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Old 05-31-2024, 02:13 PM   #1
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Default Top wont raise and manual pump won’t work either

Prior to leaving our house, our fluid hose (clear) broke so my husband replaced it. All was lifting and lowering fine until we arrived to our destination and were unable to lift. We checked the hydraulic fluid which was fine, battery was fine, cables are fine, guide blocks are in tact, no fluid was leaking.. so we tried the manual pump and it was not working either. My husband feels like it was not getting enough pressure making us believe it may be a seal. How would we differentiate between a problem with the pump vs cylinder seal? Also our hi-lo, 2008, 28C, has the top sitting on a compartment that does not allow access to the battery and hydraulic pump compartment making it very difficult to access… we may have to jack it up to open the compartment to get to the pump but how do we go about that? Is there a sequence to do that? I read about using farm jacks but would that be on the front and back with supports to each corner? Don’t know if the cables will allow us to jack it up? I also have stuff and food in there to take out that was packed prior to leaving and really need it up asap. Any advice is greatly appreciated! Thanks so much!
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Old 05-31-2024, 05:08 PM   #2
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Sernsh - so sorry to hear of your troubles. You CAN crawl into the trailer with the top down and open the fridge to take food out. I've done that for other tasks at times. I think you MAY be able to get to anything else you have in there too that way.

Now, I really doubt that the seals have suddenly failed, although it IS possible. I think it more likely that the manual release valve or possibly the normal lowering release valve is stuck open or partially open. You can make sure the manual release valve is fully closed by moving the lever or rotating the knob that actuates it. If the normal lowering valve is stuck, possibly some dirt or other junk is stuck in it. Maybe, if you push the lowering switch to open it fully, and have your Husband pump the manual lift like mad, it MIGHT flush that out. I've never checked, but it's possible the manual and normal lowering valves are just one valve, so if it is manually opened, then the lifting pump might flush it.

As far as lifting the top manually, you would need 4 farm jacks, or, you COULD do it by lowering the front of the trailer onto 2x4s on the ground, then putting new 2x4s between the partially lifted top and the outriggers to hold it there. Then lower the back end of the trailer by raising the tongue and repeat the 2x4 process there. Do it a little at a time to avoid stress on the guide blocks. There's an old post somewhere in the forum that describes this process.

- Jack
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Old 05-31-2024, 07:11 PM   #3
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Thanks for your quick response we have crawled to get what we can out but dummy me put bread on the cabinets behind the sink which get trapped by the top counters and placed my microwave and ice maker under the seat and can’t retrieve my items with the seat over them… I also couldn’t access my propane hoses because I had them placed in the exterior space that is covered by the top… it was an interesting camping time… we made the best of it though.

When you say “manual release valve” is that the same as the “lowering release valve”? And by pushing the lowering switch, you mean by pushing the button on the inside to lower the top right? Just making sure I am understanding correctly. If so, I would push the button, and my husband manually pump the manual pump, correct? Going to try that tomorrow before messing with jacks.

Thanks so much!
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Old 05-31-2024, 10:23 PM   #4
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Sernsh - Do follow the advise that Jack is suggesting. He's pointed you to the possible problem and the solution. If you hear your hydraulic pump working when you press the UP Button but its not raising, then it's not pressurizing. The lowering valve may be stuck.
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Old 05-31-2024, 10:35 PM   #5
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The manual release/lowering valve is at the pump assembly, but is accessible through the same flap you open to activate the manual raise feature. You will have either a lever or a knob. The lever is simply moved to open or close the valve. The knob is turned. I have a knob, but earlier model trailers had a rod-shaped lever.

I would think the lever could be accidentally moved a bit to open that valve slightly and that would keep the top from raising.

- Jack
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Old 07-02-2024, 10:36 PM   #6
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Default Jacking up the top half

Would you happen to know how to lift up the top using 4 farm jacks? Are there particular points that we should look for or just the 4 corners? We were not successful with trying to clear the lowering valve. We want to jack it up so that we can get to the pump and battery and possibly get my stuff out that is behind the seat. Thanks so much!
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Old 07-06-2024, 04:32 PM   #7
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Default Lifting the top.

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Originally Posted by Sernsh View Post
Would you happen to know how to lift up the top using 4 farm jacks? Are there particular points that we should look for or just the 4 corners? We were not successful with trying to clear the lowering valve. We want to jack it up so that we can get to the pump and battery and possibly get my stuff out that is behind the seat. Thanks so much!
If you have 4 farm jacks, place each jack right next to each lift cable (where the lift cable bolts to the top section.) That way you are lifting the same place that the hydraulic system would lift. Do one stroke on the handle at a time on all four jacks to keep the top level.

If you only have 2 jacks, the process will be slower as you raise the front or rear half maybe an inch (not more than 2”) at a time and place blocking (2x4’s or 4x4’s) under the lifted edge as you move the jacks around the camper. If you raise it any more than that you will probably twist your guide blocks enough to crack them.

It will also work better to start with your jacks setting on something like cement blocks, otherwise you may run out of lift before you get very high.

And as Jack mentioned, there are numerous threads in this forum with very detailed information on lifting the top.

Good luck!!
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