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Old 09-09-2011, 01:25 AM   #1
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Cracked Frame

"Holy Crap!" Those are the polite version of the words actually spoken by me while laying under my 2009 Roo 19 last Friday. I tow my trailer with a 1992 Ford F350 Crewcab, Diesel. Not the plush-est of rides, but it does very well at pulling the trailer, loaded with kids, dogs and supplies. Now, if any of you have driven the highways of British Columbia, you are familiar with the fact that they are little more than asphalt covered goat trails. Not exactly smooth, especially highway 3, our favorite.
Anyhoo, the roads, and my truck have worked together to actually crack the frame of my trailer. It is where the "A frame" goes through the front plate. The welds betweed the plate and the frame have broken, and the plate has also cracked from the hole where the propane hose bulkead fitting is, to the top of the plate where the bolt goes through the floor. As a matter of fact, the bolt is no longer there. I never tow with water in the tank, I keep as much weight as possible to the middle of the trailer, as far as I can tell, I'm doing everything that I'm supposed to be doing.
I went to the dealer, showed the service manager my pictures. He said basically what I said (see above). Trailer goes in for their evaluation Sept 17th, at which time they will take their own pictures and send them to Forest River. I had the extra year warranty, that's over. I have extended warranty, doesn't cover frame problems. Fortunately, where the A frame connects to the main frame rails, there are no cracks, so thats a small ray of sunshine. On a side note, I took a look at a 2011 Roo 19 while I was at the dealer, and the welds between the A frame and front plate are layed on WAY heavier than what was done on mine. So here's hoping Forest River has a little sympathy and offers to fix a frame that should not have broken after 2 years and 10 months of use.
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Old 09-09-2011, 07:15 AM   #2
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Wow,

Good luck, hopefully FR or Lipert will step up and do you right. That is some poor welding there.
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Old 09-09-2011, 08:03 AM   #3
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Be prepared for a "redirect" to your frame manufacturer.
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Old 09-09-2011, 08:13 AM   #4
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yep looks like bad welds to me also.
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Old 09-09-2011, 08:28 AM   #5
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from what i can see, 2 and 3 are easy repairs.
the first picture is interesting. if i'm looking at it correctly, the crack is above the pipe.

the first picture reminds me of a static electricity fix they made on the chairs at work. a few weeks later, the chair broke where the hole was drilled.
all that to say, i wonder if they considered how the hole would weaken the frame.

sense u caught them before u had serious problems with the structure, the actual repair should be quick (red tape may take awhile).

the more i look at #3, the more i'd like to know why it cracked.
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Old 09-09-2011, 09:57 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danielflading View Post
yep looks like bad welds to me also.
X2. WHAT welds . . . ??
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Old 09-09-2011, 10:36 AM   #7
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hey, i wouldnt be surprised if it was the same idiot that only tack welded the wheels to the frame on my parents rig..

they got it welded to hold till they could get it to the dealer and make them fix it. if you are off warranty then i suggest find a good welding shop or buddy to fix it for ya and look over the rest of it.
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Old 09-10-2011, 02:39 PM   #8
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Yup, we'll see what F.R. says they want to do after the dealer sends the photos to them. If it's not going to be covered, I'll take the trailer back and repair it myself. Actually, all I can do is have a sense of humor about it considering all of the weird things you find when the trailer is built. What does upset me though, is the fact that we most likely won't be able to go out for our "traditional" Thanksgiving last camp out of the year. As far as frame manufacturers warranty, if you have ever read their so called warranty policy, they could deny warranty even if you put a second battery on as it may be overloading a critical area. Who knows, hopefully F.R. will recognise the poor welding and help me out. Serves me right for actually towing my trailer on B.C. highways behind an older truck, right?
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Old 11-12-2011, 07:35 AM   #9
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Looks like the "broken" welds had very poor penetration. They look like surface beads mostly.

That's just a poor welder.

A hit with a grinder and a few passes with a welder will fix that in under and hour.

The crack in the cross rail?

Well, weld it if it can be welded. But if it goes from a hole to the hole for the LP line, it should be done traveling. The hole is essentially a stop drill, which is a common techinque for stopping cracks where the are. The only real concern it the amount the crack has covered on the beam. Looks to be about half the width, which compromises the strength. It also covers the bent corner on the beam, which gives it strength.

A good welding shop can tack on a doubler which will bring the strength back to the span. Just make sure you remove the LP line first, or the hot slag may melt and ruin it. That it should have no propane in it is self explanatory.

Good news is, should they deny your claim it should only cost around 100-200 bucks to have a local welding shop lay down a good quality weld for you. Then a shot of chassis black spray paint and you're better than (what you received as) new.

Good luck.
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Old 11-12-2011, 04:46 PM   #10
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Just thinking , you said bad roads were responsible maybe you could get you local goverment to step up..........I know I know .....thinking
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Old 11-12-2011, 07:15 PM   #11
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Is there any way that we could get some better pics of the second and third pic. If I am looking at it correctly the light gauge piece that has the holes in it is the cross member that goes between the two frame rails in the very front of the trailer? The box tube is one of the actual trailers tongue rails? I would like to see a little more of where the tube steel goes. If I'm looking at this correctly then and the other connection that the tube is connected to tis fine then I'm saying tow on. I am a fabricator/welder at work and I'm thinking that the connection that you are showing is not a structural connection. The front channel in the picture (light gauge material) just acts as bridging between the two frame rails to keep them in the upright position and not rolling over. The tongue rail (tube steel) just happens to run through it and they welded it on side. Probably just something they do in the jig to help hold everything straight while welding it up. You can put all the weld there you want and it is going to break on the light gauge side of the weld because of the flex it has in it. If it concerns you that muck then have the light gauge removed and put in a structural member. That is gong to ad about 50 lbs to your tongue weight though.

I'm not saying to not get it checked out but I would take it to a trailer manufacture first to have it checked for structural integrity before you go off on someone.
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Old 11-12-2011, 10:46 PM   #12
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I would hope you contact transport Canada as this is a serious danger to you and other people who use the roads, these units are supposed to meet standards.
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Old 01-05-2012, 01:59 AM   #13
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Here is the final report, sorry I do not have pictures yet. The trailer was repaired. I took it to the dealer November 12th, 2011 and picked it up December 30th, 2011.The service manager and shop foreman both commented that they had never seen this before, except on units that had been off roading. They had to take me at my word that I have never done any off roading with this trailer. It is the first brand new thing that my wife and I have ever purchaced, and it gets babied. They were able to confirm that by the lack of damage and dirt under the trailer. Futheremore, regardless of my truck and the roads/highways I choose to travel on, the cracks should never have happened. Anyway, the original frame mfgr was bought out and the new mfgr was not willing to cover any repairs even though it was clearly faulty welding. Apparently, after a few calls back and forth between the dealer, the frame mfgr, and Forest River, the job was done. Forest River and the frame mfgr eventually decided to split the cost. Trailer was taken down to a local frame repair company where a certified welder repaired all the cracks and added some gussets between the front crossmember and the "a frame" to the hitch. I personally would have added a little more metal, but I wasn't going to fight over that as I didn't have to pay for the work at all. In the end, thank you to Forest River, the frame mfgr and a BIG thanks to Travelhome RV in Langley B.C. With the record setting warm temperatures here, it could be an early start to the "camping" season.
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