Trailer Life Magazine Open Roads Forum: The Odd's weren't with me: Keystone FRAME CRACK
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 > The Odd's weren't with me : Keystone FRAME CRACK

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Jim4929

Roanoke, VA

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Posted: 10/05/18 05:27pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I've been on the forum since 2006. Before buying a fifth wheel, the thing that really scared me to death was what I was reading about Lippert weld and frame failures. My thought was with all the frames Lippert builds, the odds would be in my favor that I would not get one. WRONG. Last year a small crack appeared and I kept close eye on it. It started to run and knowing things like this don't tend to fix themselves I decided to have it repaired ( had damage due to a tire blowout but that's a story for a different day)since I had other damage. All there efforts failed and in their opinion something happened to the frame to cause this much tourqe a weld failure or a break. My call to Keystone yielded a denial of any claim proved to me beyond a reasonable doubt that it was a forgone conclusion.

My question is this. Since this is not as rare as I thought. What are my options? I request that only people who have dealt with this respond with what they tried and what options are most likely to succeed. I'm retired so I'm prepared to take this to a final conclusion if I can find a successful path.

PS if you would like to speak to me off the record, please Private Message me.

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* This post was edited 10/06/18 09:10am by Jim4929 *


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Old-Biscuit

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Posted: 10/05/18 05:43pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Have you removed the overhang panel and inspected the pin box/overhang structure for failures?

[image]

[image]


Also check if side wall is no longer attached to overhang horizontal beam


Watch for movement when you load/unload pin box with overhang panel removed


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Dayle1

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Posted: 10/05/18 08:11pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You need to understand where the frame has failed in order to define a fix. That means at least dropping the skin under the gooseneck to see everything. I had a unit that when the brand switched to the notched front cap, then the front crossmember also had to be notched rather that straight across. Only problem is that Lippert made the frame notch greater than was really needed. The front crossmember attached to the main frame just a few inches ahead of the rear crossmember. The result, too much flex. I didn't have a failure, but Lippert agreed the design was poor, they added a forward extension on the main frame rails and relocated the front crossmember further forward. Also extra stiffner for the rear crossmember. Result, less flex. Lippert changed the frame design on new units within a few weeks. My repaired unit was fine 6 yrs later when I traded it in.

People don't realize that the trailer body, meaning walls, etc. help stiffen the frame, and if the attachment points between the frame and body fail or become loose, then again, the frame flexes too much w/o that extra support and something in the frame will then fail. Patching cracks in the skin does nothing for the underlying problem and cracks will return.


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TXiceman

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Posted: 10/05/18 09:40pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Old Buscuit, I hope this was not on your HH. HH did use Lippert frames for a couple of years and went back to Youngs.

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newman fulltimer

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Posted: 10/05/18 10:14pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Well the good news .that's not a frame failure that's a wall stud weld failure theweld broke at the slide side wall and when slide pushed out it pushed the wall out causing the crack. Note the crack starts in the corner going outward

Ralph Cramden

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Posted: 10/06/18 04:33am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

newman fulltimer wrote:

Well the good news .that's not a frame failure that's a wall stud weld failure theweld broke at the slide side wall and when slide pushed out it pushed the wall out causing the crack. Note the crack starts in the corner going outward


Do you have Xray vision? LOL.

I have seen more than one different brand of 5er with a crack in that same location due to frame flex and cracked welds or steel near the pinbox. What they all had in common was LCI.

Dayle1

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Posted: 10/06/18 06:20am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ralph Cramden wrote:

newman fulltimer wrote:

Well the good news .that's not a frame failure that's a wall stud weld failure theweld broke at the slide side wall and when slide pushed out it pushed the wall out causing the crack. Note the crack starts in the corner going outward


Do you have Xray vision? LOL.

I have seen more than one different brand of 5er with a crack in that same location due to frame flex and cracked welds or steel near the pinbox. What they all had in common was LCI.


First key point would be how much does the pin flex loaded vs unloaded. If it is less than 1/2" then frame is OK, if more then frame and wall stud are both suspect. Just my opinion but I would expect just a hairline crack if the wall stud next to the slideout failed, not a significant gap.

SidecarFlip

SE Michigan

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Posted: 10/06/18 07:07am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Old-Biscuit wrote:

Have you removed the overhang panel and inspected the pin box/overhang structure for failures?

[image]

[image]


Also check if side wall is no longer attached to overhang horizontal beam


Watch for movement when you load/unload pin box with overhang panel removed


If that was mine, I'd bevel them, lay on fishplate on one side and fill with weld and weld on the fishplates. Issue solved. The weld on your one picture has no penetration at all. Not enough amps or too fast travel speed.


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Michelle.S

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Posted: 10/06/18 09:47am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

That is a weak stress point in the wall, very common on many brands. Many now come from the Factory with a vertical cut at that point with a molding section inserted into the cut.
I would do the measurements on King Pin movement and if within specs, make a clean cut where your crack/tear is and insert a section of molding to seal it.


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Charlie D.

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Posted: 10/06/18 01:10pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Michelle.S wrote:

That is a weak stress point in the wall, very common on many brands. Many now come from the Factory with a vertical cut at that point with a molding section inserted into the cut.
I would do the measurements on King Pin movement and if within specs, make a clean cut where your crack/tear is and insert a section of molding to seal it.


Agreed. One my previous 2006 rig I had a crack like that. Ran from the corner of the cut out about 3". I checked the crack with and without load on the pin box and it would open/close very little. My new rig has a factory applied vertical strip and I have seen them on many rigs.. I suspect the factory cut the side wall to allow a tiny bit of relief. Hopefully there is not a weld break or failure on your rig. Keep us posted.


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