CampLite > CampLite Travel Trailers

Frame Separated from Tongue

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Sullisooz:
This week we heard a lot of banging as we drove down the road. Thought it was the steps. Backed it into our spot and saw that the trailer was leaning on the tongue. The welded plates that connect the tongue to the frame had cracked. This appears to be a design/manufacturing defect.

This is a 14 DBS Living Lite.  Has anyone heard of this? Do you use sway bars with you hitch?

Anyone know what can be done?

Gibby:
There have been reports of cracked frames several times before. So much so that it is a part of my "Pre-Trip" inspections that I look for cracks.

Earlier this year I did find cracks along the cross members near the wheels and had them "touched up" at the welding shop.

The WD Bars will throw a downward load on the outside frame rails and that would put the most stress on your point of failure to be sure. I too have WD bars, but they are light duty bars, but I do watch for potential issues as mentioned above.

Out of interest, was it just the one side, both, what happened to the center bar (which should be solid).

Chris

Bejinscbr:
I personally think the weight distribution hitches put too much stress on these aluminum trailers. There have been multiple times this has happened and I think most people were using them. And they really don't need them for something with 350-450 lbs tongue weight. Don't tow with a small SUV where you need to use distribution hitches and I think they are okay.
If you think about it, the weight bars are forcing the tongue to stay in one spot in relation to the vehicle. What happens when going over bumps, driveways, etc? The trailer can't move and something has to give. The forces are multiplied even more. Lots of stress on fairly thin aluminum tubing. Without them, the trailer is free to move with bumps.
Now, a sway bar, sure. That should be fine. But obviously, it's up to the owner to use a weight distribution hitch or not. Just my two cents.

Sullisooz:
We used the hitch sold to us by Humphrey RV in Grand Junction, CO. We tow with a Ford F-150. We agree about the hitch and Sway Bars, but there should be some instructions RIGHT ON THE TOUNGUE. Bad design, IMHO!

CampMonster:
I agree with the load distribution hitch putting undue forces on the tongue welds.

Also, I run my 11FK naked...meaning that my potable, grey and black tanks are all empty, I haven't added anything to the camper frame behind the hitch (like additional batteries or propane or job boxes), and I make sure that we keep the trailer loaded WAY below its maximum during towing.  All heavy stuff like extra water, tool boxes, extra propane, cooking griddle and gas grill, turkey fryer, spare tire, jet pack, oscillation overthruster, 88mm cannon, etc...stay in the tow vehicle bed (Toyota Tundra). 

I also keep my normal tow speed below the speed rating of my tires...i.e., 65MPH with 70MPH rated tires.  This reduces the peak acceleration forces of bumps to the wheels, axle and frame.  Finally, when traffic allows I go over to the passing lane as it tends to be less torn up from truck traffic.

CM

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