This type os failure could happen to any trailer, although it is more prevalent with Lippert frames. The problem stems from two sources. Firat, the physics of the pin box.
Think back to high school physics class and the lever and folcrum forces problems. You have a two foot arm, "pin box arm," and 30+ feet of trailer on the other side of the folcrum point, which weighs several ton. The simple up and down motion of the trailer, aS it rides behind the truck,even on smooth roads, and the momentum of the long trailer side of the arm, puts tremendous torque load on all of the welds and tubing supporting the pin box! It becomes a simple bend it back and forth until it fails!
Lets add into this the wonderfully smooth roads our trailers are towed over. We just returned home from a four thousand mile, two month trip. The roads across the south, mostly concreete, beat us to death.
The only fix, either buy a Hensly glide hitch, or a Trailair tri glide pin box. Either one of these will reduce the shock of the road bumps, but will still not fix the physics of the lever and fulcrum problem. That can only be fixed by a structural engineer who can calculate the stresses on the frame and design a strengthening plan for a competent welding shop!
Unfortunately, RV's and trailers are like most automobiles. They are designed to sell and will last only a few years before needing to be replaced, or completely refitted from the frame up. You can bet a trailer as old as the one mentioned here has passed through several trades and the dealers do nothing but what is minimally required to sell it to another owner.
Within the past month, my wife and I stayed at two Good Sam rated camp grounds. We chose these places based on the ratings in the latest TrailerLife Directory. Unfortunately, both of them did not live up to their high ratings. Is there a way for members to respond or change the ratings to a more realistic level?
Several years ago with another fifthwheel, we traveled the length of the Natchez Trace Parkway, from Nashville to Natchez. The height of our rig was 12'8". There was no problem negotiating the route with that rig.
Now we have a new fifthwheel, which if my measurements are right is 13'2" high. We want to take the Parkway again, but is this unit too tall for the bridges?
Hope you can help,
As stated, both have their advantages and disadvantages. I'm not really sure what my preference is, but my previous fifth wheel did have a problem with a broken weld, in the aluminum frame, around a large slide out. This caused a crack in the external skin, requiring an $18 K fix to the wall and replacement of the extrerior skin! I don't care which manufacturer builds the trailer, you can bet they use the least amount of materials and design to the minimum degree any bracing, or gusetting in the wall construction. Over time, and it took six years and 40 K miles over our so well maintaned American roads for the fatigue cracking to appear.
The present traielr has aluminum framed sidewalls, but the year is wood framed. Why, I could not find out. How did I find out it was wood? We were rear ended last spring while sitting stopped at a light. Had the factory do the repairs and was surprised to find the rear wall was wood framed. The manager of the factory repair shop could not give me a reason why they chose to make that wall out of wood. My guess, it comes to cost of materials and construction!
A previous travel trailer was the typical lap jointed aluminum skin over wood frame and bat insullation. This trailer sat on a seasonal site and was not towed. However, over the course of five winters, the aluminum expanded and contracted enough to creat leaks. Water got in, soaked the insulation, causing mold to form in the carpet and rotting the external wall framing. By the time the damage was discovered, it was too late to fix it. The Insurance company totalled the trailer and gave us a check for it's value, under Comprehensive!
In my honest opinion, it is a wash as to which build is better. Just understand that even if you spend the high dollar, it is a recreational use product and hs it's own life span before problems will crop up. You just have to know when to fold and replace it!
On Coachmen built units and likely others using slide extender tubes with the rack and pinion style gear strip, the tubes are hollow, with an open slit on one side. These square tubes go into the basement area of the campers and I'm pretty sure are accesable to critters even when the slides are closed. If one or more of them crawl into the tube, they have access to the basement area of the camper! Now comes the question, how does one close this hole? Being that i just had my bought with a mouse in the basement of my Coachmen fifth wheel, I will be looking at this situation and devising a critter block!
One other place where they might gain access is between the belly skin panels. Mine do have bulges between the lag screws holding them up to the pine boards stretched between the frame rails. It does not take very much room for the mice to gain entry. Another design problem due to be addressed as soon as the weather is appropriate for lying under the trailer!
From what I was told by the Administration of Coachmen, which is owned by Forest River, almost all of the manufacturers shut down for two weeks around Christmas. It also seems to be true for the suppliers as well.
Just read the post on Stone Mountain and now I'm not sure i want to stop there overnight. I was hoping to use it for its' PassPort America rate. However, from what i read, there may be an additional entrance charge? The place may not be well suited for towing a 37' fifthwheel through, or setting up in a site for one night?
