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Lippert frame rust concern purchased new 2022 travel trailer


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We are brand new to the RV world.  However spent two years (2020 & 2021) considering the purchase of our first RV pull-behind conventional style travel trailer.  July 16, 2022 made the decision to buy a 2022 Prime Time RV (Division of Forest River) "Avenger 26BK" model travel trailer.  30 foot long & dry weight is 4,900 lbs.  I looked underneath at the frame and immediately noticed rust that appeared more than what I was expecting.  I asked the sales associate about the rust on this new trailer and was shown the Grand Design Transcend travel trailer frame directly next to it with the comment; "Rust happens to all new trailers sitting on the lot.  Lippert is the industry trailer frame and the frame will shown signs of rusting whether it's a $45, 000 trailer, $30,000, or $20,000 trailer."  I drove to the dealership again today on July 25, 2022 to complete the financial transaction.  While waiting took another look at the Avenger 26BK that we are buying and another Avenger 26BK on the lot.  Our 2022 Avenger 26BK was built 10/12/21 and the other 12/07/21.   The December built trailer had no to little rust compared to our trailer.  Pictures attached of each trailer.  Is this rust issue worth pursuing with the dealership.  We live in Massachusetts and the dealership is located in the Saratoga, NY area (a three hour drive).  We are very excited about this purchase and are looking forward to making memories for our two kids; 11 yr old daughter and 9 yr old son.  Please give us some knowledge about this rust on a 9 month old Lippert frame of a 2022 Prime Time RV (Forest River) "Avenger 26BK" and let us know how we should proceed.  The "walk-thru & orientation" is August 5, 2022.  We are immediately pulling the trailer on a two week vacation 730 miles west to Kelley's Island State Park (Lake Erie, Ohio) back thru West Virginia's New River Gorge National Park, north thru Pennsylvania's Ohiopyle State Park (Youghiogheny River rafting) and thru Catskill Mountains before back to Massachusetts.  Our trailer use is to take our family (two kids) camping once a month during the three seasons before cold temps set in for the winter months.  What should we do if anything about this rust on a 2022 trailer frame?  Thanks, "Beginner Trailer Family" of Massachusetts.

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I've owned a multitude of RV's in my days and I've never had one which had any noticeable amount of rust.  Maybe a little around the welds after a few years.  I don't know how much you're seeing, but I don't accept that it is the norm.

As far as sales associates, like my grandmother used to say "you can tell they're lying when their lips are moving".

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Since our first Starcraft pop-up trailer we have owned several others.  Travel trailers, 5ers, class A and class C units.  The star craft did get some rust on the frame.

All of the 5ers have been higher end units, Avion, Carriage Cameo and HitchHiker Champagne.  None of these have used a Lippert frame and have not any rust issues.  In my opinion, Lippert supplies poorly designed and built frames to RV industry.  There are still a couple of manufacturers that do not use Lippert frames and are the only ones I would consider buying a trailer

Our 9 year old HitcHiker has a Young's Welding frame and it is powder coated and has zero rust.

In short, there is no reason that the frame should have rust on a new trailer, except for cheap preparation and painting.

Ken

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Our trailer frame was not produced by lippert, but still noticed a fair amount of surface rust.  A lot of it looked like pits from gravel. I spent a couple days under the trailer, sanding, wiping with alcohol and repainting with cold galvanized paint. 

It seems that there is a lot less attention given to protecting the frame, perhaps its planned obsolescence? 

I doubt you'd get much recourse from the $tealer for the rust, they just prep and deliver.

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Depends on the time of year the frame sat outside, and the weather. The “excuse” may be a viable explanation. I used a product which you can spray or brush on with no prep. For the areas I could reach, I wire brushed the rust off first.

ideally, the frame or e450 chassis would be prepped well enough to handle one winter, but snow sitting on them, especially if they arrived in winter and were subject to salt spray, can cause rust. I doubt they get cleaned or even monitored on arrival.

not making excuses, just pointing out reality. 

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Thank you all.   Appreciate your prompt responses.  We have been researching/looking & looking some more at RV pull-behind style (no 5th wheels for practicality) trailers in 2020 & 2021 & now half of 2022.   We signed on the dotted line after seeing the rust for a few reasons; we had driven 3 1/2 hours from Boston to Saratoga, NY, our family vacation was already planned for Aug 5 thru Aug 21 (we thought about renting a trailer again but thought the $5,100 for two weeks was better placed towards a trailer), this particular Prime Time RV Forest River 2022 Avenger 26BK trailer had the features (per our list written down), and the final total price was within our max limit to spend.   Plus our time to searching for another trailer was diminished with full-time work, weekends filled until Aug 5.

