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Author Topic: Strange/dangerous winch issue  (Read 1381 times)

cabranch47

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Strange/dangerous winch issue
« on: May 20, 2016, 09:55:31 AM »
My camper is stored in our driveway, covered. This morning I came out and found the winch running wide open. Some how it activated in the up mode. I pulled the battery cable to stop it. The camper was locked down and it broke the cable (thought it might have blown a fuse before that happened). This could have been potentially dangerous if I had been working on it or while camping.
Has anyone had/heard of this happening? The winch is the newer model, about 2 years old and used on two trips (1 month and 2 months) without incident. I don't know if the switch shorted out for some reason or maybe one of the relays malfunctioned. I have not had a chance to see if anything else is damaged but I know I will need a new cable at least. This is the Goshen System. Can anyone help with locating a new cable and how to install it. I would also like the name of the winch manufacture as I would like to report it to them. I am just glad that it did not happen on the road. Thanks for any input that you might have.
2009 Flagstaff HW27SC

Rene T

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Re: Strange/dangerous winch issue
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2016, 10:35:12 AM »
What do you mean by a "winch"?  Is this the motor for a slide?
Rene & Lucille & co-pilot Buddy
AKA  Pep N Mem
2011 Chevy Duramax 2500 HD 4X4
2011 Montana High Country 343RL
From the Granite State of NH
& Florida Snowbird in Lakeland FL

Alfa38User

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Re: Strange/dangerous winch issue
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2016, 10:45:23 AM »
René, This trailer appears to be a pop-up tent trailer and perhaps uses an electric winch to raise the fiberglass top as opposed to a hand crank. Can't help with this myself as my popup was all tent, and was raised by hand (a long time ago now!!!).

To the OP, you might try here for parts and instructions: http://www.popupparts.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=4_9
« Last Edit: May 20, 2016, 11:02:01 AM by Alfa38User »
Stu
Montréal, Canada 🍁
Snowbird, Naples Florida
Alfa Gold 38 (2000) 5ver (parked!)

"Of course I talk to myself, sometimes I need expert advise!!!"

cabranch47

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Re: Strange/dangerous winch issue
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2016, 11:09:50 AM »
Thanks for the replies.  It is a Flagstaff HW27SC  Pop up trailer. Thought that was in my signature, sorry.
2009 Flagstaff HW27SC

Rene T

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Re: Strange/dangerous winch issue
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2016, 11:14:52 AM »
René, This trailer appears to be a pop-up tent trailer and perhaps uses an electric winch to raise the fiberglass top as opposed to a hand crank. Can't help with this myself as my popup was all tent, and was raised by hand (a long time ago now!!!).

To the OP, you might try here for parts and instructions: http://www.popupparts.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=4_9

I missed that Stu. Thanks. Also our first RV was a pop up and back in the early 80's with a manual crank. I didn't know they came electric today.
Rene & Lucille & co-pilot Buddy
AKA  Pep N Mem
2011 Chevy Duramax 2500 HD 4X4
2011 Montana High Country 343RL
From the Granite State of NH
& Florida Snowbird in Lakeland FL

driftless shifter

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  • A Luddite with a stupid phone
Re: Strange/dangerous winch issue
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2016, 02:03:27 PM »
Did you get any wind blown rain?

Bill
Bill & Nan
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93 bounder 34, chevy chassis
couple of aircooled vw's, 1 fast(sold), 1 reliable(sold).  Dubless : (
USN '76-'80, 1 boat, USS Blandy, DD 943.
I'm an analog guy in a digital age.

cabranch47

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Re: Strange/dangerous winch issue
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2016, 10:37:37 AM »
The camper has been parked/covered since November of last year.  I had just serviced/charged the battery about a week before.  We have a large lot, 360' driveway, and watch dog.  I don't believe anyone tampered with it.  I went out yesterday and touched the cables to the battery, winch started running by itself again.  I took the winch off and tried it on the workbench.  It worked as it should, up/down with the switch. I even dipped the switch in water to see if it would short out, it did not. Tapped the relays, no problem. Could not find any evidence of of any wires shorting out. I could not duplicate the problem.  Don't underestimate the power of these little winches. It broke the cable, bent the mounting plate, trashed the adjusting pulley on the rear frame. The winch frame itself was bent to the point that the driving gear could not engage the limit switch (which would  have probably have shut it off after the cable broke and it reached the "up" limit).  I have not had a chance to uncover to inspect for any additional damage.  I can tell through the cover that the hold down latches now have some slack in them.  I surely would have thought the winch breaker would have tripped before all of this happened, had to be drawing a lot of current.
2009 Flagstaff HW27SC

Alfa38User

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Re: Strange/dangerous winch issue
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2016, 11:53:30 AM »
I suspect some wiring for that winch has been chewed up by a mouse, or similar varmint, and has caused a short in the wiring thus supplying an alternative source of 12V directly to the winch motor and bypassing the switch itself.
Stu
Montréal, Canada 🍁
Snowbird, Naples Florida
Alfa Gold 38 (2000) 5ver (parked!)

"Of course I talk to myself, sometimes I need expert advise!!!"

cabranch47

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Re: Strange/dangerous winch issue
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2016, 02:55:24 PM »
Animal damage was my first thought when this happened. After I took it out there is no evidence of any wiring damage, or any other obvious signs of short circuit.
2009 Flagstaff HW27SC

John From Detroit

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Re: Strange/dangerous winch issue
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2016, 08:21:52 PM »
There is a story about why we call a computer glitch a "Bug".. Some tell me it's a myth but I'll tell the story anyway.

Seems the first time they had a "Glitch" in the system, upon inspection they found a bug (insect) on a pair of contacts and cleaning fixed it.....

That said.. Some bugs are conductive and can short out a switch,, but removing the unit from the RV and banging it down on the bench may have...shall we say... DE-Bugged it.

The mouse chewed wires theory is good too.  In fact my first guess.. But I have a buggy appliance near me.> Got to tear it down and clean it.. Got two of 'em in fact if I get time tomorrow.
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

cabranch47

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Re: Strange/dangerous winch issue
« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2016, 11:03:34 AM »
I had  emailed the manufacturer, Carefree of California, concerning this issue.  Even though the winch was out of warranty  (2 years old), I wanted to alert them to a possible dangerous issue.  Expected that if I got a reply it would be 24  - 48  hours later.  I  got a call from their customer service dept. about 20 minutes later stating that they were concerned about this issue and asked if I would send photos for their engineers to review. I emailed the photos and received a response the next day.  They are going to send me a new winch and prepaid shipping for the old one for their engineering dept. to examine.  Needless to say, I was very pleased about this, the new winches cost about $400.  I commend them for wanting to examine the damaged unit to see if this is a potential recurring problem.  I am sure, and rightly so, that today's liability climate played a part in that decision.  At this point I can't say enough  good things about their customer service.  The new cable and pulley have arrived from Goshen.  Now I need to straighten out the mounting bracket on the trailer, replace the cable/pulley and mount the winch.  I can then see if there is any additional damage. I wish they would let me know what caused this, but I am sure that I won't be privy to that information.
2009 Flagstaff HW27SC

 

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