How to Fix a Cable Lift System on a Palomino Pop-Up Camper

Written by john cagney nash
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How to Fix a Cable Lift System on a Palomino Pop-Up Camper
A pop-up camper being towed in its lowered configuration. (camping,trailer image by Greg Pickens from

Palomino Camping Trailer Construction is a Michigan company specialising in the manufacture of lightweight tent trailers. Vanguard, the parent company, pioneered the concept of folding wall campers, which collapse like conventional pop-up campers but have hard walls when extended. When a winch near the front of the camper is wound, stranded cables transfer the effect to lifting mechanisms in each of the Palomino's corners. The cables are under considerable stress, both when raising and lowering the camper's upper section, and except in extraordinary circumstances are the only part of the system that fails and needs to be fixed.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Household toolkit
  • Silicone-based lubricant
  • Socket set
  • Replacement cable

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  1. 1

    Raise the roof of the Palomino pop-up camper. If it is not possible to do this in the normal way because of the broken cable, use a car jack to raise one side at a time in incremental steps until the roof is fully extended, then use rigid poles to support it. Clamp the poles firmly in place.

  2. 2

    Disassemble the shrouds that enclose the horizontal cable runs in each corner. Either just above the floor or immediately beneath it, a pulley will guide the cables from their horizontal runs to their vertical runs beneath the floor. Using a penetrating silicone, lubricate all the cables and pulleys and the cranking mechanism. Wait 15 minutes before continuing.

  3. 3

    Locate the distribution block. This unit transfers the motion of the single crank to the four cables that raise and lower the roof; the location beneath Palomino campers varies from model to model so consult your operator's manual, if necessary. Follow each cable outward from the distribution block through the system of pulleys and guides until you find the break.

  4. 4

    Use a socket to free off the nut which secures the corner pulley through which the broken cable runs, then extract both pieces from the guide tunnels that keep it in place. At either end a movable plate is clamped over the cable to a captive plate held in place by a nut/bolt/washer assembly; use a socket to loosen the nut until the cable comes away.

  5. 5

    Take a piece of the broken cable to a recreational vehicle dealership to ensure the replacement you order is precisely the same size and weight. Delivery usually takes no more than two days.

  6. 6

    Install the new cable by reversing the sequence in which you removed the broken one. Double check that the cable's whole length runs through the pulleys and conduits properly, then reassemble the corner shrouds.

Tips and warnings

  • Before storing the Palomino for any length of time, inspect your cables. If you notice fraying, replace the worn cable before it breaks.
  • The strain that cables are under when being cranked up and down prevents them being mended. Always buy a new replacement for a broken cable.

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