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Old 12-11-2019, 10:37 AM   #1
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Spare Tire Carrier Failure

Hi, I own a new 2020 FR Columbus and had the spare tire fall off in transit, damaging the underbelly and bending upward the rear bumper assy. On a recent trip to the repair shop for the glass shower doors falling off, the shop manager warned me about spares coming loose on these and showed me a lift assy. that he just changed from a previous customer. He said FR simply sent him the same lift assy and had the warranty replacement installed, even though it was the same as before. Sure enough, on my second trip, I lost mine. I contacted FR and they are suggesting it must be something that I did and never heard of this. Iíve read numerous posts about this same failure and am concerned. Have any of you had this same problem as well as lack of support from FR on new RVís?
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Old 12-11-2019, 11:15 AM   #2
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Hi, I own a new 2020 FR Columbus and had the spare tire fall off in transit, damaging the underbelly and bending upward the rear bumper assy. On a recent trip to the repair shop for the glass shower doors falling off, the shop manager warned me about spares coming loose on these and showed me a lift assy. that he just changed from a previous customer. He said FR simply sent him the same lift assy and had the warranty replacement installed, even though it was the same as before. Sure enough, on my second trip, I lost mine. I contacted FR and they are suggesting it must be something that I did and never heard of this. Iíve read numerous posts about this same failure and am concerned. Have any of you had this same problem as well as lack of support from FR on new RVís?

IMO having a large part fall off a vehicle could result in a crash with injury of a following vehicle. EVERY instance should be reported as a claim to NHTSA. Shame on the service manager for not reporting this safety problem.
Be sure to include the vehicle VIN with the claim. Pictures would be good too.
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Old 12-11-2019, 12:21 PM   #3
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Spare Tire Carrier Failure

Thank you for your reply. My son and 1year old grandchild were following behind us on the previous trip. Thank goodness it didnít fall off then, especially at freeway speeds. Iím mainly worried about someone getting hurt or killed by something like this. Yes, itís frustrating to spend $100k on a new unit and have FR push back on a brand new 5th wheel failure, even when the info is out there, but I want to get the word out there so others can check there units and be careful. I never had a failure on my 2005 Komfort, purchased new, nor my pickup/van trucks with undercarriage mounted spare tires. Iíll look into your suggestion of filing a report with the NHTSA. Thank you, Tireman9
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Old 12-11-2019, 12:36 PM   #4
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This is one reason we went with SOB, service, local dealer level was poor for Columbus. I would suggest you climb the food chain inside Columbus/Rockwood management. At one time there were on of the most responsive divisions. I have a BAL on my Heartland Fifth Wheel. Never heard of failing, we have heavy H Rated tire too.

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Old 12-11-2019, 01:56 PM   #5
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The spare tire carrier that came on my 2019 FR Wildwood FSX is a joke. Made to fold down or access to a compartment, that is not even there on my unit. I took the release pin and replaced with a 1/2" dia bolt to reduce some of the wobbling and loose fit. It helped some but still seemed sketchy. The 4" square bumper that it mounts to is flimsy by itself, if you try to tighten the bolts-the bumper just bends. I pulled my carrier off and built my own that mounts to my homemade trailer hitch receptacle. I use that to hold a cargo carrier and not for towing. My dealer agreed that the tire carrier is junk but that is all that FR gives him to put on the trailers. I grew up on a ranch, and spent the better part of the last 40 years doing construction welding. Mine isn't going to fail.
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Old 12-11-2019, 02:02 PM   #6
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Definintely Agree with Reporting This

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tireman9 View Post
IMO having a large part fall off a vehicle could result in a crash with injury of a following vehicle. EVERY instance should be reported as a claim to NHTSA. Shame on the service manager for not reporting this safety problem.
Be sure to include the vehicle VIN with the claim. Pictures would be good too.
I agree with reporting this to NHTSA! We had brake issues and have reported them as it went on for two years and several brake assemblies falling apart. Final fix was changing out axles and type of brakes. Report this so a recall can be issued if there are enough reports. It is an issue of safety for you and others on the road.
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Old 12-11-2019, 02:19 PM   #7
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I'm just curious. If you were told about the flimsy spare carrier by a tech, prior to it falling off, did neither you or the tech inspect yours?
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Old 12-11-2019, 03:29 PM   #8
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The bumper spare tire mount on the rear bumper of my 2015 Rockwood 8280WS was flaky so I removed it and put the spare under the bed as far forward as possible (on a 4" raised area over the hitch). This had several benefits for me .......
Eliminated the theft risk

