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 > poor frame design on travel trailer

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Huntindog

Phoenix AZ

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Posted: 01/07/18 11:15pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

mountainkowboy wrote:

SidecarFlip wrote:

Old-Biscuit wrote:

With that type of A-frame/trailer frame I would be more concerned with 'failure'

[image]


Saw that and tight away thought of Lippert components.


Lippert builds ****, I've seen 12 year olds that can weld better than them.
I have had 3 different TTs with 3 different frame makers. My present one is Lippert. It is by far the best.
Very heavy duty and top notch welds. I am a welder, so I know a little about the subject.

Having said that, I think a lot of the credit goes to the TT builder as to what they spec in a frame... As for the welds... Why is everyone buying these TTs that have bad welds?
They are usually pretty easy to spot on a TT. Even when new.

A good weld, generally looks good, even to the untrained eye. Bad welds, (like my first well used TT) are just the opposite. That first of mine had terrible welds. It never caused any trouble, probably because it was way heavier than needed. I guess in 1973, using very heavy metal was the solution.

Today, like everything else, most builders buy JUST ENOUGH to barely do the job.




Dog


Ralph Cramden

US

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Posted: 01/08/18 02:43am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Huntindog wrote:

mountainkowboy wrote:

SidecarFlip wrote:

Old-Biscuit wrote:

With that type of A-frame/trailer frame I would be more concerned with 'failure'

[image]


Saw that and tight away thought of Lippert components.


Lippert builds ****, I've seen 12 year olds that can weld better than them.
I have had 3 different TTs with 3 different frame makers. My present one is Lippert. It is by far the best.
Very heavy duty and top notch welds. I am a welder, so I know a little about the subject.

Having said that, I think a lot of the credit goes to the TT builder as to what they spec in a frame... As for the welds... Why is everyone buying these TTs that have bad welds?
They are usually pretty easy to spot on a TT. Even when new.

A good weld, generally looks good, even to the untrained eye. Bad welds, (like my first well used TT) are just the opposite. That first of mine had terrible welds. It never caused any trouble, probably because it was way heavier than needed. I guess in 1973, using very heavy metal was the solution.

Today, like everything else, most builders buy JUST ENOUGH to barely do the job.




You must have recieved a fluke from Lippert. From what I have seen on every Lippert frame I have owned (3), or have seen that were owned by others or at dealers and shows, the welding looks like donkey dung. I have a little experience with welding from 30+ years in commercial and Industrial construction management.

We bought a 2013 Keystone based on seeing a friend's 2012 which was the same model. His 2012 was on a frame made by Dexter. Our 2013 had a Lippert frame as Lippert had acquired Dexters axle division. What a difference.

What brand and model trailer has this great Lippert frame? I am seriously curious.

An RV manufacturer specs the frame as to overall dimensions, weight of trailer, and other design considerations but Lippert does the actual design and engineering and are the ones backing the frame from a warranty perspective. Good luck with that fight if you ever need that warranty. The RV manufacturer is looking for the cheapest price and Lippert will provide. What they save on the frame is used on the cheap eye candy which helps sales (also mostly supplied by Lippert) without affecting bottom line.

Some of the welding and more importantly reinforcement were so questionable on our 2017 Rockwood, within the first month of ownership I was adding additional reinforcement as well as fabricating water tank supports.

trailernovice

Mission TX

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Posted: 01/08/18 09:01am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The picture Old Biscuit posted is exactly the design of our TT, and illustrates the issue...imagine the A-frame in that picture hadn't failed & creased, and instead was straight...visualize how low the w/d bars, safety chains, and umbilical cable would be to the ground...And, the mud flaps on the truck in the image leads me to believe it's probably a heavy-duty series (maybe a dually) that would sit higher and have a heavier suspension than our rig...I'm over 500 at the hitch, dry with no load in bed, on a 1500-series truck...w/d bars have six inches or less of clearance from the roadday

the least little bump, dip or incline and everything at the hitch point bottoms out and scrapes

