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Old 01-02-2016, 10:57 PM   #1
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Rust from king pin, 5.0TA

Has anyone else experienced rust stains coming from the king pin box on their 5th wheel? It has really become a bit of a mess, as you can see by the picture that I have hopefully attached. Looking forward into the King Pin box, I can see exactly where the rust is coming from. I wish I could attach more pics, but my iPod is only letting me attach one. I even have rust stains running out from under the tail gate and onto the exhaust tail pipe.
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Old 01-02-2016, 11:10 PM   #2
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Wow, that's crazy. Two years on ours with a lots of rain, dirt roads and zero stains/marks. Scott

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Old 01-02-2016, 11:31 PM   #3
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Rust

I don't know much about 5th wheel king pins on campers but we always stripped the grease off of our truck and 5th wheel equipment trailer in the winter, put a fresh coat of paint on everything and then applied grease liberally. Never had much rust. Maybe the Escape folks could give you some insight? It looks dry to me, wouldn't that cause galling and expose raw steel that will rust?
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Old 01-02-2016, 11:40 PM   #4
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A bit inconvenient, but I can only upload one photo at a time.
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Old 01-02-2016, 11:41 PM   #5
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Looking inside the pin box.
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Old 01-02-2016, 11:42 PM   #6
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Final picture
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Old 01-02-2016, 11:50 PM   #7
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Yup, it's rusty in there. Looks like the heat from welding destroyed the paint here and there. I would coat it with a rust reforming primer and then " Paint it Black." Paint and grease are cheap.
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Old 01-02-2016, 11:53 PM   #8
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We picked up our 5.0 on the first week of May 2015, so it is still very new. I wonder if maybe this pin box sat outside at the vendors lot or possibly E.T.I. for a length of time before making it to the production line. I will send an inquiry to E.T.I. and get their opinion.
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Old 01-03-2016, 01:00 AM   #9
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The plastic lube plate is intended to be used dry, and should prevent any problems with scraping the pinbox... but the rust is coming from above that, anyway.

In a previous discussion (ETI Kingpin Box) Bob mentioned that he was seeing rust. In that and various discussions, we concluded that the pin box is likely a Lippert 1716. I would probably check with Lippert on this.

If the rusting is all in the lower section of the pinbox... that can be removed (by removing a dozen bolts) and replaced, either for repair or replacement.

I would hope that paint damage from welding would not be a problem for the lower section, since all welding is done in the factory, which would paint (or possibly power-coat) the assembly after welding. In contrast, the upper section is welded to the trailer's frame, long after Lippert is done with it, and presumably at the frame fabrication shop. Perhaps some painting was missed at that point.
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Old 01-03-2016, 01:06 AM   #10
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Yup it's just a little surface rust coming from the steel inside the pinbox, mine does it too. Nothing to worry about it won't rust through. Just a little messy, I was going to get in there with a black spray can this summer but never got around to it, maybe next summer if I have time.

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Old 01-03-2016, 07:08 AM   #11
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While it is rusty looking in there I don't get enough water in it to run out the drain holes, hence no mess, yet.

Guess I have t start camping more in the rain.
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Old 01-03-2016, 08:59 AM   #12
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Harbor Freight sell a spray rust converter that is very inexpensive but works very well. It is my understanding that spraying penetrates better than brushing. Spray 2 or three coats of converter on, letting each coat dry. Then spray paint it black.
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Old 01-03-2016, 10:46 AM   #13
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I'm going camping in a bit less than two weeks. I'll take a flashlight and checkout the pin box then. (Right now it's SNOWING). All along I thought I'd de-dirt the box and coat the inside with POR-15. Sounds like a warm weather maintenance issue is in store.
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Old 01-03-2016, 10:43 PM   #14
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Yep, ours is doing it too. Made a bit of a mess on our B&W hitch and our Line-X liner. We picked our 5.0TA in late May 2015.

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Old 01-12-2016, 08:10 PM   #15
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My wife and I unbolted the pin box yesterday to clean the inside. There was a fair amount of rust and I'm glad we did this job. The inside was treated with Por-15 and now looks great. Thanks for the recommendation Donna! I would suggest that all 5.0 owners take at dose look at this.
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Old 01-12-2016, 09:07 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t-twnbob View Post
My wife and I unbolted the pin box yesterday to clean the inside. There was a fair amount of rust and I'm glad we did this job.
Bob, after cleaning, did you see where the rust was coming from? For instance, was it a line where the paint damaged by welding, or bolt holes, or an unpainted area?
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Old 01-12-2016, 11:19 PM   #17
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I sent an email to Reace and this is the explanation.

" The pinboxes come to us in a raw steel form. They are welded onto the chassis, then primed and painted. It is difficult to paint the inside of the pinbox so I presume this is where the issue is coming from"

As you can imagine, they very front of the pinbox is left completely unpainted. There are also 2 holes on the top and fwd on the pinbox. There is only 1 drain hole below. Water comes in and is not allowed to drain completely. I do not understand the 2 holes on top. Are they vent holes? if so, why, because the whole aft end of the box is open. I am seriously considering getting some aluminum speed tape and taping over the 2 top holes. The bottom drain hole is still there and the aft end is open.
Whatever rust that was left over after the cleaning was hopefully neutralized by the Por-15. The entire inside of my pinbox is now completely painted with Por-15, so I should no longer have any rust stains covering my hitch and pickup bed.
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Old 01-13-2016, 12:18 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by t-twnbob View Post
I sent an email to Reace and this is the explanation.

" The pinboxes come to us in a raw steel form. They are welded onto the chassis, then primed and painted. It is difficult to paint the inside of the pinbox so I presume this is where the issue is coming from"
Thanks for checking. The Lippert product page for the 1716 says
Quote:
Each pin box has a rust-inhibitive powder-coated surface.
... so that's what I was expecting. Perhaps that's only the replacement version (or only the lower portion - there's no photo), and OEMs get unfinished (or the upper part is unfinished. Even then, I would have expected the frame shop to weld the upper part of the pinbox to the frame, then paint it along with the rest of the frame, before bolting in the lower part - that doesn't seem particularly hard to paint.

Well, we know the solution anyway.
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Old 01-13-2016, 06:26 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t-twnbob View Post
I am seriously considering getting some aluminum speed tape and taping over the 2 top holes. The bottom drain hole is still there and the aft end is open.
Whatever rust that was left over after the cleaning was hopefully neutralized by the Por-15. The entire inside of my pinbox is now completely painted with Por-15, so I should no longer have any rust stains covering my hitch and pickup bed.
That bottom drain hole is set back from the end by at least an inch. Water coming in just sits in the nose if it can't reach that hole. I too have thought about plugging the top two holes, but I think I'm going to use Devcon Metal Patch and Fill rather than tape. Living in the Pacific NorthWET I would imagine the box is like a bucket right now. I'll find out tomorrow...
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Old 01-13-2016, 08:29 AM   #20
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Bob, is the pin box as heavy as it looks? did it just slide off once the bolts were removed? I was thinking of adjusting mine to get the trailer to ride a bit more level.
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