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Old 04-18-2018, 12:23 PM   #1
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Smile Oliver with broken frame

When I was in Quartzsite in January I toured a new Oliver and had a mild case of buyers remorse that I hadn't pony'd up an extra 20k and got the Oliver,as they are very pretty inside. A few weeks later I came across the same Oliver owners at a walmart in Winslow AZ. They were flying home and the manufacturer was coming to pick up their trailer to replace the aluminum frame, as it had cracked in half.
I have traveled maybe 10k miles with my 17b since i picked it up in December, and have off roaded with it on BLM land, inadvertently ended up on some horrendous washboard roads and my steel framed 17b has held up quite well.
Im very happy I didnt buy a rig with an aluminum frame, with the places I go I dont think it would have survived!
Dennis
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Old 04-18-2018, 12:37 PM   #2
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I’ve mentioned several times that for out of the sun relaxation on a hot day I regularly take a little break by worming my way under the Escape as it sets on its wheels in our little storage shed. This doubles as a hitch, propane line , wiring, visual inspection to make sure something hasn’t hooked a stick and is hanging down, road debris hasn’t hopped up and hit and damaged something and yes , that the frame has no visible cracks, missing bolts, etc. it’s not a checklist inspection but it’s a peace of mind thing starting the next time out.
Works for me. “How did your shirt and the back of your head get so dirty?” She says.
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Old 04-18-2018, 12:38 PM   #3
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Aluminum frames on travel trailers are not all they're cracked up to be Years and years ago, Burro trailers tried it. I'll never forget Gina D.'s problem when the frame on her Burro cracked and she was in some small town... NO one could help her. All the welders could weld steel... none could weld aluminum. I don't remember the outcome.. I think she had some plates screwed into the frame and limped back home before she got some help. That was enough for me....
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Old 04-18-2018, 12:43 PM   #4
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Aluminum frames on travel trailers are not all they're cracked up to be Years and years ago, Burro trailers tried it. I'll never forget Gina D.'s problem when the frame on her Burro cracked and she was in some small town... NO one could help her. All the welders could weld steel... none could weld aluminum. I don't remember the outcome.. I think she had some plates screwed into the frame and limped back home before she got some help. That was enough for me....
Then let's hope all the new Ford trucks don't need any welding . Pat
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Old 04-18-2018, 12:51 PM   #5
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I believe the new Ford trucks (F 150s) are aluminum body, steel frame. No worries there.
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Old 04-18-2018, 12:51 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Iowa Dave View Post
I’ve mentioned several times that for out of the sun relaxation on a hot day I regularly take a little break by worming my way under the Escape as it sets on its wheels in our little storage shed. This doubles as a hitch, propane line , wiring, visual inspection to make sure something hasn’t hooked a stick and is hanging down, road debris hasn’t hopped up and hit and damaged something and yes , that the frame has no visible cracks, missing bolts, etc. it’s not a checklist inspection but it’s a peace of mind thing starting the next time out.
Works for me. “How did your shirt and the back of your head get so dirty?” She says.
Iowa Dave
Hi: Iowa Dave... Can you check the "Cement pad" for wear and tear while you're down there too? Alf
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Old 04-18-2018, 12:58 PM   #7
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Then let's hope all the new Ford trucks don't need any welding . Pat
Hi: Patandlinda... Not so much the "Welding" but that they need a special closed shop area for the work on the aluminium. Most small body shops don't have the space or resources needed to do the work. Something to think about... but then I'd never get a ding in a new truck Eh? Alf
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Old 04-18-2018, 01:20 PM   #8
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Hi: Patandlinda... Not so much the "Welding" but that they need a special closed shop area for the work on the aluminium. Most small body shops don't have the space or resources needed to do the work. Something to think about... but then I'd never get a ding in a new truck Eh? Alf
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One of the reason's we keep the old girl , 1992 . Why change ?If we have to ever replace would look for Ford under Year 2015 . You pay a huge price for all the fancy on new trucks . Just got new tires and the young fellow said he had a 1989 and is not interested in a new truck , changes , cost etc and loves what he has . Seems like those were the best years for Ford and you see so many and many still look new . Pat
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Old 04-18-2018, 01:35 PM   #9
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My question probably should be directed at Brian B-P but here goes
If you read the various fiberglass RV forums , trailer frame failure is not all that uncommon
I’ve read of Scamps ,Casita’s , Escapes and now Oliver’s all experiencing frame failures
Why is this problem occurring— design ,material ,age , road salt ,fatigue , usage , etc ?
Many people here and on the other FG forums like to boondocks or camp back in the woods at unimproved sites which often takes driving down a forest service or logging road to gain access.
A friend who owns a RV dealership says that travel trailers are designed to be driven on improved roads and not for driving on washboard logging roads.
Is it possible that some of this frame failure could be the cause of using the trailer for a purpose that it was not designed for or intended to be used ?

