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Old 07-15-2016, 09:30 AM   #1
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Structural Issue?

We have a 2011 Rockwood Windjammer 3002W. It's 33 ft in length. We bought it 1 year ago and we love it. I noticed from the beginning that the rear kitchen slopes down slightly near the door when you walk through. I also noticed a slightly raise rivet under the floor covering. Several months later I see 2 raised rivets (photo attached). There is a dent in the steel rear bumper that may have caused this shope/ bend to happen. The mega slide works fine

Should I be concerned and should I still consider my RV to be road worthy?

Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 07-15-2016, 09:46 AM   #2
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I would be inspecting the frame from the axles back to see if the impact caused any damage that may have been caused by the impact to the bumper .
Measure where the floor damage is visible and see if you can find the same spot under the RV to see if it matches a frame attachment point.
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Old 07-15-2016, 10:14 AM   #3
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The steel frame and aluminum floor joist are fairly independent, only connected via thin gauge outriggers attached to the frame sides and extending under the exterior wall. Roughly 12 inches of thin steel that would bend. The steel frame would need a serious bend to put pressure on the floor. More likely some of the screws that attach the plywood to the floor joist missed their mark and simply backing out, fairly common. As for the slope in the floor, maybe a broken outrigger at the low point or something caught under the plywood at the high point or the plywood is bowing due to being wet or otherwise twisted.
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Old 07-15-2016, 03:42 PM   #4
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Thanks so much guys. Can you please explain a little more about what an outrigger is and where the low point would be? Just want to know what to look for.
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Old 07-15-2016, 04:22 PM   #5
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Thanks so much guys. Can you please explain a little more about what an outrigger is and where the low point would be? Just want to know what to look for.
Along the side of the frame there should be a triangular piece of metal spaced every 24 to 48 inches. These extend out to the exterior wall. At the end of each outrigger you will see bolt threads. These bolts secure the floor assembly to the frame. The bolt head is hidden underneath the wall assembly. Generally the top of the outriggers is 1/4 to 1/2 inch higher than the top of the frame rails and that keeps the floor assembly from making direct contact with the frame rails.

Wherever you see a low point in the floor, look underneath to see if the outrigger is either bent or cracked which would allow the floor (and the walls) to drop. If all the outriggers look similar and the main frame rail is straight, then unevenness with the floor is caused by something else.

Understand that trailer frames see a lot of twisting and bending while being towed, during setup and use. The outriggers act as a buffer, allowing the frame to flex without transferring too much of that flex to the trailer body. But at the same time, the trailer body does provide extra stiffness for the frame. It is a delicate balance but not nearly as well engineered as automotive design.
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Old 07-15-2016, 04:40 PM   #6
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Let me add two more points. First from what you have described, I'm pretty sure your trailer is road worthy. Second, water leakage around the exterior door is a somewhat common problem and if unchecked will weaken the subfloor and that combined with it being a high traffic area can lead to a soft floor and loose screws.
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Old 07-15-2016, 04:57 PM   #7
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Rockwood used the 3 piece welded I-beam on some models, they are very weak and flexible. Look to see if you have that type of frame. Pull a mason twine along the length of the I-beam and check for a bend.

Here is a photo of the jagged weld, the rusty line above it is a crack where a cross member is attached on the opposite side.

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Old 07-17-2016, 05:34 AM   #8
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Thank you all so much for your insight. I'm going to open the underbelly and check it all out.

Lori
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Old 07-17-2016, 06:00 AM   #9
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Thank you all so much for your insight. I'm going to open the underbelly and check it all out.

Lori
You should not have to open the underbelly to check the outriggers. They are between the frame and exterior wall. Very few units have a full width underbelly. I've owned 5 and just 1 was full width.
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Old 07-17-2016, 09:11 PM   #10
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A 33 ft travel trailer is pretty long. I'm assuming yours is a double axle unit.
I am making an assumption that if you notice the floor is sloped then the floor is sloped.
I'm also not sure hou many trailers are assembled with outriggers. Any trailer I have ever owned has had a floor that is screwed to the frame. A floor not attached to the frame would make for a substandard unit. We all know that the builders choose the cheapest items they can to build the unit at the lowest cost. This is not the way to ensure quality or long life. If you look at videos on line from major labels you will see examples of welding so shoddy that you have to wonder how the trailers make it to the dealers lot. Lippert builds a good portion of the frames on all models, they have a record of failures and what do you do when you have a defective frame? You junk the trailer.
Take the trailer to a shop that repairs suspension components on commercial trucks and also does frame repairs. They will inspect it and give you an honest answer. Stay away from an RV dealer. These companies are in all locations, look under commercial truck repair, make some calls explaining the problem and if they feel they can help you take it in.
Good luck. It's unfortunate that we have to deal with these quality issues continually.
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Old 07-17-2016, 09:18 PM   #11
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Along the side of the frame there should be a triangular piece of metal spaced every 24 to 48 inches. These extend out to the exterior wall. At the end of each outrigger you will see bolt threads. These bolts secure the floor assembly to the frame. The bolt head is hidden underneath the wall assembly. Generally the top of the outriggers is 1/4 to 1/2 inch higher than the top of the frame rails and that keeps the floor assembly from making direct contact with the frame rails.

Wherever you see a low point in the floor, look underneath to see if the outrigger is either bent or cracked which would allow the floor (and the walls) to drop. If all the outriggers look similar and the main frame rail is straight, then unevenness with the floor is caused by something else.

Understand that trailer frames see a lot of twisting and bending while being towed, during setup and use. The outriggers act as a buffer, allowing the frame to flex without transferring too much of that flex to the trailer body. But at the same time, the trailer body does provide extra stiffness for the frame. It is a delicate balance but not nearly as well engineered as automotive design.
Could you give me a name of a trailer that has the floor suspended 1/4 to 1/2" above the bottom frame? I have a hard time understanding how a system such as this would work. If the floor is suspended then what holds up all the interior walls and heavy interior assemblies like the fridge bed and everything else. It would seem that this type of construction would result in a unit that would be similar to walking on a trampoline.
Thanks for giving me the info.
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Old 07-18-2016, 05:27 AM   #12
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I'm also not sure hou many trailers are assembled with outriggers. Any trailer I have ever owned has had a floor that is screwed to the frame. A floor not attached to the frame would make for a substandard unit. .
The answer is most trailers. 8 ft wide trailers have the main frame rails spaced about 6 ft apart and outriggers are used to provide mounting points at the 8 ft width and the floor assembly is bolted to the outriggers. Only the plywood is screwed to the floor joist. Go check it out.
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Old 07-18-2016, 12:26 PM   #13
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Could you give me a name of a trailer that has the floor suspended 1/4 to 1/2" above the bottom frame? I have a hard time understanding how a system such as this would work. If the floor is suspended then what holds up all the interior walls and heavy interior assemblies like the fridge bed and everything else. It would seem that this type of construction would result in a unit that would be similar to walking on a trampoline.
Thanks for giving me the info.
Go to this Lippert web site Towable Chassis and in every picture you will see the outriggers extending from the sides of the I-beams. The floor assembly is bolted to the outside edge of the outriggers, that way the bolt heads are hidden under the walls. The floor assembly consists of the plywood, aluminum floor joists and an underbelly fabric. In many cases, the floor joist run lengthwise (same as the I-beams) with water, power and furnace ducts running between the floor joists. Again, the floor assembly is only attached via the outriggers. And the outriggers are slightly higher than the top of the I-beams. A factory tour or video would really help you understand better.
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