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Old 08-07-2015, 09:26 PM   #1
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Default 2004 24' Towlite Hi-Lo retracts unevenly

I have had my Hi-Lo for 2 years and all has worked very well. Upon retraction a week ago, the front end receded faster than the rear and the top wedged, binding about half way down. I raised it and it again went up smoothly, but on retraction, the same thing happened. Everything was working perfectly before and I have no reason to suspect a broken cable (it goes back up to full extension properly).

Is it likely the front cables stretched? Can the cables be adjusted? If I have to take it to a trailer repair lot, is it safe to pull it 10 miles in the "half-up" position? I know one should not transport the trailer in the up position if possible. Or would it be better to transport the trailer to a trailer repair shop 10 miles away in the "fully up and locked" position? Or could the hydraulic piston be "hanging up" on retraction somehow?

Anyone have an answer? I would appreciate the help because I am a real novice at trailers (been a backpack camper the last 50 years). As for novice -- don't believe me? You should see me backing the thing! grizbizusa in Montana.
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Old 08-07-2015, 10:44 PM   #2
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It sounds like the front cables may have stretched and, yes, they can be adjusted. The adjusting bolts are on the left side of the trailer in front of the wheel. There are four of them. The procedure is in the owners manual and you should be able to find one that's close to your model year in the library: Hi-Lo Owners Manual - Hi-Lo camper travel trailer forum It will tell you to support the top on four equal length 2x4s and will tell you which nuts to turn. Don't overdo it - shorten them just enough to correct the problem.

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Old 08-08-2015, 07:16 AM   #3
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Before you do anything check to make sure the side vertical rails and the guide blocks are engaged with each other. The guide blocks are on the inside edge of the upper section and the rails are on the lower section.The blocks run on the rails to keep the upper and lower halves aligned. If those jump the track or are broken binding could be possible. When you say the top goes up okay and stops in its normal position I would be less suspicious of the cables being stretched. I would crawl under the trailer and see if the all the cables are on the pulleys and the pulleys are unbroken.
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Old 08-08-2015, 09:19 AM   #4
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^^^What he said^^^! (I should have thought of the guide block problem.) I suspect that's a more likely cause. Pulley problems ARE possible, but I think less likely.

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Old 08-08-2015, 10:10 AM   #5
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Default Thank you - I'll check those ideas first.

Thanks RichR and Jackand Janet. Good ideas. Is it hard to see if the blocks are on the guide rails? Where can you see the blocks?
If I do need to take the trailer in to a shop, is it safe to pull it along for 10 miles in the "up" position?

This is a very helpful forum for a novice like me.

grizbizusa in Kalispell, MT
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Old 08-08-2015, 02:47 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grizbizusa View Post
Thanks RichR and Jackand Janet. Good ideas. Is it hard to see if the blocks are on the guide rails? Where can you see the blocks?
If I do need to take the trailer in to a shop, is it safe to pull it along for 10 miles in the "up" position?

This is a very helpful forum for a novice like me.

grizbizusa in Kalispell, MT
The blocks are located in the very bottom of the upper half. You can see them and touch them, and they are made of a hard plastic material. They work to keep the top and bottom spaced apart to prevent binding and scraping. http://hilotrailerparts.webs.com/app...s/show/2074035

Have you had the trailer sitting generally level when trying to lower it, if not that could cause binding. I assume you have already looked to see if there is something jammed in between the two halves. There has to be something hanging up somewhere.

You absolutely do not want to tow the trailer in the up position or you could risk doing major damage to the lift system.

Try lowering the trailer a bit at a time and raise it a little and repeat. And maybe prop something under the lower end to see if the high side wants to straighten out but don't try to force it.
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Old 08-08-2015, 04:10 PM   #7
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did you fold up the bunk correctly
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Old 08-09-2015, 09:32 AM   #8
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If the guide blocks are OK and nothing jammed between the top and bottom halfs then check the cables to the rear of the top to see if they are binding somehow. Check for broken pulleys. If one of the cables has a bunch of broken wires and the wires have bunched up, this could cause the cable to bind at one of the pulleys.
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Old 08-09-2015, 03:29 PM   #9
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I'm going to the storage facility tomorrow to check all of the suggestions that people have put up on the thread about my trailer. Thanks particularly for the admonition about not towing it in the "up" position -- I was pretty unsure about that anyway. Thanks and I'll post again when I know more about the situation. grizbizusa
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Old 11-08-2015, 08:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichR View Post
The blocks are located in the very bottom of the upper half. You can see them and touch them, and they are made of a hard plastic material. They work to keep the top and bottom spaced apart to prevent binding and scraping. http://hilotrailerparts.webs.com/app...s/show/2074035

Have you had the trailer sitting generally level when trying to lower it, if not that could cause binding. I assume you have already looked to see if there is something jammed in between the two halves. There has to be something hanging up somewhere.

You absolutely do not want to tow the trailer in the up position or you could risk doing major damage to the lift system.

Try lowering the trailer a bit at a time and raise it a little and repeat. And maybe prop something under the lower end to see if the high side wants to straighten out but don't try to force it.
While lubricating the guide rails this afternoon, I noticed one of my guide blocks is loose (the one near the left rear corner). I think it may be broken in half but not sure as it was hard to see up there. I was able to lower the top half just fine but am concerned about it long term. I see the link for the replacement part but how do you actually get up in there to replace the block, as it is quite tight?

Thanks,
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