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Old 08-05-2009, 10:52 AM   #1
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Texas Boomers Club
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Houston, TX
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Frame Flex

I have noticed some deflection, about 1/2 inch, in the front of my 7 year old 5th wheel. I took it to an RV welding company and they contacted Lippert and Montana as this is a common problem.

After they received a multi-page fax on the recommended repair from the manufacturer, they decided it was more than they wanted to get into. Apparently, it involved removing some walls and work where the aluminum structure attaches to the frame.

I talked to their welder when I picked it up and he said that if I removed the underneath around the pinbox so they could see the damage, they might reconsider and repair the frame.

If I do this, does anyone have info on how you would repair the walls where they attach, or is it really necessary?

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Old 08-05-2009, 05:57 PM   #2
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It is somewhat common for the front crossmember in front of the pinbox to crack. This has happened from the cheapies to the expensive fivers. Some of the manufacturers were drilling the cross members to run the hookup wiring from the truck up thru the kingpin and into the coach. Any engineer will tell you that this is a no no. Repair normally does not require removing any walls. The front cap will normally come off as well as the chin covering. Mine gave started flexing by about 1-1/2 inch while in Alaska. The repair took a week of time and consisted of removal as stated, replace the 2x6 in front of the kingpin side panels as well as the one behind it. They sent new cross members from the factory that were about twice as thick as original. All bracing between these two were replaced as well as adding gussets in the area. 35,000 miles later all is still good. Thankfully Carriage covered the entire cost even though I was two years out of warranty. A Newmar, NuWa and Teton had all shared the same repair bay for the same repair as mine within the previous month. So, this can happen to us all.


2003 Dodge HO 6 speed Laramie Dually, Jordan controller, RDS fuel tank, Air Ride 25K hitch
Carriage 36' fiver, Onan 6500, Prosine 2K inverter, 3 slides, MORyde IS and Kingpin
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Old 08-05-2009, 06:22 PM   #3
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FWIW, Lippert and Zieman are both owned by Davis Industries; Lippert is a subsidiary of Zieman Industries. Their warranty: http://www.zieman.com/docs/Zieman%20...%20Chassis.pdf
makes it clear they transfer all warranty to the RV manufacturer, while accepting little/none themselves. ANY modifications or additions to their frames voids any warranty.
Apparently the only way to obtain a copy from http://www.lci1.com/index.php?option...d=61&Itemid=68
Lippert Industries is to personally contact them, as they no longer publish it on the internet. If you run a net search for "lippert frame warranty", you get an idea of just how many warranty problems are involved. Keep in mind that trailer frames are constructed by Lippert/Zieman according to manufacturer specifications and designs.
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