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Old 10-30-2022, 03:03 PM   #1
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King Pin Weld Issue

Good morning, I own a 2015 36RL Redwood and it has been wonderful until now. I was just informed by my Service Agency when in for Axel Service that there may be a weld issue with my King Pin which is made by FlexAir. The issue may be in the frame mount from Lippert and the Tech said he has seen this before on some Lippert frames in how they support the front area. With the FlexAir King Pin there is a lot of forward angle sticking out from the trailer allowing more potential stress in that area. I have attached several pictures regarding the issue. The hitch leans slightly to the left (facing it) as the photo shows when it is both unhitched and hitched. It has always been that way since new and I finally wanted to have it checked out.

The Service folks put a fork lift on the hitch and raised and lowered it. The hitch assembly moves up when you lift it about a 1/4 inch and back down when you lower it back on the front landing legs. The tech thinks it could be a weld joint in the frame above the hitch and wants to open it up (remove the under skin ) and check it out. If it can be repaired that way then he will do so, it may also require removing the front cap if he cannot access the location through the bottom.

Just curious if any of my fellow Redwood Owners have encountered or heard about this issue.
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File Type: jpeg 96C22854-3701-416C-AF4B-BFC46E664B65.jpeg (326.4 KB, 63 views)
File Type: jpeg 4B6F287D-91D2-47A8-83FB-7C00FC251987.jpeg (209.5 KB, 45 views)
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Old 10-30-2022, 10:22 PM   #2
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Do a google search for pin deflection testing and follow that LCI bulletin before you do anything else. Seems to me, if I remember correctly, 1/4” is about normal flexing. I had welds break on mine and the deflection was a lot more than that and when towing, even with a cushioned hitch, I could watch the pinbox flex up into the front cap on a decent bump.
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Old 10-30-2022, 10:56 PM   #3
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Thank you piper guy for that reminder. I did do that test and I also went back to my notes after sending my message this morning and mine is deflecting over 1/2 inch even though I stated quarter inch. Must be the fact I just turned 79. If you notice in the one picture, it’s actually bent out the plate on the left side where the bolt goes through so I feel I need to take some action on this. I had done the deflection test previously. I will keep you posted since the RV goes in to State Trailer on November 8 after the NASCAR race here in Phoenix. I also ordered replacement cushion tires that go in the hitch as well. Living in Arizona mine were quickly deteriorating with the sun exposure to those on the hitch.

Thank you again for your quick reply and I appreciate your sharing that you have had to deal with this somewhat as well. You didn’t indicate if they had to remove both the under skin and the front cap to do your repair?
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Old 10-31-2022, 12:16 AM   #4
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No problem. Mine was fairly extensive, they had to cut skin both sides and the reinforce and re-weld the aluminum framework for the body. Also added some reinforcement to the “Z” kick up. Mine is a 2013 and Randy at the factory service department said that anything 2014 and newer had the reinforcement they put in. Can’t tell you on cost, as mine was done at the RWservice center shortly before it went out of chassis warranty.

I do know that when the deflection test was done mine was more than 1.5”.
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Old 10-31-2022, 02:43 PM   #5
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I also had frame cracks/damage on our 2013. Weld cracks where the pin frame attaches to the side frame and also rear frame damage above the landing gear. The front cover under the pin and over the landing gear were removed, the steel was ground out (couldn't cut out due to potential fire issues) and new steel installed, about $6,000 cdn cost. I'll look for my posting here.
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Old 10-31-2022, 05:35 PM   #6
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Here are some pictures of the frame damage


