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Old 09-02-2020, 03:49 PM   #1
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U bolts hitting frame 2016 17FQ

I own a 2016 Coachman Clipper 17 FQ. I looked under my wheel wells and there are dents in the I-frame from the u bolts that hold the axle to the leaf springs that are hitting the frame and causing dents in the frame. The reason why I was looking was because the trailer is leaning 2 inches to the right if you were standing inside the RV facing forward. I can't be the first person that has had this issue? Does someone else have a solution because they too have had to deal with this problem? Thanks in advance.
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Old 09-03-2020, 08:40 AM   #2
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There could be several reasons for this.
1) Weak springs.
2) Broken or bend spring hangers.
3) Flipped shackles.

When looking at the suspension does everything look equal from side to side?

Can you post some pictures of the suspensions of both sides?
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Old 09-03-2020, 01:33 PM   #3
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u bolts hitting the frame

I jacked up the trailer and removed the leaf springs and axle assembly from underneath the trailer. I could not see any visible difference between the two leaf springs when I laid them side to side. Maybe one is stronger under load than the other. So I ordered two new leaf springs that have a higher rating than the original springs. (1750lbs-original and 2400lbs-new ones). I also plan on mounting the axle under the new leak springs and adding shock absorbers.
The original clearance between the u bolts and frame was only 2 inchs. I believe others have had this problem because I saw pictures of the area of the frame that the u bolts hit and bent the outer sides of the I beam frame up. Will keep posing reassembly and results with pictures when done.
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Old 09-15-2020, 08:58 AM   #4
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Hey paulor,

https://www.forestriverforums.com/fo...ml#post1791448

Definitely not alone with this issue. I flipped the axles to add some clearance, swapped out the tires to 15” and added a set of shocks. Rides better now than it ever did. There was lots of discussion on this when they came out as the first years ran 13” tires.
Cheers...BC
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Old 09-15-2020, 09:35 AM   #5
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Thank you for the information and the link to the discussion about this problem.
I did the axle under leaf springs set up and added the shocks and double entry step. Also matched the hitch height to the new receiver height so the tow vehicle and trailer ride level. Hope to test drive it to see how it moves down the road. Last year I had two blow outs on the side of the trailer that was hitting the frame more. Replaced both sides with new tires, but the original size tire. Hope the smaller tires still work okay till I need to replace them. Then I will go up one size if possible. Thanks again for your help.
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Old 09-16-2020, 06:44 PM   #6
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Welcome to the club, we had the same issues with our 17FQ, the right side spring was sagging at least 1" more, but both tires were hitting the fender / floor supports. So we also change to heaver springs, did the axle flip - 2 step and also ended up having to re-bend the axle tube to correct 1" Negative Camber issues. All better now!
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Old 09-16-2020, 10:22 PM   #7
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Thanks for your reply. I guess I am not alone with this problem. Apparently forest river service has not heard of this issue from other owners. At least not the one I talked to.
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Old 09-17-2020, 04:35 PM   #8
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The lack of awareness by the manufacture is most likely due to the fact that these type of issues occur after the 1 year warranty is long expired.
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Old 09-17-2020, 05:55 PM   #9
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I agree. My problem started the second year of ownership and each year became more and more denting of the frame. I believe this issue should have a service bulletin out by the manufacturer. Viking and coachman come off the same assembly line just re-branded.
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Old 09-17-2020, 06:24 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by archerrj View Post
Welcome to the club, we had the same issues with our 17FQ, the right side spring was sagging at least 1" more, but both tires were hitting the fender / floor supports. So we also change to heaver springs, did the axle flip - 2 step and also ended up having to re-bend the axle tube to correct 1" Negative Camber issues. All better now!
How did you re-bend the axle. I was looking for some place to straighten my axle as the left side is bent up enough to wear the tires inside edge.
I have a 15RB Hybrid and the axles have dented both sides of the frame.
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Old 09-17-2020, 07:08 PM   #11
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I used a 20 ton bottle jack from Harbor Freight & some heavy chains I already had, my camber was off about the same on both sides, so I just re-bent the axle in center. But as you can see in this YouTube video, it is possible to adjust individual tires. I bent it a bit at a time & used a framing level against the tires & a ruler to measure the bending progress. Wasn't an extremally tough project, any specific questions just let me know

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Old 09-17-2020, 07:30 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by archerrj View Post
I used a 20 ton bottle jack from Harbor Freight & some heavy chains I already had, my camber was off about the same on both sides, so I just re-bent the axle in center. But as you can see in this YouTube video, it is possible to adjust individual tires. I bent it a bit at a time & used a framing level against the tires & a ruler to measure the bending progress. Wasn't an extremally tough project, any specific questions just let me know

Thought about trying it myself, ended up ordering a replacement axle for $112.95 from the local trailer store. Freight was another $125.
I'll save the bent axle and try to straighten it and save as a spare. We hit lots of dirt roads so I'm sure I'll bend another.
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Old 09-17-2020, 08:07 PM   #13
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I was getting ready for a trip when I discovered that the Camber was so bad and I figured that for the cost of the Harbor Freight jack, I had nothing to lose if it didn't work out. Fortunately for us, being able to fix the Camber saved us from ruining a set of tires or causing us to cancel our trip. But the cost of your replacment axle seems very reasonable, if time wasn't a factor.
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Old 09-19-2020, 05:02 PM   #14
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Big hit toi

