How to repair a tent trailer lift

Written by zach lazzari
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How to repair a tent trailer lift
The lift system must be functional in order to use the trailer. (camping,trailer image by Greg Pickens from

Tent trailer lift systems may require maintenance and repair after heavy use. Many different designs exist, but all of the lifts can be fixed by diagnosing the main issue and replacing broken parts. It is not uncommon to find a broken cable, bracket or a few missing bolts. Use the diagram found in your trailer's manual to locate critical parts and order replacements. Many tent trailers use a winch system, but some of the modern trailers use an advanced hydraulic system to lift the trailer. It is important that you know your system before attempting repairs.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Floor jack
  • Support poles

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  1. 1

    Use a floor jack to prop the tent in an elevated position. Set support poles under each end of the tent to prevent collapse. Wind the lever to move the cable lift system. Look for breaks in the cables, cable shafts and chain linkage. Replace any broken pieces.

  2. 2

    Locate the crank and sprocket assembly. Check the sprockets, ratchets and washers for damage. Damage to the cranking system will make it difficult for the lift system to function. Replace any broken sprockets or ratchets.

  3. 3

    Check the lower crank system that is found on many tent trailer models. Locate the pulleys, crank shaft and bearings. Check for worn bearings or breaks in the pulleys and shaft. Replace any broken parts.

  4. 4

    Check the hydraulic pump wiring for loose ground connections and secure all connections. Use a voltage meter to check the battery for dead cells. Charge the battery if it is not supplying full voltage.

  5. 5

    Remove and replace the hydraulic pump if the wiring and battery are operable but the pump will not function.

Tips and warnings

  • If the lift has severe damage, replace the entire lift with a new system.
  • The trailer roof must have sturdy supports while you are working on the lift. Unstable supports can cause the roof to collapse in a dangerous manner.

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