The BIG "oh no..."

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Repairs & Maintenance' started by theseus, Apr 8, 2007.

  1. theseus

    theseus Centerville, OH

    2,518
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    Feb 6, 2007
    Centerville, OH
    Well the worst has happened!

    We were leaving Monday to travel from our home outside Atlanta to Florida and St. Joseph Peninsula State Park. About 30+ miles from my front door, on I-285, I feel a HUGE jerk on the hitch. I look back and see my driver side trailer tire go flying off into traffic.

    I managed to pull over to the side of the road and give myself enough room to feel "safe" getting out of the car and seeing what had happend.
    What had happened was that all 5 lugbolts had snapped clean off. The tire, now free bent up the frame of the camper pretty good.

    As it turns out, I managed to pull over in front of the exit that would take me to the popup dealer that I use to do maintenance that I don't want to tackle. They were only 4 miles away. So after getting the trailer towed to the dealer, who replaced the bolts and the tire, we decided to crank it up and see if "otherwise" everything was ok.

    It was not! The back end of the camper had dropped down hard and twisted. This means that you can't unlock the slide out to pull it out. Because of the twist, the roof is misaligned and one of the brackets had ripped clean. Needless to say, the camping trip was off.

    So sob story over, I have some questions.

    1)Why would 5 lugbolts shear? Each lug nut was torqued to 100ft/lbs. The dealer seems to think that a nut came loose then it was just a matter of time before this happened.

    2) What other hidden damage should I have the dealer look for inside the camper that is beyond the obvious? I will have them check the converter, AC and refridge. Anything else?

    3) What do you place my odds of getting back a camper that is close to what I know? I am toying with the idea of selling this camper and getting a new one, because I feel burned by this incident. Over ten years with popups and trailers, I have never experienced anything like this. Should I cut and run once the repairs are done? Book value of the camper is about half of a new one that I would want to replace it with.

    Thanks for your answers!



    ______________
    <img src="http://www.cambigue.com/serendipity/uploads/Image4.gif" border=0>
    2000 Explorer
    2000 Palomino Mustang w/ slide-out
    new website: http://www.thecampingchild.com
     
  2. threebeachboys

    threebeachboys Member

    359
    13
    Jul 18, 2005
    Wow - glad you all are ok . . . no advice for you, unfortunately.

    Pam
     
  3. Yellowkayak

    Yellowkayak Popups.....when sleeping on the ground gets to you

    2,217
    10
    Mar 13, 2007
    A wheel bearing freezing up instantly (and it does happen) will cause that to happen also, have him pull the hub off also and check the bearings!


    07 Chevy Trailblazer
    04 Jeep Wrangler
    07 Fleetwood Niagra
    (2) Hobie Adventure Kayaks
    (1) Hobie Outback
    (1) Pungo 120
    (1) Pungo 100
     
  4. mercman

    mercman Go Ahead, Be That Happy Camper!

    2,895
    22
    Jan 7, 2007
    Western MA
    Ouch! That does s**k, just at the beginning of the vacation. How old is your PUP? At least know one was hurt, it could of been worse real easy.

    Chris

    01 f-150
    07 Rockwood 1980,
    The official vehicle of the Camping Collies.
    64 Mercury Comet

    Happy To Be The Wondering Wanderer...
    ...as long as I end up with sand in my toes
     
  5. Yellowkayak

    Yellowkayak Popups.....when sleeping on the ground gets to you

    2,217
    10
    Mar 13, 2007
    Hope you had insurance!!!

    07 Chevy Trailblazer
    04 Jeep Wrangler
    07 Fleetwood Niagra
    (2) Hobie Adventure Kayaks
    (1) Hobie Outback
    (1) Pungo 120
    (1) Pungo 100
     
  6. pianewman

    pianewman Ft. Worth, TX

    604
    0
    Aug 30, 2006
    Arlington, VA
    YIKES! What a terrifying experience.
    I'm new to the pop-up scene, but not new to the seriousness of proper lug-nut torquing.
    Which brings up my question. My Coleman/Fleetwood manual gives very specific instructions about torquing the lug nuts, "after each wheel removal, and thereafter at 10, 25, and 50 mile intervals. Re-torque at every 1500 miles thereafter".
    In all my years of driving (36+) and more than 650K miles of driving (yes, it seems like a lot, but I did the math) I've never had to "re-torque" wheels with such frequency (American, German, Japaness cars).

