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Old 09-14-2016, 09:48 AM   #1
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Chassis Woes

Hi Everyone! I am new to this forum, so please accept my sincere apology in advance if I commit any forum faux pas!

I have a 2016 31' dual axle travel trailer (I will keep the brand information to myself for now), which was purchased last spring brand new. I used to love our camper to pieces, but we noticed that about half way into this season (after a total of 6 camping trips and about 2,500 total miles on the camper), that one tire was wearing out badly (bald on the outside treads only).

At first we annoyingly suspected that maybe the cheap tires they put on the camper could be to blame, but all of the tires should wear the same, not just one, if that were the case. I soon realized that we have a serious chassis problem on our hands that we should look into.

Long story short and after going through about a million hoops, through the dealer, manufacturer, chassis manufacturer, etc. we learned that our chassis is hung 0.5" off front to back and .375" side to side (so, essentially, the chassis was installed off-square under my camper). Guess we found the problem.

We are still going back and forth with the dealer on this, and hope they'll chose to do the right thing and resolve it, but I was wondering what your takes are on something like this.

I feel like the camper is a danger to haul on roads, I am livid that my new camper, that I paid a TON for, is having a problem like this, and I also feel like it's a candidate for a lemon, but I can't find any protection under my state's lemon laws for trailers (MN).

Anyone have experience with anything like this? Any advice as we near the ends of our options, shy of paying thousands to have this fixed ourselves?
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Old 09-14-2016, 09:58 AM   #2
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Last spring, as in spring of 2015? Is it under warranty? If so, seems cut and dried: take it back to dealer and point to problem, declare "defect, fix it under warranty", and they should take care of it.

There are attorneys that handle warranty problems, might help to have the name of one in your back pocket, but never show your hand to the dealer.
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Old 09-14-2016, 10:04 AM   #3
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Yep - May of 2015. It's not under the original manufacturer warranty which covered axle for 12 months, but we bought the extended warranty which clearly states the axle and chassis is covered - still waiting to hear from the extended warranty company on direction there. Seems like right now they all just want to point fingers at who did what wrong and are less interested in helping me make it right.
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Old 09-14-2016, 10:55 AM   #4
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This is a normal tactic, trying to keep from having to pay out on a policy. Stalling you, pointing fingers all over the place, and hoping you'll just get exhausted and disappear. Have you tried to talk to the manufacturer? If no one will help you, maybe it is time to consult an attorney to get the service you have paid for. Keep all records of your communications to prove you have attempted to get this problem solved within the time frame of the extended warranty policy.
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Old 09-14-2016, 11:10 AM   #5
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Problem is that the service policy (not, by law, a "warranty") won't cover manufacturing defects. And, as the OP found out very few states have lemon laws that cover a TT.
Unless he can get the manufacturer to cover is as a good will gesture he is probably going to have to get it fixed on his dime and then consider legal action (very expensive) against the manufacturer unless it could fall under some law on defects making it not fit for it's intended use. But, again, that might be an expensive legal process.
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Old 09-14-2016, 11:15 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fotocentrik View Post
Hi Everyone! I am new to this forum, so please accept my sincere apology in advance if I commit any forum faux pas!
I have a 2016 31' dual axle travel trailer (I will keep the brand information to myself for now) ........
fotocentrik
It's possible that someone who can answer your questions, (and/or provide you with solutions), may decide to keep that information to themselves for now.
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Old 09-14-2016, 11:40 AM   #7
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I had the exact issue. Tire place said it was alignment. The alignment shop recommended by camping world said it was the same diagnosis as yours.

I ignored the both diagnosis since they conflicted. I bought a 2nd set of tires and had different wear problem within the first year. I then bought a 3rd set of tires (Maxxis) load range e. I am on the 3rd year with those tires and not ONE issue.

Bottom line, I found my issue was related to tires.
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Old 09-14-2016, 12:20 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by bjlakatos View Post
I had the exact issue. Tire place said it was alignment. The alignment shop recommended by camping world said it was the same diagnosis as yours.

I ignored the both diagnosis since they conflicted. I bought a 2nd set of tires and had different wear problem within the first year. I then bought a 3rd set of tires (Maxxis) load range e. I am on the 3rd year with those tires and not ONE issue.

