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Old 09-03-2006, 03:15 AM   #1
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Hello everyone... I'm new to the forum, this site, and pop-ups.

Here's a lengthy explanation for a problem we encountered the first time out.

- - -

A week ago we took posession of our new Fleetwood Sun Valley. We spent several days planning, weighing and packing to set out yesterday for a nearby Ontario provincial park.

Upon arrival with the trailer levelled left-to-right and front-to-back, chocked, uncoupled and unclipped, I inserted the crank and... nothing. The crank turns freely in either direction and if gentle pull pressure is applied to the crank socket the ratcheting noise can be heard. It appeared that something was disengaged between the crank and the lift system. In multiple setups at home we have never overcranked the top going up or down, and have never had such an issue before.

I crawled underneath and looked at the lift cables - all were taut, suggesting to me that none were broken. We called our dealer - a family business - and although they were closed the owner was there and tried to help over the phone. No joy, though.

After about an hour of trying we decided, disappointed, to pack it in and head home. Just as we were leaving I noticed that the bumper had a circular hole in the centre plugged by a plastic cap. Following an imaginary line through the hole I saw a black metal box bolted onto the frame. By gently pushing in the panel above the box I could see a cog and what appeared to be a chain. The chain was not on the cog.

Here's what I think is going on.

When we bought the trailer we were told that Coleman/Fleetwood trailers used to be cranked at bumper level but that the crank was moved up to waist level for ergonomic reasons.

This would explain the covered hole in the bumper - the original crank location. Though I have not seen any diagrams I am guessing that the orginal crank mechanism remains at bumper level and is connected to the waist level location by a chain. Deduction leads me to believe that that chain has come off due to disconnection or breakage.

I really don't know for sure but it seems possible that if the cover on the bumper-level crank mechanism is removed it may be possible to crank from there - perhaps with a wrench as there is no crank socket. However, with a new trailer that's still under warranty I was not inclined to try. I'll bring it to the dealer at the first opportunity so they can take care of it.

- - -

Does anyone have validation, correction, suggestions, comments?

Many thanks.
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Old 09-03-2006, 03:15 AM   #2
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Hello everyone... I'm new to the forum, this site, and pop-ups.

Here's a lengthy explanation for a problem we encountered the first time out.

- - -

A week ago we took posession of our new Fleetwood Sun Valley. We spent several days planning, weighing and packing to set out yesterday for a nearby Ontario provincial park.

Upon arrival with the trailer levelled left-to-right and front-to-back, chocked, uncoupled and unclipped, I inserted the crank and... nothing. The crank turns freely in either direction and if gentle pull pressure is applied to the crank socket the ratcheting noise can be heard. It appeared that something was disengaged between the crank and the lift system. In multiple setups at home we have never overcranked the top going up or down, and have never had such an issue before.

I crawled underneath and looked at the lift cables - all were taut, suggesting to me that none were broken. We called our dealer - a family business - and although they were closed the owner was there and tried to help over the phone. No joy, though.

After about an hour of trying we decided, disappointed, to pack it in and head home. Just as we were leaving I noticed that the bumper had a circular hole in the centre plugged by a plastic cap. Following an imaginary line through the hole I saw a black metal box bolted onto the frame. By gently pushing in the panel above the box I could see a cog and what appeared to be a chain. The chain was not on the cog.

Here's what I think is going on.

When we bought the trailer we were told that Coleman/Fleetwood trailers used to be cranked at bumper level but that the crank was moved up to waist level for ergonomic reasons.

This would explain the covered hole in the bumper - the original crank location. Though I have not seen any diagrams I am guessing that the orginal crank mechanism remains at bumper level and is connected to the waist level location by a chain. Deduction leads me to believe that that chain has come off due to disconnection or breakage.

I really don't know for sure but it seems possible that if the cover on the bumper-level crank mechanism is removed it may be possible to crank from there - perhaps with a wrench as there is no crank socket. However, with a new trailer that's still under warranty I was not inclined to try. I'll bring it to the dealer at the first opportunity so they can take care of it.

- - -

Does anyone have validation, correction, suggestions, comments?

Many thanks.
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Old 09-03-2006, 12:07 PM   #3
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Sorry your first camping trip turned out to be a bust but taking back to Dealer should asure you of many happier moments. Don't feel slighted even some of the bigger MH's have problems on their first time out.
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Old 09-04-2006, 07:38 AM   #4
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Hi 007,

Despite the disappointment we are still very enthusiastic about camping. Our dealer has been nothing but helpful and I'm confident that we'll be up and running early this week - we have another booking this coming weekend!

Thanks for the positive thoughts.
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Old 09-05-2006, 06:51 AM   #5
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An update...

