RV.Net Open Roads Forum: The Way “All” 5th Wheels Frames Should Be Built

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Open Roads Forum  >  Fifth-Wheels

 > The Way “All” 5th Wheels Frames Should Be Built

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memtb

Wyoming

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Posted: 08/01/20 03:05pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Many folks don’t think about or have any knowledge about the most important part of the RV..... mainly because it is mostly unseen. The frame and suspension is the foundation for your RV. There are places where costs can be reduced, the frame design and integrity .....is not it!

Obviously the beam dimensions (wall thickness, height, etc) can be reduced for a smaller, lighter unit.....but this is not the place to put the minimum!

If nothing else.....it may give folks an idea of things to look for when shopping for your next RV!

And no, we don’t own one! However, many of the features mentioned are things we’ve had in our 5th wheels since the ‘90’s! memtb


https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=2fKbAUuwgPo

* This post was last edited 08/01/20 03:31pm by memtb *   View edit history


Todd & Marianne
Miniature Schnauzer's - Sundai, Nellie & Maggie Mae
2007 Dodge Ram 3500, 6.7 Cummins, 6 speed manual, 3.73 ratio, 4x4
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TXiceman

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Posted: 08/01/20 04:34pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

This why I love my HitchHiker Champagne. Heavier Young's Welding frame and Mor/Ryde IS suspension with HD brakes.

Yes we are heavy...19,500 lb on the road with no water.


Ken


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2013 HitchHiker 38RLRSB Champagne, toted with a 2012, F350, 6.7L PSD, Crewcab, dually. 3.73 axle, Full Time RVer.
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goducks10

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Posted: 08/01/20 05:17pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Link
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fKbAUuwgPo&app=desktop

One of the main reasons we bought our Northwoods RV 5er 8 years ago and last year bought an Outdoors RV TT. Both in house made frames.
While not of the same caliber as the one in the video, they're still well built with very few issues.

memtb

Wyoming

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Posted: 08/01/20 05:43pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If I were to get a “new” (unlikely) RV, Arctic Fox would be on the short list.....if I won a big lottery, New Horizons would be the “only” one on the list. Meanwhile, I hope that our old Teton will carry us to the end of our RV’ing days! memtb

SDcampowneroperator

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Posted: 08/01/20 05:54pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

There are MFGRs claims about frame strength that are not entirely true. Our Carriage 5er boasted 3/16 wall.(.188) 2x6 Turns out 3/16 was only used in the front portion, under the load over axle portion was 1/8 wall (.125)
Yes we bent the frame there while following their load recommendations because of a massive (unmarked construction bridge ) bump in the road. A spendy fix. It also tore out the rubber morryde equalizers
I belatedly determined the thinner wall tubing by the radius of the corners of the tubing. When rectangular tube is formed, the wall thickness creates a more square corner depending on wall thickness. It does not take an engineering degree to see the 50% increase in strength from the difference, or the maybe $20 in cost to them and the extra 50 # to make a frame that can take all the road may throw at it.


So look at the frame. If you see any portion that looks different, like squarer corners on tubular, or narrower or thinner flanges on I Beam frames. Question it. they are lighter, thinner than the more radiused corners of heavier tubing.

Veebyes

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Posted: 08/01/20 06:45pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

At RV shows or dealerships the first thing to be done is get on hands & knees & inspect frames, especially in spring hanger mounting areas.


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RickLight

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Posted: 08/01/20 08:52pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Modern engineering has routinely made products stronger and lighter using less material.

Yes the frame is critical, but far more than wall thickness is required. The engineering however is only as good as the managers will allow and the warranty will support. Both are powered by money!


Rick,

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memtb

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Posted: 08/02/20 06:20am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Rick, You are very correct about the engineering and then the manufacturers employing said engineering. The video (New Horizons) spent a little bit of time discussing bracing, gusseting, etc. not used on most RV frames.......as well as frame dimensions and wall thickness.

Ultimately, in comes down to the manufactures providing the best frames for our RV’s within reasonable costs! The sad reality is....the “bean counters” determine the quality of the product that is offered to the public. memtb

JIMNLIN

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Posted: 08/02/20 06:32am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Looks like a good heavy built frame for that 43' unit.
I liked his point of their not using axles that have to much capacity for the job.


"good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment" ............ Will Rogers

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JTrac

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Posted: 08/02/20 08:01am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A heavy, quality built fifth wheel is great for those who need them but that market is limited. I have nothing to back it up other than what I see in rv parks and on the road, but it appears most folks want something they can tow with a 3/4 or maybe a one ton single rear wheel truck. My guess is that's why Montana bragged for years about being the best selling fifth wheel and why manufacturers like Excel and Nuwa are gone. I think quality is possible with lighter weight units but it will cost more to do which makes them less competitive with those who don't.


JimT
2020 Jayco Pinnacle 32RLTS, 2020 Ford F350, Platinum, 6.7 diesel, 4X4, CCLB, SRW, 12,400 GVWR, 4562 payload capacity

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