Electrical Systems, Charging and Solar Electrical components and wiring, batteries, charging systems, generators and solar topics.
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Old 05-07-2019, 11:19 PM   #1
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Smile Just bought a 1998 18' Towlite NEED HELP!

Hello! Newbie owner here, but have been a wishful member for awhile. Just bought her. We are having two issues:

1. I understand lift/lower you must have a battery installed, correct? Having issues with intermittent successful lowering and raising. AND when it does lower, hydraulic fluid GUSHES out of the lid of the hydraulic fluid tank.

2. Battery does not seem to be working in the unit? Like, will not activate lights etc. Battery is brand new, just bought AND tested.

It does have a tad of water damage that needs fixed BUT it's on excellent condition otherwise (so far!!!) I'm sure I'll bug y'all to death.

Definitely appreciate your assistance. OhioGirl.
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Old 05-07-2019, 11:38 PM   #2
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Hello, OhioGirl - welcome to the HiLo family. You'll find us to be a helpful bunch (and sometimes our advice is even right!)

The fluid gushing out sounds like you may have the reservoir filled too full. It should be about 1 to 1/2" inch below the top of the tank WITH THE TOP DOWN. This is a difficult thing to measure, but here's how I do it. I create a "dipstick" out of a bent soda straw or a piece of wire. Then, with the top up, I remove the reservoir cap. I then lower the top and open the front flap of the battery cover. This allows me to get my "dipstick" into the reservoir and check the fluid level. Don't forget to put the cap back on.

Having no lights in the trailer sounds like you've left the "Master Switch" (MS) in the top raising/lowering position. Once the top is up, flip the 3 position (usually black) switch next to the raise/lower switch to the opposite position. This should disable the top movement capability and give you full internal power in the trailer.

The middle position of the MS is for traveling. It disables EVERYTHING, except for battery power to the refrigerator. This keeps the top down and everything else off.

When you have time: click on this link: HiLo "Video" owners manuals... youtube! Scroll down to post #3, and you'll find a list of 36 utube videos about everything you ever wanted to know about these trailers. The MS is covered in Video #5 I believe.

- Jack
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Old 05-08-2019, 01:46 AM   #3
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Thank you. Yes, I looked online and it appears the fluid level is correct. And like I said, for some crazy reason it's working intermittently. Sometimes the pump engages, and it'll go up, sometimes not. I Know this can't be this complicated lol
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Old 05-08-2019, 09:05 AM   #4
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If you're getting intermittent electrical problems, it's likely you have one or more faulty connections. Grounding connections are a common source of everything failing. About all I can advise is to check all connections you can see for signs of corrosion or "looseness". Clean and tighten as required.

To really diagnose electrical problems, you need a multimeter (you can get satisfactory ones at places like Home Depot for less than $50). The ones that are "auto-ranging" are easiest to use. Do you have a basic understanding of electrical circuits? If not, find someone who has this knowledge.

The kinds of problems you are having are fairly common and they can be fixed, but it may take a bit of troubleshooting to do so.

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Old 05-08-2019, 12:41 PM   #5
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I'm sure I can try and figure it out, thank you. I'm going to check that for sure. I'm very excited about this unit as I've wanted one forever. It's in such excellent condition for the most part and I got it for a song. ������
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Old 05-08-2019, 01:32 PM   #6
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Great! Camping can be a whole lot of fun, but it has a bit of a learning curve. We went through a few rough spots at first, and we had a brand-new camper!

- Jack
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Old 05-08-2019, 10:01 PM   #7
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Got it home tonight. Got a brand new deep cycle and everything worked and it went right up! However, can't seem to figure out how to get the fridge on yet or figure out how to get it to work on just battery no electricity. I'm gonna dig on this site for answers before I yell uncle lol.
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Old 05-08-2019, 11:46 PM   #8
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Ohio, Just to let you know the fridge makes NO noise when turned to DC or AC power settings. There are no moving parts, so no noise. Also, it takes several hours before you'll notice a temp drop. Typically, when your going to camp, you would turn the fridge to AC about 24 hours prior to leaving, then put your fridge stuff in, hook up and turn the fridge to DC power, lower the top, etc and leave.
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Old 05-08-2019, 11:49 PM   #9
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The only time you would use the battery to power the fridge is when on the road (traveling). I prefer to use propane to power the fridge when camping, even in campgrounds with hookups. Propane powers the fridge in the most efficient manner and propane consumption is VERY low. I use AC power to cool the fridge at home prior to a trip however.

If you're still having trouble powering lights, water pump, etc., using the battery, either the Master Switch is not in the right position or it is not wired properly. Everything that runs off the battery inside the trailer goes through the MS.

Tree beat me to this post (but he's younger). What he told you about the fridge is absolutely spot on.

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Old 05-09-2019, 01:45 AM   #10
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You guys are amazing. Ty. Fridge great news on that. I was wondering.

And working just off battery. What should the MS be set at for using just battery? Not 100% sure I'll use it anyway, the fridge, BUT definitely need to figure out how to get this gal running on battery. Battery works to get it up. The dummy monitor says battery at 100%. But if I unplug the power cord to the house, it'll all turn off (lights etc).

I've had travel trailers before, but never a HL. I'm loving her though.

I can't thank y'all enough. <3
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