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Old 10-15-2021, 12:17 PM   #1
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Breaking down on the highway

Traveling near Needles California a fellow motorist told me the tires were bad. On highway 40.

Stopped. Belts showing on three tires. Fairly new Goodyear 614’s.

Needed a tow. For those who have never been towed, it took a special trailer. The truck and 37’ fifth wheel went on. The whole unit was 17’ tall. No overpasses. The 35 mile tow was $1500.

Tires today are hard to come by. Cost me double what I paid a year and a half ago! $2500. Shipping was VERY expensive.

We had a shoulder bolt break off and fall out of the suspension. The tech thought we were several miles from a real accident. Probable roll over as one axle was not attached on one side on front.

$2,500 later all the suspension was replaced. I would not allow any of the old parts to be reused.

The front shoulder bolt in the spring is a relatively common issue. Be warned. Lipert used shoulder bolts. Somewhat fragile if not installed correctly.

The repair shop we used had several sets of broken parts like mine in the trash pile. The owner said he does this job several times a month. On a 2021 last week. Our Hathaway was a 2018.

Fortunately, we could afford the $6,500 bill!
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Old 10-16-2021, 12:05 AM   #2
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Bummer of a breakdown. I always wonder when that might happen to us and hope that the folks we are at the mercy of have our good interest at heart.

From the sounds of thing you were generally taken care of. Tires were off the rail for sure! I can’t speak to,the undercarriage work as I am not versed in that kind of work.

I assume you had no roadside insurance as you paid for the tow. I only keep my roadside insurance for the case such as yours. Hope I never have to find out how well it works.

How long were you down before back on the road?

Thanks for sharing and I am glad everyone is safe….
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Old 10-16-2021, 06:02 AM   #3
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I am not sure but I think Lippert warranty is longer on the chassis and frame than the standard one year that the rig is covered under. It would be worth contacting them to see if they would cover your repair bill. I have Progressive insurance on my rig and they would have taken care of the tow bill.
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Old 10-16-2021, 09:56 AM   #4
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The shop repaired the damage in one day. He had all parts in stock! That, was a surprise.

Needles California is one of those little towns on the edge of nowhere.

Kind of sad. The only industry there was an old gold mine. The town had no grocery store. Many abandoned businesses on the Main Street.

As I needed tires installed I decided not to use good Sam towing in the beginning. The tire guy took one look and said we had to be towed somewhere. He was cheaper for replacement tires than good Sam. I should perhaps have then called good Sam but, their service is awful.

We were treated well by all. Just expensive. Labor on the rv was priced well.

When you inspect the tires in the am make sure they are properly aligned. When the bolt brakes the tires get mis aligned. I mistakenly thought the tires were a little wonky because of the site we were parked on. Dumb, on my part. That cost me a bunch!
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Old 10-16-2021, 12:02 PM   #5
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Interesting so they had to use the truck to get 5th wheel up on flatbed?

The shoulder bolts your referring are part of the dexter axle system.At least on our 2017 CC 38EL. The spring drops and center link are part of the frame assembly. The Spring bolts are "Wet" type that are splined on the hex head end to keep it from turning and have locking nuts on the other end. Entire assembly is greased. Are these the bolts your referring? I've checked mine couple of times now. Also plan on rechecking torque on spring u-bolts too.
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Old 10-16-2021, 12:30 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by tomkatb View Post
The shop repaired the damage in one day. He had all parts in stock! That, was a surprise.

Needles California is one of those little towns on the edge of nowhere.

Kind of sad. The only industry there was an old gold mine. The town had no grocery store. Many abandoned businesses on the Main Street.

As I needed tires installed I decided not to use good Sam towing in the beginning. The tire guy took one look and said we had to be towed somewhere. He was cheaper for replacement tires than good Sam. I should perhaps have then called good Sam but, their service is awful.

We were treated well by all. Just expensive. Labor on the rv was priced well.

When you inspect the tires in the am make sure they are properly aligned. When the bolt brakes the tires get mis aligned. I mistakenly thought the tires were a little wonky because of the site we were parked on. Dumb, on my part. That cost me a bunch!

When I saw where you had this misfortune it triggered old memories. This stretch of highway when it was still Route 66 and then I-40 had a reputation for "repair vultures". People stopping for fuel were told all sorts of things were wrong with their vehicles and the stations "just happened to have everything needed for repairs" and huge repair bills resulted.

Tow truck operators referred to shops they were in collusion with, or even owned, for repairs. Big scandal in the 50's, 60's, and even later with similar reports on other Interstate Hwy's. Targets were vehicles with out of state plates.

Not saying the repairs in this case were unwarranted but when I hear how one was "several miles from a real accident" my level of skepticism rises, especially along I-40 or anywhere near Las Vegas on I-15.

In this case it might be legitimate but BEWARE, especially in this part of the country.
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Old 10-16-2021, 01:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TitanMike View Post
When I saw where you had this misfortune it triggered old memories. This stretch of highway when it was still Route 66 and then I-40 had a reputation for "repair vultures". People stopping for fuel were told all sorts of things were wrong with their vehicles and the stations "just happened to have everything needed for repairs" and huge repair bills resulted.