Anyone have any other suggestions for a campground maybe oin the south western side along I-85.
Between this thread and the other, with 46 pages of debate, WOW!
Lowsuv, you said to that a person with a 15,000 lb. trailer should put the highest load rated tire on the rig. Most LT - E rated tires are 3042 @ 80 PSI, although the Firestone Transforce is rated at 3086. That said, the ST tires are rated at 3240, @ 80 PSI. So, if it is true one should put the highest load rated tires on their rigs, then the choice must be E rated ST tires!
Trying to digest the information from both threads, it seems that the first thing a person should do is to load the trailer the way it is to be camped in/ towed down the highway. Then get the trailer weighed, preferably with a scale under each tire! This giving the true GVW as used.
If the four individual wheel weights add up to less than the rated combined load weights of four LT tires, then it could be assumed they would be safe for the trailer. What happens if you are towing the trailer over the max weight for these tires? The fact that they carry a speed rated higher than ST tires and maybe a higher load heat index, would you still be safe? I suppose you would just have to experiment with them!
This is the dilema I presently face, as I have a trailer with OEM E rated ST tires, with two years of travel on them. I don't trust them and am looking to replace them. I have no idea where I would find a set of scales to weigh the trailer and the closest truck scale that i know of is a 70 mile drive one way. Do I stick with ST tires as per the manufacturers specs, or role the dice for a set of LT Transforce and wait to find a scale, hoping my trailer is under the max the LT's are rated for?
No easy answer here!
Thanks everyone. I probably should have said we are traveling south from and overnight stop at Gettysburg, PA., on our way to Panama City, Florida. I try to break up the trip into 300 mile segments, but it looks like this segment is going to be closer to 400 miles. Tough on the wife and cats in a pick up truck pulling the fifth wheel!
If you want to stay right in the Canandaigua area, there are three camp grounds that I know of. Canandaigua KOA, north of the small city about four miles. Bristol Woodlands, a private park, off Rt. 20, west of route 64. It is a private CG. Also there is a small private campground down the road from my house. It is named Creekside.
Send me a private Message if I can help.
Like the previous poster said, the sites are just level grass! No shade! We were there for two months last year. Owners are real nice and so are all of the camp hosts. Sites are pretty large. Be advised, you will be charged for the electric! They read the meeter on your site oncea month and you get the bill. March was warm there last year and our bill for the month was $139 dollars! That's one month witht he AC running!
The Recreation room is very nice. They do have a few planned activities. If you play ggolf, the have a sign up sheet in the office and the group goes out every Tuesday morning.
There are two laundry faciloities. The one up by the office is less expensive than the one behind the Rec Room. It was still controlled by an out side vendor last year who had a lease on it from the previous camp owner. The present owners have only been there a couple of years!
Closest food store is a Winn Dixie. Right out of the driveway to the first light. Turn left and go about a mile. It will be on your right! There is also a WalMart. Continue through the first and second lights. Follow the road and the WalMart is on the right and the next major intersection. If you should need it, there is an Emergency Hospital across the street from the WalMart.
Unfortuantely, Ocala is not close to any beach. The closest one is on the Gulf, about an hours drive away.
Hope this helps. If you have any other questions, private message me
I own a 2011 Coachmen, Northridge, which came with 16" wheels and 235 x 80 radial ST China tires. The company warranty manager asked me a year ago how many miles I had on the tires and I told him aroundd 8K. His reply, "don't expect to get more than 9K out of the tires!" How comforting!
I too have been reseeraching new tires for the trailer. There seems to be a lot of conflicting information about whether to stick with ST tires, or switch to LT tires. Our previous trailer, a 2004, 37 foot Pilgrim Open Road, had "knock off" Cooper LT truck tires on it and the original tires were still on when we tradeed it in! That trailer had 40,000 plus miles on it and the tires were wearing like iron. Sure wish I could get those same tires now, but they stopped making the model in late 2004.
If I stick with the ST tires, I may have to bite the bullet and buy Maxxis. The size I need, however, costs over $300 per tire! If I go with LT, the choices are Bridgestone Duravas, BFG Commercials, or Uniroyal Lerado's. All 235 x 85 x 16 LT - E.
Now, here is another conflict. Supposedly ST tires are rated at 100%, @ 80 psi working pressure. I was under the understanding that LT tires were rated at 90% weight capacity, @ 80 psi working pressure. If that is true, then there is little difference between the ST and LT tires weight capacities! Last week, however, I read somewhere that LT tires are alsio rated at 100% capacity, @ working pressure. So, what is the correct information?
