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Old 03-09-2015, 01:02 PM   #1
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05' 37SP Sierra 5er...photos of cracked frame

I thought I would share my findings (pics included) when I noticed cracks in the fiberglass wall over the kingpin box...but a little history.

I live in SoCal about 30 min east of San Diego.

May 2013 - I bought a used 2010 F350 and and an 2005 37' Forest River Sierra (toy hauler) from a private party. Both in immaculate condition and from original owner.

5er was very low profile so I needed to flip the axles for my steep driveway...local shop did the work plus I had the brakes replaced and wheel bearings repacked.

Maiden voyage a short trip to the river (Lake Martinez, AZ) where it was 122 degrees! When I returned home I noticed one of the tires had a small leak. Inspection showed one of the aluminum rims cracked...had it repaired.

July 2013 - beginning of big 5 week trip covering some 6,200 mile up to Northern Alberta and back.

Day 2 of Canada trip had tire leaking and discovered another aluminum rim was cracked. I was already scheduled to stay over night in Chico, CA as I had an auxillary 50 gal fuel tank added to truck bed...love it.

Decided to replace all four rims and tires....went with steel rims and upgraded to E load tires. The 5er handled way better...the bouncing was gone.

Great trip and no more issues. Family had a great time!

Upon return I noticed the skin under the king pin area wasn't taught anymore...it was kind of wavy and I could hear it shift every now and then while driving (thunder like sound). The trim on the bottom edge appeared to have slipped a little too.

Once home noticed a small crack in the fiberglass wall on the driver side of the king pin box. Didn't think to much of it at the time.

Had a few more trips...

Desert trip winter 2013 (Superstition)
Napa trip spring 2014
Grand Canyon trip Winter 2014

Had 5er serviced and cleaned in preparation for Desert trip 2015...noticed 2 cracks on fiberglass wall above king pin area had gotten longer.

Pulled propane tanks and began to inspect as much as possible.....and found it...

a crack that appeared to go all the way through one of the main support beams from the body out to the nose.

I pulled the skin and saw the front area of the King pin was cracked and uneven as well....looked at welding and the pass side had a full weld....the driver side had only 2 spot welds...I couldn't believe the weld was incomplete and how thin the metal was.

Please take a look at the pictures and let me know what you think.

I reached out to Forest River today and asked for a point of contact to direct me in the right direction for assistance.

Pictures to follow...
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Old 03-09-2015, 01:07 PM   #2
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Pics of 5er while unattached

Pictures of 5er while unattached...
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Old 03-09-2015, 01:09 PM   #3
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The crack....

The crack....
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Old 03-09-2015, 01:14 PM   #4
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Skin removed....and another crack

The 2nd crack I found on the front driver side corner....it only had 2 spot welds versus the other side which had a full weld on the corner.
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Old 03-09-2015, 01:16 PM   #5
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How the cracks look when hooked to the truck...

How the cracks looked when hooked to the truck...
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Old 03-09-2015, 01:41 PM   #6
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That's pretty sad that Engineering or R&D department couldn't see fit to weld the entire plates together or use 3 or 4 welds in place of the two welds in your pic. I guess that's the American way. Good luck. Thanks for pics.
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Old 03-09-2015, 02:47 PM   #7
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cracked

I hope you find a resolve. I am glad you found it out before it catastrophically failed while you were on the road!
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Old 03-09-2015, 04:12 PM   #8
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You should check with the NHTSA to see if similar problems have been reported, this is dangerous to you and other road users also, these frames are built so cheaply but unless the defects are reported they will never be forced to build them safely instead of cheaply. Good luck.
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Old 03-09-2015, 04:16 PM   #9
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You want a dialogue with Lippert beginning ASAP.
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Old 03-09-2015, 05:27 PM   #10
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That could have been really bad juju.

Q.A. ???
We don't need no Q.A.!
Where was the NDT/welding inspector? Out having a cup of coffee?
As noted above, document everything and get with the factory and raise Sam about this.
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