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Old 04-17-2013, 09:26 AM   #1
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Bent suspension brackets on new trailer

We have a brand spanking new KZ trailer only 6 days old as of today. Has dual axles. While under the TT looking at the gas line and where to put a quick connect fitting, it was noticed that at least 4 out 6 spring hangers are bent to the side. These are the flat metal pieces that attach to the frame and to which the leaf springs are attached. They are bent towards the center of the TT by about 1/4" to 3/8" or so. On one side, it's the two rearward ones while on the other, it's the two forward ones that are bent.

Have read about so many RV owners with suspension issues covering anything including premature tire wear, tire blowouts, suspension component failures and even frame cracks. We phoned our dealer on Monday and they got us in the very next day. That is impressive in itself.

The tech. agreed it did not seem right. They measured everything and nothing is out of place other than the bottoms of the hanger brackets. I understand that they contacted the factory and were told that if they did not hear back, there's nothing to worry about. The tech also looked at 3 or 4 other KZ units on their lot and found the same thing. Surely they can't manufacture them like this??

I really have to wonder if this really is okay? I was at a local RV repair shop having the owner look at how to install the propane fittings and he was the one who noticed the bent brackets. He was quite concerned about alignment and said we should probably take it into the local frame shop (who do axle manufacturing and related trailer work) and get the aligment checked.

I noticed in a couple of spots that the end of the spring "eye" rubs against the hanger bracket. I can't imagine that this is going to be good in the long run?

We love the TT otherwise but don't want to have to be always worrying whether or not the suspension and tires will be okay in the long run. Anyone with good insight on this sort of thing?

Gil & Deb & Dougal the Springer Spaniel
2014 KZ Spree 262RKS & Ford F250 supercab V10 4x4 LB
Langley, B.C.
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Old 04-17-2013, 09:44 AM   #2
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I would take it to an independeant frame shop with tariler axle alignment experience for evaluation and estimates then submit to KZ. This would not be a major fix but its a brand new rig!

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Old 04-17-2013, 10:07 AM   #3
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This is not something that you should allow them, (dealer, manufacturer etc.) to sweep under the rug. Bent anything on the suspension will eventually create problems. It will show up as tire wear problems later. Even if the alignment shows as being OK something that is bent is not OK. If somethings bent what caused it to bend?? If it happened once it could happen again. Also it is very difficult to use a tape measure to determine alignment. It's possible but very difficult. When alignment angles are measured in parts of a degree a tape won't cut it. Don't get me wrong. If you really know what you are doing you can spot potential alignment issues but it's difficult to reset them with a tape. You could measure from say the front hitch to identical left and right points on the front axle to determine if the axle is at right angles to the frame.

We are on our third TT and I have just realized and accepted the fact that TT's are built on the very edge of being dangerous. Why else would they install 2-3,000LB axles on a 7,000LB trailer. They are relying on my pickup to carry the 800LB tongue weight. Why are the 4 tires rated to just barely carry the weight of my loaded TT ??? Well it's because they can get away with it.

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Old 04-18-2013, 02:07 PM   #4
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My guess is, someone (hot-shotter, or ???) made a spot turn on hard pavement. That together with flimsy OEM shackles resulted in the bending. I suggest having the dealer (under warranty+ you pay diff) replace them with HD links and greasable bolts = bolt wet-kit. The HD links are 3/8" thick vs the 1/4"OEM links. The wet-kit eliminates the dry metal to metal rotating joints and prolongs replacing suspension part for years and years.
I agree with visiting a frame shop for diagnosis and installation of a wet-bolt kit.
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Old 04-18-2013, 02:34 PM   #5
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That's got to put a really wet blanket on your experience with it. I hope it all works out well for you.
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Old 04-18-2013, 03:37 PM   #6
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Bent hanger brackets

I don't have a travel trailer yet, but have pulled bumper and gooseneck livestock trailers for over 40 years. I have replaced lots of axles, springs, shackle brackets, and bolts and bushings. Being bent is not good. The bushings the bolts go through will wear out in no time, causing your bolt to wear, and in no time the holes in the shackle brackets will wear egg-shaped as well. The brackets should be cut off, and new heavy ones welded on at a perfect 90 degrees. Maybe your travel trailer is different, but I have a hunch the axles, shackles and bolts are the same as on horse trailers, and should be mounted true. Just my opinion...
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Old 04-19-2013, 10:23 AM   #7
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Ray, I too was wondering if some hotshot was doing donuts or stunts on the way from the plant to the west coast. Odd that other KZ units on the dealer's lot had the same issue though. I have to wonder if it's either the plant mis-handling the frame or poor manufacturing at Lippert? I don't know how frames are delivered to the plant, but I am guessing they are complete with running gear? Then KZ takes it from there and builds upwards off the frame? QC is lacking somewhere.

On the bright side, I got a call from our dealer saying that they received an email from Lippert and I am supposed to take our unit in to the dealer next week. I hope Lippert and KZ step up to the plate and get this fixed, and properly.

Will still leave the question - how would this happen? It makes me think that the spring hangers may indeed be on the weak side. It may be a good idea to have these reinforced somehow.

I will post what the final outcome is.
Gil & Deb & Dougal the Springer Spaniel
2014 KZ Spree 262RKS & Ford F250 supercab V10 4x4 LB
Langley, B.C.
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Old 04-19-2013, 04:43 PM   #8
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The shackles should be straight. Demand that the dealer get the trailer to a frame shop and get the shackles replaced and the axle alignment checked.

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Old 04-19-2013, 04:55 PM   #9
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Keep us updated in this issue....It would be worry-some that the other KZ trailers in the lot also were this way.

Anyway you can take any pictures? and post them.

That is one reason when backing my tt into my drive where I sometimes go over the curb, I go real easy and slow....

My 2013 just ended it's one year warranty. So I'll have to double check my axles and suspension to make sure everything is straight and tight.

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