I am NOT passing judgement on how anyone uses their trailer only posing a question
I know many people do off grid camping but are their consequences beyond the norm ?
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Old 04-18-2018, 01:47 PM   #10
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Boler frames would give out as well...then you find out that people were loading them up as if they were a Uhaul trailers when the moved.
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Old 04-18-2018, 02:04 PM   #11
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Boler frames would give out as well...then you find out that people were loading them up as if they were a Uhaul trailers when the moved.
Hi: Eggscape... Most of the Interstate's that we seem to tug on are "Unimproved roads" IMHO. Just in time parts shipments are just destructive to road surfaces!!! Alf
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Old 04-18-2018, 02:26 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
Why is this problem occurring— design ,material ,age , road salt ,fatigue , usage , etc ?
Many people here and on the other FG forums like to boondocks or camp back in the woods at unimproved sites which often takes driving down a forest service or logging road to gain access.
A friend who owns a RV dealership says that travel trailers are designed to be driven on improved roads and not for driving on washboard logging roads. Is it possible that some of this frame failure could be the cause of using the trailer for a purpose that it was not designed for or intended to be used ?
Also are weight distribution hitches putting severe stresses on the frame, especially if not unhooked on rough roads? The two Escapes I've read about with frame issues used WDH's.
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Old 04-18-2018, 02:37 PM   #13
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Also are weight distribution hitches putting severe stresses on the frame, especially if not unhooked on rough roads? The two Escapes I've read about with frame issues used WDH's.
The frame on our trailer bent slightly .The cause was attributed to the use of a WDH and encountering a large unforeseen dip in a section of road pavement.
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Old 04-18-2018, 02:38 PM   #14
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Also are weight distribution hitches putting severe stresses on the frame, especially if not unhooked on rough roads? The two Escapes I've read about with frame issues used WDH's.
Wouldn't a WDH put more stress onto the tow rather than any severe stress onto the trailer behind the WDH attachment points? (trying to image vector force diagrams in my old head )
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Old 04-18-2018, 02:40 PM   #15
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Wouldn't a WDH put mores stress onto the tow rather than any severe stress onto the trailer behind the WDH attachment points? (trying to image force diagrams in my old head )
The weight transfer (and stress) is towards the front of the tow vehicle & the trailer axle.
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Old 04-18-2018, 02:51 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
My question probably should be directed at Brian B-P but here goes
If you read the various fiberglass RV forums , trailer frame failure is not all that uncommon
I’ve read of Scamps ,Casita’s , Escapes and now Oliver’s all experiencing frame failures
Why is this problem occurring— design ,material ,age , road salt ,fatigue , usage , etc ?
Many people here and on the other FG forums like to boondocks or camp back in the woods at unimproved sites which often takes driving down a forest service or logging road to gain access.
A friend who owns a RV dealership says that travel trailers are designed to be driven on improved roads and not for driving on washboard logging roads.
Is it possible that some of this frame failure could be the cause of using the trailer for a purpose that it was not designed for or intended to be used ?

I am NOT passing judgement on how anyone uses their trailer only posing a question
I know many people do off grid camping but are their consequences beyond the norm ?
That's a good possibility Steve . Maybe they are overloaded too ? Pat
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Old 04-18-2018, 02:58 PM   #17
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Okay, would love to know if there is a correlation between frame failures and WDH’s. I have an E 2 and feels pretty tight when engaged. Have to raise the tongue fair distance and use the lever to raise bars. It was set up at ETI but wondering if I should set up a more relaxed tension on the bars.
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Old 04-18-2018, 03:00 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Vermilye View Post
The weight transfer (and stress) is towards the front of the tow vehicle & the trailer axle.
I agree with the weight transfer, but to accomplish this the spring bars put a tremendous force downward on the front A-frame to lift the hitch head, no?
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Old 04-18-2018, 03:02 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Vermilye View Post
The weight transfer (and stress) is towards the front of the tow vehicle & the trailer axle.
I'm too lazy to draw it all out, (and its been too long since my last physics classs) but I keep seeing the force applied to lever arms of the ordinary (non-Andersen) WDH being applied between the tow frame where the WDH attaches and the hitch and the opposite forces exerted on the tow vehicle. I can visualize some stress being applied backward on the tow frame to the axle, but again it seems like much more applied to the tow itself. But it would not be the first time my again memory of physics was wrong....
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Old 04-18-2018, 03:11 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Iowa Dave View Post
I’ve mentioned several times that for out of the sun relaxation on a hot day I regularly take a little break by worming my way under the Escape as it sets on its wheels in our little storage shed. This doubles as a hitch, propane line , wiring, visual inspection to make sure something hasn’t hooked a stick and is hanging down, road debris hasn’t hopped up and hit and damaged something and yes , that the frame has no visible cracks, missing bolts, etc. it’s not a checklist inspection but it’s a peace of mind thing starting the next time out.
Works for me. “How did your shirt and the back of your head get so dirty?” She says.
Iowa Dave
So you say, you're probably under there napping.

Quote:
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Aluminum frames on travel trailers are not all they're cracked up to be
Groan

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