How do i lubricate winch on Jayco?

Submitted: Friday, May 01, 2009 at 18:06
ThreadID: 68422 Views:16796 Replies:5 FollowUps:2
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Hi all.

Been some time since I posted.

I have recently returned from a very dusty trip to the Goldfields and during my travel I found that the winch that winds up the roof to my Penguin appears to be getting a bit stiff.

I suspect that it may want a bit of lubrication, but I am reluctant to start packing grease in there, not to mention that access to it is somewhat awkward.

I am also concerned that should I lubricate carelessly, I my get the lubricant on the winch clutch and I do not know what effect that would have.

Has anyone lubricated their winch in the past that could offer a few suggestions?

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Reply By: Member -Pinko (NSW) - Friday, May 01, 2009 at 21:16

Friday, May 01, 2009 at 21:16
Hi janset
For seven years we have had ultimate camper.
Prior to that we have had two windup jaycos.
The last was an off road swan.
The symptoms you describe are similar to the swan where the rear cables to elevate the roof snapped.
We were making camp at the mitchell plateau and two winds of the handle and down came the roof, and thats where it remained for another three weeks.
After the cables leave the winch they make a sharp right angle turn and travel through rhs tube to the back of the camper.
There is a nylon pulley where the right angle turn is and the wire rope cuts through the pulley until it reaches the bolt through the centre.
The radius is small and allows the cable to rub on the edge of the rhs slowly making it fray into what looks like tangled fishing line. This is what caused the stiffness in the winch.
The cables wore through strand by strand and eventually snapped.
I had lubricated the winch before hand and made no difference.
Suggest you do a bit of dismantling on the front right hand side and have a look at the cables.
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AnswerID: 362688

Reply By: PradOz - Saturday, May 02, 2009 at 09:49

Saturday, May 02, 2009 at 09:49
early model jayco campers had a different setup to the later ones so not sure which is yours. anyway just need to get inside, take off the ply backing on the other side of your winch and have a look at whats happening.

but before you do maybe worthwhile you do a google search for a maintenance manual on jayco campers written by Trevor Eastman "Book 2 Service & Repair Manual JAYCO" and get a copy (around $35 to 40) its very handy as it explains all the workings of your camper, owner maintenance, and also explains how to fix any of the bits you may break over time.

someone on here at EO found a link to a site selling the manual last year so you should be able to find it. i have a copy and it is very detailed probably around 70 pages. BTW, dont use grease. You can use some silicone spray on the risers/uprights but cover the cavas behind it first. also use same on the cables inside when you get to them. (buy the manual you will find it very helpful)
AnswerID: 362755

Reply By: Janset - Saturday, May 02, 2009 at 11:07

Saturday, May 02, 2009 at 11:07
Hi guys. Thanks for your replies.

My Jayco is a 13 foot Penguin and was purchased new October '02.

As to the publications, I have a very good one put out by Trevor Eastman called Camper Care. He does a great job in explaining all the tips and tricks on how to do things on the Jayco and _Affordable_Storage_Drawers.aspx diagrams so you know what to expect to see and how the faults occur, including the cable wearing though the tubing as mentioned.

But, (there is always a but), no where that I can find in this excellent publication does he mention how to, or with what the winch should be lubricated.

I agree that I should pull the covers off and check things out and I will be doing this.

So until I am told otherwise I guess it will be only silicon spray used everywhere so as not to collect dust. but I am still concerned as to what care I should take with the winch clutch during the lubrication process.

Unfortunately I have not been able to find an email address for Trevor Eastman to ask him. I have his address and phone number, I guess I may have to write to him snail mail as an STD phone call from Perth to the Eastern States could work out costly should I be put on hold.

If there are any further suggestions, please post.

AnswerID: 362771

Follow Up By: PradOz - Saturday, May 02, 2009 at 16:33

Saturday, May 02, 2009 at 16:33
I am pretty sure you shouldnt be using the silicone spray on actual winch mechanism (???) but can use everywhere else including the cables and uprights. i think your manual is same as mine but i will get it out as soon as i can and just double check to see if its in mine re winch mechanism. your model has the flat needle bearing assembly to minimise cables from tangling so if it is real tight to wind up you may need to check cables have not cut into a floor pulley wheel somewhere. just dont run your hand along the cables in case you slice it open - use torch and gloves
FollowupID: 630471

Reply By: Roughasguts - Saturday, May 02, 2009 at 17:09

Saturday, May 02, 2009 at 17:09
Sorry guy's I have never seen the winch design on these things.

But if the cable is cutting the plastic wheels or puleys then fraying! then there should not be any plastic wheels or pulleys to do the damage in the first place.

Then again what if you used spectra rope now thats a kinda plastic and stronger than cable with little stretch, and I don't think that will tear up the pullys either.

They use this spectra rope on boat winches most swear by it !but I prefer me boat strap as it's better on the hands.
AnswerID: 362812

Follow Up By: PradOz - Saturday, May 02, 2009 at 22:39

Saturday, May 02, 2009 at 22:39
with his year model i would doubt it would be cable tearing up any pulleys. its also not as simple as what you say re changing cable. jayco were the original designer in these systems and as far as i know the first to employ a brake mechanism in their winch. the whole thing works well, but when you have 4 cables designed to push and pull the roof up and down sometimes things can go wrong. its same system used in other similar designed camper vans too so they all have potential problems.

in this case my guess is a bit of TLC is required (owner maintenance) especially since they have been in "dusty conditions". some of the older campers in other brands used to suffer sevrely from dust and mud etc penetrating and impeding the roof lifting system when their lifting mechanism was on the outside rather than inside of the camper van. keep in mind that what he is experiencing maybe normal for camper van of its age and that their may actually be nothing wrong with it other than dust/dirt making the lifters/uprights hard to slide freely. hopefully some minor owner maintenance will help him out and it winds up/down easier after lubricating the lifters/uprights (and then cables etc if they also need it)
FollowupID: 630512

Reply By: Janset - Sunday, May 03, 2009 at 18:34

Sunday, May 03, 2009 at 18:34
Hi guys.

Just an up date. I have half the work done. I pulled every thing out at the rear end of the Jayco and checked everything out.

All look O.K. on the mechanical/cable side of things but I did find something that I think would have to contribute to a stiff wind up/down problem.

The 'rocket scientist' the installed the fascia box that covers the cable and pulley system, when bolted in place, no aperture was cut to allow the cables to pass freely from outside of the enclosure box to the inside.

The end of the fascia box on the RHS was jambed hard up against the cables which in turn were pushed hard up against the inside wall of the van.

After removing the box and upon inspection I could see where the cable had actually BURNED the wooden frame of the enclosure box.

In effect this would have acted as a brake when winding up or down.

In the next few days I will tackle the front half and see what other surprises they have install for me.

AnswerID: 362998

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