But, it was gonna be a couple days before the only game in town, that I could find, could do anything. So we looked around till Saturday morning... and, did the alternator replacement when that fried the next morning. :)
Then Saturday morning I hitched up and pulled the rig 14 miles west into West Yellowstone. Made that a long slow trip, not wanting to stress those cracks any more if I could avoid it. They could have been there for a couple days, I didn't know.
I got the rig, running slow with the emergency flashers goin' all the way to town. Just as we made the turn off of the Yellowstone road onto the main road in town, the cable that ran to the break-away brake snagged on something, and jerked the plunger out, locking the brakes.
Now, those small cracks were no longer, small cracks... When the trailer STOPPED, the 10,000 pound and more truck... Didn't... or at least, not very fast. oooooooffffffffffffff!
It jerked those cracks from cracks... into Tears and Hitch Failure.
|*Failure of Attachment of Fifth Wheel Pin Box to Main Beam*|
I sat in the intersection for many seconds, scrambling... as angry drivers cursed me for blocking the road. At least I was told they were. I was focused on getting the brakes released. Good thing for those Nasty Drivers, that I didn't hear 'em. That kind of ARROGANCE and lack of consideration is NOT something I deal with to awfully well. ;)
Finally, I got the plunger reinstalled, and the rig moving again. This time, with the main beam fractured and several other welds popped and torn...
|*Example of other structural breaks from the twisting pin box*|
Sometimes... What the hell is the rush with some folks? Take it easy, slow down. You'll get a more harmonious outcome! :)
So... we got there... and I went to work peeling the skin to get to the failure, and see what the total damage was...
|*Getting the removable part of the Pin Box Out of the Way*|
|*The Fifth Wheel Hitch Area Opened Up for Inspection and Repair*|
This is when we found cracks and pops on most of the supporting beams, that came when the brakes locked.
To come in the next post... the repair that wasn't a repair... yuck! !!!!!
The last thing here is this. This failure came NOT because of the Gooseneck adapter I use. If THAT was the problem it would have happened a long time ago, and the geometry simply don't support that argument.
But, if you look at that picture where I'm removing the front part of the pin box? You'll see that Jayco designed and built this rig with a "Long Style" pin box. Now... THAT is an issue.
My complaint and claim? IF you are going to utilize that sort of a design... You have to accept that you are putting a hell of a lot of stress on the frame... from the VERTICAL impacts over the many miles it will be hauled. Vertical impacts that are going to slam that frame whether it's sitting on a fifth wheel hitch or receiving those same impacts Vertically through a gooseneck adapter.
Those impacts are the SAME, with either attachment method. The geometry, the distance between the pin box king pin and the truck bed are the SAME, Fifth Wheel or Gooseneck. The lever length is the SAME. The gooseneck has greater flexibility and movement, reducing lockup over fifth wheel and REDUCING potential stresses from that but otherwise, the lever and it's forces are pretty much the same... The ROAD IMPACTS are the issue, NOT, the type of attachment.
ACCEPTING that reality, YOU AS THE MANUFACTURER must build the frame that the hitch is attached to, with a weight of material suitable to endure those Impacts... if you intend to sell it,with integrity, to someone.
Jayco, and MOST, Fifth Wheel manufactures, did not, and do not do that.
That frame is insufficient weight for long term heavy duty use. It is insufficient to build a car trailer that's gonna haul a Yugo. Honestly? I knew they don't build the things like they should, but I was still surprised by the light weight tubing they used.
So... we'll be adding several gussets, a heavy bracing member behind the attachment point, all intended to distribute the stresses more evenly across the frame. The idea is to eliminate the "Focusing" affect of how they built the rig. The way those stresses are now focused down on two welds...
It's also my intention to figure out how to scrape the beans together to install an Air Ride Fifth Wheel pin box, to reduce those un-avoidable Road Impacts.
Taken all together, I believe our work will return our Rig to serviceability, and truthfully? Better than it was.
One more time, where a couple of rednecks fix the "Design" of engineers who allowed their work to be co-opted by the bean counters and "Bottom Line" bozos running the show.
Sound Kinda grumpy about it don't I? :) Yeah well, I kinda am. When I screw up, I admit it. In the end, I admit it, and try to do better the next time. Those guys, just keep running the line that they do good work and refuse to accept the reality, that they are Screwin' the Pooch... and cheating people. Bottom line, what they do is something they just can't be proud of.
So... this next week we'll get on to the final and real repair, and reconstruction of things, so we can get back on the road...
Takin' It As It comes
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