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Author Topic: Lippert Frames still causing issues?  (Read 15684 times)

invmartyc

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Lippert Frames still causing issues?
« on: February 28, 2014, 12:37:25 PM »
I have been reading over the past few years about all the problems people have been having with Lippert frames. Is this still going on? Why would an RV manufacturer use such a frame because they cannot be saving enough money for the trouble.

I wish there was a list of manufacturers who use these frames that people can reference to in order to keep away from them.

donn

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Re: Lippert Frames still causing issues?
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2014, 01:47:27 PM »
It would be far easier to try and come up with a list of manufacturers who do not use Lippert frames.  But you do have to remember, Lippert only assembles the frames designed by the  trailer builder.  They do not design the frames.  And it is up to the manufacturer to ensure that each frame they receive from Lippert to be welded correctly.  Which a lot of them do not.  But the bottom line is...... Most of the problems in the past seem to have been corrected somewhere in the whole process.

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Lippert Frames still causing issues?
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2014, 06:37:05 PM »
I suspect Lippert is the low bidder on the many components it supplies to trailer manufacturers. And there isn't a lot of competition either.  As long as the frames , etc. last long enough to survive the one year warranty that most trailers have, they are satisfied.
Gary
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Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

moisheh

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Re: Lippert Frames still causing issues?
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2014, 07:21:05 PM »
Donn:  Are you sure that Lippert does not design the frames? Normally a mfr. would spec dimensions but the engineering would be done by Lippert. I have a really bad internet connection right now but I have been to their website and they tout their engineering. It seems that everything Lippert touches is problematic. I think Lippert is Swahili for "junk". Nothing wrong with farming out some manufacturing to other companies. The auto industry does this as do many others. But one would think that with the Lippert reputation manufacturers would look elsewhere. If you go to Escapees there are some photos of the 5th wheel frames.  Really bad construction. Almost impossible to fix.

longhaul

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Re: Lippert Frames still causing issues?
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2014, 08:19:37 PM »
Quote
I wish there was a list of manufacturers who use these frames that people can reference to in order to keep away from them.
I would suspect any list of RV manufacturers that some one says to stay away from simply because it has a Lippert frame or any ones frame.

 As Donn says every thing I've read points to Lippert and those manufacturers of product lines that had issues  had a redesign of the main frame/suspension requirements by the RV manufacturers.

 We don't see issues in the last year or so with new units with broken frame/suspension components like was coming off the assy line a few years back. Now I'm not suggesting their will no more issues but I would say that about any manufacturers frame. Over time even the best of frames can and has had issues.



Lou Schneider

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Re: Lippert Frames still causing issues?
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2014, 11:46:02 PM »
Northwood Manufacturing (Arctic Fox, Nash, Desert Fox, Snow River, Fox Mountain) builds their own frames and has an independent lab certify the design.

moisheh

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Re: Lippert Frames still causing issues?
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2014, 07:20:26 AM »
From another forum:There are those who believe that Lippert only builds what they are told to by the "customers" -I have a bridge in Brooklyn for them.  Lippert builds Chassis.  They are most likely given general specifications as to dimensions and capacities, but ultimately the "supposed" weight ratings for the chassis are the responsibility of the chassis manufacturer and are printed on Lippert's own affixed labels.

 

In the case of my brother's Keystone Laredo, the main structural members attaching the pinbox to the trailer were 25% less in thickness that what Keystone told him they were suppose to be.  The weld didn't fail, but instead, the tube ripped apart right beside the weld.  He kept that piece of box tube for a couple of years and showed everyone he ran across.

 

Document Everything!!!  Photographs (video is better), weight receipts, etc. 

 

Fact:  If a manufacturer in ANY other industry had a structural failure rate even a fraction of Lippert's there would be massive recalls.

