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Thread: 2011 BH Axle Disaster

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    Senior Member ihsolutions's Avatar
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    2011 BH Axle Disaster

    As I pulled the BH 3670RL out of storage today for our BIG summer trip, I received error messages from my prodigy indicating a short or overload condition.

    I made it the mile home with partial brakes. I looked under the coach and saw bare wires hanging. I called HL customer service and was told this is non-warrantable since "something must have happened while at the storage".

    After a little more time under the coach I discovered the problem. The flat metal piece that is welded to the top of the axle (which the springs rest on) had broken off both sides of the rear axles. Here's the pics. I uploaded one of the front also which is not broken, for comparison:

    So my entire family has been planning this 10 day long trip for over a month. We are supposed to leave Thursday morning. After 3 months of ownership of this coach, which has been full of problems, I'm real curious to see if Heartland steps up to the plate and takes care of this QUICKLY so we don't miss our trip. It doesn't help that I can't even get the local dealer on the phone for service. I can't pull this thing anywhere, and it's sitting in my driveway partially loaded for vacation.

    Heartland, PLEASE HELP ME!
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    Jeff, Laurie + 2
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    Re: 2011 BH Axle Disaster

    That is unfortunate! I hope you can get things fixed so you can take your trip. I would suggest contacting Heartland again and forwarding the pictures to them. I doubt seriously that you will be able to get if fixed in time for your trip unless you take it upon yourself to find a shop that can work on it for you. Most any shop could fix this problem in a short time so you would be able to leave on your trip. I would be sure to contact Heartland and tell them what you are doing and hopefully they will reimburse you for the repair. It does not look like it would take that much to fix but getting it into a dealers shop and back out in time for your trip is highly unlikely.

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    Senior Member ihsolutions's Avatar
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    Re: 2011 BH Axle Disaster

    I called Heartland again and they basically washed their hands of it and said, "Call Lippert". I'm furious. I called Lippert, and they asked me to send a bunch of pictures, which I just did, and they will "call me tomorrow once they take a look at them". WHAT???

    I asked Heartland to help me escalate the issue with Lippert to get it resolved quickly and they basically told me I'd have to run it up the ladder at Lippert myself.

    I'm beyond frustrated right now. I have people flying in from all over the country for this trip...
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    Prolifically Gabby Member JohnDar's Avatar
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    Re: 2011 BH Axle Disaster

    Bigger question is what would cause that plate to snap like that on a new rig?? Bad weld technique would be my first guess. That or hitting the mother of all potholes. Had that been the case, you'd still be cleaning up inside the rig. Besides Heartland, start calling Lippert.
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    Senior Member ihsolutions's Avatar
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    Re: 2011 BH Axle Disaster

    Update: Lippert says I need a new axle (duh!). They are going to "try" to ship me one tomorrow, and I "might" have it before the end of the week. But who's going to put it on? The only authorized dealer to do service in my area (General RV) says no way I can get help until sometime next week, they have 47 units they have to get finished before Friday.

    I asked the Lippert CS guy about having this one welded and he said they won't pay, and he doesn't recommend welding it either.
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    Prolifically Gabby Member JohnDar's Avatar
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    Re: 2011 BH Axle Disaster

    I just noticed in your signature that you have 8000 lb. axles. Did you order it with those? Not that it warrants what happened, just curious. It's a bit of a haul with a shaky brake system, but is there any possibility of your General dealer (I'm assuming it's the Wixom one) could get the Mt. Clemens or Birch Run store to squeeze you in? Good customer PR if they do.
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    Senior Member ihsolutions's Avatar
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    Re: 2011 BH Axle Disaster

    Yes, I have the 8k axles. Some upgrade, huh?

    Talked to a couple mobile welders. When I explained the issue and sent pics, they both said that's a horrible design, and that an axle saddle should be curved on the bottom side to rest on the axle, and welded the whole way around, instead of a flat piece with two tiny points of contact on the side of the axle.

    I bought my RV from RVCW in Indiana. At this point I'll do anything to get my coach back on the road. Assuming Lippert gets me an axle by Thursday, I still need to have it put on, and he wouldn't really give me any details about the process entailing that, ie who does it, when, etc.
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    Past Ohio Chapter Leaders (Founding) mrcomer's Avatar
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    Re: 2011 BH Axle Disaster

    I have watched them swap out my axles for a different reason. They actually pull off the backing plates and leaf springs to replace the axles. I am thinking it took the Lippert guy almost a couple of hours to do one axle. Whoever does it needs to make sure they torque those u-bolts properly. May as well have them check your brakes to make sure they are adjusted properly while they have that all apart. Couldn't take too much more time for piece of mind.

    BTW, My personal opinion is that Lippert should help with this based on your pictures. I also agree with whoever suggested that the plates should conform to the axle tube and be welded around the axle and not 2 points of contact.

    Good luck,
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    Re: 2011 BH Axle Disaster

    Sure hope you get this fixed for your trip. We had to cancel 3 trips the first 3 months we had our Sundance due to warranty work having to be done.. Believe me I know how frustrating this can be. I have very good friend that owns a trailer sales and repair. Sells cattle trailers, Big Tex and large goose neck trailers. He was telling me that when a customer tells him the frame is made by Lippert he knows what the problem is before the customer tells him. The springs are broken or the axles are messed up. He said he doesn't call Lippert due to high cost of parts and that he can get parts locally that are far better and cost is at least 1/3 less.You might find a trailer place near you that would work on the RV for ya. Good luck.

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    Senior Member ihsolutions's Avatar
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    Re: 2011 BH Axle Disaster

    At this point I am at the mercy of Lippert. I can only hope that I receive the axle Thursday (assuming they ship tomorrow) but they have refused to discuss what happens next. I think the guy wanted to get out of there, it was almost 4PM, quittin' time.

    If Lippert does not have the ability to get the thing fixed the day the axle arrives I may just do it myself. It can't be that hard, and I'm comfortable rewiring the brakes, so it's just a matter of dropping the old axle, putting the new one up, and getting the alignment as perfect as possible. I can't miss this trip. Too many people counting on me being there (with my equipment) and lots of money already spent on plane tickets, etc.

    It would be nice if Heartland had offered a little more help in regards to facilitating a quicker turnaround.
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