"Bunkhouse" bunk will only go up, not down - ideas? - Dutchmen Owners

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Old 07-18-2018, 09:18 PM   #1
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"Bunkhouse" bunk will only go up, not down - ideas?

Hi, I have an Aerolite 2016 242BHSL TT with two bunks in the rear that are "bunkhouse" style, they go up and down. Or they used to.

It turns out that only one of the two is "powered", the other just rides along atop the powered bunk when you raise them all the way up for transport. There are holes to put securing pins into the four vertical rails for the top bunk to remain at some higher level than the bottom bunk. Once installed, the top bunk stays up at that level while the bottom bunk can run down to allow someone to crawl in and sleep on it. So far so good.

The manual says to raise them up for transport, although I see no advantage to doing so. It makes sense that you need to put the "security pins" in the holes, but there are holes at various points in the travel, so even that part is an oddity that doesn't explain why they should be raised for travel. But I have always done what the book said and raised them up before moving the trailer.

Now the "powered" bunk will not go down using the "up/down" buttons on the control panel, it only goes up. Which is tremendously inconvenient, since when it is all the way at the top and it won't go down, the only way to bring it down is for some very small person to wriggle in across the top bunk to access the motor, and to disengage the clutch/brake mechanism so that the bunk can be pulled down manually without the motor turning the chains. Well, now that we've done it a couple of times, I think I can reach up along the side and disengage the motor brake/clutch thingy, but still - a royal pain.

I plan to take it into the dealer next month for some warranty work, and make them fix it, but if you guys have any ideas about adjusting or bypassing the limit switches (which I am quite sure is the problem here - a stuck lower-limit switch), I would like to do that myself.

Thoughts, ideas, experience with doing this, anyone? Or if I should just leave it for the dealer, tell me that too, along with "why", if you would please. This type (and brand) of powered bunk is in very wide use in toy haulers and BH-style travel trailers like mine, so I expect that a few of you have encountered this - and I hope there are some easy fix ideas out there. Thanks in advance!!
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Old 07-21-2018, 03:30 PM   #2
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No first hand knowledge but could be your switch. Not sure how easy you can remove it but I would try to pull it out if possible and check connections. You might be able to reverse the connections. If you are lucky it will only go down and not up then you will know it is the switch. I doubt it is the motor itself and obviously you have power.

Good luck.
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Old 07-21-2018, 11:42 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsol View Post
No first hand knowledge but could be your switch. Not sure how easy you can remove it but I would try to pull it out if possible and check connections. You might be able to reverse the connections. If you are lucky it will only go down and not up then you will know it is the switch. I doubt it is the motor itself and obviously you have power.

Good luck.

I agree about the switch. RV rookie, but know a little about "lectric".
Its most likely a DC motor. And to run the bunk up and down the switch simply reverses polarity to the motor. The motor runs CW than CCW. Pretty easy to check with a Volt Meter or even simple test light.


Good luck.
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Old 07-22-2018, 12:16 PM   #4
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And if not the switch the wires have come loose. The wire terminals are bladed push on type and may have come loose.
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Old 07-22-2018, 04:49 PM   #5
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Hi BR,
I agree that it may be the limit switch or wiring. My wife and I looked at a bunkhouse model in our search for the "perfect" TT, and if we had purchased one, I was going to remove the bunks, install a day-bed/couch and small desk but, we went withe Coleman 1805RB model instead... Just a thought and good luck on the troubleshooting and repair.
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Old 07-22-2018, 10:53 PM   #6
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In looking at the bunkhouse motor and wiring diagram, I see that the limit switches simply go to 'ground' when made, which shuts off the power in that direction. Since the other limit switch is always "open" if one is closed, the power in the "other direction" is available. And if you are in the middle, neither switch is "made", so neither is pulling the limit sense to ground. In which case you can go either way. It makes perfect sense, you want power to die if you hit the limit, but only for that direction. This way the motor will not keep straining if you actually ARE at a limit.

Thanks for the suggestions all. I have a voltmeter and am not afraid to play around, these things are just the very devil to access, inside the vertical rails as they seem to sit. Since I have to get some warranty work done anyway before my warranty expires, I think I'll leave it to the vendor service team. If it happens again once out of warranty, I'll have to undertake it myself. Thanks!
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2017 Dutchmen Aerolite 242BHSL "Cabin in the woods"
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