 



 

mistere

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Re: Lippert Frames still causing issues?
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2014, 07:59:20 AM »
Ultimately it should be the manufacturer, in the case Lippert, who has a competent engineering staff capable of  inspecting plans and determine their feasibility.  My worthless GM stock certificate is a testament  to what happens when accountants engineer products.  Apparently, the RV industry is in need of more government oversight. A nice place to start would be a version of the Monroney sticker, at least the questions of MSRP would be answered.     
Ed
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2013 Toyota 4Runner

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Lippert Frames still causing issues?
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2014, 09:37:58 AM »
The large number of failures I see attributed to things made by Lippert Components certainly gives me pause. As do the serious types of failures I see described.  However, just the fact that they supply so many RV manufacturers with so many different components could lead to a highly visible volume of problem reports.

Lippert continues to gobble up competitors. Jayco used a small company to build its trailer frames, but they got bought up by Dexter Axle. Then Dexter decided to concentrate on their core business, so sold the frame unit to Lippert and now Jaycos have Lippert frames. Jayco specs the size, weight capacity and type of frame desired, but they don't "design" it - Lippert's engineers do that. And then Lippert's factories fabricate the frame to the design once Jayco accepts it.

Al-Ko is a major axle, brake & slide mechanism supplier and also a major frame builder in its home European market. They are looking to expand their US market share, so maybe we will see more trailers with Al-Ko frames in the future.
Gary
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moisheh

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Re: Lippert Frames still causing issues?
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2014, 11:19:11 AM »
Thor and Forest River also use the Lippert frames. What I cannot understand is that this is not new. There were reports in 2010( maybe even earlier) yet the problem persists. If I were the trailer mfr. I would be looking elsewhere. It hurts your reputation and adds to warranty costs. I doubt it would cost more than $200 extra to make them properly in the first place. Lippert does not make any frames for the high end units. Or at least I don't think they do! There are 5th wheels and TT's that are 30 years old still going down the road and I don't ever remember the frames being a problem. I wonder if they do some frame modifications for Thor class A's?? In my youth I worked for a company in Canada that made trailer frames for horse and travel trailers. We sometimes had axle problems or bad springs but the frames are so simple it was not hard to make them right. Owners should report these problems to NHTSA. Maybe they could be recalled.

longhaul

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Re: Lippert Frames still causing issues?
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2014, 08:56:43 PM »
Quote
Ultimately it should be the manufacturer, in the case Lippert, who has a competent engineering staff capable of  inspecting plans and determine their feasibility.

 Lippert has no idea what the trailer  mfg is going to use the frame for. If I had a frame issue I'm falling down on the trailer manufacturer as their the ones responsible for seeing the frame is to their specs and is good to go for their customers.
 Now if the frame builder has cut corners from the RV mfg specs then they become liable for repairs which Lippert has done in many cases.

   Bad deal all around for the customer with Lippert and the RV mfg pointing fingers at each other in many cases.



 

Sean G.

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Re: Lippert Frames still causing issues?
« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2014, 01:23:40 PM »
During an inquiry with Lippert I remember the person making the comment that Heartland (OEM MFG) had engineered the chassis and Lippert just assembled it.  That didn't make sense to me, especially if Lippert is liable for the warranty on the chassis.  I'm still on the fence on what to believe.  My year is up so it doesn't matter now. 

The inquiry was about axle and rim flex during a turn.  Everytime I back into my driveway it looks like the wheels are going to pop off like some cartoon drawing. 
2013 Heartland Pioneer 25BH
2011 Ram 1500 4.7

grassy

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Re: Lippert Frames still causing issues?
« Reply #12 on: September 16, 2014, 07:55:42 AM »
Does Lippert only make frames for 5th wheels or TTs as well..