I had this happen on my 2014 17fq on Rt 89 is AZ heading to the South Rim. Nasty whoop see doos even at 40 mph. Made it home to Pa and dove right in. Axle under, shocks, 2500 lbs. spring with new shackles and wet bolts. I still have the 13Ē tires load D in there, they have 6000 miles on. I want to move to 15Ē tires but not sure of the width, 205 or 225? I donít want to hit the frame or wheel well, ever. Any suggestions? Also want to take a ride in the unit while on the road to see how it rides with the 2500 springs and shocks. Donít want hard, stuff hit to start killing the inside.
Next project I think will try and get around the tanks for a receiver hitch for bikes or a basket. Frame beams hold it?
Thanks for reading
Jim
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Old 10-06-2020, 07:55 AM   #15
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I had exact the same issue with my 17BH. Mine is leaning 1.5” toward the right. And I see some dents above the U bolt. How did you fix it?
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Old 10-06-2020, 08:03 AM   #16
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Fix

Well, first I came to this forum. Thereís so much info. Search underslung or axle flip and itíll get ya started. I bought all new springs, shackles, wet bolts, spring seats and a shock kit. Jacked up the trailer and blocked 4 corners. Took wheels off. Switched the springs etc. Welded new seats above the factory ones on the axle and threw it back in. Pain in the ass was the top shock mounts. Had to fab them.
If ya donít weld youíll need to take it to a shop near you. Good luck
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Old 10-06-2020, 08:18 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by nicky8668 View Post
I had exact the same issue with my 17BH. Mine is leaning 1.5Ē toward the right. And I see some dents above the U bolt. How did you fix it?
Our 17FQ was also leaning 1-1/2" lower on the right side, and when I changed out the springs, that 1-1/2" difference was evident between the original spring arches. I suspect that the right spring wears our first due to the load & use of the entry steps / door on the right side. New springs will fix the side to side height difference, but as you have noted, the wheel well & frame clearance are lacking. So the the common fix for that is the "Axle Flip", there is a old thread with lots of info on that process. For what's its worth, I didn't bother adding the shocks when I did my repairs & so far I haven't seen a need to do so.

archerrj
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Old 10-06-2020, 08:31 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by archerrj View Post
Our 17FQ was also leaning 1-1/2" lower on the right side, and when I changed out the springs, that 1-1/2" difference was evident between the original spring arches. I suspect that the right spring wears our first due to the load & use of the entry steps / door on the right side. New springs will fix the side to side height difference, but as you have noted, the wheel well & frame clearance are lacking. So the the common fix for that is the "Axle Flip", there is a old thread with lots of info on that process. For what's its worth, I didn't bother adding the shocks when I did my repairs & so far I haven't seen a need to do so.

archerrj
How bad is your frame dent/damage caused by the u bolt contact? Mine damage is similar to the photo in post #17 here (https://www.forestriverforums.com/forums/f214/17fq-tire-and-wheel-replacement-153642.html#post1791448). Itís an old post so I canít reply. Not sure if itís structural damage or plain cosmetic. Did you fix the frame damage?

After you flipped the axle, what size tire and wheel did you put into it?
Thank you.
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Old 10-06-2020, 11:00 AM   #19
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Shocks

I did my first tow last week up the PA NE extension. It was a total difference! Before I always had to kinda stay on the crown of the road to avoid the bumps, budge joints and our illustrious potholes. It was a PITA! Now you wouldnít know it was there. Side note. The ball mount needed to be changed, big time. I got a 10Ē drop and flipped it (16,000#) and a 2Ē high rise ball (12,000#). It weighs about 25# with the sway plate! Now itís level. Truck is 16Ē at receiver top and trailer is 26Ē top of ball. Crazy set up but I had to do it. Now all I need are 15Ē tires and wheels.
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Old 10-06-2020, 11:12 AM   #20
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I did my first tow last week up the PA NE extension. It was a total difference! Before I always had to kinda stay on the crown of the road to avoid the bumps, budge joints and our illustrious potholes. It was a PITA! Now you wouldnít know it was there. Side note. The ball mount needed to be changed, big time. I got a 10Ē drop and flipped it (16,000#) and a 2Ē high rise ball (12,000#). It weighs about 25# with the sway plate! Now itís level. Truck is 16Ē at receiver top and trailer is 26Ē top of ball. Crazy set up but I had to do it. Now all I need are 15Ē tires and wheels.
Thatís good to hear. Iím thinking putting more rigid spring (maybe 2500 lbs rating) and flip the axle and then put 235 75R15 tires on to gain more traction. What load rating leaf spring did you replace with? Any additional shocks? Iím towing with F250, so ball height isnít an issue.

Did you also have damage on the frame?
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