Go Back   iRV2 Forums > TRAVEL TRAILER, 5th WHEEL & TRUCK CAMPER FORUMS > 5th Wheel Discussion
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 11-04-2014, 10:47 AM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 3
Major Structural Breaks on Bighorn

I have a 2009 35' Bighorn with 3 slides. We've traveled about 4000 miles each year and enjoy it very much. This fall when we returned from our summer travels we notice that the floor in the bedroom had dropped about .5 inch and the outside cladding was shifting.

We took it in and we found (after removing the cladding under the bedroom) that the cross members had cracked. The floor of the bedroom was dropping.

Has anyone else experienced anything like this?

ecsteman is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 11-04-2014, 11:02 AM   #2
Senior Member
road dogs's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: 7S5
Posts: 571
I can't speak from personal experience, but cracked frames & welds have been an ongoing issue with Lippert frames. An internet search will turn up many forums and reports about the problem. Keep in mind that you don't hear from the thousands of Lippert frames that never have any problems.

2004.5 GMC SLT CCLB, Ride Rites, Turbo brake, EFI Live
2012 Arctic Fox 29 5T 5th Airborne, B&W, Prodigy
Papillon navigators Lily, Buddy and Willow
road dogs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2014, 03:31 AM   #3
kakampers's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 56
This was a problem prior to Bighorn's redesign of the frame in 2010....contact Heartland directly and have your VIN# ready. They will also want pictures...It is not uncommon for them to take care of this issue many years out of warranty.
kakampers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-13-2014, 05:55 PM   #4
Junior Member
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Springdale, AR
Posts: 4
We had the same problem as you on our 2010 Eagle Ridge. As kakamper stated, contact Heartland. Ours was out of warranty and Heartland and Lippert took care of it. We did have to make a trip to the factory to have the repair made. No more problems since.

markfromark is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2014, 10:13 AM   #5
Senior Member
Thor Owners Club
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 2,892
I'll be watching this thread to see how this problem is resolved......hopefully by Heartland.
Fred1609 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2014, 09:28 PM   #6
Senior Member
Scottybdivin's Avatar

Newmar Owners Club
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Spicewood Texas (West of Austin)
Posts: 3,839
The frame should have a 5 year warranty. Depending on when you purchased. Like said before. They have been known to make the repairs after warranty.
Scotty and Kristen, Airedales Dagny and Wyatt
2007 Newmar Mountain Aire 4528, 450 HP ISM, Allison 4000, 8 Trojan T-105's
2014 F150 4x4 Crew Cab Platinum 157" WB
Roadmaster Blackhawk 2, RVI2 Brake System
Scottybdivin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-19-2014, 03:27 PM   #7
Junior Member
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 20
Had this problem with my 2012 bighorn 15 miles trip from dealer and frame cracked both sides heartland did fix the problem but not the same you can see the fiberglass where they cut and fixed it and when they painted the repaired area they must of had door windows open over sprat all over everywhere still have over spray on the fridge door sorry that's my heartland story..this is a well known problem with there trailers contact them maybe you'll get lucky they had mine for 8 months...I'm not a happy heartland owner......
n2snow2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-20-2014, 05:21 PM   #8
Junior Member
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 1
they fixed my 2009 Bighorn, and I am the second owner drop it off on a Monday picked it on Friday the same week
toy1ton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-20-2014, 05:24 PM   #9
Junior Member
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 20
That's great just keep track of everything they do if it's a frame problem you have to disclose that if you ever sell
n2snow2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2015, 09:46 AM   #10
Junior Member
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 3
Strutural Damage to Bighorn

Here’s a recap of what has happened in our saga.

