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Old 09-21-2013, 07:39 AM   #1
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Advice PLEASE

We are brand new to RV'ing. Last week we purchased a brand new 5'er. We have waited patiently for the last week, to pick up our new 5'er. Our scheduled date for pick up was this Monday the 23rd. Yesterday {Fri the 20th) we got a call from the dealer that there would be a delay in picking up our new coach. The issue was described as this, The RV has to go to a frame shop and have the axles re aligned. Apparently it goes down the road a little crooked. Our salesman said that when they were going over the RV for final inspection the guy in their service dept noticed this and said that it just needed to be fixed. I dont have much more to say because I just didnt know what else to say to him on the phone, It has taken us a little by suprise and until I talked to others I just didnt know what to say. I did call the salesman back and told him we would need in writing that the coach was fixed AFTER it left the factory, not by the factory, and would still carry the complete warranty should the fix have a problem. The salesman said that they were intouch with the factory and they concur that it needed adjusted properly, and that all was well with what should happen.

Can some of you guys offer us any advise? What should we do? Any and all help will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you

Shawn and Julie
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Old 09-21-2013, 08:46 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by reylocs View Post
We are brand new to RV'ing. Last week we purchased a brand new 5'er. We have waited patiently for the last week, to pick up our new 5'er. Our scheduled date for pick up was this Monday the 23rd. Yesterday {Fri the 20th) we got a call from the dealer that there would be a delay in picking up our new coach. The issue was described as this, The RV has to go to a frame shop and have the axles re aligned. Apparently it goes down the road a little crooked. Our salesman said that when they were going over the RV for final inspection the guy in their service dept noticed this and said that it just needed to be fixed. I dont have much more to say because I just didnt know what else to say to him on the phone, It has taken us a little by suprise and until I talked to others I just didnt know what to say. I did call the salesman back and told him we would need in writing that the coach was fixed AFTER it left the factory, not by the factory, and would still carry the complete warranty should the fix have a problem. The salesman said that they were intouch with the factory and they concur that it needed adjusted properly, and that all was well with what should happen.

Can some of you guys offer us any advise? What should we do? Any and all help will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you

Shawn and Julie
welcome this is a good thing they found it. also this is just the start when you by a new trailer or mh you will find more and more stuff that needs to be fixed. they rush them thru the line. but it will get better. there are some people on here that went to pick up there new rv just to sit there for a month. I would make them give you something saying war. work was done. hope this helps. but having the wheels strait well save your tires and fuel. good luck
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Old 09-21-2013, 01:25 PM   #3
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Many units either leave the factory with axle problems or incur road damage during the transport. Bent axles, misaligned axles, loose nuts, etc. Many dealers do not identify the problems and the owner discovers tire wear issues within a few thousand miles or other worse problems. And repairs are generally covered under warranty w/o hesitation. So, don't feel alone. But it is possible that you have a very good and hard working dealer staff. Or maybe the problem was so obvious, they couldn't ignore it. But from your post, it sounds like the former case and not the latter. As long as the dealer creates a service record since the unit has to go to an independent alignment shop and they give you a copy of that service record as part of your documents, then I believe you will be fine.

Decent to excellent dealers are worth a lot to the buyer.
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Old 09-21-2013, 01:29 PM   #4
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Friends of ours had this problem but it was discovered after they had purchased their 5er. They had the axles re-alligned and all is good. It's good that they found the problem before you took possesion and went thru a set of tires in no time flat.
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Old 09-21-2013, 03:50 PM   #5
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I'd take a close look at all tires when you pick it up to be sure they weren't damaged/scuffed during delivery from the factory (depending on how far that was).
If so, I'd ask for a new tire.
Otherwise, I wouldn't worry about it. Sounds like you've got a good dealer.
Many would just turn their head the other way and let it go on down the road.
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Old 09-21-2013, 04:05 PM   #6
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Thank you to everyone. We weren't sure how to handle the news,but sounds like we are doing what we need to do.

Thanks again

Happy and Excited
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Old 09-23-2013, 08:52 AM   #7
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Not that unusual to have happen. We had it happen on a former rig, but didn't find out until after we had done some unusual wear on the tires. But Dexter sent us to an alignment place and took care of the fix. So, as others have said, you are fortunate to find it right away.

