Steel Poles on Camper Trailer Too Tight

Submitted: Tuesday, Apr 17, 2012 at 20:36
ThreadID: 94967 Views:3628 Replies:7 FollowUps:0
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Hi all,

We have a recently purchased 2nd hand Trackabout camper trailer. It's been absolutely great, but I do have a concern in that the big U shaped steel galvanised poles attached to the trailer seem overly difficult to expand and retract. They have the simple thumb screws you get on normal tent poles for expanding and contracting. After backing the thumb screws right off it still takes a great deal of pressure to expand and contract the poles.

Has anyone else had this kind of issue and sorted it out? (The poles do not appear to be bent.) I am wary of lubricating the poles as it may then cause another issue, ie, then the thumb screws might not hold the poles out when extended.

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Reply By: Member - MUZBRY(Vic) - Tuesday, Apr 17, 2012 at 20:47

Tuesday, Apr 17, 2012 at 20:47
Gday Paul
With mine , i wipe them clean with an old towel , then slide them up and down a few times.

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AnswerID: 483406

Reply By: P and JM - Tuesday, Apr 17, 2012 at 22:27

Tuesday, Apr 17, 2012 at 22:27
Hi Paul,

Have seen this problem before, one cure is to pull them apart, on the inner tube look for any burrs, grooves etc caused by the tightening screw, (file down if need be) then a light rub over the inner tube with fine sand paper, and wipe with rag. Make sure it's only a LIGHT rub over them so you don't cause a rust problem in the future.

Cheers P&J
AnswerID: 483413

Reply By: Member - Josh- Tuesday, Apr 17, 2012 at 22:33

Tuesday, Apr 17, 2012 at 22:33
Check there is not a slight bow in them. It doesn't take much to catch them. I use a dry lube on a couple of poles we had that stuck. As mentioned above, pull them apart and check inside pole is ok and clean.

AnswerID: 483414

Reply By: lancie49 - Wednesday, Apr 18, 2012 at 08:36

Wednesday, Apr 18, 2012 at 08:36
I recently cleaned all my tent poles with a steel wool pad and a very light spray of silicon. That seemed to help a similar issue to yours..
AnswerID: 483423

Reply By: Rod - Wednesday, Apr 18, 2012 at 21:21

Wednesday, Apr 18, 2012 at 21:21
I have a trackabout CT that is over 10 years old. I've not had the exact problem that you have, but I have had to replace the hoop in the past. On mine it zips out easily and can be replaced in less than 10minutes. I had a replacement alloy one made up. Would have preferred a replacement steel one, but I was on holidays away from home and did not have much choice at the time.
AnswerID: 483500

Reply By: Paul F2 - Friday, Apr 20, 2012 at 18:33

Friday, Apr 20, 2012 at 18:33
Thanks for all the good suggestions. I've got the tent set up in the yard at the moment as I had to pack it up wet last weekend, and tomorrow's job is to get to the bottom of it. I'll post up and let you know how I go.
AnswerID: 483682

Reply By: Paul F2 - Sunday, Apr 22, 2012 at 07:40

Sunday, Apr 22, 2012 at 07:40
So, it turns out there were two problems. With one of the poles, the inner pole was bent. So before taking them apart, it appeared straight but once the inner pole was out you could see it was bent. I just bent it back to as straight as I could, and it slides much better now.

The other problem was that the hoops (u-shaped poles attached to the trailer) were twisted. So what I mean by that is once out of the trailer, if you laid them on the ground and lifted one side up to vertical the other side would be off the vertical. Again, just re-bent them to as close to the right angle as possible.

Since I had all the poles apart and off the trailer I replaced the metal tee screws (thumb screws) so that I know I won't have any problems with them in the near future.

After putting it all back together, the tent goes up easier and straighter now which is great!
AnswerID: 483803

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