RBW Fifth Wheel landing gear repair
I was unhitching my 1997 Carri-lite fifth wheel in the fairly remote town of Chloride Arizona 3 weeks ago, and the right landing gear collapsed, allowing the right front to fall perhaps 6 inches. The other landing gear supported the trailer so it did not go to the ground (my truck had already been moved). Not a great experience!
It was late Thursday afternoon and no one was going to fix it until the following week, so I supported the trailer with a jack and removed the failed leg. It was not a difficult job and I needed only a couple of Crescent wrenches and pliers. I took it to a Kingman RV repair business, hoping to have it repaired in a few days. There are RBW schematics available on-line, and it did not look like it would be difficult. I had a bad experience with the repair facility and after several days delay I was told it had been disassembled, was "stripped" and was not repairable. I was told the entire landing gear system would need to be replaced. The parts cost was somewhere over $1000, and I did not get a labor quote.
On line I found there is a business in California that manufactures and sells RBW and some other brands of landing gear parts. RBW itself is out of business or has abandoned the landing gear portion of its business and provides no parts. The business is "Myrvpartsplace" and appears to have all parts necessary to repair most RBW landing gear, and also has some rebuilt landing gear units. They sent me by priority mail the parts I needed to make the landing gear work to get me home, and all parts I needed to rebuild both legs when I arrived home. I did the temporary repairs in Chloride and in the process found the unit had not been disassembled and that that I had waited serveral days for the repair business to take five minutes to look at the unit I took to them and decide they did not want to try to fix it. The total cost for all parts to rebuild both legs was well under $200 (parts only--I did the repairs).
Dale at the parts company is very knowledgable and was extremely helpful in helping trouble shoot problems, and went out of his way to NOT sell me parts I did not need.
The RBW landing gear is pretty simple and looks like to should be reliable for some time. If you have a failure I suggest you consider repairing it. Based on my experience you may have to encourage a dealer to repair it and not sell you a whole new system.
Myrvpartsplace also manufactures and sells parts for Aljo landing gear, and parts for RBW, Aljo and some other slides. I have no experience on the slide parts (and I hope to have none for a long time!)