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The TrailerSaver Solution for Frame Flex

Are you familiar with the term "frame flex" popping up online and in social media lately? It's causing quite a stir, and understandably so. When you've invested a chunk of change in your RV, the last thing you want is trouble. What's even more worrying is hearing that some folks are being told their warranty might not cover repairs due to hitch or pin box issues. Worried if your hitch or pin box is approved by the manufacturer? Let's break down the basics and how it connects to TrailerSaver hitches, which we've been proudly making for nearly 25 years.  

For a deep dive into this issue, check out the two-part series by Big Truck Big RV on YouTube. They chat with Lippert's top engineer, shedding light on the matter.   

Here are the key points: 

  • Lippert constructs RV frames exactly to each manufacturer's specs. So, if you buy from Brand A, your Lippert frame might differ from one made for Brand B. 
  • RV makers assemble the side walls and roof to the steel chassis to make them work together seamlessly. When people talk about frame flex, they mean the superstructure of the RV is starting to separate from the steel chassis. Signs include cabinets shifting or rubbing against walls and broken seals around windows and panels. This is due to excessive movement during transit. 
  • Some RV manufacturers have issued statements about potential causes of this issue, which include road impacts, collisions, loading, weight distribution, and the use of unapproved hitches or pin boxes. Let's focus on hitches and pin boxes.  

Kingpin conversions 

It has been known and generally accepted that gooseneck conversions for 5th wheel RV’s can create possible twisting action to an RV frame through the pin box. This is due to two changes in the towing geometry.  

The first is changing the location of the pivot point between the RV and tow vehicle. The position of the original kingpin location is much higher than the goose ball. As the truck turns, this difference in pivot point location increases the leverage and can stress the pin box and frame.  

The second is adding another point of movement within the pin box (adding air ride or torsion suspension within the pin box), changing how stresses are transferred through the frame of the RV.  

These types of hitches have become quite popular due to the convenience of not having a bulky hitch in the bed of your truck.  Some manufacturers have tried to relieve the stresses associated with this change of pivot location with design improvements, but it is always important to check with your RV manufacturer’s policy if you are using anything other than a 5th wheel hitch that connects to the trailer king pin.   

One of the many advantages of the TrailerSaver hitch is that you do not have to risk changing the pin box installed by your manufacturer just to find out later that it is not approved. You can achieve a great ride that damps the bouncing and chucking, providing greater protection for your RV frame.  The TrailerSaver hitch connects to whatever kingpin the manufacturer installed and therefore does not put undue stresses on the pin box or frame because the trailer pivots at the location it was intended. 
Learn more about TrailerSaver hitches and how they work 

Conflicts with the suspension 

RV manufacturers have also referenced potential conflicts between the movement of the hitch and truck suspension. We often get the question: does an air ride hitch and air ride truck suspension “fight each other”? The short answer is no.  

The beauty of an air ride system is that you can simply change the air pressure and the air springs are now deflecting at a different rate and you can quite literally adjust the pressure for the ride you prefer. TrailerSaver hitches isolate bouncing from the RV without transmitting that same force to the truck suspension, it creates an environment where the movement of your truck suspension has less influence on the trailer frame.  

At Tow Safe we manufacture and sell the TrailerSaver hitches with complete confidence they will improve your trailering experience and help prevent frame damage. You don’t have to take our word for it, we offer a 30-day money-back guarantee and you can feel the difference for yourself.   


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