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Old 08-20-2014, 05:52 AM   #31
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Thin issue wasn't limited to Lippert frames. From what I gather it has to do with engineering lighter frames/pin weight. The pin box area can't support the weight and eventually crumbles.


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Old 08-20-2014, 08:33 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Slympicins View Post
We have been looking at a Wildcat model but after some research, I found issues with Lippert's pin box main beam failures. After reading the flexing issues above, it's sounds like these folks are slowly experiencing this. Has anyone had this issue with the main beam failure with newer models? Frankly, it has moved us away from looking at any fifth wheels until we can find Lippert has addressed this major issue.
I'm going to jump in here with some information even though I don't think it pertains to the original post. Again, I was assured by my team that the issue the original poster had was NOT associated to a frame or structural problem, but rather a sidewall "over routing" issue that may have been incorrectly repaired causing an unsightly crack along the trim.

Frankly, the "Lippert pin box main beam failures" discussion is something I've read about here on this forum (and on other brands' and manufacturers' forums), but have never seen or heard of directly via my service department on anything we've built since I started at Wildcat in the end of 2009. I'm not in any way saying some people aren't experiencing problems -- but I haven't heard of this on a recent Wildcat, Lippert frame or not. My firsthand experience with frame issues is quite limited and we've built literally thousands of Wildcats since I came to Forest River.

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Originally Posted by pbryan View Post
Don't all the new Wildcat's use BAL frames?
Yes. Here are the details:
BAL - Innovative Products for the RV Industry
We are the only fifth wheel manufacturer using this fifth wheel frame across our entire product line, however we are not exclusive. Other products in the industry DO use BAL frames, but not throughout their entire line -- it seems to be floor plan specific.

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Originally Posted by BigJohnD View Post
They do now. Not sure when it started, but I think in the 2014's. Maybe earlier but not sure.
All Wildcat eXtraLite models have been using it since the beginning of 2013 (so ALL 2014 models). All other Wildcat models followed suit before the end of 2013, further enhanced by the NXG drop-frame (sometimes called a "Z" frame) chassis. All 2015 product uses the BAL frame. I would have to dig a bit deeper to get an exact unit numbers.

I can say this: since starting with the BAL frames last year, we haven't had a single frame-related complaint from our customer base. But our revisions to the Wildcat build also included standard Dexter axles, MOR/ryde suspension and pin box, thicker T-60 high gloss gel-coat exterior walls, and numerous other enhancements "under the skin" or "behind the scenes" so to speak. This collective group of changes, tested multiple times at the Bosch Proving Grounds, gives Wildcat a unique build in the entire industry and thus a unique advantage over our competition.
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Old 08-20-2014, 10:31 AM   #33
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I would like to thank you Wildcat Chris for responding to my question. As one can understand there are user errors which occurs from owners "Overloading" the 5ers, but when you hear of an issue, then Google it and find it's not a specific make of model, its concerning. I will ask you this...I the pin box support less beefed up on a ultra lite vs a regular frame rv?


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Old 08-20-2014, 11:25 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by Slympicins View Post
I will ask you this...I the pin box support less beefed up on a ultra lite vs a regular frame rv?
This is a great question. Frequently, I am asked why Wildcat's smaller fifth wheel floor plan weights are "so much higher" than similarly sized "ultra lite" brands. The single heaviest part of any RV build is the frame or chassis. The frame build is significantly greater on a Wildcat, in every area, than on an "ultra lite." All Wildcat frame rails measure 10.75" vs. a common 6"-8" on "ultra" light weight frames. The pin box area is also "beefed up," using larger HSLA steel tubes and more cross members. The small floor plans are built exactly like the large floor plans!

This is NOT to say that the "ultra lite" fifth wheels on the market today are not built well or strongly enough, but they ARE built specifically for weight. Building specifically for weight means cutting weight wherever possible, usually starting at the heaviest items first.
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Old 08-20-2014, 04:00 PM   #35
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Chris, figured I'd ask this while you're on here. Hopefully not hijacking too bad. An all too common problem with several brands is the slide floors. The darco fabric wears and tears, sometimes where the floor is secured up through the floor, the water can wick into those holes, some just barely coat the edge of the wood on the slide floor ends with paint when darco is not used, and in the complaint list goes. Several threads on this issue, across many FR products, and non-FR products.

Rockwood / Flagstaff seems to be one of the few that use the 90 degree plastic glide on the slide floor ends. They tuck under the slide end wall trim and go several inches under the slide. This solves the potential water wick problem and the wearing darco problem. Not sure the make of those, but we had the same thing installed under our slides due to same potential issue. Ours are made by Majestic Formed Plastics.

I'm not real familiar with the specifics of a wildcat slide floor, but do know that I have seen several pre-2014's with this issue. What is Wildcat doing now? Do they have the glides installed, or do they have a better coated slide floor? Doesn't seem too many manufacturers want to change to a better set up.

Although Wildcat doesn't fit our needs, we do keep up with all makes and models to see where everybody's headed. Between the different frame, axles and using a MorRyde pin box, it looks like y'all are headed in the right direction.


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Old 08-21-2014, 09:39 AM   #36
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Chris, figured I'd ask this while you're on here. Hopefully not hijacking too bad.
So as not to hijack this thread any further, I've responded here:
Ask the Wildcat factory...
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