Tow truck operators referred to shops they were in collusion with, or even owned, for repairs. Big scandal in the 50's, 60's, and even later with similar reports on other Interstate Hwy's. Targets were vehicles with out of state plates.

Not saying the repairs in this case were unwarranted but when I hear how one was "several miles from a real accident" my level of skepticism rises, especially along I-40 or anywhere near Las Vegas on I-15.

In this case it might be legitimate but BEWARE, especially in this part of the country.

This practice was discussed at length by a member four years ago. It is worth reading his tale of woe if you have not done so.

https://www.forestriverforums.com/forums/f2/beware-i-15-beaver-ut-flying-j-sportys-to-go-tire-auto-shop-141265.html
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Old 10-16-2021, 01:26 PM   #8
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Good information and buyer beware. Always ask lots of questions. Many con artists out there.
I think tomkatb's situation is genuine and is very interesting from standpoint on how his rig was towed and what caused the breakdown.
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Old 10-16-2021, 02:07 PM   #9
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Back in 2017 we lost a spring bolt on our XLR, fortunately the spring was jambed up in the spring hanger. We found it by accident when one of our club buddies and I went to look at the suspension and he spotted the missing bolt. Our rally was ending the next morning, but I called the XLR warranty dept and the put in in touch with Lippert folks, who sent me the needed parts. Biggest issue I had was finding someone to work on the unit. The only dealer who would even touch it said it would be November before he could get to it. (the typical you didn't buy from me so you go to the end of the list attitude) I was able to get a mobile tech to come out to the RV park and do the repair once the parts arrived. Meanwhile we got to spend and extra week at the BEAUTIFUL RV park in Sisters Oregon. aAnd we even were able to make it to the FROG rally in Goshen on time.

We have the GS road

service plan and every time we have need them they have done a very good job for us.
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Old 10-16-2021, 04:00 PM   #10
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60 years ago...

Quote:
Originally Posted by tomkatb View Post
Traveling near Needles California a fellow motorist told me the tires were bad. On highway 40.

Stopped. Belts showing on three tires. Fairly new Goodyear 614’s.

Needed a tow. For those who have never been towed, it took a special trailer. The truck and 37’ fifth wheel went on. The whole unit was 17’ tall. No overpasses. The 35 mile tow was $1500.

Tires today are hard to come by. Cost me double what I paid a year and a half ago! $2500. Shipping was VERY expensive.

We had a shoulder bolt break off and fall out of the suspension. The tech thought we were several miles from a real accident. Probable roll over as one axle was not attached on one side on front.

$2,500 later all the suspension was replaced. I would not allow any of the old parts to be reused.

The front shoulder bolt in the spring is a relatively common issue. Be warned. Lipert used shoulder bolts. Somewhat fragile if not installed correctly.

The repair shop we used had several sets of broken parts like mine in the trash pile. The owner said he does this job several times a month. On a 2021 last week. Our Hathaway was a 2018.

Fortunately, we could afford the $6,500 bill!
60 years ago I was replacing broken spring leaves on my 1949 Chevrolet. The shoulder bolt broke. I had no idea where to get them, but I took a regular hex-head bolt and spun it between my fingers until the hex head was round and the right diameter. It was pretty easy to do.

Given that experience, if I were in your situation, I would get some Grade 8 (6-line) hardened bolts and make the heads round (either my way or with a lathe). I'd replace all of them. Replacing the bolts with more soft bolts doesn't make sense.
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Old 10-16-2021, 04:50 PM   #11
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Maybe not

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I am not sure but I think Lippert warranty is longer on the chassis and frame than the standard one year that the rig is covered under. It would be worth contacting them to see if they would cover your repair bill. I have Progressive insurance on my rig and they would have taken care of the tow bill.
I have Progressive on a 24’ TT. Not that large. Had a hub and spindle go out so no flat tow. If it had been flat towable I wouldn’t have needed a tow truck. After a day and a half they informed me they couldn’t find anyone who could tow it. I called the shop that was to do the repairs (when it got to the shop) that I couldn’t find a tow. He had a friend with a low boy trailer. 15 mile tow $80.00. Not bad. Axle ordered and installed.
Waiting for front axle bearings to be inspected and repacked.
I expected better from Progressive.
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Old 10-16-2021, 05:35 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by moff34 View Post
This practice was discussed at length by a member four years ago. It is worth reading his tale of woe if you have not done so.

https://www.forestriverforums.com/fo...op-141265.html
Bad Link. I did a search on the forum and found it in the results, there is a -2 after the 141265.

https://www.forestriverforums.com/fo...-141265-2.html
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Old 10-16-2021, 08:30 PM   #13
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We had our front and rear spring break just before the front and rear hangers (first photo) but somehow we had gotten home and parked the camper next to our house when we noticed a problem. Once I got the tires and wheels off that is what I found! How we got home safely I don't know, the rear tire was worn down to the belts on the inside, but still held 110 lb of air.
Replaced the entire suspension with the Roadmaster slipper springs with shocks (2ed photo) and absolutely love it. No more of the pullback when going over roadbumps or potholes, rides sooooo much better.
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Old 10-16-2021, 09:14 PM   #14
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-2

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Bad Link. I did a search on the forum and found it in the results, there is a -2 after the 141265.

https://www.forestriverforums.com/fo...-141265-2.html
I think the -2 just means the second page of the thread. The actual article is on the first page.
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Old 10-17-2021, 07:55 AM   #15
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I'm amazed at how the RV industry doesn't get so many Class Action Lawsuits filed against them and frankly I wish they would.

