Originally Posted by Jrash
I have a 2015 heartland bighorn 3875 FB. Today I discovered a crack on the outside just above the slide out for the living room. It's on the driver's side. After discovering this on the outside I went inside and also discovered a crack above the residential refrigerator in the same location. I am assuming these two are the same one on the inside one on the outside. Has anyone had this problem before. What caused the problem. And how easy is it to get fixed. Also is there danger in going ahead on my trip with these cracks. I am sure the RV is going to be out of warranty for any structural damage. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
I am not a 5th wheel guy but do travel with quite a few of them. I have seen several that had small cracks in the Fibron on the outside right where the front slideout fits. While it is not normal, that is the weak spot in the Fibron and even a minor flex will do this. If it is just minor flex it's not a real big deal, but since yours has gone far enough to crack or separate on the inside I would say this one is a big deal.
Can you post a picture from further away to get an idea of where it is at in reference to the 5th wheel pin. I have seen these where the welds in the front frame work failed, where not enough gussets were used and when a few of the welds brake, the rest of the front a frame flexes enough to do damage.
Recently we had a guy pull into the campground and the front of his 5th wheel was down on the truck bed, We pulled the underside covering off so we could look up into the frame and several welds were broke and that allowed the pin mount to push up, dropping the front of the camper onto the truck. We were in our usual spot in Mexico and have an excellent RV guy from Canada that runs a shop there. He pulled the pin down as far as he could and did some temporary welding. That was enough to get it up to his shop, where he had to pull the front cap off and rebuild the framework in the front.
It appears yours is going down this same road. I would get it in, or if unable to do that, pull the sheeting off the underside of the front exposing the framework. You should be able to inspect it from that point. Repairs will probably involve both a good RV guy and a welder. Some shops may have both, some may have to tear it down and call a welder in.
It's probably too late now, but if you had measurements from the 5th wheel pin down to the frame, from several reference points when it was new, and measured it now, you could tell if the front of the frame is moving up.
You might be able to get dimensions from the factory but any way I would call them. They might still warranty the frame, but might not. They may also have some suggestions on what to do with it at this point.
Not trying to be a downer but I have seen these come right down on the back of the truck.