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Old 08-25-2014, 09:46 AM   #1
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Wildcat 5th wheel pin box

We had a 2007 Forest River Wildcat 5th Wheel 28 ft. WE were completing our cross country trip that we started in Florida. we were in California and as we were coming off the highway, we heard a strange clanging sound. There happened to be a Camping World near where we were and so we pulled in. When the mechanic looked at the fifth wheel, he noticed that the hitch was only an inch or two from the bed of the truck. Upon further investigation, the frame of the the pin hitch was cracked in a number of spots and that was what you could actually see without taking off the front of the unit. The insurance company came out and totaled it. We then had to pack all of our things in a u-haul and tow that back to Florida. When we got everything out, we could see that our closet was completely buckled and pushed up from the pin hitch. We were lucky that this did not happen when we were going 60-65 mph.
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Old 08-25-2014, 10:17 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by susanlem View Post
We had a 2007 Forest River Wildcat 5th Wheel 28 ft. WE were completing our cross country trip that we started in Florida. we were in California and as we were coming off the highway, we heard a strange clanging sound. There happened to be a Camping World near where we were and so we pulled in. When the mechanic looked at the fifth wheel, he noticed that the hitch was only an inch or two from the bed of the truck. Upon further investigation, the frame of the the pin hitch was cracked in a number of spots and that was what you could actually see without taking off the front of the unit. The insurance company came out and totaled it. We then had to pack all of our things in a u-haul and tow that back to Florida. When we got everything out, we could see that our closet was completely buckled and pushed up from the pin hitch. We were lucky that this did not happen when we were going 60-65 mph.
Sounds like you escaped a big bullet. Now you are the 4th person that has happened to. All of them Wildcat 2007. Hope they didn't beat you up to bad when they totaled it. Wildcat has now switched frames, so the new one per Chris will not happen again. They should have a recall on that year IMO. Glad your safe...
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Old 08-25-2014, 07:12 PM   #3
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I emailed forest River....hopefully I will get a reply. Insurance company was good. satisfied but now we have to try and find something else.
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Old 08-25-2014, 07:36 PM   #4
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It does seem to be the 07's that were the problem.

Hope everyone is ok.
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Old 08-25-2014, 09:27 PM   #5
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Sounds like National Highway Safety should take these off the road and force FR to recall all of them.


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Old 08-26-2014, 12:01 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by gljurczyk View Post
Sounds like you escaped a big bullet. Now you are the 4th person that has happened to. All of them Wildcat 2007. Hope they didn't beat you up to bad when they totaled it. Wildcat has now switched frames, so the new one per Chris will not happen again. They should have a recall on that year IMO. Glad your safe...
This has happened to far more than the 4 you heard of. I've been reading posts about this occurring as far back as 2008. The frames were built with material way too thin to support the weights and stress.
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Old 08-26-2014, 12:05 PM   #7
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Sounds like National Highway Safety should take these off the road and force FR to recall all of them.


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If Lippert were manufacturers of omnibus or a commercial grade passenger vehicle they would be all over it I'm sure. Thank goodness they are not. But a trailer for pleasure use, good luck. Just my thoughts.
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Old 08-26-2014, 01:14 PM   #8
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This has happened to far more than the 4 you heard of. I've been reading posts about this occurring as far back as 2008. The frames were built with material way too thin to support the weights and stress.
I do understand that, but this is the 4th one that I remember on this forum alone. 3 in the last year or so. Sorry it happened to them and you are right the frame speck. by FR for lippert to build was way to light. They are lucky that no one has been killed or injured yet. The real fault lays on FR they are the ones who specked that frame to use. Lippert is just the middle man. As far as I see they have been pretty good about helping out.
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Old 08-26-2014, 08:33 PM   #9
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FR specked out the frame and ordered them from Lippert. Once the frames were delivered, the TT specs changed (plans and as builts). FR now added changes to the TT which overloaded the frame. Seems when FR builds a TT, everything from the frame up (axles & tires) are right at manufactures limits. For example. Our 27RLWS GVWR is 7,500. Dexter axles are 3,500 lbs x 2 = 7,000 lbs. 600 pound tongue weight. Load "C" rated tires (1,750 lbs max x 4 = 7,000 lbs). Everything is right at the maximum stress factor. There is little built in for error. So...it's no wonder these pin boxes fail as they were never designed for that much weight. One more note...some folks LOAD up their basements with a ton of stuff and never stop to get their chariots weighed. I must say it takes a constant eye to keep the DW from over loading with superfluous stuffage.
Note: look at TT / 5ers that have a huge difference between GVWR and dry/shipping weight. Then don't use it all up thus keeping your weights down..


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Old 08-27-2014, 12:53 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slympicins View Post
FR specked out the frame and ordered them from Lippert. Once the frames were delivered, the TT specs changed (plans and as builts). FR now added changes to the TT which overloaded the frame. Seems when FR builds a TT, everything from the frame up (axles & tires) are right at manufactures limits. For example. Our 27RLWS GVWR is 7,500. Dexter axles are 3,500 lbs x 2 = 7,000 lbs. 600 pound tongue weight. Load "C" rated tires (1,750 lbs max x 4 = 7,000 lbs). Everything is right at the maximum stress factor. There is little built in for error. So...it's no wonder these pin boxes fail as they were never designed for that much weight. One more note...some folks LOAD up their basements with a ton of stuff and never stop to get their chariots weighed. I must say it takes a constant eye to keep the DW from over loading with superfluous stuffage.
Note: look at TT / 5ers that have a huge difference between GVWR and dry/shipping weight. Then don't use it all up thus keeping your weights down..


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I hear what you're saying but it's irrelevant. But, these (including mine) 2007 Wildcat frames were built to fail regardless.
For comparison think about this. Take a cardboard box and replace the bottom of it with a sheet of paper. Anyone with sense knows it's not going to hold up. That's the only way I can try to get the point across of the negligence when Lippert built these frames. The side mounting plates for the pinbox look noble enough ( almost 1/4" )but it's welded to a material wall thickness less than 1/8".
I guess it's one of those things you just have to see.
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