Hydraulic lift system Hydraulic, mechanical and electrical components of the lift system
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Old 08-17-2020, 08:41 PM   #1
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Unhappy Help: 1972 Traveler Stuck Up and in the Mountains

Hi All -

I recently purchased a 1972 Traveler. It worked great (like I drove it from Colorado to Philly and back with no problems at all) until this past weekend when we were camping in the mountains in Colorado. When we went to pack up, the trailer wouldn't go down.

It feels to me like the safety wire is stuck. When I pull it, there is no "click" the way there used to be. When I flick the switch up, I hear the motor running but nothing happens. When I flick the switch down, nothing happens at all. When the battery is hooked up, the lights and water pump work, so its not a dead battery.

I'm not worried about getting it fixed right now, I just need to get it lowered so I can tow it out of the mountains.

Like I said, the poor trailer is currently stuck alone and lonely in the wilderness. Anything input would be so helpful.

I should also mention, I am not mechanically inclined at all. Please talk to me like I know nothing if you are responding.

THANK YOU
Adam
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Old 08-17-2020, 10:28 PM   #2
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Hi, Adam - I'm assuming you're still stuck.

Did you pull the safety wire WHILE you had the lift switch in the UP position and the motor running? That should have raised the top enough to remove the binding that kept the safety bar in place. If, however, you tried to pull the safety wire after you released the UP switch, the top COULD have settled back down on the safety bar.

It sounds to me like you have a leak, possibly in the lowering valve that is removing pressure and allowing "Top Creep". There's a thread on how to fix that in this forum.

- Jack
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Old 08-18-2020, 11:59 AM   #3
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Hi Jack -

I don't think I pulled the safety wire while pushing up on the motor switch. It didn't seem like the top was moving at all when I was pushing up on the switch, but maybe you're right that it was lifting enough to get it unstuck. Here's hoping that works and I can get the top lowered so I can tow it home and work on fixing the leak. I'm not sure what I'll do if I need to do the repairs while its still out in the mountains.

Thank you so much for the response,
Adam
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Old 08-18-2020, 02:01 PM   #4
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You're welcome Adam! I think if you can just get some of the weight of the top off the safety bar, you'll be able to release it - Might take a "hard" pull. Let us know how you make out. If you get the safety bar released, be sure to hold it that way until the top is partway down!

- Jack
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Old 08-21-2020, 03:32 PM   #5
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Thank you again, Jack.

I'm headed up tomorrow morning to try to rescue her.

It sounds like my first option is to try to get the top lifted enough to release the safety bar and pull the wire, which should allow me to lower the top.

Do you mind clarifying what you mean by keeping the safety bar released while I'm lowering it? Do you just mean keep that wire pulled out while its coming down?

It also sounds like even if I have Top Creep, once I get the safety bar released it should still come down OK. Right? And then I can get it home and work on the hydraulics. If I can't get the safety bar released, is there a way to manually lower the top without releasing that? Or if its not released, there's just no way this thing is coming down?

Anything else you can think of that I should plan for? The trailer is about 2 hours from home, so this is really my only shot to get her lowered before having to wait another entire week.

Thank you again ... really appreciate the support.

Adam
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Old 08-21-2020, 04:34 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adammeln View Post
...<snip>... Do you just mean keep that wire pulled out while its coming down?

It also sounds like even if I have Top Creep, once I get the safety bar released it should still come down OK. Right? And then I can get it home and work on the hydraulics. If I can't get the safety bar released, is there a way to manually lower the top without releasing that? Or if its not released, there's just no way this thing is coming down?

Anything else you can think of that I should plan for? The trailer is about 2 hours from home, so this is really my only shot to get her lowered before having to wait another entire week.

Thank you again ... really appreciate the support.

Adam
Adam - Yes to the bolded part of your post. I meant to keep the safety bar retracted until the top is past it. This is the normal way you lower the top, actually, sorry I confused you. Once the top has dropped about 6 inches, it's ok to release the safety bar.

And yes, if it's just top creep, and you can relieve enough of the binding to get the top on its way down, you will be good to pull it home. The only other thing I can think of that would help you release the safety bar would be 4 strong men, one at each corner to push it up, while you pull on the safety bar cable.

Note: It MAY come down rather rapidly if there's a leak in the lowering valve that's responsible for the top creep. Just make sure things are clear underneath it.

Beyond that, I'm out of ideas to get the weight of the top off the bar, which I'm quite sure is your problem.