This just ups the stress of the search..
2001 Freightliner FL60 Sport Chassis, 3126b, Jake, Air... Brakes, Cab & Rear Suspension, Ultra Shift
2010 Northwood Arctic Fox 29-5T (Silver Fox Edition)

Alfa38User

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Re: Lippert Frames still causing issues?
« Reply #13 on: September 16, 2014, 09:21:13 AM »
Both, but... the problems mentioned most likely related to 5th wheels. The welds of the upper front part were troublesome I believe....
Stu
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billmac

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Re: Lippert Frames still causing issues?
« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2014, 10:32:33 PM »
My 2005 Cardinal has had frame cracks on both sides behind the wheels.  It has also broke a (too thin) welded spring shackle stranding me on a trip.  Other suspension components were found to be a problem waiting to happen.  I bought this trailer new and it has not been abused.

Lippert and Cardinal both have a hand in causing these issues to occur.  They had their chance, I have no desire to buy or recommend either in the future. 

I have installed heavy duty shackles, wet suspension bolts and lifetime bushings.  I spread the word to watch closely the Forest River and Lippert frame and springs. 

Drillking

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Re: Lippert Frames still causing issues?
« Reply #15 on: October 14, 2014, 04:44:29 PM »
Northwood Manufacturing (Arctic Fox, Nash, Desert Fox, Snow River, Fox Mountain) builds their own frames and has an independent lab certify the design.

Lifestyle Luxury RV's build their own frames also.

SargeW

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Re: Lippert Frames still causing issues?
« Reply #16 on: October 14, 2014, 05:37:25 PM »
The latest issue regarding Lippert chassis is a grease seal failure that is becoming quite wide spread. It has gotten so prevalent that Lippert has issued "warning letters" to owners to inspect their brake systems.  The problem is that the grease seals that they are using are failing at alarming numbers.  This causes the grease in the axle to leak past the grease seals and coat the brakes.  The Columbus line built  by Palomino, a subsidiary of Forest River is the owner.  It has gotten so much attention that the NTHSA has opened an investigation into the problem.  If you own, or are thinking of buying a Lippert chassis vehicle, inspect the brakes at your earliest opportunity. 
Marty--
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Rene T

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Re: Lippert Frames still causing issues?
« Reply #17 on: October 14, 2014, 07:35:33 PM »
Anyone know who makes the frames for Montana's? I know I have Dexter axles.
Rene & Lucille & co-pilot Buddy
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donn

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Re: Lippert Frames still causing issues?
« Reply #18 on: October 14, 2014, 10:42:48 PM »
Anyone know who makes the frames for Montana's? I know I have Dexter axles.

Lippert of course!

BobX2

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Re: Lippert Frames still causing issues?
« Reply #19 on: October 15, 2014, 01:04:12 PM »
If we all live in fear all the time about things that could possibly happen, or break, we would never have any time to enjoy life. Find the RV you like, buy it and enjoy it. If something breaks, fix it and continue on. There is nothing you can buy that can't possibly break. If we could all learn to accept that, this would be a much happier place.
2009 Silverado 2500 HD Duramax/Allison
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jam5158

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Re: Lippert Frames still causing issues?
« Reply #20 on: September 08, 2016, 07:49:20 PM »
I have a 2013 Eclipse Attitude with a Lippert frame and it just got several large cracks in the frame from the horizontal welds they did on the gussets supporting the springs.

SargeW

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Re: Lippert Frames still causing issues?
« Reply #21 on: September 08, 2016, 08:28:14 PM »
Those cracks are not just broken welds.  That looks like steel failure......
Marty--
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diyernh

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Re: Lippert Frames still causing issues?
« Reply #22 on: September 09, 2016, 09:43:44 AM »
It looks like a design issue.  I Beams are normally stressed on the top and bottom, but this crack is in the center.  Something is causing the I beam twist inwards or outwards.    As the horizontal welds in the center broke, the bottom web of the beam is being pushed sideways causing the center twist/cracking.

It looks like they just needed to weld a gusset on to ensure this doesn't snap the weld and twist the beam.  With the proper welding and gusseting, the center of the I beam would not have any stress, compression or tension.

