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Author Topic: Cracked Welds 21 RBS Public Service Announcement  (Read 1751 times)

Jonathan

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Cracked Welds 21 RBS Public Service Announcement
« on: November 28, 2020, 11:24:32 AM »
I spent close to 45 minutes on my back yesterday inspecting the underside of a 2015 21 RBS as part of my PPI (welds, tanks, plumbing, propane lines, etc.) and found some cracked welds. 

I'll try to explain without the aid of a drawing.  Anyhow, visualize the main 2"x4" (?) rectangular tube that runs down the centerline of the trailer from the tongue back to a cross member.  I see this fore and aft member (front to back for the land lubbers in the room  ;)) as the back bone of the trailer or at least a VERY integral part of the structure.  This main fore and aft member is welded to a cross member forming a "T" that, in turn, is welded to the outer frame members that also run fore and aft.  I found cracks on 3 of the 4 welds that secure the cross member to the outer frame members on both sides of the trailer.  There are gusset plates under these points where all the members tie-in to the intersecting member.  I'm sure it can be repaired by a qualified aluminum welder.  Am I ready to take on the responsibility after purchasing, then coordinating the repair?  No.  So unfortunately this was a deal killer for me. 

I honestly believe that the owner had no idea these cracks existed.  I am sharing this with the forum so they can inspect their travel trailer underside.  Cracked welds were suppose to be an issue in the latter year models in the A Fame, not this early. (This LL had a manufacture date of 9/2014).

It was a great learning experience for me as this was the first time I've seen a Livin' Lite in person.  This event does not change my opinion of Livin' Lite one iota.  If anything, my observations during the rest of my inspection confirm my opinion that these trailers are extremely well built.  The fit, finish, and quality of components are great.  It also makes me think that Thor bought out Livin' Lite just to shut them down.  Similar to what the major auto manufacturers did with Preston Tucker in the late 40's.  I've digressed. 

My search continues.
Cheers

nhlakes

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Re: Cracked Welds 21 RBS Public Service Announcement
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2020, 11:39:15 AM »
Thanks. It would be great if you could rough sketch the frame and point out approx where these points may be.  That would help those of who want to roll under to take a peak (not that my close up vision would allow me to see them :( ).

nhlakes

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Re: Cracked Welds 21 RBS Public Service Announcement
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2020, 11:47:00 AM »
Better yet - mark up the image ;)


Jonathan

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Re: Cracked Welds 21 RBS Public Service Announcement
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2020, 11:59:50 AM »
Actually the frame has changed since that iteration.  Here is my very crude sketch.  Notice how the "main" member extends back further from the A Frame.  Other cross braces have been left out for clarity.

nhlakes

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Re: Cracked Welds 21 RBS Public Service Announcement
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2020, 12:15:19 PM »
Awsome - that helps! Thanks!

Merlin

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Re: Cracked Welds 21 RBS Public Service Announcement
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2020, 12:26:43 PM »
Very important and interesting. The location looks like about the highest stress point on the frame, but Iím ignorant of the engineering involved.
Michigan

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Re: Cracked Welds 21 RBS Public Service Announcement
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2020, 01:06:28 PM »
Awsome - that helps! Thanks!
Let us know what you find. (hopefully nothing)

Powder Hounds

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Re: Cracked Welds 21 RBS Public Service Announcement
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2020, 01:14:36 PM »
Unfortunately this is an ongoing issue with our aluminum frames, but do not let it dissuade your purchase. This situation has been covered numerous times on this forum and it can be resolved. It is frustrating  and time consuming but the end result is worth it. The slide side of the trailer will develop more frame cracks than the passenger side, it is just heavier and is subject to more stress. It took some due diligence on my part to finally resolve my 2015 RBS frame cracks but now the trailer is solid. Having numerous gussets welded in problem areas corrected this problem. The cost was about $3000.00 CAD and took a few weeks to complete. We use our rig alot, year round, it defiantly takes a battering, regular maintenance and tinkering is always ongoing but the enjoyment of being on the road is worth it. Those cracks look pretty mild, I had about a dozen or so that went pretty deep into the welds. Negotiate the price and go for it! You throw enough money at something and the problem goes away.

We are loading our trailer now for a ski getaway this week!

Enjoy!   

Powder Hounds

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Re: Cracked Welds 21 RBS Public Service Announcement
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2020, 01:18:02 PM »
Check out the October 2020 news letter for more information.

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Re: Cracked Welds 21 RBS Public Service Announcement
« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2020, 01:52:07 PM »
Rolled around and inspected mine for the first time in a very long time.  All looks good and also came away with appreciation for how well these things are made.

Jonathan

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Re: Cracked Welds 21 RBS Public Service Announcement
« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2020, 03:04:00 PM »
Rolled around and inspected mine for the first time in a very long time.  All looks good and also came away with appreciation for how well these things are made.
Glad to hear all is good.  Agreed.  Very well built. 

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Re: Cracked Welds 21 RBS Public Service Announcement
« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2020, 03:08:21 PM »
Unfortunately this is an ongoing issue with our aluminum frames, but do not let it dissuade your purchase. This situation has been covered numerous times on this forum and it can be resolved. It is frustrating  and time consuming but the end result is worth it. The slide side of the trailer will develop more frame cracks than the passenger side, it is just heavier and is subject to more stress. It took some due diligence on my part to finally resolve my 2015 RBS frame cracks but now the trailer is solid. Having numerous gussets welded in problem areas corrected this problem. The cost was about $3000.00 CAD and took a few weeks to complete. We use our rig alot, year round, it defiantly takes a battering, regular maintenance and tinkering is always ongoing but the enjoyment of being on the road is worth it. Those cracks look pretty mild, I had about a dozen or so that went pretty deep into the welds. Negotiate the price and go for it! You throw enough money at something and the problem goes away.

We are loading our trailer now for a ski getaway this week!

Enjoy!


Good point about increased stresses due to slide weight.  I didnít state it on my drawing but the drawing is a top view so the two cracked welds are on the slide side.  Thanks for the input.  Gives me piece of mind.  That being said, Iím still going to pass on this one.  There will be others.

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Re: Cracked Welds 21 RBS Public Service Announcement
« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2020, 07:28:34 PM »
Thanks to Johnathan for the heads up. I checked mine (build date 10/2013) and found the beginnings of cracks in similar placeson the side away from the slide.  The cracks seamed minor, at the top where the weld is thinnest. Looks like where the welder began his pass. Otherwise the welds all look good. However, I will watch them for any signs of propagation.
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