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Old 08-01-2022, 11:04 PM   #1
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Safety chains not welded on trailer.

I just wanted to give everyone a heads up and to check your rigs. We bought a new FR Cherokee 26BRB in 2021. It is stored inside and used in the summer.
Just a few weeks ago I unhooked at a CG and forgot to unhook a chain. Pulled away from TT in 1st gear at maybe 3mph. Trailer never moved an inch, wheels loosely chalked at the time. Chains broke free from tt with zero accelerator force. On closer inspection the piece of steel holding the Chains was only tack welded. Fortunately a local welder would come to cg to make the repair.
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Old 08-01-2022, 11:46 PM   #2
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Yep, Lippert Industries at their finest.
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Old 08-02-2022, 05:46 AM   #3
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Can't tell by your picture but it looks like a link of the chains broke where it was "tack" welded to the frame? The whole area does not look good but I am not 100% sure what I am looking at.

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Old 08-02-2022, 06:12 AM   #4
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it was more than a tack weld, part of the loop stayed, so the loop it self fatigued and broke.

Also appears that it has been failing for a while, only about 1/4-1/3 of the break is fresh, the top 2/3 of that is rusty and fractured, and therefore happened previously.
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Old 08-02-2022, 06:25 AM   #5
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That is a whole lot of rust for a 2 year old trailer that is stored inside and only used in the summer. What part of the country do you live in?
Glad it did not happen on the road at highway speeds.
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Old 08-02-2022, 06:31 AM   #6
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it was more than a tack weld, part of the loop stayed, so the loop it self fatigued and broke.

Also appears that it has been failing for a while, only about 1/4-1/3 of the break is fresh, the top 2/3 of that is rusty and fractured, and therefore happened previously.

What he said...
looks like a fatigue point failure....
whatever they BENT to make the connection point for the chain failed.

the weld to the frame is good.


when they bent that attachment point it stressed the metal and it only took a short while for it to fail ............ 2021 build ?

whats worse is the amount of rust on such a new frame ... that has been stored inside?

I'm... going to go out and check my frame
on a 2022... only used twice but stored outside
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Old 08-02-2022, 06:47 AM   #7
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That is a lot of rust for such a new trailer, even for up north. Maybe they followed one of those liquid salt trucks the whole way from the factory.
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Old 08-02-2022, 06:54 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cairns View Post
I just wanted to give everyone a heads up and to check your rigs. We bought a new FR Cherokee 26BRB in 2021. It is stored inside and used in the summer.
Just a few weeks ago I unhooked at a CG and forgot to unhook a chain. Pulled away from TT in 1st gear at maybe 3mph. Trailer never moved an inch, wheels loosely chalked at the time. Chains broke free from tt with zero accelerator force. On closer inspection the piece of steel holding the Chains was only tack welded. Fortunately a local welder would come to cg to make the repair.
Yikes. The weld looks okay and was not the failure point. The link itself was. And as was already said, it was already previously stressed and ready to break at any point. Good thing you made this little mistake, as it could potentially save you a lot bigger headache in the future if you were ever to have a failure of the hitch.

Was it this rusty when you bought it? I've got a '21 Cherokee with closing in on 150 nights camped that is stored outside, and occasionally camped in during the winter, and it has nowhere near the amount of rust that yours has. And I live in a mountainous area of Pennsylvania that has ample salt on the roads from Nov-Apr.
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Old 08-02-2022, 06:54 AM   #9
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Safety Chains

Looks as though there is an old fracture on the top half of the links as evidenced by the rust. The lower part of the links shows fresh metal fractures.

And yes, that rust indicates the frame needs a good wire brushing and a fresh coating of rust preventing paint.

Bob
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Old 08-02-2022, 02:33 PM   #10
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I'm not a metallurgist, nor a tribologist or mechanical engineer, but I used to work with them. They taught me that metal under stress will corrode (rust), even stainless steel. One form is called fretting.

The rust does not necessarily indicate exposure to weather. Continued stress and progressive breakage could have caused it.

