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Old 07-07-2014, 11:38 AM   #1
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Sidewall crack!

I have a 13 Wildcat 312 BHX-OK that has a crack in the rounded transition part of the front overhang! When the fifth wheel pin is in the hitch and the landing legs are up the crack opens up, and when all weight is on landing legs and unhooked the crack closes up!
Anyone else have this problem?
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Old 07-07-2014, 12:05 PM   #2
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Sure sounds like flex in the frame in the pinbox/chin area. Some small amount is common...how much is it flexing? Photos?

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Old 07-07-2014, 12:22 PM   #3
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Not sure how to upload pictures! I believe there is excessive frame flexing to cause this, but Forest River assures me its not a structural issue!! Don't believe it myself and their proposed fix is to reshape that area, essentially cutting out the cracked area!!
I you look at that rounded transition area from under the overhang from the opposite side you will see a triangulated area and the crack is on the other side of that and that is what they want to cut out and reshape!
Not to keen on proposed fix!
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Old 07-07-2014, 02:06 PM   #4
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Try this for posting a picture from your computer's hard drive to the post ...

Go Advanced.
  • Click on the Attachments icon above (paper clip) or scroll down to the Manage Attachments button below your message screen

  • Click "Browse" and find your picture.
Be sure that the photo is appropriately sized. 620 x 620 pixels (or smaller) and no more than 50K. Forums software will automatically reduce the size, but smaller size photos will upload much faster. You may select several photos to upload at the same time by repeating the last step.
  • Click "Upload"
  • Click "submit reply" to mount the text of your message - photos will automatically appear at the bottom of your post.
You've already had discussions with Wildcat but don't like their recommendations...I don't know what recourse you have other then following their advice. They build them and should know how to fix them too.

Dave
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Old 07-07-2014, 02:14 PM   #5
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Click image for larger version

Name:	crack1.jpg
Views:	221
Size:	183.9 KB
ID:	57460

Hope this worked!
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Old 07-07-2014, 05:13 PM   #6
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We have a similar problem on a Columbus. The factory has started to cut verticle cuts in the sidewalls then insert a cover piece to allow the wall to flex. They are doing this on the new units now before they leave the factory. Ours is going to be looked at at Goshen.
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Old 07-07-2014, 05:24 PM   #7
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My Columbus came back from the factory and had two cuts placed under bedroom slide out, which is near this area. The damaged area was not cracked, but de-laminated. Two relief cuts were made and was re-glued, and installed were some trim pieces. I am happy they did not remove the entire sidewall for a small deal. Some flexing is the nature of 5th wheel designs. Probably most all brands I have seen have at least one relief joint to prevent cracks, delams and bulges in this area. Hope they make it right. You got to trust, they are the experts.
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Old 07-07-2014, 06:42 PM   #8
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Pretty much stems from frame flex, or IMO, crappy frame. There are / were manufactures that didn't have to put relief cuts or expansion joints there, and never had issues, but they were NOT on a lippert or BAL frame. Most affordable fifth wheels have the relief cuts now. Its a bandaid fix opposed to building a very strong heavy frame.


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Old 07-07-2014, 06:56 PM   #9
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Oh great. Have to keep a eye out on my 13 312 BHX-OK!
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Old 07-08-2014, 01:23 AM   #10
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Exclamation More information needed...

Quote:
Originally Posted by wildcat66 View Post
I believe there is excessive frame flexing to cause this, but Forest River assures me its not a structural issue!! Don't believe it myself and their proposed fix is to reshape that area, essentially cutting out the cracked area!!
I you look at that rounded transition area from under the overhang from the opposite side you will see a triangulated area and the crack is on the other side of that and that is what they want to cut out and reshape!
Not to keen on proposed fix!
It's unfortunate that even after working with and talking to my very experienced service staff, you're not satisfied with their explanation. I'll be sure they understand you're not happy with their "proposed fix." Please feel free to send me a private message with more details so I can be sure they understand your stance completely.

In the interest of dispelling any widespread panic about cracking, I'll provide further information on this particular unit's isolated issue after discussing it in more detail with my service team again tomorrow. I've been assured this is NOT a structural or frame issue, especially not like those issues described by other posts in this same thread. To my knowledge, Wildcat has never used "relief cuts" on our sidewalls in any location. This is not an instance of "frame flex" or a "crappy frame."

The photo posted doesn't show well where this crack is located. See the attached pic for better location info.

I'm also hoping that this thread doesn't become a lightning rod for anyone who has ever had an issue with a wall crack or lamination problem on any Wildcat, Forest River product, or RV in general. Obviously, I hate to see anyone with a problem on the RV they spent their hard-earned money on -- but not every surface problem points to a major structural issue or frame deficiency...
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