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Topic: Clunking sound when backing up.

Posted By: TEXAS2STEP on 01/25/12 08:04am

My brother has a Montana fifth wheel. Curious when ever he is backing
the trailer, it makes a loud clunking sound, metal against metal. He claims it is normal??? I guess i've never heard these sounds from other fifth wheels. Is this normal?


2007 Fleetwood Bounder 35E
2007 Grand Vitara 4/wd
FMCA


Posted By: eHoefler on 01/25/12 08:12am

Could be a number of things, where is it coming from, if you can tell?? I could be the pin moving in the fifth wheel hitch, usually there is an adjustment to remove the slop. Also check all mounting bolts on the hitch, including all frame brackets, check the pin box also.


2014 Ram Laramie, 3500, Crew Cab, Long bed, 4 x 4,Dually, Lights & Siren!

2006 40' Landmark Mt. Rushmore


Posted By: TEXAS2STEP on 01/25/12 08:15am

eHoefler wrote:

Could be a number of things, where is it coming from, if you can tell?? I could be the pin moving in the fifth wheel hitch, usually there is an adjustment to remove the slop. Also check all mounting bolts on the hitch, including all frame brackets, check the pin box also.



It sounds like it's coming from the axles.


Posted By: Old-Biscuit on 01/25/12 08:17am

Noise coming from hitch or from brakes?

Heard 'clunking' from both areas......
From brakes when backing up and lightly applying bakes...rhythmic clunk, clunk
From hitch at rotating head, hitch legs/rails when 1st backing due to change in 'forces'/direction....1 time clunk

The only other time I have heard repeated clunking was from pin box area when there was excessive deflection occurring......then it was clunk in reverse and again clunk when going forward plus creaking when hitching/unhitching.


Posted By: mike-uswest on 01/25/12 09:19am

I had a truck with limited slip rear end that did that, but that was years ago.

Mike


2003 Dodge 2500 CTD, 4X4,
1994 Alpenlite 26'fifth wheel
See picture in profile.



Posted By: mapguy on 01/25/12 09:28am

TEXAS2STEP wrote:

eHoefler wrote:

Could be a number of things, where is it coming from, if you can tell?? I could be the pin moving in the fifth wheel hitch, usually there is an adjustment to remove the slop. Also check all mounting bolts on the hitch, including all frame brackets, check the pin box also.



It sounds like it's coming from the axles.


The sound is the suspension loading up and then releasing -usually a sign of worn/dry parts. These are the sounds made before something finally breaks.
Need to check the suspension system. Sounds like several issues -probably worn out spring eye bushings and possibly well worn spring shackles. Good idea to remedy before it breaks a spring eye off one of the leaf springs or a shackle link breaks.

Sounds like he is a canidate for a wet bolt/heavy duty suspension upgrade.
http://dexteraxle.com/heavy_duty_suspension_kits


Posted By: christopherglenn on 01/25/12 09:47am

Do the trailer axles have self adjusters?


2007 Chevrolet 3500 CC/LB Duramax/Dually 4X4 Mine r4tech, Reese Signature Series 18k +slider, duratrac, Titan 62 gallon, diamond eye, Cheetah 64
2011 Keystone Fusion 405 TrailAir & Triglide, Centerpoint, gen-turi, 3 PVX-840T, XANTREX FREEDOM SW3012, G614



Posted By: RedAce on 01/25/12 09:47am

If he has a mor ride hitch, it will clunk when reversing direction. Perfectly normal


Posted By: Randu on 01/25/12 10:50am

mapguy wrote:


The sound is the suspension loading up and then releasing -usually a sign of worn/dry parts. These are the sounds made before something finally breaks.
Need to check the suspension system. Sounds like several issues -probably worn out spring eye bushings and possibly well worn spring shackles. Good idea to remedy before it breaks a spring eye off one of the leaf springs or a shackle link breaks.

Sounds like he is a candidate for a wet bolt/heavy duty suspension upgrade.
http://dexteraxle.com/heavy_duty_suspension_kits


This is also my thoughts on "Clunks". If it were "tings" I would check for bearing dust cover coming off and bouncing around in the hub cover that is on most aluminum wheels. Randu


2014 Chevy 3500HD SRW Crew LTZ
LB,4x4,Duramax
2008 Mobile Suites 36TK3



Posted By: mapguy on 01/25/12 10:53am

christopherglenn wrote:

Do the trailer axles have self adjusters?


On the brakes? If yes - SA electric trailer brakes adjust in the forward direction unlike cars/trucks with SA drum brakes.


Posted By: car2900 on 01/25/12 11:22am

I purchased a new Denali 5th. wheel in 2010. I made those clunking noises when backing up and turning, especially when backing into a campsite. Took it back to the dealer after a couple of months. They took all the wheels off and checked everything, checked the springs, spring hangers, everything. They said they all make some noise but this one a little more than most. I just lived with it. Pulled about 5,000 miles with no problems.


2014 Cedar Creek 34 RLSA-7
2015 Chevy Silverado 3500HD SRW 4x4 Duramax/Allison
B&W Turnover/Companion



Posted By: Mile High on 01/25/12 11:23am

If you are talking about backing in a turn - the clunk is normal. Its all that China stuff underneath trying to make a turn on straight axles and fixed spindles.