    Can anyone enlighten me on this? Is there something special about the steel wheels that requires such diligence?

    Re: wheel bearings, I'm always concerned about the wheel bearings, and actually feel both hubs at every rest/refueling stop, to make sure there's no unusual heat. Obviously, there's no way, in the TV, to know if a bearing is going bad until it's too late.
    I agree with Yellokayak---check the bearings on both hubs. Also, who did your last bearing service, and when?

    Hope to hear from someone re: lug-nut torquing.

    pianewman
    2002 Fleetwood Santa Fe
    2001 Honda Odyssey, Airlift 1000s, Reese 400 WDH, TruCool trans cooler
     
  7. jhower

    jhower New Member

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    Jul 25, 2006
    Pianewman, the torque schedule is so different because the stresses on trailer wheels is much different from that on cars.

    Theseus, that's a terrible way to start a vacation. I agree that checking that wheel bearing should be one of the first steps. A seized bearing would be the most likely cause. But, if one or two lugs had started loosening it could have started a chain reaction, ending up with all five snapped off.

    From your description, it sounds like this would be a good time to look at upgrading to the PUP of your dreams. With that amount of damage and a twisted frame, it's going to be hard to get everything right again.



    John & Cindy in Pennsylvania
    '89 Coleman Sun Valley <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_pu.gif border=0 align=middle>
    '95 Dodge Dakota 4x2 3.9L <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_suv.gif border=0 align=middle>
    His <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_kayak.gif border=0 align=middle> & Hers <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_kayak.gif border=0 align=middle> Pelican kayaks
    http://community.webshots.com/user/jhower55
     
  8. theseus

    theseus Centerville, OH

    2,518
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    Feb 6, 2007
    Centerville, OH
    The camper is only a 2000 and yes I have insurance. In fact, insurance doesn't believe that the damage that is there will total the camper. However they are waiting to see what damage is there when they remove the side and back panels. I am still considering getting rid of it...

    I didn't mention it before, but tire hit a woman's windshield, right between the eyes. It only put a 6 inch crack in her windshield so it could have been going that fast by the time it hit her, but she was shook up too.

    ______________
    <img src="http://www.cambigue.com/serendipity/uploads/Image4.gif" border=0>
    2000 Explorer
    2000 Palomino Mustang w/ slide-out
    new website: http://www.thecampingchild.com
     
  9. mostlyok

    mostlyok We're Mostly OK!

    1,082
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    Jun 5, 2005
    Sarasota, Florida
    Scary story! Glad everyone survived. It is really fortunate the lady's windshield protected her from any serious damage.
    I rarely think of wheel bearings on the Popup. I always think about the bearings on our canoe trailer, since the wheels can get wet. I guess you have brought a new concern to my attention.
    I can't really say much about trading or keeping your PU. My own experience is mostly with cars. If the car gets damaged enough, I'm never happy with it again, no matter how much they rebuild it. My first thought would be "Wow! A chance for a new PU!".
    Hope your decision ends up a happy one for you. Let us know what choice you made.
    Paul of MostlyOK

    Heidi & Paul
    MostlyOK
    '94 Starcraft Space Flyer
    05 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
    http://community.webshots.com/user/mostlyok

    If its got zippers and Velcro it's got to be fun!
     
  10. colo dreams

    colo dreams New Member

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    Jun 24, 2006
    I have no advice..but the Warning..is sure appreciated!!!

    I am just glad no one was hurt!! And very happy that you were close by the dealer for help.

    We will be checking ours out tonight. THANKS!!!!

