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Old 08-12-2009, 12:32 PM   #1
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Location: St. Clair Shores, MI
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HELP: Separation of ext panel around king pin box

We have a '07 Rockwood 8281SS ultra-lite 5ver that we purchased new this past spring. On our past couple of trips, after traveling, I noticed the underside front exterior panel that surrounds the king pin box, where it protrudes from the trailer body, separates a little from where its caulked together with the front wall above the pin box. The gap is no larger than 1/8 inch and extends approx. 12-18 inches from both sides of the pin box along this front seam. I can actually push this panel back up in this area to close the gap and it will stay put until I take it for another long trip. I have not seen this happen on short trips i.e. to and from the storage yard and home.

I'm curious as to what might be causing this situation (poor assembly?) and how it could be fixed. Does anyone else have a similar experience? The trailer is still under manufacturers warranty and would expect it to be a covered repair.
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Old 09-01-2009, 10:14 PM   #2
Bud
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separation nose, pin area,floor, radio, slide motor axles/bearings and whatelse.

We just had our 8280ss back to factory to rebuild because of this problem as well as the floor dropping about 2inches. We bought the extended warranty when we bought the unit Aug. 23/2007 and it was the best money we have spent for sure. Our unit now looks better than when we took possession originally. Floor is now built to this year's standards, and new caulking and however they fixed the front end. Of course it has only gone from Indiana back to our place, about 10 hours of driving in total so far. New axles, new carpet, all the water lines checked after the rebuild, new slideout motor and new concertone, just before it went to Indiana so in essence Forest River has almost rebuilt our 5th wheel. Why didn't they just do it right to begin with. All the trips to the dealer and then to Indiana have cost us likely about $3000 in gas, aside from our time, but it cost them a lot too.
Well now our warranty has run out, so we will give it a try but we are torn, should we sell it while it looks like new and start all over or stick with them?
We really like our layout, size, etc. and then what do we buy?
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Old 09-01-2009, 10:56 PM   #3
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I hope this isn't the natorious Lippert frame flex. Do a search on rv.net for "lippert frame"
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Old 11-05-2009, 12:29 PM   #4
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UPDATE: Well, I finally had a chance about 3 weeks ago to get the 5ver looked at regarding the panel separation. Turns out that Rockwood/Forest River did not properly secure the plywood panel here to the frame during assembly. My dealer had to secure it as it should have been done originally and recaulk all the outer seams. Glad I brought it in since the problem would have eventually became much worse.

If there's one thing I learned so far owning my first new RV, it's this, use the hell out of it the first year so that you can get all the manufacturer's mishaps taken care before they become your problem post warranty. We have made several trips to the dealer this first year for problems resulting from poor assembly. Hopefully, next season will not present any further problems and we can spend more time enjoying camping rather than enjoying our warranty.
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Old 11-22-2009, 12:45 PM   #5
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I had the same problem on my TT an 8317SS. Not enogh screws in it. Guess that's one way to cut cost but it cost them more in the end. And yes, use the heck out of it the first year or two. I have a friend who bought one, they used it once, let it sit. Then the next year decided they needed to use it more, and they had all kinds of problems. Luckily they had an extra year warranty.
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Old 01-04-2010, 08:51 PM   #6
Bud
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separation of front

Just don't be too sure that your problem is FIXED. Ours was repaired 3 times at dealers before it got so bad the dealer said that he could not fix it and it needed to go back to the factory.
Don't leave it get it done right. The factory actually REBUILT THE FLOOR frame to the newer structural design because there was not any support there to keep the side walls in place and it is all related to the separation at the front end because of the movement in your walls.
My advice is get in touch with the factory warranty manager, Jonathan Gust and get it to the factory to be fixed right. Our front end was screwed and recaulked all 3 times and it never held more than a few miles before it started to move again. This time it travelled from the factory back to our home, about 1000kms. and then from home to Mission Tx.(2800kms) now and it still looks good, the caulking has held all around and no movement. But we are still concerned that it could happen again.
good luck and I agree, use it hard and long during the first year.
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