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Old 08-11-2013, 02:04 PM   #1
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Rear kitchen and b-b-b-bounce

Our recently purchased TT has a nice look and feel to it, but beauty is only skin deep. One of the things that sold us on this trailer is the rear kitchen. Above average counter space, a pantry and good circulation space.

We've only been on short trips to our regular campground with it so far. We're going a few hundred miles with it next week. This past weekend we went to a new cg about 60 miles from the Canada/US border and 20 miles from the border I stopped to get some groceries. Here is a photo of what I found after opening the door. Fortunately no broken glass or anything damaged.

The pantry spilled out a lot of the contents including coffee all over. (Good thing I installed a built-in vac.) The grate on top of the stove came off and the open/close thingy on the blinds came off the hook. This was only after a 20 mile trip on the interstate and I did not hit any speed bumps or potholes. When I got to the campground another 40 miles away, I found that the fridge door had opened and closed and some items from inside it were on the floor.

So now we have to travel with a bungy cord on the pantry door. A $35K TT and we have to use a flippin' bungy cord? I can tighten up the hook on the rod on the blinds. But what do we do to stop the fridge door from opening and the stove grate from coming off? What's it going to be like on long distance trips and also if we do hit some good bumps? Will now have to also secure the upper cabinets so the dishes don't come out on longer trips.

I find it hard to believe that the manufacturer does not know about this. How can they sell TTs that have this sort of issue? Cost and profit have to be the only reason.

Can't they put shock absorbers on these?? I want to install them but they don't even make it easy to do the way the frame and suspension is designed.

I've read that some don't have problems with their rear kitchens. I think part of the problem with our TT is the extreme flex in the frame as found by the designated inspection facility we took it to.

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Old 08-11-2013, 02:35 PM   #2
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monroe makes shock absorber kits for TTs
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Old 08-11-2013, 02:42 PM   #3
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How stiff is the suspension on the TV? Every time the hitch goes up, the trailer tail is going down. Shocks on the TT will help, but you're still going to experience motion at the end of the 'seesaw' from the TV action.
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Old 08-11-2013, 02:59 PM   #4
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Not sure how stiff the suspension is. It has the correct 3500 lb axles and number of spring leaves for the GVWR. The rear end of a TT is definitely going to get more vertical motion and a trailer's length would have a bearing and I assume, the GVWR. Our actual wt. is close to the GVWR.

How is it that some rear kitchen owners don't have bounce problems?

The thing about Monroe shocks is that they used to make the kits but they don't anymore. You can still find the shocks easily. The upper brackets are definitely NLA and with some serious digging, you can find the lower brackets. It's not hard to make up the brackets though and in some cases the Monroe brackets wouldn't work anyway. Shock kits are available from a couple of other manufacturers though.
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Old 08-11-2013, 03:51 PM   #5
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Wow what a mess

But I like the coke tin.

Not that I have a rear kitchen. But I know on my TT it came with the equa flex suspension. I think it works as everything seems to be where I put it.

So maybe this is a option for you.

Best of luck. Hope to see you around one time.
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Old 08-11-2013, 03:52 PM   #6
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You have a really low NCC for that TT. I'm guessing that you're almost maxed out on payload. Have you had a chance to weigh the TT? Looking at the specs you have a brochure weight of 4390lb and a NCC of 1563lbs. What does the shipping weight sticker say on the TT? Since brochure weights are usually low you are probably around 4450-4500 dry. That leaves you with about 1400lbs for gear in the TT. The average camper loads around 1000-1200lbs of stuff. If you put 1000lbs in the you only have 400lbs leftover. That's 200 per axle and 100lbs per tire.

Shocks will help, but the fact that you are maxed out hurts more. Once again another TT maker using undersized gear to cut cost.
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Old 08-11-2013, 05:51 PM   #7
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That's a Coke napkin dispenser. Never did look right in the house but it works well for camping and looks great on a picnic table. We have the Equa-flex suspension. Looks like it doesn't do much for controlling bounce in reality.

Weight? Cumminsfan, you win the prize! I weighed the trailer shortly after we got it and I was shocked to find that we are just 200 lbs under the 6800 lb GVWR. We ordered a bunch of factory options that obviously added a lot of weight. Electric stab. jacks, fiberglass cap, electric awning, etc. I had no idea when we bought it that this stuff weighed that much. A UVW sticker isn't worth the paper it's printed on. The NCC is listed as 1563 lbs. Such a joke and so misleading. What's the point of putting a UVW sticker on your unit when they know that none of the options are included? How would a buyer ever even determine that in advance if they wanted to?

Haven't got anything unusual packed into the trailer. Just the typical BBQ, folding chairs & table, sewer fittings, chocks, etc. The only mods we've added are a built-in vac., 19" TV and some extra storage shelving in the pass-through, which can't weigh much. When stocking up the TT for a trip, I suppose more of the weight of clothing, food, dishes and other supplies ends up being at the rear of the trailer. I wish we had weighed the trailer as it was when we picked it up at the dealer's lot. If we were to travel with just one of the 4 tanks filled, we'd be over the GVWR. With 4 tanks, it'd be more than 1000 lbs over.

