View Full Version : Beware..... frame cracks

09-17-2020, 01:16 PM
2015 21RBSWE with 19,000 miles

Northern Ca. camping trip. Looking back on the day it happened, I remember a sound like hitting a small pothole in the first campground I checked at a mountain lake. While driving to 2nd campground I kept hearing what I assumed was my rear cargo rack (un used), making squeaking noises everytime I went over a pavement crack. After backing into campsite and prepping trailer I notice the problem. I-beam failure at the rear leaf spring bracket. The horizontal leg of I-beam had torn off the beam itself and flipped 180, and was rubbing on the beam itself. Trailer was lower and rear axle angled towards front wheel. Oh boy!
Short version...... a couple days of driving to cell phone coverage along with a couple emergencies the welder had to deal with finally got me patched up enough to make it down the mountain to his shop. During this time I prepped the the trailer for the welding job by cutting insulation back and lining with aluminum foil to protect against fire. I also discovered the same flaw on the opposite side. A crack in the I-beam just above rear bracket hanger. Engineering issue????? I travel with empty grey and black which are to the rear of cracks. Fresh is in front of axles. I'll travel with 1/2 to full fresh H2o.
Guys at the shop welded cracks and sisters (additional pieces of steel to reinforce cracked area).

Best part of story is I met some great people who fixed me up and got me on my way.

Please crawl under your rigs occasionally with a good light and inspect your frame for potential disasters. I was lucky!

09-17-2020, 01:57 PM
Praise the Lord you are safe and the experience was resolved without damage. That was a stressful frame break and cudos to the welder who got you back on the road. Did he have any thoughts on why the frame just failed like that?

Do you usually camp off grid and what state did this happen? Looks like the roads may be been a bit rough.

09-18-2020, 08:09 AM
My usual campsites are in Ca. and Oregon National Forests, with limited amount of dirt road traveling (usually the last couple miles). Not what I would call hard miles at all. Maybe if I had 100,000 miles on the trailer and had max. weight aft of axles, but this seems like an engineering design failure. They are not made to last.

09-18-2020, 08:19 AM
Your trailer sure didn't last. Hope that welder was careful to scab in a lot of bracing and knew how to make a weld that penetrated. Can you tell the difference between penetration and a cold weld?