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Old 08-12-2017, 02:23 AM   #1
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Most common maintenance and repairs on a new Fifth Wheel

As the title says what are the most common problem you will come across after buying a new Fifth Wheel. Also what type of regular maintenance will be needed to prevent problems. Will be living full time.
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Old 08-12-2017, 08:13 AM   #2
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Keep it washed and waxed and check seals frequently (all seals/seams, seals around roof fixtures, etc.) is truly most common in my opinion.

The other frequent maintenance item for our rig is exercising the generator.

Monitoring tire pressure, batteries, and covering when not in use too.

Keeping slide out seals conditioned and things lubricated are easy things to do to keep things working correctly.
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Old 08-12-2017, 09:13 AM   #3
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If you're full timing the a yearly repack of the wheel bearings might be in order.
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Old 08-12-2017, 11:38 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KyleManning View Post
As the title says what are the most common problem you will come across after buying a new Fifth Wheel. Also what type of regular maintenance will be needed to prevent problems. Will be living full time.
I would say the 1st thing to do is inspect the roof and make sure all seams are properly sealed, then I would lubricate all slideout seals and grease the axles/suspension, inspect tires and tire pressure.
When it comes to problems it seems like one common complaint is mismatched antenna wiring but the list could be endless not always because of manufacturing flaws (not to downplay the fact that there are some real 'pieces of work' out there) but often times because of lack of knowledge of the buyer. The only issue we have found on our new trailer is that the washing machine was placed on top of the cold water hose , which could cause a real problem down the road if not corrected.
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Old 08-12-2017, 01:48 PM   #5
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Based on the problems with a new Champagne Edition Forest River I would say that the problems with a new unit will be
Two slides not wired properly and no power
Dishwasher not installed properly, had to rebuild cabinet
Power not hooked to retractable power cord unit
Glass fell off both sliding doors in bedroom, one broke
Microwave latch broke wouldn't work
Toilet foot lever broke, had to use pliers
Exterior shower leaked
Leak under sink in island, cheap pex clamps were used
One of levelors quit working
Screen door had to be replaced
Steps were welded in place crooked
One cheap tire exploded, replaced with Goodyear
Cabinet that tv is mounted on came apart and everything on floor
This was within the first 8 months!
I probably forgot a few things. Traded in the unit on a New Horizons unit that cost slightly over 200k. That seems to be the money you need to spend for quality. Not many units are rated for full time living. Of course the dealers say they all are. I knew I was making a mistake when I purchased the old unit because I could see the cheap construction but went ahead anyhow. Not smart on my part.
To maintain you unit
Check the roof every 6 months, do we do this on our houses?
Check for leaks every month, buy a good flashlight
Maintain the seals around all exterior windows, hatches, doors etc
Yearly maintenance on running gear
Yearly maintenance on fresh water system
Make all repairs as needed do not put off
The most impotant thing to do is to get out and explore this great country. The RV's we buy are problematic but if you stay on top of problems you will be ok. As long as you accept it will be a continuing maintenance program you will be happy.
Happy travels!
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Old 08-12-2017, 02:44 PM   #6
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Holy cow, 09 harley! That's a lot of stuff to go wrong off the bat. I'd say you got a lemon there. Hope the new one works well for you.

As for ours, the issues have been minimal. We bought the unit in April of 2015, and lived in it full time from the first of June to the end of February. I tell people we were unintentional full-timers, while we waited for our house to sell during a PCS military move. Anyway, here's what I fixed or had done the first two years...

Replaced kitchen faucet last March after the CW tech cracked it while tightening the fittings. (Found out two months later while camping.)

Had the roof recaulked after the first year. Removed all the old factory putty that was kind of drying out, and replaced it with Dicor. (Peace of mind prior to a long storage during deployment.)

Repacked the bearings and greased the suspension. (Normal maintenance.)

Replaced the TV antenna with a King Jack. (It didn't help the poor reception in the valley we were in, but at least I no longer worry about leaving the antenna up.)

Replaced all running light bulbs with LEDs. (MUCH brighter now.)

Furnace had a bad sensor that was fixed under warranty.

Remounted a cabinet door that I accidentally tore off when extending the kitchen slide. (Always make sure the cupboard doors are latched before you pull the slides in. )

Adjusted the stupid screen door over and over again without much success. Stupid thing still doesn't close right half the time.

Installed heat tape on exposed plumbing. (For winter camping during the unintentional full-timing phase.)

Adjusted the slide cables. (Normal maintenance.)

Replaced the tank sensors after they stopped working (under warranty). CW did the repair. Instead of pulling the Corplast down, they cut a bunch of holes in it. Didn't even bother to tape them up, so I put Gorilla Tape on them to seal them up. Hate that place.

I still need to fix the cheap fold-out love seat. The futon mattress straps that keep the mattress from sagging broke after a couple of months of occasional use. Keystone refused to fix it, because they said it was "normal wear." It's really a bad design that uses cheap plastic straps similar to those used to hold large boxes closed during shipping. I'm planning to cut a solid piece of Masonite to fit under the mattress sometime in the future.

We clean the inside top to bottom every time we come back from a trip. Floors get mopped or vacuumed, cabinets wiped out, fridge cleaned, tanks treated, sinks dried out (to keep mold down), etc. This has kept the interior looking and smelling like new.

As for the outside, I wash it before each trip (it's stored in a gravel lot), and rinse it down when we get home. Bugs are removed from the front prior to storing each time. It still looks shiny and new.

Prior to every trip, I check over every inch of the trailer. I walk the roof, checking for loose or damaged items, check tire pressures, and make sure nothing is hanging down that shouldn't be. So far, so good!
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