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Old 07-16-2016, 07:34 AM   #1
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246 RKS Freedom Express 2013 frame stress fractures

I noticed while filling my tires that between the axels on the frame I have a stress fracture (my term) on both sides on the frame. Has anyone else experienced this? Hoping it is warrantied.
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Old 07-16-2016, 07:44 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by iamkathie View Post
I noticed while filling my tires that between the axels on the frame I have a stress fracture (my term) on both sides on the frame. Has anyone else experienced this? Hoping it is warrantied.
How about a picture?

Being a 2013 warranty status could be iffy. Hopefully Coachmen / Forest River would step up to the plate in this situation. I can tell you without a doubt if the frame was made by Lippert Components (LCI), which it most likely was, you're more than likely SOL.
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Old 09-22-2016, 10:20 PM   #3
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Have the same trailer with 2' cracks about 8" to the rear of the center axle hanger. Emailed Coachman, got no response, another example of their customer service department. What did you do, I'm looking for a local welding shop!


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Old 09-23-2016, 07:47 AM   #4
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Never heard of cracked frames. j/k

Took it to a local weld shop and they direct billed my dealer per the dealer instructions.
Had them gusset all my spring mounts on the hush.
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Old 09-26-2016, 09:16 AM   #5
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Visited a local welding shop to determine and repair "stress cracks" on the frame. It appears that the L shaped cross brace on the frame is twisting with the rigors of travel and cracking the very thin middle section of the frame at the point where it attaches to the main frame. If you look closely you can see where this cross brace meets the main frame. If it is cracked there, you can also see this section bow slightly above the crack. Had a much stronger section welded to the main frame at this point. Hope this resolves the problem. My dealer says he has never heard of a frame cracking, really!!!!
You can see that point on DBarrs first photo above.

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Old 09-27-2016, 09:51 AM   #6
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we bought a 2016 freedom express in feb 2016 and after 6 months on the road, there are now 6 cracks in the frame and it has been walking left and right as i drive down the road. the dealer is dealing with FRinc now, so wish us luck.
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Old 09-27-2016, 03:27 PM   #7
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Sorry to hear about your frame issues. They definitely have some production issues with these welded frames. We have about 18,000 miles on our unit so I guess we were fortunate not to have developed cracks earlier. We tend to run real light, never carry water or waste and the minimum in can goods etc. I'm becoming a little paranoid pulling this trailer particularly as we plan for a trip to the west coast next year!




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Old 11-13-2016, 10:39 PM   #8
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Coachman/Forest River Frames are a joke

We had a 2014 32BHDS the frame cracked on both sides between the wheels so bad the bunkhouse was sagging at least 8 inches in the back and twisted so that the frame was rubbing against the rear tire to the point that we had to have the unit towed on a flatbed trailer because it kept blowing tires. Per FR and Lippert it was our fault! Even though we had proof of weight before we left on the road trip and tongue weight when it was parked at the dealership after being towed. The unit was totaled out by our insurer the repairs would have been over $35K. To this day neither FR or Lippert has taken any responsibility for the bad steel used in the frame or the sloppy welds on the mounting of any of the mechanics. I will never buy another product from this company and I will take every opportunity to make sure that anyone that asks my opinion hears my story.
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Old 03-17-2017, 09:55 PM   #9
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This thread is a bit scary. To me, there is no excuse for a frame developing stress fractures like that.

I have some thoughts of replacing my current trailer with the 243 RKS. Maybe not so much now.
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Old 03-17-2017, 10:18 PM   #10
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Atle, I ran into a lady in Tennessee who alerted me to the frame issue with her same model. She was a full timer who had her trailer for less than a year. She had the entire frame on the right side of the frame from the rear axle hanger back fracture. I chocked it up to over weight but inspected my frame after every trip. It was a year later that I discovered the cracks developing. We love this trailer but I'm not impressed with Coachman's quality or customer focus.
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Old 03-17-2017, 10:26 PM   #11
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Wow, so say he least, since I have a new Surveyor 251RKS. Wow
I'll watch carefully.

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Old 03-18-2017, 07:39 AM   #12
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Sure looks like the steel used is too thin. I'd rather have somewhat more robust steel used.

