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Open Roads Forum  >  Fifth-Wheels

 > I hope I have "FRAMED" this question properly?

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msredneck84

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Posted: 07/05/12 09:46pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Do any of the remaining fifth wheel Mfg's. build their own frames? Carriage built their own (if my memory serves me correctly) but, sadly, they are gone now.

The reason I ask this question, I see a lot of post about frame failure and slide room tracking and mechanism failure. It seems to me some of the big boys in the RV Mfg. end need to address this issue. Looks like the field is wide open for an opportunist.

I know I would look long and hard at a company that had enough forethought to build the most important component of the unit themselves. What say you all?


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JR45

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Posted: 07/05/12 09:52pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Excel builds there own frames http://www.excelrvs.com/resources/videos
JR


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SoCalDesertRider

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Posted: 07/05/12 10:11pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It wouldn't take much attention to quality to easily surpass the quality of what Lippert produces.


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SooperDaddy

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Posted: 07/05/12 10:27pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Northwood Nash builds their own from scratch....they told me during a tour that they went with Lippert briefly...but were disatisfied with the quality and they weren't heavy enough.

SpaceCraft, Nash, NuWa, Excel, Carriage (used to but gone now!), New Horizon, and a few others DIY frames.

It just isn't cost effective to build their own frames...far cheaper to hand it off to an outside builder. But there are degrees and price lines of Lippert frames...some companies specify their own engineered specs and have the frames built for specific weights and sizes of trailers.


My posts shouldn't be taken for factual data, and are purely fictional, for entertainment purposes, should not be constituted as related to scientific, technical, engineering, legal, religious, spiritual, or practical advice. After all it's FREE! Amen.


Eycom

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Posted: 07/05/12 10:14pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm looking at changing to a 5er next year in conjunction with retirement and full timing. I believe DRV (Mobile Suites), NuWa (Hitchhiker) and the aforementioned Excel build their own.


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Posted: 07/05/12 10:48pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sounds like the above replies pretty well cover it. Few still build their own, but I can vouch for Northwood. Our Arctic Fox is built like a tank.


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The Mad Norsky

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Posted: 07/06/12 12:23am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Just a minor correction to info on Hitchhiker frames.

Yes, MOST are still built by Youngs Welding in Chanute, Kansas.

BUT, there are Hitchhiker II models out there with Lippert frames on them.

Not sure if this is still the case, but the Hitchhiker II series were built in another plant in Chanute, not part of the main facility where the Discover America and Champagne series were built.

And it was those Hitchhiker II's that had the Lippert frames. Do not know if they still use Lippert on these, or went back to Youngs Welding.


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laknox

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Posted: 07/05/12 11:28pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

fordsooperdooty wrote:

Northwood Nash builds their own from scratch....they told me during a tour that they went with Lippert briefly...but were disatisfied with the quality and they weren't heavy enough.

SpaceCraft, Nash, NuWa, Excel, Carriage (used to but gone now!), New Horizon, and a few others DIY frames.

It just isn't cost effective to build their own frames...far cheaper to hand it off to an outside builder. But there are degrees and price lines of Lippert frames...some companies specify their own engineered specs and have the frames built for specific weights and sizes of trailers.


While I'm no fan of Lippert, I simply don't see why a company can't spec a frame for Lippert (or another company) to build and reject anything that doesn't meet that spec. I'm talking about size and types of beams, gauge of steel, QUALITY of steel and QUALITY of construction. At the same time, those companies that do use Lippert need to either tell Lippert to shape up, find another company to do the work or do it themselves. It HAS to start with better construction by Lippert and they need to do their =own= analysis of a spec to see if it will work for a specific application. This really isn't rocket science (sorry, ERS), but it is fairly simple engineering. You can bet your last dollar that Lippert knows this, but doesn't call the manufacturers to task for it. The more I think about it, the more I'm tempted to rebuild my current trailer and have someone put a new superstructure on the old frame when the time comes. :-)

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LostinAZ

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Posted: 07/06/12 12:13am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm wondering if the specs are the issue for the high failure rates reported here for Lippert frames or what seems to me to be the most reported problem with Lippert has been due to poor Lippert frame welds.

Cummins12V98

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Posted: 07/05/12 11:17pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Eycom wrote:

I'm looking at changing to a 5er next year in conjunction with retirement and full timing. I believe DRV (Mobile Suites), NuWa (Hitchhiker) and the aforementioned Excel build their own.


I don't know about Excel but NuWa has Youngs in Chanute KS build their frames and Mobile Suites DRV have Lippert build theirs.

Lippert gets a bad rap but most of the time the problem is the rv mfg specs too light weight of frames and they don't hold up. My MS has two 2x6 and one 2x3 tubes stacked on top of each other and is very strong. I have heard of very few complaints of Lippert/MS frames.


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