Not sure how wide spread this is

jmkay1

2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah
Oct 10, 2013
7,376
Northern Virginia
As scary as it sounds, it does not surprise me. Seeing my parents trailer and lack of floor joists and using foam as a floor, manufacturers are taking way too many shortcuts in the name of weight. Even if it comes at the cost of critical support. My parents floor was caving in on their camper and both the dealer and manufacturer was essentially saying not their problem. It’s sad, scary, and down right infuriating that manufacturers are not held accountable for these shortcuts. It’s not just one brand but all of them it seems. They all are trying to brag of how light weight a camper is, but at what cost? What shortcuts did they take?
 

DiamondGirl

Adventures with KODI in AZ
Jul 2, 2016
1,335
AZ
Thanks for posting. My KODIAK is by Dutchmen under Keystone. DH takes the WDH off when going off road. Especially since we go along the lakeshore when camping at the lake. DH will have to keep monitoring the frame. Not sure the thickness is the same as mentioned in the video. But we go off-road when boondocking 90% of the time. DH will have to measure it to know for sure.

Happy Camping…[put&hy]
 

xxxapache

Super Active Member
Jul 30, 2008
4,275
Very informative. No Keystone products or trailers with Lippert frames for me. No doubt that frame was flimsy. The sad fact is most square box TTs are poorly made. I doubt if I will ever own one.

The guy that made the video could solve his tailgate hitting the jack issue by using a longer shank. I have a 14" long shank. I drilled an extra pin hole and use it at 12". I can back up at almost 90 degrees and not hit the TV on the TT.
 

LjohnSaw

So many fish, so little time...
Jun 24, 2011
851
Northern California
Well, the 5/16" tube was overkill. The 1/4" is more than sufficient. What the welder *should* have done was to extend that A frame back under the trailer to help distribute the stress over a greater area. I would be leery of it bending at that point of where the 5/16" ends.
 

BillyMc

Super Active Member
Mar 25, 2018
2,449
South Carolina
Well, the 5/16" tube was overkill. The 1/4" is more than sufficient. What the welder *should* have done was to extend that A frame back under the trailer to help distribute the stress over a greater area. I would be leery of it bending at that point of where the 5/16" ends.
If they had used 3/16" and took it back another foot or two it probably wouldn't have failed and would have added very little weight. Extending the A frame actually adds leverage to the point it connects to the frame rail.
 

DiamondGirl

Adventures with KODI in AZ
Jul 2, 2016
1,335
AZ
We did some research. Our KODI is made by Dutchmen under the Keystone RV company. So the manufacturer is Dutchmen and done differently even though Keystone is the parent company. The frame is manufactured by Lippert but it is solid built. Not a C Channel or hollow frame. It depends on which frame model is used for your trailer. Plus, KODI is an off-road model. So it’s heavier duty than the regular non off-road models. The trailer from the video is not an off-road model. But we will still remove the WDH when driving over non paved roads to prevent any damage to the frame. Thanks for sharing the video cause that gives us the opportunity to look at KODI and recognize what we have and how to prevent any damage.

Happy Camping…[put&hy]
 

tfischer

A bad day camping beats a good day at the office
Sounds like it was a terrible road if it damaged multiple campers. I was one one in Montana a few years ago that was the most ridiculous thing I've ever driven on in my 50+ year life. Same situation: a pilot car took us through a road construction project... we swerved around dirt piles and the level sometimes dropped by several feet over a couple feet distance. I had my minivan with stow & go and thus not much ground clearance, pulling our PUP. This went on for like 10 miles.

I was shocked when we got to our destination (Yellowstone) and the pup was just fine.
 

theseus

Living the Darkside...
Silver Supporting Member
Feb 6, 2007
3,494
Centerville, OH
This is not a problem specific to one brand or even one manufacturer. Lippert provides frames to Forest River and Thor. Between the two RV companies, that is 80% plus of the market. There is a class action lawsuit by Forest River owners claiming that the axles are so cheaply made that it is damaging the frame. I have a 21 Springdale and will keep my fingers crossed. If there is truly a major problem, it will be like the ABS roof fiasco with Fleetwood at the turn of the millennium. I am sure Lippert's lawyers have noted that fact.
 

jmkay1

2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah
Oct 10, 2013
7,376
Northern Virginia
I had no idea camper mfgs didn't even make the frames. What exactly DO they make? lol. It seems like they buy a whole pile of parts and assemble them.
. This...I think is more true than you may think. Sure manufacturers add their own emblem and color scheme but the actual parts are manufactured by another company and retrofitted to work for the design. One of the reasons the manuals are so worthless on a camper they didn't make the part so they expect you to reference the manual for said part.
 

theseus

Living the Darkside...
Silver Supporting Member
Feb 6, 2007
3,494
Centerville, OH
It seems like they buy a whole pile of parts and assemble them.
This is exactly what they do. Think of it like a contractor who builds houses. They don't make the lumber and all the other stuff; they just buy it and put it together.

Some of the manufacturers claim they specifically design the frame for each trailer. Note I said "design". They do not build them but order them from the frame maker. That leaves them the option of saying the frame maker is responsible if the frame fails I would think.
 

DiamondGirl

Adventures with KODI in AZ
Jul 2, 2016
1,335
AZ
@teejaywhy… I love their trailers but they’re too heavy for our Titan. If I ever upgrade to a bigger truck then I might have to trade up to a Northwood.

The only way to know is inspecting your trailer frame. We did ours after @BillyMc posted it.

Happy Camping…[put&hy]
 

Arlyn Aronson

Super Active Member
Jun 11, 2014
2,031
Houghton, MI
Camper frames are indeed made from light materials. As BillyMac stated, even 3/16 thick material might not have failed. I just about purchased an old pop-up frame to make a materials hauling trailer. With the camper off you can look at the frame and compare it to utility trailers one will see in lots. They are paper thin when compared to normal trailers. I didn't buy it.

This video is a good indicator as to why you don't want overload your trailer front.
 

DiamondGirl

Adventures with KODI in AZ
Jul 2, 2016
1,335
AZ
@Arlyn Aronson… you are correct. If you’re buying a lightweight trailer, you need to keep in mind that most lightweight trailers also have lightweight, thin frames. It’s one of the reasons why we went with a off road trailer with a heavy duty frame. Our trailer is constructed for going off road. Not overlanding but rough forest roads.

We can’t assume all companies are using the same Lippert frames. Our Dutchmen frame by Keystone isn’t the same as the one the YouTube video has. Dutchmen manufactures their own trailers under the parent company of Keystone. That’s why we have a different Lippert frame. Our frame is solid and not hollow. You have to check the frame to determine which one you have. And determine if it’s too thin and susceptible to being bent. And again, don’t forget to remove your WDH bars before going off the pavement to avoid damage and bending your frame.

Happy Camping…[put&hy]
 

Arlyn Aronson

Super Active Member
Jun 11, 2014
2,031
Houghton, MI
I'm skeptical there is much, if any difference in frame material weight comparing off-road and on-road campers. [::)] There isn't any frame difference in whatever name brand truck "off-road baha truck package" and there regular ol truck frames they also manufacture.
 
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