The axle breaking problems and exploding tire incidents are far to common.

I have a 2009 Honda Accord which is now the kids car. It has had 3 class action lawsuits against it.
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Old 10-17-2021, 11:17 AM   #16
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I'm amazed at how the RV industry doesn't get so many Class Action Lawsuits filed against them and frankly I wish they would.

The axle breaking problems and exploding tire incidents are far to common.

I have a 2009 Honda Accord which is now the kids car. It has had 3 class action lawsuits against it.
Perhaps they have but after careful investigation it's revealed that a lot of the problems are caused by the owners.

The factories can build a product but they can't control how it's used. They put load limit stickers on them and tires that have speed "limits" molded into the sidewalls yet the owners overload, under-inflate, and speed. Not just over speed limit on highway's and tires, but also too fast for conditions like rough highways and Forest Service roads.

Class Action Lawsuits are handled by attorneys who want to make money. They're pretty sharp when it comes to recognizing cases where they can prevail in court and don't take on cases where they can't.
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Old 10-17-2021, 11:33 AM   #17
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I'm a bit confused regarding the coverage you have. Progressive is an insurance company, not a roadside assistance outfit. I have Progressive collision/comprehensive on my 5th wheel and an FMCA roadside assistance plan. The roadside plan covers towing. I also have an extended warranty and new separate tire coverage. That may all seem excessive but with my Cardinal I used all of that coverage, but didn't have the tire coverage at the time. Wish I had. So far with my Arctic Fox coverage has not been used at all. My biggest issue was losing a wheel on I-95 in NC. My Good Sam (at the time) provided the tow, my extended warranty covered the replacement wheel and axle, and the damage to the trailer body where it was hit by the departing wheel was covered by the insurance.
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Old 10-17-2021, 11:41 AM   #18
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I'm a bit confused regarding the coverage you have. Progressive is an insurance company, not a roadside assistance outfit.
I personally would prefer to have the traditional towing, damage, etc coverage through my insurance company than a separate roadside assistance policy.

I can then call the closest available tow/assistance provider on my own and not be locked into the "contracted provider" used by the roadside assistance company which may be hours away.

I can pay the bill and then get reimbursed by my insurance company. I've found that the extra cost on my insurance coverage is a lot less overall than what the roadside assistance plans cost and I have fewer "exclusions".
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Old 10-18-2021, 07:38 PM   #19
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All well now

Almost half the bill was the tires. Goodyear 614’s are going for over $2000 asset today.

The shop we were towed to did the repairs the following day as we wander the area.

I saw the book on labor. He charged us over half the standard hours.

The tow was close to 100 miles

They said to tow a fiver the truck had to be attached. A long flatbed. Fit with a foot or two to spare.
As a structural guy I agreed. I thought the front could not take the trip. The hydraulic cylinders are not that stout.

Then how would you drag it up the lowboy. They used cables not the truck to move it. The crew had three trucks and three workers to move it.

Al is well. Harvest host moochdocking tonight at a museum in Roswell New Mexico.
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Old 10-21-2021, 06:18 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by tomkatb View Post
Traveling near Needles California a fellow motorist told me the tires were bad. On highway 40.

Stopped. Belts showing on three tires. Fairly new Goodyear 614’s.

Needed a tow. For those who have never been towed, it took a special trailer. The truck and 37’ fifth wheel went on. The whole unit was 17’ tall. No overpasses. The 35 mile tow was $1500.

Tires today are hard to come by. Cost me double what I paid a year and a half ago! $2500. Shipping was VERY expensive.

We had a shoulder bolt break off and fall out of the suspension. The tech thought we were several miles from a real accident. Probable roll over as one axle was not attached on one side on front.

$2,500 later all the suspension was replaced. I would not allow any of the old parts to be reused.

The front shoulder bolt in the spring is a relatively common issue. Be warned. Lipert used shoulder bolts. Somewhat fragile if not installed correctly.

The repair shop we used had several sets of broken parts like mine in the trash pile. The owner said he does this job several times a month. On a 2021 last week. Our Hathaway was a 2018.

Fortunately, we could afford the $6,500 bill!

Sounds like something that should be reported to NHTSA, Front axle falling off sounds like potential accident and even potential fatality (glad that didn't happen.
Anyone that ha had this failure should file a complaint with NHTSA You will need your VIN. Pictures will help.
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