Carl

dennis5_0

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Re: Lippert Frames still causing issues?
« Reply #23 on: September 14, 2016, 01:41:22 PM »
   Well I am the owner of a 2011 Tracer 29bhs, we bought the trailer new. 2 summers ago, we had the first of the lippert problems, when the seal failed on an axle and we nearly lost a wheel on the I-95. It was pouring rain and we limped to the nearest city to get repairs done. Took two days spent in a motel before problem was fixed, damage done to the trailer, was paid out of pocket. Brought trailer home, lost half of summer of 2014 for camping, waiting for parts to arrive at the dealer to have other seals replaced and do the other repairs.
   Summer of 2015, noticed hump in floor, took trailer to the dealer, frame buckling, lost almost all of summer waiting for axles to be shipped to dealer and then repairs to frame to be completed.
   Summer of 2016, noticed hump in floor was larger and slide starting to drag on floor, off to the dealer we go again, this time trailer actually coming apart as dealer says welds have failed and as of this writing still waiting to see if lippert is going to repair my lemon.
   This Tracer was my families first new trailer, it was bought because it was supposed to be a really well built unit, won several awards for build quality, maybe inside but the underneath has been a real nightmare, we have lost most of the last 3 camping seasons and I wish there was some kind of lemon law for trailers, this is ridiculous. I wish I could get rid of it but I am stuck with it. >:(
« Last Edit: September 14, 2016, 01:42:58 PM by dennis5_0 »

SargeW

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Re: Lippert Frames still causing issues?
« Reply #24 on: September 14, 2016, 01:54:58 PM »
Sorry for the bad luck Dennis, I hate hearing that kind of stuff.  What about contacting the manufacturer to see if they would do something, or maybe you already did? 

What about trying to trade it in on a different unit?  It doesn't sound like you will be happy with yours regardless of the outcome.
Marty--
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BIG JOE

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Re: Lippert Frames still causing issues?
« Reply #25 on: September 20, 2016, 12:20:55 AM »

 Lippert has no idea what the trailer  mfg is going to use the frame for. If I had a frame issue I'm falling down on the trailer manufacturer as their the ones responsible for seeing the frame is to their specs and is good to go for their customers.
 Now if the frame builder has cut corners from the RV mfg specs then they become liable for repairs which Lippert has done in many cases.

   Bad deal all around for the customer with Lippert and the RV mfg pointing fingers at each other in many cases.

I TOTALLY agree.

My story:

Had an 02,  29RL 5r. The upper front part of the [body] began to move up & down more than I thought it should, as seen from my rear view mirror, in relation to the Pin Box. Then I noticed the bedroom wall had scuff marks on it from moving up & down against the dresser structure.

Called the Maker. Told them the above. First question from them was: Do you carry any Bicycles on the back bumper ?  I said Yes, 2 aluminum bikes. They then said: That's the cause of your problem.. the bikes weight had upset the center of balance and caused front of the frame to flex up and down, causing the issues. You are 3 months out of Warranty, so we can't help you with any repairs.

Expected That. 

Called Lippert. Told them the above and what the Maker said. Lippert said: They supply and deliver the basic frame (Billet frame, if you will) to the RV manufacture, they then Weld and/or Bolt all the attachment points they need based on their engineering & design plans.

Lippert then asked if I was capable of dropping the Pin box belly pan to look for anything obvious, and call them back. I dropped the belly pan.

When I did, 6 of 8 lag screws fell out, and a piece of 1/8x 1.5"  flat stock material sagged down on the Pass-side. Took a hard look at what had happened. Found that 10 of 16 spot welds (8 each side) didn't even penetrate, from the flat stock to the (LIPPERT) frame member.

Called Lippert back. They said the Flat Stock was what the [manufacture] used as a mounting platform for the front portion of the coach body. When the few spot welds that did penetrate.. failed.. everything was free to move, pulling the mounting screws loose.

QA & QC by the MAKER was the Down Fall . LIPPERT ? Not So Much.