Probably won't trade truck or trailer just now...I'm pointing this out for the benefit of others...something to look at when considering a particular TT

* This post was edited 01/08/18 09:08am by trailernovice *


Glenn and Toni
2016 Crossroads Z1 252BH
2016 Ram 1500 5.7 3.21 gears
Reese round bar w/d with sway control

Ralph Cramden

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Posted: 01/08/18 09:20am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

trailernovice wrote:

The picture Old Biscuit posted is exactly the design of our TT, and illustrates the issue...imagine the A-frame in that picture hadn't failed & creased, and instead was straight...visualize how low the w/d bars, safety chains, and umbilical cable would be to the ground...And, the mud flaps on the truck in the image leads me to believe it's probably a heavy-duty series (maybe a dually) that would sit higher and have a heavier suspension than our rig...I'm over 500 at the hitch, dry with no load in bed, on a 1500-series truck...w/d bars have six inches or less of clearance from the roadday

the least little bump, dip or incline and everything at the hitch point bottoms out and scrapes

Probably won't trade truck or trailer just now...I'm pointing this out for the benefit of others...something to look at when considering a particular TT



They evidently changed something along the way.

The top picture is a 2018, the bottom a 2016. Does you no good however as that falls under the we can change anything we want at anytime fine print they plaster everywhere. It probably boils down to what frames do they have sitting around out in the yard on the day they run the floorplan.

[image]

[image]

SidecarFlip

SE Michigan

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Posted: 01/08/18 09:46am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Couple things.. I to am a AWS certified welder (TIG-MIG-SMAW and gas and Lippert builds sub standard frames today, I've seen more than one.

At some point, Lippert went from SMAW to MIG, don't know when, but the skill level and competence level also went south. When you have welders that one day were working at the local fast food place and the next day welding frames, it's hard to expect any consistency in welds even though a MIG (glue gun) eliminates most of the weld skill factor. However, the welder still needs to lay a bead and fuse the materials together. I've seen Lippert frames where the welds are missing entirely, or cold welded or just a tiny amount of applied weld.

You get what you pay for and Lippert is on the low end of the pay scale (just above a burger joint I would assume). I'd work there but I really don't believe they would pay me the prevailing wage for a skilled and certified welder.

The last place any buyer looks at is the frame... until it fails. If I was buying a unit with a frame, I'd dang sure be under it examining it propr to a purchase, but that is me an I know what to look at. Would only take maybe 30 seconds max.


2015 Backpack SS1500
1997 Ford 7.3 OBS 4x4 CC LB

rbpru

North Central Indiana

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Posted: 01/08/18 10:02am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Like most things in the RV world, you will be hard put to find the floor plan you like in anything but a Lippert frame. They do most of the industry fabrication.

As for the OPs issue, short of a re-weld I would first raise the hitch ball. I know "nose high" is not ideal but a 4 to 6 inch raise might solve the problem.

I doubt that anyone would be looking to that. Thanks for the heads up.


Twenty six foot 2010 Dutchmen Lite pulled with a 2011 EcoBoost F-150 4x4.

Just right for Grandpa, Grandma and the dog.


trailernovice

Mission TX

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Posted: 01/08/18 10:17am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The lower picture posted by Ralph Cramden is the exact unit we have....picture how low to the ground the thing rides, with w/d bars, on a 1500-series truck...it's low as it sits in the picture, and the front end looks slightly jacked up to me...picture it hooked up to a truck...having the trailer level means less than 6 inches of clearance between the w/d bars and the road.

I'll give some thought to the 'raise the hitch' idea...don't really want to travel nose-high, but would be better than scraping everything

I'm not looking for solutions...best solution would be to trade...just pointing this out as something folks looking to buy should be aware of

BTW...thanks for your efforts, Ralph!

TurnThePage

North ID

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Posted: 01/08/18 01:16pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Those Rams have a pretty soft suspension. Does yours sag too much possibly. Seriously, air bags or stiffer springs might solve this issue.