I hate to tell you to tow the trailer with the top up. This is not recommended because of the severe stresses towing will place on it in that position. I suppose it can be done though, but you'd want to drive carefully and sadly, quite slowly. Some people have done it though, and the trailers have survived.

I've got my fingers crossed for you sir! I hope things work out the way we both want them to.

- Jack
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Old 08-24-2020, 09:05 AM   #7
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Hey Jack -

Just a quick note of thank you. Pulling the wire out while pushing up on the switch worked instantaneously. We were out there for all of 30 seconds.

Thank you again!
Adam
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Old 08-24-2020, 09:40 AM   #8
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Yay! Yippee! I am so happy for you and thank you so much for letting me know that it worked! I think the issue that caused this is minor - may have even corrected itself now that you've lowered the top.

- Jack
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Old 08-31-2020, 07:56 PM   #9
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Hey Jack maybe you can help me
I have a 2000 tow lite hi lo and the left front corner will not go down the other 3 corners go down. ?? am lowering it manually no power. The safety cable releases and 3 corners drop when someone else turns the knob on the bottle jack any suggestions??
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Old 08-31-2020, 11:21 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by ptaquino View Post
Hey Jack maybe you can help me
I have a 2000 tow lite hi lo and the left front corner will not go down the other 3 corners go down. ?? am lowering it manually no power. The safety cable releases and 3 corners drop when someone else turns the knob on the bottle jack any suggestions??
I don't know what you mean by "bottle jack" - are you possibly talking about the manual lowering release knob in the battery compartment attached to the lift pump mechanism?

If a corner won't come down, it is binding on something, or, possibly the cable that lifts that corner has come off one of the pulleys. You can take the inside trim piece off the top of the lower half inside the trailer to inspect how that cable is riding on that pulley and this may help you find anything that may have fallen down and is binding against the top. That trim strip is held on by 4-6 screws and is very easy to remove and replace. Other than that, get under the trailer and inspect the full run of that cable and look for anything else that might be catching on the top in that area. Pulleys can also break, or become "dismounted", so look at the condition of all of them.

- Jack
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Old 09-01-2020, 10:37 AM   #11
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thank you i will give that a try and let you know.
i called the manual jacking ability on the hydraulic pump the bottle jack cause thats what i know it as. its just like a car jack.
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Old 09-01-2020, 11:12 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by ptaquino View Post
thank you i will give that a try and let you know.
i called the manual jacking ability on the hydraulic pump the bottle jack cause thats what i know it as. its just like a car jack.
OK, that's a "Lifting" component, not the lowering valve. Yes, it IS a bit like a bottle jack but if you call it that, you're going to confuse us. You should refer to it as the "Manual Lift Backup", or something similar.

I'm honestly not trying to nit-pick you or give you a hard time - but if you need help, it's important we understand your issue correctly.

(When I saw your post, I first thought you were somehow using a bottle jack to raise the top).

- Jack
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Old 09-15-2020, 07:56 AM   #13
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You seem to be the resident expert on hilo;s is there a way to replace the adjustment bolt on one of the cables that is so stripped that I cannot move the nuts? or do i have to replace the whole thing???
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Old 09-15-2020, 09:33 AM   #14
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No, I'm hardly the "resident expert", but I DO know a few things about HiLos.

I'm guessing, from your post, that you are trying to shorten the cable to lift the top. And, I'm also guessing you have a significant "free" length of bolt extending past the two adjusting nuts, maybe 2 " or more? If so, the simplest fix, if you can get the adjusting nuts off the bolt, would be to add several washers over the bolt, between the first nut and the frame of the trailer. That would move the nut out on the bolt (hopefully where the threads are good) and you would then be able to take up the needed length in the cable. Make sure you use enough washers if you do this so that the nuts do not come in contact with the stripped threads!

Failing that, if you had enough cable behind the bolt, you could cut it off there and then replace the bolt with a long eyebolt that has the proper diameter. You'd need to swag the cable on to the eyebolt or use a wire rope clamp to attach it.

I suspect though, that you would not be able to find a long enough eyebolt, and you would have very little cable to work with.

This leaves replacing the cable or somehow repairing the threads on your bolt as the only fixes. You can buy a complete cable assembly from J&R Repair, in Mt Vernon, Ohio, or, you could go to a home improvement store and buy cable, an eyebolt, swagging tool and fixtures and make your own.

Hope these thoughts help.

- Jack
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hydrolics, safety bar release cable, stranded, stuck

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