It was the trip back on Monday, July 25, 2022 to finish the payment (while waiting) for the trailer; that really noticed the difference with rust on the Lippert frames between two identical Forest River Prime Time RV Avenger 26BK model trailers.   A difference of 8 weeks on the built dates (Oct 12, 2021 & Dec 7, 2021).   I know...I should have spoken up at that moment, but didn't.  I decided to submit this post to read the replies from individuals more experienced with RVs. Is it a big deal for this amount of rust to be on a 9 month old trailer frame? Should I call or send an email to the dealership sales associate documenting our concern about the rust?  For those in the know; in the bigger picture is this rust going to happen anyway?  Personally, I thought purchasing a brand new (I know it has been on a gravel or grass lot are for 8 months or more) the frame would look new.  This was an exciting moment for us to buy our first travel trailer.  There is so much for the average person to learn & know when thinking about getting an RV.   I just want to know if I should ask the dealer in an email to switch this 10/12/21 trailer with the 12/07/21 identical trailer on the lot?  Good luck, right?!?   I know as one person wrote "Living & traveling in the rust belt; it won't get any better, it will probably get worse."  I'm not planning to tow it during the winter months when the salt is caked all over the roads in Massachusetts and neighboring states.

Thanks again for each of you that took the time to reply!  We are excited about using this 30 foot Avenger travel trailer on Aug 5th for our two week vacation!

5ZT2AVRB6NB932298 Alpin Haus Saratoga frame rust pic1.jpeg

5ZT2AVRB6NB932298 Alpin Haus Saratoga frame rust pic2.jpeg

5ZT2AVRB6NB932298 Alpin Haus Saratoga frame rust pic3.jpeg

5ZT2AVRB6NB932298 Alpin Haus frame rust pic5.jpeg

5ZT2AVRB6NB932298 Alpin Haus frame rust pic7.jpeg

5ZTZAVRB6NB932298 Alpin Haus frame rust pic8.jpeg

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While it does seem to me to have a bit more rust than I would have expected, I don't see anything that is alarming. Since you find it concerning, it sure wouldn't hurt anything to talk with the dealer about changing to the other RV, assuming that you have not yet taken delivery on this one. If you have towed it from the dealership then I would be very surprised if they would be willing but even then, the worst that they might say would be no. 

As I look at the pictures my first reaction is the think that it may have been towed to shows or something which might account for more than the normal rust. As to the thoughts of what we might have done differently or what you perhaps should have done, there is noting to be gained by that speculation now so I'd just ignore it. Talk with the salesperson and see what they have to say. 

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Thanks Kirk!  Appreciate your thoughtful reply!   Some outside pics of our first ever travel trailer purchase on July 16, 2022.  We have not taken delivery yet.  The pick-up & walk-thru date is scheduled for 12 noon on Friday, Aug 5, 2022.  As individuals who thought about buying a starter RV for awhile, researched & researched for two years, tested RV trailers by renting a few times, it was exciting to get the offer within our price range, and make the decision.  (My wife Anne was at the point "Just make a decision!" because we are definitely traveling to Kelley's Island, Ohio on August 5th and will be doing an Clark Griswold family style vacation for two weeks!.  She kept saying that time is short and the kids are growing fast, and in reality we only have a few more springs, summers, & falls before they are older working jobs and don't have the interest to spend time camping.  Anne & I hope that this Forest River Prime Time RV Avenger trailer will be reliable.  Yes, a bit concerned about this trailer frame rust on a new trailer (I too think the dealer might have taken it to trade shows during the winter months).  I'm will send an email (with the pics) to the dealership sales associate to ask if the trailer could be switched with the identical model trailer on the lot.  That trailer has no rust at all on the frame, bolts, or wheel springs.  Most people have commented that the frame rust on this Lippert chassis is not normal for a new 2022 travel trailer.   Here's to being positive and having a safe trip with the family on August 5th!   We are excited to have this travel trailer and making memories for our kids!  My best memories growing up in Maryland (Lutherville north of Baltimore) were when we all went camping!  Mom bought a brand new 1978 green Eureka canvas style tent with a tall center ridge pole that could hold all five sibling with mom & dad.  We went to Shenandoah National Park, Catoctin Mountain (Blue Ridge Mountains of Maryland), Williamsburg, VA; Niagara Falls, Assateague Island, MD; Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, VA; various state parks in Pennsylvania, etc.   Coincidently led to my interest in becoming a National Park Service Law Enforcement Ranger and have proudly served 25 years with the agency from Glen Canyon (Lake Powell) to Yellowstone to Everglades to Glacier Bay, Alaska.   Since moving to Massachusetts, have enjoyed patrolling three National Historical Parks that preserve & protect the American Revolution history of independence at Lexington & Concord and in Boston and America's earliest planned industrial community along the Merrimack River in Lowell, Massachusetts.

