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Old 02-26-2009, 08:11 PM   #1
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Forest River says not their problem...

We purchased a Forest River Cardinal Spring 2006, 4 slides, 37RL. We have had two blow outs on tires for no reason. We noticed that the tires on the left side of the trailer were way too close together (barely can get your fingers between them). The other side is normal. We were always told the trailer was sitting crooked. We took it to the dealership for maintenance and asked them to check this for us. Dealer said the hangers were welded a half inch off FROM THE FACTORY. (Lippert) The dealer has called as we have repeatedly to Forest River and Lippert. Spoke to a man named Vaughn at Lippert and he says from the photos the dealer sent it is within specs. Clearly it is not so as the dealer says it is wrong. Terry at Forest River has discussed this issue with Vaughn at Lippert and also the axle manufacturer. Both are saying out of warrenty - not our problem. This is a very serious and dangerous issue and we are wanting to make everyone aware that Forest River/Lippert refuses to help. There is a Lippert dealer less than 45 minutes away and they would not even consider looking at it. We are also notifying Trailer Life and Highways magazine (Good Sam Club mag). Needless to say, the dealer is out done with Forest River also. What I hate is we liked our RV but are very unhappy with the fact that these sort of items should not have to be fixed in 2 years and not a lot of road miles.

Anyone have any suggestions??
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Old 02-26-2009, 08:17 PM   #2
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Sorry to hear about your problem. Since this is a used unit, is it possible these are not the original tires. Maybe these tires are too large.
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Old 02-26-2009, 08:31 PM   #3
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We purchased the unit brand new in 2006.
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Old 02-26-2009, 09:01 PM   #4
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Did you check the date code on the tires? I bought my Rockwood new in 2006 and the tires were already two years old. And what type of suspension is on your camper? If you could post some pic to show the difference between both sides, some one here may see a signs of where the problem started.
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Old 02-26-2009, 11:20 PM   #5
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I would take it to small claims court. If you take photos and measurements of both sides with a tape measure clearly showing the 1/2 inch (or more) difference- and all 4 tires are the same size, THEN that is clearly a manufacturing defect effecting vehicle safety, (not to mention excessive tire wear), and it should be corrected. GOOD LUCK, Randy
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Old 02-27-2009, 04:50 AM   #6
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What brand are the tires?
Are they wearing excessively or unevenly?
What is the load rating of the tires and what does your trailer weigh when fully loaded?
If axles are welded on crooked, how hard would it be to fix??
I'm thinking careful measurements will tell a lot.
Is it possible for a truck frame shop to grind off weld and re-position axle?
That might not be all that expensive.

It's also possible the tires are at fault and in that case it's not a Forest River warranty issue.
There are other "blow out" stories here and many more on the woodalls forums.

My advice is deal with it and move on.
Good luck!
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Old 02-27-2009, 07:14 AM   #7
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Original tires were G rated Load Boss 235 85 16 G (14 Ply) 110 lbs cold. Replaced with (recently) Crosswind LT 235 85 16 G - the difference being having deep grooves. Of corse, we just recently put these tires on and have not used the unit since then.
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Old 02-27-2009, 07:37 AM   #8
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Mike,

Sounds like it's time to take some measurements. I assume all 4 tires are the same size. Measure from wheel center to wheel center on each side. These measurements need to be very close. Then go under trailer and measure from a cross member to each spring hanger. Do this for each side, and again measurements should be very close. If the spring hangers measure ok, but the wheel center measurement is off, you have a bent axle. If the spring hangers are off, you will probably have to move all 3 on one side. Might want to measure the distance between hangers on each side also. These measurements should help to identify the exact problem.
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Old 02-27-2009, 08:28 AM   #9
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Windrider,

That is exactly what the dealer did and they state the hangers are off. Welded off from the factory. They did measurements and took pics and sent them to Lippert and I believe sent them to Forest River, but seems I am still told the same thing. Our problem..
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Old 02-27-2009, 08:29 AM   #10
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I agree with time to take some really good measurments. The best measurements would be to set the RV up level and hang a plump bob from the center of the pin then measure from that point to the axle where the springs are attached. Once you've measured both sides and the distance between the springs you can figure how much "off" it really is.
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Old 02-27-2009, 09:22 AM   #11
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I emailed a gentleman at Forest River (someone from this forum gave me theinformation). Waiting to see that response. Really am disappointed because this has been going on for 3 weeks (this back and forth talking) and we were planning to take the RV to the races at Texas Motorspeedway the end of March.

