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Old 04-16-2014, 11:09 AM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 71
Inspecting a used 5th wheel trailer & Pin Box


The wife and I have owned several towable travel trailers, but we are seriously considering taking the plunge on a used 5th wheel Forest River Wildcat for more space and atmosphere.

We looked on the internet and have done a lot of research on issues with 5th wheels, and stumbled across the "Lippert Frame" issue that seems to have affected various brands of trailers.

We understand the best way to check for cracked/bent pin box framing is to measure the distance from the pin plate before supporting any trailer weight and then after hitched, to show any flexing. We don't own a 5th wheel hitch yet, and while planning to ask the seller to do this before final purchase, wanted to see if we could sorta filter this out somewhat ahead of time.

Given that I have read people have been inspecting the framework, I wanted to know if outside of hitching, there were any other "tattle tail" signs or symptoms that would indicate a "possible" issue?

Visually inspecting the trailer we are looking at, we can't seem to find anything that would indicate a possible issue, other than the owner having had problems with the nose cone screws breaking underneath in the past.

Best regards ...

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Old 04-16-2014, 11:23 AM   #2
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Ohio
Posts: 5,937
Sometimes there is no real way of knowing, short of taking the underside skin off. Short of that, I would look at the angle of the pin box and mounts. I think the frame issues mostly affected the "Lite" and/or "Ultra-lite" 5ers, and most of those I think were from certain years, 07-10 maybe. Also, the frame issues were on relatively few units, compared to the total out there. You just hear more about the ones that failed.
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5th wheel, trailer, wheel

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