would have thought it was way oversized. The rest of the system and cables don't seem to have damage.

    The winch seems to be fine also. There is a screw in the center of the square drive tube that might have spun loose when the cable gave out. If i turn the screw in, the wench works right again. If i turn it all the way out, the handle just free spins. I guess i won't know for sure until i reload it.

    So i think i have nice new coated 1/4 cable in the shed and will run to the store to get some new clamps. I will strip the coating off where the clamp will be.
     
  8. benandbobbi

    benandbobbi Member

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    No luck with the homemade replacement cable. I am sure it is something i did wrong. I used 3 bolt on cable clamps behind the pull plate, and when it went to lift off the 2x4's, the cable pulled right through. I had them as tight as i could turn them. I found a factory style cable online and going to order a new one.

    Looking over the rest of the cables, i still can not see anything that would be making it get difficult half way up.
     
  9. dlane

    dlane Member

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    Have you checked to make sure the telescoping arms aren't bent, or that the springs aren't jammed/stuck? Those, along with the pulleys are about the only thing that can make the roof hard to lift, other than weight.
     
  10. lmmontes

    lmmontes New Member

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    I bought a 1/2 cordless impact from Harbor Frieght to use to lift my roof and had no luck either. Job opportunity for the 15 year old.
     
  11. sawdusty

    sawdusty San Antonio

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    Hi Ben! I have a Jayco as well as my Apache. On the Jayco you should be using aircraft grade cable, but most importantly the is something wrong with your lift system. Even the size and air conditioner on top should not make it this hard to raise and the fact that the cable snapped tells me there is some serious binding somewhere. Can you tell us why you rebuilt the lift system and everything you did when you rebuilt?
     
  12. The Hillbilly Hilton

    The Hillbilly Hilton New Member

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    Didn't work for me either. I even tried a plug in hammer drill with a side handle. I think it is the getting started part that stops it. I have a fiberglass roof with A/C. All winch components are good.

    It is just too heavy to life without human effort.

    However, all is not lost, I still use the socked geni with an electric drill to lower the four stabilizer jacks.
     
  13. benandbobbi

    benandbobbi Member

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    We rebuilt the entire roof. The lift posts were missing the plastic guides on a couple. Not long after we got it home, the rear cables broke - because the left rear pulley failed and was getting grooves cut into it with the cables, until they finally snapped. If I recall, I think one of the springs were kinked, but I don't recall at the moment. Someone previously replaced the front left pulley and used a small bolt, which also failed, and I replaced it.

    I replaced all 4 posts, all 4 springs, and all 4 cables. I replaced both pulleys on the left side. As mentioned, the main cable appeared to be good.

    This is what happens when cranking manually. I get the top about 1/2 way up and it gets more difficult, I slow down cranking and then something makes a noise. To me it sounded like the cable was getting wound on one side of the winch and then the cables pops over to the other side. Then it goes up "easy" again.

    Now that I am typing this, it's sounding like the issues have been with the rear section. Down side, I am the only one in the family that can crank it up, even at the "easier" parts, so difficult to watch what is going on. I will have to call a few friends over to help watch as it gets lifted.
     
  14. benandbobbi

    benandbobbi Member

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    Got the new cable in this weekend. I was able to lift and lower several times by hand. The winch seems to be fine.

    Little discovery about the winch in our jayco, The screw inside the square handle must be so you can free wheel the winch. If there is no tension on the winch, and you keep cranking down, it will unspin the square tube and the cable will move free. I was not able to the square tube to come off, just loosens. You have to crank a whole bunch to get it back on and cranking again. I was not able to turn the screw stopping while cranking up, you have to turn the handle backwards without the top coming down, as if the crank stopped turning. Probably doesn't make much sense, but i tried to explain it anyway.

    I tried the drill once again. I turned the speed way down, which unfortunately turns the torque way down also. By the time it has enough torque to do anything, it is spinning pretty fast again. I was thinking going to fast might have been the issue to begin with.

    Update on the "binding". The noise is definitely the cable winding the second layer around the winch drum and slipping off to start the second row. It get difficult near the top. I originally thought it was 1/2 way up, but it is almost at the end. this is the same time the noise happens. I can recreate it everytime at the same position of the roof going up, by backing down a few turns and going up again.

    I am going to move on from a drill. At some time, i will have to look into adding a winch that has the slower speed and good torque that a drill just can not provide for me. I will most likely be selling the socket jenie also.

    Thank you all for your comments and help.
     
  15. Roux 'b Doux

    Roux 'b Doux New Member

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    I too tried a hammer drill, it didn't want to work either. Then I tried a plain run of the mill cordless drill and it worked fine, except I don't have a Jenie, had to use a spade bit, don't do that! I almost broke my wrist when it got away from me. Brace it somehow or it will be very nasty. I just sit down on a chair, brace it with my knee, bruises a bunch but it works. I will be getting a Jenie.

    Oh, I have a Jay Series 12HW this is a very large popup, about 18' if I remember so the roof it large and heavy, with air-conditioning. Hope this helps somehow.
     

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