First thanks for all of your posts and support. Please see response from Lippert I am sure you will see some information that might surpirse you.
After reviewing the photos and the weight information, LCI will maintain our denial of your frame issue based on the following:
1. If this was a basic design flaw in the frame, we would see multiple units with the same issue. LCI designs the frame and submits them to the OEM (Forest River in this case) with recommendations if needed for final approval.
2. Photos clearly show that the U-bolts have struck the underside of the frame which is attributed to either striking a pothole, running over an obstruction or from overloading.
3. Photos also show that supports for tanks are bowing down which implies traveling with fluid in the tanks. Since tanks are not baffled this allows for fluid to transfer freely within the tank causing undue stress to supports as well as the I-beam itself, in this case located just in front of the axle area where you are experiencing torsional cracking.
Based on the information presented, and the lack of history regarding failures of this type on the Forest River Stealth model, LCI must stand behind the denial of your claim. We have been in discussion with Forest River representative and they are in agreement with our denial. Please contact LCI should you require assistance as to the process for repairing your coach.
Lippert Components, Inc
Call Center Technical Supervisor
Customer Service Division #39
1701 Century Dr.
Goshen, IN 46528
574-537-8900 – Office
574-534-7161 - Fax
After reading this I checked my owners manual there is nothing indicating lack of bafflles in water tank and certainly no admonitions regarding towing trailer with water providing you do not exceed maximum weight. Regarding supports for water tanks today I got under the trailer and removed 4 cross members that support water tanks. I must tell you that I was taken aback by what I saw. These supports are 1 1/2 inch angle iron with 3/16 wall thickness and yes they were bowed. After removing I placed each angle on two bricks and with my body weight of 195lbs easily bent these back straight. Mind you two of these are to support 400llbs of weight and the supports span over 70 inches. More disturbing was the lack of craftmanship in their installation. Two of the supports were tipped on theri side because of the way the slotted holes were made in the support. They apparently used a cutting torch and made the holes so large that a 3/8 inch flat washer passed through the cut hole and allowed the support to move about. I can't imagine that these suppports would hold anything more than the empty tanks yet the Forest River makes no mention of not hauling water if you do not exceed maximum weight. So we have lippert saying there are no baffles in the tank and traveling with water would contribute to a torsional issue. Wow. I can't tell what poor workmanship I witnessed under this trailer. Now regarding the dimpling I have never been off road, never overloaded, never hit a pot hole but have traveled the highways of the Western States mainly California. The tires on my rig wear evenly, all of the shakles and supension components are all perfectly well and my towing rig has had no issues at all with alignment, tire wear or anything other issues regarding pot holes.
I now believe that they rely on the fact that most people do not use their trailers much and they engineer them to that level cheesey. I must interate to all of you out their check your frames, check the corss members holding your water tanks and you will see what I am talking about. I have yet to respond to Lippert and Forest River but I feel compelled to respond first to all of you that have been so interesed.
I will be replacing the cross memeber and met with a trailer fabricatior today. He has shown me how all of the cross members of the frame are above the center line of the I beam and there is nothing on the bottom half to help the forces of torsion when you turn. In indicated that he has seen many trailer especially the newer lighter versions that suffer from symtoms torsion from turning and that's what he attributes my problems to.Will let you all know how the repairs go and I must say I feel better that I have a real expert working on my problems. I can't imagine letting these people touch what they have already screwed up.. Again thanks to all