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: http://www.hilotrailerforum.com/f49/...-youtube-1233/ 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.

- Jack
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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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Old 05-09-2019, 02:07 AM   #11
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Here she is. I hope the pictures come through. This is as is, as I got her.

OhioGirl

https://photos.app.goo.gl/upYNykikAFZrPMjG7
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Old 05-09-2019, 09:18 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OhioCamperGirl View Post
...<snip>...
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). ...<snip>...
Something's amiss in your wiring if everything goes off when you unplug the trailer from house power. The interior lights are powered by DC (battery) power. They do not need house power to work and house power won't actually power them.

The converter (the thing that receives house power) provides AC house power for things like the Air Conditioner and, it will supply AC power to the refrigerator and water heater if you choose to run those items on 120V AC power. The converter also "converts" AC power to DC battery charging power which is fed directly to the battery if your trailer is wired right. The converter does not directly supply power to anything else in the trailer.

The battery circuit then supplies DC power to interior lights, water pump, fans, etc.. It does this through the MS which has to be tipped in the opposite direction from the direction that was used to raise the top.

If the interior lights are working with house power plugged in, and the top can be raised/lowered at the same time, the previous owner changed the wiring. Can you talk to that person to find out if this is the case?

If no wiring was changed, look at the HiLo videos. You are probably missing something.

Very pretty trailer! I'm glad you got a good deal!

- Jack
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Old 05-09-2019, 02:07 PM   #13
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Oh wow...ok. I'll have to play with it more. It's raining, real crappy Ohio day here so I may hold off. Good thing is I have a hi lo shop about 1.25 hours away, but I wanna exhaust all my efforts before doing that.

I sure love her. She needs a good bath and a wax job. She was neglected as the previous owner, a pastor, took ill and eventually passed away so no information can be obtained.
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Old 05-09-2019, 03:00 PM   #14
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Check in the battery area for a 12v breaker. It is a rectangular box with two threaded posts and wires attached (12v in and 12v out). It just might need to be reset. A majority of them have a tiny black reset button on the end of them. Push the button in to reset. Sometimes there are several in the battery area. I will try and find a picture of one to post.

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Old 05-09-2019, 03:07 PM   #15
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Here it is................12v breaker.jpg

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Old 05-09-2019, 03:43 PM   #16
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Oh awesome. Going out soon to get a start on inside cleaning so I'll look for that switch.
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Old 05-09-2019, 05:48 PM   #17
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I have looked and looked and cannot find that rascal anywhere in that coach. Any ideas where it would be?
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Old 05-09-2019, 06:00 PM   #18
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I found this old manual.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/6bmqh13DoPonFsun7
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Old 05-09-2019, 06:08 PM   #19
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If you need a manual, here's a link to one for a '97. It should be fine for your '98 as the models didn't change much from one year to the next. There's a whole collection of owners manuals on this forum home page, along with brochures, etc. that are of interest.

http://www.hilotrailerforum.com/f49/...-towlite-1728/

That relay you're looking for is in the compartment on the hitch, where the battery and lift motor are located. Or, it should be.

Good luck!
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Old 05-09-2019, 06:20 PM   #20
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Bob, piperjim and OhioCamperGirl - Unless the "breaker" you show has been rewired somehow, it's not the problem since the top raises and lowers. Battery current goes though it on its way to the MS. The MS is the point where current is either sent to the lift system or to the interior of the trailer.

And, since it sounded like you have lights when plugged into house current, I'm really beginning to think the wiring in your trailer has been monkeyed with. Did I understand this correctly, Ohio?

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