Joe

OBTW.. I fixed it by doing a continuous weld w/1" Rossetts every 6".. the full length, using 3/16 x 2" flat stock. Pulled that 5r another 10 years.. No problems.



 
« Last Edit: September 20, 2016, 12:23:31 AM by BIG JOE »
Joe

Tow an 016 29RS "Reflection" 5r w/Trailair pin box...with a 2012 Ford DRW, F-350, 4x4, Loaded de-Blinged Lariat CC, 6.7 Diesel.. Wife & I, Beck & Sheeka the Dogs.. And as of 5-17.. Lizzie, the Kitten in Training.

rodwha

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Re: Lippert Frames still causing issues?
« Reply #26 on: December 05, 2016, 08:39:17 PM »
I've been quite interested in the Keystone Passport 2920BH. It seemed to come highly recommended and claimed to be of good quality. But then I see Lippert frames have serious issues, which are used by most. Are these issues generally found in specific trailers/models or do they span the whole spectrum?


steveblonde

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Re: Lippert Frames still causing issues?
« Reply #27 on: December 06, 2016, 08:09:18 AM »
lippert is probably the largest manufacturer of anything Rv by a country mile thus more issues go to the website and see what they do but im betting the failure rate is less than .01%

http://www.lci1.com/
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BIG JOE

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Re: Lippert Frames still causing issues?
« Reply #28 on: December 06, 2016, 08:38:14 AM »
lippert is probably the largest manufacturer of anything Rv by a country mile thus more issues go to the website and see what they do but im betting the failure rate is less than .01%

http://www.lci1.com/

Totally Agree.

I (we) just got caught up in that .01%. In my opinion: It wasn't Lippert.

Looking back on the whole thing.. The RV Manufacturer was less than admirable in their QA, QC, and Customer Care... after Sale.

Once fixed.. we got many, many Great miles out of our 29RS.

Joe
Joe

Tow an 016 29RS "Reflection" 5r w/Trailair pin box...with a 2012 Ford DRW, F-350, 4x4, Loaded de-Blinged Lariat CC, 6.7 Diesel.. Wife & I, Beck & Sheeka the Dogs.. And as of 5-17.. Lizzie, the Kitten in Training.

rodwha

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Re: Lippert Frames still causing issues?
« Reply #29 on: December 06, 2016, 11:09:30 AM »
I noticed a few stating that the issues seemed older, that maybe things were resolved.

Reading what I did made it sound like most trailers across the nation were either at a shop or waiting its turn to destruct.

OBX

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Re: Lippert Frames still causing issues?
« Reply #30 on: December 06, 2016, 11:20:04 AM »
I've wondered about Lippert as well.  If Lippert frames are inherently unsafe or faulty, are there any DOT actions or findings?  Recalls?  Class action suits?  I'm hoping for the best with mine but this is concerning.

kdbgoat

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Re: Lippert Frames still causing issues?
« Reply #31 on: December 06, 2016, 11:29:19 AM »
Once fixed.. we got many, many Great miles out of our 29RS.

Joe

I assume you meant to say 29rL, not RS correct? We don't want to confuse your old Montana with your Grand Design. ;D
I know you believe you understand what you think I said,
But I am not sure you realize what you heard is not what I meant


2016 Leprechaun 319DS

BIG JOE

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Re: Lippert Frames still causing issues?
« Reply #32 on: December 06, 2016, 02:54:57 PM »
I assume you meant to say 29rL, not RS correct? We don't want to confuse your old Montana with your Grand Design. ;D

YES.. 29RL.. I stand corrected  ;) ;D

Still not sure what the S in RS stands for ?.  ???

Joe
Joe

Tow an 016 29RS "Reflection" 5r w/Trailair pin box...with a 2012 Ford DRW, F-350, 4x4, Loaded de-Blinged Lariat CC, 6.7 Diesel.. Wife & I, Beck & Sheeka the Dogs.. And as of 5-17.. Lizzie, the Kitten in Training.

