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Old 09-25-2015, 03:29 AM   #1
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Question Fiberglass cracking?

Last week while washing it, I found a crack in the exterior wall of our 5th wheel about 3" long. It's on the corner of a cutout for front slide. I was leaving the foowing day for Arkansas and decided to put a small mark and check it after our trip to see if it was getting worse. After we arrived I checked and it's about 6" long now. It is a 2014 and I bought it new would this be something Forest River could help me with or what? I've had numerous problems but not sure about this one? Thanks for any info -Arthur-
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Old 09-25-2015, 07:02 AM   #2
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What kind of hitch do you have?
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Old 09-25-2015, 08:32 AM   #3
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You need to call Forest River ASAP.
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Old 09-25-2015, 08:40 AM   #4
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I asked about hitch because that is classic damage when an extended pin for ball hookup is used. If this is true Lippert may not cover it.
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Old 09-25-2015, 02:42 PM   #5
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It is a classic stress crack. Some manufacturers cut the skin to prevent this type of crack and insert a piece of 'H' trim. If your crack is vertical (not likely) it can be repaired the same way. The frame flexes between the landing gear and the king pin each time you hook up and again every time you hit a bump. How much flex varies by brand and even unit to unit. The sidewall is bolted to the frame, but cannot flex as much as the frame. And that is the problem.

If the crack is not vertical, the usual fix is to drill a small hole at the end of the crack to stop it spreading and then bevel the edges of the crack and patch it. But that only works as long as the underlying problem is fixed. But with a flexing frame that is not going to happen.

My fiver had too much flex due to a model change, but the issue was detected before any fiberglas cracks occurred. The front cap was removed and Lippert beefed up the frame. Flex was reduced from 1-1/2" to 1/2". That was in 2011.
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Old 09-26-2015, 12:13 AM   #6
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This is the crack.



I figured it was from the frame flexing. Will most manufacturers cover it? And I have the factory hitch the trailer.
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Old 09-26-2015, 08:07 AM   #7
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It is likely frame crack. Yes Lippert should fix that.
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Old 09-26-2015, 07:27 PM   #8
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They should but it will probably be a big fight. They will want to just fix the crack and send you on your way. But they won't want to fix the flexing because of the expense. Dealer should use a forklift to lift the fiver by the king pin to determine amount of flex. If they don't or won't, then they aren't serious about helping you fix the real problem. You can also measure the amount of flex, not ez, but there are several methods. PM me if you want more details.
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Old 09-26-2015, 08:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
t is a classic stress crack. Some manufacturers cut the skin to prevent this type of crack and insert a piece of 'H' trim.
X2.
My '97 5er with a bed room slide started the infamous crack in the same place when it was about 3 years old.
My RV dealer gave me a 6" long piece of molding.
I used a thin radiac wheel and cut the skin on down to the edge molding.
I ran a bead of 35 year flexible caulk over the cut and used two small SS screws to hold it in place.
No issues in 15 years.

If you notice many 5ers of the '00s era have a short piece of molding installed at the factory in that location.
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Old 09-27-2015, 09:54 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JIMNLIN View Post
X2.
My '97 5er with a bed room slide started the infamous crack in the same place when it was about 3 years old.
My RV dealer gave me a 6" long piece of molding.
I used a thin radiac wheel and cut the skin on down to the edge molding.
I ran a bead of 35 year flexible caulk over the cut and used two small SS screws to hold it in place.
No issues in 15 years.

If you notice many 5ers of the '00s era have a short piece of molding installed at the factory in that location.
Thank you for the info everyone. I already sealed it, but will do as instructed before and do the trim patch 👍🏼.
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