On UVW, KZ says this: UNLOADED VEHICLE WEIGHT (UVW) - The typical weight of this trailer as built at the factory. The UVW does not include cargo, LP gas, fresh water, options or dealer-installed accessories. But our trailer was built with integral factory options so this is basically a useless and meaningless statement. If they want to take that approach, then list the weight of each and every option and item that adds weight on top of the base UVW.

Our trailer has so much flex in it, I found a separated weld in the 2x2 aluminum framing while add some shelving in the pass-through. This was found just weeks after we bought it new:



The weld didn't just fail, it's nearly 1/4" apart. Clearly the superstructure on top of the frame is moving around. Not a good sign. Makes me wonder how many other welds have failed in the alum. framing. Sorry, someone mentioned weight and I could easily turn this into a long rant.
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Old 08-11-2013, 06:07 PM   #8
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Now you know why I put shocks on mine. Those folks that claim that rear kitchens are not a problem must live on a different planet.

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Old 08-11-2013, 06:10 PM   #9
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That doesn't look like just a 'failed weld' it looks like a break brought on by heat tempering and metal fatigue. (My dad ran a metallurgical test lab) Looks like you need more than beefed up axles and suspension, but a whole new frame to hold all the extra weight.
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Old 08-11-2013, 06:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BFlinn181 View Post
That doesn't look like just a 'failed weld' it looks like a break brought on by heat tempering and metal fatigue. (My dad ran a metallurgical test lab) Looks like you need more than beefed up axles and suspension, but a whole new frame to hold all the extra weight.
Gil, start screaming for a replacement trailer, BFlinn, is 100% correct on the weld, and how many hidden problems do you already have .
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Old 08-11-2013, 06:41 PM   #11
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Looks like you need more than beefed up axles and suspension, but a whole new frame to hold all the extra weight.
100% in agreement. It's rather frightening when you think of what could be happening inside the walls where you can't see anything. I'm not a metallurgical or welding expert but the original weld quality looks pretty bad to me. They can't get ordinary steel welding right on frames so what kind of welders do they have doing aluminum?

When I look in the rear view mirror, I can see the tail of the trailer flopping up and down. It was even worse when I had undersized spring bars on it (thanks to KZ for publishing a tongue weight 1/2 of nearly what it actually is).

The 2 exterior doors do not fit well. I have not taken any measurements but I am positive the exterior wall openings are not plumb or level from movement of the aluminum framing. When the elec. stab jacks are down and you look at them while someone walks up the steps, the jacks flex a LOT. Add the frame flex to that and the trailer rocks, rolls and bounces like a ship in a bad storm when set up for camping. Just the dog walking inside causes annoying bounce. Even a set of bottle jacks doesn't help much.

KZ is about to come out with a full lineup of units for 2014. There's a wee bit on their website but not much to go on. I could be totally wrong, but it could be possible that they are upping the GVWR and UVW numbers. The only way they could be doing this is by putting stronger frames and suspensions. If they continue to keep doing what they have been doing, they're idiots and will pay the price eventually.

This trailer has caused a lot of problems so far and has completely taken the fun out of camping for me. The bounce is one of the least of our problems with it.

I agree with Lynnmor, I just don't know how anyone with a rear kitchen could not have some degree of bounce that causes problems. I can't see how shocks wouldn't help any trailer with a rear kitchen. It's a good idea regardless I think and probably better for the longevity of the frame, trailer structure and components. I'd gladly pay extra for a set of them on a new TT.

I just wish I could figure out how to tie the fridge door down with a bungy cord and keep the stove grate on before our 500+ mile trip later this month.
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Old 08-11-2013, 07:04 PM   #12
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Well that throws my idea out the window.

But I do welding. And that there is what happens when the welder is set up way to hot. Also looks like they were using a spool gun. Which is not the best. Should be done by a tig welder which is done by hand.

And if that was done with a tig that person was fast a sleep to do that.

I wish you the best to figuring all this out.

Ps I am a collector of coca-cola items. Feel free to pass it on to me.
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Old 08-12-2013, 12:37 AM   #13
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You have a serious problem on your hands. I would be contacting the dealer as well as KZ. You basically have a piece of junk. You can't use it the way it was designed to be used and KZ needs to remedy the situation either with a new TT or completely rebuild yours. I would take it to the dealer and ask for a new TT. Also I would get a lawyer. You are about to lose your arse in this.
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Old 08-12-2013, 06:08 AM   #14
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From KZ's website, it looks like they will be dropping most of the Spree models as well as many other trailers. I guess that the new Connect line will be the replacement, but it appears to be even more useless.

I installed shocks in a way that connects all the spring hangers so that the thin "I-beam" needs no welding or drilling.

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