And the one thing you can feel confident in is that your coach manufacturer will take care of things if there is any further problem with the fix. However, I suspect the axel will be fine when done. After ours was fixed we never had another problem with it.
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Old 09-23-2013, 09:20 AM   #8
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Pretty common. You will most likely have your axels alligned more then once if you keep the rig very long. Its not as common as a car but should be checked whenever you see uneven tire wear or tracking issues. I think it reflects well of your dealer to disclose and correct this. I just had my 5er done and its only 3 years old but I noticed worn tire shoulders. Sure enough the caster and camber was off a bit. You won't get a warrenty because you can easily knock it out off wack just like a car.
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Old 09-23-2013, 12:00 PM   #9
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Pretty common. You will most likely have your axels alligned more then once if you keep the rig very long. Its not as common as a car but should be checked whenever you see uneven tire wear or tracking issues. I think it reflects well of your dealer to disclose and correct this. I just had my 5er done and its only 3 years old but I noticed worn tire shoulders. Sure enough the caster and camber was off a bit. You won't get a warrenty because you can easily knock it out off wack just like a car.
Dexter did do ours under their axel warranty-but the rig was probably less than two years old. Not sure how long their warranty was. Ours required that the axel be bent a little-I'm not sure if this is always the case or not.
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Old 09-24-2013, 09:02 AM   #10
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BM, yes the axels are accually bent back into alignment. They use lasers and a frame machine. The axels are designed with a bow upward in them and as weight is added they move into a calulated position that isnt always correct. I watched them do mine and asked lots of questions. The frame shop I used is very busy with trailers of all sorts. They see brand new trailers of all types that need axel alignment. I also called Dexter to verify that the work and the shop was go to go. They verified the work was correct and the shop was a good one.
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Old 09-26-2013, 09:45 AM   #11
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You didn't say what kind of trailer you bought. I would go slow picking it up as now is the time you can still back out of the deal. Tell us what you bought and all the weights and the axle weight off the axle sticker and we can tell you a lot more. It seems to me that if the dealer saw it it must have been real bad and did it tow 3000 miles and scuff off the tires? If it was me I think I would back out of the deal.
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Old 09-26-2013, 10:27 AM   #12
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If its easily fixed, it isn't a big deal. But what's more impressive is that your dealer picked up the problem and was proactive in resolving it and disclosing it to you. Nice to see....
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Old 09-26-2013, 11:45 AM   #13
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It's great that the dealer picked up something wrong and is attempting to repair it. There may be other things going on with the frame that they won't notice or have the expertise to inspect and diagnose though. (BTDT)

Before you let the dealer attempt to fix it, get an independent frame shop look at it first. I would not even trust the frame manufacturer to fix it correctly even if they sent someone out to do it.

Frame problems can be very, very serious. Do NOT rely on the dealer to fix it right or to notice other problems there may be with the frame and do not take this lightly. Something like 90%+ of trailer frames are made by Lippert and there have been many, many problems with them on travel trailers and 5th wheels. You can go to any RV forum and search for frame cracks, frame issues, frame problems, failed welds, etc. and find all kinds of stories on frame problems. The way the industry works is normally the dealer passes you off to Lippert and they have the say in whether or not they will fix something. Frequently, they simply blame the owner for overloading their unit or saying "it's within spec." ( BTDT on this too.) Try going to forums and searching your brand and models for problems and see what has come up with them and how it's been resolved.

Frames are not required to meet any RV industry standards, SAE, UL, CSA or other safety standard or any government mandated standards. A frame manufacturer can build whatever they want and however they want and there is zero accountability to anyone. Frames do not come with a GVWR or max. weight rating. Axles on the other hand have ratings. For example, you can go to ALKO's website and get specs and info. on axles. You won't find that for trailer frames. It's ridiculous. There are no quality standards for welding on a trailer frame. Sometimes the weld quality is atrocious and often, the welds are not complete (they only weld part way along a joint). I've seen many photos of parts of frames pulling apart because of bad welding.

If I were you, I would try and nip this in the bud as soon as you can. If something is not fully resolved right away, it can drag on forever and you'll run the risk of the warranty expiring. I highly recommend that you take the unit to a frame shop that is experienced with RV trailer frames. You also want to find one that will be 100% on your side and not afraid to put anything they find wrong in writing. Not sure where you are, but where we live, we have "government designated inspection facilities". If you have something similar, go to one of those. An inspection may cost you $100 - $200 but it could save you thousands in the end. A good report from an independent expert is going to be your best ammunition.

It's a very good thing that this has come up at the beginning. Nobody will be able to claim that you abused your trailer and that's why there's issues. This is the best time to go out and get an independent expert report.

I've read many posts about 5th wheel owners that have had the pin box areas rip apart from the frame. You can ask a frame shop to check the quality of your welds and if re-inforcement would be a good idea.

Also, aligning a trailer frame/wheels requires specialized equipment and it's unlikely that your dealer can do that. As well, only some frame shops have the special equipment.

Not all Lippert frames are alike. Some are better than others. Some are really bad. If you do go to a frame shop, ask them if there is anything that can be done to beef up the frame. If you don't have gussets at the spring hanger points for example, those would be a good thing to add. Another good upgrade is to tie the left and right side spring hangers together with sqaure tubing to minimize flex and movement. Mor/Ryde has a kit for this or tubing can be welded in there.

When dealing with the dealer, put everything in writing (and attach photos and reports) so that there is a paper (or email) trail. If you have a discussion with the dealer, summarize the salient points, send it to them and ask them in the letter if what you said is correct and for them to reply if it isn't. Another thing you might try is finding a contact person at the factory that you can include in the loop. Try asking on a forum if anyone knows of a good contact at the factory. There's good ones that will help and there's some that won't. If the dealer claims to have received correspondence from the factory or frame manufacturer that denies help to you, ask to see a copy of it.

A dealer and/or the factory may not want to deal with your problems because it can open up a whole can of worms and liability for other similar frames out there so don't let them sweep you under the carpet.

Lastly, there are some good RV manufacturers that will address serious problems but unfortunately, there are some that won't. In some cases, you need to force their hand. Just don't let time slip away. If not getting anywhere, you could try Trailer Life's RV action line.

If you do end up going to a frame shop for inspection, please post the findings here if you can. It's not a nice way to start off with a new unit and new to RVing but you've done the right thing by asking up front on a forum like this.

Good luck!
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Old 09-27-2013, 04:02 AM   #14
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Frame is not made by lippert. Excel makes all their own frames in house.

Shawn
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