Like I said previously, the dealership did all the measurements and took all the photos. While I watched and helped. Since they deal with issues all the time, I am relying on what they are saying about it being welded wrong.
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Old 02-27-2009, 09:23 AM   #12
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I sure do appreciate all the input from everyone.
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Old 02-27-2009, 09:34 AM   #13
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I'm still curious-- did your tires wear un-evenly or excessively???
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Old 02-27-2009, 09:44 AM   #14
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I would say unevenly. And another thing and it may not be related at all. When the dealer was repacking the barings, when he took it off both brakes on that side were gone. One was in pieces. Now how strange is that. So not only is something not right with the frame, I now have to relace the brakes on that side of the unit. Brakes on the other side are fine.
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Old 02-27-2009, 09:45 AM   #15
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Sorry bearings...
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Old 02-27-2009, 10:52 AM   #16
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I think, if I were you, I'd just contact a trailer manufacturer there locally and have them fix it. Keep all your receipts and have them write a detailed description of the work they perform. You may have better luck getting Lippert or FR to reimburse you for the repairs that way.

As for the brakes, Do you pull the hubs and look at them every year? It's really not very unusual for one, or even one side, to wear out before the other. Most RV's are heavy to one side and/or the brakes may have been adjusted "tight" on that side. Even the way it's wired can make a difference in how the brakes wear.

I hope you get this resolved. Too bad you didn't notice it sooner. It shouldn't matter but it would have a whole lot less headache for you.
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Old 02-27-2009, 10:55 AM   #17
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I think you are right.
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Old 02-27-2009, 10:57 AM   #18
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Bearings going out are not un-heard of either.
I've heard of folks who checked bearings on trailers that were less than
a year old and found one or more bearings had minimal/almost no grease in them.

IMO all dealers should pack bearings on all new trailers as part of the "dealer prep".
Bottom line is, they don't do that and if/when the axle manufacturers drop the grease
ball at time of axle assembly, you wind up with dry/failed bearings.
All manufacturers recommend bearing/brake inspection/repack every year.
If you've had it in your possession more than 12 months, that re-pack ball is in your
court.

I admit that if I had a new trailer and bearings failed within a few thousand
miles, I would be upset even if it was over a year old.
I do hope you get it fixed and move on to some happy camping!
Don't let this ruin your excitement and fun!
Remember why you bought it and enjoy it!!!!!
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Old 02-27-2009, 06:52 PM   #19
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I am happy to report that I did get a call from the gentleman I emailed at Forest River and he has directed me to another man at Lippert (the people who do the axles). So we will see.

Our deal is we do not mind the bearings, that is our responsibility, and tires do wear out. Another responsibility of ours. But we take all necessary precautions on our tires, never overload the RV, keep them inflated properly, keep them covered and they do not have a lot of miles on them. But ok, again we will go on the tires. The brakes..we will eat that too. But something that is done at the factory that will impact this trailer for years, come on..this should be someone's elses duty. But again, we will see what happens. We are hopeful. And can say we do appreciate the quick response (received a phone call) from the man at Forest River. Although, he says..not Forest River's problem.
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Old 02-27-2009, 07:52 PM   #20
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So they are saying that they do not stand behind their product? What kind of crap is that? You bought a Forest River Trailer, NOT a Lippert Trailer? Inagine if the auto industry used these excuses. Scary situation and I would be getting a lawyer involved if you get no satisfaction.
Can you imagine if any other manufacturer pulled this BS, Sorry your $2000 Sony tv component was defective but you will have to contact **** in China who made the diode and they may fix it.
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