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Old 04-18-2018, 06:37 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
If you read the various fiberglass RV forums , trailer frame failure is not all that uncommon
Iíve read of Scamps ,Casitaís , Escapes and now Oliverís all experiencing frame failures
Why is this problem occurringó design ,material ,age , road salt ,fatigue , usage , etc ?
...
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 think all of the above, and more.

A common failure mode of original Trilliums was that the a-frame tongue rusted out and failed at one of the bends on each side, because the bends were poorly executed (partially due to inadequate tubing wall thickness for the bend) so they were highly stressed and they collected water. Escape had bends of the same function in the original frame (pre-mitre-joint), but they were smooth, strong, and trouble-free.

One of the places where Boler 1300 frames failed was near the front on the curb side, where the design was compromised to accommodate the dropped door opening, and it just wasn't strong enough to withstand losing material to rust.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rubicon327 View Post
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.
One of the Escape 19's with a cracked frame did not use WD, but WD definitely puts more stress on the trailer frame.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thoer View Post
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 )
You can't affect one of the two coupled vehicles without affecting the other - fundamental action and reaction stuff. The intended effect is to pry on the tug's structure to put less load on the rear axle and more on the front. The side effect is to pry the other way on the trailer, putting more load on the trailer axle... as Jon mentioned.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rubicon327 View Post
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?
Not really to lift the hitch head (think torque on the head, not vertical force), but yes. The WD system (in the traditional two-bar design) pulls down on the trailer frame at the ends of the bars, and up on the coupler. The effect is to put more bending stress on the trailer frame, as if it were carrying hundreds of pounds more stuff on the tongue.

For example, if your trailer is 12 feet from ball to axle, and you're forcing another 100 pounds onto the axle, the WD system is applying 1200 lb-ft of torque. If it does that using bars 2 feet long, they must be pulling down with 600 pounds of force, or 300 pounds per bar. Since the net vertical force on the trailer is unchanged, there must be 500 pounds extra force down on the ball (this is why WD systems keep unlatched couplers from separating).

Quote:
Originally Posted by thoer View Post
I'd think you would have to take 2 measurements of the trailer axle weight - with the trailer front height being exactly the same in both. The difference being in one the WDH was attached and the other it was not? For an accurate tongue weight I know the trailer needs to be as level as possible.
All true... but the trailer needs to be a consistent angle, whether or not that is level.

With these measurements, the severity of the effect of WD on the trailer's frame becomes apparent.
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Old 04-18-2018, 06:58 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by Dave Walter View Post
I believe that Reace mentioned ETI had recently retained an engineering consultant to review the frame design of the 19'. To me that suggests that the 19' frames may not have had any significant engineering reviews/inputs prior to the recent frame failure incident.
In light of the reported fatigue cracking of a replacement bracket I wonder if the consultant will recommend a bracket with gussets, which is much less subject to fatigue cracking than a bent piece of metal.

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Old 04-18-2018, 08:36 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by Ron in BC View Post
In light of the reported fatigue cracking of a replacement bracket I wonder if the consultant will recommend a bracket with gussets, which is much less subject to fatigue cracking than a bent piece of metal.

Ron
I didn't hear about that one Ron. The crack I saw reported was behind that on the frame rail, adjacent to where the stabilizer attaches to the frame. Are you saying that one of the brackets used to reinforce the 3" frame cracked as well?

As for gussets, I'm with you on that. I for one would gladly pay the difference for a fully gusseted frame, whether it was the old 3" or the newer 4" like mine.
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Old 04-18-2018, 10:25 PM   #44
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Yes, someone with the repair mod posted a photo, I think about 10 days ago, of a new bracket that had cracked at the 90* bend. They were thinking of grinding a Vee groove and welding it.

My opinion is that it likely wouldn't be a permanent repair to the repair bracket. Welding sides or gussets on the bracket would add a lot of strength. Sort of similar to this frame to body bracket.

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Old 04-18-2018, 10:25 PM   #45
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My understanding is the fatigue in question is not the original spot on the corner of the frame but further back towards the stabilizer. I got a phone call from ETI the other day to bring my trailer in. The engineers want to inspect it. It is a 2011 19ft. I only live 20 miles away so I am one of a couple of trailers they can readily access to perform the tests. I took the trailer in today and will report back when I have the results. As far as I know my frame is fine but I haven't looked at it closely.
Nice to know they are aware of a potential problem and doing something about it.
On another note we have a new blog as we just returned from Arizona and Utah.
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Old 04-18-2018, 10:32 PM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbryan4 View Post
. Are you saying that one of the brackets used to reinforce the 3" frame cracked as well?
Oh-oh, to clarify, what I'm making reference to is not the material welded to the sides of the frame, as the previous poster is referencing, but the 90* brackets that also come with the side plates and are the new attachment points for the vertical bolts.

Ron
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Old 04-19-2018, 12:39 AM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron in BC View Post
... Sort of similar to this frame to body bracket.
Thanks Ron! That's exactly what I have suggested before (in private correspondence with another member), but I didn't want to go to the effort of making an illustration. I suppose that one is on the Ranger.

Of course on a trailer frame it would likely be little bit simpler, of thicker plate with a simple U-bend, but that's the overall shape.

Also, I'll note that this sort of bracket only needs to be (and I think only should be) welded on the vertical flanges, to the middle of the side of the trailer's frame rail... not across the top and to the more highly stressed top of the frame.
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Old 04-19-2018, 08:21 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by Ron in BC View Post
Oh-oh, to clarify, what I'm making reference to is not the material welded to the sides of the frame, as the previous poster is referencing, but the 90* brackets that also come with the side plates and are the new attachment points for the vertical bolts.

Ron
Ah, Ok. That makes sense.
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