We have used out 35’ Bighorn for the last 6 years to travel to Texas and now Florida. We are based out of Indiana now in the summer. We put about 3500-4000 miles on per year. We have never had an accident in that time.
This past November, we noticed after a day of traveling, that the floor in the upstairs bedroom had a drop off of about ½ inch. Also we could see that the outside fiberglass covering had shifted. Luckily we were only about 200 miles from our destination.
When we arrived and unloaded, I contacted Camping World in Ft Myers because they sold Heartland products. Without disconnecting, I drove it up there.
They investigated and told me that the frame under the upstairs area was cracked. I gave them the go ahead to check it out and they took off the sheathing under the hitch and you could see that virtually every connection of the metal floor supports were cracked. The service rep kindly took many pictures of these breaks. (I’ve included a couple.)
At that time I contacted Heartland Customer service and provided them with the details and about 15 pictures of the breaks. They seemed concerned at the time and got Lippert Ind. involved (the frame manufacturer).
In order to fix the breaks the entire bedroom had to be removed, so that the breaks could be welded properly. Camping World did a go job of repairing the breaks and putting everything back together properly, but the final bill was more than $8000.
Lippert and Heartland finally came back and said they would do nothing. Lippert even went so far to question whether the 5th Airborne hitch might had contributed to the breakage. Heartland stated that Lippert “only want their pin boxes on the frame”.
I’ve read many blogs from other situations similar to mine. Most of them received some assistance from the manufactures and dealer. What did I do wrong?
I wasn’t able to get my trailer up to the factory except on the back of a flatbed. I provided over 40 pictures of the damage and the repairs. This went on for two months until I forced an answer out of them. I believe Heartland would have helped out, but Lippert held firm.
Great way to get a reference. NOT!!!!
ecsteman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2015, 05:40 PM   #11
Senior Member
keymastr's Avatar
Outdoors RV Owners Club
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 1,560
I really feel for you. That is awful to have to spend so much money to repair a fairly new unit. I suppose you discovered the problem too far past the warranty period. Even so they might have repaired it at the factory if you had paid to haul it there. No winners in that situation.
keymastr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2015, 06:00 PM   #12
Senior Member
MattC's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: SE Michigan
Posts: 459
Looking for the executive summary here:

You have a 6yo 5er that has gone about 25K miles and now needed 8K$us in repairs to be safe to move.
Correct so far??

Heartland was concerned, but the Lippert Blew it off.
Lippert - the frame builder blamed it on the Airborne Pinbox.
Am I still on course?

If the above is all correct, the only thing I have doubt about is whether you should take this to NHTSA or DOT. This could be a serious safety issue - Warranty Be Damned.

A lifelong waterman and his bride going dry places for as long as the fuel money lasts.
MattC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2015, 06:03 PM   #13
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Spicewood, Tx
Posts: 658
ecsteman, I don't think you did anything wrong. But I think the age of your trailer and the number of years out of warranty worked against you. If the problem had been caught sooner, the outcome might have been better. In truth, the Fifth Airborne pin box rather than hurting, it probably helped minimize stress and delayed the failure and unfortunately gave Lippert and ez way out.
Larry Day, Texas Baptist Men volunteer
'13 Silverado LT 3500HD D/A CCSB 2wd, custom RKI bed
'17 Puma 351THSS toyhauler
dayle1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2015, 06:21 PM   #14
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 37
I read trailerlife magazine from time to time. They have some sort of problem resolution service I believe. Not sure how it works but they are always printing stories like the one you posted. It may be worth a try. They will go to bat for you.

maypo050770 is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Brakes, Breaks, What's the difference? two2go iRV2.com General Discussion 34 07-06-2014 08:50 AM
BigHorn 5th Wheels judyandlisa Thor Industries Owner's Forum 2 06-22-2014 10:22 AM
Wiring for Toad. What do I need? BamBoom Toads and Motorhome Related Towing 30 11-22-2013 08:10 AM
Mount Vernon and Bighorn River access closed Tyler6357 Camping Locations, Plans & Trip Reports 1 10-04-2013 10:11 PM
Heartland Bighorn articcolds 5th Wheel Discussion 9 06-13-2013 04:48 PM

» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:11 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.