Right now, I am leaning toward the LT tires based on my experience with my previous trailer.
Ok guy's, I've been there and looked at issue and fixed it! It is actually a two fold problem. First, you are all right in that the manufacturer of the cables does not lubricate them. Some have a plastic liner which they consider to be self lubricating. Like politics, this is partially true! The other part of the problem is how the factories index the valve heads at the tanks! In my case, the valve heads were turned to face straight up toward the underside of the camper floor. This made the cable and its solid wire core make a very tight one inch radius curve!
After having two cables and valves replaced under warranty, I kept one of them and took it apart. Sorry to say, but the person who suggested pouring Olive oli down the cable to lube it and the valve seals, nope, it won't get to the seals. The oil will run out the end of the cable and drip onto the belly skin of the camper! The vale heads are the smae as the rod slide valves, only modified to hold the cable.
The inner cable is held tothe rod by an aluminum connector with a set screw in it. If you can loosen the set screw with an allen wrench, the cable will slide out of the connector. Straighten the wire with a pair of pliers and it should slide completely out of the outer cover. Use squirtable Lithium grease and squirt it into the cable bousing until it dripps out the other end. Reinsert the solid wire cable and into the connector. Retighten the set screw, tightly!
Your cable should work a lot better, but without changing the position of the valve head, to reduce the radius of the cable bend, it will still be stiff to operate.
The valves are held together with four bolts. You may be able to change the position of the valve head 90 degrees. In my case, the factoy installed the valve too close to the tank. We had to cut the pipe and add new flanges and valve. The original valve was left in place, but secured in the open position. The cable no operates the new valve, which has no radius for the cable to negotiate. It works smooth as any rod vavle!
Lots of smelly work to do this, but it will cure your problem!
You are correct in your assumption. The bolts should not rotate, as they would wear and elongate the bore in the shackle. That said, as party of your yearly maintenance, the bolts and the spring grommet should be lubricated.
We overnighted in a camp ground near San Angelo. IU think it is about half way from Carlsbad to San Antonio. There was a pretty good barbeque restaraunt just down the street from the camp ground.
I have a 2011 Coachmen, by Forsest River, with hydraulic slides. A little more information from you would be good here. Does the pump motor contnue to run when the slides stop moving? If it does, maybe your hydraulic fluid reservoir is low! If the pump stops, you could have low voltage, as suggested and it could be the pump, or motor is weak.
One thing I don't like about the Lippert system is the inability to run one slide at a time. They are sequential off one switch, in normal operating mode.
While at the Coachmen factory this past summer, I posed the question of how to operate just the bedroom slide by itself. I was told there is a shut off valve on the manifold where you can shut off the living room area slides and operate just the bedroom, as that is the first slide in the sequence. I was reminded that if I did turn the other slides off, to reopen the valve. Could be someone closed your valve and did not reopen it all the way! Something to check on.
You can go onto the Lippert web site and down load any manual for there components. Also, contact the Cedar Creek factory/ Warranty Manager for replacement manuals for the trailer.
Silver Vette, I think you should get four new tires for now and use the best looking tire, ( checking it for tread depth, sidewall cracking, and cracking between the tread ), as a spare. The spare can be replaced anytime, but for use, it should be short time use if it is an old tire. Think of spares as being temproary use to get you from a bad situation to a safe place.
The suggestion to find a tire store that is opne on Sunday's is valid. Sears, Pep Boys are two good choices. Being that your trailer is a short fifth wheel, you could certainly use "E" rated LT tires as an alternative to ST, ( special trailer ), tires. E rated ST tires will have a weight rating of 3450. I think. LT tires are rated at at 90%, around 3050. If you run them at max air pressure, consider the 100% weight rating to be very close to the ST ratings, which are rated at 100% You are also more likely to find the LT tires more readily available at non trailer tire stores!
Our previous fifth wheel was a 37.5 foot trtailer with a GVWR of 13K. It came OEM with Cooper LT tires. I ran the tires six years with no problems. They handled the weight of the trailer fine and ywes, we did weigh the trailer every year before starting out on long trips south and were running about 1000 lbs under the max GVWR.
Goodyear no longer makes the Marathon tire. They did come on a lot of early 2011 and 2010 model trailers. Goodyear has sold the name and molds to a company named Greenball. They are making the tire, but it is made in CHINA.