Winegard SK Motor Stalled

I’ve had issues with the Winegard Trav’ler SK-1000 satellite antenna before. You can read all about my EL Motor Home Failure issue here.

Yesterday, we had to change sites before we leave for California on Tuesday. The sites at Myakka River Motorcoach Resort are usually booked on a monthly basis and, as we needed to extend our stay until February 5th, we moved away from our riverfront site to one at the very back of the park.

I went through my checklist. One of the first items is to stow the satellite antenna. Simple enough task. Press power off on the Winegard interface box and it initiates the stowing process.

Like many things in our motorcoach, I am pleasantly surprised when things work as they should. I expect things not to work which seems to be the case for many of the systems on our coach.

Like our domestic hot water. It failed last week. I received what is now the third replacement pump from ITR Oasis yesterday and I am going to install that pump later this morning.

The cost? $300 USD plus another $100 USD to expedite the shipment.

Hopefully we will regain our hot water. The pumps do not seem to have much staying power.

Back to the Winegard Trav’ler. It began to stow the antenna and I could hear the motor making some sounds. You know the sounds. The sounds that suggest something is not right in the world. Like the sounds of tires skidding followed by the sounds of a crash.

Yes. The antenna would not stow. It is pointing straight up in the air.

On the Winegard interface box, these words flashed over and over: SK MOTOR STALL.

Helpful as that flashing message was, I could not find any relevant resources on the web to address this problem.

Well, I thought, I’ve always wanted to give Winegard support a call.

An expensive call, really. I have to pay them $350 USD to repair the motor in the turret. It will take them two weeks to turn it around after they have received it and I cannot send it to them before obtaining an RMA.

Oh, and I have to dismantle the antenna. On the roof.

Check it out.

Such fun I will have this morning.

I will climb up to the roof and spend an hour or two dismantling a complex antenna system then I will pack up the turret assembly, spend $100 USD or so to ship it out to Winegard, wait for a few weeks for them to repair it, then reinstall it on the roof.

Fortunately I have a few friends that will be helping me out on this side of the repair.

Thankfully we discovered this little issue before our travels to California. We would have had a very late start to the travel day trying to get the antenna stowed.

Leaving it stuck upright could cause an impact with lower clearance bridges or with trees. And then we would need to spend a few thousand to get a new unit.

3 replies
  1. Van
    Van says:

    Have had good experiences with Winegard Support folks. Always best to call them first thing in the morning, right when they open. On last summers trip to Yellowstone a tree limb “jumped out” and brushed against my retracted dish 😳. While on the road they diagnosed my new issues as a bent feed horn arm & suspect reflector. They guided me through temporary reprogramming which allowed the dish to receive one satellite, so the wife was happy. When we got home, a new reflector and feed horn were waiting. An hour later it was working perfectly. Even though I “helped” cause the problem, the SK-1000 is a complex piece of equipment and it likes periodic $500 cash infusions from a plastic wrench 🙄

    Reply
    • Richard
      Richard says:

      Their motors seem far too fragile. When I compare notes with many others who have experienced the very same issue after only a few dozen or stows of the SK-1000, I wonder why I am having to pay any money at all for what seems to be a faulty design. When I filled out the out of warranty paperwork, they had a preselected list which included an option just for this specific issue. I suspect it will happen to every Winegard SK-1000 unit. Hopefully, when we receive it back from them, it will handle more than a few stows.

      Reply
  2. William Lackey
    William Lackey says:

    First I am 78 years old and climbing on top of our coach is not an option. Winegard requires the traveler dish to be removed, boxed up and shipped to them to be repaired. The problem is a poorly made electric sk motor that is prone to failure. This motor is made by Merkle Korff a Japanese owned company. This motor costs between twenty and thirty five dollars. Winegard used to sell this part to their dealers but will no longer do so. It takes less than 30 minutes to remove and replace this motor, it is not necessary to remove the dish. Having a technician remove the dish, box it up, ship it to Winegard, then reinstall it runs about four hundred dollars. Winegard charges three hundred fifty dollars to replace the motor and ship it back. Seven hundred fifty dollars to replace a thirty five dollar piece. It takes them several weeks to accomplish this. My dish has not been used ten times and the coach is stored in dry garage. I owned an RV repair shop for thirteen years and have never dealt with a company that treated their customers this poorly. I will not repair this dish to only have it fail again. I will switch to Mogul satellite in Salt Lake City.

    Reply

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