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Old 08-12-2013, 06:19 AM   #15
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YIKES - what make is the TT? Or do you not want to say? I just want to be sure I stay away from it!
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Old 08-12-2013, 09:47 AM   #16
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YIKES - what make is the TT? Or do you not want to say? I just want to be sure I stay away from it!
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Old 08-12-2013, 10:21 AM   #17
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Something just jogged my memory about bounce in a trailer more than just to load and arm length from the axle to the back end load. I worked for a trucking company years ago that made their own trailers and they built a new line and found they couldn't be driven down the highway with out bouncing the tires off the road. Tried many things but found out it was the axle spacing reacting to the concrete road bed and they had to lengthen the spacing between the axles. The concrete is poured in given length blocks on the road and at hiway speed it reacted with the axle spacing in a synchronous manner to amplify the bounce at speed and cause the wheels to lift off the road. I wonder if some TTs and TV combos might suffer from this anomaly also?
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Old 08-12-2013, 12:46 PM   #18
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The concrete is poured in given length blocks on the road and at hiway speed it reacted with the axle spacing in a synchronous manner to amplify the bounce at speed and cause the wheels to lift off the road.
I have not seen this mentioned anywhere in a long time. I have encountered this exact phenomenon on the interstate in northern California. Just as you say, the concrete sections are all poured in the same fixed lengths. The slabs have tilted down (or up?) on one end and as you drive over each joint, there is quite a thump. I've broken the cords in several tires before an had to replace them. Apparently the spacing of the semi truck axles and natural spring rate of the truck suspensions coincides with the joint spacing and pounds them into the ground. It's like driving on a washboard. Must be bad for ST tires.

When you sight down the underside of our frame, you can see quite a bit of sag on the underside of the I-beam. That tells me that the frame is not capable of carrying the static load of the trailer structure and components above the frame. When driving and bumps are hit, the trailer's frame gets thrown up and it will suffer excessive vertical movement. And that movement will be concentrated around the axles which are a pivot point.

The frame is made from 3 pieces of 1/8" sheet steel welded together to *look* like an I-beam. It has inadequate cross-bracing and it is not reinforced whatsoever in the area around the spring hangers. The spring hangers are bent to one side and up to 5/8" out from top to bottom of the hanger. When the trailer is up on a hoist, the hangers all bend to the opposite direction. The frame is so flimsy the spring hangers flop from side to side. One photo below is at a cg on the way out and when did a sharp turn to leave. You can see how the tires go wonky and way out of camber because the frame and axles are flexing so much. The frame shop found the same thing by just pushing on one side of the trailer. Bad, bad, bad...



You can imagine how much the wheels/tires must flop around when towing this trailer.

The I-beam flanges are distorted in each location the hangers are attached due to the constant side to side movement while towing this trailer. This distortion in the flanges will cause stress/fatigue cracks in the frame. Again, bad, bad, bad... Some TTs have a length of 2x2 square tubing welded to the underside of the flange to distribute the load along the beam. Some trailers also have what are called gussets welded from the outside lower part of the beams to part way up the side of the vertical part of the beam. These are usually at a 45 degree angle and stiffen things up a lot.

So with a frame that is weak in a vertical direction and also a frame that flexes from side to side, this will lead to frame cracks and failed welds in short order. We've got under 500 miles on this thing and already have signs of failure. We discovered bent spring hangers only one day after owning the trailer. KZ contacted Lippert who eventually said "it's within specs." Typical Lippert response but in this case it has to be KZs fault as they would have specified this particular frame. This frame is only used on one other brand that I know of so far.

As far as the bounce goes, now you can see what the frame is adding to that. And you should be able to see why the aluminum framing can crack.

KZ has said that they will take care of this problem but 3 months later, we have no idea exactly what is going to happen. Just lots of "we're still waiting to hear".
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Old 08-12-2013, 12:56 PM   #19
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I'd make sure you have in writing that dealer and KZ are aware of frame issues and agree to repair or replace trailer. Too often they 'shine' you on until it's out of warranty then deny any help. I know you're planning a trip, but if that much has happened in local trips, I'd be hesitant to put my family and property in jeopardy towing a floppy trailer.

