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About to give up on the RV life style..todays issue broken wet bolt


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Just got moving when I saw smoke coming from the drivers side of the rig. Pulled over and the front tire was against the rear tire. When I looked underneath the rig the wet bolt through the spring to the front frame hanger had broken in two. The part of the bolt with the zerk fitting was still in the hanger. The bolt had crystalized and broken right at the hole that is drilled to allow grease to flow out of the bolt to the spring. There is absolutely no wear on the bolt. Kudos to Good Sam road side assistance. 1 1/2 hours later they had put in a 9/16 bolt to allow us to return to the park in Flagstaff. Hopefully we will be able to get a new wet bolt tomorrow.

My concern is this. I baby this rig. 25000 miles on it. The suspension is lubed 2 times each year. We bought it new and this is our attempt at a 4th season on the road. Each of the other three have had a major failure.
Tires, bearings. slides and now the wet bolt. We are giving it some time for us to cool down, but we are considering returning home and putting the rig up for sale. We didn't spend 100k for this kind of problems. Thanks for the rant time.

Dick

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It is a 2012 Hitch Hiker 363RSB. It has a Youngs frame and Dexter 8000 axles with disc brakes and 17.5 wheels. Spent $3000 for the Dexter axles to avoid this type of stuff. I am not about to spend another 3000 and throw away the 8000 axels and hope it will be better. Just had the rig weighed and we are 800 lbs. under max. Gota figure out what to do next.

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We feel your pain. We had the Mr Ryde IS installed on our 06 3400 Montana and got rid of the OEM suspension after we broke a shackle and a spring , We also had the Mor Ryde Is installed on this 13 3402 Montana Big Sky before the OEM suspension had a chance to fail.

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Wow, that is some terrible luck. We too have a 2012 Hitchhiker DA, though a smaller one than yours. We've been full time in it since purchased and haven't had a lick of trouble. It seems like you've just had a terrible run of luck but can understand your frustration with the whole thing!

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Ya,................good thing nothing ever breaks at home. Neighbors spent 200k for a house that has a repair man show about every other month.

 

But it does suck to have majors on every outing. I cant offer anything really. I hope things go better for you, but you have to do what you have to do. At least you have the receipts for a reason to quit.

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Some rigs were built on Monday morning when crew was still hungover. Some rigs were built on Friday afternoon when half the crew had already started their weekend. Not saying either of these happened to your rig but you do start to wonder about the ones that have problem after problem.

 

Linda Sand

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Just had the rig weighed and we are 800 lbs. under max.

 

Did you have each tire position weighed? If not, you should since a tire could be overloaded.

 

I don't know which direction you're planning on heading when you leave Flagstaff, but the SKP park in Congress has the scales to weigh each tire position, so you might want to make that your first stop.

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First thanks for all comments and encouragement. The morning always brings a better perspective. Linda, yes we had each position weighed and are not near max on any corner. We have decided to replace the wet bolt and head on down the road. It has to just be a bad, i.e. too hard, bolt that broke. I will buy several spars when I find them. We will be hanging around the Rockies fly fishing this summer and will probably put less than 50000 miles on the rig. When we get home I'll tear it apart and replace all the bolts and shackles with the heavy duty MorRyde suspension parts. again thanks for all the comments. Dick

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On my fiver ( Heartland Bighorn ) I had a broken shackle. Repaired it in an RV park in Deming NM myself. Bought 2 new sets of shackles and welded them together to make them twice as thick. The suspension did not have wet bolts so I installed those as well.

 

I am not sure if Lippert makes junk or the fiver manufacturers buy under engineered frames for these machines. I swear for what they charge for thse RVs I could build a lot stronger and more reliable one myself. Only problem is I'd be too old to enjoy it when I got done.

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Wet bolt update. Bought 4 new bolts today and had an RV service, (not allowed to work on your own rig in this park), replace the four bolts at the spring ends to the chassis. The 3 remaining bolts looked like new. The 8000 lb. Dexter axel comes with bronze bushings so if they are greased regularly there should be no wear. The mechanic said he had never in 15 years seen a bolt crystalize and brake like ours. (our luck)He figured bad bolt or way over torqued during assembly. The guy was great, about 1 hour and the job was done. Thursday we will continue on our summer trip.

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some of those older RV parks in Mesa area have Tight little streets and 90 degree parking. They are definitely not built for the big fivers. You pretty much need to jacknife the fiver to get it in place...very hard on suspension and tires.

 

Another reason I like having a MH

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  • 4 weeks later...

Ray that's an interesting point. We had just made a sharp u turn at a gas station about 10 minutes prior to the bolt breaking.

Sorry I lost your thread and didn't reply. I don't have a clue to the level of force on tandem tires during a spot turn, but I have seen what happens to hot blacktop(TX in July) during a spot turn. The sliding tires peeled up about 1" deep "divots" in the city street.

I think your bolt broke during that "U" turn, but one part didn't fall out until it was relieved of pressure while going straight, then vibrated/worked out. Only the head-end of these bolts have a knurl to hold them in the spring hanger.

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