I've had 3, and they all clunk


Posted By: mapguy on 01/25/12 11:26am

one of these kits and a grease gun will get rid of that steel on steel sound plus the shackles won't break at the most in-opportune moment either...

http://dexteraxle.com/heavy_duty_suspension_kits


Posted By: sirdrakejr on 01/25/12 02:53pm

I had the same problem and all it took was to GREASE the area of the pin that goes in the hitch jaws. That has to be free to move and turn or it will "clunk" when it forced to move.
Frank


2011 Palomino Maverick 1000SLLB on a 2004 Dodge Quadcab CTD Ram3500 SRW long bed equipped with Timbren springs, Stable Load bump stops, Rickson 19.5" wheels/"G" range tires and a Helwig "Big Wig" rear anti sway bar.



Posted By: Mile High on 01/25/12 02:56pm

mapguy wrote:

one of these kits and a grease gun will get rid of that steel on steel sound plus the shackles won't break at the most in-opportune moment either...

http://dexteraxle.com/heavy_duty_suspension_kits
I installed these last summer. I never thought to check to see if clunk went away. hmmmmmm maybe its gone!


Posted By: Charlie D. on 01/25/12 06:09pm

christopherglenn wrote:

Do the trailer axles have self adjusters?


Only if self-adjusting brakes have been installed. Not all have the adjusters.


Enjoying Your Freedom?
Thank A Veteran
Native Texan


Posted By: mapguy on 01/25/12 06:34pm

Mile High wrote:

mapguy wrote:

one of these kits and a grease gun will get rid of that steel on steel sound plus the shackles won't break at the most in-opportune moment either...

http://dexteraxle.com/heavy_duty_suspension_kits
I installed these last summer. I never thought to check to see if clunk went away. hmmmmmm maybe its gone!


Replaced the crappy china stuff Lippert installed on mine at 3K miles and 2 months from new. It moaned and groaned badly but never clunked when new. The nylon "bushings" in the spring eyes were already showing heavy wear at this point. Now 3 years later it is still quiet going down the road and or backing into my driveway that is 90* to the 30' wide residential street.


Posted By: ExRocketScientist on 01/26/12 05:20am

mapguy wrote:

TEXAS2STEP wrote:

eHoefler wrote:

Could be a number of things, where is it coming from, if you can tell?? I could be the pin moving in the fifth wheel hitch, usually there is an adjustment to remove the slop. Also check all mounting bolts on the hitch, including all frame brackets, check the pin box also.



It sounds like it's coming from the axles.


The sound is the suspension loading up and then releasing -usually a sign of worn/dry parts. These are the sounds made before something finally breaks.
Need to check the suspension system. Sounds like several issues -probably worn out spring eye bushings and possibly well worn spring shackles. Good idea to remedy before it breaks a spring eye off one of the leaf springs or a shackle link breaks.

Sounds like he is a canidate for a wet bolt/heavy duty suspension upgrade.
http://dexteraxle.com/heavy_duty_suspension_kits

My thoughts exactly.


ERS


Posted By: just me on 01/26/12 07:07am

Brake adjustment is pretty tight through the controller, maybe to much gain, cause you keep your foot lightly on the brake when backing your rig, and you get this clunking. Check the suspension parts for wear as mentioned. Poor adjustment on the king pin jaws cause a little noise to, but you would notice the jerking going down the highway also if this is the case.


95 Dodge CC #5 TST plate Flame Red/Silver
not totaly stock
2007 fiver
Tag Ma-haul has been suggested for a name but now The Shoe box


Posted By: dogwood36322 on 01/26/12 07:49am

I have experienced the adjuster spring breaking and the adjuster falling into the drum. Had no issues with locking while going forward but they would try to lock the drum while backing. Pull the brake drums and check for loose hardware.


Jim,
Retired US Army, Still training Army pilots at Ft. Rucker, Al.
2011 Ford F350 DRW, 6.7, B&W turnover hitch/5th wheel.
2008 Sandpiper 295RGD


Posted By: MSHappyCampers on 01/26/12 02:17pm

I think it was his wife banging on the bottom after he backed over her!


Joe & Annette

2002 Monaco Windsor 40PBT



Posted By: Mile High on 01/26/12 02:40pm

MSHappyCampers wrote:

I think it was his wife banging on the bottom after he backed over her!
hahahaha - that is a funny visual!!

More than once I have to tell her to stay in my mirror. I put 5 floodlights out the back and sides because originally I couldn't see her most of the time.


Posted By: Luke Porter on 01/26/12 06:12pm

I had a noise like that once. It was a broken brake spring floating around in there.


Yep, actually drove to all of these places---in the last eight years. Missed Rhode Island and New Jersey.


.



Posted By: Ric Flair on 01/27/12 11:03am

Mine has made that clunking noise when backing in a turn since day 1.

Dealer says it's normal.


2013 GMC 3500 DRW 4x4 SLT Duramax
2013 Road Warrior 415 Toy Hauler
2013 Kawasaki 4010 Mule


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