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Old 07-13-2013, 03:54 PM   #1
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Unhappy Problem with my 2012 Sanibel 3500

Hi
I have a 2012 model 3500 Sanibel Fifth wheel. The silicone seal on the driver side between the front cap and my bed was all broken. So I made a new one and everything was fine. Next time I hitch-up my FW, as soon as I lifted up the stabilizer, the seal broke-off leaving a large gap. On the first picture the jack are down. I clean-up the silicone and put a black tape that came flush to the molding. On the second and third picture I raised the stabilizer and you can see now the huge gap on the molding. It is 5/32 to 1/4 of an inch depending on where you take the measure.
Same thing for the molding under the bed that is opening up also. This kind of gap will be impossible to seal off with silicone. Anything similar happen to anyone of you. thanks for your help.
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Old 07-13-2013, 08:04 PM   #2
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Not a good sign. I suspect some broken welds somewhere. Good Luck
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Old 07-13-2013, 09:11 PM   #3
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Vacation

Yep like you said, not a good sign. . wow. My Sanibel is only 10 months old and 3500 miles on it. I was planning to go in vacation in 1 week. This would have been her second trip. I've got a suspension on the King pin (trailair) + a suspension on the Reese hitch. What does it take to make these frame hold up to time. What a shame. My FW was a 2012. I hope they made a few modifications to the frame since then. After I posted this, I saw that another owner (oldcamp1986) had the same problem and it was a problem with the frame. 40 hours repair job. On warranty but who cares when you're 1 week from your vacation. To bad, I really love this FW. If you look at my first post on this forum last october, I was in vacation in North Carolina (her first trip) when I saw that a few bolts that were holding the whole Fifth wheel box on the frame were loose. I got in touch with Prime Time and everything was taken care of. But is this going to be my life with this trailer, every vacation = another big problem. Have I got a lemon or is this happening frequently. I will try to find some answers on Monday to see if they have changed the frame since mine was build and see if it is possible exchange this lemon for an orange. I'll keep you posted. thanks
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Old 07-14-2013, 10:34 AM   #4
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Let us know whats wrong as the rest of us can inspect ours. I have noticed some saw dust on top of the dresser in the walk in closet. We have 20,000 plus miles though

Wayne and Donna
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Old 07-14-2013, 01:02 PM   #5
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Unhappy easy to find out

From what I know now, I think it is quite easy to see if you have a cracked weld on your frame. hitch-up the fifth wheel to your truck and raise the front stabilizer like if you were ready to leave. Next, use a marker a draw some thin reference lines at different places near the molding on the driver and passenger side. After that, lower the stabilizer until all the weigth is releaved from the hitch. Don't try to lift the back of your truck. Just releave the pressure on the hitch. OK, for the moment of truth, check all the lines you made near the molding if there is now a gap. no gap = good. large gap = bad. Don't forget that you might not see your lines because it is now behind the moldings. any two situations is not good. the side wall of your fifth wheel that is over the pin box should not move in regard to the molding when you hitch it up and raise the stabilizer. I can replicate this movement every time i lower or raise my stabilizer. I will try to do a video of this and post it here next week. And I know for a fact that there shouild not be any gap. The wall and molding on the passenger side of my fifth wheel is not moving at all. it seem's that my problem is only on the driver side. hope this help you.
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Old 07-16-2013, 05:44 PM   #6
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Can you post a video of the whole thing when you jack up and down the fifth wheel. I'm in the market for a Fifth wheel and Sanibel what high on my list but I've got to find more about this. In the meantime, I will call my Prime Time dealer and talk with the service manager to see if they had some frame problem. They also sell Landmark Fifth wheel that are also a luxury unit. Have you had some answer from the dealer ?
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Old 07-16-2013, 05:58 PM   #7
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It sure looks like some welds have let go, probably where the fifth wheel structure ties into the vertical supports going down to the main frame.
Can you get inside the front compartment and check that structure?
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Old 07-16-2013, 06:52 PM   #8
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Video and visual inspection

I will try to make a short video of what is happening when I raise or lower the jack this week. To be honest my fifth wheel is only 9 months old and 3500 miles on it. I am retiring next weekend and was planning to leave with my new FW. This was her second trip. I don't want to remove the front end underbelly because this thing is still under warranty. The dealer that carry Sanibel close to my home is reluctant to do the job on site. He did the first Sanibel that came in with a broken weld but he returned to the factory the second one. He did not want to tell me why, but I guess he ran into some problem. I send an email to Prime Time and I got a fast reply. They asked me to send the info I had on my trailer but I'm not sure if that was an automated reply from Roger Stickel. The thing I want to know is
1- how are they going to take care of this
2- is this a lemon or a rare incident on Sanibel fifth wheel.
I really love this fifth wheel and I could easely see myself enjoying my retirement and traveling thru north America but if every vacation bring up another problem, I'll have to sell it and find another fifth wheel. Probably not as expensive as this one because I will loose a lot of money on the exchange but peace of mind has a price.
I just learned too late that they buy frames from Lippert. I don't know where I got the impression that they were making their own frames. We'll see how long it takes before I get some answers from Prime Time. I might have to sit down in my backyard this summer. I'll extend the awning and at least stay in the shade.
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Old 07-16-2013, 07:06 PM   #9
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So sad

I decided to register afeter reading your post because I felt I had something to say. I previously owned 4 travel trailer and I'm shopping for a fifth wheel. I saw a Sanibel in a KOA the other day. Really impressive. But what a surprise when at the end of the day, the owner turn on the light inside. We could see all this luxury and beautifull furniture from outside. My wife really wanted to see the inside but they left early in the morning. Please keep us inform on how they will handle the situation.
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Old 07-16-2013, 09:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rlev View Post
I really love this fifth wheel and I could easely see myself enjoying my retirement and traveling thru north America but if every vacation bring up another problem, I'll have to sell it and find another fifth wheel. Probably not as expensive as this one because I will loose a lot of money on the exchange but peace of mind has a price..
I don't know that I would panic just yet. It should be easily fixable, and it really shouldn't have to go back to the factory. Even if your dealer is useless, there should be an honest RV repair shop somewhere nearby that would be happy to get the work. It probably isn't rocket science to do the repair.

[QUOTE=rlev;423033]
I just learned too late that they buy frames from Lippert. I don't know where I got the impression that they were making their own frames.[/ QUOTE]

Probably from this site, because when Prime Time first started building campers, there were all kinds of people posting about how they were the best thing since sliced bread, and they were using material from Mars, they were so exotic. Truth is, they are made from the same cheap labor as everyone else.

But don't get discouraged, as you caught it before it did major damage to the camper. It could have been much, much worse.
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