Bottom line, I found my issue was related to tires.

Brian, very interesting, did you measure the axles? We can confirm that the axle was mis-hung by 0.5", which I am told is a BIG problem, but maybe not? The tires on it suck so we were looking at 'e' tires as well, but the tire place said that wouldn't solve the problem.
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Old 09-14-2016, 02:12 PM   #9
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Chassis Woes

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Originally Posted by fotocentrik View Post
Brian, very interesting, did you measure the axles?

When I pressed him for taking measurements the guy at the alignment place said he could tell with out measuring (just by eyeballing it). This made me very skeptical. Of course he was quick to give me an open ended quote for the parts and labor.

Btw, I am not implying tires would fix the problem or even mask it. I think the tires were the problem. My first (Good Year Marathons) set were not balanced from the factory and I think that was a contributor. The 2nd set (Carisle) were just not as good a tire.
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Old 09-14-2016, 02:16 PM   #10
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Did you measure the tire surfaces to see if the temps were higher on the the affected tires? Also I would think bearings would run hotter (if not yet worn out) if it is that badly misaligned.

A $30 Pyrometer can you tell a lot about your running rigging if something is out of whack.
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Old 09-14-2016, 02:37 PM   #11
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There's no doubt it's out of wack, and I shutter to think what damage has been done to the bearings and other related components under there. We were even sent the 'hanging specs' from the manufacturer and it's clearly out of alignment at the welds. They first said that we were overloaded (highly unlikely) which is why 'it appears to be off'. Then told us that they made the chassis, but didn't actually hang the axles, that the camper manufacturer did after I challenged the statement. Now we're waiting on their reply to my asking, 'if you didn't make this, then why is your name all over it?' I am so incredibly frustrated with the lack of accountability, it's unbelievable ... I honestly don't know why I am surprised, though.

It's also interesting that the tires (some no name 3-ply brand I have never heard of) that DID come on this thing are only rated to hold the camper's weight off the assembly line and were a 'c' tire ... nevermind taking into account gear, and full water, grey water and black water tanks. The tire shop said the tires on it are only rated to 50mph - hacks!
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Old 09-14-2016, 09:03 PM   #12
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Welcome to the world of high-volume/cheap materials RV construction...almost all mfgs put the bare minimum tire under their products that will meet NHTSA regulations, which I believe calls for tires to be able to handle (carry) the gross trailer weight less the pin/tongue weight. If you have 8k gross, then maybe 1.6k pin wt = 6.4k axle weight. 2x 3500 axles, enough tire capacity to carry the 7k axles, no more.
If you happen to run the trailer up near/at the gross weight, then there isn't enough overcapacity to prevent wear/blowouts. My opinion, for what it's worth...
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Old 09-14-2016, 09:39 PM   #13
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While your body may be mounted 1/2" off front to back and 1/3" to one side, it's doubtful that has anything to do with your tire wearing poorly.

My fifth wheel trailer has 3 slides on one side plus the weight of the television, refrigerator and stove on that side--resulting in a 700 pound difference in weight right to left. On many trailers with slides, it's not uncommon to have one side substantially heavier than the other.

In your case, your trailer's weight distribution @ 1/2"/1/3" are probably not nearly as off balance as my trailer--which pulls just fine.

Your tire wear problem is probably a combination of poor quality Chinese ST tires and a bent axle. It's so easy to bend an axle slightly--hitting curbs or chuck holes.

You should go to a trailer alignment shop and get them to properly align your axles--even if they have to bend the axle slightly. (Some trailers have some adjustments and sometimes shims can be used.)
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Old 09-15-2016, 07:07 AM   #14
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We thought that weight distribution might be the problem, as this camper does have a slide, but oddly, the tire that's wearing is the opposite side to that (kitchen side), and it's the rear tire - which is behind the slide. Also, it's just the outside tread and it's bald - I mean no tread left on the outer line, (the 3 inner tread lines look like new). I think my husband called it 'cupping'. I'd be pleased as punch to find out some good-quality tires and working on weight distribution would help.

(We also had the axle checked and it doesn't appear to be bent. It's curved, but the trailer place said they are supposed to be for handling. The camper handles poorly, especially in a wind, it's all over the road. Friends who are ORT's even think it's spooky)
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