Thanks again, be safe, and here's to enjoying the National Historical, Battlefield, & Military Parks and the great outdoors by RVing as a family!

5ZT2AVRB6NB932298 Alpin Haus Saratoga 2022 Avenger 26BK side.jpeg

5ZT2AVRB6NB932298 Alpin Haus Saratoga Avenger 26BK front pic.jpg

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Since you have not picked it up yet Call the dealer and tell them that you want the rust areas cleaned and painted. Then when you do your walk through be sure everything is in working order. Do not let them hurry you through the process because once it is off the lot getting them to repair items gets harder. If they give you any push back walk away. I know you are excited and a lot of dealers are banking on the excitement to push the unit out with issues rather that fix before you pick it up

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What they said above! If not done at pickup, don’t count on it ever getting done. Maybe gets done if noted to and agreed in writing, but it will definitely not be at your convenience (in my experience). In my case, we noted everything, and were satisfied to get the needed parts, since I was going to do the work anyway. 

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17 hours ago, Beginner Trailer Family MA said:

I drove to the dealership again today on July 25, 2022 to complete the financial transaction. 

If you've already paid and signed title application and so forth, they're probably not going to do anything to please you.  They're just storing your trailer until you pick it up.  On the other hand, if they are a conscientious dealer and truly care about their customers, they may help you out.  Hopefully, they haven't sent in the paperwork yet.

In seeing the photos, it's not really so bad that a little Ospho and some paint can't take care of.  It's just a lot of work that one normally doesn't expect to do on a new trailer.  The leaf springs are pretty telling.  Trailer was obviously exposed to some type of corrosive situation without being cleaned up immediately, probably road salt.

Worse case scenario, enjoy your trailer and take care of the frame issue over time, and don't worry about it.

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Since you are planning on taking the trailer with you right after the Pre Delivery Inspection what are you going to do if something doesn't work, like maybe the water heater or the water pump, etc. Make sure everything works, everything. Take your time , this should take hours. They will want to rush this but dont let them. You're the boss right now.

I would have told them that you expect NO rust on this trailer before the PDI. Let them take care of it now before you pick it up.  Like others have said, once you leave their lot you will be very lucky for any action on ANYTHING  thereafter,  When i saw the rust in your pictures I can see your concern. Something isnt quite right.

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From the photos, I would not accept that pile of rust.  Our 2013 HitchHiker, has a Young's Welding powder coated frame and there is no appreciable rust today.  If a manufacturer wants to build a higher quality, they can, but it will cost more.  Customes need to start insisting on better quality by letting the junl set on the lot.

Ken

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1 hour ago, TXiceman said:

I would not accept that pile of rust. 

What would you suggest they do, since they've already paid for it?

1 hour ago, TXiceman said:

Our 2013 HitchHiker, has a Young's Welding powder coated frame and there is no appreciable rust today. 

Hitchhikers were a well built trailer, but they are no longer in business.

1 hour ago, TXiceman said:

If a manufacturer wants to build a higher quality, they can, but it will cost more.  Customes need to start insisting on better quality by letting the junl set on the lot.

Customers do want better quality, but they don't want to pay for it.  That's why Forest River is still in business and Hitchhiker is not.

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Hi Payroll Person, Gary & Larissa, Durangodon, Travelinbob, and Ken,

Update:  Called first thing this morning (July 27) to speak with the sales associate (located 3 1/2 hours northwest of Boston in another state).  I kept professional, forthright, and expressed the concern about the rust on this 2022 model year travel trailer built 10/12/21.  Sales associate describes the rust on the frame as "surface rust" and not a big issue on the trailer frame due to the thickness of the steel.  Sales associate looked at both identical trailers on the lot.  Learned from sales associate that both trailers are approximately 60 days difference in the same company's manufacturing date and two months difference on when the RV dealership received each trailer. The sales associate offered three options:

1. RV Dealership paint the frame prior to pick-up & walk-thru. Cost: $299

2. Switch the travel trailer to the identical brand & model (12/07/21 manufacturer sticker build date) that is on the RV dealer lot.  Sale associate described the identical trailer frame as "pristine" compared to the trailer frame we purchased.  Cost: $2,132.10  {Reason provided for the additional cost: RV dealership took possession of the identical trailer approximately 60 days after the 10/12/21 trailer and the travel trailer manufacturer cost increased the price to the dealership within two months.  Coincidently, when searching for Avenger 26BK for sale, it is listed for same price on rvtrader.com for the exact identical trailer built 12/07/21.  Same price listed on rvtrader.com for the 10/12/21 built trailer at the same RV dealership.}

3. Cancel the deal and not purchase the travel trailer.  Cost: $115.60 (Cost for the Maxxair brand original roof vent cover that the RV dealership installed on the travel trailer a few days after our purchase date of Saturday, July 16 because the dealer had a $1,999 credit [part of the total price on the purchase agreement] for RV equipment at the dealership's parts division. The parts associate called on Monday, July 18 to recommend the equipment to get with that credit; trailer hitch, sway control system, wire harness for brakes, sewer hose, water hose, vent cover, etc...just checked that this roof vent costs $27 dollars on Amazon, so the remainder of the $115.60 is labor cost to install it.)

Appreciate the time that each of you have taken to share your perspectives.  We were very excited to finally purchase this brand new 2022 RV travel trailer and now the excitement has worn off and the reality of the RV industry has opened our eyes.  We may just return to the simplicity of tent camping for our family vacation to Kelley's Island, Ohio!

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Picking up and traveling same day is risky these days. Just the unknown time at the dealer could leave you traveling late.

It could prove fruitful to wait, if you can, for the above reasons, and with the apparent upcoming lack of buyers for the available units. Might be trending to a buyer’s market.

How much the dealer paid for the identical unit is not your concern. Old tactic. The newer one has cost them less in flooring, and the other more, so I would be bargaining on the older, but that is me. 

Edited by Payroll Person
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26 minutes ago, durangodon said:

 

Hitchhikers were a well built trailer, but they are no longer in business.

Customers do want better quality, but they don't want to pay for it.  That's why Forest River is still in business and Hitchhiker is not.

Exactly the reason given by NuWa's president.  People only want the biggest and cheapest box that they can find.  They only see the glitz and bling and are not concerned with the bones.  They could not build a decent quality trailer for the money in the market in 2012, so he decided to not build trailers and shut down the company while it was still healthy.

I feel sorry for all of the noobies and the problems they are experiencing in their shiny new RVs.  We will just keep up the maintenance on our 9-year-old 5er and enjoy it.

Ken

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It looks like surface rust which is no big deal from a structure standpoint. A $20 quart of oil based satin black paint, a wire brush and a handy rag to wipe off splatters would do the job. I brush painted the frame and springs on my 34' fifth wheel in about 4 hours or less.

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I think that you have been done a disservice by so much negativeism in the responses here, but I expressed my opinion before and you seem to prefer the negative advice over the positive. If you can't be comfortable with the trailer you bought and you aren't willing to pay the cost of changing to the other trailer, then probably #3 may be the best choice for you. I suspect that even if you were to get #2 at no cost there would be something else you would discover to worry about. I could make a long post here about my opinions, but that would be unlikely to relieve your worries, which I think are the real key to the entire problem. If you are afraid to make your own decision, no amount of advice here will ever make you comfortable. Add to that the idea of taking delivery as you begin a long trip and you probably have a sure plan for disaster. When you enter into any new experience expecting the worst, you are almost certain to find it.

 

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Kirks last sentence is very true of human nature.

I agree with the salesman, that is surface rust.  It may be converted back to a solid surface that does not rust after treatment.

Personally I would not opt for any of your 3 choices. I'd go through with the deal  you've already approved. When I return home I would buy a wire brush and a kit of POR 15 and paint all the rusty areas. POR 15 is actually not a paint, it penetrates the solid oxidation that is left after you remove the loose rust with the wire brush, and chemically changes it back to a solid surface. FOLLOW DIRECTIONS EXACTLY!

edIt: That surface rust may be due to the road conditions during delivery times, and the use of salt or chloride on their roads. I know Indiana does use those heavily during winter weather.

Edited by Ray,IN
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Do your home work of claims of products that chemically change rust back to a solid surface. These products are just sealers (like paint) to keep the metal from being exposed to water which promotes rusting of metal. That being said, some trailers are stored in grassy lots which also traps moisture under them and that will result in excessive undercarriage rusting.

I talked to a beach camp host in FL that showed me excessive undercarriage rust on the frame of his 1 year old Ford truck. I explained that being parked in salty beach sand for over 3 months will do that to any vehicle.

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