How about some TrailAir hitch help - Dutchmen Owners

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Old 06-03-2016, 04:05 AM   #1
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How about some TrailAir hitch help

So I've got a 2015 Voltage Epic 3800 that has the TrailAir hitch with the Tri-Glide feature. I think that's right. It has the six grease zerks on the outside and the three grease zerks on tubes accessible from the back only.

I don't know if its "chucking", but when pulling away from a stop light or stop sign, we get the most awful noise and jerk from the hitch. Pull away slowly, no problem. Pothole, again, the most awful noise and jerk.

Upon returning home I took a closer look. The rear corners on the Reese 30K hitch are getting galled/fretted pretty badly and the rear corners of the TrailAir plate are bent and galled/fretted even worse.

Here's a couple of pics:
The corners of the Trail Air hitch plate




I have a gauge on the air bag and have been running somewhere around 80psi, maybe a bit more.

Any thoughts on what's happening and what I should do about it? Have a month, leave for next month long trip on July 3rd.

Here's a link to my Photobucket album that has more pics:
http://s499.photobucket.com/user/Roo...?sort=3&page=1

Thanks,

Pirate
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Old 06-03-2016, 08:53 AM   #2
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Pirate, no thoughts as to what would cause the bending you have on yours, but one thing is for sure. Lippert no longer sells the TriGlide or parts for it. The replacement lower jaw has no "rollers". Whether they'll admit it or not, there have been several documented failures of the TriGlide.

Look closely at the rollers inside and out. When my father in laws failed, it the welds from the "rollers" to the out frame of the hitch that were all broken. He lubed his religiously. I have been eyeing changing mine before any long trips this year as a preventative measure.

The bucking/chucking you have sounds to be like a failed/failing hitch, but without looking myself can't be sure.
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Old 06-03-2016, 08:55 AM   #3
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Looking more closely at your first picture, the fifth wheel contact plate appears to no longer be parallel with the upper jaw - I'd guess you have a weld or "roller" in the front that has failed and broken.

The bends in the rear portion really have me puzzled/concerned as well.
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Old 06-03-2016, 02:31 PM   #4
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Have submitted a Contact Us request to Lippert Components.

Will post what I hear and learn.

Pirate
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Old 06-03-2016, 02:45 PM   #5
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Good luck. I was in an email conversation with them last fall about this issue. The guy told me they've had zero reports of failures. I asked why stop selling it then. Once I provided father in laws name, customer service rep name and date and time of his call to report the failure, they stopped responding. If yours is shot, you'll no longer have your triglide. Gets replaced with the standard trailaire lower jaw

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Old 06-03-2016, 06:36 PM   #6
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Don,

Guess I'm not that concerned with getting something for free...just want to make sure we don't have problems in July.

Did get a response from Tara Speed, Tech Rep, but said she couldn't see the pics in my Photobucket album. So attached the pics to the e-mail response.

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Old 06-03-2016, 06:39 PM   #7
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I wasn't able to view them either. Father in laws and fellow forum member will tell you that it wasn't free...

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Old 06-04-2016, 02:15 AM   #8
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Would it be more helpful to report these failures to the NTSB? Failure could cause a 20k lb trailer to become disconnected and cause a ruckus. I know that if/when mine fails, I will report it to NTSB and let Lippert know, that way they cannot say it wasn't reported. Enough failures, there could be a forced recall.

Cale
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Old 06-04-2016, 05:31 AM   #9
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***DO NOT TOW YOUR TRAILER***

Your hitch has failed! I had the exact same problem last year and two of the three rollers had broken welds. In other words, there wasn't much securing the trailer to the truck. You have a very dangerous situation there with your Tri-Glide.

I had a brand new TrailAir, minus the Tri-Glide, installed under warranty.

Here's the thread I started last July Trailair Tri-Glide hitch failure
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Old 06-04-2016, 06:09 AM   #10
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Cale,

What or which warranty covered it?

Thanks,

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Old 06-04-2016, 12:49 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pirate View Post
Cale,

What or which warranty covered it?

Thanks,

Pirate
Wasn't me, it was azdryheat.


I am pulling mine in for some extended warranty work on 20JUN, I will take a good look at all that during that trip and get it covered??

Cale
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Old 06-04-2016, 12:54 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calewjohnson View Post
Would it be more helpful to report these failures to the NTSB? Failure could cause a 20k lb trailer to become disconnected and cause a ruckus. I know that if/when mine fails, I will report it to NTSB and let Lippert know, that way they cannot say it wasn't reported. Enough failures, there could be a forced recall.

