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Old 09-11-2015, 03:43 PM   #1
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Not happy with Micro Lite

My wife and I bought a new Micro Lite 23FB last year. She broke her ankle in two place this spring so we couldn't use it much after her surgery. I am a cyclist, own one road bike and two mountain bikes. When we bought the trailer the dealer sold me a bolt-on receiver for my bike rack, and they bolted it onto the bumper. On our third trip this year on Labor Day weekend, we pulled into our NFS campsite and found that the welds joining the bumper to the frame were both fractured and on the bike rack side, the absurdly thin tubing wall had torn. I took the single mountain bike and the bike rack off as well as the spare tire. The dealer's reaction? "You should never have had the bike rack on there in the first place." Is that in the useless owner's manual? No. Why did you sell me the bolt-on receiver? "Stop trying to blame us for what you did." Their recommendation is to have some friend of his fabricate a receiver and weld it to the frame, for $650. I told him no thanks. So, we get to pay to have the cheap cheesy bumper repaired. And it was all of one month out of warranty.

The quality of materials used is just absurd. Forest River could double the thickness of the tube only add 20-25 pounds to the total weight. And 15 minutes of searching on the internet revealed multiple options to the $650 receiver by good manufacturers for less than 1/3 that price. Yes, I will have to pay someone to weld it on, but that won't cost anywhere near $450.
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Old 09-11-2015, 03:52 PM   #2
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Sorry to hear of your problems. Now for the down side FR does not recommend attaching bike racks to the rear bumper if you do it voids the warranty. Sounds like the dealer took you for a ride and I would take them to task. I would think you would have researched about adding a bike rack to the camper. Later RJD
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Old 09-11-2015, 03:57 PM   #3
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be aware that welding that rack to the frame voids your frame warranty as well

I would complain to Forest RIver however that the dealer bolted a bike rack to your bumper... they should know better
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Old 09-11-2015, 03:58 PM   #4
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Sorry you had damage, but everything on your trailer is built like its name "Lite" to keep the weight down.

Unless an RV has a factory cargo platform on the rear there is likely not enough support for a hitch or bike rack. In our unit there is a warning sticker inside one of the kitchen cabinet doors about putting things on the bumper.

The bikes will bounce during towing and that coupled with the lever effect of the rack are too much for the material these trailers use for bumpers and frames. I have a couple of fork mounts in the bed of my truck and that's where we carry the bikes.
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Old 09-11-2015, 04:22 PM   #5
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there are thousands of posts here and on other RV forums, that warn of putting bikes on the back bumper of ultralight trailers.

it's a WELL known problem that is well documented.

your dealer is at fault for not warning you about it. many FR ultralight trailers have warning stickers on the bumpers, about doing this.

rear bumpers on ultralights, not just FR's, are barely able to hold a spare tire, let alone a bouncing bike rack holding bikes out and away from the trailer.

i too, am an avid cyclist. but i read a lot on RV forums about doing this and realized that it was not something i wanted to do with my ultralight HTT.
plus, my bikes are not cheap and didn't want them where i couldn't see them nor where there was a danger of them breaking off the back of the trailer.

i chose to put a bike rack on the bumper of my truck, so that i could see them while pulling my trailer.
there are many other options for safely transporting bikes while towing a trailer.

thin metal bumper with weak welds are an industry standard, on most ultralight trailers. they're almost just a decorative feature and not something constructed for heavy or safety usage.
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Old 09-11-2015, 04:24 PM   #6
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X2

Curt and others make some great hitch adaptors so you can have the bike rack on your TV.
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Old 09-11-2015, 04:39 PM   #7
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I would contact Forest River & tell them your story. Definitely a dealer caused issue. We had a 21FBRS & it had a sticker on the bumper warning to NOT attach anything else to the bumper. Bumb deal, maybe dealer will step-up & take blame; hope so any way. Good luck.
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Old 09-11-2015, 05:07 PM   #8
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I also read numerous negative posts on TT bumper mounted bike racks when I was considering one. We simply use the bed of the truck for our mid level hybrid bikes. When I take the higher end bikes, they go in the back seat area with folded up seats.

Sorry for your damage and bad experience!
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Old 09-12-2015, 11:33 AM   #9
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Use Front Rack

I purchased an Arvica bike rack out of Canada. It mount to the front of your trailer where it will support the weight and the bikes mount above the propane tanks. They have 1,2,3 or 4 bike racks in this configuration. I towed over 3000 miles with 2 bikes this summer.
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Old 09-12-2015, 11:37 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtcyclist View Post
My wife and I bought a new Micro Lite 23FB last year. She broke her ankle in two place this spring so we couldn't use it much after her surgery. I am a cyclist, own one road bike and two mountain bikes. When we bought the trailer the dealer sold me a bolt-on receiver for my bike rack, and they bolted it onto the bumper. On our third trip this year on Labor Day weekend, we pulled into our NFS campsite and found that the welds joining the bumper to the frame were both fractured and on the bike rack side, the absurdly thin tubing wall had torn. I took the single mountain bike and the bike rack off as well as the spare tire. The dealer's reaction? "You should never have had the bike rack on there in the first place." Is that in the useless owner's manual? No. Why did you sell me the bolt-on receiver? "Stop trying to blame us for what you did." Their recommendation is to have some friend of his fabricate a receiver and weld it to the frame, for $650. I told him no thanks. So, we get to pay to have the cheap cheesy bumper repaired. And it was all of one month out of warranty.

