Cracked fifth wheel frames due to rough roads, a concern?

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Back2PA

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Jul 26, 2015
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5,766
I've run across comments here and there about adding an air ride pin such as a Lippert Trailair, to improve the ride in the truck. But other comments have eluded to protecting the FW frame against cracking due to jolts from the truck. I've run across some pretty rough spots in my current rig (motorhome), even bottoming the front suspension once. This wasn't due to aggressive driving as I don't do that, sometimes roads can be rough and you don't get an early warning.

So with this in mind, when you hit one of these spots, say a chuck hole deep enough you're surprised you didn't blow a tire, is cracking the FW frame a concern? Have you heard about it happening? OR are they pretty well built and the air ride pins are primarily to improve ride?
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Feb 2, 2005
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74,604
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At our Silver Springs FL home
A concern? Of course. A frequent problem? Hardly!  There have been a few rigs that seem more prone to frame damage, usually where the 5W cantilevers at the front.  I haven't heard of any lately, but if buying an older model its something to be aware of.  Would a Trailerair or similar prevent that?  I doubt it, but it sure doesn't hurt!  5W frame cracks, however, develop over time and probably from constant stress rather than one specific event.  There is a huge lever action where the front overhang joins the main body and its being flexed every moment the trailer is hitched up.
 

PJ Stough

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Joined
Sep 20, 2009
Posts
2,159
Location
Central Iowa
Here is what happened to one RVer with a fifth wheel.

http://rv-dreams.typepad.com/rvdreams_journal/2017/05/update-on-our-rig-sevierville-tn.html
 

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