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Old 01-01-2012, 06:21 PM   #1
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Jayco & Lippert????

Tell me it isn't so..... , don't know how I missed this:

"White Plains, N.Y.-based Drew Industries Inc., a leading supplier of components to the recreational vehicle and manufactured housing industry, today (Aug. 22) reported that its wholly owned subsidiary, Lippert Components Inc., acquired from EA Technologies LLC the business and certain assets of the towable RV chassis and slideout mechanism operation previously owned by Dexter Chassis Group."

Source: http://www.rvbusiness.com/tag/drew-industries-inc/

I can't even guess what this will mean going forward.

Bob
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Old 01-01-2012, 07:05 PM   #2
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Excuse my language but that sucks.
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Old 01-01-2012, 08:45 PM   #3
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There is an ongoing discussion at RVnet on the subject of frame use.

http://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fu...d/25683245.cfm
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Old 01-01-2012, 09:01 PM   #4
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A big selling point to us was that Jayco did not use Lippert frames. Our last trailer had Lippert frame and slides and we had lots of problems. I guess we will be keeping this one for a long time.
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Old 01-01-2012, 10:54 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clutch View Post
A big selling point to us was that Jayco did not use Lippert frames. Our last trailer had Lippert frame and slides and we had lots of problems. I guess we will be keeping this one for a long time.
If Jayco feels the same way, they could switch to a different supplier.
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Old 01-02-2012, 12:29 PM   #6
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When reading this thread, the following story comes up from memory.......astronaut John Glenn was sitting in the Mercury capsule on top of the Atlas rocket, waiting for the countdown to his first launch into orbit. He said at the time he took great comfort knowing that all the part suppliers of the rocket were the lowest cost bidders. (sic)

Sorry,
I just had to reminisce.......
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Old 01-02-2012, 03:41 PM   #7
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Some of you are getting my attention.

Not sure if the Lippert frame is really the big problem some seem to think. Lot of manufacturers use them.

We have it narrowed down to a Pinnacle or Dutchmen Infinity with the the Infinity using Lippert 10" heavy duty drop rail Z frame, 7000# Dexter axles and 4 wheel electric brakes.

I think the Pinnacle uses a 12" frame and not sure if that is a reason their tank sizes are bigger.

Getting confused with all the info...or lack of.
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Old 01-02-2012, 04:22 PM   #8
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Seems to me if I was in the RV building business and ordered a frame from Lippert I would inspect it on arrival and if flawed send it back. If Jayco does that there shouldn't be a problem. If Jayco just kicks back and accepts junk frames then their business will suffer.
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Old 01-02-2012, 06:18 PM   #9
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I'm sure Jayco represents a notable percentage of sales revenue to the newly formed Lippert/Dexter Chassis organization, and that it would be in their best interest to get it right the first time.

Who knows, maybe Lippert will welcome the engineering brain trust that Dexter Chassis brings to the table, and it could be a win-win.

Bob
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Old 01-02-2012, 07:02 PM   #10
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So far, all the reports I've seen of Lippert frame breaks (and there have been a lot of them) have been on fivers, either in the pin box area and the transition from the lower deck and the upper deck. The welds I've seen in online photos of Lippert frames are really pathetic. I could do better with an AC stick welder and I haven't picked up a stinger in over thirty years!

One thing that could affect all trailers, Lippert and Dexter, is the spring hangers. Typically, they are short, deep channels formed from surprisingly thin bar stock welded to the bottom flanges of the I beam frame rails. These are subject to side stresses that could either bend the hangers or cause the I beam flange to flex, causing the web to crack (what most frequently happens; I've seen photos). Many manufacturers try to reinforce the web by welding a piece of barstock at an angle from the outside edge of the bottom flange where the spring hanger is located to the web a couple, three inches above the flange. Those often cause the web to crack just above the reinforcement. The frame of Jayco's 330RLTS has a strap of light bar stock welded between the outside edges of the upper and lower frame flanges. A better idea but the strap is light enough I would question if it is strong enough to avoid flexing or collapsing. And if it doesn't flex or collapse, all the strap does is transfer some of the twisting force from the bottom flange to the top one.

The sad thing is it would be fairly easy for maunfacturers to avoid these problems, starting with heavier spring hangers. Adding frame crossmembers at each hanger location and welding a gusset from the inside of the spring hanger to the crossmember would. If the added crossmembers would get in the way of tanks, a crossmember could be welded directly to the spring hangers just below the frame rails. It wouldn't even have to be large as long as a gusset covering the length of the hanger goes to the crossmember. In fact, Lippert has a fact sheet out describing this exact reinforcement to avoid frame cracking (or repeated frame cracking). Dexter makes a bolt on kit that works the same way. I wouldn't trust a bolt on kit myself and it wouldn't cost much more, if any, to have a good frame shop to fab and weld in the reinforcement (notice I said frame shop, not dealer; I would trust a shop that is experienced in trailer frame repair and construction long before I would trust a dealer).

If I do get a 330RLTS (if since Jayco has been disappointing lately), since the frame is easily exposed, I plan on taking it to a frame shop to inspect the welds (no matter who made the frame) and reinforce them if necessary. I also plan on having them either put in crossmembers between the frame rails (I'll be permanently removing all the tanks) with gussets running to the spring hangers or running external crossmembers between the hangers as described above. Since I plan on adding a fair amount of weight at the back wall of the trailer (closets and a washer and dryer; the curb slide will also have a computer desk installed in the slide aft of the axles where a couch normally goes), I'll either have the frame fishplated a couple of feet fore and aft of the rear frame hangar (the most likely place for the frame to bend or crack) or add a third axle in addition to fishplating (a lot of work since the linkage that carries the gas line to the kitchen slide would have to be moved aft and finding a fender for three axles that have the same spacing as the existing two might be fun). The second option would be way more expensive but would also be way stronger. I'll have to have a heart to heart with a few frame shops before making the decision which to do.
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