The quality of materials used is just absurd. Forest River could double the thickness of the tube only add 20-25 pounds to the total weight. And 15 minutes of searching on the internet revealed multiple options to the $650 receiver by good manufacturers for less than 1/3 that price. Yes, I will have to pay someone to weld it on, but that won't cost anywhere near $450.
I understand your frustration. Remember this ..... and I'm not defending FR at all.......... most likely government regulations have forced them to keep as much weight off these units as possible. 25 pounds here and 25 pounds there can add up to a lot in any travel trailer, motorhome or 5'er. The RV industry is trying to keep up with the auto industry. The day of 7,000 pound vehicles pulling trailers is coming closer to the end.
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Old 09-12-2015, 11:41 AM   #11
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If the dealer installed the bike rack (at his suggestion) you have him by the well you know.
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Old 09-12-2015, 11:51 AM   #12
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My 2015 Micro Lite 23FB has a sticker right on the bumper that says "NOTICE Addition of any NON-FACTORY INSTALLED components to bumper assembly is prohibited and may void chassis warranty"
Dealer installed is not factory installed. Sounds like you authorized your dealer to void your warranty. The dealer should have advised you to not do it. I think any recourse should be from the dealer (which ain't gonna happen) I don't think Forest River is going to step up to help.
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Old 09-12-2015, 12:04 PM   #13
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1st.Evereddi. They do use cheap materials.
2nd. poka. If the dealer talked him into purchasing the bike rack and having them install it the dealer is at fault. If the OP bought it and said install this then he is at fault.
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Old 09-12-2015, 12:13 PM   #14
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I would need to agree, it is not a FR problem. The fact is people want to pull a 42' TT with their Prius.. FR, like all the other makers, fit the market. We loved our Rockwood 2306 when we had it. It fit what we needed, a trailer towable by our Trailblazer.

I will agree they do seem to cut corners where ever they can, all the makers do this. They save $5 by cheaping on the welds on the bumper (IMO not a good thing) and over the course of 100,000 RV saved themselves $500,000. They used the $35 "china bombs" instead of the $100 Maxxis and saved themselves $650,000 on those same 100,000 trailers.. It is again, them fitting the market and, well, making a buck.

If I were you, I am not, I would be at the dealership making them pay for everything, after all they are the ones that said it was OK to ignore the sticker saying nothing on the bumper and fed you a load of BS to sell you most likely an over priced bolt on hitch. The dealer does not care about you, once they made the sale it is all just added to their commission.
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Old 09-12-2015, 12:13 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtcyclist View Post
My wife and I bought a new Micro Lite 23FB last year. She broke her ankle in two place this spring so we couldn't use it much after her surgery. I am a cyclist, own one road bike and two mountain bikes. When we bought the trailer the dealer sold me a bolt-on receiver for my bike rack, and they bolted it onto the bumper. On our third trip this year on Labor Day weekend, we pulled into our NFS campsite and found that the welds joining the bumper to the frame were both fractured and on the bike rack side, the absurdly thin tubing wall had torn. I took the single mountain bike and the bike rack off as well as the spare tire. The dealer's reaction? "You should never have had the bike rack on there in the first place." Is that in the useless owner's manual? No. Why did you sell me the bolt-on receiver? "Stop trying to blame us for what you did." Their recommendation is to have some friend of his fabricate a receiver and weld it to the frame, for $650. I told him no thanks. So, we get to pay to have the cheap cheesy bumper repaired. And it was all of one month out of warranty.

The quality of materials used is just absurd. Forest River could double the thickness of the tube only add 20-25 pounds to the total weight. And 15 minutes of searching on the internet revealed multiple options to the $650 receiver by good manufacturers for less than 1/3 that price. Yes, I will have to pay someone to weld it on, but that won't cost anywhere near $450.
I see that you have just made your first Post, So all this you should have asked us means nothing, I had 2 FR TT before I ever knew about this forum. I would have taken the dealers advice also, even through he should have known better. But you didn't know. It's really on the dealer, but I could feel your frustration with FR. Yes they use cheap frames for weight and profit. I would go back to the dealer and have him make the repairs. The whole RV world doesn't know about this forum. Yes it has been posted but how would you know. Don't beat yourself up and go back to the dealer on the problem they knew better and now they should repair it. And by the way welcome to the forum and good luck with your dealer.Also sorry to hear about your wife that can't be fun at all on top of all this...
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Old 09-12-2015, 12:25 PM   #16
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The only thing I put on my bumper is stickers. Not too much to lose if they fall off. Bikes go on the front truck receiver where I can see them. Yes, I know some states have laws concerning this so I avoid those states.




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Old 09-12-2015, 12:33 PM   #17
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Buy a Torklift dual receiver and put your bikes on the back of your tow vehicle.

Bruce
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Old 09-12-2015, 12:36 PM   #18
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I may be wrong but I think one should check with their WD maker to make sure those double hitches are OK. I think I remember recently reading a discussion about the stress that they put on the WD hitches not intended to be on them. I am sure they are made but I also have not seen to many rated beyond a few thousands lbs (4,000 maybe).
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Old 09-12-2015, 12:41 PM   #19
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I may be wrong but I think one should check with their WD maker to make sure those double hitches are OK. I think I remember recently reading a discussion about the stress that they put on the WD hitches not intended to be on them. I am sure they are made but I also have not seen to many rated beyond a few thousands lbs (4,000 maybe).
Here's their lightest duty hitch. They have much heavier duty versions of this:

SuperHitch Hero 15K Receiver rated up to 15 Thousand LBS Towing Capacity | Half Ton Trucks Towing | Torklift International

Bruce
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Old 09-12-2015, 12:49 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by nomad297 View Post
Here's their lightest duty hitch. They have much heavier duty versions of this:

SuperHitch Hero 15K Receiver rated up to 15 Thousand LBS Towing Capacity | Half Ton Trucks Towing | Torklift International

Bruce
OH, MY BAD! Sorry, I assumed, and we see what that got me... I assumed you were talking about the double receiver shanks they make. I had NO IDEA they made an actual double hitch.
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