As to fridge door, put hooks inside wood surround and buckle a strap across front for travel. If the door would be open when you hit a bump, you could break door hinges. from unsupported weight of door contents.
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Old 08-12-2013, 07:38 PM   #20
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I know of one person who finally persevered and got her 5er replaced by the manufacturer- a year later. (she will not talk of it due to a non-disclosure agreement) Document everything! Phone calls, who-where-when-topic, etc. Emails, snail mail everything possible so there is a 'paper' trail. Have that frame shop put everything in writing concerning their findings. She accomplished her goal by perseverance and attention to details of every contact with the dealer and the manufacturer.
There is no "lemon law" for RV's to my knowledge, so it's up to you to hold their feet to the fire - so to speak.
Off-topic; I know of a couple experiencing the same thing with an Open Roads TT. The frame has no cross bars, just one in front and one in back. The trailer flexed so much the interior doors will not shut, and a wall has moved, and the list continues.
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Old 08-13-2013, 03:14 PM   #21
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We discovered the poor frame immediately after purchase and it has a 2 year warranty. 2 years would be a long time to string us along. We've been told that we are caught up in the model year lineup change and that the frame is being looked at by engineering. But it's been 3 months with no real concrete answers.

It will be interesting to see how well the trailer holds together after a 500 - 1000 mile trip later this month. I had a lot of mods and upgrades planned for the TT and now haven't even put up a towel hook in the bathroom. It's been a depressing adventure on this unit so far.
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Old 08-13-2013, 05:42 PM   #22
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My guess is that they didn't put gussets in where the spring hangers weld to the I beam. Also not enough bracing from side to side in between the I beams.

I saw a pic on another forum of a guys TT frame where the guys in the shop needed to run some elec wires and cut out some holes in the bracing and totally weakened the frame. From talking to some RV repair guys it's pretty common for the guys in the shop to adlib when building trailers. They aren't built to an exact plan.
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Old 08-28-2013, 10:21 AM   #23
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I wouldn't blame the rear-kitchen design for these problems. It's design problems period.
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Old 09-08-2013, 01:29 PM   #24
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Myredracer, I thought I would resurrect this thread in hopes of finding out the status of your frame issues. Any updates?
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Old 09-08-2013, 10:43 PM   #25
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Hi Lynn, afraid no news yet. I have to assume that KZ has been doing a lot of head scratching on how to approach this. We've been contacting the dealer regularly for an update. The last time we spoke to them we asked if we needed something in writing from them and they assured us this will be taken care of.

I came across a thread on the RV.net forum from 2010 where somebody had a Spree and the frame behind the axles folded like a pretzel. So the frame problem on this line has been ongoing for sometime and it's not an isolated problem. It's time they take care of it the right way and dump that flimsy rubbery frame.

When camping recently I tried bottle jacks just ahead of the axles to take out some of the bounce when set up. I noticed that when I put the rear stab. jacks down, the frame flexed vertically about 5/8". I could have tightened it more and it probably would have flexed farther. You've got to know that while driving down the road the frame is going to flex up and down and probably more than an inch. I hate to think of what that's doing to the aluminum frame structure. The kitchen entry door is now really binding on one side and won't close without forcing it. Not a good sign.
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Old 09-09-2013, 12:03 PM   #26
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I'm going to keep an eye on my Sprinter 311BHS just in case but we haven't seen anything like what you are experiencing. We've been on several camping trips in the past 1.5yrs and one was 10hrs of towing. Nothing moves around at all, everything is where we put it before leaving. Ours has the two entry doors and an exterior kitchen in the rear like yours. Sounds like you certainly have frame issues. Shocks likely won't help.
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Old 09-09-2013, 06:44 PM   #27
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Just my 2 cents, but get yourself a go-pro camera and suction cup Mount it with a rear view and then record what happens when driving. ... then Mount it under the trailer with the axles in view and do the same drive. ..the more documentation you have the better. .. plus the video views would be quite interesting for all parties involved
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Old 09-10-2013, 11:04 AM   #28
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Campnh - this may be the best idea I have heard. With some zip ties this seems easy to do. Plus the Go Pro could be used for lots of other stuff.

Again - great idea!!!
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