Monday, August 17, 2015

Forget Lions and Tigers and Bears... Now it is Axles and Springs and Shackles...Oh, My!

We had our 5thwheel weighed when we pulled into the campground in Shipshewana.  Based on the SmartWeigh scales we are about 500 pounds under the allowable weight. 
We had made prior arrangements to take our 5th wheel to the Redwood service center in Topeka before the rally started for a few minor fixes.  We had seen several nail/staples starting to come up on the roof—they found and corrected 5.  Our small awning didn’t retract consistently without assistance—they lubricated the awning supports and it works great.  We had seen seals coming apart around the slides—they replaced 50 feet of seals.  All of this was at no cost.

While we were at the service center they also noticed one set of leaf springs were flattening.  Before they could do this repair they “weighed” the 5th wheel.  We are not sure how they weighed it, but they said we were 1,500 pounds overweight.   After having just been weighed the day before we are not sure what the difference is.  We regularly go through CAT scales and ensure our weights are good.
To make a LONG, very painful story short.  Redwood deferred this to the manufacturer, Lippert.  Lippert historically will do anything to not pay on a warranty.  Redwood was willing to have us come back after the rally to reweigh and see if the repair work could be done under warranty.  After long discussions with other Redwood owners, we decided to not go back for a reweigh.  We believe they would have found their previous weights were incorrect—however, they would have repaired the springs with identical replacements.  We are planning to either replace our axles and springs with 8K axles/springs or go to MorRyde system.

We have heard the bushings on the stock Shackles are plastic.  Really!  $130K 5thwheel and they use plastic. L  When we got to Indianapolis, George replaced the Shackles with MorRyde Brass shackles with titanium bolts.  This alone will be a great improvement.

We will continue to faithfully weigh our rig while we are on the road.  We will monitor the tires, springs and shackles and look at possibly moving to a MorRyde when we come back to the Rally next August.
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