Eliminated the mount failure risk

Got the spare out of the sun

Took about 80 lbs off the wheels

Increased the hitch weight by about 40 lbs.
The last one was a big bonus because this unit had only a marginal 15% of its weight on the pin, probably less with the rear kitchen ready for the road. We also converted the entry closet to a pantry to move some kitchen weight forward.
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Old 12-11-2019, 03:45 PM   #9
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Our Rockwood came with the mounting bracket that holds the spare under the coach.....or it's SUPPOSED to hold the spare. When we left Maine, I checked all the tires on the TT and TV, including the spares, to ensure the air pressure was correct for the trip home. Everything looked good. When we got home nearly 800 miles later, the TT spare was dangling inches from the driveway surface. Had it hit the road at highway speeds, I shudder to think of the damage that could have been done or the possible danger to others on the road. I retightened the cable and the spare was again firmly in its place under the TT. And I called the dealer to let them know what had happened and to tell them I needed to know there was nothing wrong with this mounting set-up. I showed them a photo of the tire as it was when we returned home. The dealer stated they were unaware of any systemic issues with these types of mounting brackets, and when they inspected it they said they could find nothing wrong with it. They suggested I should check it periodically on long trips - even if those trips are completed in a day or so. They also charged me $139 for their inspection, since they found nothing that could be covered under warranty. Soooo now I will include an under-carriage TT check at each gas stop to see if this happens again. I am also considering installing some sort of "safety net" to prevent the spare from hitting the road if it becomes unseated again. Hadn't considered filing a claim with the NHSTA, but if the spare comes loose again - even though I'll be looking for it this time and hope to find a way to make it impossible for the spare to hit the road - I will definitely do that.
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Old 12-11-2019, 04:38 PM   #10
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Curious as to the brand/type of spare tire carrier you're dealing with. I have a GDRV Reflection, and it has an underbelly rear 'hung' spare. There have been posts on our site about tires 'cranking' themselves down during travel. One poster said he made a tool/piece to go on the hex drive to prevent the mechanism from turning and the tire from coming down. Thankfully, I haven't had any issues yet, but I DO check the spare at every stop. Thoughts?
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Old 12-11-2019, 06:34 PM   #11
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Springerdad, if your question is directed at the op, I obviously can't answer - but since you posted that question after I responded to the op with my experience, I'll give what information I can about my setup. Not sure about the brand - our under-belly spare tire carrier is in the center of the TT, just in front of the main entrance (i.e. forward of the forward axle). So if it hit the road and broke free, there would be plenty of damage on its way to freedom; and as previously noted it could certainly be a danger to anyone sharing the road with us. I feel certain I will find a way to secure the spare in a way that will eliminate that worry....will do so before next camping season. After last night's dusting of snow melts and it warms up a bit out here in the country, I'll climb under the TT and come up with a solution. Regardless of the solution, that spare tire is now going to be a part of my regular gas-stop walk-around. And again as noted, if there is a next time I'll file a report with the NHSTA - I'm kind of annoyed with myself for not thinking of that to begin with. As usual, I always get good information from the Forum.
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Old 12-11-2019, 06:48 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Springerdad View Post
Curious as to the brand/type of spare tire carrier you're dealing with. I have a GDRV Reflection, and it has an underbelly rear 'hung' spare. There have been posts on our site about tires 'cranking' themselves down during travel. One poster said he made a tool/piece to go on the hex drive to prevent the mechanism from turning and the tire from coming down. Thankfully, I haven't had any issues yet, but I DO check the spare at every stop. Thoughts?
My solution...put a bike cable lock round it tightly. Kills 2 birds with one stone.
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Old 12-11-2019, 08:02 PM   #13
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The rear bumper mount carrier on my Coachman 15rb trailer had two U bolts holding it on. While checking the spare tire pressure I noticed on e of the U bolts broken at the 90 degree bend. Lucky it did not fall off.
I replaced the U bolts with flat plates and large bolts. No more problems.
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Old 12-11-2019, 09:05 PM   #14
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Many of us with the underbelly spare tire mount travel with a ratchet strap around the spare tire frame and thru the wheel center hole. This has given us worry free travels as far as loosing the spare on our last 3 fivers. It's an easy and common fix as the spare winches can unspool going down the road.
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Old 12-11-2019, 11:26 PM   #15
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I have found mine loose on 2 occasions in the past 4 years. It is an item on my check list.
Thank you Dieselguy for the solution. A ďwhy didnít I think of thatĒ moment. A ratchet strap will be added to mine tomorrow. Cheap enough insurance. It will stay on my check list though.
Travel safe
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