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Here’s 6 things to check if the roof won’t close on your Jayco camper trailer.
These are the common faults if the roof gets stuck…
…and are also the things that’ve made the difference to let us keep our mattress topper on the bed when the roof’s closed
(which makes a huge difference to our set-up and pack-up times)
Let’s get started:
1. Make sure that the door is folded flat against the ceiling
If the corner next to the door won’t close properly then you can bet that this is the problem:
How you hang the top part of the door to the ceiling makes a BIG difference when you wind down the roof of your camper.
If you leave the door hanging down at the entrance when you attach the little clips then it can get in the way when you lower the roof.
One of the main reasons we bought this Ever Rest Memory Foam Topper from Spotlight‘s eBay store was because of being able to leave it on the bed…
…but we didn’t know this about how to fold the door
[and this meant we had to take the topper off the first few trips using it]
If you push the metal plate up first the door folds flat to the roof and gives more space for the mattress and bedding.
2. Fold the canvas flat (like an envelope)
If the roof won’t close properly then something to check is how you’ve folded the canvas.
If it’s all bunched up on the mattresses then:
- It creates more bulk, and
- Air pockets can get trapped
To get things as flat as possible the method that works for us is to fold the canvas using the “envelope” method
1. Fold the corners of the canvas into the middle of the bed
2. Fold the long edge of the canvas back into the middle
3. Push the bed in slowly, neatening it up as you go
HINT: To make it even easier an option is:
- Push the rear bed in first
- Go inside to pull the rear canvas flat
- Fold the front canvas using this envelope method
Before you start winding the roof all the way down…
3. Check the position of the canvas relative to the top section of the door
Even when the door is folded flat against the ceiling there’s still less clearance for the mattress…
…so when you’re winding the roof down take a look inside and check the position of the canvas relative to the door.
4. Wait a few minutes after you’ve wound down the roof before you do up the clips
No matter how well you’ve folded the canvas it’s likely that there will still be some air trapped in it.
Something we’ve found that makes a huge difference if our roof won’t close properly is to:
- Wind down the roof so that you can attach the clips (but not do them up)
- Wait 5 or so minutes while you’re doing something else in the pack up, then
- Pull down the levers on the clips
This gives some time for the air to be squeezed out and makes it easier to close the last few centimetres
5. Apply gentle sideways pressure to the roof while you’re winding it down
If the roof won’t close properly and there’s a ‘soft spongy’ feel when you pull down then it’s likely a canvas/mattress issue…
…but if you feel more of a ‘hard block’ then it’s likely to be related to the lifting system.
The weight of the awning can pull the roof over to one side even if it isn’t set-up AND if your camper is level
(this is made worse on our Jayco Swan because our solar panel is on the same side as our awning)
We just wind the roof up a foot or so, then apply gentle sideways pressure while winding it down:
It then closes without a problem.
Also, make sure you use some silicon spray to lubricate the lifting arms
(it’s something that has many uses for a Jayco camper trailer so it’s made it’s way onto this list of 11 Best Jayco Camper Trailer Accessories (Our Must Have Purchases For Our Swan)
NOTE: This roof weight distribution issue can also be a cause if your door won’t close properly.
6. Check the cables, pulleys and lifting arms
If the roof won’t come down (and none of the above work) then here’s where things can start to get trickier and require a few tools.
To help with fault finding:
If the whole roof is stuck it’s likely to be the:
- Main cable is caught in the winch,
- The anchor plate is stuck on something, or
- The cables are twisted together.
If a corner is stuck up then it’s likely that:
- A cable has come out of a pulley and is jammed in-between the bracket and pulley wheel,
- A push rod has popped out, or
- The sleeves of the lifting arm are stuck
[if the outer sleeve can be moved up and down by hand then the sleeves aren’t stuck together]
NOTE: Before you climb in and start checking the winch system it’s important to make sure that the roof supports are in
It’s unlikely to be a snapped cable NOW because as you wind the winch you’re releasing the load on the cables and the roof comes down by gravity…
… but if the problem is a cable that’s been caught in the winch gears and it decides to let go then the roof will come crashing down.
Hopefully when you climb in it’s just a case of:
- Untangling some cables
- Dislodging a caught anchor plate, or
- Putting a cable back on a pulley.
If the main cable is chewed up in the gears of the winch then for the sake of about $20 it’s worth replacing
Summary: Things to check if the roof won’t close on your Jayco camper trailer
If the roof won’t close properly on your Jayco camper trailer then there are quite a few possible causes…
…but the good news is that most of them have easy fixes.
If you found this article helpful then you might also like: 23 Tips For New Jayco Camper Trailer Owners