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Old 03-06-2018, 08:47 AM   #1
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Check your frame bolts

I was checking the pressure on a tire yesterday and while down there I put my hand on a frame bolt, and I could spin it with my fingers. I got out a ratchet and socket and tightened it up, and proceeded to the next one. None of them were tight. Even the two bolts that hold the steps on were loose, one very loose. These are the bolts on the outside edge, on the frame supports. This makes me wonder what may be loose under the enclosed underbelly where nothing is accessible unless you remove it. Do these bolts work loose or were never tightened? I'm thinking the latter. So check your bolts.
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Old 03-06-2018, 08:53 AM   #2
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good you found that with that many loose I think you are correct in assuming they may never have been tightened correctly from factory.
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Old 03-06-2018, 09:24 AM   #3
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I wonder if this is the type of thing that should be reported to the NHTSA?

From the 2017 Prime Time owners manual (I know yours isnít a Prime Time, itís just what I have handy):

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Old 03-06-2018, 09:36 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ependydad View Post
I wonder if this is the type of thing that should be reported to the NHTSA?

From the 2017 Prime Time owners manual (I know yours isnít a Prime Time, itís just what I have handy):

Attachment 164403
It could be if others chime in with loose bolts. Or it could be an isolated incident where mine just did not get the final torque. They were not all finger loose but none of them were what I would consider snug or adequately tightened.
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Old 03-06-2018, 10:11 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Crabman View Post
It could be if others chime in with loose bolts. Or it could be an isolated incident where mine just did not get the final torque. They were not all finger loose but none of them were what I would consider snug or adequately tightened.

Makes sense. I think the idea of NHTSA is that they keep track to determine if things are recurring or not.

I do think on the new rig, Iím going to make a point to drop the under belly and inspect it. Not during PDI, but soon after. Itís just such a hassle, though!
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Old 03-06-2018, 05:08 PM   #6
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Most of mine were loose, too, all the way around the outside edge.
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Old 03-06-2018, 06:01 PM   #7
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Following this . . . .
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Old 03-06-2018, 06:15 PM   #8
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Guess I will this weekend when DW and I do some spring cleaning to the TT.

Safe and happy travels.
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Old 03-06-2018, 08:00 PM   #9
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Thanks Crabman for the heads up. I'll be checking mine the next time at the camper.....
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Old 03-06-2018, 08:42 PM   #10
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I just checked all mine and they were all loose almost falling off of my Forest River Patriot limited edition 2018
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Old 03-06-2018, 08:55 PM   #11
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(cough) you ALL need to report this to the NHTSA! (cough)
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Old 03-06-2018, 10:42 PM   #12
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I'd like to check mine but I'm unclear on what and where are the "frame" bolts?
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Old 03-06-2018, 10:53 PM   #13
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I noticed this winter that the front steps were loose. I found the bolts loose and finger tightened them because I had no ratchet at the time. My 26RLWS is 1yr old and I have not seen many issues so far. You now have me worried.

I planned to drop the underbelly this spring anyway to do some insulation. I will be checking the remaining bolts and then report my findings. I know the other steps were secure.

Thanks for reporting so I knew to look!
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Old 03-06-2018, 11:43 PM   #14
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I'd like to check mine but I'm unclear on what and where are the "frame" bolts?
They are the bolts that are under the perimeter of the trailer that connect the sides of the trailer to the outside supports of the frame, and are a few feet apart the length of the trailer except where a slide is located. There are two also holding on the outside of the steps, for example and a starting point. It's actually the nuts that you will see from the bottom and that is what was loose. Maybe I can get a pic tomorrow. There are self tapping screws that hold on the underbelly, these were not in question, nor the running gear bolts.
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Old 03-06-2018, 11:57 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by dbledan View Post
I noticed this winter that the front steps were loose. I found the bolts loose and finger tightened them because I had no ratchet at the time. My 26RLWS is 1yr old and I have not seen many issues so far. You now have me worried.

I planned to drop the underbelly this spring anyway to do some insulation. I will be checking the remaining bolts and then report my findings. I know the other steps were secure.

Thanks for reporting so I knew to look!
On the plus side this job of tightening the bolts takes all of 15 minutes at the most, I just laid on my back on the ground and moved from bolt to bolt. There are no bolts where the slide is.
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Old 03-07-2018, 11:27 AM   #16
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It just so happens I found loose outter bolts yesterday while repairing my side skirt. Forest River Cherokee 33í
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Old 03-07-2018, 02:47 PM   #17
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Have to wonder if these bolts were not tightened at the factory or if they come loose while being towed from all of the jarring and such.....
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Old 03-07-2018, 03:16 PM   #18
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Might these perimeter bolts be into the wooden sill plate? If so would they be loose from the sill plate drying out and shrinking some?
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Old 03-07-2018, 04:59 PM   #19
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That’s a very good possibility MtBiker. They are into the wood sill. If that’s the case they need to start using thread lock to stop this. What happens when They all come loose and the owner never finds it? Box and frame separation ? Ugh. Lol. I don’t want that problem
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Old 03-07-2018, 05:07 PM   #20
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Quote:
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Might these perimeter bolts be into the wooden sill plate? If so would they be loose from the sill plate drying out and shrinking some?
I am not sure about others but my stairs which are loose are into the metal frame. I plan to check the rest still.
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