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Old 04-15-2019, 12:17 PM   #1
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Looking for information

Hey all,
We are totally new to the fifth wheel trailer world and are looking for our first trailer. Have had many bumper pull types in the past but want to go with a 5ver this time.

As I am researching the quality of the different types of trailers I keep running across the Lippert pin box frame breakage issues. I also noticed that Lippert sells an air ride pin box now and other companies sell air ride 5th wheel hitches. Hensley Trailer Saver comes to mind.

My question is, could all the pin box frame breakage be caused by lots of miles on rough roads or constant load shocks from to the pin box to the 5th wheel hitch or no, not really, they were just all junk?

I ran across a thread where it was mentioned that 80% of the manufactures used the same source for trailer frames. Does that mean that all of them broke or were repaired at one time or was it a hit and miss on them?

Iím just trying to figure out how to find a trailer where the frame is not currently cracked or has been repaired a number of times without asking the owner or service department to drop the covering to show me the frame section as I am thinking that would be unrealistic.

Any help from the "been there done that" crowd would be appreciated.
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Old 04-15-2019, 01:31 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum.

Yes, Lippert makes most of the frames for 5er's, between 85% and 90% of them I believe. Northwoods/Nash RV manufacture makes their own 5er frames and a couple of others. But for the most part it is Lippert.

Now does every frame made by Lippert fail NO! Can a frame fail yes, anything made by man can fail. Another item you must remember is Lippert is a sub-supplier to the RV manufacture and the frame is built to the RV manufactures specifications.

I have owned three different 5th wheels trailers and I never had a frame failure on any of the units I have owned.

Are you buying a used trailer or a new trailer? A new trailer will not have a cracked frame and depending on price of the unit the frame may be of a higher quality than a low cost 5er trailer frame.

I know that when I was looking for a new 5er, I wanted a 12" frame which could be a 10" main frame with a welded 2" tube on top. Why, this is a stronger frame and in a higher quality 5th wheel unit.
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Old 04-15-2019, 04:05 PM   #3
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The RV industry is full of shoddy workmanship. From the frame to the roof and all points in between. with that being said, I don't read about to many frame failures anymore. I still do but not very often. Pretty much if it's a Lippert product it has a higher chance of failing. Lippert products are in every RV period. So with that taken into account it's no wonder that part failures have Lpperts name on them.
IMHO I wouldn't worry about it. If you look at how many 5th wheels are sold every year then add up the number of reported frame failures on 5th wheel you read about. It's a really minute amount.
If you're very concerned about it then Northwood and Outdoors RV are the only ones I know of right now building mid-range priced 5th wheels with in house made frames.
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Old 04-15-2019, 04:14 PM   #4
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We are looking for used under 20k. and a mnimum of 28 feet. Planning on living full time in it while our house is being built and use it for weekend camping adventures after that.

We have looked at a Dutcham Colorado, Komfort, Montana, and a couple other brands.

Waiting to hear back from owners to see a Custom Cruiser and a Heartland.
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