    Sherry and John
    ** http://community.webshots.com/album/551913543hkZMwX

    '88 Jayco Thrush Deluxe
     
  11. Fly

    Fly New Member

    130
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    Jan 14, 2007
    Good thing was not more serious than it was and no one got hurt.

    Don't be too quick to blame the camper ... could very well have happened to another brand as well.

    I've heard ... please note I said "heard" (never had what you just experienced happen to me nor have I worked on wheels and axles), but what I heard was that 13" tires out of balance to a point that would cause vibration enough to shear a lug bolt and then cause a chain reaction that would shear the rest.


    Fly


    '99 Starcraft 1706
    '02 GMC Sierra

    Edited by - Fly on April 09 2007 13:48:53
     
  12. theseus

    theseus Centerville, OH

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    Feb 6, 2007
    Centerville, OH
    <BLOCKQUOTE id=quote><font size=1 face="Verdana,Arial,Helvetica" id=quote>quote:<hr height=1 noshade id=quote> My own experience is mostly with cars. If the car gets damaged enough, I'm never happy with it again, no matter how much they rebuild it. <hr height=1 noshade id=quote></BLOCKQUOTE id=quote></font id=quote><font face="Verdana,Arial,Helvetica" size=2 id=quote>

    That has been my experience, too. We love this layout though and I haven't found anything that is similar yet...



    <BLOCKQUOTE id=quote><font size=1 face="Verdana,Arial,Helvetica" id=quote>quote:<hr height=1 noshade id=quote> 13" tires out of balance to a point that would cause vibration enough to shear a lug bolt and then cause a chain reaction that would shear the rest. <hr height=1 noshade id=quote></BLOCKQUOTE id=quote></font id=quote><font face="Verdana,Arial,Helvetica" size=2 id=quote>

    I've never heard of that, but I guess it could happen. Seems to me that I would notice the the vibration before it happened.


    Yes we were very thankful that everyone was ok. It could have been much worse.

    ______________
    <img src="http://www.cambigue.com/serendipity/uploads/Image4.gif" border=0>
    2000 Explorer
    2000 Palomino Mustang w/ slide-out
    http://www.thecampingchild.com
     
  13. Andy-N-Coll

    Andy-N-Coll New Member

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    Feb 20, 2006
    Wheel bearings are a huge concern. I would try to clean and repack every season, its easy to do yourself, and worth the time spent. If your unsure, its worth the $ to have it done for you, and any local service station can do that task, dont need to haul it to an RV dealer. We recently purchased a Hy-brid, I had many motivations behind this purchase, most of them selfish, but having dual wheels was one of safety. I figure if something like that were to happen to us now, at least I have one more wheel that can allow me to get the family off the highway.
    Thankfully you all are safe, it could always be worse, a camper can always be fixed! (or upgraded)
     
  14. Luv2ridebikes

    Luv2ridebikes New Member

    1,949
    1
    Apr 17, 2005
    Granger, IN
    Many years ago, I felt vibration and looked in the mirror to see a camper doing crazy things behind me. I quickly pulled over and discover all of the lug nuts on one side were loose, one was ready to fall off. I could have sworn those nuts were tight before we left.

    It never happened again, but it sure gave me a scare!

    Steve& Deb (the boys are grown & gone)
    Aspen & Riley (the 4 legged children)
    05 Fleetwood Sequoia THE QSR
    Trek, Giant, Cannondale, Univega <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_bike.gif border=0 align=middle><img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_bike.gif border=0 align=middle>
     
  15. acgtrplyr

    acgtrplyr New Member

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    Aug 25, 2006
    Lost the driverside rear wheel on a superbeetle I owned 13 years ago. The cotter pin came out. So i can fell your pain a little. But now I am glad my Dad and I packed the bearings on my pup today.

