Is your new popup camper safe?

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arizona

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Aug 30, 2019
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3
Purchased a new 2020 Aliner. Unit was as advertised except 1 thing which turned out to be a serious defect. The jack wheel would lift off the ground while turning the jack handle and trailer (unloaded & self standing) remained horizontal. Since new and 1st RV seemed strange but decided that must be normal?

After 1200 towed miles I found out the RV had a major axle defect.

Whenever our tow vehicle and RV were both on a flat campground pad or in garage no problem hooking up. Tow vehicle 2" ball was at recommended by Aliner 18" and Aliner coupler (ball receiver and latching clamp) were at 16". However we found out when tow vehicle is on a slight hill, the tow vehicle ball was lower than the Aliner coupler.

Remember when I said the jack wheel would lift off ground while turning jack handle. That results in making it impossible to lower the RV coupler and latch below horizontal. Meaning, we had to jack up tow vehicle to connect and get on our way.

After being evaluated by a certified RV repair shop, turns out Aliner shipped our RV with a defective torsion axle. The 4 synthetic rubber axle cushions on 1 or both independent 13" wheels were seized. The RV would not pivot forward as designed nor backward. The RV was pinned at horizontal resulting in 0 tongue weight.

Very unsafe to haul 2,000 pounds with 0 tongue weight.

Phoenix's Tom's Camperland never checks tongue weight before delivery. Appears neither does Aliner check tongue weight before shipment from Pennsylvania.

So caution when buying an Aliner. In our case, our 1st RV became a life threatening event.  The RV repair shop described our Aliner as a deathtrap.
 

SpencerPJ

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Nov 1, 2017
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Glad you found the problem before a major accident.  Good luck, I'm sure they'll fix it promptly for you.  Quality Control is lousy in the RV industry.
 

arizona

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Aug 30, 2019
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Actually both Aliner and Tom's Camperland told me to get lost....not a warranty issue though only 2 month old
 

SpencerPJ

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:eek: :eek:  I guess if they sold you a defective trailer with a bad axle from the factory, and told me to get lost, what choice but to hire a lawyer.  Terrible, I'll spread the word, I have a friend who really likes A liners.
 

thelmuth

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Aug 13, 2019
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This makes no sense to me. Isn?t this a single axle? If it is, then tongue weight is totally controlled by weight distribution, i.e. put something heavy in front of the axle = more tongue weight, put heavy behind the axle= less tongue weight. Your wheel lifting off the ground is a direct result of improper loading of the trailer.

The flex of a torsion axle is to act as a spring allowing flex while going over bumps etc. reducing the vibration in the trailer. It does nothing related to the attitude of the trailer. The axle is a pivot point.

If this is a tandem axle I could possibly see that causing a slight problem, however it all comes back to weight distribution.
 

Lou Schneider

Site Team
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Mar 14, 2005
Posts
11,791
Thelmuth is right - as long as the tires are free to rotate on the axle, the trailer tongue will go down with positive hitch weight.

It sounds like Aliner goofed somewhere in figuring out the trailer balance.  The empty trailer doesn't have enough tongue weight, instead it's balanced like a teeter totter on the wheel bearings.

Tilting the trailer uphill, so the tongue is higher, shifts more weight to the rear as the body pivots backwards.  Again, the teeter totter effect.

The torsion spring bushings are not a factor unless they drag on the wheels.  They only absorb road bumps.

It sounds like you'll have to put the majority of your cargo ahead of the axle to achieve positive tongue weight.  What does Aliner say about this?  Did they design the trailer with zero tongue weight when empty, or was something misplaced or not installed during the construction process?

Most trailers have one or two propane tanks and a battery on the tongue.  If these are missing the trailer will have substantially less tongue weight.
 

arizona

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Aug 30, 2019
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For my part the purpose of this post cautions new buyers to check the tongue weight before leaving the distributors lot. 

Better if the manufacturer and distributor test tongue weight.  Neither Aliner or Tom's Camperland have that step in their factory test & final delivery process.

Folks brainstorm all kinds of theory's as to the cause of the trailer being seized in a horizontal position including the trailer undercoating or paint. 

I "fixed" it when the trailer front slammed to the garage floor after I put my full weight on it.  Broke whatever the obstruction was.  Generally using the brute hammer technique is not my 1st choice for repair but tongue weight has been OK since.   
 

frank1947

Active member
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Posts
38
Your previous experience is horrible. Glad you're safe. Buying a new RV is always challenging and you should take experienced person assistance to buy a new RV.
 

Rene T

Site Team
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May 20, 2011
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19,487
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Farmington NH
frank1947 said:
Your previous experience is horrible. Glad you're safe. Buying a new RV is always challenging and you should take experienced person assistance to buy a new RV.

The OP hasn't been back since September 1st. They did say that something broke free when they stood on the coupler but I agree, that doesn't make any sense at all that it would behave that way. The trailer pivots on the wheel bearings and has nothing to do with the suspension.
I don't think it ever was disclosed as to whether they have 1 axle or 2 axles.
 

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