Does the manufacturer spec to Lippert the exact length, width, where the axles will be placed, etc for a particular frame, and Lippert does the rest, including selection of steel thickness, etc., or will the manufacturer also specify steel thickness also.

I'm just wondering whether it's the RV manufacturer or chassis manufacturer or both that's engineering the chassis to the lowest minimum standard. That sure looks what's happening here, but in these cases, they've cut the margin too thin.

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Never heard of cracked frames. j/k

Took it to a local weld shop and they direct billed my dealer per the dealer instructions.
Had them gusset all my spring mounts on the hush.
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Old 03-18-2017, 08:05 AM   #13
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I'm just wondering whether it's the RV manufacturer or chassis manufacturer or both that's engineering the chassis to the lowest minimum standard. That sure looks what's happening here, but in these cases, they've cut the margin too thin.

Does it matter? The RV manufacturer ultimately bears all responsibility in this situation. The trailer was made by Coachmen, not by Lippert. Coachmen chose who to use as a frame supplier and if its undersized, under engineered, or just plain garbage which sums up about everything Lippert makes, thats inconsequential. Coachmen accepted it.

Of course you can expect Coachmen to use the component supplied by others BS clause in the warranty, and Lippert will pull out all the stops trying to weasel out of the frame warranty most likely by trying to claim the owner overloaded the trailer. Its no picnic dealing with those people.
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Old 03-18-2017, 03:32 PM   #14
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Reading this thread is making me nervous. I just bought a Coachmen Apex in Dec. Guess I'll be inspecting the frame regularly.
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Old 03-18-2017, 10:56 PM   #15
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Sad part is that the frame manufacturer is the problem. Specs or no specs if the frame is supposed to haul X lbs. and does not then that is the problem. I dunno. This type of situation is scary. 1-2-3 YO frames cracking? Reminds me of the pin box cracks y'all were talking about. Those had me cracking around enough already...now I gotta look for this.
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Old 03-19-2017, 07:37 AM   #16
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And Lippert makes the frames for most brands so are other brands having this problem?
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Old 03-28-2017, 06:24 PM   #17
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Worried

Wow, just purchased a 2017 246 RKS......had I seen this post before, I would not have gone with the Coachmen.

Is Coachmen treating you correctly?
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Old 03-28-2017, 07:54 PM   #18
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Wow, just purchased a 2017 246 RKS......had I seen this post before, I would not have gone with the Coachmen.



Is Coachmen treating you correctly?


Send pictures and a description to Coachman and got no response. Like spitting into the wind!
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Old 09-01-2017, 08:22 AM   #19
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OK, I've been watching this forum since finding cracks in five of the six welds nearest the wheels on our 2014 246RKS Freedom Express and while working through the process of getting repairs done.

I took photographs of the cracks and emailed Lippert, the frame manufacturer. They immediately responded, asking for additional pictures of the front and back of the trailer, and of the entire spring mounting system on each side. Don't know why they wanted the spring pictures, but they probably wanted to make sure I hadn't put a ladder, bike rack, or trailer hitch on the back or front, which will immediately void any warranty.

Once they had looked at the pictures, they sent me to one of their dealers for an estimate. I chose Camping World since the only other dealer who would even agree to look at it had a longer time before they could get to the job. It still took quite a while for Camping World to come up with an estimate. In the end, Lippert sent one of their welders up to complete the repair job. They paid Camping World to remove the belly pan plastic and put it back after welding.

From what was said, it appears these frames have welded-up I beams rather than forged I beams and the design engineering was done by Coachmen. At least that's the story I got.

Repairs consisted of grinding out the stress cracks, re-welding the ground out areas, and welding on a plate that covers the affected area and is welded on all sides. They put six of these on our frame.

We'll continue to watch this, so I may have to report back. To anyone experiencing a similar problem, I would advise immediately contacting Lippert or the manufacturer of your frame. There is a label on the frame indicating the maker and date of manufacture.

I still don't know what the warranty is on this frame, but Lippert made no issue of this and stepped right up to the plate in order to make repairs. My only cost was the time it took to haul the trailer to the shop and back.
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Old 09-01-2017, 04:13 PM   #20
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Guess I can scratch Coachmen off my short list.
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