(It's even possible that too-short chains could have been repeatedly stressed on tight turns.)
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Old 08-02-2022, 02:43 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Bob K4TAX View Post
Looks as though there is an old fracture on the top half of the links as evidenced by the rust. The lower part of the links shows fresh metal fractures.

And yes, that rust indicates the frame needs a good wire brushing and a fresh coating of rust preventing paint.

Bob
EXACTLY, this metal had been stressed from a downward force. The parent metal failed the weld did not break.
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Old 08-02-2022, 02:53 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cost4133 View Post
it was more than a tack weld, part of the loop stayed, so the loop it self fatigued and broke.

Also appears that it has been failing for a while, only about 1/4-1/3 of the break is fresh, the top 2/3 of that is rusty and fractured, and therefore happened previously.
X3. The amount of rust is an eye catcher. A wire wheel, rust check and some paint are in order.
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Old 08-02-2022, 03:05 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Larry-NC View Post
I'm not a metallurgist, nor a tribologist or mechanical engineer, but I used to work with them. They taught me that metal under stress will corrode (rust), even stainless steel. One form is called fretting.

The rust does not necessarily indicate exposure to weather. Continued stress and progressive breakage could have caused it.

(It's even possible that too-short chains could have been repeatedly stressed on tight turns.)
Great point. I do wonder if the chains were too short.

OP, have any pictures of the hitch and chains while connected prior to this happening?
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Old 08-02-2022, 03:14 PM   #14
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For the rust, just spray it with Ospho. I love that stuff. Keeps my truck and trailer rust free. Just don't let it drip on the driveway.
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Old 08-02-2022, 03:21 PM   #15
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I have to agree with everyone else and conclude the weld held, the metal didn't.
I also agree with Larry, looks like the chains were too short and have been pulling/fatiguing those links for some time. Or... you've pulled away before with the chain(s) still attached as you did this time when it broke. Even part of the front frame tube cap is bent where the link was stressing it.

And for whatever reason... it sure is rusty for such a new unit kept inside. I've got a 5+ year old unit that does get used at times on salted, winter roads and the frame isn't in that bad of shape.
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Old 08-02-2022, 03:45 PM   #16
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Thank you all for the replies. Yes the trailer is stored inside, we live in SD and get some snow but, we don't use the trailer when it is snowy. The chains are long enough, and do not drag but any longer and they may. The link that I am holding is the metal used to weld the chains to the trailer frame. The rust is more than I would like.
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Old 08-03-2022, 06:50 AM   #17
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As said before, this amount of rust is unusual, especially for a year and a bit old trailer. None of our trailers we've owned have been stored inside, and none have that much rust. The only one with a similar amount is a 16 year old flat deck that has seen a lot of gravel over the years.
The link is not tacked on. It is welded and has been failing for some time.
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Old 08-03-2022, 07:23 AM   #18
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so I went out and inspected my trailer.


the weld on the chain just passable.
I might re-weld it one day.... but will definitely keep an eye on it


Rust on my frame and coupler was minimal
some minor stuff under the coupler...


plus ... one spot in a very noticeable place front frame section near the isolation switch


anyone know of a good matching frame paint?
mine is more charcoal looking and FLAT (no gloss)



not worth chasing a warranty fix.

I will clean the surface rust off with wire brush and light sanding then re-paint.
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Old 08-03-2022, 07:45 AM   #19
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so I went out and inspected my trailer.


the weld on the chain just passable.
I might re-weld it one day.... but will definitely keep an eye on it


Rust on my frame and coupler was minimal
some minor stuff under the coupler...


plus ... one spot in a very noticeable place front frame section near the isolation switch


anyone know of a good matching frame paint?
mine is more charcoal looking and FLAT (no gloss)



not worth chasing a warranty fix.

I will clean the surface rust off with wire brush and light sanding then re-paint.
Before whatever paint you choose (I've always liked Rust-Oleum Industrial Spray paint) treat the surface (as mention previously) with Ospho. It's good stuff.

Rust-Oleum has a rust reformer spray but I don't think it works as good as Ospho.
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Old 08-03-2022, 07:53 AM   #20
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very minor surface rust in easy to get to location...

so sanding it off and a good primer will stop it dead.
can't see the need for chemical treatment for the two spots I want to paint.
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