Cale
I agree with Cale, report it to NTSB! I did when I found my hitch suspect. I had 3 phone calls from Dutchmen/Keystone by noon I the next business day. If Keystone doesn't care about anything else, they sure get responsive when NTSB gets involved.
Your reporting it could save someones life.
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Old 06-04-2016, 12:56 PM   #13
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I know I said NTSB above, however, it was the NHTSA I was thinking that had online reporting. I have filled out forms on past RVs because of tire blowouts. Once I was asked for pictures of the tire and pics of the date codes. Here is the online reporting form:

https://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/VehicleComplaint/

Cale
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Old 06-04-2016, 01:03 PM   #14
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I agree with Cale, report it to NTSB! I did when I found my hitch suspect. I had 3 phone calls from Dutchmen/Keystone by noon I the next business day. If Keystone doesn't care about anything else, they sure get responsive when NTSB gets involved.
Your reporting it could save someones life.
I even think it is worth calling even after the warranty period, the hitch is an integral part of the "family of systems" when speaking to an RV. Sorry, my systems engineering at work here. It is also a huge safety item. Vehicle manufacturers are held to vehicle safety standards long after warranties expire.

Lippert's desire to buy small businesses that build quality RV products to increase their control in the market may have put them in a bad position here, as I am sure the product is of inferior quality today compared to when it was small business owned. Case in point, Schwintec.

Cale
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Old 06-08-2016, 01:42 PM   #15
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Talked to Dan Collins at Lippert Components. Sure enough, Dan reviewed my pics and told me there are broken welds.

Dan's Customer Service attitude was fantastic. Sending me all the parts needed to upgrade my hitch to the latest model, all under a Goodwill clause.

When I get the parts, I will document the process and findings as I work my way through. Yes, I told Dan I was more than willing and capable of doing the work.

More to come!

Pirate
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Old 06-08-2016, 01:43 PM   #16
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Wow that is great news! I'm sure those of us with rigs a couple of years old won't be so lucky

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Old 06-08-2016, 08:52 PM   #17
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What a great Web site! I just went and looked at my tri-glide. All is greased and using a 3' pry-bar front and back on either side I can get about 1/8" tip movement from front to back. No apparent weld issues. Is there any other way to check the condition of the welds?
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Old 06-08-2016, 08:55 PM   #18
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TomW - the three failures I've seen it is very obvious when a weld goes. The triglide plate will no longer be parallel to the jaw. I have a trip to Darlington in August and mine will be replaced by then out of caution

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Old 06-11-2016, 04:21 AM   #19
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How about some TrailAir hitch help

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pirate View Post
Talked to Dan Collins at Lippert Components. Sure enough, Dan reviewed my pics and told me there are broken welds.



Dan's Customer Service attitude was fantastic. Sending me all the parts needed to upgrade my hitch to the latest model, all under a Goodwill clause.



When I get the parts, I will document the process and findings as I work my way through. Yes, I told Dan I was more than willing and capable of doing the work.



More to come!



Pirate


Dan is the one who sent me my lower jaw. Out if warranty. Seemed to be too shelf!
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Old 06-26-2016, 05:28 PM   #20
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OK, so got the parts from Lippert and got them installed.

Dan Collins was a great guy to work with and sent me what I needed "Goodwill". Got an e-mail from lippert later on basically saying "don't tell anyone".

Here's a pic of the new "non-tri glide" lower jaw installed.


Wasn't that hard really. Used the Engineer brain and brought two pieces of 3/8" OD steel tube with me. Removed the lower rear bolt and stuck in a steel tube. Then removed the center front bolt and stuck in a steel tube. Then removed the rest of the bolts. So jaw is hanging by the two tubes. Got a good grip on it, had wife pull one, then second tube and lowered it to the ground.

New jaw turned out to be a PITA to install. Couldn't get the pin through the second hole in the jaw. So took jaw up to the shop, used an abrasive role and cleaned out the pin hole and removed a slight ridge on the inside. Back to the Voltage. Still can't get the pin into the jaw. So wound up, sorry no pic, grinding about 1/16" off the front of the square the jaw rests on top of, and against. (took material off the "against" surface) And voila got the jaw up and in place and the pin went right in.

With the jaw now in place. Stuck a steel tube through a lower rear row bolt hole, then pivoted up and stuck a steel tube through the center front row hole.

Used a level to get the jaw close and took a measurement from plate to concrete. Needed to come down some. about one "bolt hole".

So used the steel tubes and heft to hold the hitch in place while getting bolts in. Lowering one bolt hole got the jaw where needed. In the pic below note that I was not able to use all the "old" bolt holes, as the front center is covered. So used the next one up. All bolts in and torqued.

Any thoughts on the using the top bolt hole in the front row? Noticed it just goes through two pieces of 1/4" steel. Not like the others that go through the hitch as well.

Just occurred to me, been awfully busy lately, that I better hook up to the truck today and make sure all is well. We leave for three weeks in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming next Saturday...and don't need any more trouble!!

Pirate
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