OBX

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Re: Lippert Frames still causing issues?
« Reply #33 on: December 06, 2016, 02:58:51 PM »
I was thinking Rally Sport  (RS).  High speed x-country RVing!!!

BIG JOE

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Re: Lippert Frames still causing issues?
« Reply #34 on: December 06, 2016, 03:15:15 PM »
If we all live in fear all the time about things that could possibly happen, or break, we would never have any time to enjoy life. Find the RV you like, buy it and enjoy it. If something breaks, fix it and continue on. There is nothing you can buy that can't possibly break. If we could all learn to accept that, this would be a much happier place.

I think BobX2 purdy much sez it ALL right there?

I had a Keystone/Lippert issue. A Thor issue. A Lance issue. A Nomad issue. Fixed them... and moved on down the road.

In my 50+ years in the RV life style.. I've Seen & Heard (I think we all have ?) the issues From the Top, to the Bottom lines of RV's.

In the end (?).. Nothing is bullet proof.  It's All Good. Life is Good.

Joe

« Last Edit: December 06, 2016, 03:22:59 PM by BIG JOE »
Joe

Tow an 016 29RS "Reflection" 5r w/Trailair pin box...with a 2012 Ford DRW, F-350, 4x4, Loaded de-Blinged Lariat CC, 6.7 Diesel.. Wife & I, Beck & Sheeka the Dogs.. And as of 5-17.. Lizzie, the Kitten in Training.

SargeW

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Re: Lippert Frames still causing issues?
« Reply #35 on: December 06, 2016, 09:54:02 PM »
The problems that were reported with Lippert were faulty grease seals in the axles they were using (still?)  Many owners complained, and a NHTSA investigation was opened. It was closed a while later with vague comments about Lippert addressing the concerns.  The problem was that the grease seals were failing, allowing the brakes, drums, and all internal parts to become coated with axle grease and become ineffective. 

The best advice I can give is to check your brake assemblies regularly, at least every 6 mos, and 3 is better. 
Marty--
2017 Tiffin Allegro Bus 40SP
Cummins ISL 450 HP/Powerglide chassis
Visit our new travel blog! http://www.mytripjournal.com/rvnchickTNG
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k9topdawg

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Re: Lippert Frames
« Reply #36 on: August 29, 2017, 01:29:30 AM »
Hello, I'm new to the site, I know that several 5th wheel RVers have had issues with Lippert chassis on their 5th wheels. Does anyone know if there has been a class action law suit against Lippert for the structure issues? I have a Forest River Wildcat and the frame structure that surrounds the king pin box ripped and the insurance company won't cover it, they say it's wear and tear BS. My coach was bought new in 2003. Any feedback would be great thank you
   

QZ

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Re: Lippert Frames still causing issues?
« Reply #37 on: August 29, 2017, 09:42:22 AM »
They is another thread where I posted a short video of the assembly line process of greasing the hubs. in that video it doesn't appear that they are applying any grease to the seal lips. A rubber seal cant start out  life by running dry on a steel shaft.

k9topdawg

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Re: Lippert Frames still causing issues?
« Reply #38 on: August 29, 2017, 09:37:49 PM »
No this is the front and back cross beams that hold the king pin box. The beams literally ripped and not the welds and the insurance co said they are not covering it. 

GVNorm

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Re: Lippert Frames still causing issues?
« Reply #39 on: September 14, 2017, 04:54:55 PM »
Hi everyone....especially those having lippert frame problems.  We just got our new (2 month old) redwood 5th out of lippert shop in Goshen Indiana,  can't say enough good for the entire crew. We made a u-turns out in a parking lot this week, ripped the rear spring hanger off the frame. They came to our location, made temp repairs and asked to bring it in for a retrofit. While they had it, also had disc brakes installed.  Very happy with their attitude and work preformed. Problems happen.  Anyone out there having problems might give lippert's customer's service a call in Indiana. 
« Last Edit: September 14, 2017, 04:59:09 PM by GVNorm »

 

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