    TheWooly6
    Troy, Chellsey & kids
    88 Jayco Jay Cardinal 8
    96 T&C
     
  16. ShelleyShack

    ShelleyShack New Member

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    0
    Dec 11, 2006
    When I drove my PUP from dealer, book said to stop every 25 miles to check wheels. First check showed one hub glowing hot. It taught me not to trust anyone doing wheel change. I jack trailer up each side and check wheel spin for too loose / tight. A cotter pin off one groove either way will overheat wheel. I also check hub temps each time I rest. However, have had some hub overheats/seizures, but they never led to throwing a wheel.
    I've seen wheels with two broken lugs function fine. My suspicion is that lugs were overtorqued making many fine cracks that let loose. I used to have bad habit of cinching up lugs before each trip. Stopped that bad habit before a disaster. Who did your last lug torquing? Consider asking them for compensation. A simple analysis can show if lugs were pulled apart (over-torque) or sheared across (siezure). Glad you are all "physically" safe! PS: I vote for a rebuild -- PUP scars make great campfire stories each trip, and we've got plenty of scars.

    DH Ran '55 <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_happycamper.gif border=0 align=middle>
    DW Lynn '55 <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_chef.gif border=0 align=middle>
    DD Erin '81 (former PUCamper) <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_squirrel.gif border=0 align=middle>
    Chester the Basset Hound '98 <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_hotdog.gif border=0 align=middle>
    Retired Air Force <img src=../Images/flags/us.gif border=0 align=middle>
    '88 Starcraft Starflyer (original owners) <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_pu.gif border=0 align=middle>
    '04 Ford Explorer <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_suv.gif border=0 align=middle>
     
  17. McCullah

    McCullah New Member

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    Feb 28, 2007
    I pull an 18 ft. cargo trailer with dual axles and lost a tire on the interstate once in Alabama (luckily it went across the golf course beside the road). I learned my lesson about greasing those axles and checking those lugs each time I head out. My tire man said each time you gas up when on a trip, just walk around and give the tire a feel----if one feels considerably hotter than the others, you may have a problem. I believe with the extra movement you get with the torsion axle may tend to lead to this problem without regular checks.

    Mike and Sheri
    '06 Dodge Mega Cab
    2007 Palomino Yearling 4102
    (look for the Arkansas Razoraback Tacky Lights--HaHa)
     
  18. theseus

    theseus Centerville, OH

    2,518
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    Feb 6, 2007
    Centerville, OH
    <BLOCKQUOTE id=quote><font size=1 face="Verdana,Arial,Helvetica" id=quote>quote:<hr height=1 noshade id=quote>Who did your last lug torquing?<hr height=1 noshade id=quote></BLOCKQUOTE id=quote></font id=quote><font face="Verdana,Arial,Helvetica" size=2 id=quote>
    Unfortunately, I checked the torquing the day before we pulled out.

    I heard yesterday late from insurance. The dealer which the camper is at can't get parts so they (the insurance co) want it moved to a Palomino dealer.

    This appears to be an ongoing saga...

    ______________
    <img src="http://www.cambigue.com/serendipity/uploads/Image4.gif" border=0>
    2000 Explorer
    2000 Palomino Mustang w/ slide-out
    http://www.thecampingchild.com
     
  19. Fly

    Fly New Member

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    Jan 14, 2007
    I would be most interested in knowing what the final outcome of all this comes out to, like maybe the mechanic's "expert" opinion as to why those lug bolts sheared off in the first place. And who has to pay for moving the camper from one dealer to the other?

    Ya never know who's next turn it might be in the barrel.

    Fly

    '99 Starcraft 1706
    '02 GMC Sierra
     
  20. theseus

    theseus Centerville, OH

    2,518
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    Feb 6, 2007
    Centerville, OH
    I have to pay to move it from one dealer to another. A careful reading of my policy shows that towing is only paid for moving the trailer from the accident site to the nearest dealer.

    I'll keep everyone informed as they keep me informed...

    ______________
    <img src="http://www.cambigue.com/serendipity/uploads/Image4.gif" border=0>
    2000 Explorer
    2000 Palomino Mustang w/ slide-out
    http://www.thecampingchild.com
     

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