I brought the trailer into the dealer this morning and the tech I spoke to was flabbergasted. Ten years in the business and he has neither seen nor heard of a crank chain breaking.

We've been promised a fix well before the weekend comes - good thing too 'cause we're heading out again on Friday.

Take care,
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Old 10-02-2006, 09:28 AM   #6
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JD i read your plight and was woondering what was the final outcome i know you brought back to the dealer, but alot Fleetwood owners would like to know if any other owners with the new crank up location is haveing problems and if this is going to be a problem with the new system seems like fleetwood maybe in for alot problems if all they did was add another chain to existing system seems like a accident looking to happen
like to know what fleetwood had to say to the dealer ??? did you have dealer notify them i think they should pay for your lost weekend and inconvenience?? good luck
jerry
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Old 12-04-2006, 04:28 PM   #7
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We had a 99' Coleman Pop-up (Cheyenne model) that I thought I would be smart and sprayed a little lub into the bumper mounted crank hole. Big mistake. The next time out it wouldn't crank up. Here, there is a corkish type washer think in the crank box that friction is needed to start the cranking process. With the lub it just kept slipping. I had to drill out the rivets to the box and wipe off the lub I had put on. I think shortly after the 99' models they went to a higher mounted crank location. I'm looking at a 05' catalog now and on page 10 it shows a good picture of the crank box and chain without any walls on the trailer. Well just like a bicycle chain they do break or come off the sprocket. What Coleman should do is still have the opening in the bumper so just in case that chain would break you would have another option to open up your trailer. It would be bad if you were on a long vacation and this happened. So let us know what happened????
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Old 01-11-2007, 05:44 PM   #8
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This post caught my eye. We have a 2007 Fleetwood Utah and had problems with the lift system also. We were on a long trip (VA-NM-WY-VA) and out about 1500 miles from home when the ratchet assembly would not catch. It would crank up, but would fall like a rock if I let it go. It also 'seemed' heavier ... that could have just been an impression. I messed with it for awhile trying to get it to work and then out of frustration just cranked it up. About 3/4 of the way to the top the ratchet started to work. I did not feel very comfortable getting in the camper and slept better that night being out on the wings. I have to take it in for some warranty work and plan to have it looked over at that time. Interestingly enough, the top does not seem to go all the way up ... I have to push up on the inside to get the last inch so that the door can be put in place.

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Old 01-11-2007, 07:58 PM   #9
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There was a lenghty thread on this about 2 years ago. We had a Coleman Bayside and I had the same problem , I turned the crank no noise and if I let go it dropped like a rock. I did something most guys don't do , and that was read the book. I noticed a small line that said. If the locking mechanisame dose not click crank the top all the way to the top and then to the end and it should work. It Did.......
I cranked it all the way down and then back up and it was fine. I talked to the guys at our dealer and he told me he thinks it comes from cranking down to far and leaving it for a month or so or just a day on the road and the locking mech. gets stuck, once its freed its ok I was told that once it is engaged it will not come down unless you crank it.

Have fun......
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Old 01-13-2007, 02:50 PM   #10
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That same thing happened to me early on with our 99' Coleman. The dealer said not to crank it down the last inch. Once it stops lowering then you stop cranking. Never had a problem again. I guess its just one of those things......
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Old 06-14-2007, 06:15 PM   #11
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Thank you all!!! We are preparing to take our Fleetwood for our 5th camping trip and while preparing to pack it the crank quit working. I tore apart the crank casing under the trailer and while trying to find a photo of the mechanism on-line I stumbled onto this forum. I cranked it all the way up and low and behold it works. My family thanks you all so much.
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Old 03-24-2009, 08:24 PM   #12
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Just a quick note to all the Coleman owners-- the lift systems are warranted for life to the original owners of the unit.
Remember this when planning any repairs.
This doesn't cover abuse by the customer- and its easy for the dealer to see if it's abuse or just a defective part.

Good luck
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Old 06-20-2010, 02:56 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kablewizard View Post
There was a lenghty thread on this about 2 years ago. We had a Coleman Bayside and I had the same problem , I turned the crank no noise and if I let go it dropped like a rock. I did something most guys don't do , and that was read the book. I noticed a small line that said. If the locking mechanisame dose not click crank the top all the way to the top and then to the end and it should work. It Did.......
I cranked it all the way down and then back up and it was fine. I talked to the guys at our dealer and he told me he thinks it comes from cranking down to far and leaving it for a month or so or just a day on the road and the locking mech. gets stuck, once its freed its ok I was told that once it is engaged it will not come down unless you crank it.

Have fun......
Tried it and it worked.

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