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 > Cracks in Dexter StructuraI I-Beams on Jayco 5th Wheel

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ExRocketScientist

Laurel, MD

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Posted: 05/10/12 05:32am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Snow_King wrote:

ExRocketScientist wrote:

jdog wrote:

So from all of this, the frame stress and cracking is caused by weak spring hangers. These frame builders have always known the cause. Trailer manufactures are known for over loading the frame and springs.

It is not weak spring hangers. It is the torsion applied to the frame due to the hangers having leverage on the bottom of the frame when you go into a turn. The trailers with tube subframes on them or that use rectangular tube for the main frame rails don't have these problems -- it is extremely difficult to twist a rectangular or square tube. That is why I sugges to people who want 2 to 3 inches of extra ground clearance to add a subframe with crossmembers at each spring hanger. From above, the subframe looks like the number 8 on one of the old 7 segment LED digital displays. It virtually eliminates all of the frame twisting issues. If you converted any of these trailers to single axle from tandem, frame cracks and cracked welds would be virtually unheard of. The problem with actually doing the conversion though is you would definitely need to "tube" the frame to spread the weight bearing over a larger are like the three sp@read out hangers in the tandem axle arrangement does.


I belive you are wrong. Cardinal and Montana trailers and others with or without subframes experience this issue. It is simply the fact that the cross members in the axle area are welded to the vertical part of the of the I-beam right behind the area that cracks. This is above the lower horizonal area of the I-beam. In fact a subframe most likely makes it worst, as it moves the point of spring attachment farther from the cross members, creating more leverage.

When I talk about a subframe, I am not talking about just having a tube attached to the bottom of the frame rails; I am talking about one with crossmembers in it so that it looks like the figure 8 on an old LED digital display. The problem with just having tubes on the bottom of the frame rails with no cross members is that cross winds allow the (as you point out) spring hangers with increases leverage to twist the frame rails, albeit in the same direction at all spring hangers. A friend of mine had a trailer once with this setup and I remember him pushing on the side of the thing to rock it a bit for some reason or another and I could actually see the frame rails flexing.

The bottom line is you need to stop the frame rails from flexing in the area where the spring hangers attach. You can do this several ways; figure 8 subframe, Mor Ryde x-factor (or equivalent), or crosswise trusses that are firmly attached at the top and bottoms of the frame rails.


ERS

RamTX

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Posted: 05/10/12 07:35am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I think that we can all agree that there is torsional loading on the I-beams when turning corners and bracing is generally marginal in some trailers between the I-beams with additional bracing needed between the I-beams either or both attached to the I-beam and or the spring hangers such as with the Mor Ryde X-factor. Will that lessen the likelihood of cracks?

* This post was edited 05/10/12 07:49am by RamTX *


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jdog

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Posted: 05/10/12 01:02pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The trailer manufactures should be recalling trailers to install supports such as the Mor-Ride X-Factor. Maybe we need class action. I believe the manufactures, trailer and frame, all know about this problem. Shame on these jerks! I recentally found a brocken spring eye bolt. The same force that tweaks the frame is what caused the eye bolt to break because the bolt was weaker than the frame.

Snow_King

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Posted: 05/10/12 03:23pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

jdog wrote:

The trailer manufactures should be recalling trailers to install supports such as the Mor-Ride X-Factor. Maybe we need class action. I believe the manufactures, trailer and frame, all know about this problem. Shame on these jerks! I recentally found a brocken spring eye bolt. The same force that tweaks the frame is what caused the eye bolt to break because the bolt was weaker than the frame.


I think that they are hoping that they get old enough before the problem becomes more known, so that they can just walk away from it! OUT of WARRANTY!


Somewhere in a Fifth Wheel - Where it does not Snow

ExRocketScientist

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Posted: 05/10/12 04:58pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The easy out for them is out of warrantee, or you overloaded it.

Snow_King

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Posted: 05/10/12 09:35pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Don't forget "you modified your frame, with _______=
1. Bike Rack
2. Raised to match truck height - axle flip
3. Trailer hitch
4. Generator rack
5. Storage box
6. Second spare tire

57 Panhead

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Posted: 05/18/12 09:22pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Just a thought but, is it possible that changing to LT tires from ST tires is part of the cause in this type of cracking? The side walls on LT tires are stiffer and do not flex like ST tires do. Could this extra stiffness cause additional stress on the I-Beam in a tight turning maneuver? I'm not saying this is the whole cause, but rather an additional contributing factor. Just a thought.

I had square steel bar welded across the trailer at the spring hangers this week so I now have some extra support in that area of the frame. In addition I had a 2" receiver fab'd up so I can carry my Honda Trail 90 or our bicycles with us.

Steve


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retired-tech

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Posted: 05/19/12 06:24am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

these problems need to be reported to the hyway traffic people. they cannot investigate for possible recalls if they dont know about it. with the suspension mount and hitch failures seen here being a safety issue they should be looking into it.


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kakampers

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Posted: 05/19/12 02:50pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Not only do they know about the problem, as they fixed my five year old unit that snapped a hanger and developed the frame cracks, using the Lippert procedure shown above....but the problem is they STILL build todays frames the exact same way they built mine...why the don't change their build procedure is beyond me.


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larry barnhart

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Posted: 05/19/12 05:01pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

kakampers wrote:

Not only do they know about the problem, as they fixed my five year old unit that snapped a hanger and developed the frame cracks, using the Lippert procedure shown above....but the problem is they STILL build todays frames the exact same way they built mine...why the don't change their build procedure is beyond me.



My guess is no body has died from a broken frame. Hope it doesn't
come to that.
chevman


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