RV damage00001.jpg

RV damage00002.jpg

RV damage00003.jpg
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Old 11-01-2022, 05:35 PM   #7
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Thank you to all of you who responded to my concerns. The Redwood goes in next Tuesday to resolve the problems. Hopefully my wallet will not be empty when it is done. State Trailer (who have a excellent reputation on fixing these types of.issues) indicated they will consult with Redwood/Lippert, but suspect no help will be offered given my rig is a 2015 and I am the 2nd owner. It is so unfortunate if that is the case that Redwood/Lippert does not step in on these issues to help us when obviously it was a design issue. Thank you again for the great input.
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Old 11-01-2022, 05:38 PM   #8
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I should have added to my post that I will be taking pictures at State trailer when they open it up so I can share them on the Redwood website.
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Old 11-02-2022, 02:49 AM   #9
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It's bad it happened to you, but it's possible the original owner might not have been the best in avoiding pot holes or at least taken them easier or anything else to put extra stress. Any chance he might have been using a Gooseneck adapter?
Our very early 2016 has racked up 60K miles pretty much East of the Mississippi, including even traveling around Newfoundland and up to Thompson, Manitoba.
BUT we have always had either a cushioned King Pin or cushioned Hitch, plus the MOR/Ryde IS since new and have had zero suspension issues.
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Old 11-02-2022, 04:44 PM   #10
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Thank you Michelle and Ann for those comments. I agree that not knowing the behavior pattern of the original owner could be part of the issue. That is the reason I suspect Redwood/Lippert may not be willing to weigh in on this with Support. Several comments back from other owners who experienced this problem with earlier models, and the fact that Lippert changed the structure from 2014 on should have resolved this. State trailer will be opening it up next week and we will know more at that time as to the direct causes of the problem and we can then decide whether to pull Redwood/Lippert into the conversation. I have all the confidence in the world that State trailer will fix it and keep the cost within reason. They are also confident that this should be a straight forward repair. We love the RV and we have no intention of abandoning the ship, but continuing to enjoy it with trips whenever possible. Nevertheless, pictures will be posted once it is opened up and I have a chance to see the inside around the hitch assembly. Thank you again, Jack
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Old 11-05-2022, 07:24 PM   #11
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I have 2013 redwood. I think this is BS that redwood, lippert is allowed to get away with this . They selling an inferior product that we paid good money for. Now I am thinking I am going to,have have mine checked. Sorry for the rant but it’s hard to take. Hope you get yours fixed properly.
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Old 11-08-2022, 04:03 PM   #12
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It goes to the shop this morning. I will keep my fingers crossed.
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Old 11-20-2022, 01:13 AM   #13
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Update on my 2015 36RL Redwood. The shop has done an excellent job of chasing down the problem that the shop thought was likely due to a weld fracture around the KingPin. As it now stands the shop having opened up the skin around the KingPin the good news is that it became evident that there was no fractures around the area all the way back to the main frame assembly. The shop continued to pursue why there was some flex beyond what would be considered normal when loading and unloading the KingPin. They discovered the source was the Bedroom Slide and specifically the (forward) Left Side of the slide closest to the front and KingPin area. There was a clean cut starting on the bottom edge of the left side slide that ran from bottom of the frame up to behind the corner of the slide (somewhat hidden by the slide frame assembly. This cut was also hidden by a color-matched painted metal. The shop feels this very professional looking cut was professionally done, but the source undetermined. The cut was apparently intended to minimize frame flex in this area and serve as a expansion joint to minimize the risk the cut could become jagged and spread upward. I have all the service records on this Redwood from the date it was sold and there was no reference to any sort of repairs of this type. It was serviced by the dealer with most items under a warranty just prior to my purchasing the RV. There are now two 36RL Redwoods in the shop with the same cut (my 2015 and a 2013) They are both parked side by side in the Maintenance bay with exactly the same problem. The second Redwood came to the shop after they had started working on mine. Given that my Redwood was making some "clunking" type sounds when the bedroom slide closed the shop felt further examination was warranted. Before any further disassembly they noted that when the RV was parked and not hooked up to my truck the two sides of this cut stayed mostly together or could be pushed together. Once you put a load on the KingPin, the 2 sides of the cut would separate and not return to normal position and could not be pushed together.

This has now warranted opening the area up around the framing for the bedroom slide which also required removing the bedroom slide from the rig. For clarity, I will be starting a new thread tomorrow dealing with the Bedroom Slide issue. Look for a new thread which I will call (BEDROOM SLIDE FLEXING ISSUE) I am also in the process of sharing pictures with Redwood on this issue to see what help they will provide. When you see the pictures it clearly indicates bad welding, mis-positioning of the vertical aluminum studs, and securing the Schwintec Motors.

Thank you to all of you who provided me both pictures and advice. It was most helpful.
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