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Old 11-25-2015, 07:46 PM   #1
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Pin Box and I-Beam Frame Failures

Do I dare even ask this? I would start a pole, but no need really. I know that each manf. specs the frame design and such from Lippert, Lippert builds it, manf. does their stuff and off you go. Of course, Lippert could use a few welders that actually knew how to weld. That's another story.

So, Jayco specific, has anybody on here experienced the fractured steel, broken welds around the pin box area, cracked I-beams, suspension hangers broken etc? Any type of failures?

A quick search showed one on a 2010 toy hauler, but it had the "no no" type gooseneck adapter installed, but removed by the owner on here now. That's all I found so far, on this forum.

Having owned a few fifth wheels, I'm still leary of the pin box structure, cross members and so on, even with MorRyde add ons. Our first was on a Leland frame (no worries), more recent one we full timed in was on a LCI frame. We didn't have problems, but others with similar models did. We are toying with the idea of going back into the full timing again. I'd like to stick with Jayco, mainly due to the fact I just like them, and I absolutely love the dealer. Just want to see what the track record is on the frames, specifically fifth wheel. I'll never like LCI frames, but had to ask since it doesn't look like we'll get away from them any time soon.
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Old 11-30-2015, 08:41 PM   #2
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Dang, I at least expected to get one bite. Nobody huh? That's a good thing, or anybody that's had an issue is quiet, or not on this forum I guess. I know it's happened.
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Old 12-01-2015, 06:40 AM   #3
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You bet it has happened!! I know for a fact it has happened to SOB's! I owned an SOB from a manufacturer that had models and brands that was notorious for upper deck issues.

I am just praying that it isn't an issue with Jayco! Had not heard of any and was part of the reason I wanted a Pinnacle or, at the time, an Eagle Premier.
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Old 12-01-2015, 06:49 AM   #4
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This was on my mind about a year ago when we were ordering our new 38FLSA - I talked to a friend that works for an RV dealer and he said in 20 years he has seen 3 pin box/frame issues, and 2 of them were caused by the Owner. the last one was a bad weld. (This is a jayco dealer).

After some reading, and this conversation, I went on to researching other things, like proper tires for long trips, and how to load the 5'er properly for best results on road.
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Old 12-01-2015, 01:49 PM   #5
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Dealer we dealt with prior to the Jayco had dealt with problems as well, same SOB we had before. Primarily around the pin box. Seems to be a hit and miss. We were loaded as loaded could be on the full time rig, and took all precautions and rearranged stuff after having it on the scales, but others with way less weight were having issues. On our full time rig, we were within 400 lbs of max gross weight, and that was with no gray, no black, water heater empty. I have not heard too much on the Jayco, just an occasional issue, like a more recent 2014 Octane with multiple cracks and broken transverse lattice bracing. Seems to be minimal issues, which is better than some I suppose. I haven't looked at a Jayco spec fifth wheel frame next to another. Kind of hard to. I can only hope that the framework around the pin box structure was better thought out than some of the others. Most are from LCI, so I just hope somebody had consideration for all the issues when they requested frame builds from LCI.


I was on the phone with MorRyde last time I was home about some other projects, and the frame discussion came up. I had to ask them, do yall build for any fifth wheel manf? Matter a fact they do now. They are building them for Vanleigh RV. I got in contact with Vanleigh and had a LONG conversation about their builds. For those of you not familiar with them, it's one of Bob Tiffin's sons (Van Tiffin) and grandsons (Leigh Tiffin) that started this this year. I've been following them online since the first hint of the business start. Similar business model to Tiffin, which is a good thing. I managed to get pictures of the bare frame, and no doubt it's a little better built than a typical LCI. Unfortunately, Vanleigh won't be building anything that suits our needs in the near future. Frame and chassis is one of the first things I look at once you get past the first glance. Wish Leland still built frames, and wish more companies would look at MorRyde as an alternative. I'm not bashing Jayco, nor praising Vanleigh, BUT, they have addressed a LOT of issues and gripes in the industry. Slide floors and the cheap darco wrap is one (They have a framed insulated floor with a solid material on the bottom), and also 3 AC's on their rigs is another, just to name a few. Drifted off topic, but thought I'd throw this out there.
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Old 12-01-2015, 02:17 PM   #6
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We full time with a Jayco Seismic. I can say that we have not yet any problems with pin box failure. I can also say that we have not checked our weights either, but with four kids I figure we are close to max. It tows well, and I personally like having three axles on this big a unit. More brakes, and it seems to balance the unit better (hard to explain). We have towed Ohio to CA, around CA, up to Oregon and now back to central coast CA, so we have a few miles on this one in its 15 month history with us. If I were to do it again, I would look for a unit that is less than 40 feet because there seem to be more camping options that way. Good luck with your search!
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Old 12-01-2015, 03:18 PM   #7
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I know on RVnet there were countless pages posts and threads on the dreaded frame issues with 5ers in particular. I must say after 5 years on this forum frame complaints have been few and far between, in fact I cannot off hand recall a single one.
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Old 12-01-2015, 03:52 PM   #8
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I have owned 2 Jayco 5th's and neither have had frame issues as of yet. The post you referred to was the only one I have seem posted here on this forum since I joined.
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Old 12-01-2015, 04:10 PM   #9
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I have never seen a failure. The ones (failures) I've read about always had something that seemed a bit fishy, like it was abuse or poor choices. I have had an entry level fiver that we've dragged all over the country over the last 9 years. To the tune of over 40,000 miles, Sometimes on roads we had no business being on. We've had no issues.

Personally, I don't worry about 5th wheel frames. But I wouldn't touch one that had a gooseneck on it though. Even the Reese gooseneck pin box will increase the stress on the pin box attachments over the standard pin boxes. I don't care what the manufactures say, I don't think the structure is beefed up enough for them. When they come out of the factory on a frame, then I'll think differently.

While I agree that quality seems to be lacking in most areas of RV's, I don't think it is bad enough to stress out about who made the frame your rig sits on. To rule out a rig with a Lippert frame would limit your choices to next to nothing.
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Old 12-01-2015, 04:45 PM   #10
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Good to hear that reports are minimal. I'm not going to rule out a rig due to a Lippert frame. I've owned 1 LCI fifth wheel frame and 2 travel trailers with LCI, and haven't had any troubles, but still have opinions on them. Others were Leland or were motorhomes. But, being the structural type of person I am and doing my own welding / fab work, I tend to critique the frames a lot more than some. I'm one of those people that will make a wire run in a wall perfectly straight and neat, or plumbing lines perfectly straight, even though you may never see it, just to satisfy myself. Just the way I'm wired. With the fifth wheels we did have, we always ran with MorRyde add ons for the suspension and MorRyde or air ride pin box, just to soften things as much as possible. Though Louisiana roads aren't quite as bad as some we've traveled up north, they'll still give a rig a beating. Thanks all for the replies.
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