Grand Design brags about that tongue feature, pointing out how large the front storage is.


2015 Ram 1500
2004 Pioneer 18T6

colliehauler

Mc Pherson KS USA

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Posted: 01/08/18 01:28pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

trailernovice wrote:

The lower picture posted by Ralph Cramden is the exact unit we have....picture how low to the ground the thing rides, with w/d bars, on a 1500-series truck...it's low as it sits in the picture, and the front end looks slightly jacked up to me...picture it hooked up to a truck...having the trailer level means less than 6 inches of clearance between the w/d bars and the road.

I'll give some thought to the 'raise the hitch' idea...don't really want to travel nose-high, but would be better than scraping everything

I'm not looking for solutions...best solution would be to trade...just pointing this out as something folks looking to buy should be aware of

BTW...thanks for your efforts, Ralph!
Another option would be to flip the axles, (put the spring perch on top of the axle instead of below it)if they are mounted on the bottom. This would give you more ground clearance overall by about 4".

JBarca

Radnor, Ohio, USA

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Posted: 01/08/18 01:55pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

trailernovice wrote:

On our Crossroads Z1 252BH (year 2016), the a-frame/coupler is mounted underneath the main frame rails of the trailer, rather than butted up to the main frame rails...this configuration results in the coupler sitting about 8 inches lower than it would had the a-frame continued at the same level as the main rails...

What this causes is that the rig bottoms out on even mild bumps and inclines...the w/d bars scrape, the chains hit the roadway (causing the breakaway cable intertwined with the safety chain to scrape), and the umbilical scrapes...so far I've had to replace the umbilical and the breakaway once, and they both again need replacement...at some point I'll need to replace the w/d bars...

This issue never crossed my mind when I selected this unit...should've realized the issue before purchase...

Want to take a long road trip to the West this summer, but may actually not go unless I trade this unit...went to Big Bend last summer and even that amount of 'up the hill/down the hill' had everything bottoming out a lot.

Just passing this on for what it's worth


Trying to help here.

The words you picked lead me to believe your ball coupler was on the bottom of the A frame. The do make them that way, Jayco uses a lot of them. I read your note wrong.

Since this pic was posted, and this seems to show what you have by your last reply, then the ball coupler is on top of the A frame, and the A frame is mounted under the main camper frame rails.

[image]

A play on words for sure but there is a simpler solution to correct this short of trading the camper. While I have no idea why on ST205/75R15 tires (from the 2017 KZ web site) they would do a bottom A frame mount, the WD hitch you are using will hang too low. You obviously know this now as it hits.

Your sig says you have the Reese round bar. I assumed it had the standard friction bar with it and not a DC. Correct me if I have that wrong. It looks like this.
[image]

If you change the WD hitch to a Equal-I-zer brand made by Progress Mfg, that hitch is higher up and is a better fit for that style frame you have. See here. Notice the A frame is made the same.
[image]

Do you know the ball height of your current camper? Ball height = TT level and distance from ground to top inside the tow ball.

Did the dealer sell/install the Reese round bar or did you have it from an older camper and moved it over? The issue in this case really is not the camper (although odd they used that frame setup) but the wrong WD hitch was selected for that specific camper.

Your WD hitch is a popular one (just not for that camper) and can be sold on Craigslist if you cannot return it to your dealer. The price offset will make the Equal-I-zer not be that much of and upgrade. The EQ Wd hitch has a better anti sway setup then the standard friction bar so you would be getting a better hitch from the deal.

Hope this helps

John


John & Cindy

2005 Ford F350 Super Duty, 4x4; 6.8L V10 with 4.10
CC, SB, Lariat & FX4 package
21,000 GCWR, 11,000 GVWR
Ford Tow Command
1,700# Reese HP hitch & HP Dual Cam
2 1/2" Towbeast Receiver

2004 Sunline Solaris T310SR
(I wish we were camping!)


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