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Old 07-08-2014, 02:26 PM   #1
KathyandDave
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Frame flex and tire failure?

I met a man who pulls a very expensive SOB and is retired from a farm and construction equipment manufacturer (he could compare notes with Ron Ames). In 2010, he bought a Big Sky and sold it seven months later because he was dissatisfied with its frame stability. He had three blowouts. He told me the following:
Prior to some year, say, a decade ago (not sure exactly), the Montana frames were made by Leyland (check my spelling). They were made of stacked welded square tubing, which resists twisting by virtue of the welds between the tubes. Lippert bought Leyland, then introduced the I-beam frames we have now. The man claims that the I-beams twist every time the springs deflect, so the side walls of the tires take an unbalanced load and distort. In time, they heat up. So, the frame construction contributes to the wear on the tires causing them to fail prematurely. The tire issues may not be entirely due to bad tires.
It's an interesting assertion. Has anybody heard of this?
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Old 07-08-2014, 02:53 PM   #2
Phil P
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Hi

The metal structures engineer that I have worked with for over 40 years passed away last Christmas. He had looked at the frame under our trailer and was very uncomplimentary of Lippert. He even said they didnít know or werenít complying with some very basic welding processes. He went as far as to say there were ways to make the frame stronger and lighter using the same amount of material.

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Old 07-08-2014, 02:56 PM   #3
8.1al
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I don't know who made the early Montana frames but I do remember that there were enough problems with them that there was a recall. I don't know what that does to his theory
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Old 07-08-2014, 04:23 PM   #4
mlh
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Wonder if his tire failures had any thing to do with Chinabomb tires???
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Old 07-08-2014, 05:42 PM   #5
steelpony5555
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I doubt the tire failures have much to do with the frames, but has everything to do with the weight and cheap tires. These tires fail on lots of rigs not just Montana's with bad frames.....
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Old 07-08-2014, 06:02 PM   #6
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My vote is with the tires.
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Old 07-08-2014, 06:22 PM   #7
JandC
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Apparently G rated tires compensate for these junk frames that are on our Montanas. I would think any metal structures engineer with 40 years experience would have to inspect more than just the little bit of visible framing under an assembled Montana before stating they didn't know what they were doing or not complying with basic welding processes.
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Old 07-08-2014, 10:03 PM   #8
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I call Hooey on that theory. Never had a blowout(or sidewall bubble, or a flat) with close to 30,000 miles @ 90psi on the original GY E-rated Marathons with 5er at close to max gross weight of ~16k lbs. Kept a close eye on pressures with a TPMS, as I think under inflation is the biggest tire killer. Curb hopping and road hazards are big on the list too.

When they aged out(still had plenty of tread), I upgraded to GY G614's just for the extra margin of load range and a little more peace of mind. I run the G614's @ 110 psi always. If I notice any excessive wear on the center of the tires I will reduce the psi, but so far so good with about 6k on the new tires.
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Old 07-09-2014, 01:07 AM   #9
Phil P
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by JandC

I would think any metal structures engineer with 40 years experience would have to inspect more than just the little bit of visible framing
I didnít say he had 40 years experience I said I had worked with him for over 40 years.

With the under belly and the cover under the front of the trailer removed to look at the frame work the hitch is fastened to you can see just about all the frame there is. Then there were the pictures I sent him when the frame failed at the rear spring hangar.

By the way he was also a certified welder. I found this out by accident when reviewing some records on the first job he did for us.

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Old 07-09-2014, 01:13 AM   #10
Phil P
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Hi

The remark about the G rated tires I find pretty much on target. I donít see how the frame flexing in the areas we are all having problems with would flex the axels enough to work the tire side walls.

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Old 07-09-2014, 04:51 AM   #11
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Lippert still has the better frames that are made from stacked rectangular steel tubing that is welded together...they get used by DRV in their fifth wheel trailers. And yes, they are heavier and couldn't be pulled by a F250 or Ram/Chevy 2500...heck, even the F350 would be on the edge of not having enough umph... Okay, someone could pull it, but I wouldn't want to be on the same highway. John
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Old 07-12-2014, 05:29 AM   #12
KathyandDave
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To various points:
I have seen for myself the inside of a weld where the hanger broke off the frame. It was rusty inside the weld.
I, too, meticulously kept our weight down and our pressure up and still our tire failed. We now run on G614's with TPMS at 80 lbs, the chart pressure for our measured weight.
The flexing described is in the smaller beam, behind the front beam, that is connected the the front and back hangers and the centre post. I've noticed that there are small gussets welded between the web and the flange there, maybe to stabilize it for cheap? Morryde makes a beefier add-on for better support.
DRV is the man's SOB, three axles, Morryde IS, pulled with an F450.
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